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Alhambra, Granada

5.0 stars


The Interior

The inside of the Alhambra is magnificent and its beauty is almost beyond description. It looks like a palace out of a fairy tale. Nearly every wall is adorned with intricately detailed carvings or beautiful mosaic work. While you will undoubtedly enjoy the fine craftsmanship and the luxurious surroundings just by walking through, I recommend taking a guidebook with you. Learning a bit about the history of each room really enriches your experience and enjoyment in the Alhambra. Prepare yourself to for your sense of sight to be inundated with the beauty of the skillful craftsmanship and your sense of hearing to be soothed with the sound of gently flowing water from the patio fountain. The interior of the building is surprisingly cool, even on a warm summer day, and is no doubt a testament to the clever architecture of the builders. [more ]

Patio de los Leones (Patio of the Lions)

This is one of the most famous areas of the Alhambra. This patio is located in the center of what was the harem. In the center of the patio twelve stone lions standing in a circle hold the fountain's basin. Fingers of water extend out from the fountain into the rooms of the harem itself and ends in a small circular pool with a small fountain in the center. The walls and marble columns surrounding the patio are gorgeous. There are 124 of these slender columns. Intricately carved archways give the patio a delicate effect, almost like lace, and one can well imagine such graceful architecture to house the harem of the Sultan. [more ]

La Sala de los Abencerrajes

This is one room that deserves a tip of its own. The beautifully carved domed ceiling is gorgeous. The windows at the top give this room enough light to see, but do not allow in direct sunlight so it stays relatively cool on hot days. I stayed here for a long time just gazing at the carved artwork covering the ceiling. The gruesome history of this room was difficult to imagine given its beauty. This room is said to have been the site of the murders of the Abencerraj family. One story said that the head of the Abencerraj family was caught with Zoraya, Abu al-Hasan's lover and was killed, along with his family, for the treasonous act. Another story is that the Abencerraj family was in support of Abu al-Hasan's rival in the palace power struggle. Whatever the real reason for the murders, the fact that they took place does not seem to be disputed. [more ]

Palacio de Carlos V (La Casa Real Nueva)

The Palacio de Carlos V was not part of the orginial Alhambra building, but it is part of the larger complex. My first impression of this palace was that it seemed out-of-place after visiting the Alhambra with its intricate 14th century design. This large square building, begun in 1527, follows Renaissance style architecture and though it seemed out-of-place it is nonetheless beautiful in its own right. The palace was never finished, but the two-story circular courtyard is impressive, with its 32 surrounding columns. One can only imagine what Renaissance elegance might have graced the palace had it ever been completed.

The palace contains two museuems: the Museo Nacional de Arte Hispano-Árabe on the lower floor and the Museo de Bellas Artes on the upper floor. [more ]

The Exterior View

The exterior of the Alhambra is simple, yet beautiful. The reddish-colored high, straight walls of the fortress that perch atop the hill are impressive and add color that contrasts with the more whitish walls of the other buildings. The well-placed apertures stand out starkly against the solid walls. The somewhat plain exterior does not belie the ornately carved interior decorations that lie inside. I suggest viewing the exterior from the Mirador San Nicolás, or you can also view it from Sacromonte. You can see nearly all the buildings of the Alhambra as well as the top of the palace of Charles V. The Alhambra is most beautiful seen in the evening, when the lights highlight the color and cast shadows across the walls. [more ]

The Alhambra and the Generalife

I LOVED the Alhambra and the Generalife. It seemed like I had such a short time to travel in Spain that I found it difficult to choose my destinations. I have never regretted choosing Grenada, which I chose especially for the fact that the Alhambra is here, as one of my destinations. The history of the Alhambra is intriguing and here you can really see the Moorish influence that was so prevalent in Southern Spain. I loved learning about the history and finding out that the Spanish monarchs also occupied the palace, adding a Spanish aspect to the already long history of the building. I was also intrigued by the plaque commemorating the fact that the author Washington Irving once inhabited a set of rooms there. Each part of the Alhambra really deserves its own travel tip because of the beauty and history of each room. , but I will say that the extraordinary detail in the tile work and the relief on the ceilings is absolutely amazing. This is one destination you definitely do not want to miss. [more ]

So special

There are some places in this world that are just naturally magic, but then there are some that are man made magic. I would have to say that the Alhambra is one of them. The castle itself is a fusion of the old Arabic architecture and the later contribution of the Christian empire. It is grandiose and inspiring, the views it gives are magnificent and the history it holds is always present in its walls. There are gardens, look outs and hideaways. It is a piece of the old world, a sight for the dreamers and inspiration for those who are not. I recommend getting to the ticket booth bright and early as there is always a cue spanning all through the garden, I recommend hiking up the hill towards it as it makes it all the more memorable. Finally I recommend at times forgetting your camera is there and just looking closely at all the detail of this ancient wander. Welcome to the old world in modern Europe. [more ]

