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Alhambra

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The Alhambra in Granada is a significant fortress complex, originating from the 9th century and one of the most important examples of Moorish style of Islamic art. With an entrance ticket for the Alhambra, the heart of the site, the Nasrid Palaces, Generalife and the associated gardens as well as the baths of the mosque can be visited. For the Nasrid Palaces, due to the large number of visitors, a time window must be reserved and it is recommended to book online in advance, while the suitable time window is still available.
Miriam DewamBy Miriam Dewam
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Tickets

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Alhambra & Nasrid Palaces: Admission Ticket & Palace Afternoon Visit
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Only Alhambra: Admission Ticket
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Alhambra and Nasrid Palaces Ticket with Audioguide
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Tours

Dive deeper into the secrets of the Alhambra with a tour.
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Alhambra & Generalife Skip the line Small Group including Nasrid Palaces
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Alhambra, Generalife and Nasrid palaces skip-the-line guided tour
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Skip The Line Alhambra and Generalife Guided Tour
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Alhambra and Generalife Gardens Tour with Skip the Line Tickets
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More tickets & tours

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Granada: Alhambra Complex Guided Tour Options
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Granada: Alhambra & Nasrid Palaces Tour with Tickets
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Granada: Alhambra, Nasrid Palaces, and Generalife Tour
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Fast-Track Alhambra & Nasrid Palaces Guided Tour
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7 tips for visiting the Alhambra

The Alhambra | Photo: Unsplash, Vidar Nordli-Mathisen - CC-BY 2.0
1
Book your ticket in advance onlineSince the fortress is the most visited attraction in Spain, tickets for the Alhambra are often sold out. Therefore, especially in the summer months, they should be booked two to three months in advance.
The courtyard of the Alhambra | Photo: Unsplash, Marco Montero Pisani - CC-BY 2.0
2
Take note of the timeslotWithout a previous reservation of a timeslot, the Nasrid Palaces and their gardens cannot be visited, as the number of visitors is limited to 300 per half hour. The booked timeslot must be strictly adhered to; if you are late, there is no longer any claim to admission. The rest of the area (Alcazaba, Partal Palace and Generalife) can be visited until the attraction closes.
3
Plan sufficient timeDue to the extensive area, it is recommended to plan at least two hours for the visit. Especially on hot days, you should take something to drink and sun protection, as you will spend most of the time outdoors.
4
Prefer the later hoursThe large crowds form especially in the hot months in the morning. If you want to escape the midday heat, the Night Tour tickets are available. These allow you to stay until 9:30 PM (October - March) or even until 11:30 PM (April - October).
The Patio de los Leones | Photo: Unsplash, Izuddin Helmi Adnan - CC-BY 2.0
5
Book a Alhambra tourThere is a lot to discover in the Alhambra fortress, not only because of its size, so it is recommended to book a guided tour, so you don't miss the smallest details. You can also get a ticket in this way if the admission tickets for your time slot on the desired day are sold out.
In the courtyard of the Partal Palace | Photo: Unsplash, Marco Montero Pisani - CC-BY 2.0
6
Download the appWith the free Alhambra y el Generalife App for iOS and Android you get access to an interactive map of the fortress and can learn more about the sight. The app offers you audios, videos as well as historical and current 360° images. The app also shows you various routes that you can choose based on your preferred length of stay.
7
Don't forget your ID!At the entrance to the Alhambra, the personalized tickets are checked against an official photo ID. Therefore, make sure to check before you leave that you have it with you.
In the castle | Photo: Unsplash, Victoriano Izquierdo - CC-BY 2.0

A paradise on earth

Palace, medina and fort, all combined in Alhambra with an area of 142,000m² (1,530,000 sq ft). This UNESCO world heritage site is the most popular attraction in Spain and impresses with its palaces and gardens.

Backgrounds of the fortress

Alhambra or 'Kala al hambra' in Arabic, meaning 'Red Castle', is a masterpiece of Islamic architecture built in the 13th and 14th centuries. Located on the Sabikah Hill of Granada, it served as a city castle, merging the landscape and architecture. The robust exterior of the castle counterbalances the delicate craftsmanship inside, where water and light were essential design elements in creating a paradise. The fortress consists of three parts: the citadel (Alcazaba), the palaces of the Nasrids and the adjoining gardens (Generalife).

The Alcazaba

In the west of the extensive grounds is the Alcazaba, the oldest part of the Alhambra, which was built in the 9th century. This part was primarily used for the defense of the territory, in addition, the entire Alhambra is surrounded by a wall and has several guard towers. The highest viewpoint is the watchtower Torre de la Vela and offers a view over the entire city of Granada.
In the Nasrid Palaces | Photo: Unsplash, Girl with red hat - CC-BY 2.0

Residence of the Caliphs

The Alcazaba later also served as the residence of the Muslim rulers of the city as well as the seat of government. The northern part of the Alcazaba forms with the Nasrid palaces the most valuable section; here are also houses, craft businesses, mosques as well as public baths. Halls, courtyards, arcades, fountains and gardens form the impressive palaces. After 250 years, the Caliphs had to yield to the Catholic Kings after the reconquest.
The Sala de Embajadores | Photo: Unsplash, Diego Allen - CC-BY 2.0

The Nasrid Palaces

The palaces in the Alcazaba were elaborately designed with plaster, gemstones and tiles, geometric shapes, floral patterns and calligraphies decorate the walls. Among the most sumptuous buildings is the Sala de Embajadores (Throne Room), in which the throne was located and official receptions were held. Also impressive is the Patio de los Leones (Lion's Courtyard) with its delicately appearing 124 columns and the fountain in the middle of the courtyard, formed from twelve lions. The ceilings are also elaborately designed, for example, stalactites hang in the Sala de los Abencerrajes and in the Sala de los Reyes it is adorned with a painting of the first ten rulers. The best view of the entire palace is found in the Patio de la Reja.

