Alhambra Granada

Granada’s Enchanting Alhambra

Oh my sweet Alhambra. You absolutely cannot miss the Alhambra if you’re visiting Granada. This enchanting Islamic palace, named “the Red Castle” because of the reddish hue of the walls, is set high up on a hillside above the city.

Amidst the backdrop of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Alhambra looks like something straight out of a storybook.

The Alhambra has a complex history of renovations and restorations which have influenced its architectural style and is an UNESCO World Heritage site, along with the Albaycín neighbourhood.

Charlie through the doorway Alhambra Granada Spain - Charlie on Travel 1200

Palacios Nazaríes

The Palacios Nazaríes is the central palace area, which is characterised by glazed tiles, muqarnas (honeycomb vaulting) and geometrically carved wooden ceilings. Beautiful is the only world.

Muqarnas honeycomb vaulting in Alhambra Granada Spain - Charlie on Travel
Charlie standing at door Alhambra Granada Spain - Charlie on Travel 1200
Orante decoration in Alhambra Granada Spain - Charlie on Travel
Palacios Nazaríes Alhambra Granada Spain - Charlie on Travel
Tower at Alhambra Granada Spain - Charlie on Travel
Garden in the Alhambra

Patio de los Leones

Patio de los Leones (Courtyard of the Lions) sits at the heart of the Alhambra. The famous centrepiece of this courtyard is the Fountain of Lions which decorated with twelve white marble lions. The courtyard is split into four quarters, which symbolise the four parts of the world according to the traditional design of Persian gardens. Each area is irrigated by a water channel which cuts straight through the stone floor and symbolises the four rivers of paradise.

Patio de los Leones Alhambra Granada - Charlie on Travel 2

The Alcazaba

The Alcazaba fortress is located at the west end of the Alhambra’s grounds. The Alcazaba is a series of stone walls and watchtowers with grand views across the city. Sometimes you just have to let the wind mess up your hair and go ahhh.

The Alcazaba Alhambra Granada Spain - Charlie on Travel

View from the Alcazaba at Alhambra in Granada
View from the Alcazaba at Alhambra in Granada

Generalife

At the other side of the Alhambra is Generalife, a long and elegant garden complete with flowers, fountains, pathways and patios. The Summer Palace with its winding staircases and pretty courtyards is at the north end.

Generalife Alhambra

Generalife Alhambra

Generalife Alhambra

Generalife Alhambra

Generalife Alhambra

How to Get There: The Alhambra can be reached by various uphill paths; the most commonly taken route begins in the town centre and is lined rows of local handicraft stores before the grounds are entered.

Book Tickets: You need to book tickets to visit the Alhambra online or in the bookshop in the town centre ahead of time. If you book online, be sure to head into the bookshop to print your tickets well in advance of arriving.

Cover Photo / Julián Rejas De Castro

Charlie Marchant

Charlie is a long-term traveller from the UK who writes about simple ways to travel sustainably, including how to become a house sitter and slow traveller, eating local and vegetarian, and making responsible travel choices.

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