$. Achingly beautiful Moorish palace, fortress and gardens complex built on top of a former Roman fortress in the mid-13th Century, which later became the royal court of the Catholic monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit.
The site includes the following buildings:
Nasrid Palaces. The jewel of the Alhambra – the royal palace, filled with intricate Moorish wall carving and tiles. The only part that requires a timed entrance to visit.
The Alcazaba. The ancient fortress and oldest part of the Alhambra. Climb up to the watchtower, Torre del Vela, for an incredible view of Granada and Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Palace of Charles V. Not really palace, but more of an interesting circular Renaissance structure that was intended to a be a palace. There’s a small museum and gift shop inside.
The Generalife. Gorgeous gardens and summer palace of the Nasrid rulers. Beyond beautiful.
- Buy tickets as soon as you can to secure your preferred slot to visit the Nasrid Palaces. Entrance to the palaces is the only part of the Alhambra complex that requires timed entry. We went in the first slot of the day – 8:30am – which was very early (and cold and dark) but allowed us to tour the palaces relatively undisturbed by tour groups. The nice part is once you’re in at your ticketed time, you’re in, so you can take as much time as you want to explore. Book your tickets here – the “General” tickets include everything in the complex and are only 14 Euros each.
- Print out your ticket at home and enter at the Justice Gate. The Justice Gate is closer to downtown Granada, and less busy than the main entrance. It’s also only a few feet away from the entrance to the Nasrid Palaces, should you be starting your tour that way.
- Get the audio guide. Nothing is labelled in the complex. You can also book a guided tour, but we were fine with the audio guide.