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Granada's Alhambra Palaces, built for the court of the Nasrid dynasty, date back to 889AD. So much history means there's quite a lot to learn. So, where should you start?
This former stronghold is the oldest part of the complex, dating back to the 13th century. It protected the Muslim settlers of Andalucia from the Catholic Crusaders.
Once the summer residence of the sultan, the palace is surrounded by lush vegetation in the gardens (now enjoyed by visitors in the present day!).
View the main courtyard of the Nasrid dynasty's regal home, and take a step back into medieval Mediterranean times. Book a night tour to see the illuminated beauty of it all.
Named for large marble stones in the floor, this central hall boasts carefully-crafted lighting and intricate detail. Pause, and imagine the sultana and her family that lived here.
The palace is located in the Albayzin neighborhood. Find a winding side street in the town, and stop to take beautiful photos of the Alhambra from afar.
The palace is open all year, except for December 25 (Christmas) and January 1 (New Year's Day).
The open times are divided into morning tickets (8:30AM to 2:00PM) and afternoon tickets (2:00PM to 8:00PM). Entry to the Nasrid Palaces is allocated per half-hour time slot. Tickets for the night visit to Nasrid Palaces are valid from 10:00PM to 11:30PM.
There is no dress code for the palace, but be aware that some other Catholic establishments in the city may require arms and legs to be covered. And remember to stay in the shade and drink lots of water!
Public transport (line C3) will take you right to the ticket office. Alternatively, you can walk. There are a few different routes from the city center (about 800m each). The most serene, beautiful, and historically interesting is the road from Plaza Nueva. The route will take you up the Cuesta de Gomérez, through the Gate of the Pomegranates, and into the tree-lined avenues that lead to the Alhambra.
- When to visitThe palace is open all year, except for December 25 (Christmas) and January 1 (New Year's Day).
- What is the price?The adult ticket prices start at €14.00, and booking in advance is highly recommended.
- Will I need a guide?You may be interested in an expert's narration while you try to take in the architecture, room by room.
- How to get therePublic transport (line C3), car, or on foot from the city center.
- Additional tips
- This attraction is free for children under twelve years old, but booking is still required.
- Entrance to the Nasrid Palaces is allocated per half-hour time slot. Don't be late!
What People Are Saying About Alhambra
The guide was extremely informative and helpful and dealt excellently with all participants on the tour. I really enjoyed the tour and was very motivated to follow up historical and cultural aspects afterwards. For convenience I think particaipants should be allowed to meet the guide at the Alhambra ticket desk or should be picked up at their hotel rather than the roundabout pick up at an akward location which required a taxi at 7.45 am. Why did the tour need to start so early?
Overall, I had a great experience with this tour. I learned a lot and it was fun to see the highlights of such a big place rich in history.
Alhambra is a must-do and you'll get much more out of the experience with a good guide, rather than just walking round admiring the sights. Our guide Natasha was friendly, professional and told a great story.
The guide was excellent, with extensive knowledge of the history and philosophical/religious reasoning behind the Alhambra Palaces. It was a joy to partake in his tour, and he was very helpful and inclusive with everyone in the group. Think his name was Juan, date of tour 2016-11-19 at 3pm. Don't miss the Alhambra, and the experience is even better with a good guide.
I learned a lot and the early morning start was tough but really worth it. I loved the Generalife gardens, and thought the amount of time we had to wander and the amount of time guided was good. The quality of the audio-guide earphone was good. I was just very disappointed to learn afterwards that we had missed the central part. I did understand this from the website initially, but I think it was misleading for the guide not to have mentioned this at all in the context of the wider visit. I also was travelling with a practising Muslim and I found that the guided tour was very much from the Christianisation perspective with not enough made of the skill-sets and the symbolism and the imagination and ways of life there in the first 800 years - for me a little more storytelling and factual background from this era rather than so much focus on the handover would have been preferable. Juan was a great guide - very amenable and friendly.