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Spain - Granada



Things to see - The Alhambra


Although many Muslim buildings were destroyed by the Christian era in Granada those that are remaining make the most complete group of Moorish housing architecture in Europe.


At the heart of is one of the most brilliant jewels of universal architecture - the Alhambra - a series of palaces and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th C. This mighty compound of buildings – including the summer palace called Generalife (Jannat al-'Arif), with its fountains and gardens - stands at the foot of Spain's highest mountain range, the Sierra Nevada, and overlooks the city below and the fertile plain of Granada.


The name Alhambra, signifying in Arabic the red (Al Hamra), derives from the colour of the red clay of the surroundings of which the fort is made.

» Booking the Alhambra

» Getting to the Alhambra

» Useful Links


» Booking the Alhambra - Tips


When booking for the Alhambra be aware that you can purchase two types of tickets. One is for a visit to the Generalarif only. The other is for the Generalarif as well as the Nasrid palaces and the Alcazaba. If you only buy a ticket for the Generalarif you will not be able to enter the Nasrid palaces or the Alcazaba.

If you buy a ticket for both, you will need to give a specific time to enter the Nasrid Palace. Once you book a specific time you have to enter at that time only. They are very strict regarding this. For example, if you book to enter the Nasrid Palace at 5pm, then you should enter the Alhambra complex at 3.30pm, proceed to the Generalrif immediately. Viewing this should take about an hour to an hour and a half. Once completed you should make your way to the Nasrid Palace complex. You must be at the entrance to the Palace itself (and not at the sign post showing the entrance to the complex) at the designated time (5pm). You need to show your ticket here. The visit to the palaces should take about an hour and a half. Once completed proceed to the Alcazaba which should take another half an hour.

In total you should give yourself about 4 hours at the Alhambra.

Please keep you ticket with you all the time as you will be asked to show it when you leave the Nasrid Palace complex.

Don't just walk through the Alhambra like you are taking a stroll on the high street. The Alhambra is an experience. And to experience it you need to gently unwrap the Alhambra from the layers of dazzling imagery, breathtaking architecture and hundreds of years of historical memory. You will undoubtedly have your video and digital cameras capturing that “ I was there” moment, but take time out from this and you will be enriched by the sheer majesty and magnificence of this legacy.

In the summer months, this can be thirsty work. It is best that you buy bottles of water from a local supermarket where prices are far cheaper than from the kiosk at the Alhambra which could put a strain on your budget. For those with sensitive skin, don’t forget sun protection as temperatures reach a high 30 degrees. A peak cap might provide some protect but a floppy hat with a wide brim is more than adequate.

» Getting to the Alhambra


The one that that can drive you crazy in Granada is the driving. If you have hired a car then get onto the Ring Road and follow the signs to the Alhambra. This will take you right up to the complex where there is ample paid parking. Do not try to drive to the Alhambra through the city – you will not make it and will miss your scheduled entry time. If you are a small group, your best option is to take a taxi. Make sure that the taxi is able to pick you up once you have finished your visit. Most taxi drivers will give you the telephone number of the taxi company to call so make sure that you have a mobile phone.


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