Saturday, July 27, 2013

Alhambra at Day, Alhambra at Night

Alhambra is a palace fortress located in the region of Andalusia, Spain. Alhambra is the reason why tourists flock Granada. I learned about Granada from one of the Europe threads in Pinoyexchange. Reading forums is one of my primary sources of adventure planning.

I purchased tickets right after I was granted the Schengen visa by the Embassy of Spain. I bought tickets using this website. There are two types of tickets: the day ticket and the night ticket. Due to the popularity of the Alhambra, I got both: The day ticket costs € 14.30 while the night ticket costs € 9.30.   

Buying the Alhambra tickets requires you to plan your trip on the day of the visit. The Alhambra grounds are vast and it requires hours of walking to go around - you have to plan how to explore this. The most visited and “revered” part of the palace is the Nasrid Palce or Palacios Nazaries. Due to the volume of the tourists, the Nasrid Palace limits the entry of its visitors to 300 per hour to avoid the “depreciation” of the place.

You have to exchange the email confirmation for an actual ticket. You can do this via the La Caixa machines found all over Granada, or go to the Alhambra and exchange the tickets there. I tried to get the tickets using the La Caixa machines but it requires me to insert the credit card that I used - eh I used BPI’s e-card. So I just went to Alhambra earlier (you should be early anyway) and claimed my tickets there.

You can take a bus from Granada Backpackers or walk. I walked. I always prefer walking. It was a 30-minute walk under the sun, with the last 10-minute walk done uphill. There were signs but there wasn’t a lot of people in the ticket line.

And because the Alhambra is one of the most coveted tourist spots, I got an audio guide. The audio guide costs €6,50. It wasn’t really worth. I had to change audio guides thrice when I was exploring because it continuously died on me, the battery wasn’t fully charged. Better download an app and have your phone as guide during when exploring Alhambra.

I researched on the best way to explore the vast space of Granada. Forums and Tripadvisor advised that I start out with the Gardens in Generalife, then enter the Nasrid Palaces at around 1 or 2pm. I got a slot for 1pm. I had enough time to cover a lot of ground before that. 

Trying to cover that hideous audio guide

I was careful to avoid the crowd of tourists ahead of me.

The palace grounds are huge. It reminds me a lot of the palace in King’s Landin of Game of Thrones. Lots of ground where the queen and her subjects would wander around and chat aimlessly. The gardens / Generalife took an hour to tour around. 

Walking around Granada, feeling like Sansa Stark

More walking. I can't remember the names of the places anymore. Wahahahahaha. I still had fun creating memories.

Stayed in this spot underground for a while to take a break from the scorching sun

I took a break after I finished exploring Generalife. I bought snacks for €2,00 – that snack is some chocolate from a vending machine. I didn’t want to have a full meal inside as I had planned to find a restaurant for my late lunch.

The Alcazaba has this awesome maze structure. There are some steep steps in here. I hope your knees are up to it. And I hope you lathered a good layer of sunblock before exploring this area. For handicapped people, proceed with caution.

Maze. Perhaps this was filled with plants before.

I fell in line at around 12:45 for Nasrid Palace. I hope your batteries still have power at this point. This is the highlight of my Alhambra visit.

Moorish architecture

This is one of the first rooms in the palace. Everyone had their camera working.

The Moorish architecture is a feast for the eyes. It is one of those things that are better appreciated by the eyes rather than by the camera.

The hall of the Lannisters. I mean the Hall of Lions.

I’m running out of words and descriptions. So here are some photos of the awesome place.


Lannisters = Lions

The Nasrid Palace is open at night, the rest of the palace is closed. I trekked back to Alhambra to see its magnificence at night.

Let’s see if a night in Alhambra will be magical. I gave my € 9.30 for a night ticket at the Nasrid Palace; I chose the time slot 10:00PM to 11:30PM. A late night adventure. 


The palace had the lamps on to illuminate the walls and ceilings.

Some areas in the palace were closed off for viewing during the night.

The feel of the place is eerie at night. 

I have to confess, the Alhambra fell short of my expectations. I think I wanted to feel something "magical" about the place because of all the good feedback. I set my expectations high, and sadly, it didn't deliver. I would say that the place is still worth a place in your bucket list, but manage your expectations.

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