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Review: Alhambra

Attraction - Historic house or stately home

Granada, Spain

A guided tour of the Alhambra Palace

  • By SilverTraveller discerning-traveller

    124 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • October 2016
  • Solo

125 people found this review helpful

If wishing to see the Alhambra it’s well worth joining a guided tour. Our well educated and very informative guide gave us a very comprehensive tour detailing the meaning behind the designs (he described the Alhambra as a talking book) and the history. it really is a truly magnificent piece of structural design which dates back to around the 9th century.

A tip – do dress in layers. I got caught out. I visited in October. The previous day had been hot so I dressed lightly. It rained and was very cold. Try to spend as long as possible here, it is so splendid. The gardens, too, are well worth spending time in – even in the rain!!

125 people found this review helpful

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 16 Comment(s)

  • GeminiJen
    about 5 years ago
    That's true, @ESW, certainly during the busy tourist months. That's why I booked online and got an early slot!
  • ESW
    about 5 years ago
    I gather from comments made by one of the guides that there is a daily limit to the number of visitors and it is best to book on line before your visit. If you turn up on spec on the day you may not get a ticket.
  • GeminiJen
    about 5 years ago
    @ discerning-traveller
    I can confirm that one can visit as an individual....Indeed, that's how I did it! I was house and pet sitting at the time in Andalucía. I booked online and got there early before the crowds. I had done my homework beforehand and went guidebook in hand. I'm not against 'guided tours'. I just prefer to do things at my own pace. As others have commented, it's a wonderful experience.
  • ESW
    about 5 years ago
    We did a guided tour of the Nasrid palaces but I came away with my head spinning. It was only when I climbed up the tower in the fortress and looked down on the palaces I began to understand how they all fitted together. Fortunately the English guide book put it all into perspective when i got round to reading it. I'm now trying to work out where all my pictures were taken...
  • discerning-traveller
    about 5 years ago
    Glad you enjoyed it, ESW. I spoke to a friend who went there two after me. Unlike the cold weather that I experienced. It was low 20's for her too. I guess the answer is 'be prepared'
    Her son lives near there and she said that it is possible to visit as an individual, not just as part of a tour. I had not realised this but still think one benefits so much from a guides knowledge.
  • ESW
    about 5 years ago
    I've just come back from a trip to Suthern Spain and spent a day around the Alhambra Palace and even then I still didn't manage to see everything. It is WONDERFUL and so photogenic. Review will follow at some time!
    I didn't need the sweater as temperatures at the start of early November really were in the low 20˚s....
  • LanceMB
    about 5 years ago
    I want to go :-)
  • Adventurer
    about 5 years ago
    I went to Alhambra many years ago. It was amazing then. Enjoyed it
  • DRSask
    about 5 years ago
    It was also impressive to see the irrigation system in the gardens however, the palace is amazing!
  • discerning-traveller
    about 5 years ago
    Thank you. I don't really feel that I've done it justice but the palace is one of the 'must see places in the world'
    There is so much thoughtful design. It's beautiful. I, too, enjoyed the gardens but in the rain .....,
  • denisej
    about 5 years ago
    A very interesting review! This is one of the many places we would like to visit. Thank you
  • DRSask
    about 5 years ago
    I visited earlier in the year so the rose gardens were lovely. Great place to visit! Thanks for the photos - they took me back.
  • ESW
    about 5 years ago
    Thank you.
  • discerning-traveller
    about 5 years ago
    Meant to add that photos are fine. If in doubt - ask,
  • discerning-traveller
    about 5 years ago
    You will only be able to explore the outer areas and the gardens on your own. The actual palace is very strictly controlled with separate access to five or six parts. Do not lose your ticket - you will need tit to access each part, even if part of a tour.
    As always, it depends on the quality of the guide. I was exceptionally lucky. Look at the patterns (natural dyes), reading right to left they all say in Arabic 'the only winner is God' ask your guide about the significance of numbers. Absolutely fascinating. Seven is a very special number to the Muslims and he gave examples of how several four digit numbers can always come back to seven. I could try and give you the formula but ask the guide,!!
    Don't worry too much in advance - enjoy the moment!
    I was asking so many questions at the end that he joked that I didn't need to take an exam in it,!!
    An awesome place.
  • ESW
    about 5 years ago
    I'm visiting the Alhambra next week with Solos holidays. We get the 'guided tour' and may then have a bit of time to explore by ourselves. With limited time, what would you recommend as a game plan to make the most use of the time available? I've been reading up on the web and have rather gone into overload as there seems to be so much to see.

    How much written information is there around the place in English and what is the guide book like?
    Do you know what their policy is on photography?

    Very cold... oh dear, everyone has been telling me about temperatures in the low 20s. I need to pack a sweater!