Here are my tips to visit the Alhambra in Granada. The Alhambra is one of the most incredible monuments not only of Spain, but of all Europe. Visiting La Alhambra should be one of your priorities if you are planning a trip to Spain.
Because it’s one on Spain main highlights, this section about Granada includes:
Despite all the information provided in the articles mentioned above, I am always receiving inquiries from readers like you, who plan to visit the Alhambra and still have some questions about the monument and how to plan their time there.
So here are the answers to the most frequent questions that other travelers like you have asked along with all the practical information that you need to know.
Tips to visit the Alhambra: location
1. Where is the Alhambra?
The Alhambra, named for its reddish walls (in Arabic, qa’lat al-Hamra means “red castle”), is located high on the al-Sabika hill on the left bank of the Darro River in the western area of Granada and in front the neighborhoods of the Albaicín and the Alcazaba.
2. How can you get to La Alhambra?
Leaving the center of Granada behind, you can climb up to the Alhambra by foot, but in our opinion it’s a waste of time. You are already going to walk (a lot!) while visiting the complex. So our suggestion is to go up to La Alhambra using the bus.
The municipal bus line that goes up to La Alhambra is the C3. The starting point is in Calle Padre Suárez, right next to Plaza Isabel la Católica. Get off at the end of the line, Alhambra-Generalife, which is near the ticket office of the complex. Our guidebook ‘Granada In Two Days’ contains detailed information about the urban transport of Granada and the tickets you need to travel by bus around the city.
3. Can you combine the visit to La Alhambra with some other place?
If you are staying three or more days in the city, you can combine the visit to La Alhambra with a visit to the charming Carmen de los Mártires, a garden that is near the entrance of the Alhambra. If you plan to stay two days in Granada, our guidebook ‘Granada In Two Days’ includes two self-guided walks: one around La Alhambra, and another one around the historical center of the city.
4. How do you go from La Alhambra to the Albaicín?
The Alhambra and the Albaicín, the Arab quarter of Granada, lie on opposite hills. To go from one to the other you will need to go down to the center of the city to get back up the other hill.
5. Where can you eat near the Alhambra?
Within the complex of La Alhambra there is a small snack bar and a luxury restaurant inside the Parador Nacional. There are several very touristy restaurants around La Alhambra that charge prices well above average. Our ‘Granada In Two Days’ guidebook includes a list of recommendations where you can eat before climbing up to the Alhambra, and another another list of tapas bars that you can try as you exit the Alhambra.
Tips to visit the Alhambra: tickets
6. Do you need to buy tickets in advance?
Yes, you do.
As we explain in the guide How to buy tickets to the Alhambra in Granada, it’s essential to purchase your tickets to visit the Alhambra in advance. If you get there without tickets you risk not entering the monument.
7. How far in advance do you need to buy the tickets?
Don’t wait until the last minute to buy your tickets! As soon as you have set the date of your visit to Granada, get your tickets. As a rule of thumb you can buy ticket up to 3 months in advance. Nevertheless, depending on the season and the demand, tickets can be sold out for certain dates or periods extremely fast.
8. Where can you buy tickets?
You should purchase your tickets through the official website of the Patronato de la Alhambra and Generalife. For more information, have a look at the article on how to buy tickets to the Alhambra in Granada where you can find more tips to help you with your ticket purchase, including an alert on the sale of tickets by third parties.
9. Are you having trouble buying tickets?
If you are having issues in buying tickets to visit the Alhambra in Granada, there is still a chance to get tickets!
10. Tickets are sold out!
If the Alhambra tickets are sold out, you still have a chance to visit the complex.
11. What types of tickets are available?
Have a look at the article on how to buy tickets to the Alhambra in Granada to know the different types of tickets available.
12. Is the Alhambra night visit worth it?
You can find it reading about our experience visiting the Alhambra at night.
13. Is there any kind of discount?
Yes there is. There are discounts on full fare for children under 12, children between 12 and 15 years old, students with Carnet Joven Europeo, disabled and European Union senior citizens (65+ years old).
14. Is there any day or time with free visitation?
Yes, but it’s only available for Granada residents. You need to check the available weekly dates and book your visit in advance.
15. Can you enter La Alhambra with proof of purchase of the tickets received by email?
Follow the instructions you received at the end of the purchase. As soon as the purchase is done, you should receive an email with the tickets. You can either print them out or store them on your smartphone. However, if you purchased your tickets though a third party and they sent you a voucher, you must exchange it for the tickets.
Tips to visit the Alhambra: access
16. Where do you enter the complex?
There are several entry points to the complex of La Alhambra, but if you want to follow the recommended itinerary (that you can see in detail in our guidebook ‘Granada In Two Days’), you should enter the Alhambra by the Pabellón de Acceso, where the ticket office is.
17. Will you get in line to enter the complex?
If you arrive to La Alhambra with your tickets in hand, you don’t need to get in line to enter the Alhambra.
Tips to visit the Alhambra: visit
18. What is the best time to visit the Alhambra?
La Alhambra can be visited at any time of the day, it will always be an incredible experience.
19. How long does it take to visit the Alhambra?
It’s impossible to give an exact amount of time. Each traveler is different and has various interests to appreciate each part of the complex. The time spent may differ greatly from one person to another. But you should note that the complex of La Alhambra is very extensive and that the fastest of visits should not take less than 3 hours. If you enjoy savoring the extraordinary places, you will easily spend between 4 and 6 hours walking through (and photographing) each corner of the Alhambra.
20. Is there any recommended order to complete the visit?
Yes there is. The itinerary recommended by the Patronato de La Alhambra is detailed in our guidebook ‘Granada In Two Days’. Entering the Pabellón de Acceso, where the ticket office is, you will visit the Generalife, the Palacio de Carlos V, the Nasrid Palaces and the Alcazaba.
Do you need more information on Granada?
This article is part of a complete guide about Granada where you can read all the information you need to plan your trip to this amazing destination in Spain.
Here is a complete summary of all the guide:
1. When to visit Granada
2. How many days to spend in Granada
3. How to get to Granada
4. How to move around Granada
5. Granada hotels: where to stay in Granada
6. What to eat in Granada
7. What to do in Granada
8. Tips to visit the Alhambra in Granada
9. How to buy tickets to the Alhambra in Granada
10. Alhambra tickets sold out. What can you do?
11. Is the Alhambra night visit worth it?
Find out more with ‘Granada In Two Days’
‘Granada In Two Days’ is a complete 60+ pages guide featuring exclusive content, relevant websites, rich designed maps and dozens of photos, allowing you to explore Granada before you set a foot in Spain.
It contains a detailed step-by-step walkthrough of two full days self-guided walks with all the directions and practical information necessary to go from one highlight to the next.
Everything that you will read is based on practical and organized Granada first-hand advice. The self-guided walks have been personally tested to make sure that you can do it on your own. So all you have to do is download it to start reading immediately, all with one click.