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The Alhambra: Tips for Visiting the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain

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Our best Alhambra tips! Tips for visiting the Alhambra Palace in Granada Spain in one day. Includes access to a free online map to help you plan your Alhambra visit, our personal tips to visit Alhambra, and current information to help you visit the Alhambra. Contains FAQs about visiting Alhambra, including how to buy Alhambra tickets, the best time to visit Alhambra, information about the things to do in Alhambra, and more.

Tips for Visiting the Alhambra Opt In Image

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Read More About Spain Here: Where to Stay in Granada I Our Guide to a Perfect Day in Seville I Where to Stay in Seville I Andalusia 101 (All You Need to Know to Plan a Trip) I Day Trips from Barcelona I Where to Stay in Barcelona I Where to Stay in Madrid I The Best Spanish Cities for Foodies


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Tips for Visiting The Alhambra Granada

 

Alhambra Granada. Andalusia. There are place names in the world that evoke a feeling of magic and adventure, and the Alhambra Palace in Spain is one such place. The Alhambra Palace is the most visited tourist attraction in all of Spain, attracting millions of visitors per year. Despite the sheer numbers of people flocking to this beautiful palace, it is a remarkably confusing affair: from buying tickets, to planning the best way to see the Alhambra, figuring out how to visit the Alhambra can be slightly befuddling.

To make it easier for you, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to visiting the Alhambra Palace. We really hope it’s helpful!!!

Indeed, for a national treasure and UNESCO World Heritage site, visiting the Alhambra is actually insanely confusing. At times, it feels near impossible to find the information you need. And while we certainly don’t have all the answers, we have some of them! This blog post contains everything we know about visiting the Alhambra, and our very best ‘visiting the Alhambra tips’ – hopefully, it helps you with your visit.

 

  • Alhambra Basics: A quick intro to the different components that make up the Alhambra complex, and the 3 different ticket check-points you’ll have to go through during your visit. Includes a summary of what to see in Alhambra and the most important visiting Alhambra tips for your visit.
  • Plan Ahead: Advice about when to start planning your visit, limits on the number of visitors allowed each day, and limits on visiting the Nasrid Palace Alhambra.
  • Plan Your Visit: Our thoughts on the best way to see Alhambra, including our recommended route for visiting the Alhambra.
  • Buy Your TicketsHow to buy Alhambra palace tickets using the official website or a third-party (if tickets on the official website are sold-out).
  • Alhambra Visit Tips for the Day You Go: A few tips based on our own experience, which we hope will make your Alhambra visit better!
  • What to Do if Alhambra Tickets are Sold Out and the Best Alhambra Tours: Tour options and troubleshooting if you can’t get tickets from the official website or through a third party.
  • Alhambra FAQS: We’ve done our best to answer your burning questions and provide our best Alhambra visit tips. 
  • Video and Map: A video Geoff made about the Alhambra, and our own personal Alhambra map you can access online to plan your trip.

 

How to Visit the Alhambra: Visiting Alhambra Basics

The Alhambra is not a singular building. Rather, it is a complex of buildings that you wander around over the course of three or four hours. There are several segments to the complex: the Nasrid Palaces, which in our opinion were the best part of a visit to the Alhambra; the Alcazaba, a fortress that offers spectacular views of Granada below; and the Generalife, which includes nice gardens and a smaller palace.

Nasrid PalaceNasrid Palace Alhambra View over Granada

 

AlcazabaAlcazaba Alhambra Granada

 

GeneralifeGeneralife Gardens and Pool Alhambra Granada

 

Each of these three sections are ticketed – you’ll need to show your ticket three different times throughout your visit, as you move between different sections of the Alhambra palace complex. You can visit the Alcazaba and the Generalife at any point during your visit to the complex, but you can only visit the Alhambra’s Nasrid Palace during your reserved time. More on this below in the Buy Alhambra Granada Tickets section. You may want to print off this official English map of the Alhambra to get an idea of the layout.

Note, we also have our own map which you can access through our email sign up form (below). It’s a Google Map which plots out our best tips for visiting the Alhambra.

 

Plan Ahead (You REALLY Need to Plan Ahead to Visit Alhambra!)

Granada limits the number of visitors who can visit the Alhambra to 6,600 per day. They also limit the number of visitors to the Nasrid Palaces within the Alhambra to 300 per half-hour. While this may sound like a lot, Alhambra tickets (and Nasrid Palace reservations) sell out early – like really, really early. If you intend to visit the Alhambra in peak season (summer!), it’s not uncommon to have to book up to 90 days in advance. Unfortunately, the Alhambra is one of those places where last minute travellers can get caught with their proverbial pants down, although it’s much easier to get last minute tickets in the winter. (Don’t worry if you can’t get tickets for your dates on the official website – you can purchase tickets from third parties, and you can also take an Alhambra tour. We’ve outlined the different options below).

In late 2017/early 2018, the Alhambra updated it’s ticketing procedures. While the new process makes it easier to buy Alhambra tickets than in the past (it used to be really, really confusing), it seems to have also made it harder to get tickets, as travel agencies seem to be buying them in bulk and then reselling them in upgraded packages. This means tickets seem to sell out even faster.

 

View of Alhambra Granada
A visit to the Alhambra can be confusing, but it is well worth it

 

Plan Your Alhambra Visit: What’s the Best Way to see Alhambra?

You can enter the Alhambra complex at either the main entrance or through the Gate of Justice. If you choose to enter through the main entrance, it makes sense to visit the Generalife first, and then the Nasrid Palaces and Alcazaba. If you enter through the Gate of Justice, then the opposite routing makes the most sense. 

Many websites recommend visiting the Generalife first and the Nasrid Palaces last. If you need to pick up your tickets from the Visitor Centre or the Granavision Welcome Visitor Center (required if you buy your Alhambra tickets through Get Your Guide), this routing makes sense.

When we visited, we did the opposite route: we visited the Nasrid Palace first, followed by the Alcazaba, and then the Generalife. If you’re able to  and we think it is the better way to go for a few reasons:

  • If you’re able to buy your Alhambra tickets online from the official website, and print them out prior to arriving at the Alhambra, you can walk from Plaza Nueva (in town) to the Alhambra entrance at the Gate of Justice, which puts you right near the queue for the Nasrid Palaces and the entrance to the Alcazaba. This means you can skip the busyness and crowds at the main entrance pavilion.
  • The entrance to the Nasrid Palaces is highly restricted (more on that below in the Buy Alhambra Tickets section). If you visit it last, you’ll have to plan out your entire visit so as to be at the Nasrid Palaces at the correct time, lest you miss your reservation. To me, that sounds stressful. If you visit the Nasrid Palaces first (or second, after the Alcazaba), you won’t have to adhere to a tight schedule, meaning you can take your time, take a break when needed, and relax while enjoying the remainder of the complex.
  • The views of Granada from the Nasrid Palaces entrance lineup are spectacular in the early morning. We would recommend entering the Nasrid Palaces during the first reservation of the day (8:30am), so you can enjoy gorgeous light over Andalucia while you wait in line. Plus, the line up for the Nasrid Palaces can be long, and the temperature will be more comfortable first thing than in the middle of the day.

As you’ll see below, these recommendations are all based on the assumption that you’re able to get tickets from the official website, and have control over when your Nasrid Palace reservation is for. If you miss-out on the official website tickets and purchase online tickets through a third-party provider, you will be assigned a Nasrid Palace reservation. In that case, you can choose your route of visit based on whatever makes sense for your time. It’s about a 10- to 15-minute walk from the Granavision Welcome Visitor Center to the Palace of Justice Entrance (and just a few minutes from the main entrance), so it’s still easy enough to do the “backwards” route if you prefer that.

 

Alhambra Granada Tickets: How to Buy Your Tickets

This used to be the most confusing part of visiting the Alhambra, but it has been simplified recently. Ideally, you’ll want to buy your tickets online, up to 90 days before your visit, and then either print the tickets at home, or pick them up once you arrive in Granada.

You have the option to buy your tickets through the official Alhambra website, although these sell out REALLY fast, and are only available up to 90 days before your visit. If you successfully purchase tickets through the official website at home, you can print them at home and use that as your ticket. Alternatively, you can purchase the tickets through a 3rd-party re-seller, and then pick them up once you arrive in Granada. If tickets for both of these options are sold out, you can also look at taking a tour, which will include a ticket – more information on this is below.

Below, we’ve outlined the step-by-step instructions for purchasing Alhambra tickets. We’ve first included instructions for purchasing Alhambra tickets via the official website, followed by how to buy them from a re-seller (in case you can’t get tickets through the official website). If both options are sold out, you still have the option of booking one of the many Alhambra guided tours, which will also include a ticket.

 

Purchasing Alhambra Granada Tickets Through the Official Website

1. Go to the ticket page of the Alhambra Granada official website, here: https://tickets.alhambra-patronato.es/en/. There are a lot of websites out there that look official, but are not, so your best bet is to use this website.

2. Choose which type of visit you want: you’ll probably choose either Alhambra General, which gives you access to the Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces, and Generalife (aka, the main highlights), or Night Visit, in which case you’ll have to buy both the Night Visit to Nasrid Palaces AND the Night Visit to Gardens and Generalife ticket, assuming you want to see both. Once you’ve decided on your ticket, click Buy Tickets. The process below is for buying an Alhambra General Ticket, which is the most popular ticket.

3. Click the big red “Purchase Tickets” button, and select the number and type of tickets you want. Continue to Step 2, and choose the date you want to visit (tickets are available up to 90 days in advance, unless they are already sold out).

