Okay, so here’s the most crucial thing to know if you ever want to visit Granada:
You obviously have to see the Alhambra. There is absolutely NO point in going to Granada if you don’t see the Alhambra. So please make sure you book your Alhambra tickets in advance (around 3+ months before visiting). But do not despair, oh spontaneous traveller who books his whole Andalucia trip only a month before. There’s also the Granada card, including entrance to the Alhambra AND lots of other places, plus 10 bus tickets. It’s expensive, but before you miss the palaces and its gardens, it’s worth every cent. Also, you should use it for other sights and maybe spend a bit more than 2 days in the city. When you purchase the card, you immediately get to pick an entrance date and time for the Nazrid palaces and usually these tickets are available also only 1 month in advance.
Here’s how it works: The Alhambra is a huge area including a tower with great views, the stunning Generallife gardens and the Nazrid palaces. The time on your ticket is only for the palaces. But you can already visit the whole area of the Alhambra the whole day (something that isn’t very clear to most tourists) and make the most of your stay.
The weather looks good, we decide to first visit the Royal Chapel of Granada, where Queen Isabel I and King Ferdinand were buried. It is very interesting to learn about the history of the city. Audioguides are included in your Granada card!
When I’m about to get impatient about visiting the Alhambra (I don’t trust the weather), Rodrigo suddenly bumps into his childhood friend from Madrid, Sandra, and her boyfriend. All of us have planned to visit the Alhambra in the afternoon and therefore we spend the whole day together.
We start with the gardens and the viewing tower, as black clouds are heading towards the city and we don’t want to get soaked.
The Generallife Gardens
The views of Granada and the Alpujarras (find the snowy mountains!) from the tower
The palaces themselves are beautiful, fine ornaments, intricate architecture and beautiful patios and gardens. The walls are covered in calligraphic decorations, some of which are poems, others prayers to God.
The Nazrid palaces and gardens
Oh, beautiful walls!
We take so long looking at all the walls and buildings that we get really tired and hungry. With hunger comes hanger. By the time we finally eat „lunch“, it is 5pm.
After our late lunch and coffee, we say goodbye to Sandra and her boyfriend. A 45min drive takes us to Lanjarón, a small village where Spain’s most popular water comes from.