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The Alhambra in Photos

visit the alhambra

If there was an award for one of the most beautiful places in Spain, the Alhambra in Granada would probably take home the gold.

A sprawling 14th century palace and fortress complex tucked away in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, a trip to southern Spain would be incomplete without a visit the the Alhambra. I’ve been making regular pilgrimages to Granada since I was 16 years old, and I knew this summer I couldn’t skip it.

Especially since I had all new gear from Canon Australia to play with. I still can’t believe the first time I visited I used disposable cameras! Man, that feels old just writing that! Agh!

(More about what gear I am shooting with here)

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

It’s fiendishly difficult to get tickets to the Alhambra, and the Spanish websites are pretty messy, so I decided to hop on a skip-the-lines tour with Viator instead and miss out on all the complications of doing it independently.

The last time I was in Granada was 2011 when I was teaching English in Córdoba. I went with a friend for a weekend in the spring and I have such good memories of spending a day wandering around the Alhambra. The wisteria was blooming and the whole complex smelled like flowers.

Spring in Spain is all kinds of glorious.

visit the alhambra

As you guys probably have already picked up on over the years, I am not a fan of crowds or popular tourist attractions. That being said, the Alhambra will always be a special place for me, even though it’s like the Vegas of Spain.

You have to wonder even though they have a specific number of tickets sold per day to keep the number of tourists down, that number must be in the millions.

That being said, I found that if I was patient and took my time and waited, I could often get the photos I was looking for without people in them.

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

For me, Andalucía (southern Spain) is one of the most fascinating spots because of it’s eclectic and culturally diverse history, and Granada being the prime example of it. The Alhambra is a relic of Spain’s amazing past when Spain was occupied by the moors.

For me, it feels like east-meets-west and it remains a legacy of a bygone age.

There are few places like it left in the world, especially Europe. You have to visit if you get the chance!

visit the alhambra

It also reminds me of my very first trip to Spain in high school and when I fell in love with this part of the world. I can remember skipping through the gardens in the hot summer, drinking liters of water trying to stay cool and sneakily dipping my toes into the fountains everywhere when the guides weren’t looking.

Who knew that moment would inspire years of traveling and living in Spain for me?

Here are some of my favorite snaps from my recent trip to the Alhambra in Spain with Viator! Enjoy!

Have you ever been to the Alhambra? Is Spain on your bucketlist? Do you have a favorite place that is touristy?

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

visit the alhambra

Many thanks to Viator for hosting me on this tour of the Alhambra, like always I’m keeping it real, all opinions are my own, like you can expect less from me!

60 Responses to The Alhambra in Photos

  1. Victoria | Girl Tries Life July 20, 2015 at 12:26 am #

    I ADORED the Alhambra. Sadly I was also there in the days of point and shoot with film… do I still have that film? Do I heck. When I remember my two weeks in Spain, that is what I remember. Your photos inspire me to go back and discover much more of Spain.

    It’s funny, the weirdest detail that I remember about the Alhambra is that they essentially carved their own waterway around the city, almost like gutters. It was for fresh-flowing water, though. I remember how they took an engineering act and made it beautiful. Such an incredible place. Thanks for making me smile today!

    • Liz July 20, 2015 at 8:58 am #

      I love that about the alhambra!

  2. Kiara Gallop July 20, 2015 at 1:10 am #

    You have some beautiful shots here. I’ve visited the Alhambra twice now, but the last time was in 2009 when I still had my little point and shoot camera. I’d love to go back now that I finally have my hands on a decent Canon DSLR 🙂 Is it worth paying to go with a tour and skip the queues or did you prefer visiting independently?

    • Liz July 20, 2015 at 9:00 am #

      Hmm it varies – I had to go with a tour because there weren’t tickets left and I was curious to learn more about it. I hadn’t been on a tour since 2007 and I had forgotten everything. Even with the tour you get the tickets and have freedom at the end to wander so I think it was worth it

  3. Linda July 20, 2015 at 2:00 am #

    Great photos. Granada was one of our greatest pleasant surprises when we visited Spain. We were there for two days and could have spent a week. Alhambra was amazing to visit and we never saw it all before we limped out. From our hotel balcony you could see Alhambra lit up at night – drawing you back! Visited before I started blogging – this makes me think I need to pull those pics out for a retrospective blog. Thanks for sharing!

    • Liz July 20, 2015 at 9:00 am #

      Totally should!

  4. Amy July 20, 2015 at 2:11 am #

    I visited the Alhambra when I was 16 or 17 and was completely FLOORED by the intricacies of the stonework and architecture. It truly is a magical place. When I visited Topkapi Palace in Istanbul last year there were some faint similarities that made me wish I could visit the Alhambra again. I can’t imagine actually living in a place like that!

