offers many interesting activities, but the prime attraction for most
travelers is the Moorish palace known as the Alhambra. The name
translates as "Red Castle" in Arabic.
The Alhambra possesses a majestic setting, as it is surrounded by scenic mountains
(the Sierra Nevada's)
and perched on the
top of a hill overlooking the town of Granada. A visit to the Alhambra provides the opportunity to examine an interesting and
multi-layered example of Spain's cultural history. The site is
comprised of several sections, including the
Alhambra proper, the Generalife, the Alcazaba and the Palace of King Charles V.
Granada City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
From Viator Tours
Historical Granada Sightseeing Tour
From Viator Tours
The Alhambra is a very popular
attraction and the number of visitors per day is limited. Even
if you arrive early in the morning, you may wait hours for entrance.
There are two admission periods. From mid-October through mid-March
the daytime hours are 0830 to 1800 from Monday through Sunday with
an evening session from 1930 to 2030 and later on Friday and
Saturday. The ticket office opens earlier and closes earlier
than the Alhambra.
In summer the hours are 0830 to 2000 and the evening session is from
2200 to 2330. The times are subject to change and we suggest you
look at the website link below to determine times and make your
You may want to
consider taking a tour of the site, as it can be the easiest way to
gain entrance during busy periods.
for more detailed
information about visiting the Alhambra and purchasing tickets.
- The Alcazaba (fortress) dates from the 9th Century and the protection
that it provided attracted a community. In turn, the increased
population led to the construction of the Alhambra Castle.
- Later occupants turned the Alhambra into the lavish buildings and
grounds. The sumptuousness of the past is only hinted at today, as the Alhambra has suffered from
various indignities including wars and neglect.The buildings on the site were allowed to
decay after the 15th century Reconquista, in which the Muslim rulers were
replaced by royalty of the Catholic persuasion.
- Although somewhat compact in size, the Alhambra contains numerous
palaces (called that Nasrid Palaces)
salons, patios and walkways that are intricately decorated with pleasant
- The buildings are relatively simple but the setting and
the application of the tenets of Moorish design makes the Alhambra a
very special place. It is one of the finest examples of Islamic
architecture in Spain.
- The rooms of the palace are unfurnished and the visitor can only
at the beauty that must have existed when the palace was an active residence
of the emirs.
- Note that admission to the Nasrid Palaces is by time-slot only.
If you miss your slot, you will not be able to see the palaces, which are
the finest part of the Alhambra complex.
- The Generalife portion of the site was the "country retreat" of the rulers and has a slightly
different flavor than the Alhambra. Take you time to tour the gardens
and any of the "special areas" that are open (areas open for
viewing change from time to time).
- The Castle of Charles V is interesting and impressive, but its style of
architecture appears out
of place in the context of the Alhambra.
Patio de la Acequia in the Generalife
The Castle of Charles V
After having visited this area those of you who have visited California
will understand why the Spaniards who discovered it considered this land
along the Pacific Ocean to be the "New Spain."
Turismo de Granada is the official tourism website for Granada, Spain.
The site provides additional details on our recommended best places to visit, as
well as information on attractions that did not make our list.
If you need information about another travel destination, try
Destination Guide Index
or Googling ThereArePlaces.
Patio de Arraynes
Patio de los Liones