The first tip I’m going to offer you about visiting the Alhambra is not to do it on a severe hangover 😂! The second is, take lots of water and brace yourself for lots of walking; but also for some breathtaking views and some beautifully intricate details!
This is my final Spanish Travel Diary – is it weird I’m a bit sad they’re over? I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them as much as I’ve loved writing them and taking pictures for them. Let’s get down to it…
The Alhambra is a palace fortress complex located in Granada. You can see it as you drive up, but it’s deceptive – it looks smaller than it is. You need to book your tickets pretty far in advance (it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get them on the day if you just turn up!) and be prepared to tussle with their website as it is not user friendly.
We drove as there is ample parking but you can get busses etc which will take you there for the day too!
The Alhambra itself has a long and rich history which I would never be able to do justice here – for history buffs (I know Abbey Louisa Rose will want to know more! 🙂 this site is great for giving you all the details!)
Overall, the ticketing system works pretty well as it means you’re not overwhelmed by other people whilst you wander round the spectacular palace (though you do have to queue outside, so definitely take water / a hat / suncream if you get sun stroke, as the queue can take around 45 mins).
There’s so much detail in every corner you look, whether that’s the beautiful Arabic script across the tiles, or the stunning geometry you’ll find carved into the ceilings.
As you wander round, you’ll find the gardens which are full of blooming roses, and through each winding path you’ll find yourself at either an impressive vista or some awe-inspiring architecture.
I personally loved this beautiful area – it used to be the hareems quarters! I could just imagine the ladies luxuriating in the beautiful setting!
We also had a little explore into the fort – we didn’t make it quite to the top as we were majorly flagging at this point (even those who weren’t hungover were struggling after 4 hours walking in 40 degree heat!), but it did afford some amazing views of Grenada!
At the end of your two-hour stay, you can get a shuttle down into the town just underneath, or alternatively you can walk your way down the hill. It’s very scenic but you will no doubt be exhausted from all the walking.. !
We decided to venture up a side street, and found a very odd little restaurant tucked away. It had beautiful paintings on the walls, shelves packed with random things, whilst TVs soundlessly played Japanese cartoons. Told you, VidaXtra restaurant is certifiably weird – but don’t write it off just for it’s slightly quirky setting!
The barman served drinks, and as we ordered food, threw on his chef whites.
Freshly squeezed orange juice was made by hand in front of us, meanwhile we all opted to totally fuel up on carbs – we definitely deserved it after the day we’d had! I opted for the most beautiful beef carpaccio, accompanied by an amazing mushroom gnocchi! Other orders included divine Bruschetta (why does this never, ever taste as good when you make it at home?!) and spicy spaghetti, as well as a chilli Penne dish. It was another hidden-gem-find!
They did run a little short staffed, and they don’t take card, so you’ll need to go prepared with cash, but they did bring a round of complementary shots the barmaid had whipped up as an apology for being a little slow, and for not taking card!
I cannot recommend both the trip to the Alhambra and VidaXtra enough!
I’m so excited that my next set of travel diaries will come from Singapore, Indonesia and Melbourne. I’m feeling super nervous but super excited too – if you’ve got any tips for me then let me know!