4. Here is where things get slightly confusing. If you’re buying a General Ticket, you’ll need to make a reservation for the Nasrid Palace*. You can only enter the Nasrid Palace at the time listed on your ticket, but once you’re in, there is no time limit. Choose from the times available to make your Nasrid Palace Reservation. If you make a reservation in the morning, you’ll automatically be assigned a morning ticket for the entire complex, and will have to complete your entire visit during the morning session (08:30 to 14:00 – some seasonal variation). Conversely, if you make an afternoon reservation, you’ll be assigned an afternoon ticket, which is valid from (14:00 to 20:00 – some seasonal variation).

You don’t have to visit the Nasrid Palace first during your visit, so if your reservation is for 10am, for example, you can visit other parts of the complex before 10am and after 10am, but you’ll have to pass through your final ticket checkpoint and complete all three main points of interest (Nasrid Palace, Alcazaba, and Generalife) before the morning session expires.

*For the Nasrid Palaces, they allow 300 people to enter every 30 minutes, and you must enter in the 30-minute window printed on your ticket, or you’re out of luck. In the winter, the lineups to enter the Nasrid Palaces aren’t terrible. However, in the high season, it is recommended that you are in line for the Nasrid Palace up to one-hour prior to the 30 minute window you’ve reserved!

5. Enter your personal information and pay for the tickets. If you were successful, print the tickets and keep them in good condition – the QR code needs to be machine readable on the day of your visit.

 

Purchasing Alhambra Tickets Through a Third-Party

If tickets are sold out on the official website, you have two options: buy tickets through a third-party, or book an Alhambra guided tour. This process covers how to buy tickets through a third-party (in this case, Get Your Guide). If those are sold out and you need to book a tour of the Alhambra palace (or you’d simply prefer to go that way, to benefit from an experienced guide), we’ve listed some tour options below in the “What to Do if Alhambra Tickets are Sold Out” section).

1. We recommend Get Your Guide for third-party tickets and tours. While no third-party ticket provider is going to be perfect, we use Get Your Guide when we travel to book tours and tickets and have always had a good experience. They offer Alhambra tickets here. (If you go with this option, we’d love it if you let us know how the experience is – we always want to hear feedback, both positive and negative, so we can adjust our suggestions for future readers).

2. Choose the day you’d like to visit on the Get Your Guide website. Note, if you buy tickets this way, you may not have a choice whether you visit in the morning or afternoon. At the time of writing, for example, all the tickets for the dates I checked were for the morning session.

3. Get Your Guide will automatically assign you a reservation to the Nasrid Palace, so you don’t need to make a reservation. This also means you don’t get to choose what time you visit – it will be printed on your ticket, which you pick up on the day of your visit.

4. Pick up your ticket on the day of your visit at the Granavision Welcome Visitor Center, Paseo de la Sabica 15, 18009 Granada. This is located near the main entrance to the Alhambra, or about a 10- to 15-minute walk from the Gate of Justice (if you choose to do things in reverse, as we did). You’ll also get an audio guide for your visit, but you need to bring your own headphones to use.  

 

View of Granada from the Alhambra
The plus side of walking up that huge hill to the Alhambra: the views of Andalucia!

 

Visiting Alhambra Tips for the Day of Your Visit

  • Wear sensible shoes. You’ll want to plan on walking throughout the complex for between three and four hours, on average.
  • Bring sun protection, including both sunscreen and something to keep the sun off your face. Southern Spain can get very hot, and you don’t want to get sunburnt while exploring!
  • To get to the Alhambra, you can either take one of the minibuses from Plaza Nueva or walk. If you choose to walk and you already have your printed ticket, we’d recommend you enter at Puerta de la Justica, which is about a 15-minute uphill walk from Plaza Nueva. If you enter here, you must already have tickets. If you don’t have tickets, take the bus to the main entrance.
  • If possible, we’d really recommend visiting the Nasrid Palaces during the first reservation of the day (8:30am), and then working your way through the rest of the complex.
  • You can purchase basic drinks and food on site, but food stops aren’t plentiful, so you may want to bring water and a snack.
  • If you have mobility issues, accommodations can be arranged. Get in touch with the Alhambra people in advance of your visit.
  • Strollers can be brought onto the Alhambra grounds, but not into the Nasrid Palace and Generalife, so it may be wise to bring a baby carrier for young children.
  • Selfie sticks, camera flashes, and tripods are prohibited in sections of the Alhambra.
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Wondering Where to Stay in Granada? Check Out Our Guide of the Best Areas to Stay in Granada, Complete with Hotel Recommendations! We can also help you plan your trip with our Free Guide to Andalusia, One-Day in Seville Itinerary, and Where to Stay in Seville Guide.


What To Do if Alhambra Tickets Are Sold Out?

 

Too Confusing? Tickets Sold Out? Recently, a reader got in touch saying he’d messed up: he didn’t know he had to book ahead of time, and all the tickets were sold out. He asked us what his options were, and I honestly didn’t really know. So I researched it, and it turns out you’re not totally out of options.

 

Probably the easiest option is to book one of the many Alhambra guided tours available. Tour companies — being the savvy organizers and planners, they are — know that some people won’t know how far in advance they have to book, and they’ll be ready to help you.

We’ve done some research, and have listed some tour options below. Basically, we looked for the highest-rated tours, checked the reviews to make sure they’re good, and then thought about which tours we would be interested in taking ourselves. Those are the tours you’ll find below!

 

Skip the Line Tour

4.5 / 5 from 1925 reviews
Alhambra skip the line tour

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The Alhambra & Generalife 3-Hour Guided Tour is a very popular tour, and well reviewed. Not having to wait in lines, and a knowledgeable guide, and if you’re visiting in the summer, three hours might just be about perfect. If you’ve left it too late to get a desirable reservation time, this is probably a good option for you.

 

Private Tour

5 / 5 from 16 reviews

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Similarly, the Alhambra, Nasrid Palaces & Generalife Private Tour gets excellent reviews. It’s more expensive, but you get personalized service, and more of an in-depth lesson. You also get to do the whole “skip the line” thing.

 

Small Group Guided Tour

5 / 5 from 123 reviews
Alhambra and Generalife Small-Group Guided Tour in Granada

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The Alhambra and Generalife Small Group Guided Tour is about 3 hours long, which feels like the exact right amount of time to see what you need to see, and learn some of the history, without being overkill. It includes skip-the-line entrance, which makes things much more convenient than trying arrange it all yourself. It gets great reviews.

 

Another Great Option

4.9 / 5 from 25 reviews

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Another well liked and well reviewed Skip-the-Line: Alhambra Palace & Generalife Gardens. The few reviews it has are great, some remarked that it was more expensive than others, but worth the price. Tours are only as good as the guide, and many reviewers commented on how professional and knowledgeable they were, even with kids. The timing seems to be the right amount for most people, 2.5 – 3 hours.

 

If you’re interested in a tour that includes transportation to and from your Granada hotel, this Skip the Line: Alhambra and Generalife Gardens Half-Day Tour on Viator includes pick up and drop off, as well as ‘Skip the Line’ tickets and a guided tour. Starting at ~$68, and including the €15 ticket, door-to-door transport from your hotel, not having to wait in lines, and a knowledgeable guide, it seems like a pretty good deal.

 

Click here to see more Alhambra tours!

 

If you don’t want to take a tour, but haven’t been able to buy tickets…

 

  • You can explore the gardens for free. Honestly, this option kind of sucks for the most part, because inside the attractions is awesome. What is cool about this, is you get a great view of the city when standing in the free part, near the entrance to Nasrid Palace. So it’s not a total bust, but also not the best.
  • Finally, you could book a night ticket to either or both of the Nasrid Palaces and Generalife and Gardens (you will miss out on the Alcazaba though – I imagine it’s probably a safety hazard to visit at night). That’s what the reader who emailed us did, and he found it to be fine, but not perfect. He said it was difficult to take nice photos, because it was so dark, but also because the ‘no flash’ rule isn’t enforced, so other people’s flashes are constantly going off. His advice: good in a pinch, but it would be a nicer experience if you could visit in the daytime

 


Heading to Seville, Next? Let Us Help You Decide Where to Stay in Seville, & Find Out Our Favorite Things to Do

Where to Stay in Seville Guide / What to Do in Seville


Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting the Alhambra

 

When’s the Best Time to Visit the Alhambra (Season)?

The best time of year to visit the Alhambra is in the early fall and the late spring, due to warm weather, limited rainfall, and smaller crowds compared to summer. That said, Granada is quite pleasant throughout the year, making the Alhambra a great year-round destination.

In terms of climate, the Alhambra Granada sits on the 37th parallel (North), putting it roughly in line with southern Utah, Colorado, and Kansas, and the northern parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Summers are hot and dry, and winters are cool, but rarely cold. April are November are the rainiest months, averaging 12 days and 10 days of rain, respectively. Even in the rainiest months, however, Granada is still relatively dry, receiving 6 cm (2.3 inches) of rain or less, on average.

