The Alhambra, Granada

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Located on a rocky hill protected by mountains and surrounded by woods, The Alhambra is considered the most brilliant Islamic architecture in Europe. It was the residence of royalty and of the court of Granada in the middle of the thirteenth century. The location of it is absolutely breathtaking which is set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountain range of Spain. It is one of the best preserved Arabian palaces of its era.

There is a limit to the number of visitors to the Alhambra. Maximum is about 6,600 people each day, with just 300 every half-hour to enter the Nasrid palaces. We bought our tickets 2 months in advanced online as we knew we were going there at a busy time during Semana Santa (Holy Week).

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How to buy your tickets:

We purchased our tickets online via www.tickemaster.es. This is the easiest way to purchase your tickets in advanced. I highly recommend purchasing in advance so you can get the time slot you want. You can purchase at least 3 months in advance. We purchased the ‘Alhambra General’ which includes access to all the visitable spaces of the monument: Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces, Generalife, Carlos V Palace, Public Baths and the Mosque.

– Once you’ve clicked ‘buy tickets’, it will take you to a page where you choose the date you want to visit.

– Choose the number of tickets you want to purchase.

– A time schedule will show up. Click on the time you prefer to enter the Alhambra. You’re given a choice to enter either in the morning slot, afternoon or evening.

– Once you’ve clicked on a time slot, you’re given a choice of time you would like to enter the Nasrid palace. Then it will take you the total price for your tickets. If you have a child under 12, click ‘Niños Menos 12 A’. Kids under 12yrs old are free but they still need a ticket so make sure they’re included.

How much time do you need at the Alhambra? It depends on the kind of traveler you are and if you have kids in tow. We purchased the afternoon slot which meant that we can only enter the Alhambra after 2pm and our time to enter the nasrid palace was for 6pm. It was perfect for us. We got to sleep in, had a nice lunch in town before heading up to the Alhambra and spending the rest of our afternoon and evening there. The Alhambra is located up on a hill and it’s best to grab a taxi to take you right at the entrance. We were at the entrance by 2pm. We spent 3.5 hrs exploring the beautiful grounds of the Alhambra and that was enough for us. We were in line by 5:30 as we waited for our 6pm entrance time to the Nasrid Palaces.

The Nasrid Palaces will blow you away. This is really the highlight of the Alhambra. Once you’re inside, there’s no time limit. You can spend as long as you’d like being mesmerized by the tile work and architecture. I got goose bumps all over my body as we walked in. It’s hard to explain how amazing it is. The photos don’t do justice. You have to be in it to feel the greatness of it.

Put the Alhambra on your bucket list. You won’t be disappointed!

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For those inclined, you can look for an old episode of “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” which aired back in September 22, 2013. In this episode, Anthony Bourdain visits the Alhambra with his long time friend and cinematographer Zach Zamboni. Here, Zach explains his love for the Alhambra and all it’s magic and mysteries. After you watch this episode, it would want to make you get on the next flight and go straight to Granada!