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Palace of Carlos V

Discover a large and unusual royal palace set on a plateau at the heart of the magical Alhambra complex, with panoramic vistas over the city of Granada.

The Alhambra was primarily constructed by the Muslim Nasrid dynasty, making the Renaissance-style Palacio de Carlos V (Palace of Carlos V) an unusual sight among the Moorish architecture. The grand palace proudly sits atop the Assabica hill with the rugged Sierra Nevada as its backdrop.

First admire the wider Alhambra complex, one of Spain’s most important destinations for those interested in history and architecture. While originally built over Roman foundations, the Alhambra flourished in Muslim hands during the Middle Ages, then fell into the hands of Christian royalty after the Reconquista of 1492.

Carlos V, the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519, began construction of a royal palace at the heart of this sprawling complex in 1527. Lack of funds, revolts and other disruptions delayed the build and neither the architect in charge, Pedro Machuca, nor Carlos V would live to see their vision completed. Pedro Machuca’s son Luis took over and had nearly finished it when work again ground to a halt in 1637, this time for nearly three centuries. It wasn’t until 1957 that the palace was finally completed. 

Due to its prominent hilltop position and contrasting architectural style, the palace stands out. This masterpiece of Renaissance architecture is nothing like the Moorish designs that surround it.

Standing 56 feet (17 meters) tall, with a width of 207 feet (63 meters), the Palace of Carlos V is imposing as seen from up close as well. As you approach, notice the different styles of the building, with the upper and lower floors each having their own distinct designs.

Step through the decorated doorway to find out that all is not what it seems. When you reach the vast central courtyard, you’ll see that the palace’s squared exterior actually hides a perfectly round courtyard. The column-supported partial roofs curve seamlessly to form graceful Roman-style colonnades around the vast open space.

The Palace of Carlos V is open daily and included in your admission fee for the Alhambra complex. At the gate, ask for an audio guide in English to hear more about its history and architecture. The Alhambra can be reached on foot, by public transportation or by car from central Granada. There is a public car parking lot just outside the complex.


Guide to Exploring around Palace of Carlos V


Best Lodging Options Near Palace of Carlos V

See all 2,221 Properties near Palace of Carlos V
Saray Hotel ¥5,636
Saray Hotel

Saray Hotel

P Enrique Tierno Galvan 4, Granada, Granada
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Zaidin, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Granada Exhibition and Conference Centre, Plaza Nueva, and Granada Cathedral. Alhambra and Mirador de San Nicolas are also within 2 mi (3 km).

    Melia Granada Hotel ¥6,516
    Melia Granada Hotel

    Melia Granada Hotel

    Angel Ganivet 7, Granada, Granada
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Central District, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Calle Navas, Granada Cathedral, and Plaza Nueva. Alhambra and Mirador de San Nicolas are also within 1 mi (2 km). Granada Station is 24 minutes by foot.

      Barceló Carmen Granada Hotel ¥6,764
      Barceló Carmen Granada Hotel

      Barceló Carmen Granada Hotel

      Acera del Darro, 62, Granada, Granada
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Central District, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Fuentes de las Batallas and Granada Cathedral. Alhambra and Plaza Nueva are also within 1 mi (2 km). Granada Station is 26 minutes by foot.

        Apartamentos Campo del Príncipe ¥5,525
        Apartamentos Campo del Príncipe

        Apartamentos Campo del Príncipe

        Calle Escutia 4, Granada
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Central District, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Campo del Principe Plaza and Plaza Nueva. Alhambra and Granada Cathedral are also within 15 minutes. Granada Station is 29 minutes by foot.

          Alixares Hotel ¥5,581
          Alixares Hotel

          Alixares Hotel

          Paseo de la Sabica 40, Granada, Granada
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Genil, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Generalife and Alhambra. Plaza Nueva and Mirador de San Nicolas are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            Hotel Mirador Arabeluj ¥4,961
            Hotel Mirador Arabeluj

            Hotel Mirador Arabeluj

            Camino Nuevo Del Cementerio 46, Granada, Granada
               
              1.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Genil, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Manuel de Falla Museum, Alhambra, and Plaza Nueva. Generalife and Granada Cathedral are also within 1 mi (2 km).

              Los Angeles & Spa Hotel ¥6,088
              Los Angeles & Spa Hotel

              Los Angeles & Spa Hotel

              Cuesta Escoriaza, 17, Granada, Granada
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Genil, this spa hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Paseo del Salón, Alhambra, and Plaza Nueva. Granada Cathedral and Generalife are also within 1 mi (2 km).

                Guadalupe Hotel ¥7,102
                Guadalupe Hotel

                Guadalupe Hotel

                Paseo de la Sabica, s/n, Granada, Granada
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Genil, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Generalife and Alhambra. Plaza Nueva and Mirador de San Nicolas are also within 1 mi (2 km).