  • Alhambra in January: Average highs of 11°C (52°F) and lows of 1°C (34°F). Average rainfall in January is 49 mm (1.9 inches), with an average of 8 rainy days per month.
  • Alhambra in February: Average highs of 12°C (54°F) and lows of 2°C (36°F). Average rainfall in February is 40 mm (1.6 inches), with an average of 9 rainy days per month.
  • Alhambra in March: Average highs of 15°C (59°F)  and lows of 4°C (39°F). Average rainfall in March is 25 mm (1 inch), with an average of 8 rainy days per month.
  • Alhambra in April: Average highs of 17°C (63°F) and lows of 6°C (43°F). Average rainfall in Month is 42 mm (1.7 inches), with an average of 12 rainy days per month.
  • Alhambra in May: Average highs of 22°C (72°F) and lows of 9°C (48°F). Average rainfall in Month is 22 mm (0.9 inches), with an average of 9 rainy days per month.
  • Alhambra in June: Average highs of 27°C (81°F) and lows of 13°C (55°F). Average rainfall in Month is 14 mm (0.6 inches), with an average of 5 rainy days per month.
  • Alhambra in July: Average highs of 32°C (90°F) and lows of 16°C (61°F). Average rainfall in Month is 8 mm (0.3 inches), with an average of 2 rainy days per month.
  • Alhambra in August: Average highs of 32°C (90°F) and lows of 16°C (61°F). Average rainfall in Month is 3 mm (0.1 inches), with an average of 7 rainy days per month.
  • Alhambra in September: Average highs of 28°C (82°F) and lows of 14°C (57°F). Average rainfall in Month is 9 mm (0.4 inches), with an average of 4 rainy days per month.
  • Alhambra in October: Average highs of 21°C (70°F) and lows of 9°C (48°F). Average rainfall in Month is 35 mm (1.4 inches), with an average of 9 rainy days per month.
  • Alhambra in November: Average highs of 15°C (59°F) and lows of 5°C (41°F). Average rainfall in Month is 67 mm (2.6 inches), with an average of 10 rainy days per month.
  • Alhambra in December: Average highs of 11°C (52°F) and lows of 2°C (36°F). Average rainfall in Month is 42 mm (1.6 inches), with an average of 10 rainy days per month.

 

Is it Still Worth Visiting the Alhambra in Winter?

An Alhambra winter is still pretty pleasant in terms of weather, and we think it’s absolutely worth visiting! We visited in February, and had a great time :)

Other than temperature and rainfall, the biggest consideration about visiting the Alhambra in winter is the amount of daylight you’ll have to complete your visit. December and January are the months with the most limited daylight, although there s still more than enough time to see the Alhambra, which requires roughly 3 to 4 hours. If you do decide to visit in the winter, we’d suggest not rushing your trip, and leaving a few extra days to see Granada, so you’re not racing against the clock (or, in this scenario, racing against the setting sun).

 

What’s the Best Time to Visit Alhambra: Morning or Afternoon?

In our opinion, the best time of day to visit the Alhambra is the morning, although it does depend somewhat on the season. During high season (summer), average temperatures are as high as 32°C (90°F). Visiting Alhambra in the morning allows you to get the bulk of your visit over and done with before the strongest heat of the day sets in. In winter, a morning or late afternoon visit will allow you to catch some of the most beautiful light of the day, which is great for photos. In December, the sun rises in Granada around 8am and sets around 6pm (although it starts to get dark earlier than that).

 

What’s the Best Time to Visit the Nasrid Palace in the Alhambra?

The Nasrid Palaces are the busiest and most popular part of the entire Alhambra complex, and require a reservation to enter. If you’re lucky enough to get tickets from the official Alhambra website, you’ll have the luxury of choosing your reservation time. In this case, we recommend making a reservation for the earliest time possible, and making the Nasrid Palaces the first stop on your Alhambra visit.

If you can’t buy Alhambra tickets through the official website, you’ll need to buy them through a third-party website such as Get Your Guide, and if you go this route, you will have a reservation time for the Nasrid Palace automatically assigned to you.

Really, the best time to visit the Nasrid Palace is whenever you can get a reservation. It’s a beautiful complex, and you’re likely to enjoy it no matter what time of day you visit!

 

How to Get to the Alhambra?

You can walk, take minibus, or catch a taxi from Granada city centre to the Alhambra.

If you plan to walk, use Cafeteria Lisboa (Calle Reyes Católicos, 67) as the starting point, and walk up Cuesta de Gomerez to the Puerta de las Granadas (Gate of the Pomegranates), continuing up a fairly steep path until you see the stairs leading up to the Puerta de la Justicia (Gate of Justice) on your left. This will take you right into the Alhambra near the Alcazaba and Nasrid Palaces – very convenient if you already have your ticket, but not so convenient if you don’t. If you don’t have your tickets, you can continue another 10 to 15 minutes to the main entrance, or the Granavision Welcome Centre, where you pick up tickets purchased through Get Your Guide. Continue along Cuesta de Gomerez, which will merge with Paseo del Generalife. That will take you to the Main Entrance and/or the Granavision Welcome Centre.

If you plan to take the minibus, you can catch Bus C3 from Plaza Nueva for €1,20. Buses leave every 10 minutes, and you need to get off at the “Generalife” stop.

 

What’s the Best Way to See the Alhambra?

In an idea world, you’ll allow yourself about 4 hours to visit the Alhambra, and start early in the morning, starting first at the Nasrid Palace, followed by the Alcazaba and the Generalife. We also recommend either joining a highly-rated tour (so you benefit from the knowledge of a trained guide) or visiting the complex independently, but with a well-rated and detailed guidebook that gives you some of the background and history of the complex.

 

Is it Necessary to Take an Alhambra Tour?

You can visit the Alhambra quite easily on your own, without a tour. It’s worth mentioning, however, there isn’t a lot of information about each area on-site, so if you’d like to get a detailed background and explanation of what you’re seeing, a knowledgeable guide or good guidebook will be well worth the investment.

If you choose to join a group, there are plenty of Alhambra guided tours out there to choose from. We recommend booking through Get Your Guide; it’s a tour aggregator, which means it allows customers to compare reviews of tours offered by competing tour operators…and allows you to find the best Alhambra tour for your specific needs (much like Booking.com is a hotel aggregator, Get Your Guide is a tour aggregator).

Buy it on Amazon

Granada Revealed: The Alhambra (Spain Travel Guide) — Updated for 2017 – A kindle book you can print out as a PDF, or can use on a device. An in-depth look at the key features of the palaces, gardens, and architectural details. It includes advice and itineraries to follow while visiting the Alhambra, maps, and images.

 

Can You Bring Children to the Alhambra?

Yes, of course. That said, it’s worth noting you can’t bring a stroller/buggy into the Nasrid Palace or Generalife. There are special areas to keep the strollers while you’re visiting this part of the complex, but that – of course – doesn’t help you with managing your child. If you have a baby carrier, this might be the day to use it. Or store a carrier in your buggy basket, and use the carrier for the two sections needed.

 

What’s Next?

Glad you asked. First, we recommend you get our free Alhambra map, which you can look at online while you’re planning your trip, and also while you’re actually in Granada, trying to find each spot!

Get Access to our Free Alhambra Map!

 

 

If you want to get a feel for what it’s like at the Alhambra, Geoff made a beautiful video about it here:

 

Where to Stay in Granada

When we visited Granada, we stayed in an Airbnb apartment that was a bit far out. If I were to do it again, I’d probably get a hotel closer to the centre. And because we started getting so many emails from people wondering where to stay in Granada, we actually created an entire post on it. We hired a local blogger who’s lived in Granada for 4 years to outline all the best places to stay, and then went in and added our own thoughts and tips!

You can see our Where to Stay in Granada Guide here! We really hope it helps with your trip planning!

 


 

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Tips for Visiting the Alhambra in Granada, Spain - know before you go all out tips for visiting the Alhambra.

159 thoughts on “The Alhambra: Tips for Visiting the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain”

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    1. I’m intrigued by the idea of visiting the Alhambra twice. Once for the General admission during the day and once for the Alhambra by night opportunity. What are your thoughts? Thank you.

      1. Great question! Hopefully we’ll get a reader opinion, as we didn’t do it ourselves. I think the night visit would be especially awesome if you enjoy photography!

      2. I did it when I visited in January 2016 and I thought it was worth it. I visited once in the afternoon with a guide and again at night by myself. The second time around gave me another opportunity to spend more time in certain rooms and get great night pictures.

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  3. For picking up the tickets, do the La Caixa Bank ATMs in Granada or the ticket dispensers accept international credit cards? We will be coming from the U.S and don’t want to run into any trouble with the machines as we have heard some people did have trouble printing tickets.

    1. Yes, you must use the same card you purchased the tickets with on Ticketmaster. Best to stick with Visa or Mastercard as you may have trouble with AMEX or Diner’s etc. The ticketing system is pretty slick and accommodates visitor’s from all over. If you’re in doubt, use the machine in the Alhambra shop near the main square (Plaza Nueva), it’ll be busy but there is staff there that can help -enjoy!

      1. Hi Katie/Geoff,

        Thanks for posting such a useful guide.
        I basically followed your advice and booked a spot to visit Nasrid Palace first (8.30am).
        The issue I have is I will be arrving at Granada at around 7pm by train the day before visiting Alhambra. At that hour, can I still collect my ticket (from La Caxia ATM perhaps which should be operating till very late I reckon)? Can I assume that these ATMs have English instructions?
        If none of the collection point in Granada is opened at 7pm, I guess my last resort would be to print the ticket at the box office/main entrance (at 8am sharp) and dash off to Gate of Justice. Can I make it to the Gate of Justice from the box office in about 20 minutes? Is the route clearly signed?
        Any advice would be much appreciated and thanks.

        1. Hi! Not all la Caixa ATM’s are ticket printers, these are usually, or at least were, inside the bank. However, you don’t have to be in Granada to do this. If you are visiting another city in Andelucia beforehand, (possibly beyond but not sure, have heard of some folks printing tix in Barcelona but can’t confirm) maybe hunt one down there, the machine is quite slick and will recognize your reservation from your card and prompt you from there, there is a selection for English. The website has a branch locator tool so I would try to arrange this in advance if you can as I’m not sure just how late the branches are open. I’ve also heard there maybe a ticket printer machine in the Carrefour supermarket – worth looking into! Main entrance to Nasrid is a bit of a hike, 20min is do-able but crowds at the gate will slow you down and you should already be in line at that point. The route is clearly marked however. Hope that helps – enjoy!

