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 jewel in the crown 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'll 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 priority access tickets.
Skip the long queues at the entrance to the Alhambra and explore the impressive buildings, gardens and rooms of the palatine city at your own pace.
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 save you from the long waits at the entrance to the monument.
You can also visit the Palace of Charles V and the Alhambra Museum at your own pace, another of the essential places on your visit to the palace complex. All you have to do is select the date and time of your visit and you won't need to print anything out, as these are digital tickets that you can show from your mobile 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 Alhambra ticket online 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 queuing 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?
Entrance to the Nasrid Palaces is included in the Alhambra ticket price and in most guided tours of the Alhambra, so you will not have to pay extra to access this part of the fortress.
The Alhambra ticket price (which includes 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 is very high so you risk queuing for a long time at the ticket office without the certainty of being able to get them.
You will only secure 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 you are not familiar with it for the first time.
With a professional guide you will travel back in time to the origins of this monument to discover its history and delve into the meaning of its beautiful architecture, which has amazed travellers from all over the world for generations.
During the tour the guide will explain in detail everything 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 as you will miss the context, the anecdotes and, in short, the global vision of the Nasrid fortress provided by a professional guide.
How does the visit to the Nasrid Palaces work?
The most visited part of the Alhambra is the Nasrid Palaces, the space where the sovereigns of the ancient kingdom of Granada resided.
Bearing this in mind, the tour of the Alhambra must be organised 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 cannot be changed.
How long does the visit to the Nasrid Palaces last?
In order 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 in order to make the most of the visit because if you are late you will not be allowed 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 parts. 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 things.
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 during the daytime visits you can visit the entire monumental complex, the night-time visits focus exclusively on the Nasrid Palaces or the Generalife Palace and gardens. Both tours take place at the same time but separately and normally last 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Seeing the Nasrid Palaces at night is something not to be missed during your trip to Granada. If the beauty of the Alhambra is impressive in the daylight, I must say that at night it has a special and enigmatic charm.
The Alhambra is a quiet place to walk around at night, so you can enjoy the fusion between the surrounding nature and the architecture of the palace city much more. Moreover, the delicate lighting of the monument creates an intimate atmosphere and allows you to better appreciate some of the 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 booked your ticket to visit the Nasrid Palaces, you may be interested in knowing what to bring with you to organise your visit. I'll tell you what are the essentials:
- Of course, you should take a good camera to help you capture the beauty of what is considered the eighth wonder of the world.
- Also, on the day of your visit, remember to take your ID card or passport with you. It's very important! For reasons of security and conservation of the monument, the Alhambra staff carry out identification checks on visitors and it is necessary to show this document together with the tickets, which are personal and non-transferable.
- On the other hand, if like many other tourists you travel to Granada during the summer holidays 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 sun cream, use a fan to cool down and wear sunglasses.
- Finally, if at any point during the tour you work up an appetite, I recommend carrying a bottle of cold water and some snacks in your bag. Of course, don't forget to book a table at a restaurant to eat at the end of your visit. In the post Where to eat near the Alhambra you will find several proposals near the monument and with magnificent views.
- Oh, and don't forget to wear comfortable shoes because the visit to the Nasrid fortress is long (3.5 kilometres) and you'll be walking a lot from one place to another. At the end of the day, your feet will thank you for it.
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 of the day that are the best to see the monument: first thing 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, the night visits to the Alhambra (in summer at 10 PM and in winter at 8 PM) are very charming and are 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 day or night visit.
But there are also exceptions! Only if you are from Granada or a resident of Granada can you visit the Alhambra for free at weekends as part of an initiative launched by the Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife to raise awareness of the historical significance of the Alhambra among the local population.
These types of visits are highly sought after and it is not easy to get a place. However, you can try your luck and make a reservation online by filling in the form and attaching the required supporting documentation. Another option is to apply in person at the Residents' Office located in the Corral del Carbón.
Now, if you are an out-of-town traveller passing through Granada, don't worry because there are ways to save a little on your Alhambra tickets. 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 is the Nasrid Palaces, one of the parts that most excited me along with the Generalife during my tour of the monument.
It was the complex where the kings of the Nasrid dynasty resided and is made up of three separate buildings known as the Palacio de Comares (the king's official house), the Mexuar (audience hall) and the Palacio de los Leones (the harem and dwelling of the royal family), built on one side of the Alhambra and facing the Albaicín.
- The Mexuar: this is the first area you see on entering the Nasrid Palaces and the oldest of the three buildings. In this room the sultan dispensed justice, met with the council of ministers or held audiences.
- The Palace of Comares: this was the official residence of the sultan and the location of the throne room. It was built during the reign of Yusuf I and the decoration of this space is notable for its richness, as the Nasrid dynasty sought to amaze visitors to the Alhambra with its power.
- The Palace of the Lions: built by Mohammed V, this building was home to the sultan's royal family and his harem. Get your camera ready because it is here where Nasrid art reached its peak 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 centre of Nasrid power), the Hall of the Barca (the place where the sultans of Granada were crowned), the Court of the Myrtles (where the great embassy receptions were organised), the Hall of the Abencerrajes (the king's bedchamber), the Hall of the Kings (the sultan's council chamber) and the Courtyard of the Lions (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 your tour of the Nasrid Palaces I advise you to take a close look at the spectacular plasterwork, glazed tile plinths and the impressive muqarnas on the arches and domes.
These palaces are famous for the sophisticated taste in art and architecture of the Nasrids, the last rulers of Al-Andalus.
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, ejaculatory prayers, texts from the Koran or the motto of the Nasrid dynasty: "There is no conqueror but Allah". Spectacular!