Alhambra complex in Granada

Generalife gardens in Alhambra

Generalife gardens in Alhambra

Must see before you die

‘He who has not seen Granada, has not seen anything’ says an old Spanish proverb. Another common saying in Spain puts it quite bluntly: ‘It is a great pity to be blind in Granada.’ Alhambra, which means ‘red castle’ in the Arabic, is a vast palace and castle complex of the Moorish monarchs of Granada.Covering nearly 105,000 square meters, it is beautifully situated on a rocky hill overseeing Granada.

Alhambra comprises of Generalife Gardens and Palace (summer place of the Nasrid Emirs), The Carlos V Palace (Renaissance building constructed in 1527), The Nasrid Palaces, the centrepiece of the Alhambra (complex of palaces from the 13th century renowned for detailed ornamental plasterwork), The Alcazaba (9th century fortress) and a few smaller areas.

Inside the Nasrid Palaces

Inside the Nasrid Palaces

Plan in advance and other tips

As the most busy tourist site in Spain, Alhambra requires that you buy tickets well in advance, usually at least a month before a planned visit is needed. Remember to take with you the debit or credit card that you have used to pay for the tickets. You will need it to collect the entrances when you arrive at the site. Before booking, bear in mind that the morning visit is recommended if you want to avoid the crowds.

Getting to Alhambra is fairly easy as you don’t have to enter the city centre. From the Autopista A-44/E-902, Granada’s ring road, take exit ‘Alhambra/Sierra Nevada’. Follow the signs. When you see the road going into the tunnel, get into the left lane which goes to Alhambra (otherwise you will end up on the road to Sierra Nevada). Then, on the big roundabout take the second turn (the one which goes uphill). This road will lead you directly to Alhambra’s parking.

A visit to Alhambra takes at least 3 hours, but inside you won’t find any restaurants or bars, only several vending machines serving coffee, tea, snacks and sandwiches. Remember to take some proper food with you.

Granada

 

Granada Cathedral

Granada Cathedral

When you think Granada, the Alhambra complex of palaces comes first to mind. The pinnacle of Moorish art is the pride not only of Granada, but of the whole Spain. The wonderful Alhambra has inspired travellers for centuries. Poetry was the inspiration when designing the complex which was intended to be a paradise. And it’s as close to an earthly paradise, as it gets.

Granada itself and the nearby small white villages are perched on a series of hills, one of which is crowned by the mighty Alhambra. Those green hills gradually climb to the snow-topped Sierra Nevada Mountains, one of the most popular ski resorts in Spain.

There is a lot more to Granada than Alhambra. There is the Generalife, situated next to Alhambra, which is a small palace colmplex with beautiful gardens. Highly rated among the vistors, Science Park (Parque de las Ciencias), offersa great science experience. If your kids didn’t appreciate the beauties of Alhrambra, take them to the Science Park and they are going to love it! There is plenty of stuff to do for youngters and excitement lurks around every corner of the Park.

View of Granada from Alhambra

View of Granada from Alhambra

Another noteworthy place is a street Calle De La Caldereria Nueva, also known as “Little Morocco“. There are Moorish shops, teahouses and buildings there. So if you fancy buying some North African products, a visit to “Little Marocco” is mot recommended.

If a cultural feast with a family is what you are looking for, hestitate no more and book a trip to Granada with bestandalucia.com.

Granada – nearest destinations: Sierra Nevada, Nerja

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