          1. Thanks for the tips! We have a potential problem that may arise. We purchased tickets online with our Visa card. Everything went well, the transaction went through. However, our card has a hold placed on it. The card is not expired, however, we cannot make any charges on it for now due to the hold and we will not have it replaced until after our trip to Spain. We were wondering if you know whether this will prevent the La Caixa machine from recognizing the card for us to print the Al hambra tickets out?

          2. Oh wow! What a conundrum. The most honest answer is I don’t know. Are you able to put the card into a machine and have it be recognized in your home country? If so, my instinct is that it would be fine. If not, then probably not. If that’s the case, I found this information online: “Contact directly to 0034 958027950 or 0034 902 888001 for any question about the entrance tickets (purchase, refund, etc.) ordered through the Banca Telefónica de La Caixa. For entrance tickets booked in advance by Internet, contact to http://www.servicaixa.com.” I can’t say it’s correct, but certainly would be worth trying! Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

          3. Thanks for the advice! I honestly am not so sure either. However, I have read about some people saying that the card they used to purchase the tickets with expired before their visit date or was replaced by a new card and they spoke to staff and told them this and showed them proof of purchase (email confirmation) along with ID and were able to get tickets so I’m hoping at the least we should be able to do the same. I just don’t want to have to stand in the same line as those who are trying to buy tickets on the same day.

          4. Well good luck, and please let us know how it turns out! The Alhambra is awesome, so I’m sure you’ll have a great time either way :)

      2. what time does the shop open? I’m booked into the 9am slot for nasrid palace and I’m worried I will still be in th e queue when I’m due to go in

        1. Katie Matthews

          Which shop? You mean the shop to pick up the tickets? I would recommend picking up the tickets the day before if possible. You can also pick them up from an ATM machine, which would have no opening/closing hours.

          Unless I misunderstood, and you need a shop for a different reason? Sorry and thanks for clarifying!

  4. Hi! Great and useful article. I took a look at the ticket master site and doesn’t look like any tickets are being offered past May 31st. I’m planning to go mid-late July. Have they changed the policy in being able to buy up to 90 days in advance?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi! I checked and it looks like they are now on sale until the end of June, so they very well may have changed their policy.

  5. Hey Katie, as per your suggestion, have booked Alhambra tickets, for an 8.30am entry into Nasrid Palace,for an August visit. I do have a doubt though – if the entry into the Alhambra complex itself is at 8.30am, then how will we be able to enter Nasrid Palace at that exact entry time? We do plan to enter by the gate you have suggested.

    1. Hi Uma! Thanks for the question. I *think* (If I remember correctly), the Nasrid Palace opens at 8:30am, but the main gates open at 8:00, or maybe even earlier. In either case, we were able to go into the main part of the complex before our 8:30 starting time for the Nasrid Palace. I hope this helps!

      1. TOTALLY helps in allaying the tension! Alhambra is at the top of my bucket list and I do so want to see it in detail and calmly, so your suggestions are very welcome. I will ensure we reach the gate by 7.30am. That should be good enough right?
        We are in Granada for 2 nights, in a lovely apartment. Could you suggest any bars/restaurants to eat lunch/dinner/lounge at? We love experiencing local atmosphere and food :)

        1. Glad we could help! 7:30 is good, you’ll have a bit of waiting around to do but better to be early. Can’t be much help on the restaurant scene unfortunately, but we would recommend finding a cafe with a view of the Alhambra – there are plenty and sitting on a terrace looking at the entire complex makes the experience complete! Enjoy!

    1. Good question! As far as we know, they only restrictions are the visits to the monuments, which you have a scheduled time for. The amount of visitors aren’t limited to rest of the complex. Let us know!

  6. Hi, I have a bit of a query I’ve booked tickets for the 2pm-8pm time slot and my Nasrid Palace entrance time is 3pm. I’ll be arriving from Seville the same day by bus, my bus reaches Granada at 11:15 am. Which is the closest collection point that I can go to, to collect my tickets? Also, I have a Pakistani credit card with which I made the booking, can I still collect the tickets using the ServiCaixa terminals? Because I read somewhere that only people with Spanish credit cards can do that. Your article is THE MOST helpful link I found on this whole debacle that is purchasing tickets for Al-hambra!!!

    1. Hi Myra! Thanks! It’s certainly not limited to Spanish credit cards, the only stipulation is that it’s the same card used to make the booking, however I’m not sure if there would be any difficulty with a Pakistani card. As far as the closest on to the bus station, I’m not entirely sure, here is a list of ATM’s in the city (http://banksspain.com/atms/lacaixa-bank-offices-and-atms-in-granada) but not all are ticket points. With uncertainty on the card, I think you’d be better off heading to the pick-up machine in the Alhambra gift store on Plaza Nueva. This is where you’d begin your walk or bus up to the complex anyway…Enjoy!

  7. Hi Katie, Unfortunately didn’t see your website until now. I already booked morning tickets for Oct 18 with noon palace entry (regretting it). But it will have to do. Since we should be in line at 11:30am for palace. Should we start with Generalife first, the palace, the fortress? I understand from Genealife to palace is downhill while from palace to Generalife is going uphill. I am afraid that after going to palace first then to Generalife, I will need to rush to get to Generalife before my 2pm entry expires. Thank you.

    1. Hi Dee,

      Thanks for getting in touch! I’m sure noon will be just fine for the palace…October should be a nice time to go as well!I think you’re right that there is a slight hill, but I think it was quite small, so I probably wouldn’t worry too much about that, or let it play into your decision making. That said, it sounds like a good idea to go to the Generalife first, just so you don’t stress and are able to relax and enjoy your visit. Have fun…it’s a really nice trip!

  8. I’m so glad I found this article for the Alhambra! I just finished booking my tickets and it looks like had I waited any longer I would have been out of luck. As it happens we are only able to get tickets for the afternoon. Thanks!

  9. This is so clearly organised and well thought out. Very helpful. I read Green Summer by Karen Colibri and it gave me a real insight into what happened in the Alhambra Palace and now I just have to go see for myself. Thank you for this information.

    1. Thanks for the comment, and I hope it’s helpful once you make it there! I haven’t heard of that book but will have to track it down!

  10. Hi, great article this. I have tickets for Nasrid @ 14.00, am I able to access other parts of the alhambra before this? Would like to have a wonder around prior to entering the ticketed area. I also arrive into Granada late the night before and am trying to work out the best way to collect my tickets which are for a sunday visit.

    thanks

    1. Hi Darren,

      Thanks for getting in touch, and I hope you have a great visit! For Question 1 (accessing other parts of the Alhambra before 14:00), the answer is No…and yes. Let me explain.

      If you have a reservation for Nasrid Palace at 14:00, you have an ‘afternoon’ ticket, which only gives you access to the ticketed parts of the complex from 14:00 to 20:00. So, if you want to visit the Generalife or Alcazaba (the other 2 ticketed parts), you can only enter through the ticket check point between 14:00 and 20:00 (earlier in winter). That said, there are free garden grounds in between, and you CAN access those from the Gate of Justice entrance (and possibly the main entrance – sorry, can’t remember). So what I’d recommend you do, is arrive at the Gate of Justice when you want, then go check out the line up for Nasrid Palace and figure out what time you need to get in line for your 2pm reservation, then you can go wander a bit. There’s a cool round building right near the Nasrid Palace, nice views of the city, and a few basic cafés. Once you’re done with the Nasrid Palace, you can go into the Alcazaba and Generalife at your leisure.

      As for question 2 (collecting tickets), probably your best bet is one of the SERVICAIXA ATM machines on Sunday morning. You just put the credit card you used to book the tickets into the machine, and it prompts you through the process before spitting out your tickets. There are lots of these around the city, and if you’re arriving in Granada from another city in Andalucia, you can do it before you even get there.

      I hope this helps, and have fun!

      1. Many thanks for that Katie, very clear and we will definitely visit the open areas prior to 14.00 to get our bearings. We arrive this saturday and cat wait, its always somewhere i have wanted to visit. If you think of any other places you would recommend in Granada/sourounding area, would welcome your comments, we are in granada for 5 days.

        thanks again.

  11. Hello Katie/Geoff, thank you for such a complete guide to visit Alhambra. It’s very useful. I plan to visit the monument in this coming winter vacation. I’d like to know when we put the credit card to the machine to print the ticket, do we have to input a PIN number of our credit card? If I buy the afternoon ticket (14.00-18.00), what is your suggestion regarding the schedule to enter the Nasrid Palace? Would it be 14.00 or 14.30 is the best? If I take 14.30 to Nasrid, would it be possible to explore the Alcazaba within 30 minutes prior to entering the Nasrid?

    1. Hi, and sorry for the delay in getting back to you! I can’t remember, but I am 90% sure you had to put the PIN into the machine when you pick up the tickets. The machine is just a normal bank ATM in the bank. But again, I can’t totally remember. If you have a ticket for 14:00 to 18:00, personally, I would do the Nasrid Palace right away…then you don’t have to worry about getting back to the Palace on time for your reservation (which I would), but everyone is different. I think I needed more time to explore the Alcazaba than 30 minutes. It is all so big, I think the best thing to do is try to plan it so you can enjoy, and aren’t rushed too much. I hope that’s helpful – definitely just my opinions, but maybe they’re useful?

  12. Hi I would in Granada this coming weekend….I wanted to know that if I purchased the tickets for Alhambra for a certain time slot say in the morning,can I use the same tickets for multiple entries into and out of the Palace?

    1. Hey Sara — sorry, I don’t actually know the answer to that. However, I *think* the answer is no. I believe you only get one entry per ticket check point. Let us know? And have fun!

  13. Hi Katie,

    Thanks very much for sharing these information, I am planning to visit Alhambra on 4 March 2016. As still in Winter, will you recommend morning or afternoon section? I am bit worry that the light for photo and too cold to walk up to the hill.’

