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Alhambra (Nasrid Palace & Generalife) - Granada


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Alhambra (Nasrid Palace & Generalife) - Granada



Sightseeing - Alhambra (Nasrid Palace & Generalife)
Sightseeing - Alhambra (Nasrid Palace & Generalife)

The Alhambra was constructed during the Nasrid dynasty (1232 - 1492) which claimed independence from Morocco, during the reign of Yusuf I and Mohammed V. Alhambra derives from the Arab word Al-Qalat Al-Hambra meaning the "red fort", probably from the color of the reflection of the setting sun on the sandstone the palace is made of.

Visiting times:
Morning entrance 8.30h - 14h
Afernoon access 14h - 20h (15 March - 14 October) summer
Afernoon access 14h - 18h (15 October - 14 March) winter

Ticket booth:
8h - 20h (15 March - 14 October) summer
8h - 17h (15 October - 14 March) winter

Entrance Generalife & Alcazaba & Nasrid palace 
(Alhambra General: visita general diurna - red machine)
15.40€ for adults
9.40€ for children 12 - 15 years
10.40€ for seniors over 65 years
free of charge for children under 12
Purchase tickets online

Entrance Generalife & Alcazaba 
(visita diurna - green machine)
You can also purchase tickets just for the Generalife and Alcazaba. Here you still have to chose whether you want to enter in the morning 8.30h-14h or afternoon session as of 14h.
8.40€ for adults & Seniors & children 12 - 15 years
free of charge for children under 12

Entrance Generalife & Alcazaba at night
(Alhambra / Generalife at night)
You can also purchase tickets just for the Generalife and Alcazaba at night. Timeframe of visit is from 22h -23.30h. This does not include the visit to the Nasrid Palace !!!!!
6.40€ for adults & Seniors & children 12 - 15 years
free of charge for children under 12

Entrance Alhambra Nasrid Palace at night
(Nasrid palace at night - blue machines)
Purchase tickets online. Visit the Nasrid palace at night whilst it is illuminated. This does not include the visit to the Generalife.   
Entrance time for the Nasrid palace is either 22h or 22.30h.
9.40€ for adults & Seniors & children 12 - 15 years
free of charge for children under 12
P.S: It seems that the translation on the website is not correct as it says that this tickets does not allow access to the Nasrid Palace, but in Spanish it states that it does not allow access to the Generalife at night as you can purchase these tickets seperately. 

Entrance Alhambra experience at night
(Nasrid palace at night, Generalife and Alcazaba next day - blue machines)
This is a fantastic experience. Purchase tickets online. Visit the Nasrid palace at night whilst it is illuminated and the next day you can visit the Generalife & Alcazaba.  
Entrance time for the Nasrid palace is either 22h or 22.30h.
15.40€ for adults & Seniors & children 12 - 15 years
free of charge for children under 12

Purchasing tickets:
You can buy tickets online up to 10pax, please present photo ID, credit card number and booking sheet when picking up the tickets. Children under 12 also need to get a ticket online.
Buying tickets online is your best option as queues are long, even in winter.

Important! Book tickets in advance (especially in summer). It is best to book months in advance, as in summer tickets tend to be sold out quickly.
The time you are asked to choose is the time you need to start your visit at the Nasrid Palace. The time you spend there once you are inside the palace is up to you, although you need to pay attention to the visiting times. Pick up your tickets in the left queue once you are at the Alhambra, but make sure to be there at least 90 mins. before the scheduled time and present ID. There are also vending machines where you can pick up tickets you have reserved online, using the same credit card. Pay attention to use the RED vending machines which say "visita general diurna" on them. The other vending machines do NOT include the visit to the Nasrid palace.

Caixa bank: every Spanish Caixa bank (before BBVA) sells tickets.
From Spain : 902 888 001

Tour excursions: if tickets are sold out, you can still book an excursion to see the Alhambra via bus companies. You can book this on our website under "Excursions > Day Trips". The excursion companies always have tickets allocated on a daily basis, so if you get a seat on the bus, you get a ticket into the Alhambra. ***due to scams in the past, even travel agents are only allowed to buy tickets on Monday of the same week***

Ticket office: This is not advisable, as especially in summer, the Alhambra is usually sold out and even in winter the queues are huge. But if you choose this way, be there early, as any last minute tickets sell fast. The booth is open from 8am - 8pm. The right queue is for same day ticket purchases.

