What is the Alhambra?The Alhambra in Granada is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, made up of a medieval fortress which is one of the finest surviving examples of the Moorish style of architecture. The area known as the Alcazaba, made up of fortifications and towers, was built in the 9th Century to defend the local area. The main attractions of the Alhambra complex are the Nasrid Palaces (or Palacios Nazaríes), which served as both the home and the seat of government for the Emirs of Granada, who ruled Granada and the surrounding area between 1230 and 1492. The interiors of the Nasrid Palaces impress millions of visitors annually with their elaborate designs. After the Reconquista, the military efforts by the Christian Kingdoms to expel Muslim rulers, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V built his palace within the walls of the Alhambra. In order to make space for this Renaissance-style palace, parts of the Nasrid Palaces had to be demolished. Today the palaces are home to a number of museums.
What’s the Generalife?The Palacio de Generalife was the summer palace used by the Nasrid dynasty, located outside the walls of the Alhambra. The palace was built in the 13th Century and is worth visiting for its gardens alone, which contain soothing water features, mosaics, and gazebos to provide shelter from the heat.
How long does a visit to the Alhambra take?On average, most visitors spend between three and four hours exploring the Alhambra. The complex is large, with many areas to discover. You should plan to spend an hour inside the Nasrid Palaces alone. Guided tours of the Alhambra take between 90 minutes and three hours, after which you can explore by yourself.
Will my children enjoy a visit to the Alhambra?Children are very welcome inside the Alhambra, but if you’re planning to visit with infants, please be aware that you can’t take strollers into the Generalife or the Nasrid Palaces. There are special areas where you can leave strollers safely, and you can borrow child carriers free of charge. Children will particularly enjoy exploring the palace gardens, where they can see fish, birds, or even frogs.