    If I choose Morning session but 9am entry to the Palace, is that will work according to your recommend route?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi there! Thanks for getting in touch, and we hope your visit to the Alhambra is great :)

      We visited in February, so also in the winter. It wasn’t too cold, but we’re from Canada, so we’re used to it. Ha ha! But you’re right about the light for photos – it was darker for longer in the morning. It was still okay for us, but if you’re worried I’m sure the afternoon will be great as well!

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  15. Thank you for the detailed advise about Alhambra.
    We plan to buy advance tickets in line. But
    how and where do we buy audioguide for this visit?

    1. Hi there! We didn’t actually get an audioguide, so I’m not 100% sure, but I recall seeing them once you enter the grounds, in the gift shops. There is one at the main entrance, and also one near the side entrance we used, close to the Nasrid Palace! Enjoy your visit and good luck with the tickets :)

  16. Hi Katie, your article is very helpful!

    I am going the Alhambra for morning session(08:30-14:00). As long as I get in any places (except for Nasri-which has a specific time) between the time slot, can i look around until any time (even after 14:00), or do they tell you that you have to go out by 14:00? The reason i am asking is because the earliest time we can get there will be 11:00 which might make us a bit chased to be limited by 14:00.

    Thank you !!!

    1. Hello Soyeon,

      Thank you for your comment! The only restriction for you on the visit, is there are several “gates” where you must scan your ticket to go through the gate. I *think* (not 100% sure) that after 14:00, you will not be able to scan your ticket to go through the gates. So, you’ll be wise to plan your visit to be through the gated areas before 14:00. The gated areas are: 1) Nasrid Palace 2) Palacio de Generalife and 3) the Alcazaba (I think). once you pass through the gate, you are free to stay, so I think as long as you enter by 13:59 it should be okay!!!

      I don’t know how fast you are as a visitor, but for us, 3 hours to get into the gated areas would have been fine…really it translates to 1 hour per gated area, and then you can wander the other grounds after. The Nasrid palace is where you need the most time. The Alcazaba , we took about 30 minutes, and the same with Palacio Generalife. With the Nasrid Palace, we used about an hour, if I remember correctly!

      I hope this helps!

  17. I live in the USA and I am planning my visit to the Alhambra. My credit card does not have a pin. My ATM card has a pin #. Do I have to use my ATM or can I just use a regular credit card?

    1. Hey Tony! Great question, and I actually don’t know the answer because all Canadian cards a pin-enabled. I know American travellers have a huge issue with this across a number of situations, as without a PIN you’ll be unable to use your credit card in many countries. My best suggestion would be to try to buy the tickets online using your ATM card on the ticket master site. I *think* (but I don’t know) that if you’re able to make the purchase, then you’d be able to pick up the tickets. The other thing you could do is book at tour that includes tickets. Also: is your ATM card a Visa ATM card? I know in Canada this is becoming standard…so we’re able to use our ATM like a credit card if needed. I would guess if you have a Visa ATM it won’t be a problem. I hope this helps – sorry I don’t know the answer!!!!

      1. Thank you Katie. After your comment, I contacted my bank and they will be providing me with a pin number.
        I am really looking forward to visiting Alhambra, since I was unable to do it a few years ago. I got to the parking lot – a few years ago – and they were sold out for the day. I was not aware that it is advisable to make reservation with plenty of time. I am living proof of how frustrating it is to get there and not be able to visit.

        1. Oh that’s so great to hear! Especially after missing out on the opportunity last time, I’m glad you’re all set to go! And we’re definitely had so many moments like that before…where we didn’t know you needed a reservation, or to plan in advance!

          Enjoy your visit – it is such a spectacular place. And if you have time after, grab a coffee or meal on the “other” side of the valley, where the restaurants and cafes offer spectacular views of the Alhambra from afar!

          Have fun and happy travels!

          1. Hi, this has been such a helpful resource in sorting out my Alhambra plans. So we are 2 adults and 2 children (under 15), travelling in July. The website says that tickets for adults is 14 E and 8 E for children. However, ticket master asks for the number of tickets only and adds up 4 adult ticket prices. wondering why?

          2. Katie Matthews

            I’m so glad it’s been helpful! I just went to the ticket master website to see if I could figure it out. When I try to purchase, the “flow” of purchase is as follows: select a date => select # of tickets => select a time => and then I arrive at section 3, which is called “See the special offers and compare prices!”

            In that section, there is an option for “NIÑOS DE 12-15 A” ==> children 12 to 15. And when I select that, it changes the price for those tickets to €9,40 (which I guess includes the ticketmaster fee?).

            Does that work for you? Let me know!

  18. Antonio Goulart

    HI Katie,

    As our date to visit Alhambra get closer, and since we will be driving to Granada and plan to enter Alhambra through the Justice Gate, I am wondering if there is a suggested parking closer than the Main Entrance Parking Lot.
    If not, what is roughly the walking distance (in time) from the Main parking to the Justice Gate?
    Thank you

    1. Hey! I can’t actually remember if there is a parking lot close to the Justice Gate…when I think about it, I don’t think there was. I also checked a map online, and there wasn’t a “P” icon near the Justice Gate, so I’d say probably not? Walking between the two, I’d say you probably need about 15 minutes, if you walk at a reasonably brisk (not leisurely) pace! Have a fun visit :)

  19. Great Article and very thorough work.
    I am planning on visiting Alhambra in the next few days.
    I’m thinking of purchasing Granada City Card as the online tickets are already sold out. Nice video as well.
    Thanks.

  20. Thank you so much for the information! We will be driving from Ronda in the morning, right at the end of August and so want to allow plenty of time for traffic. If I book the afternoon slot, and choose say 3:00pm for the Nasrid Palace, does that mean we should have an hour to walk through the other areas, or will we need to jump in the line much earlier to make the 3:00pm slot? Also, will parking be a nightmare at that time of day?

    1. Hello Daniel,

      Thanks for the comment! You can enter the “free” part of the gardens at any time…it’s only the “check point” that you have to be within your time slot. I really have no idea about parking unfortunately, but what I would probably do in your situation is enter at the Gate of Justice (not the main entrance), and then visit the Alcazaba first, at 2pm. It doesn’t take very long to visit, so you could explore that, and then when done get in line for your 3pm Nasrid Palace reservation. Once that’s over, you could explore the Generalife!

      Alternatively, you could enter at the main gate, and walk your way over to the Nasrid Palace, and explore the free parts along the way. Then, explore the gated parts (Alcazaba and Generalife) after you’re finished at Nasrid Palace.

      Good luck!

      Katie

  21. I wanted to purchase 3 Alhambra General tickets for this Oct but after choosing the time slot for Nasrid Palace I come to this part “You can choose all the promotions on offer:CARNET JOVEN EUR, MAYORES 65 A.UE, NIÑOS DE 12-15 A, DISCAPACIDAD>33, NIÑOS MENOS 12 A” what does that mean and if I choose either of the offer the price is different some maybe be 15.4euro or 13.4euro or even 0euro. Please help!!

    1. Hi Cindy!

      Thanks for your note. The different options and prices are for different discounts, if they apply to you.

      CARNET JOVEN EUR = European Youth Card. It’s basically a discount card that’s available to young Europeans, and IF you have the card, then you can buy this discounted ticket.

      MAYORES 65 = Seniors over 65. You must be 65 or older to purchase this discounted seniors ticket.

      NIÑOS DE 12-15 = Children 12 to 15

      NIÑOS MENOS 12 = Children under 12

      The “DISCAPACIDAD > 33” is for someone with a disability, but that’s all I know about that. I don’t know the special criteria for using this ticket.

      I hope this helps!

    1. Hi Lynda,

      If I recall correctly, you have a set amount of time to complete the purchase — during that time, TicketMaster holds the tickets for you, but if you go over the time, I think they assume you don’t want them, and then release the tickets back into the pool of available tickets.

      It sounds like you were going over the alloted time? So my first piece of advice would be to try to complete the purchase a bit faster.

      It also could be a problem with the website, in which case wait a day and try again. Finally, you could try contacting TicketMaster Spain if it doesn’t work, although you might have an issue with a language barrier in that case.

      I hope this helps and you’re able to figure it all out!

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  23. Just back from visiting the Alhambra. Great advice re picking up tickets in advance, booking 8.30 at the Nasrid Palaces and going in through the Gate of Justice. I tried to get an audio guide and they are not doing them at the moment, changing over to a system of downloading an app, (Cooltura) and then signing onto the app using the wifi: Alhambra with password: unesco2012 Unfortunately it doesn’t work. The wifi is so weak it keeps cutting out, doesn’t work at all inside anywhere and the whole Cooltura site is confusing and not organised in a way that is useful….. so by the time you’ve found the site you are looking for information on the wifi has cut out!!! I gave up after about half an hour of trying and getting in a twist with it. Same happened to everybody in my group. So if you are thinking of trying to avoid paying for a guide I would strongly advise a good guide book. The signs around the Alhambra tell you lots about the excavations but nothing about what it is you are looking at, frustrating. In the end I stopped reading the signs as well and just gave up trying to understand the place and took in the sights and ambience. The place is beautiful and amazing. Now going to read up about it……which I wish I had done in advance!!!!

    1. Amazing info!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this all down. I’ll update the guide when we have slightly better internet so I can recommend downloading the app ahead of time (not everyone reads the comments!). Thanks again, and glad you enjoyed the experience despite the problems with the guide!

  24. Hi and thanks for your wonderful tips on visiting Alhambra. We are planning to visit the area in winter, probably December with a family of 5. We are uneasy but that is the only time we have to visit. Would appreciate any tips for visiting the area in the Winter. Where else in the area would you recommend we visit besides Alhambra and the Nasrid Palace? where should we start, where should we go after visiting Granada?