The Palacio del Partal

The Palacio del Partal was built in the early 14th century and is therefore the oldest existing palace building of the Alhambra. Originally there was a fortress tower here, which was transformed into a lookout tower and merged into an ornamental building. There is also a courtyard resembling an oasis here, in the middle of the garden there is a fountain, surrounded by towering trees.

The Generalife

Crossing a bridge takes you to the Generalife, which is located on an adjacent hill to the Alhambra. This country residence enchants with the Acequia courtyard and the water features. From here you have a perfect view of the whole Alhambra.
The Palacio de Carlos V | Photo: Unsplash, Jorge Fernández Salas - CC-BY 2.0

The Carlos V Palace

After the Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula by the Catholic Monarchs, in 1527 Charles V commissioned the construction of the palace, for which parts of the Nasrid palaces had to give way, but it was never completed. Today it houses the Museum of Muslim Art and the Museum of Fine Arts. The round inner courtyard contrasts with the square base of the palace, which is 63 meters long.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Alhambra accessible to people with disabilities?

This attraction has an accessible walk around option. Wheelchairs can be borrowed at the entrance pavilion. Read more.

Are there parking facilities?

The area has 360 parking spaces, which are monitored around the clock. Caravans and buses can also park here. Read more.

Are there food options at Alhambra?

On the grounds of the Alhambra there are only machines filled with snacks and drinks. These are located at the entrance pavilion, the service pavilion next to the Puerta del Vino and in the car parks. Read more.

Are bags and backpacks allowed to be carried during the visit?

Large pieces of luggage such as bags and backpacks that exceed 40 x 40 cm in size are not allowed in the fortress. There are free lockers on site for visitors. Please note that strollers are not allowed, but these can be exchanged for a baby carrier backpack free of charge. Read more.

Are audio guides available?

Alhambra offers audioguides, which are available from €4 depending on usage. The audioguide is available in Arabic, German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Thai. This attraction also offers a free app that allows you to access an interactive map and audio. Read more.

What should be considered when booking tickets?

Online purchased tickets are only valid on the set day. The issued card cannot be returned, refunded, exchanged or adjusted. The ticket includes a timeslot for the Nasrid Palaces, which must be adhered to, otherwise you will no longer have the right of admission. While admission for minors is free, they require an Alhambra ticket. Please note, an official photo ID is required for verification of the entry ticket. Read more.

Can dogs be brought into the Alhambra?

No, animals are not allowed in the building. The only exception is for certified guide dogs. Read more.

Is it allowed to take photos and videos of the castle?

Videos and photos may be taken for personal purposes during the visit. Please note that the use of tripods and flash is not allowed. Read more.

General information

opening hours

The Alhambra is open for visitors with day tickets daily, except for 25.12. and 1.1., from 8:30 to 18:00 (15th October - 31st March) or even until 20:00 (1st April - 14th October). Visitors planning a night tour can do it from Friday to Saturday from 20:00 to 21:30 (15th October - 31st March) or from Tuesday to Saturday from 22:00 to 23:30 (1st April - 14th October). The Museum of Muslim Art and the Museum of Fine Arts are closed on Mondays. The ticket offices are usually open until the closing times of the attractions.

address

Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n
18009 Granada
Spain

how to get there

The Alhambra can be reached by bus lines C30 (to Alhambra-Centro), C32 (to Alhambra-Albaicín) or line C35 to Parque Alixares. For those who want to walk: it's a 20-minute walk from the city center (Cathedral).

website

Official site: https://www.cityofalhambra.org/

tickets

On site, the admission ticket to the Alhambra, the Alcazaba, the Nasrid Palaces and the Generalife costs 19.09 € per person, this includes free entrance to the Palace of Charles V. and the Alhambra Museum. If you want to explore only certain parts of this attraction, the combined tickets cost uniformly 10.61€ on site. There is a combined ticket to the gardens, the Generalife and the Alcazaba, one to the Nasrid Palaces at night or to the gardens and the Generalife at night.

discounts

Children between 12 and 15 years old, EU students up to the age of 27, EU citizens over 65, and holders of a disability pass receive a reduced admission. Thus, the ticket to the Alhambra and the Generalife costs €12.73, and all other combo tickets €7.42. A free ticket must be obtained for children between 3 and 11 years old. Please note that appropriate IDs must be presented.
Miriam Dewam
Written byMiriam DewamMiriam is keen on traveling and has a passion for photography, which she can enhance through her cross-media studies. She uses her knowledge as well as first hand experience from diverse travels to help other travellers as a content creator at TicketLens.
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