Self Guided Alhambra Tour itinerary – walking from Granada City.
If visiting the Alhambra by walking Granada city, this Self Guided Alhambra Tour itinerary will be helpful. If you are arriving by car from outside Granada, or arriving by taxi and have plenty of time, follow our Alhambra itinerary starting from the main entrance.
The best way up to the Alhambra is the slow romantic walk, if you are in reasonable shape, have time and the weather is clement we recommend this uphill walk. starting from Plaza Nueva in the city centre take the 'Cuesta de Gomérez' road which first passes lots of souvenir shops of varying interest. You will soon see the 'Granada Gate', a stone arch heralding tranquility ahead.
PUERTA DE LAS GRANADAS
The Gate of Pomegranates - Puerta de las Granadas - was built by the Christians in the 16th century in honour of the visit of Emperor Charles V, and then known as the Puerta de Carlos Quinto. It was placed at the bottom of the Alhambra forest, on a street known as the Cuesta de Gomerez, which the Christians preferred to the old Moorish entrance at the foot of the Alcazaba. Under the Moors, the slopes around the castle had to be kept stripped bare of vegetation for military purposes, and the shady trees which now grace the hill were not planted until after the conquest, by the Christians. The gate is popularly known for the over-sized, bursting pomegranates carved in stone and which stand on its massive lintel. The pomegranate - granada - became the symbol of the city because of the similarity of this Spanish word and one of Granada's prehistoric names, Granata.
Gates such as this one were built in all the towns which were in the path of the new King Charles V when he travelled south to be married in Seville and honeymoon in Granada in 1526.
For this itinerary you need to already have your Alhambra ticket printed with its QR bar code and suitable photo ID; check once more. On the ticket is also printed the time to need to enter the Nasrid Palaces, you will need a minimum half an hour to reach this point from here. Tips about buying Alhambra tickets. Take the footpath that forks away to the left hand side. the 16th century marble cross makes it clear to all those who entrer that they are in the home of the Christians and not the Mohammedans.
If you still need to buy tickets or just have a voucher for a ticket, you will need to go first to the ticket office. The most direct route is to continue up the road. Once at ticket office follow our Alhambra itinerary from the main entrance.
If you are arriving by taxi or the C30 micro bus from Plaza Isabel Catolica, and you have plenty of time (more than half an hour) before you Nasrid palace time slot, alight at the main entrance by the ticket office. Otherwise take the short cut and alight at the Justice Gate.
Monument to Washington Irving
Washington Irving was the son of a New York merchant, he was trained in law but gave it up for the family business. When it collapsed he turned to writing with success of "The legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle" He travelled to Paris in 1821 and thence to Madrid in 1826 as historical document about the Americas had been released.
In 1829 he journeyed from Seville to Granada where he immediately asked the then-governor of the historic Alhambra Palace as well as the archbishop of Granada for access, which was granted because of his celebrity status. When he took up residence in the Alhambra palace when it was in an abandoned state. He wrote "Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada" (1829) and 'Tales of the Alhambra' which was an immediate success. Read more about Tales of the Alhambra.
Pilar de Carlo V
Not a pillar but a Renaissance style fountain, picturesquely weather-worn, known as the Pilar de Carlo Quinto. It was built in 1545 to decorate the circular artillery bastion which beefed up defenses next to the main Alhambra entrance, Puerta de Justicia.
The triple spout fountain itself probably represents the three rivers of Granada (Darro, Beiro and Genal). It owes it name to being built in the reign of King Charles V. The fountain was designed by Pedro Machuca, a famous renaissance architect and painter form Toledo and constructed by Niccolo da Corte and probably paid for by Iñigo López de Mendoza the then mayor of the Alhambra.
It bears the inscription: IMPERATORI CAESARI KAROLO V HISPANIARUM REGI, flanked by pilasters (ornamental columns) that house the coats of arms of Burgundy and Lorraine with the columns of Hercules. On the back wall of the fountain there are four medallions carved with mythological characters: Hercules killing the Hydra of Lerna; the sisters Frixo and Hele passing the Hellespont on a ram, Daphne pursued by Apollo, and Alexander the Great.
From the Partal Gardens those that entered the Alhambra through the Puerta de Justicia have two options:
A) Exit west to visit places that you did not have time so see because you were rushing to enter the Nasrid palace in you time slot. This may have been Wine Gate, Alcazaba, Palace of Carlos V and the Museum. Then visit other parts of the Alhambra en-route to the Generalife.
before returning down to Granada
B) Alternatively, you can head directly for the Generalife and visit some other parts on your return to Granada city, exiting through Puerto de Justicia.
Stay at a hotel located within in the Alhambra gardens or just in walking distance of this magnificent monument.