  25. Hi Katie,

    This post has been great helping me plan a day trip to Alhambra but I had a question I haven’t found an answer to yet. As a previous poster had done, I want to book an afternoon ticket and regarding the time slot for the Nasrid Palace, to set it at 14:00 or 14:30. But my question is if the lines are extremely long to get into the palace, does my arrival at 14:00 put me at risk for getting in the line too late to make the appointed time? Is it possible I can get to the line earlier than 14:00? Or should I not worry because everyone with the later time appointments will not be in the vicinity and the morning crowd would have already left?

    1. Hi Mel,

      It’s possible to enter the free part of the grounds before 14:00. My understanding (and it could have changed, but this is how it was when we were there) is that you can only pass through “ticket check points” between your allotted times (If I recall correctly, you only have your ticket scanned three times: for the Alcazaba, Generalife, and Nasrid Palace – so you’ll have to wait until 14:00 to do any of those). But you can visit the free gardens at any time.

      So if you have your trip to Nasrid Palace booked first, I’d probably recommend entering the grounds through the Gate of Justice, rather than the main gates, where you’ll enter part of the free gardens and don’t need a ticket for. You can explore the Palace of Carlos V, which is next to the Nasrid Palace, for free if you get there and find the line-up isn’t bad for Nasrid, or just enjoy the view (which is spectacular!).

      I hope this helps!

  26. Hi I am visiting the site in September and just about to book tics. Have read that it is good to go at night as well. Can I buy a ticket to include entrance on the same evening?? or do I have to buy the tics separately? Do you think it is worth doing the night viewing if you have done the daytime?? Cheers

    1. Hi Sue,

      I don’t know for sure, but I think you’d have to buy two separate tickets if you want to visit during the day and at night. As to whether it’s worth it, I can only speak from our experience and preferences: we found we were “done” with the Alhambra after we visited during the day. For us, the only reason we’d also go at night, I think, is for the evening photography opportunities. That said, if you’re particularly interested in the period, or you want to spend daytime on your own, and then join a tour or something at night to get more information, that could be a neat way to do it as well!

      Have fun!

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  28. Hi,

    Just want to say thx.
    very very usefull info :D
    Ready to visit in 3 weeks time, fingers crossed ;)

    kind regard.
    Nico

  29. Katie & Geoff, incredibly helpful info for our trip to Spain in October, thanks, I will be looking through your other pages soon! Had a question that I haven’t been able to find the answer to and was hoping you could provide some guidance: is there a main office/entrance open during the night tours where tickets can be picked up, or must they be picked up earlier in the day at one of the ATMs/Carrefour/shop, etc? many thanks and greetings from Vancouver!
    cheers,
    alex

    1. Hey Alex! Thanks for the note. I didn’t know the answer to your question, so I also did a bit of Googling and found one website that indicated from March 16 to October 15 the ticket office is open from 9.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. and then from October 16 to March 15 from 7.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. Now – that said – it isn’t the official Alhambra website that I found this on, so I can’t be sure it’s accurate.

      If it were me, I’d pick up the tickets ahead of time at one of the ATMs. It’s super easy, and they’re all around town, so you don’t really need to go out of your way to do it…just keep your eye open. Also, I am pretty sure it works for any ATM in Andalucia, so if you’re in Seville beforehand, you should be able to get them from an ATM there too.

      I don’t know why they have to make it so difficult to find good information! Ha.

      I hope this helps, Alex, and enjoy your trip. October should be an awesome time of year to visit :)

      Happy travels!

      Katie

      1. Thanks, Katie! I think I found the same website you mentioned. It is a bit frustrating how information is just scattered about regarding such a historical attraction! In the end we took your advice and booked the night tour and then the 0830 morning tour, thanks a lot, looking forward to it!

        1. I know…it’s kind of unbelievable how confusing it is, isn’t it???? Glad we were able to help though, and have fun! It’s a really lovely place!

        2. Hi Katie,
          Thanks for your very useful information.

          I have the opportunity to visit next year…what time of year would you recommend please? March/April, August, Sept or October please?

          Thanks

          1. Great question! It depends on what you prefer – hot weather with crowds, or mild/cool weather with fewer crowds :). We visited in the offseason (January ish) and it was very nice, in our opinion, but a bit cold. March/April would be great, because it still wouldn’t be too busy, but would be warmer. I think the same about October – not as busy as the height of summer, but still okay weather.

            August and even September, I would expect it to be beautiful, but filled with other visitors as well.

            I hope this helps :)

  30. They seem to have done away with the audio guides. We have checked at both stops indicated on the official map. Makes us wish we had booked a tour.

  31. Thanks for the great website. I am visiting in early February. I presume I can’t buy tickets until early November? Do you know if any tour companies include a visit to the Nasrid Palce? That information seems vague on the various tour websites I have visited. Also, is a guide really needed or is the information posted in English as well as Spanish?

    1. Hi Joe,

      It does appear tickets aren’t available for 2017 yet – I don’t remember this being the case when we went, so perhaps it’s new?

      Re. the tours – did you check the links I have in the post for recommended tours? Many if not all of them include Nasrid. For example, the Skip the Line tour listed includes the entry ticket and Nasrid Palace, as does the small group guided tour listed above.

      Regarding whether it’s worth it, that’s really personal preference. We have heard from another reader that audio headset tours are no longer available, and the comment from that reader was had they known that, they would have booked a tour. In my opinion, whether or not a guide is worth it depends totally on how good they are – so I’d suggest you take a close look at the reviews before making a decision whether it’s worth it for you :)

      Thanks and I hope this helps! Enjoy your travels – it’s a truly wonderful destination!

  32. Hi again,
    Just back from trip to Sevile/Cordoba/Granada and was amazing :)

    Just for your info in case you update your website as i saw some other people running around with your printed map :D.
    The Alhambra bookstore is actually closed now because of foreclosure…
    Good thing is they moved the office to Corral del Carbon, so 200 meter down the road, or at least they are moving as it’s a work in progress, but at least the info store is already there and a ticketmaster machine ;)

    Br,
    Nico

    1. Thank you so much for letting us know, Nico — it seems an update is in order. We also heard the audio guides had been discontinued – definitely need to update that bit too. So glad to hear you had a fantastic trip!

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  34. wow a site that actually tells you all you need to know with visiting the Alhambra Palace. only site out of dozens I,ve found that tells you what you want. 5 Star.

  35. Hello,
    I am just sorting out tickets for myself, my husband, and our two year old son to visit Granada and the Alhambra in late nov. any tips for visiting the Alhambra with a toddler? I realize we will likely have to abbreviate our visit but did you notice how toddler-friendly it is (ie, would he be allowed to cruise around indecently or would we be expected to keep him in his backpack for the visit)?
    Also, being a Canadian who speaks English and French but limited spanish, I’m wondering if there’s any way to change the language of the actual ticket-buying links (it seems only the first link from your blog post is in English and then it defaults to Spanish).

    1. Hi Shenoa,

      Thanks for the comment. Re. your questions:

      1) I think Alhambra will be fine with a toddler, and he’ll be allowed to cruise around on his own. Most of the Alhambra is grounds/gardens, really, and all of that will be fine. The only areas that might be an issue would be the Alcazaba (the military fortress section), where there are loads of steps up and down and some steep drops, and you may want to keep tighter control for his safety, and the Nasrid Palace, because of crowds (although, in November it shouldn’t be too bad). It isn’t like visiting a museum, where there are breakable things around etc…more like visiting a rugged outdoor castle where you can wander and explore without interference.

      2) Unfortunately, no options to change the language :( — if you use Google Chrome browser, it should translate some of the website automatically for you, once you’ve clicked through one level, if that makes sense? If you also scroll up through the comments, I do have some translations somewhere in here for the different options.

      I hope this helps, and enjoy your trip! It should be a great time of year to visit!

  36. Hi there,
    Great blog… you have helped me plan my trip!!!! I am looking for tickets for the night visit on 26th November but they are sold out in ticket master. Any ideas on how I can get my hands on tickets??

    1. Hi Sarah!

      As far as we know, there are two options if you weren’t able to get tickets. Option 1 is to cross your fingers and hope for some ‘day of’ tickets. It’s our understanding the Alhambra releases a limited number of tickets to purchase and use on the same day. These are by no means guaranteed though. You purchase these at the main entrance, and I *think* the ticket office in town has them too. Option 2 is to take a tour. We generally recommend Viator, which is like an aggregator for tour companies, because you’ll be able to take a look at a bunch of different tours and compare. So basically, look for a tour that includes general admission tickets and will also handle Nasrid Palace reservations for you.

      A final note – sometimes hotels can help with this, if you’re staying in a nicer hotel.If you’ve already booked, it may be worth calling the hotel directly and asking them if they are able to get you tickets?

      I hope this helps!

  37. Hi
    I have another question. We are visiting Alhambra with our 3 month old baby at the and end of November. I have bought the tickets including the free one for our baby. However I read somewhere that if you have a discounted ticket you cannot enter via the gate of justice and must enter through the main gate. Do you know if this is true? I had booked afternoon tickets with entry to Nasrid palaces at 3pm and so had planned to enter via the gate of justice

    1. Yes – you have to go through the main gate if you have a discounted ticket, as they have to check the babies’ identity :) == basically, they just want to make sure you’re not scamming the discounted ticket thing with a visual confirmation.