    • Liz July 20, 2015 at 9:00 am #

      Me neither!

  5. Laura Nelson July 20, 2015 at 2:33 am #

    Looks straight out of Game of Thrones. Did you see any Targaryans? 🙂

    • Liz July 20, 2015 at 9:00 am #

      Only a handful 😛

  6. Shirley July 20, 2015 at 3:04 am #

    We’re not a fan of crowds either Liz, but your photos make me want to go there. Spain is one country in Europe we’ve missed. Sometimes the touristy places are not worth going to, but other times they are fantastic. Nice photos!

    • Liz July 20, 2015 at 9:01 am #

      Totally know what you mean!

  7. Amanda July 20, 2015 at 3:05 am #

    LOVED the Alhambra! Though, you had much better weather than I did – it was pouring most of the time I was there! Still gorgeous, though.

    • Liz July 20, 2015 at 9:01 am #

      have to go back then!

  8. Valerie July 20, 2015 at 3:29 am #

    Gorgeous photos, Liz! I always love receiving your updates via email in my inbox, because I know they’ll be filled with beautiful photos.

    Have a great week!

    • Liz July 20, 2015 at 9:01 am #

      thank you!

  9. Sarah July 20, 2015 at 3:40 am #

    I’ve never heard of this place but it looks beautiful, so many pretty mosiac patterns and flowers! Definitely taking note if I ever find myself in that part of the world 🙂

    • Liz July 20, 2015 at 9:01 am #

      it’s really amazing!

  10. Katie @ Second-Hand Hedgehog July 20, 2015 at 3:54 am #

    Gorgeous! I think it would definitely be worth putting up with crowds for somewhere are beautiful as this. Determined to make it there at some point.

    • Liz July 20, 2015 at 9:01 am #

      even with the crowds it was worth it!

  11. Camille July 20, 2015 at 6:12 am #

    I visited La Alhambra in 2012 with a group I was studying abroad with. Your photos really make me wish I could go back with the much better camera I have now!! I don’t remember it being that difficult to get tickets, but since we went with a group I’m sure it was all arranged beforehand. I miss Spain like crazy!

    • Liz July 20, 2015 at 9:02 am #

      Same! I really wanted to go back with a better camera too, hence this trip haha

  12. Claire July 20, 2015 at 6:22 am #

    That looks so incredible! I’m dying to get to Spain.

    Claire

    • Liz July 20, 2015 at 9:02 am #

      It’s amazing!

  13. Trevor Huxham July 20, 2015 at 8:43 am #

    The Alhambra is still my all-time #1 favorite sight in Spain. I went there first in cold, rainy November and then came back in May and couldn’t get over how beautiful the whole complex was with all the spring flowers blooming (mainly the heavenly wisteria). Your wide-angle shots are the bomb, and major props to you for waiting so long to get tourist-free photos! That’s commitment!!!

    • Liz July 20, 2015 at 9:02 am #

      haha yeah 😀 to be honest I never had to wait more than 5 minutes, so it’s really not so bad even in peak season!

  14. Deepti @ Endless Postcards July 20, 2015 at 9:27 am #

    I visited The Alhambra a couple of years ago and it was one of my favorite parts of southern Spain. I’m planning to study abroad in Spain in 2 years and I can’t wait to visit it again. I’m also a fan of the Viator skip the line tours — to be honest, sometimes the tours aren’t as great as realizing that people had to stand in the heat for 2 hours while i had to stand for less than 3 minutes!

    Beautiful photos!

    • Liz July 20, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

      Totally agree!

  15. Kirstie of Venga, Vale, Vamos July 20, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

    The Alhambra also always reminds me of my first time in Spain as a high schooler! It’s such a stunning spot.

    • Liz July 20, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

      I love that so many people had the same experience, it was life changing for me!

  16. Chamintha J July 20, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

    Oh such gorgeous images Liz! You’ve inspired me to go to Spain. Wish our tourism authorities will have the foresight to “have a specific number of tickets sold per day to keep the number of tourists down” here in our tourist sites in Sri Lanka! What time do you think would be great to visit on a tour of the Alhambra?

    • Liz July 20, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

      I think the best time to visit is in the early morning or late afternoon

  17. Dorothea July 21, 2015 at 12:48 am #

    Lovely pictures! Alhambra is definitely on my bucketlist. I’ve been to Barcelona, the next city awaits to be picked. 🙂

    • Liz July 21, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

      Make it Granada!

  18. Marie @ To Europe And Beyond July 21, 2015 at 1:44 am #

    Gorgeous photos of one of my favourite places in the world!

