Alhambra
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Alhambra, Beste excursies en tickets

The Alhambra is home to many myths, legends and secrets. This is partly because many Spaniards believed their Muslim occupiers had occult powers and t...

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Goed om te weten

No matter what time of year, chances are there'll be a huge queue. We recommend you buy tickets well in advance. Keep in mind that even with tickets you'll still have to queue.
It was named ‘Alhambra' (literally ‘The Red Castle') for the burnt color of its outer walls.
It's not one monument, rather a rich complex of buildings that will take you around three or four hours to explore.
Bring water and a snack as there won't be many options once you're here.
For the best view of the the Alhambra head to the Mirador de San Nicolás just before sunset.
If you buy tickets in advance you'll need to select a 30-minute time slot to visit the Nasrid Palaces. In peak periods it's wise to get there an hour before your time slot due to crowds. Book the first appointment of the day for a shorter wait.
Not everything is going to cost you. The Museum of the Alhambra and the Church of St Mary can be visited for free.
There's a lot to see here. Take a break in the Partal gardens after seeing the Nasrid Palaces.
There are two entrances. If you're going through the main entrance it makes sense to see the Generalife first, followed by the Nasrid Palaces and Alcazaba. If instead you enter from the Gate of Justice, then the opposite is true.
Don't visit in the afternoon in July and August, unless you like queuing (and burning!) under the hot sun.
Buying tickets on the day of your visit is risky. From April to June there are often no tickets left. Get there before 8am if you want to stand a chance.

Het verhaal

The Alhambra is home to many myths, legends and secrets. This is partly because many Spaniards believed their Muslim occupiers had occult powers and that the treasures of their palace were protected by spells. The American writer Washington Irving collected many of these tales in a book.

The astrologer Ibrahim ibn Abu Ayub, for example, was said to have mastered the art of living forever, but only as an old man. In Granada, he put a spell on a beautiful princess and escaped with her under the Gate of Justice. Some say she can return (and the palace’s treasures will be revealed) only when the hand and the key carved into the Gate of Justice reach each other.

Others believe that treasure might be discovered by unlocking charms hidden in the complex ornamental stonework. Many throughout history have searched for hidden gold on the site, but none has so far been discovered. The most common phrase to be found carved in the palace walls (over 9000 times!) is a reminder – and perhaps a warning – to every treasure-seeker: wa la ghaliba illala (there is no victor but God).

Opening hours

  • 15 March - 14 October: ticket office 8.00am-8.00pm

Monday - Sunday: morning ticket (8.30am-2.00pm), afternoon ticket (2.00pm-8.00pm).

  • 15 October - 14 March: ticket office 8.00am-6.00pm

Monday - Sunday: morning ticket (8.30am to 2.00pm), afternoon ticket (2.00pm-6.00pm)

Garden visits

  • 15 March - 14 October: ticket office 8.00am-7.00pm

Monday - Sunday: morning ticket (8.30am-2.00pm), afternoon ticket (2.00pm-8.00pm.

  • 15 October - 14 March: ticket office 800am-5.00pm

Monday to Sunday: morning ticket (8.30am-2.00pm), afternoon ticket (2.00pm- 6.00pm).

Night visit around Nasrid Palaces

  • 15 March - 14 October: ticket office: 9.30pm-10.30pm

Tuesdays - Saturdays: 1.00pm-11.30pm

  • 15 October - 14 March: ticket office 7.30pm-8.30pm

Fridays and Saturdays: 8.00pm-9.30pm

Night visit around the Gardens and Palace of the Generalife

  • 15 March – 31 May: ticket office 9.30pm to 10.30pm

Tuesdays - Saturdays: 10.00pm-11.30pm

  • 1 September - 14 October: ticket office 9.30pm-10.30pm

Tuesdays - Saturdays: 10.00pm-11.30pm

  • 15 October - 14 November: ticket office 7.30pm to 8.30pm

Fridays and Saturdays: 8.00pm-9.30pm

About the Alhambra

The Alhambra’s name comes from the Arabic meaning “Red Castle” and its origins as a fortress can be traced to at least the late ninth century, when southern Spain was under Islamic rule.

The magnificent palace we see today did not begin to take shape until the arrival of the Nasrid dynasty in the thirteenth century. At that time, the watchtower and the keep were built for extra security, but also the aesthetic wonders of the patio of the lions, the Justice gate, the baths, the Comares room and the Hall of the Boat.

We are lucky that so much of the building and its gardens survive. Once the Nasrids had been pushed out of Spain, the Catholic kings were not too careful with the monuments. Charles V, for example, had part of the complex destroyed to build his own palace. The Alhambra was abandoned and left to the elements for much of the eighteenth century, being partially blown up by the French.

It wasn’t until the nineteenth century that the artistry of the Islamic palace was fully realised and restoration work began. The splendour we experience now is thanks to the careful work of restorers keen to preserve this unique historical monument.

Address

Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n. 18071, Granada

Getting there

  • On foot

From the city centre, take Cuesta de Gomérez from Plaza Nueva and through the Gate of the Pomegranates, OR go via Cuesta del Rey Chico starting on the left bank of the river Darro at the end of the Paseo del Padre Manjón.

  • By bus

Line C3: stop at Generalife Ticket Office

  • By car

From N-323 / A-44, take the ring road Ronda Sur (A-395) and follow signs towards the Alhambra (please note: private cars are not allowed to access to the Alhambra from the city centre). At the Serrallo tunnel, use the left lane and take exit 5A. On the roundabout, turn left and continue up Avenida Santa María de la Alhambra. Then follow Camino Viejo del Cementerio to signs for parking and ticket offices.

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Hoe kan je er komen

Alhambra Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada, Spain Granada
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