The Palace of Charles V in Alhambra, Granada

Photo of author
Last updated:

The Palace of Charles V is a beautiful one-of-a-kind Rennaisance building, part of the Alhambra complex in Granada, Spain. Built between 1527 and 1637 as the residence of Charles V, and left without a solid roof until 1967.

Today the palace is open to the public without any entrance fee and is home to two museums – the Alhambra Museum and the Fine Arts Museum of Granada on its upper floor.

Despite visiting Alhambra two times already, I never got a chance to get into the Palace of Charles V as it was closed. On my last visit in October, I finally managed to take a peak inside and share a few photos below.

Let’s dive in!

The Palace of Charles V: Location & Access

The palace is accessible from the main courtyard between the Alcazaba and Alhambra.

It’s clearly marked on the map that you get for Alhambra, and also with the signs as soon as you arrive in the complex.

The outside of the building is quite misleading as you would expect a traditional Andalusian-style palace with a central courtyard. It looks nothing like it as it was built in the Roman style as the emperor requested.

The access is free, you can walk in and enjoy the surroundings.

(article continues under photos)

Palace of Charles V in Alhambra, Granada
Palace of Charles V in Alhambra, Granada

Short History of the Palace of Charles V

The Rennaisance building is the work of architect Pedro Machuca, who was charged with designing a new palace for the emperor Charles V and his family next to the Alhambra.

Alhambra was used as a summer residence for royalty and the palace was supposed to serve as a residential complex, and provide more space to live.

The work began in 1527 and continued after the death of the original architect and was taken on by his son Luis who developed the circular courtyard. The construction stopped for 15 years because of the rebellion of the Moors in Granada in 1568, and the palace was left without a roof – an option to move in – until 1967.

From the bird’s eye view, it looks almost like a colosseum. Inside, you will find a large circular centre, a unique architectural feature of its kind, surrounded by 32 Doric columns.

The building was controversial not just for its architectural approach, but also due to the fact that it represented a triumph of Christianity over Islam, which was the primary influence for the whole Alhambra complex.

The main façade of the palace measures 63 meters wide and 17 meters high, with only the southern and western decorated because the rest of them are attached to the Alhambra complex.

Here is a short visual tour, with visitor information at the end of the article.


Palace of Charles V in Alhambra, Granada
Palace of Charles V in Alhambra, Granada
Palace of Charles V in Alhambra, Granada
Palace of Charles V in Alhambra, Granada
Palace of Charles V in Alhambra, Granada
Palace of Charles V in Alhambra, Granada
Palace of Charles V in Alhambra, Granada
Palace of Charles V in Alhambra, Granada
Palace of Charles V in Alhambra, Granada
Palace of Charles V in Alhambra, Granada
Palace of Charles V in Alhambra, Granada

Due to lack of time, I did not make it to either of the museums located in the palace, something I will rectify on my next visit and report here.

If you’re planning a trip to the Palace while you’re in Alhambra, here are the basic things you need to know.

Visiting The Palace of Charles V in Granada

Location: C. Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada

Opening hours: 15 OCTOBER – 31 MARCH Monday to Sunday 8.30 to 18.00,
APRIL 1 – OCTOBER 14 Monday to Sunday, 8.30 to 20.00

How much time to spend: If you’re only visiting the complex and not the museums, you can see everything in around 30 minutes.

Entrance fees: free

Granada Monuments Tickets & Tours

Here are a few guided trip options for visiting the main sights in Alhambra. To check availability and prices please click on the link below.

Explore More in Granada

Visiting the Monastery of San Jerónimo, Granada

Huerto del Loro: The Best Views of Albaicin, Granada

LimeHome Appartments Calle St. Ana, Granada: My Review

How to Spend One Day in Granada, Spain: The Highlights Itinerary

13 Beautiful Photography Locations in Granada: Tips from a Local Expat

Visiting Alhambra in Granada: The Complete Guide

PIN for Later

5 scaled
2 scaled

Southern Spain Travel Tips


To rent a car, I highly recommend Discover Cars, an award winning price comparison site for car rentals.


To get the cheapest bus or train tickets, take a look at Omio to find the timetables and prices.


Local travel companies offer many day trip options from almost all the destinations in Southern Spain. You can check them out here.


I have been using for all my trips in Spain and abroad, and it’s the best place to book your hotel.


If you would like to leave your luggage behind to explore the city on your last day, you can use Radical Storage service, which lets you book luggage storage in all the destinations in Spain.


If you want to avoid surprising extra charges from your operator, you can use a service like Airalo, where you can buy digital packs for e-sim cards.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links – if you decide to book using one of the links, I will earn a small commission that helps me run this site. This is at no extra cost to you.

Photo of author
Lucia is a founder and travel writer at Viva La Vita. She has been living on Costa del Sol in Southern Spain (Fuengirola) since 2020. She helps travellers plan the perfect trip to Spain thanks to her local insights, practical tips and unique insider perspective complemented by original photography.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.