    • Liz July 21, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

      Thank you!

  19. Pepe July 21, 2015 at 10:41 am #

    Nice photos and article, but I couldn’t help feel puzzled by the statement that the Alhambra “is like the Vegas of Spain”.

    To me, those two places couldn’t be more different if they tried!

    • Liz July 21, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

      haha I meant in terms of # of tourists, the Alhambra can feel like an amusement park almost

  20. Gina July 21, 2015 at 1:39 pm #

    I studied abroad in Sevilla, and I am regretting the fact I never made it to Granada. I definitely need to go back! This is just beautiful!

    • Liz July 26, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

      Woah yes you need to go back asap!

  21. Amielle July 21, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

    I remember the day I visited Alhambra. I had been given a random weekend off from the family I was au pairing for and had a few hours to figure out what I was going to do. I headed off to Granada for the weekend and, while I had grand plans of all the things I was going to see while I was there, the fact that it was the end of July/beginning of August quickly squashed those plans. I wandered around Alhambra that Sunday, just wandering around and around and climbing windy, narrow steps and going in circles, guzzling down water in an effort to stay somewhat comfortable. I remember being amazed by the tile work. I just thought it was so beautiful and just how mind blowing it is that people built that and to stand up in one of the towers and see exactly how small I really am, in the grand scheme of things.

    • Liz July 23, 2015 at 10:33 am #

      what a beautiful memory!

  22. Victoria@ The British Berliner July 21, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

    I love Spain and I’ve been to the Eastern part of the country many times but I’ve not yet been to the Alhambra. The photos look great though and I love the Moorish architecture.
    My favourite touristy place is Hong Kong. Millions of people everywhere but it doesn’t deter me from visiting in the least. More breaks and a great sushi bar do the trick LOL!

    • Liz July 23, 2015 at 10:34 am #

      OMG I loved Hong Kong!

  23. Kas Sommers July 22, 2015 at 10:23 pm #

    Gorgeous photos as always, you are talented. Just wanted to say that I love your outfit and your camera bag – is that the Ona? I’d love you to do a ‘What’s in my bag” video sometime, so us aspiring travel bloggers can see your essentials.

    • Liz July 23, 2015 at 10:38 am #

      Great idea!!

  24. Pedro July 25, 2015 at 5:00 am #

    love Graná as locals pronounce it, been there and also towns within the province as i’ve many family members from my grandmother’s side, she was born in the very well known neighbourhood El Albaicin where you can see La Alhambra beautifully….Granada is very important to us the whole family.

    great that you like it Liz!

    • Liz July 26, 2015 at 4:40 pm #

      loved it!

  25. Rebecca August 3, 2015 at 12:07 am #

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Love the detail in your photos.

    • Liz August 3, 2015 at 10:50 am #

      Thanks!

  26. Andy @ Travelling Type August 9, 2015 at 11:21 am #

    Hi Liz, yes great shots.

    I’m living in Granada now and went to the Alhambra two days ago (high season). It would not have been possible for me to get photos with the place that empty! Vegas indeed. I loved the place, but battling selfie sticks, ducking under people’s photo ops etc certainly detracted from the experience for me. It was amazing though, although I probably had a better experience at the Alcazar in Seville, due solely to fewer people and the gardens, which I thought were better! I thought the structure of the Alhambra was more interesting overall though.

    “You have to wonder even though they have a specific number of tickets sold per day to keep the number of tourists down, that number must be in the millions.”

    I very much wondered that, given that the line to get in the palace complex at the time of opening was about 200 metres long.

    • Liz August 9, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

      right????

  27. Daniela Frendo @ Grumpy Camel August 17, 2015 at 4:50 am #

    Such a magical place! These photos capture the intricate details of the place. Can’t wait to visit!

    • Liz August 18, 2015 at 11:20 am #

      Thank you!

  28. Liz August 20, 2015 at 11:18 pm #

    Love your photos and your blog!
    There is a way to get rid of people in your photos in photoshop without having to wait around for everyone to move out of the way, I haven’t tried it yet but there are loads of tutorials online!

    • Liz August 21, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

      yeah I am sure there are, or you can put on a filter on your camera and take a long exposure shot which will blur people out. I am too lazy for any of that instead I just wait

  29. Melissa - The Mellyboo Project January 30, 2016 at 5:48 am #

    Woah! Beautiful photos! My in-laws were there in November and absolutely loved it! 🙂 Would love to check it out someday!

  30. Rohan pick October 24, 2016 at 11:57 pm #

    LOL is so sweet

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] Alhambra – unul dintre cele mai frumoase locuri din sudul Spaniei – LINK […]

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