Alhambra & Generalife Gardens Visit, Granada

5.0 (10 reviews)
Follow a private expert guide through centuries of history at the Alhambra and its beautiful Generalife Gardens.

Overview

Enjoy a private tour of Granada's Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, the second-most visited monument in Spain. A professional guide will cater the tour to your personal interests and lead you through the complexes and the Nasrid Dynasty, steeped in thousands of years of history. As you walk through palaces, courtyards, halls, chapels, and gardens, your guide will explain how Granada, once the last bastion of Al-Andalus (the Iberian Peninsula under Muslim rule), maintained these landmarks throughout history, even when transitioning from the Moors to the Christians.

Highlights

  • Explore the many palaces, courtyards, and gardens of the Alhambra
  • Learn about Granada's unique history and royal families
  • Discover the intricate design and cultural architecture with a private guide
  • Take in the panoramic views of Granada from several lookout points

Know before you go

Duration
3 hours
Recommended for
All ages
Group
Private

What you'll do

Explore one of the most popular sites in Spain—and one of the best-preserved palaces of the historic Islamic world—with the help of a private guide. You'll start by meeting your guide at the Alhambra's entrance, in front of the large mural map of the complex. You'll receive tickets for a specific entry time, so arriving at least 10 minutes early is best to avoid any issues. Once inside, you'll follow your guide and the footsteps of sultans and kings.

The Alhambra welcomes an average of 3 million visitors each year. It offers a look at hundreds of centuries of history, revealing what was then known as the "Red City," thanks to the vibrant color of the stones used in construction. Built atop a hill overlooking Granada, the fortress dates to the 9th century, though the Nasrid Dynasty rebuilt it in the 14th century. It was an essential Moorish palace until after the Christian reconquest when the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella took control. As a result, this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a glimpse at royal life in its many forms.

Though you'll visit the entire complex, as a private experience, you can cater the tour to your personal interests. The Palacios Nazaries is a great starting point and where you'll find some of the monument's most recognizable architecture. The palaces you can see are the Palacio Real (Royal Palace), Palacio de Comares (Palace of Ceremonial Rooms), and Palacio de los Leones (Palace of the Lions, the Sultan's private quarters), each with a traditional courtyard. The oldest part of the palaces is the Mexuar, once used as a courtroom and then a chapel. 

Other important sites of the Alhambra include the Patio de los Arrayanes (Court of Myrtles), an incredible courtyard with a hedge-lined pond and fountains, and the Sala de los Embajadores (Hall of the Ambassadors). You'll also visit the stunning Sala de las dos Hermanas (Hall of the Two Sisters) with its Arab stalactitic vaulting, ornate tilework, and thousands of details hidden in the stucco. You might find this hall as equally fascinating as the ceiling in the Sala de los Abencerrajes.

Next, head to the Generalife Gardens, possibly the most photographed spot in Granada. You'll find that famous picture-perfect scene at the 13th-century Palacio del Generalife, the summer palace of Moorish kings, with its flower- and fountain-lined pond. You also can't miss the Patio de los Cipreses (Patio of the Cypresses) and Patio de la Acequia (Patio of the Irrigation Ditch) with their fragrant orange trees and rose garden.

As you walk and visit the complex's important rooms and structures, your guide will explain the history and divulge unique facts and anecdotes. After 2.5 hours, you'll leave with your guide and say farewell back at the entrance.

What's included

  • Entry tickets
  • Professional guide
  • Visit to the Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces, Generalife, and Carlos V Palace

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Traveler reviews

10 total ratings, 10 with reviews
5.0
Feature ratings
Quality of Experience
5.0
Guides, Drivers and Staff
5.0
Transport
5.0
W
William C.
Roanoke, VA | Reviewed on May 26, 2024
This was our favorite site of our entire stay in Spain. Read more

This was our favorite site of our entire stay in Spain.

Tips for future travelers

MAKE SURE IN YOUR INSTRUCTIONS TO INCLUDE YOU MUST TAKE YOUR PASSPORT !!! We were not informed of this requirement and if we had not had copies of our passports on our phones we would not have been able to enter this exhibit

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Lisa
Lisa R.
Washington, DC | Reviewed on Apr 23, 2024
Jennifer, our guide, did an amazing job. She provided us with so much history and cultural information to make the visit extra memorable. She also spend more time with us than specified in the trip details. She never rushed us. Read more

Jennifer, our guide, did an amazing job. She provided us with so much history and cultural information to make the visit extra memorable. She also spend more time with us than specified in the trip details. She never rushed us.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Cory
Cory C.
Dallas, TX | Reviewed on Mar 01, 2024
Our guide in Granada was spectacular! My wife was unable to make the tour so it ended up being only myself and the tour guide and we had an amazing time. His knowledge of the Alhambra was amazing. It was a very enjoyable and educational experience and I would recommend it to anyone who plans to visit the Alhambra. Read more

Our guide in Granada was spectacular! My wife was unable to make the tour so it ended up being only myself and the tour guide and we had an amazing time. His knowledge of the Alhambra was amazing. It was a very enjoyable and educational experience and I would recommend it to anyone who plans to visit the Alhambra.

Quality of Experience
Great experience from start to finish!
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Our guide was amazing!
Transport
The transportation to the Alhambra was luxurious and the driver was great!
J
Jodi S.
Sudbury, MA | Reviewed on Feb 27, 2024
Alberto was an excellent guide. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable. A great balance of historical storytelling and art history commentary Read more

Alberto was an excellent guide. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable. A great balance of historical storytelling and art history commentary

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Ken
Ken F.
Atlanta, GA | Reviewed on Dec 30, 2023
Carlos was fun and entertaining. Very knowledgeable about Spanish history and the Alahambra. I can't say enough good things about this tour. Read more

Carlos was fun and entertaining. Very knowledgeable about Spanish history and the Alahambra. I can't say enough good things about this tour.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Give Carlos a raise!
F
Frances G.
Avon, CT | Reviewed on Oct 14, 2023
Our guide, Lara, was very knowledgeable, thoughtful and accommodating. She was able to tailor the tour to our interests, which we appreciated. We very much enjoyed our time with her. Read more

Our guide, Lara, was very knowledgeable, thoughtful and accommodating. She was able to tailor the tour to our interests, which we appreciated. We very much enjoyed our time with her.

Tips for future travelers

Expect a lot of walking.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Ajith
Ajith P.
Stockton, CA | Reviewed on Oct 12, 2023
Nacho was awesome patient and guided us well through the tour Read more

Nacho was awesome patient and guided us well through the tour

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
G
Gene C.
North Bethesda, MD | Reviewed on Oct 11, 2023
well informed guide Read more

well informed guide

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
D
Daniel H.
Port Washington, NY | Reviewed on Oct 10, 2023
Igone, our guide, was very knowledgeable but not boring with details and quite personable - able to see quite a lot in the time allowed - magnificent to see the castle and surrounding gardens Read more

Igone, our guide, was very knowledgeable but not boring with details and quite personable - able to see quite a lot in the time allowed - magnificent to see the castle and surrounding gardens

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Lisa
Lisa M.
Greenburgh, NY | Reviewed on Nov 29, 2022
Alberto was outstanding. Read more

Alberto was outstanding.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff

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