TAKE YOUR KIDS TO THE ALHAMBRA!
Do you know that feeling? You just visited a place and then you feel that you want to return? That’s what I felt after visiting the Alhambra. I was fascinated by the incredible craftsmanship, the complexity and size of the Alhambra and I felt as if I had seen only half of it.
Before our visit I prepared and read about the Alhambra in blogs and guides but it is only when you actually stand in front that you realize the size and history of this place. The first stories go back to the 9th century. Palacio Nazaries and Generalife were built in the 13th and 14th centuries under the sultans Ismail I, Yusuf I, and Mohammed V and later improved and rebuilt by the Catholic kings, always with the idea of creating a paradise on earth.
The complex and long history is reflected in the different parts of the Alhambra. You can appreciate it while walking through the various building and palaces connected by paths, gardens and gates. The visit is very varied and there are always much to see and discover on the way which makes the visit fascinating for kids. You will wander from the Palacio Nazaries with its Moorish art and highly ornate interior spaces through the beautiful botanical gardens up to Generalife. Almost everywhere you have an incredible view of Granada or the snow-capped Sierra Nevada.
We started our visit in the Nasrid Palaces where we had booked the tickets for the morning visit. The Nasrid Palaces are the only buildings where you have to go in the time slot indicated on your ticket.
The Nasrid palace complex is designed in the Nasrid style, the last blooming of Islamic Art in the Iberian Peninsula, that had a great influence on the Maghreb to the present day. You wander through the different rooms of the palaces and can admire the incredible interior with its engraved calligraphies, verses from the Koran, colorful ceramic tiles accompanied by basins and flowers. The tour leads you through the various rooms along the famous Lions Court, crossing a wooden footbridge that offers a breathtaking view of Granada, and ends in the gardens of the Myrtle Court.
GENERALIFE & GARDEN
From there, we walked along many beautiful garden towards Generalife, the summer palace of kings and sultans. The path leads you through cypress trees, myrtle hedges, orange trees and beautiful flower garden.
The essential element, however, is the water that you’ll find here in the form of many beautiful fountains and water sources. This part of the Alhambra also offers several places to relax and enjoy a picnic.
The oldest part of the Alhambra is the Alcazaba military fortress. Its privileged position high on a hill overlooking the city made it ideal for surveillance. Walk up to the top of the ancient watchtower for an unbeatable views of Granada and the Sierra Nevada mountains beyond. Beneath the towers, in the old Plaza de Armas, you’ll see the ruins of the foundations of old Moorish houses and even a dungeon!
We visited the Alhambra in November and the weather and temperature was perfect. During the summer months, the temperature in Granada can be very high and a visit might be less suitable for small children. We spend around 5 hours in the Alhambra with some small breaks.
If you plan a visit in high season, we recommend highly to buy your tickets at least 3 months in advance. The tickets are limited and quickly sold out. The best way to buy tickets is through the official Alhambra website. With the day ticket you have access to all public areas of the Alhambra: Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces, Generalife. The Nasrid palaces can only be visited on the booked time (indicated on your ticket)
- The incredible mosaics and colorful tiles of the Nasrid Palaces
- Watching the sunset on the towers of Alcazaba
- Walking through the labyrinth gardens of Generalife
- The amazing view over Granada and the snow-capped Sierra Nevada
- We recommend to bring your own water bottle. You can find water sources everywhere to fill it up.
- The “Parador de Granada”, is the only restaurant in the Alhambra complex. You can find more restaurants outside the complex, but to reach them it is time consuming and complicated with children. We recommend to bring your picnic.
- Strollers are not allowed at the Alhambra. You can however borrow a baby carrier for free and leave your stroller in the cloakroom / baggage storage located near Puerto del Vino.
- We suggest to book your tickets for the Nasrid palaces in the morning, so you will have plenty of time to visit the other parts of the Alhambra.
We did the following tour: After the Nasrid Palaces we walk through the different botanical garden in direction of the Generallife where we spent around 1 hour. On the way back we came along the northern wall of the Alhambra back to the starting point, the Tore del Vino. In the evening we climbed up the towers of the Alcazaba to enjoy the breathtaking view over Granada during sunset.
- The average visit duration is 3 hours. With children you should count easily 4 – 5 hours.
BEST TRAVEL SEASON:
- We recommend a visit in spring or autumn. During summer month it can get very hot which makes a visit more difficult with small kids.
HOW TO GET THERE:
- You can get there on foot but we would not recommend it with children. The hill is quite steep to climb and there will be a lot of walking in the Alhambra.
- Take the bus C30 (Centro) or C32 (Albaicín).
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