Things You Didn’t Know About Alhambra Palace
The Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, is one of the most beautiful Islamic palaces in the world. This fascinating tourist attraction has gone through a lot throughout history. It was initially built by the Muslim kings of Granada during the longest-reigning Islamic dynasty, the Nasrid. Being on a plateau that’s concealed by the lush forests and towering mountains, this fortress was initially constructed around the 1200s as a military base. This citadel served a long lineage of Muslim rulers from Mohammed I, also known as Ibn al-A?mar, all the way to Mohamed XII’s reign.
When the then King of Aragon and Queen of Castille ended the Islamic rule over Granada in the 1400s, a large portion of Alhambra was ruined, removed, and destroyed. In the 1500s, the new King of Spain ordered the rebuilding of Alhambra into a more Renaissance and Italian-like palace. If you think this ends the dark past of this palace, that’s farther from true—this dear palace was blown up during the Peninsular war. Fortunately, its roots as a military base make it quite indestructible, at least not entirely.
In the 19th century, the rulers of Spain appreciated the value that this edifice upholds and ordered that the Alhambra palace be repaired and restored. Today, the beauty and extensive history of this palace welcome countless tourists worldwide. With every nook having pretty Arabic writings, a visit to Alhambra can be compared to browsing through the pages of a well-written book, with each landmark representing a chapter. By the end of the tour, you surely would’ve gained a life-shaping experience.
- The palace’s name, Alhambra, is an Arabic word that translates to ‘red castle’ or ‘red one’. The dar surrounding soil reflects a reddish tone to the sky and the white palace, causing the landmark to appear reddish.
- The grand mosque and picturesque looking Arabian baths were built as ordered by Muhammed I’s successor. He was succeeded by Mohammed II and III, his son and grandson.
- The walls in the Alhambra palace are Arabic inscriptions, artistically written to form fascinating geometrical patterns. These writings usually praise God Almighty and showcase poems written by an Arab poet named Ibn Zamrak.
- The plateau that houses Alhambra palace measures 2430 ft. long and 674 ft. wide.
- The Alhambra is surrounded by a river Darro on the north, the Al-Sabika valley on the south, and the street Cuesta del Rey Chico in the east.
- It was King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile that conquered Granada in 1492. Together, they ended the Islamic rule over the city and unified Spain under a Catholic monarchy.
- It was Charles V, also known as Charles I, who ordered the restoration of the Alhambra in the 1500s.
- The Alhambra Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To preserve it, the government regulates the number of visitors the landmark accommodates per day. For group visitors, UNESCO recommends a maximum of 30 persons per group plus an accredited guide or head of the group.
- Many areas in the palace are only viewable on a per-schedule basis. When visiting, your designated schedule will be indicated on your ticket. If you miss it, you won’t be allowed to enter. It’s always better to arrive ahead of time. Having said this, booking a ticket is required and schedules are strictly adhered to. Tickets are sold through guided tours, many of which operate online.
How to get to Alhambra Palace
As a tourist, the easiest way to get to this picturesque palace is from the nearby Granada Airport. There are four modes of transportation you can use.
Take a shuttle
Fare: 4 USD
The airport is approximately 1 km away from the palace. You will have to alight from the Catedral de Granada and meet your tour guide from there. The travel time takes 25 minutes, so make sure you have extra time since the tour is scheduled.
Drive a car
Fare: 4 USD on fuel
If you will be picked up from the airport, driving to Alhambra is a cheap and convenient option. In just 25 minutes, you’ll reach your 22.3 km away destination.
Walk to Catedral de Granada
Since Granada airport is just 1km away, you can reach the cathedral near the palace in just 12 minutes by foot. You will not only enjoy the view, but you will also end up spending nothing for your fare.
Book an Uber or hail a cab
Fare: 44 USD (Uber) or 70 USD (cab)
The airport is 22.3 km or 25 minutes by car. Booking an Uber is usually cheaper than hailing a cab. If your circumstances only allow you to ride a cab, make sure that you’ve already browsed for your preferred taxi company for preferential rates and booking.
- Generalife Gardens and Alcazaba only: 7 euros
- Night Visit to the Nasrid Palacesonly: 8 euros
- Night Visit to Generalife only: 5 euros
- Complete Alhambra Entrance: 14 euros
If you’ve purchased the Dobla de Oro Tour and the Granada Card already, they give complimentary access to Alhambra Palace.
*The fees and information mentioned are subject to change without prior notice.
Granada Spain Travel and Tour Packages
A 2018 South Korean TV Series named Memories of the Alhambra was filmed in Granada, Spain. The story was about the CEO of an investment company who traveled to Granada to meet the creator of an online game that uniquely functions with the use of an optical device. He gets entangled in a mysterious incident, and the border between the real world and the AR world begins to blur.
Searching for the best hotels and affordable flights to Granda, Spain? Check out our complete list of affordable Granada hotels and resorts via Agoda or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.