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Alhambra Granada - Tickets & Details

Alhambra Granada: one of the most beautiful palaces in Andalusia, the soul of the city, and a must-see on your next trip to Granada. Visit the red castle, and it becomes perfectly clear why the fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Alhambra sits atop a hill in Granada. The palaces, buildings and gardens may date back to the 1300s, but they are just as exquisite in 2022. Today Alhambra and the Generalife is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Spain. And with good reason.


Here's a round-up of everything you need to know before your visit to Alhambra Granada.


Die Alhambra in Granada ist ein UNESCO Weltkulturerbe und beliebtes Reiseziel in Andalusien

The History of the Alhambra


In 1238, the first Nasrid - Emir Muhammad I Ibn al-Ahmar - began building la Alhambra on Sabika hill at the foot of the Sierra Nevada. He was the founder of the Nasrid Dynasty, the last Muslim dynasty in the Iberian Peninsula, and he ruled over Granada for many years.

However, during the Reconquista in 1492, the Christians took back Spain from the Moors. The Alhambra Palace was recaptured during this time, and Ferdinand and Isabella I of Castile made it their royal palace.


Despite this, the architecture of Alhambra has remained mainly Islamic - with a few Christian additions like the Palacio de Carlos V - , making it breath-taking to look at.

Once an important Nasrid palace and seat of the Catholic Monarchs, the Alhambra then fell into obscurity for a while. It was Washington Irving who first brought it to global prominence with his story "Tales of the Alhambra."


The fortress became one of the first Islamic monuments to be extensively studied with the help of modern science and has been continually restored since the 19th century.


Key Details for Your Alhambra Visit - Nasrid Palaces & More


The Alhambra in Granada is massive: it is around 700 meters long and 200 meters wide, covering an area of ​​142,000 m². It overlooks the Granada plain, the Albaicin district and the Darro River. It was built of red clay in the typical Moorish architecture, gaining the nickname red castle.


During the Nasrid era and in the Muslim state of Al-Andalus, the Alhambra Palace served as an independent city from the rest of Granada. It thus contained, among other things, a mosque, hammams, roads, houses, workshops and a sophisticated water supply system.


The Alhambra itself consisted of six different Nasrid palaces, of which the following are the best preserved:

  • Mexuar

  • Palace of Comares

  • Palace of the Lions

  • El Palacio del Partal

and represent the main attractions of the Granada Alhambra. The Nasrid Palaces were the primary homes of the Moorish kings. They are known for their impressive Islamic architecture, such as the muqarnas or stalactite vaults, rooms with mosaic tiles and extraordinary Moorish courtyards.


Next to the Nasrid Palaces, you’ll find the 16th-century Renaissance-style Christian approaches, which include the Patio de Lindaraja (Lindaraja Courtyard) and the Peinador de la Reina (Queen's Dressing Room). The contrasting Renaissance style is a far cry from Islamic architecture but is extraordinarily beautiful in its own right.


These are surrounded by Generalife, which houses the incredible gardens of Alhambra. Stroll through well-kept walkways, exquisite fountains, rose gardens and ancient trees.

The oldest part of Alhambra Palace is the military fortress of Alcazaba. Climb to the top, and you'll be rewarded with incredible views over the entire city of Granada.


Hotels Near Alhambra

Alhambra Granada - Tickets & How to Get There


It goes without saying, any World Heritage site is going to be busy, and the beautiful Alhambra is no different. It was once only possible to book entry via a Spanish bank's website, which was not very user-friendly. Even in 2022, there are several sites claiming to be the official Alhambra Palace ticket providers. We recommend GetYourGuide or should you speak Spanish, the Alhambra Patronato website to book your tickets.


For the latter, you have these options:

  • Alhambra General (14€)

  • Jardines, Generalife and Alcazaba (7€)

  • Dobla de Oro General (22.74€)

  • Visita Nocturna in Palacios Nacaríes (8€)

  • Nocturnal visit to Gardens and Generalife (5€)

  • Dobla de Oro Nocturna (17.74€)

  • Alhambra Experiences (14€)

  • Monumentos Andalusies (5€)

Confused? Don't worry, we can help.


If you're looking to visit the Alhambra for the first time, Alhambra General is the best choice. It includes entry to Alhambra and the Generalife: the Nasrid Palaces, the Palacio del Partal , the Alcazaba and the gardens.


If you've been there before and were particularly impressed by the palaces or the gardens, then it's worth trying again but by moonlight - Visita Nocturna in Palacios Nacaríes or Nocturnal visit to Gardens and Generalife. This gives you a whole new experience.

A night visit to the Nasrid Palaces as well as a daytime visit to the Alcazaba, Generalife and Palacio del Partal  is possible with the Alhambra Experience.


Alternatively, there are many guided tours, either with a real tour guide or an audio guide. These are great for explaining the significance of the various palaces, towers, monuments and buildings throughout the complex.


What to Expect Visiting the Alhambra


More than 2.7 million visitors visit La Alhambra de Granada in Spain every year. With so much traffic, it is important to buy your tickets ahead of time.


With so many different palaces, gardens and ticket options, buying in advance means you can not only visit the fortress when you want but you can also see the things you actually want to see. We probably don't need to tell you that Alhambra Palace is extremely busy. Turn up on the day, and you've got a long wait on your hands. All tickets purchased in advance can be conveniently scanned and validated using the machines provided.


From the city of Granada Spain, you can take a bus to get to the Alhambra, or join guided tours with transport included. Even if you are good on your feet and wouldn't mind hiking up the hill to the castle, we recommend you save your steps for within the Alhambra walls.

In addition to the things already mentioned, there is much more to see when you get through the entrance:

  • Patio de los Leones (Court of Lions)

  • Alhambra Museum

  • Alhambra Palace of Charles V

  • Gates (e.g. Puerta de los Siete Suelos)

  • Towers (e.g. Torre de la Vela)

  • Monastery of Saint Francis

  • Church of Santa Maria de la Alhambra

  • Remains of the Ravda Mausoleum

  • Aqueducts

  • Historical vases, furniture and works of art in various rooms

From the court of lions to the history of Arab kings and queens and Catholic monarchs, the Alhambra has so much more than just the beautiful palaces to offer. Last but not least, you should also go to the Mirador de San Nicolas, which is located in the Albaicin district and offers a beautiful view of the Alhambra. This is worth seeing around the clock. Whether at sunrise or sunset, in the middle of the day or at night.


FAQ


Why is the Alhambra Granada famous?

La Alhambra Palace is one of the most stunning places in Europe. The UNESCO World Heritage site is considered the most beautiful Arab palace in Europe and sits atop a hill in Granada Spain. The Nasrid palaces, buildings and gardens date back to the 1300s when the region was a dominion of the Moors.


Is Alhambra one of the 7 Wonders of the World?

No, Alhambra is not one of the 7 Wonders of the World, but many argue it should be. La Alhambra Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as "the palace of my dreams" due to its beautiful architecture. Visit the Alhambra and you'll find beautiful gardens, palaces, towers, rooms and halls all designed by famous architects.


What is the Alhambra and why was it built?

Alhambra was a fortress built in 1238, by Emir Muhammad I Ibn al-Ahmar. He was the founder of the Nasrid Dynasty, the last Muslim dynasty in the Iberian Peninsula, and he ruled over the city of Granada for many years. Over time, La Alhambra has expanded and is now one of the most visited tourist attractions in Spain.


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