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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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