The Nasrid Palaces are the most popular area of the Alhambra and the place where the kings of Granada, the last rulers of Al-Andalus, resided. These palaces are the great jewel of the monumental complex and a sample of the refinement and good taste of the Nasrid sultans. They will leave you speechless!
Visiting the Nasrid Palaces of the Alhambra is a must to do during your trip to Granada. Read on and I will tell you how to get tickets for the Nasrid Palaces and some tips to make the most of the experience.
Discover the Nasrid Palaces and the Alhambra in its entirety with these tickets with priority access
Do not wait for the long queues that form at the entrance to the Alhambra and walk at your own pace through the impressive buildings, gardens and rooms of the palatine city.
Visiting the incredible Nasrid Palaces is possible thanks to these skip-the-line tickets for the Alhambra that will give you access to this complex of buildings where the kings of the Nasrid dynasty resided. Booking them in advance will avoid long waits at the entrance to the monument.
You can also visit at your own pace the Palace of Charles V and the Alhambra Museum, another of the essential places on your visit to the palace complex. You will only have to select the date and time of your visit and you will not need to print anything, as they are digital tickets that you can show from your cell phone when you arrive at the monument.
Recommended if... You want to visit one of the most important rooms of the Alhambra, the Nasrid Palaces, discover the beauty of its perfectly preserved architecture and do it without rushing and wasting as little time as possible in the access.
How to buy tickets for the Nasrid Palaces?
This is the most visited part of the fortress so to ensure access on the date and time you want, I advise you to book your full ticket to the Alhambra online and as far in advance as possible, about one or two months before your trip.
Buying your tickets online has several advantages. Not only will you be able to compare prices and types of tickets (day or night tours, with or without a guided tour, in small or standard groups, etc.) but you will also avoid endless queues at the ticket office and the risk of running out of tickets, as they are highly coveted and capacity is limited each day.
How much do tickets to the Nasrid Palaces cost?
The entrance to the Nasrid Palaces is included in the price of the Alhambra tickets and in most of the guided tours of the Alhambra, so you will not have to pay extra to access this part of the fortress.
The price of the Alhambra tickets (which include access to the Nasrid Palaces, the Partal, the Alcazaba and the Generalife) is about 26 euros but getting them at the ticket office is not the best idea. Every day the capacity is limited and the demand to visit it is very high so you risk to make a long queue at the box office without the certainty of being able to get them.
You will only ensure access if you decide to buy online a ticket to the Alhambra with which you can go directly to the monument without queuing and you can also visit the whole Nasrid complex at your own pace.
Is it worth taking a guided tour of the Nasrid Palaces in the Alhambra?
Absolutely. In my opinion, guided tours of the Alhambra are the best way to get to know the ancient palace city, especially if it is the first time you visit it and you are not familiar with it.
With a professional guide you will take a trip back in time to the origins of this monument to discover its history and delve into the meaning of its beautiful architecture, which amazes travelers from around the world for generations.
During the tour the guide will explain in detail all the sites you see. There is no doubt that if you explore the Alhambra on your own you will see a beautiful monument but the experience may not be enough because you will miss the context, the anecdotes and, ultimately, the overall view of the Nasrid fortress provided by a professional guide.
How is the visit to the Nasrid Palaces?
The most visited part of the Alhambra are the Nasrid Palaces, the space where the sovereigns of the ancient kingdom of Granada resided.
Taking this into account, the tour of the Alhambra should be organized according to the time of access to the Nasrid Palaces, as each visitor can only visit this part of the fortress at the time indicated at the entrance and can not be changed.
How long does the visit to the Nasrid Palaces last?
To avoid the deterioration of the monument and not to accumulate too many people inside, the entrance to the Nasrid Palaces is done in shifts of 30 minutes.
As you can see time is limited and although you could spend hours admiring the beauty, I advise you to be punctual to make the most of the visit because if you are late they will not let you in. In fact, if you can be there 15 minutes before the time marked on your ticket, all the better.
Once inside, open your eyes wide and pay attention to all the details of the architecture and ornamentation present in the different rooms of the palaces. They are amazing!
The Nasrid Palaces are an important part of the visit to the Nasrid fortress but there are other very interesting ones. In my article Duration of the visit to the Alhambra I tell you in detail how much time you will need to see the monument in its entirety, among other questions.
Can I visit the Nasrid Palaces at night?
This is a magical experience! Highly recommended if you want to enjoy the Alhambra in an original and different way under the stars.
While in the daytime visits you can visit the entire monumental complex, the night visits are focused exclusively on the Nasrid Palaces or the Generalife Palace and gardens. Both are done at the same time but separately and usually last 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Contemplate the Nasrid Palaces at night is something you can not miss during your trip to Granada. If the beauty of the Alhambra is striking in daylight, I must say that at night it looks with an enigmatic and special charm.
As it takes place during the silence of the night, the walk through the Alhambra is quiet and you can enjoy much more of the fusion between the surrounding nature and the architecture of the palatine city. In addition, the delicate lighting of the monument creates an intimate atmosphere and allows you to better appreciate some ornamental elements such as the muqarnas or the reliefs of the plasterwork.
If you would like to know more about the night visit to the Nasrid Palaces, I recommend you to read my article Night visits to the Alhambra. It will be a visit you will not forget!
