Spain – The Alhambra (Granada)

The ancient fortress and palace of the Alhambra is one of the most stunning UNESCO heritage sites located in Spain. Originally built as a fortress in 889CE and renovated and extended between the 13th and 16th centuries, today the site remains in remarkable condition.

As you can expect, tickets to visit the Alhambra book out several months in advance. Therefore it is recommended to buy tickets online as soon as possible through the official website:

However, if tickets have sold out for the date of your travel, don’t despair. There are regularly extra tickets left over as part of the “Granada Card” scheme. The Granada Card must be bought in advance online ( and comes in various packages. Make sure to order one that includes access to all areas of the Alhambra. Generally the Alhambra is split between the Nasrid Palaces (the most spectacular palaces of the Alhambra), the Alcazaba (the fortress) and the Generalife (the gardens), so ensure that all of these are included.

Please note that if you are late to the party (like we were!) your only option will most likely to buy a Granada Card with night-only access to one of the areas of the Alhambra and day-only access allowed the following day to the remaining parts.

Below are my photos from my visit in October 2019.

Night Visit to the Nasrid Palaces

The only remaining tickets available for the Alhambra limited us to a nighttime visit to the Nasrid Palaces. However, this was a blessing in disguise, for the calm atmosphere of a night time stroll through these hallowed halls was something special. Unlike a day time visit, most other visitors were quiet, whispering between each other as they strolled through the silent courtyards and impressively decorated chambers.

The only downside was that photography was a challenge at this time of night, but it was an easy sacrifice to make to experience the wonder of the palaces in such a calm atmosphere.

Viewing Granada from the entrance to the Nasrid Palaces
One of the many impressive wooden ceilings on display
Taking photographs of the stunning architecture posed quite a challenge in the darkness. Most photos ended up like this with ghostly tourists wandering across the frame.
Patio de Los Leones
Patio de los Arrayanes

Day Visit to the Generalife (Gardens) and the Alcazaba (Fortress)

View of Granada from the Generalife
Palacio de Generalife
Palacio de Generalife
Palacio de Generalife
Palacio de Generalife
View of Granada from the Alcazaba
Viewing Granada from one of the Alcazaba’s towers

Recommended Bars and Restaurants in Granada

  • Cafè Futbol – The best hot chocolate and churros we found in all of Spain!
  • Wild Food – A top class vegetarian and vegan restaurant
  • Hannigan & Sons – I should be shot for mentioning an Irish bar here! But if you need to catch a rugby match while in town, this friendly bar plays all the big matches.

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