Day trip excursion to Granada including the Alhambra

Are you planning a visit to the Alhambra in Granada? Discover Top 10 Tips for Your Alhambra Visit, including how to Book your Tickets

This post contains a comprehensive guide to visiting the Alhambra. If you have questions after reading it, feel free to ask us, and we will do our best to answer.

Visiting the Alhambra

1. Getting your tickets for the Alhambra Nasrid Palaces

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to secure your Alhambra ticket:

    1. Open up the official Alhambra website.
    2. Select the Alhambra General Ticket. 
    3. Pick up your preferred visiting date. 
    4. Choose your slot (half-hour) to enter the Nasrid Palaces.
    5. Make an online payment of €19.09. You should get a confirmation email.
    6. Within the confirmation email you will be able to see your tickets. Then, you can either print it out or have it available on your device for entry. 
    7. You must bring your passport or ID, as it is a requirement to get into the Alhambra. 

2. Alhambra map

Find a map of the Alhambra here. My personal recommendation is to print it at home before arriving at the monument. 

In any case, to prevent getting lost, you will find informative signs through the Alhambra complex, including Alcazaba, Charles V, Generalibe and Nasrid Palaces. Additionally, if you need to find your way there are plenty of guards and staff so they are usually happy to help.

3. Recommended Duration for Alhambra Alhambra Visit

Most visitors typically need 3 hours for their Alhambra visit covering a total walking distance of around 3.5 km. Here’s a breakdown of the estimated times for each attraction:

    1. Waiting time in line: 30-60 minutes
    2. Charles V Palace: usually takes 20 minutes without visiting the two museums or about 40 minutes with the museum visits.
    3. Nasrid Palaces: 1 hour
    4. Generalife: 30 minutes
    5. Alcazaba: 20 minutes
  1.  

The overall experience can improve with private guided tours which tailor your visit depending on our customer. In the event you are interested, please reach us out or book in here.

Regarding when to visit, I guess there is not a bad answer to that question but we will be deep diving into this further down.

4. Queuing for the Nasrid Palaces

Another important tip when visiting the Nasrid Palaces is that you need to join the line 20 minutes before your time slot starts. For example, if you have tickets at 16.00h, our recommendation is to get there by 15.40h. Even though the line may appear hopeless, do not worry, the guards periodically ask visitors’ appointment times to ensure that only those with the corresponding slots wait in the line, ensuring an efficient and organized process.

5. Alhambra Itinerary 

When visiting the Alhambra, there are four main places you must see:

    1. Generalife. Beautiful gardens.
    2. Alcazaba. Historical fortress.
    3. Charles V Palace. An impressive Renaissance building.
    4. The Nasrid Palaces. The main attraction.
  1.  

TIP: You can explore the attractions in any order you prefer, except for the Nasrid Palaces. Ensure you arrive on time for your booked entry to the Nasrid Palaces. Being late might result in denial of entry.

GENERALIFE

This palace served as the summer retreat for the kings of Granada. If you visit it during spring, summer or autumn, you’ll be greeted by a colorful display of beautiful flowers and colors. Within the Generalife Gardens, you’ll find the Jardín de la Sultana (Sultana’s Garden or Courtyard of the Cypress) and the Patio de la Acequia (Water-Garden Courtyard), both showcasing a long pool encircled by flowerbeds, fountains, and pavilions.

 

A beautiful gardens

ALCAZABA

Alcazaba is the oldest part of the Alhambra, dating back to the 12th century. Constructed by Mohammed I, it once served as a fortress but later became primarily used for military purposes after the palaces were completed. Key points of interest within Alcazaba include the Armas Square, the Adarves Garden, the Vela Tower, and the stunning view of Granada from the tower.

View from the Vela tower

CHARLES V PALACE

Admire the Charles V Palace, built by King Charles V within the Alhambra’s Muslim citadel, conquered by his grandparents, the Catholic Monarchs. Construction began in 1527 and concluded in 1957. It is probably the most important Renaissance building in Spain.

Oval building

NASRID PALACES

The main attraction. Finally, head to the Nasrid Palaces, the main highlight of the Alhambra. The Nasrid Palaces comprises three main buildings:

    1. The Mexuar, the oldest hall used for ministerial meetings and as a courtroom.
    2. The Palace of Comares, was the official residence of the king. It includes several rooms that surround it, such as the Court of the Myrtles (Patio de los Arrayanes – with a bright green pond), the Hall of Ambassadors and the Hall of the Boat.
    3. The Palace of the Lions, also known as the ‘Patio de los Leones’ (the main courtyard).
  1.  

The Nasrid Palaces includes other notable areas like the Hall of the Two Sisters, Oratory (at the back of the Mexuar), Daraxa’s Mirador, Hall of the Abencerrajes, and Daraxa’s Garden.

