I knew nothing of the Alhambra before arriving in Granada. Our Airbnb host was very emphatic that we must visit the main attraction of the city. Later I learn that the Alhambra is the most visited attraction in Spain. By the time I looked into getting tickets directly from the Alhambra website, there were none left. Luckily per our Airbnb host’s instructions, I was able to get tickets through the Granada Card. The reason it’s so difficult to get tickets is because the Alhambra limits the number of visitors allowed to 6600 per day.
There are three main sections of the Alhambra: the Nasrid Palaces, the Alcazaba and the Generalife. The Nasrid Palaces only allows 300 people to enter every 30 minutes and one must reserve ahead of time. By the time I booked, only the last time slot was available at 7:00pm.
The day started overcast and by the time we got to the gardens at the Generalife section, it started to rain. And it was cold. But none of that detracted from the beauty of the gardens.
It stopped raining as we make our way towards the Alcazaba, a fortress, which is the oldest section of the Alhambra. It worked out great for us as the skies cleared enough for us to see the city of Granada from the top of the fortress walls.
The sun sets quite late in Spain which worked out for us as we made our way to the Nasrid Palaces. It was still bright enough for us to enjoy the buildings and gardens. The Palaces were built for the last Moorish rulers of the Nasrid Dynasty (last Arab Muslim dynasty in Spain). The interior of the Palaces was so amazingly beautiful, it left us speechless. As we progressed through each section of the Palaces, the decorations of the walls and columns become more elaborate and complicated.
Nasrid Palaces blew our minds. It gave me new appreciation for Muslim architecture. We wished we had more time to take in all the details of this amazing place. We lingered as long as we can until we were not-so-gently reminded to leave.