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  41. Hi
    Just to let you know.. we visited November 2016. The audioguides were definitely available again! Also another tip… I had an afternoon ticket booked but entered the complex at least two hours early and was able to gain entry into ticketed areas! Finally I was able to enter through the gate of justice with a discounted ticket for my baby (I did not have to use main entrance as I initially thought)

    1. Oh that’s wonderful news about the audio guides – thank you so much for updating us. I guess the app didn’t work out as hoped for them, perhaps? Also, very good news that you were able to go through the Gate of Justice with the discounted baby ticket. Thank you so much for taking the time to update us, and we hope you had a fantastic visit!

  42. Hi Katie,

    Thanks for this very informative site. I am booking my tix to Alhambra but didn’t see the option for morning or afternoon session. I only see the option for specific time to the visit the Palace. Am i missing something? Please let me know.

    1. Hi Claire,

      Thanks for the comment. It looks like Ticket Master has changed things up (again), and you’re right to think it’s confusing. I think it’s even more confusing now than it was before :(

      Here’s what I was able to find…hopefully this works for you too.

      From the Alhambra landing page on the ticketmaster Spain website, here’s the process I found:

      — Click on “Alhambra General” Buy Tickets, which will open up a new window/tab
      — The 6th result is probably the one you want to click on — Alhambra General — and when you click on it, you’ll come to a page that says “Entradas para Alhambra General en Alhambra y Generalife” in Spanish
      — Scroll down to the bottom of that page, and you’ll find a calendar with dates. Click on the date you want, and it will take you to a page that indicates a 3-step purchase process — Selection of Entries > Payment details > Purchase
      — Choose the number of tickets you want from the drop down, and then hit “Continuar” button
      — The next step (step 2) is reserving a time slot for the Nasrid Palace. There will be a green bar graph with times listed along the bottom, and a number at the top of each time slot’s green bar that shows how many reservations are remaining for that time. Select a time slot, and it will turn red. Then hit the continuar button
      — Then a discount option comes up, which may apply depending on your situation.

      Without actually purchasing a ticket, I can’t tell you what happens next. It does appear they still focus on morning and afternoon slots, (8:30am to 14:00 for the morning, and 14:00 to either 18:00 or 20:00 based on the season), but I’m guessing they automatically assign you a time slot based on your Nasrid Palace reservation?

      So if you’re Nasrid reservation is at 13:30, I’d guess you will be assigned a morning slot. If your reservation is for 14:00, I’d guess you’ll be assigned an afternoon slot.

      I hope this helps – would be wonderful if you could confirm this once you purchase the tickets, in case anyone else has the same questions!

      Thanks, and I hope you have fun. It really is worth all the confusion once you get there :)

      Katie

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  44. Hi Katie,

    Thanks so much for this helpful info! I’m taking my parents there in early April and my mother walks very slowly and steep hills would be difficult for her. I was wondering how far of a walk it is (and steepness) from where the taxi drops off at the Gate of Justice to wherever you enter to go to the Nasrid Palace first, as you have recommended. Or in our case would it be better to go to the other entrance?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Shum,

      Thanks so much for the message. I think in your case, taking a taxi to the gate of justice is the best option. There is a small flight of stairs, but once you get up the stairs, you’re VERY close to the Nasrid Palace. If you go through the main gate, there will be no stairs, but it’s a much further walk – maybe 10 minutes or so at a brisk-ish pace. I hope this helps!

  45. Hi
    Your page is excellent. Are you able to add to your page that the Ticketmaster booking site doesn’t accept any Australian bank credit or debit cards and an option is the more expensive Granada card. I saw your page first and spent days trying to book with 5 different cards. I then did a google search and found out noone can get their Aussie cards to work. There are many posts on this and it has been ongoing for years.
    Thanks
    Julie

    1. Thanks Julie – never would have realized that, so it’s super helpful to know. I’ll look into see if there are any other options other than the Granada Card that might work for Aussies as well. It’s a shame about that, but hope you’ve sorted it, and you have a great time. It’s worth all the hassle!!!

      1. Hi Katie
        Booked 2 tickets using Australian ANZ Amex /visa card for 1 Jun @ 08.30 on 6 March charged to my card 8 March for the correct price plus a $A1.40 FX fee. There were 16 tickets available now 4 tickets available (10 march 12 noon Melb Australia time). The site required a DOUBLE CLICK on the buy button to move the page on. HTH

        My question is what time do we really need to arrive at Puetra de la Justicia to enter the Nasrid palace at 0.8.30 as we will collect tickets the previous day. i.e. will there be a queue of 270 people like us pushing and shoving?

        1. Hi Linda,

          That is great to hear the ANZ card worked. It seems the system is quite finicky about accepting Australian cards, but that’s great yours was okay.

          When we visited, it was around March, and there were very few crowds. I think we got there around 8am, and it was fine, and we actually had to stand around a bit and wait. The Puetra de la Justicia itself isn’t controlled as an access point, so there won’t be line-ups there (it leads into the free part of the site gardens). Once you’re through that, the Nasrid Palace is pretty much right there. There will be a controlled queue system with signage showing you where to line-up, with those queue control “snake” systems like what you see at an airport (like rope railings directing you in a certain direction through the queue).

          Again, we visited in March and got there about 30 minutes before our Nasrid time of 8:30, and there were maybe 30 other people in the queue with us, so it wasn’t too bad. Also, don’t worry about being in the front of the queue for your time slot, as once you’re into the Nasrid Palace, you can stay for however long you want, and if you have a reservation and arrive on time, you will be let in.

          The only time restrictions are the Nasrid Palace entry point, and then making sure you go through the 2 other ticket control points (Generalife and the Alcazaba). The Alcazaba is really close the the Nasrid Palaces, so we’d recommend you do that second, and then walk to the Generalife for the end.

          I hope this helps, and enjoy!

  46. Hi,

    I recently bought 2 tickets for my husband and I but didn’t buy one for my daughter who is 2 years because I saw that she gets in for free. However, I just read that even my 2 year old needs a ticket to enter. The time slot that I bought tickets for are all sold out. Are they not going to let my daughter in because of this?

    Thanks for your help!!

    1. Hi Ryan,

      Great question, and what a huge disappointment to have to figure all that out. The truth is, I really don’t know. What I would suggest you do is contact the hotel you’ve booked. It seems to be the case that often (and especially at better hotels) the concierge will have a way to get tickets, perhaps buying from local businesses that buy some for ‘last minute’ access? Perhaps they can help you get some? Good luck and let us know how it turns out

  47. Hi katie,

    looking at the links you posted to the local guides, I don’t think they include tour inside Nasrid Palaces. I ask because, some reviews say they don’t take you inside and the title says Alhambra and Generalife Guided Tour, the details state this “Hall; admire the architectural majesty of the Nasrid Palaces”. Has anyone here taken any tour that actually took them inside the palace that they recommend. I don’t want to get a tour and then miss going inside the palace.

    1. Hi Sean,

      Thanks for the comment. I know this all can get really confusing, and neither the Alhambra itself nor the tour companies do a great job at explaining everything. I *think* what makes things more confusing is the Alhambra is considered to be a separate structure to the Generalife, as it was originally the summer palace that was LINKED to the Alhambra, but was not one and the same with the Alhambra. So when the tours mention they visit the Alhambra and Generalife, I think the descriptions are reflecting the fact that the Generalife is an outlying building that’s connected to the Alhambra.

      Now to your question. I hope we’ve been clear that we haven’t done these tours ourselves (we just wandered around on our own!), so the info I have is similar to what you have available, at least when it comes to these tours. That said, we tried to be pretty careful in choosing only tours that included the Nasrid Palace, and only tours that got overall great reviews. Given your question, I’ve gone in and double checked by reading the tour descriptions and the reviewers’ comments, and this is what I have found:

      The first tour listed “Skip the Line: Alhambra and Generalife Gardens Half-Day Tour” does include the Nasrid Palace. The description listed says you “Visit Alcazaba Fortress, the Nasrid Palaces and the Palace of Charles V” and scrolling through the reviews, the most recent one (by Roberta Z in Feb. 2017) specifically references visiting the Nasrid Palace.

      The second tour listed “Private Tour: Alhambra and Generalife” appears to me to be the same. It’s listed in the tour description as included, however I didn’t see references in the reviewer’s comments either way.

      The third tour listed “Alhambra and Generalife Small-Group Guided Tour in Granada” also indicates it includes the Nasrid Palaces — “Explore the Alcazaba, the Nasrid Palaces and the Mosque Baths.” The most recent review (from Susan S in March 2017) also references entering the palace.

      The fourth tour listed “Granada Highlights Guided Walking Tour” has less info available as there aren’t any current reviews (and actually, I think we’ll probably remove this one, seeing that the reviews that were there when we first listed it have now been cycled out, probably due to age).

      I couldn’t find any reviews that mentioned they don’t take you inside, but would really like to see these so we can cross check this info. I’m going to try to get in touch with someone at Viator as well, I think, to get it straight from the horse’s mouth about whether you actually go inside or not.

      I hope this helps, and good luck with your decision. Will definitely get in touch if I hear back from Viator.

      1. Thanks Katie for the information and the quick response. I’m going on May2nd and most tour companies have no availability. I might just do what you did and go off on our own and get tickets. As much as I like to support local businesses, I don’t want to pay more than a $100 for a tour. Do you recommend doing the skip the line guided tours or do you recommend venturing off on your own.

        I saw the tip you posted about what to select since ticketmaster website is in spanish. I’ll try to find an audio guide online, if not I’ll just read history before

        1. Hey Sean,

          I hate to say I recommend doing a tour OR doing it on your own, because both end up giving you such a different experience. When we went to the Alhambra, we’d been travelling quite a bit and were tired, and really wanted a low key experience where we could explore at our own pace, you know what I mean? We definitely ended up missing out on a lot of the background info about the site because of that, but we were okay with that. The Alhambra doesn’t have very good signage around, although we have heard that they have brought back the audio guides, so getting one of those might be a good way to go if you don’t do a tour?