Hall of the Ambassadors

Hall of the Two Sisters

Oratory (located at the back of the Mexuar)

Daraxa’s Mirador

Hall of the Abencerrajes

Palace of the Lions

The Court of Myrtles

Daraxa’s Garden

5. Importance of the Alhambra

Apart from being one of the finest palaces of its era and designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Alhambra holds great significance. It served as a royal residence, surrounded by breathtaking gardens. Its popularity is evident as it stands as the most visited monument in Spain.

6. When to visit the Alhambra

Best season

For an enriching experience, consider visiting the Alhambra during spring,  late summer or autumn. These seasons showcase the stunning gardens in their full splendor. However, be aware that this is also the high season, leading to larger crowds.

Morning, afternoon or night?

To avoid the crowds, opting for an afternoon visit or an early one is a wise choice, especially if you want a more serene exploration.

Many tours tend to take place in the morning, so by arriving in the afternoon, you can enjoy a less crowded environment. For instance, arriving at 16:00 pm and reserving your Nasrid Palaces entry for 16:30 pm can be an ideal schedule.

 Bear in mind that the Alhambra can also be visited at night, creating a more unique experience. In ‘Andalusia Travel Tour’ we can make all the arrangements for your ensuring to make this an outstanding encounter.

7. Getting to the Alhambra Palace from Granada city center

Taxi: The most convenient way to reach the Alhambra is by taking a taxi. The fare is approximately 7 euros for the ride.

Bus: You can opt for the C3 bus, located behind the statue of Isabella and Columbus. For a budget-friendly price of 1.2 euros, the bus will take you up the hill, almost to the front entrance of the Alhambra. Bear in mind that you cannot pay with your credit card so please ensure to bring some cash.

Car: If you prefer to drive, parking facilities are available. The cost is 5.45 euros for 3 hours or 7.00 euros for 4 hours. The drive from Granada to the Alhambra takes around 15 minutes. 

Walk: For a more scenic approach, you can start at Plaza Nueva and follow Cuesta de Gomerez. Upon reaching the Gate of the Pomegranates, turn left and continue until you arrive at the Puerta de la Justicia (Gate of Justice) entrance at the Alhambra. The walk is steep but manageable, and you can cover the distance in approximately 15-20 minutes. I personally do not recommend it during summer period particularly in those days where the temperature is extreme. 

8. Should you opt for a Private Guided Alhambra Tour?

Taking a private guided tour can be an excellent way to ensure you cover the key highlights and gain insights into the historical significance of the Alhambra.  If you decide to go with a private tour guide, my recommendation is to choose a tailored tour that suits your needs and enriches your experience.

Advantages: 

  • Personalised tips regarding what to see, and where to find the best viewpoints
  • Set your preferred time of the day to start the Private Tour
  • Learning the history and architecture of the Alhambra
  • Skip the line
  • Tailored experience
  • The Private Tour can also get the tickets for you.

9. Can you bring children to Alhambra?

Yes, children are welcome at the Alhambra. However, it’s essential to be aware that strollers are not allowed inside the Nasrid Palaces or Generalife. Nevertheless, there are designated areas where you can securely leave your stroller while visiting the Nasrid Palaces. But, this might not fully address the challenge of managing your child during the tour.

10. Where to eat at the Alhambra?

Following your 3 hours of exploring the Alhambra’s fascinating sites, you’re likely to feel tired and hungry. 

Your best option is to visit the Alhambra Parador, occupying a historic monastery building. Here, you’ll find a simple restaurant with a diverse menu offering Spanish cuisine along with some popular choices for tourists. It provides a convenient and comfortable spot to enjoy a meal within the Alhambra premises.

Additionally, there is a cheaper option, next to the Alhambra main entrance. It is called ‘La Mimbre’ and in the past, this location served as a dining spot for some of the Alhambra workers.th an official private tour guide.

Where should we head next?

If you have more time to spend in Andalusia, Spain, keep checking out our Instagram account, our blog or simply reach out which includes tips on what to see, where to stay, and where to find the town’s best churros.

GET

IN TOUCH

Andalusia Travel Tour, corporate

ANY QUESTIONS?

Contact us

    Your options if plans change

    We understand these are uncertain times and want to make sure you feel confident about your options if your plans change.

    Cancellation

    Cancellation policies are an integral part of our service. If the need arises to cancel your reservation, please note that charges may apply. For Private Tours, cancellations are accepted up to 48 hours prior to the scheduled start time, with a full refund of the tour cost (excluding non-refundable monument entrance fees). However, Shared Tours are not refundable under any circumstances once booked. In the case of Day Trips and Tour Packages, cancellations made up to 35 calendar days prior to the departure date will receive a full refund of the package cost (excluding non-refundable monument entrance fees)

    Need a human touch? Our friendly Customer Support is there for you 24/7.