Inheritance of Arabs in the Spain

This Palace, located in Granada, in the Spanish Andalusia region is a legacy of Arabs. Visiting Alhambra, I could confirm this influence: it is a beautiful exemplar of the Moorish architecture. Patio de los Leones, Sala de los Reyes, Patio de Arrayanes, Salon de Embajadores and Palacio del Partal among others are part of the Alhambra complex. However, the most beautiful for me it is Patio de Arrayanes, where an antique swimming pool between arcades reflects lights in the rooms close it. In the north part of the Alhambra, the Generalife gardens attract the attention due to the amazing plants, lagoons and fountains. The great surprise of the tour is the view from the Palace where I could see Sierra Nevada, a famous Spanish ski station, as well the agreeable Granada. [more ]

Great views of Sierra Nevada from the Alcazaba

Although the Alcazaba is the less visually impacting building of the Alhambra complex, it is worth the visit for excellent views of Sierra Nevada as well as 360º panoramic views of the whole of the Granada valley. I´ve visited the Alhambra in July and December and the views were spectacular during both seasons. From one side you´ll see Albaicin and the Sacramonte and opposite the stunning Sierra Nevada. In summer, because of it´s altitude there was a fantastic breeze that helped us to cool down for the heat. [more ]

Torre de las Damas y Jardines de El Partal

The Torre de las Damas (Dames´Tower) is one of the most important buildings around the Royal Palace as the decoration is the oldest of the Alhambra. The views of the Albaicin and the valley of the Darro from the portico are breathtaking. The five arches of the portico, supported by marble columns, originally made of brick, reflected in the rectangular pond and made it one of my favorite photo spot. The Jardines del Partal (Partal Gardens) are enormous but not very looked after as another areas of the Alhambra. There are loads of pathways you can take from this gardens. You can have a nice view of the Generalife Palace from here. [more ]

Enchanting Nazarí Palaces

The Palacios Nazaries is the most astounding and exquisite part of the Alhambra. The Palaces can only be visited for a short time as the entrance is timed with the general entry to the Alhambra. The entry is only valid at the time printed in your ticket. If you miss it you will not be allowed in. The entrance to the Palaces started with the Salón of the Abencerrajes with crafted carved wooden ceilings followed by many courtyards that opened to more courtyards of different sizes. The palaces had beautiful arches and ceramic tiles. They were two large ponds in the patios and gardens. I hired the audio guide which was excellent for really understanding the history of each room and patio. There is a beautiful courtyard with a fountain with benches under the gallery where you can rest and relax. The exit opens to beautiful large gardens and open hallways to stunning views of the Albaicín. When it comes to Nazarí Palaces I am out of words. A marvelous place to visit! [more ]

Missing Lion´s at the Patio de los Leones

I was looking forward to visit the famous Patio de los leones (Lion´s Courtyard )but when we arrived the lions were missing as they were taken for restoration work. Although it was a bit of a disappointment it gave me the chance to put my attention on the walls and terraces of this courtyard. The wonderfully crafted marble walls, the columns and arches were beautiful to admire. It was nice to walk along the galleries although this area of the palace was very crowded and I always had a distracted tourist walking in front of my photo shot. [more ]


The Alhambra is the most popular tourist attraction in Granada and rightly so in my opinion. Even the journey to the Alhambra is beautiful, with the cobbled streets and quaint, old Spain world. The first time I went to the Alhambra I only got to visit the gardens, but they themselves are stunning. In a city that can get so hot in the summer, the gardens are lushious beds of flowers and sometimes fauna. There are some many different areas of the Alhambra, and the Alcazar is probably the most amazing with the views over all of Granada. Just walking around, you can really get a good feel of how Spain was under the Moors and learn some interesting history. [more ]

Castle : Alhambra

The Alhambra in Southern Spain is a fortress but also a castle. It is a very beautiful place to visit. It was the home of the monarchs but now visitors can see its architectural beauty and the special paintings. I was shocked when I raised my head and saw the engraving and the painted models done with gold, white and red that left me speechless. The lions in the garden created a special feeling and the long pool in the front made me dream. I didn’t have time to see everything but I went and saw the initial entrance. The passing of the years is obvious, the details and much of the artwork was lost but it is not ruined. [more ]

Alhambra Castle

Visiting this castle was more complicated that I had expected. We went to the castle one morning ar round 10:00 and there was no way to enter and visit. Apparently you have to book in advance, because they don’t let many people in, in order to preserve the bulding. The staff was very friendly and told us that if we didn’t have a reservation, we should come the next day at around 8:00. We did that and we finally got in. But we had to visit everything really quick, so we could visit the Palace Nazaries at the scheduled time. The castle is huge and really worth seeing. The tour takes about 2 hours or a little more.The view of the castle at night is really special, because of its beautiful reddish colour, for which the locals have many legends. [more ]

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