La Alhambra: A Must-See in Granada

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Carmen Miller
March 4, 2024
A view of the Alhambra with rooftops in foreground and Sierra Nevada visible in the background

I’ve known I wanted to visit the Alhambra pretty much since I decided to study abroad in Granada, and it’s one of the things almost everyone I mentioned my study abroad plans to brought up. No surprise there, since this palace/fortress/garden complex, parts of which date back to the 9th century, is probably Granada’s most famous landmark. Having seen it from many angles while walking around the city, I’ve been really looking forward to getting to see the inside. 

Some of the IES Abroad classes have a field trip to the Alhambra, but I’m not taking any of them, so I chose to go on a Friday when I didn’t have class and could take as long as I wanted to explore. I picked which Friday based almost entirely on when there were available tickets—if you’re planning to go, I would recommend booking tickets well in advance as they sell out quickly. 

I decided to go by myself and not sign up for a tour so that I could explore at my own pace. Between the free audioguide and eavesdropping on various tour groups, I felt like I got all the information and history I wanted while also not feeling rushed— this was definitely a leisurely day trip. I left my homestay around 10 a.m. and took the city bus up to the entrance, then spent about five and a half hours wandering around the complex. While there were parts of the monument that were pretty busy (especially the Nasrid Palaces) it didn’t feel too crowded and I really enjoyed the experience. I also enjoyed looking in the many souvenir shops around the monument—there are lots of really cool pieces of art, and I picked up some nice postcards to send to friends and family back home. Once I was done, I decided to take the trail through the woods back into Granada—it’s a bit of a steep hike but the walk was very pretty. 

The Alhambra, simply put, is stunning. I kept turning corners and saying, “Oh, wow!” The gardens are gorgeous, the architecture is incredible, the views are amazing…all in all, I would definitely consider the Alhambra a must-do if you’re studying in or visiting Granada. 


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Carmen Miller

I’m a Comparative Literature major at Haverford College with an interest in how cultures and stories interact with each other. I love baking, writing, hiking, and exploring new places. And I can never resist the siren song of a good library!

2024 Spring
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