Alhambra fortress in Granada, Spain

27 posts in this topic

Posted

We are going on vacation this Sunday and plan to visit the Alhambra in Granada. Has anyone already been there? Can you give us some tips as to which time of day is best to visit it? Any special feature that may not be mentioned in the guide books? Any tourist pitfalls to avoid?

Thank you!

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Posted

I went there about 8 years ago and loved it. We went in the morning because it's huge - there's a lot to look at. I've got to admit I didn't like the city that much, but the Alhambra was breathtaking.

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Posted

I went about 8 years ago on a tour, it was fine, we went early afternoon, wasn't too hot, or too crowded.

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Posted

Since it's the height of the tourist season, unless you are going on a guided tour (where tickets are organised) I would advise you to go first thing in the morning when it opens (the local tourism offices have the latest opening hours - when I went 2 years ago it opened at 8:30), so in fact try to get there at about 8:00. The Alhambra itself isn't the big problem (apart from the queues to get the tickets) but you get assigned a certain time when you can visit the Nasridenpalast. And you really do need a half day to see the whole thing (you shouldn't miss anything; it's well signposted as you go around), so first thing also avoids the problem of having an expensive lunchbreak inside the complex

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Posted

I went in April with my good lady.

My advice: buy tickets in advance.

We got an afternoon ticket and that made things way easier and more laid back.

You see there are three main parts that you need your ticket for, but only one of these parts is affected by a time (the palaces) ... the other two areas you can go into whenever you like.

If I'm honest, I was impressed with the place but after a few rooms it did all get a bit 'samey' ... it's not so much original, only rebuilt in a way that people thought would be authentic and so for me lost it's feel of time. Also the place didn't live up to all the pictures I'd seen before hand. Still, the towers in the military area command some impressive views over Grenada itself ... and let's face it - you don't go to Grenada and NOT go the Al'hambra palace ;)

I was much more impressed with the mix of life in Grenada ... some great restaurants and squares ... and on the other hand a real student area which made it messy but alive.

Hope that helps ...

Viel spaß!

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Posted

You probably found this but ...

Alhamba webpage

also ..

Tickets

We phoned for a 2pm - 6pm ticket and got a time of 3:30ish ...the online booking internet link was a bit rubbish as I remember ... still

I didn't go on a guided tour by the way .. just got the tickets and a book which was much more sufficient for me ... also as I saw mentioned above you can go and queue in the morning for tickets - an allocation is kept for people turning up on the day but they go pretty quick. I'm not really up for charging uot of bed on my holidays though so the afternoon option was much more preferable for me at least! :D

Oh, and you catch the bus up to the palace at Plazza Nuevo ... also a nice place for breakfast (if the weather's OK)

If I remember anything else ... ;)

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Posted

Thanks, that's been very helpful. I think I'll wait till we are at our hotel (it's outside of Malaga) and have them order the tickets for us short term - no idea yet when we'll have enough of the sun and beach and pool and free booze 4* thing to want to go sightseeing. Scogs is only tagging along to the Alhambra to make me happy anyway.

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We called on Friday and got tickets for Wednesday 4 pm for the Nasaride Palaces so we spent a few hours in Granada itself before we went to the Alhambra. It's huge, wear comfy shoes and take a lot of cold drinks along. Take lots of breaks, rest in the shade and enjoy the coolness of the water and the gardens. Do not look at the white walls and tiled floors without sunglasses.

It's strange, parts are still mostly original (such as the Generalife, Garden of the Architect), other parts have been "reconstructed" according to a European concept of an Arabian palace. Almost all of the color has worn off the tiles by now, just a ghost of extreme blueness remains - you need lots of imagination to envision the reds and yellows and greens in the filigree window openings and ceilings. But if you can the result is breathtaking.

And then along comes Charles V (a Habsburger) admiring the Moorish art and skill and builds himself this big hunking Renaissance palace in the middle of the main square ... The Spanish and Italian artists he'd been expecting never turned up, and he never lived there.

