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Possibly no other monument in Europe conjures up so many romantic images as the Alhambra, Granada’s – and Spain’s – most celebrated sight. Ever since Washington Irving brought it to the attention of English-speaking readers, the magnificent complex of palaces has captured the world’s imagination, and for good reason. Here on top of a single crag overlooking the city is the artistic and cultural culmination of the Nasrid Dynasty, the last Islamic rule in Spain. Once inside (be sure to reserve a ticket in advance for timed admission), the grandeur reveals itself in rooms, salons, patios, enclosed gardens and quiet corners where the caliphs and ...

Possibly no other monument in Europe conjures up so many romantic images as the Alhambra, Granada’s – and Spain’s – most celebrated sight. Ever since Washington Irving brought it to the attention of English-speaking readers, the magnificent complex of palaces has captured the world’s imagination, and for good reason. Here on top of a single crag overlooking the city is the artistic and cultural culmination of the Nasrid Dynasty, the last Islamic rule in Spain. Once inside (be sure to reserve a ticket in advance for timed admission), the grandeur reveals itself in rooms, salons, patios, enclosed gardens and quiet corners where the caliphs and their household lived and governed. The delicate stone carving and ceramic tile work that decorates the Alhambra is the epitome of Medieval Islamic art. Walk along the walls to the gardens and smaller palace of Generalife for a less-overwhelming view of court life under the 14th-century caliphate. Don’t think you have seen Granada when you’ve seen the Alhambra, though. The town below bears exploring for its charming streets and plazas and for El Albaicin – the most authentic Moorish quarter still existing in Spain. Its lanes are so narrow that two shoppers can barely pass between the open bazaars and shops. Granada’s bullring is one of the loveliest, and downstairs inside is a restaurant that would be enough reason to visit the city even without the Alhambra.

Lura Seavey
About the Expert

Lura Seavey is the author of Fun with the Family in Vermont and New Hampshire and she has contributed to several Thomas Cook guidebooks, including Drive Around Catalonia, Travellers Mallorca, and Travellers Barcelona.

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Lura Seavey for Triporati

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Now Happening in Granada, Spain

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous region of Andalusia, Spain
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer is hot and so filled with tourists that getting a ticket to the timed tours is difficult. Spring is beautiful and fall glorious.