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)
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.
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.
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!
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?
65 Comments on “The Alhambra in Photos”
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!
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!
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?
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
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!
I love that about the alhambra!