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Alhambra, Granada

4.6
#1 of 193 in Things to do in Granada
Architectural Building Castle
Once the last Islamic stronghold in Europe, Alhambra reflects the splendor of the Moorish civilization in Spain, and offers visitors a chance to see exquisite ornamental architecture, lush gardens, cascading water features, and panoramic views of Granada. This complex was once a palace, citadel, fortress, and the home of the Nasrid sultans, high government officials and servants of the court. Within the medieval complex of structures you can also explore other prominent buildings belonging to different time periods, including the palace of Carlos V, noted for housing a museum of fine art. To avoid disappointment, be sure to book tickets at least a few days in advance by phone or online. Take a look at our Granada trip builder to schedule your visit to Alhambra and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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4.6
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  • The Alhambra is beautiful, amazing and the must-see attraction of Southern Spain - you can easily spend 8 or 9 hours here wandering, exploring and taking pictures. There are already thousands of pictu...  more »
  • You've read about it and heard about it, and you must go see it. If you love the history, you'll love this place. Read William Irving's Tales of the Alhambra before you go. If you love gardens and wal...  more »
  • Outstanding! The buildings, gardens and history of this site most probably makes it the best attraction in Spain and certainly a must see if visiting Andalusia. Centuries of history unfolded as we lea...  more »
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  • Alhambra is a fantastic historical complex which consists of few different parts. To see them all you will probably need a couple of days. There is a lot to see inside and outside. Alhambra is a breath taking example of Islamic culture and architecture; famous touristic destination of Spain, great historic and cultural heritage. The best time to visit Alhambra is spring and autumn. In summer temperature in Andalucía rises too high and can spoil the enjoyment. BUYING THE TICKETS ON THE INTERNET IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST!!! - if you don´t want to face an infinite line of other visitors and miss a chance to see the complex of Alhambra. Study well the information on the official site, choose which parts represent the biggest interest for you, buy and print the tickets. Be sure to come to the entrance IN ADVANCE; don´t be late! To avoid overcrowding the number of visitors entering every hour is carefully monitored and limited. If you come later than an exact hour indicated on your ticket, they might deny the entrance. Guided tour is strongly recommended. Now they are available in major European languages and each visitor is provided a “blue-tooth” audio device which helps to hear the guide even at certain distance.
  • It's a impressive and beautiful place. No question. You will need to buy a ticket online a few months before your visit and change your online voucher at the official entrance into a valid ticket. This procedure doesn't mean there aren't masses of tourists. Cause there are. That's why it can be frustrating to get good pictures or just take a closer look at some building details.
  • MAGNIFICENT!!! You have to get your tickets way in advance online or else you may not be able to get in. They only make a number of tickets available for sale daily and that number is never the same. As per one of the attendants, some days they have 50 tickets for sale some other days up to 500 tickets and those go very quickly in the morning because there are people who line up starting at around 4 A.M. and by 7 A.M when they open the ticket window there are hundreds and even thousands of people waiting in line. Totally worth the wait, if you can get in, that is.
  • The place is huge and very well maintained. It's the only thing that attracts huge crowds to Granada. The history behind the palace is very rich. Make sure you take a guided tour to learn as much as possible. Having said everything good, here are a few things that make is okay: since it's a unesco world heritage site, they have not allowed reconstruction of the palace. Had that been allowed, this place would have been breathtaking. For now, even though the carving is amazing, without colours it looks okay. Secondly, there are many such palaces all over the world that are better and have a richer history. Given a choice, I would rather visit those places first than travel all the way to Granada specially for Alhambra. Beware, it's very difficult to get the tickets on the spot here. You need to book at least 10 days in advance.
  • Excellent place, full of history, but also full of crowds. We went during the UK easter holidays the week before holy week and it was busy so I'd not like to go there during the summer (especially not because it get so hot there!) but it is definitely a place everyone should go. Make sure you book well in advance because there are never any tickets available on the gate.

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Where to stay in Granada

Granada is built in a valley looking up to the majestic Alhambra, and most visitors choose to stay where the view can be admired. Plaza Nueva, just down the hill from the Alhambra entry gates, constitutes the touristic center of the city. Many of the famous free-tapas bars and lively restaurants line this famous plaza, as well as a number of small hotels and apartment rentals. Found directly behind the plaza are the city's two historical old Moorish quarters, Albayzín and El Sacramonte, which are characterized by their narrow winding streets and picturesque whitewashed buildings. Here you'll find a number of charming hotels with hillside views of the Alhambra and city center.
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