Alhambra is synonymous with the famous Andalusian city, Granada, Spain. This wonderful city never gets crowded and it is a perfect holiday destination. You can go skiing in the winters, party all night during the summers and sight-see at the cultural monuments of Granada.
How To Reach Alhambra
Although Alhambra has a small airport (Granada airport), we do not recommend flying into that airport. It is better to fly to Málaga from Madrid. Tickets from Madrid are not exorbitantly pricey, plus the quality of your flight will be better.
There are a few options to get you to Alhambra from the Málaga Airport. From the airport, taxis can take you to the city center. However, this will likely be quite expensive. It is an hour and a half drive from Malaga to Alhambra by car. You can also take a bus between the two cities. A bus ride will take nearly 3 hours to travel between the two destinations.
Things To Do In Alhambra
Alhambra in Granada is perched on the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And it contains the remnants of Nasrid Dynasty. There are four types of buildings in the Alhambra.
One is the Alcazaba, which is the Old Moorish fortress. Next, comes the Nasrid Palaces- which were massive building complexes with luxurious interiors. Palace of Charles V & Generalife is the Spanish Palace and Moorish gardens respectively.
WHEN TO GO
Spain is an overdose of culture and beauty. Destinations like Alhambra make the nation all the more unique. Even though tourist cities never truly empty, you can still find quiet times to visit buzzing tourist hubs.
Spring and Autumn are pleasant times to visit Alhambra both because the weather is pleasant and because there are a limited number of visitors.
There are three ticket counters for the entrance to Alhambra Palace Complex. We recommend you buy your ticket online and then make your way to the Nasrid Palaces first thing in the morning. The entry to Nasrid Palaces is restricted most of the time, and even the entry has a reservation period.
If you visit it the first thing in the morning (8:30 am), then you will have the rest of the site at your disposal for the remainder of the day. If you visit in summer, that is around July then please avoid visiting in the afternoon. Morning or evening is perfect times to see the sun play colors over the gardens and places.
WHERE TO STAY
Backpackers can crash in the Funky Backpackers Hostel in Cuesta de Rodrigo del Campo or Pension Zurita near the Cathedral. For families looking for budget hotels, Abadía Hotel Granada and Hotel Navas are good options.
Households use 230V for domestic purpose. Devices which do not work at this voltage will need a transformer. In addition to the voltage, you must also consider the socket type. Spain uses Type F sockets. If you come from a country that does not use that kind of socket then you will need a travel adapter.
WHAT TO WEAR
Whatever you wear do not forget to bring a sturdy boot. This boot will help you with an uphill walk, and it will also be comfortable to walk around in the site. In Evening wear light jackets, and in mornings you can wear cotton shirts and shorts.
Spanish is the official language, and you will see plenty of Spanish language schools in Granada. An audio guide will help you while you tour the Alhambra. But learning a bit of Spanish can become useful for your stay in the country.
Euro is the currency used in Spain. If you visit from any European Country, then you will face no problem with money. But if you are from Asia or America or any other parts where Euro is not the currency you will need to exchange money. You can do the exchange in Banks, Bureaux de and ATMs.
The best thing to do is use your Debit card to withdraw money in Euros. This way you will not have to face the street vendors and their excess rates. Use ATMs in banks, and not the one on streets to ensure your safety.
There are many Restaurants and café with Wi-Fi hotspots around The Alhambra. You will have to keep checking your Wi-Fi connections to know for sure. Openwifispots helps the public in spotting the Free Wi-Fi areas.
The roots of culture maybe Roman and Latin but when the Arabs arrived in this land, they made it their home. And from then on Moorish Influence has played a significant role in the architecture, art, and culture of Granada.
There is a major tradition of Spaniards that os followed throughout the country. Siesta – or the afternoon nap is a necessity in Spain. And you will see most shops close after the lunch after only to re-open in the evening. The Spaniards take their afternoon sleep seriously.
There is an insane amount of student population in Granada which makes food cheap here. All cafes and bars offer varieties of tapas and churros which you can’t deny to taste. Seafood Tapas is a unique cuisine in El Pescador. You can also find many bars which offer free tapas. So pay and drink, but eat for free.
Reaching the Alhambra is easy with the help of a red and white “ Alhambra Bus.” Once you reach it, you can explore the complex on your feet. We would not recommend driving in the nightmarish streets of Granada. But if you insist then you can drive yourself around with the co-operation of your hotel.
If you are staying for two days in Granada just to see The Alhambra, then you can squeeze your budget to a minimum of 60 Euros. But if you want to live in a midrange hotel rather than hostel then it will cost you 45-50 Euros.
Food is the least of the thing to worry about here, as it is inexpensive. 10 Euros will help you get by the day with a full stomach if you avoid the high-end restaurants. Getting around in bus also doesn’t cost much. A 5 Point tour costs only 5 Euros in the Alhambra Bus. So 120 Euros will be enough for a two day trip to Alhambra.
HOW MANY DAYS FOR THE ALHAMBRA
There are three parts of the Alhambra worth watching. And a day is enough to have a full tour of the complex. You can come and see the Moorish gardens the day before your day trip as it is free to enter. Then the next day you can come and have a look at the Nasrid palaces, Alcazaba and Palace of Charles V.
The central area of the Granada district is loaded with one-way roads and is impossibly narrow. It is very hard to drive on these streets that are why tourists without reservations cannot drive here.
Still, if you want to drive here, then you can ask your hotel to get you a reserved license plate number. Traffic rules are very strict, and traffic cameras will capture even the smallest of mistakes.
RENTING Vs. BUS, TRAIN, TAXI
The local Alhambra buses cover most of the tourist sites – and a multi-trip card costs only 5 Euros. Then why rent a car and risk driving on the dangerous streets? The bus stations here are boulevards. Go to the nearest Boulevard, and from there you can see the bus timetable. You can know when the next bus is and book either a one trip ticket or a multi-trip ticket.
RIGHT OR LEFT DRIVING
Spaniards drive on the right-hand side of the road. So if you come from the states, then it won’t pose a problem for you. The speed limit is 50 KM/ H in built up areas and as low as 20-40 KM/ H near schools and hospitals. But in two ways you can drive as fast as 90 KM/H. Beware of the speed cameras, they may be few but are effective.
HOW SAFE IS ALHAMBRA
There is no threat of murder or terrorism in these areas, but theft is a constant crime in tourist areas. Most thieves work in groups and will try to trap you. Do not keep your belongings away from you. Stay attentive and do not talk to strangers unless required.
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September 7, 2017 11:30 pm