Summary. 2.5 to 3 hours by train from Seville, Granada is the home of the Alhambra, the former Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (where Christopher Columbus received royal endorsement for his expedition). In addition to visiting the expansive grounds of the Alhambra, take time to do a free walking tour and shopping in the City center.
Getting there. We set off on an early train out of Seville to Granada, arriving in time to take a cab from the train station to the City center for free walking tour that started at Plaza Bib Rambla at 11:00 a.m. Incidentally, we also stopped at a pharmacy because one of the boys was suddenly feeling hot and not so well. After a broken-Spanish conversation with the pharmacist and a couple of fever reducers later, we joined the free walking tour from a safe distance.
Walking Tour. Free walking tour operators earn their living on tips so be sure to tip generously at the end of the Tour. Our tour in Granada included the Cathedral of Granada, the Alcaiceria, the Royal Chapel, as well as part of the historic center including the shopping district.
The Alhambra. After our walking tour we ate our picnic lunch under a shade tree and then headed up the walkway to the Alhambra, the former Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (where Christopher Columbus received royal endorsement for his expedition). Entrance tickets for general admission are 14 euros per person.
The Alhambra dates back to the 9th Century and has expanded over the centuries while under different monarchies and occupation. The Moorish architecture for which it is famous, dates back to the late 12th Century and Muhammad I of Granada, the first ruler of the Emirate of Granada. The beautiful palaces on the grounds were built later in the 14th Century by Moorish Kings, Yusuf I and Muhammed V. The Alhambra eventually came under Christine rule when Granada fell to Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II and Isabella I in 1492.
Granada can be really hot in the Summer and we visited the Alhambra during the heat of the day. The only real problem was that grounds are surrounded by a manicured park and had it been less hot, we likely would have stayed longer. Even so, the Alhambra is not to be missed. The Moorish architecture is unique to anything else we had seen in Spain apart from the Real Alcazar in nearby Seville. The Alhambra also sits on a hilltop with great views of the City below.
After we finished at the Alhambra, we boarded a train back to Seville. By the time we reached Seville, the medication we picked up for one of the boys wore off and he managed to empty his stomach contents on the side of the road when we departed from the train station. We had plans to meet friends for a late dinner (or in this case, totally normal Spanish dinner hour), so we went back to the Air BnB and dropped the sick one off with Dad and half of us went out. By morning, and with good fortune, he was like new. I only tell the story because like a couple other mishaps, they've become family lore, as often is the case with mishaps.