If someone were to tell me they had time to visit only one site in Spain, I would send them to the Alhambra in Granada. Somehow we almost skipped it for fear it was a tourist trap. Boy am I glad we listened to all of the recommendations that we received. I expected greatness although wondered if any destination could be worthy of all the praise, yet Alhambra still managed to far exceeded my expectations.
It is a Moorish fortress and castle built in the 14th century by the then ruling Arab leaders. It was taken by Spain in 1492 when the Jews and Muslims were exiled from Spain. You can see the Christian modifications in most of the rooms, but the Moorish architecture shines through.
The spectacular gardens completed the perfect day.
Sorry, the photos do not do this place justice. Here are some of my shots:
Granada and Alhambra Travel Tips:
- Alhambra lets in only 6,000 visitors each day, which means many are turned away. It is important to get tickets on-line in advance.
- Use a credit card when you purchase on-line tickets and you can retrieve them the night before from the ATM machines. There is a button on the machines for English (assuming that is your native language as you are reading this post in English). Look for the button that says “event tickets” and follow the steps.
- If you have student/child tickets included in your purchase, be sure to bring the passports to prove they qualify for the discount prices. You will need to exchange their tickets from the ATM for verified tickets. If you are a group of all adults you can just go to the entrance.
- If you are silly enough to visit in July or August (like we did) select the first time slot, as this allows you to complete your visit before the temperature becomes way too hot.
- Stay in town near the cathedral and take the number 30 bus up to Alhambra. This puts you at the beginning of the line so you have a chance to get a seat.
- We use Lonely Planet Spain.
Albom Family Travel Counter:
We are nearing the end of the fourth month of our 250 day overseas adventure. We are currently traveling through Spain for two weeks between two home exchange houses – the first in Catalunya, the second in Galicia. Our key travel stops are in Spain are Saragosa, Madrid, Segovia, Toledo, Cordoba, Granada, Seville, and Vigo. In Portugal we will visit Evora, Sintra, Obidos, and Alcobaca.
All photos on this page © Rhonda Albom 2012
Do you agree, Alhambra is the number one place to visit in Spain?
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