A few pictures just to give you a general idea:

post-4788-1157571040.jpg

post-4788-1157571057.jpg

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Posted

post-4788-1157571216.jpg

That's water running down the handrail.

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Posted

@sarabyrd: i am so jealous! ( as i told you before the Alhambra is one of my favourite places to visit)

i hope your holiday was good. how was the hotel?

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Posted

We went to Gibraltar to see the wildlife and apes and I found earrings and a ring to match a necklace a client had bought for me in the US (at a famous jeweller's). We also went to Malaga where the cathedral is extremely interesting but very dark where we got the evil eye for sightseeing just before Mass and didn't see the Picasso museum but did hit the main druggie center right in front of it. The cathedral in Granada is the exact opposite - set right in the middle of the other buildings with only alleyways around it but majestically bright and light on the inside due to the many windows. The atmosphere was almost like an open market as the main chapel was being renovated so there were scaffolding and movement and noises; one woman was walking around yakking into her moby (cell phone), another moby went off (theme from "The Godfather"), the white tiles on the floor were very uneven and worn, the white pillars were massive and comforting in their solid presence, the whole church was very spacious - delightful! Then we visited the cave at Nerja, it looked like a natural Gothic cathedral, like petrified waterfalls, like Hobbit housings, like phalli (but those pics were too dark, sorry).

I suppose I should make a gallery but who wants to see vacation pics ...

The hotel was very small, only 14 rooms, and at the end of a dirt track without guardrails along a mountainside (7 mins that felt like half an hour). Very intimate, you got to know the other guests and their circumstances and could talk like old friends within half a day. But 2 weeks there would have been too much, that's why we broke free.

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Posted

The Alhambra is for me the second most amazing man made thing I have ever seen. The first is the Taj Mahal. The clever use of water in the Generalife is fantastic.

But doesn't the Generalife sound a bit like an insurance company? :)

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Posted

Hahaha. Pronounce it Spanish/Arabic and it sounds the way it looks: Heh-neh-rah-LEE-feh.

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Posted

I'm about to buy a ticket for the Alhambra for in a couple of weeks, and I am wondering what time to pick to visit. I think I personally would prefer afternoon as I am not much of a morning person, but I am not sure what time would be good for the Nasrid Palaces. I know they assign you one, but I figure I can reload the form until I receive a time I like. What do you suggest would be best? And how much earlier do I have to turn up to pick up my ticket? Are there still queues if you have a ticket bought online? Thanks.

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Posted

I suggest doing the grounds first and appearing at the Nasrid entrance about 15 minutes early. There is a stand where you can buy a nice cold drink or an ice cream, most of the waiting area is in the shade. Reckon at least one hour for the gardens, wear comfortable shoes and a hat and take along lots of water, it's hot and dry in Granada. And don't neglect the cathedral (see above).

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Posted

Hmm, I just saw this now haha. I only read your PM earlier. So now I got a ticket for 2.30pm so I reckon I don't have a choice but do the Nasrid Palaces first. Oh well...

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Posted

Cool off with a bowl of Ajo Blanco.

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Posted

Do you think really viewing the Alhambra should be done over one or two days?

Any Hotel tips or other tips while staying in Grenada?

Will be there and of May.

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Posted

We did Alhambra in a day and thought it was good enough. We stayed at a hotel on the Plaza Nueva right in the center of the city. I think it was €90/night for a double room (this was around Christmas time). We didn't have any reservations beforehand.

There are local buses that take you up to Alhambra. The old town is really nice to just walk around. Don't miss a Flamenco performance while you are there. There is one which takes place in the basement of a restaurant not far from the city center. I can't remember the name now, sorry. The basement is actually built like a cave with the walls painted white and it has dark wooden floors and seating for maybe 15-20 people and a small stage. You can order food and drinks and enjoy the performance in a very intimate setting.

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Posted

You can also stay in a cave which is good fun. Check out Cuevas El Abanico on google. There are others too.

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