Alhambra is a game where you buy tiles and have to place them on the table in a specific order to make points. I could compare it to carcasonne where each player has his or her own board. So it's less interaction between the players, but in order to buy the building you need money. And the money displayed is available to everyone. It rewards people that are good at tile placing and simple math, non of which are my strong suits so this doesnt hit the table very often. Especially since my girlfriend is a tetris champion and can make really complex structures while I have to throw away most om my tiles.
The theme is also fairly flavorless. You are hiring builders, so the money makes sense but I never got the feeling I was constructing some huge palace. It good for what it is, and plays really fast.