The Alhambra is an important part of the history of Granada, Spain and is a must-see when visiting Andalucía, or Southern Spain. It was originally a military fort and then converted into a palace for royals during the Nasrid Dynasty. This is also where King Ferdinand and Isabella gave Christopher Columbus commission to find a new route to India. It sits on top of the hill and can be seen while walking through the city. (I could also see it from my room at my host family’s apartment – and it lights up at night!)

It’s an interesting historic site because it has both Moorish and Christian symbols in the architecture. The details on the walls and ceilings were absolutely mind blowing. It is considered one of the best preserved Arabic cities in the world.

From the top of one of the old fortress towers there are amazing views of the city of Granada with the Sierra Nevada mountains as a backdrop.

Generalife is in the “newer” grounds of the palace. It was the summer palace for the royal family and has stunning gardens full of an array of flowers and fountains. All I could think about was how nice it would have been to be one of the princesses and stroll through the gardens every day.

The only thing I didn’t like about the tour was our guide who was going way too fast for me to enjoy all of the incredible details. This was only a problem because he was a guide for our study abroad program, and he wanted to make sure we saw everything and then could come back later if we wanted. However, I would advise to spend a few hours here if you love looking at architecture!

 Alhambra tours are from 9 am until 6 pm Tuesday through Saturday, it closes on Sunday at 3:30 pm and all day on Monday. Tickets aren’t expensive, I believe they’re 14 euros unless you want private tours, and they come in English, Spanish, and French. I recommend getting tickets in advance because there is only a certain amount of people allowed in the Palaces and at certain times.

Court of the Lions

However, technically you can go to the Alhambra for free and the grounds are always open. All you have to do is walk through the Puerta de Justicia. You need tickets to get into any of the buildings, but you can still see a lot for free (the tickets are definitely worth it though). Because of this the Alhambra is a great place to watch the sunset (or sunrise if you’re into getting up that early) in Granada!

Have you ever visited the Alhambra in Granada? What were some of your favorite parts? Or, what is the most stunning architectural work you’ve seen in your travels?

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