Guide to visiting Alhambra Palace

Alhambra fountain ©Yves Remedios/Flickr

The main attraction in Granada, Alhambra Palace is splendid and truly unique sample of Moorish architecture. Situated upon a small hill near the Andalusian city of Granada, Alhambra is an elegant combination of delicate arabesques, impenetrable stone walls and hidden gardens. Due to several restoration projects, Alhambra also managed to preserve much of its former glory, so no wonder that the thousands of tourists who came here every day are so amazed by its beauty. But there is also a practical side of seeing this famous Spanish attraction, hence my decision to write this short guide to visiting Alhambra Palace:

What to see

Before going on with admission hours, tickets or other such details, it is important to know what exactly is there to visit at Alhambra Palace. The sight actually consists of numerous palaces, villas, fortifications, gates and gardens, built across 700 years. The oldest part is the Royal Palace, finished in the 14th century, while the newest is the palace of king Charles V. Some of these older and very luxurious buildings are known as the Nasrid Palaces (they contain the Harem and the famous Court of the Myrtles and Palace of the Lions), a special part of the complex which has restricted visiting time. Another famous wing is the Generalife.

view from Generalife

misty morning at Alhambra ©Voyou Desoeuvre/Flickr

Getting there

Getting to the Alhambra is not difficult. Even without a map, you will be able to see the palace complex at the foothills of Sierra Nevada mountains and dominating Grenada’s skyline. There are local buses that can take you close to the palace, but the important thing to remember is that access is made through Puerta de las Granadas.

Alhambra fountain ©Yves Remedios/Flickr

Admission hours and prices

As to what concerns admission hours, Alhambra has one great advantage and one disadvantage. The good news is that the palace stays open every day except Sunday from 8am to 8pm, and also has a special night tour during the summer, which ends at 10:30 pm. The bad news is that the number of visitors is restricted to approximately 6000 a day, and admission to Nasrid Palace is made according to a strict schedule.

palace in Spain

Alhambra towers ©Sebastian Baryli/Flickr

Being aware of these restriction can save you time and unnecessary frustrations. Two other important things to keep in mind are that a visit of the whole complex can last between 3 hours and half a day, and that it is best to buy your tickets several day in advance (online purchase is available). The price of a standard ticket is 13 euros.

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