Bono Turistico: Granada offers all tourists a special visitors card which is valid for 7 days and includes entrance into the Alhambra, cathedral, royal chapel, Monasterio de la Cartuja, Monasterio San Jeronimo, science park, Fine Arts museum, archeological museum as well as one ticket for the sightseeing bus and 9 local bus rides. This ticket costs 25 - 30€ and is very good value. They always have an allocation of tickets for the Alhambra, so if you get a 'bono turistico', you get a ticket to the Alhambra and you can enter directly, skipping the ticket office!!!!! You can pre-order on the internet .Once you have entered the page is in spanish, click on Bono turistico on the left and then you can change to english or call from Spain 902 100 095.  Website

Get there: You can catch the microbus from Plaza Nueva. The bus looks like a tourist bus with Alhambra written on the side and costs about 1.20€. Once the bus stops at the Alhambra, walk up the hill for another 50m where you will find the ticket booth.
You can also walk up the same road the bus takes "Cuesta de Gomerez". However we do not recommended it, as you will be walking a lot anyway and might have difficulty finding the entrance on your own! If you prefer driving, there is an official car park in front of the Alhambra.

Detailed information about the Alhambra

You can visit the following sites within the Alhambra
Palacio de Carlos V
Museo de Bellas Arte
Museo de Alhambra
Nasrid Palace (Casa Real)
Puerta de la Vela
Patio de Leones

Palacio de Carlos V
This palace surrounds the Nasrid palace and makes an interesting transition from Moroccan architecture of the 8th century to the 15th century renaissance building style. This was meant to be one of the King Charles V residences, however he never lived in it. Built with tax money from the Moriscos (converted Moors) who rebelled in 1568, there was no money left to complete it.

Generalife (Gardens)
Duration: minimum 30min if you rush through!
Facts: This was the Nasrid king's summer palace. Five minutes away from the Alhambra but tickets purchased are generally valid for both.

Generalife means in Arabic "gardens of the master builder", although most of the gardens were planted in the 19th and 20th century - after the Arab occupation
The doorway bears the symbol of the key of Allah. The centerpiece of the Generalife is a long pool with many water sprays that pass through beds of roses. In winter the gardens seem rather grey and uninviting and walking through them would take 30 min. However in summer when everything is in bloom, it is a great place to relax and enjoy the sun. Take water with you, so you do not dry up.

This citadel is the oldest part of the Alhambra and dates back to the Nasrid kings. Climb up the Torre de la Vega (watchtower) where you have great views over Granada and the hill, Albaicin. The towers bell originally rang at every opening and closing of the Vela irrigation system. Nowadays it is rang on January 2nd, the anniversary of Boabdils capitulation to the catholic kings in 1492. Legend has it that an unmarried woman ringing the bell will be engaged within the year. At the base of the Alcazaba you will find the Torre Bermeja (Vermillion Towers).

Important! The Alcazaba is located opposite the Nasrid palace and once you are in you can't take any shortcuts and come back again afterwards. Plan your time; you will need a minimum of 45 mins and there are some amazing views, so do not rush, take at least 1 hour before your planned time to enter the Nasrid palace. If you have only 30 min prior to the Nasrid palace, use the time to buy a drink at the only kiosk there is and enjoy the view over to the Albaicin and go into the Alcazaba afterwards.

Puerta de la Justicia (Tower of Justice)
This most impressive gateway of the Alhambra depicts two motifs. The Key and the Hand. In Irving's story about the Alhambra he writes that the day the hand reaches the key, the Alhambra will fall into ruin and the hidden treasures of the Moors will be revealed.

Casa Real (Nasrid Palace)
Special visiting times are assigned to this area of the Alhambra and are indicated when purchasing your ticket. The time you spend there however is not limited.
The beauty of the Palace probably lies in its architecture and abundance of ornaments. The Muslims, as opposed to the Catholics, believed that Allah's sense of propriety would be offended when more attention was given to worldly possessions, rather than to a fleeting moment. For this reason, most of the decorations are made of perishable materials such as wood, plaster and tiles, instead of gold and marble. However considering the beauty still maintained, it does not seem much perished for its age.

The Mexuar
This is where you first enter the Nasrid palace and the place where the kings used to hold audiences. The adjoining patio de Mexuar is one of the finest rooms in the Alhambra.

Patio de los Leones
Located in the Nasrid palace. The kings' residence was built around this famous patio with a fountain supported by 12 lions at its centre reflecting the 12 months of the year or 12 signs of the zodiac.

Museo de Alhambra
Price: Free with Alhambra ticket
This museum has the best selection of Moorish art including azulejos (tiles) and plaster arabesque in Spain. It is definitely worth a visit.
Carly Says