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Alhambra in Granada: what to know to visit the attraction

by Steven Hardy

The Alhambra in Granada is an architectural complex like no other. Between palaces like the Partal Palace and gardens like the Generalife , the postcard of the Andalusian city is one of the most visited in Spain. Built between the 13th and 14th centuries by the last Muslim dynasty that reigned in the Iberian Peninsula, the Nasrids, the visit is a must for anyone visiting Granada.

To visit the Alhambra you need to plan ahead, you cannot run the risk of running out of tickets. Below, you’ll discover everything you need to know before you get there. Let’s go?

How to visit the Alhambra in Granada?

To visit the Alhambra, you must first buy your ticket in advance.

I highlight the advance, as I didn’t do this myself and, even though I visited the city in low season, I had to return the following week to be able to fully enjoy the visit to the Alhambra. Luckily, staying longer in the region was already in my plans.

By purchasing in advance, it is possible to combine different tour options: a guided group tour during the day or a private tour – just for you and your companions – with an option also at night, or even entry to the Alhambra in Granada combined with other tours, such as a spectacle of flamenco.

Furthermore, the visit to the Alhambra can be divided into two: a complete visit or just the exterior, which includes gardens in general, the Generalife – a summer area and agricultural culture a short distance from the Alhambra itself, which also consisted of the field of the nobility of the time – and the Alcazaba , the Alhambra fortress itself and the oldest part of the site.

Is it worth taking a guided tour of the Alhambra?

Yes, it is worth taking a guided tour of the Alhambra in Granada.

This is because, with this type of tour, you can discover the entire history behind the set of monuments that have resisted very well over the centuries and to this day are one of the main references of Moorish architecture – even if the former emperor Charles V did not have left to give the Alhambra its own touch with a Renaissance palace built later and where temporary exhibitions take place annually.

What to see at the Alhambra in Granada?

The Alhambra in Granada is a tourist attraction with attractions for all types of travelers: it has Moorish and Renaissance architecture, it has a fort, it has gardens, it has water mirrors, it has panoramic views and, of course, a lot of art and history. All sites in the Alhambra are therefore worth visiting. But if you’re in a hurry, check out some of the most essential points:

Nazaríes Palaces

There are three palaces: Palacio del Mexuar, Palacio de Comares and Palacio de los Leones . Each of them was built at different times, following the orders of different sultans, such as Isma’il I of Granada, Yusuf I of Granada and Mohammed V of Granada.

The Palácio de Comares is eye-popping for its facade, the Palácio de Mexuar has unforgettable details on the inside – it was the meeting place for the council of ministers at the time – and the Palácio dos Leões, with its courtyard, a major symbol of wealth decorative and the Mirador de Daraxa , one of the most impressive places in the palaces for all its details, remains one of the places worth visiting yes or yes.

El Partal

Even though Partal may not seem like an unmissable place beforehand , its architecture indicates that it is the oldest palace in the Alhambra and its gardens invite you to take a stroll.

Because it is a little further away from other attractions, the place has a feeling of untouchability, as if it were extremely exclusive to be there. And it’s not a lie.


The Alcazaba is also one of the highest points of the Alhambra, as it was there that it all began: out of fear of Catholic threats, the Arab sultans entered the Alhambra through this fortified palace that still stands today, although with a large part of ruins, and offers one of the most privileged views of the city of Granada , especially the Albaicín neighborhood.

History of the Alhambra in Granada

The history of the Alhambra in Granada is a great experience for those who like to delve deeper into the events and motivations of past centuries.

This is because the Alhambra began to be built when the Moors still dominated the region and, like it or not, it ended up becoming a kind of portrait of the great achievements and losses of a remote past, but which still has a lot to say today.

Where is the Alhambra?

The Alhambra is in the city of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia , south of Spain. The address is Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n – 18009 Granada . Although there are no numbers, there is nothing to worry about: the entire Alhambra complex occupies a large part of the city and you will have no problem finding the place.

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