Location: Alhambra Palace overlooks the city of Granada in Spain.
Best Time to Visit: Spring and Autumn.
Preferred Timing: 08.30 a.m. to 06.00 p.m.
Time Required to Visit: Around 3 hours.
Entry Fee: Euro 13 (Though rate may change from time to time)
If you are physically fit, this is the best way to approach the palace, as it gives you the best opportunity to enjoy the scenic beauty surrounding the region. There are two popular paths to reach Alhambra Palace Spain from Granada city center. The most beautiful is the one that takes from Plaza Nueva into the street Cuesta de Gomíérez. You can also reach there via the street Cuesta del Rey Chico.
By Public Transport:
There are two buses that will take you to Alhambra Places from Granada. Route 30 and 32 start from Plaza Nueva and drive up the Cuesta de Gomíérez. You can also hire taxis in order to reach there.
If you are going there by car, you need to take the ring road of the city, called Ronda Sur, and then follow the direction of Sierra Nevada. You can park your car at any one of the two-car parking areas in Generalife.
Nearest airport: Granada Airport (GRX)
Nearest rail station: Avenida de Andaluces
“How many legends and traditions, true and fabulous; how many songs and ballads, Arabian and Spanish of love and war and chivalry, are associated with this oriental pile!” wrote Washington Irving about the Alhambra Palace way back 1861. Even now, the palace continues to enchant, intrigue and bewilder visitors with its singular magnificence and enduring charm. It is not difficult to understand why this palace in Spain, overlooking the ancient city of Granada, fired the imagination of poets, artists, thinkers and travelers with a taste of history and the mystique, for so many centuries.
Alhambra Palace Spain, also known as the ‘Red Fortress’, is a famous palace and fortress located on the hilly terrace on the southeastern edge of the city of Granada in Spain. One of the most famous examples of Moorish architecture, Alhambra Palace was primarily the home of Nasrid Sultans and their court. It is the same place where artists and intellectuals took shelter when Christian Spain won over Al Andalus. Currently, Alhambra Palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain which attracts a huge number of tourists from all parts of the world.
The construction of Alhambra Palace in Spain started in the mid-1300s and was completed by Yusuf I and Muhammed V, Sultan of Granada towards the end of Muslim rule in the country. It is located on a terrace measuring about 740 m in length and 205 m in width, covering an area of about 142,000 square meters. The palace can not be described as a single construction; rather it is a combination of evolution, successive reforms, and extensions.
Inside the Alhambra Palace
Alhambra Palace in Granada can be divided into four groups, viz. Alcazaba (the Fortress), Palacios Nazaries (Nasrid Palaces), Generalife Gardens, and Medina (Town).
Alcazaba: Alcazaba, the fortress and the military headquarters for the Nasrid dynasty were built on the highest point of the hill. Hence, it got the positional advantage to defend the royal family. Though originally, the construction had 24 towers, currently only a few remain.
Palacios Nazaríes: Time spent at the Palacios Nazaríes or the Nasrid Palaces will be some of the memorable moments of your visit to Alhambra Palace. Exquisitely decorated function rooms and courtyards that were used by the Muslim rulers for different purposes are the highlights of Palacios Nazaríes.
The palaces can be divided into three distinct parts, namely the Mexuar, the Serallo, and the Harem. Mexuar is the place where the Sultan used to meet his ministers. Next to it, there is the Cuarto Dorado or the Golden Room where Sultan took his most important decisions as military commander-in-chief. The entrance of Serallo is just the opposite of Cuarto Dorado. Serallo was the official residence of the Sultan. The famous Patio de los Leones lies at the center of Harem, which was built for Sultan Muhammad V in 1378. Also visit Sala de los Abencerrajes, located at the south of it. On the north of Patio is the brilliant Sala de dos Hermanas. Sala de los Ajimeces, the dressing room of the favored lady, lies at the far end of the Patio. Whereas, on the east end of the Patio, lies the Sala de los Reyes or the Hall of the Kings.
Generalife Gardens: As the name suggests, this area consists of beautiful gardens and fountains.
Medina: Medina, occupies the largest area, was built to house craftsmen.
Alhambra Palace Spain Tickets
For a visit to Alhambra Palace, there can be several types of tickets for the tourists, namely Morning Tickets, Afternoon Tickets, and Evening Tickets. The price of each ticket is Euro 13, though it may change from time to time.
Timing: Monday to Sunday from 08.30 a.m. to 02.00 p.m.
Access: Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces, and Generalife Gardens.
Timing: Monday to Sunday from 02.30 p.m. to 06.00 p.m. (November-February)
Monday to Sunday from 02.00 p.m. to 08.00 p.m. (March-October)
Access: Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces, and Generalife Gardens.
Timing: Friday and Saturday from 08.00 p.m. to 09.30 p.m. (November-February) Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. (March-October)
Access: Nasrid Palaces.
Buying Alhambra Palace Tickets:
Booking Hours: 08.30 a.m. to 08.00 p.m. (March-October). 08.30 a.m. to 06.00 p.m. (November-February)
Place: Alhambra Palace ticket counter is located at the entrance pavilion near the parking arena. Though the counter opens at 08.30 a.m. it is a common scene to develop long queues. So, reach there early in order to avoid the rush.
Advance Booking: You can also purchase your ticket to Alhambra Palace up to three months in advance through the website of the La Caixa Bank. You can also buy your ticket over the telephone through the telephone service of La Caixa Bank.
Visiting Alhambra Palace
Most of the time a traveler spends in visiting Alhambra Palace is in the Nasrid Palaces. There are three popular routes that a traveler can take to visit Alhambra Palace:
Alcazaba — Palacios Nazaríes — Generalife Garden
Palacios Nazaríes — Alcazaba — Generalife Garden
Generalife Garden — Alcazaba — Palacios Nazaríes
It takes almost 3 hours to visit Alhambra Palace Spain. But you need to chalk out your sightseeing plan meticulously before you visit, especially the Nasrid Palaces: do not forget that you will be assigned a stipulated time for admission to Nasrid Palaces when you buy tickets. You have to enter the Nasrid Palaces within half an hour of the time printed on your ticket. Only 350 people in each half an hour are permitted to enter the Nasrid Palaces.
The beauty of the Alhambra palace defies photographic representation. Still, there are quite a few beautiful videos of the palace, which will give you an idea of the splendor of this ancient Moorish palace.
Here are a few of them:
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=zxMi5gh7wrc: The best video on the Alhambra Palace on the internet: great footages, great music, and great narration. If this does not inspire you to visit Alhambra, few other accounts will. Check this out!
http://lamarinaforum.com/videos/granada_0003.swf: Another wonderful private video of a tour to Alhambra palace. To immerse yourself in a complete Alhambra experience, including the wonderful way that leads to the palace and the general beauty of Granada, watch this video!
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/427796/alhambra_glory_of_moorish_architecture_grenada_spain/: A short video catching some of the gorgeous architectural designs of the Alhambra Palace. Oriental music adds to the feel. The narrative is minimal, but significant and deals with the history of the place.