What to bring to see the Nasrid Palaces?
If you have already got your ticket to visit the Nasrid Palaces, you may be interested in knowing what to bring to better organize your visit. I will tell you what are the essentials:
- Of course, you should take a good camera to help you portray the beauty of what is considered the eighth wonder of the world.
- Also, on the day of your visit, remember to bring your ID card or passport, it is very important! For reasons of security and conservation of the monument, the Alhambra staff performs identification checks on visitors and it is necessary to show this document along with the tickets, which are nominative, personal and non-transferable.
- On the other hand, if like many other tourists you travel to Granada during the summer vacations to visit the Nasrid Palaces and the rest of the monumental complex, you should know that at this time of the year it is very hot in the city. To protect yourself from the high temperatures it is essential to cover your head with a hat, apply sunscreen, use a fan to cool off and wear sunglasses.
- Finally, if at some point during the tour you get hungry, I recommend that you carry a bottle of cold water and a snack in your bag. Of course, do not forget to book a table at a restaurant to eat at the end of the visit. In the post Where to eat near the Alhambra you will find several proposals near the monument and with magnificent views.
- And don't forget to wear comfortable shoes because the visit to the Nasrid fortress is long (3.5 kilometers) and you will walk a lot from one place to another. At the end of the day, you will see how your feet will thank you.
When is the best time to visit the Nasrid Palaces?
If you want to see the Nasrid Palaces along with the rest of the Alhambra there are two times during the day that are the best to see the monument: early in the morning when the fortress opens its doors or after lunch around 3 or 4 PM. There are not many tourists and you will be able to tour the Alhambra at your leisure.
However, if you want to focus on seeing the Nasrid Palaces, night visits to the Alhambra (in summer at 10 PM and in winter at 8 PM) are very charming and a highly recommended option. Contemplating it in the stillness of the night and the moonlight is a magical experience.
If you would like to know more about the opening and closing times of the Alhambra to better plan your visit, then I advise you to read the article Timetables of the Alhambra in Granada where I explain everything in detail.
Can I see the Nasrid Palaces for free?
No, it is generally not possible. Access to the Nasrid Palaces is paid and you will need to buy a ticket to tour this part of the Alhambra, whether it is a daytime or nighttime visit.
But there are also exceptions! Only if you are from Granada or a resident of Granada can you visit the Alhambra for free on weekends as part of an initiative launched by the Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife to raise awareness among the local population of the historical relevance of the Alhambra.
These types of visits are highly coveted and it is not easy to get a place. However, you can try your luck and make a reservation online by filling out the form and attaching the required supporting documentation. Another option is to apply in person at the Residents' Office located in the Corral del Carbon.
Now, if you are a foreign traveler who is in Granada passing through, do not worry because there are ways to save a little with your tickets to the Alhambra. I tell you about it in the article How to get free or discounted tickets to the Alhambra!
What will I see during my visit to the Nasrid Palaces?
The most visited part of the Alhambra in Granada are the Nasrid Palaces, one of the most exciting along with the Generalife during the tour of the monument.
It was the complex where the kings of the Nasrid dynasty resided and is composed of three independent buildings known as the Palace of Comares (official house of the king), the Mexuar (audience hall) and the Palace of the Lions (the harem and the abode of the royal family), built on one side of the Alhambra and facing the Albaicin.
- The Mexuar: is the first area you see when entering the Nasrid Palaces and the oldest building of the three. In this room the sultan dispensed justice, met with the council of ministers or held audiences.
- The Comares Palace: it was the official residence of the sultan and the place where the throne room was located. It was built in the time of Yusuf I and the decoration of this space stands out for its richness, since the Nasrid dynasty sought to amaze visitors who came to the Alhambra with its power.
- The Palace of the Lions: built by Mohamed V, in this building lived the royal family of the sultan and his harem. Prepare your camera because it is here where the Nasrid art reached its maximum splendor and where you will see the famous Patio de los Leones.
What rooms will you see during the tour?
Inside the Nasrid Palaces you will see such beautiful spaces as the Hall of Ambassadors (the symbolic center of Nasrid power), the Hall of the Barca (place of coronation of the sultans of Granada), the courtyard of the Myrtles (where the great receptions of embassies were organized), the Sala de los Abencerrajes (the king's bedchamber), the Sala de los Reyes (the sultan's council room) or the Patio de los Leones (an allegory of paradise whose fountain has become an icon of the Alhambra itself), among many others.
What is the decoration of the Nasrid Palaces like?
During the tour of the Nasrid Palaces I advise you to look closely at their spectacular plasterwork, glazed tile plinths and the impressive muqarnas in arches and domes.
These palaces are famous for being a sample of the sophisticated taste of the Nasrids, the last rulers of Al-Andalus, in arts and architecture.
Something that really caught my attention were the delicate epigraphic inscriptions in classical Arabic carved in wood or plaster that are scattered on the ceilings and walls of the Alhambra. There are about ten thousand of them!
The guide who accompanied us during the visit to the Nasrid Palaces told us that most of them are poems, ejaculations, texts from the Koran or the motto of the Nasrid dynasty: "There is no conqueror but Allah". Spectacular!