          It is worth mentioning that we’ve also seen some things with a tour/guide, and looking back, we can’t imagine doing it on our own. Especially at sights in Italy where there was a lot to learn – we were so grateful for the guide!

          So that is to say, decide what’s important for you for this visit, and make the decision off of that. If learning about the info is important, then get a guide (or a great guidebook). If you’d rather have a more relaxed day (and a cheaper one) at the possible expense of not learning as much, then DIY is the way to go.

          Sorry I can’t give you a more specific answer…it’s just such a personal decision :)

  48. If you buy tickets online and in advance, can you later purchase a tour package? Or must the tour package be purchased at the time of booking? Are tour packages offered by the Alhambra or do they need to be purchased from another tour company. Many thanks for the assist.

    1. Hi Maria! Tours are done by private companies, not the Alhambra itself. It’s my understanding that if you purchase tickets online and then book a tour, the online tickets will be wasted, as the tours include the tickets, as least in the cases of the tours we have listed above in the page. I hope this helps!

  49. I read that 1000 tickets are available to buy on the same day that you want to visit, but you have to start to queue early. Is this correct?

    1. I can’t remember the exact number of tickets that are released each day, but for some reason the number of several hundred comes to mind, not 1000. That said, I really don’t know for sure how many are released, just that ‘a limited number’ are released for the same day. You’re correct that you need to get there early. I’ve heard anything from 5am to 7am to have the best chances but of course this depends on time of year. If you’re arriving to Granada the day before, I’d go to he ticket office and ask them what time you should go to buy tickets the next day for the ‘same day’ tickets. Good luck!

  50. It looks like the audio guides are available again. We are visiting at 8.30am and will be following your plan. Can you please advise us where the audio guide pick up points are
    Many thanks

    1. Hello! When we visited, we were able to get the audio guides close to the Gate of Justice entry, in the bookshop in the Palace of Charles V building. Whether they still have the audio guides in the bookshop is an entirely different question, as the new audioguides are different from the old ones, and are run under a contract with a different company, or so I understand it. If you can’t find them in that bookshop, you can pick them up at the main entrance near the ticket check.

      If you arrive in Granada the day before your trip to the Alhambra, I’d suggest you go to the bookshop in town the day before your visit, and ask them if you can get an audioguide at Charles V Palace – hopefully the answer will be yes :)

  51. I just came back from visiting the Alhambra a couple of days ago and would like to share some observations on touring the place on your excellent website, for the knowledge of readers who may intend to visit the Alhambra in the future. One glaring observation I would like to share is that visitors on group tours get to visit one more additional section of the Nasrid palaces, compared to individual visitors who had acquired tickets on their own ( eg. buying online ). For each and every time slot pertaining to visitation of the Nasrid palaces, there are two different queues; one queue for the group tourists on those usually big tour groups and a different queue for individual visitors who also had the coveted tickets of entry. The different queues take different routes of approach towards the main of
    cluster of the Nasrid palaces. The route for the tour groups goes through the Court of Machuca, which is the very first section of the Nasrid palaces whereas the route for individual visitors will bring them directly to the Mexuar – the second section of the Nasrid palaces, therefore completely bypassing the Court of Machuca. I have already confirmed by observation that those whom I saw setting foot on the Court Machuca were not special or VIP visitors but normal visitors who come in with tour groups. I feel that this discrepancy is a little unfair and slightly short-changes those who reserved and bought their tickets online and thereafter visit the Alhambra by themselves.

  52. I would like to share on the sights and attractions which are available in the Alhambra complex for free to those who opt not to spend any money on buying any tickets and instead choose to enter the palace complex through the Gate of Justice.
    Basically for those who do not wish to spend money, there are three main areas available as freebies when one enters in from the Gate of Justice:-

    1. The MUSEUM OF THE ALHAMBRA on the ground floor of Charles V Palace which is the iconic circular Christian-style building.

    2. The SAINT MARY’S CHURCH

    3. Parts of the Parador Nacional Hotel ( formerly the Monastery of San Francisco ). Key relevant areas are opened to the public and are not within the restricted hotel area accessible only to staying guests.

    The areas in part 3 above include a small flower garden freely accessible as well as a historical area with great relevance — the historical chapel which served as the temporary burial site of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand before their remains were permanently interred in the Capilla Real ( Royal Chapel ) in Granada’s city central.

    The Saint Mary’s church opens and closes intermittently throughout the day. Thus when one sees the main doors of the church closed, monitor and observe for its opening again later on.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this tidbit of info. This is a good option if you’re on a budget, definitely, but seems a shame to miss the Nasrid Palace and Generalife if you’re on a short vacation!

      1. It’s been my pleasure, to be able to contribute. And yes, nothing beats the Nasrid palaces and Generalife inside the Alhambra monumental complex !

  53. Don’t know if it’s been mentioned,but if it’s sold out (as it was for 2 weeks into future for me) you can get a 3 or 5 day pass for €40 which includes nasrid palace, 1 full day at Alhambra, plus entry to other attractions in Granada, and 9 local bus tickets and city tour to boot. Most attractively tho, it was available to buy online 2 days before my visit in peak season in June, and they seemed to have plenty available. Search for Granada card bono turisticas and bob’s your uncle ;)

  54. Hi! I’m so confused about the time slots… if I choose 8:30 on the website, does that mean I have to get there right at 8:30? Or what is the length of the window? Thank you!

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      There are basically 2 time slots you need to think of: 1) The general time of visit for the entire complex. For this, you have to choose AM or PM, and you must pass the last ticket check point before this time slot runs out. 2) Your reservation for the Nasrid Palace. If you reserve the Nasrid Palace for the 8:30am entry, you must be there on time, and in fact line-up for your reservation time before that. If you miss your reservation, you won’t be permitted to go into the Nasrid Palace (which is a highlight – so you definitely don’t want to miss it!).

      Does this help clarify?

  55. Hi Kathy,
    Will be visiting Alhambra complex this August. While booking online, I found out that the earliest available time to visit Nasrid Palace is at 1 pm. I will be travelling with my two kids who are 10 and 7. Do I really need to wait for the 1 pm time or is it possible to queu earlier like 9 am so we can have Nasrid dusted already since we will be staying near the Gate of Justice entrance. We might miss the entry time if we explore first then go back to Nasrid.
    Thanks for this blog, it is wonderful.

    1. Hello Victoria,

      Thanks for the nice words, and getting in touch. We’ll try to outline it as clearly as possible below, but let us know if you have further questions. It really is a bit unnecessarily complicated!

      You need to commit twice to different time windows.

      First, you need to commit to when you’ll visit the entire complex, choosing between either a morning (8:30 am to 02.00 pm) or an afternoon ticket (which is 08:00 am to 07:00 pm from April 01 to October 14, and 08:00 am to 05:00 pm from October 15 to March 31). Once you choose either of these, you can wander freely through the entire complex — everything EXCEPT the Nasrid Palace — within the time window. The only restriction is you cannot pass a ticket check point before this window, and you cannot pass a ticket check point afternoon this time frame. (Generalife and Alcazaba are the main ticket scanning points inside, other than Nasrid Palace).

      Secondly, you need a reservation for Nasrid Palace. You can only enter the Nasrid Palace at the exact time of your reservation, but there is no limit once you’re inside.

      To give you an idea of how much time you’ll want to take in the complex, we spent about 3 hours, and I’ve heard people take as much as 5 hours. With kids that age, I’d say the 3 hours is probably more reasonable? So…with that said….I would suggest you buy a morning ticket, and get the 1pm reservation for the Nasrid Palace. Then, you just have to make sure you complete the Generalife and the Alcazaba between 8:30am and 2:00, which is very doable.

      I’d suggest you enter via the Gate of Justice around 10am or 11 am, walk to the Generalife (the furthest away from Gate of Justice). Complete that within about an hour, maybe 1:20 including the walk.

      Then, you could either walk back to the other end (it’s not a huge walk – maybe 10 minutes and pretty flat) and do the Alcazaba right away. The Alcazaba is the least polished of the three sites…basically it’s fortress ruins, and might be the most interesting bit for the kids, depending on their interests. OR, you could have an ice cream, and wait for your Nasrid spot. If you do it that way, you’ll just have to make sure you get through the Nasrid in about 45 minutes, so you can then get to the Alcazaba entrance (which is very close) for 1:45 or so before the ticket check point closes for your ticket at 2pm.

      So this is a very long answer to your original question…unfortunately you have to enter the Nasrid only at the time of your reservation.

      The other option, of course, is to take a tour. This tour seems to get great reviews from people travelling with kids. If you scroll down to the most recent reviews, there’s a few commenters who mention the guides by name, and mention their kids’ ages and the experiences they had.

      I hope this helps? Let us know if you have further questions?

      Katie and Geoff

  56. Hi,

    When booking the ticket it gave me no option of am or pm just the time of visit to the palace which I selected for 18:00- does this mean I have an afternoon ticket?

    1. Yes – it should do. If you are booked for a 18:00 Nasrid Palace entrance, then your ticket to the entire complex should be for the afternoon.

  57. we are visiting Granada and have booked are tickets for the Alhambra for a morning visit with a visit for the Nasrid at 8.30am. We only arrive the night before after 7pm and found no confirmed information for collecting tickets beforehand except for collecting at the main entrance. Is it possible to collect tickets beforehand and where so that we can make our way directly to the gate of Justice.

    Also, if the opening time is 8.30 how do we then get to our allocated time for the Nasrid at 8.30am. How long is allowed in the Nasrid?

    1. Hi Bella,

      I will help as best as I can. Re. your second question (Also, if the opening time is 8.30 how do we then get to our allocated time for the Nasrid at 8.30am), you can enter at the Palace of Justice, IF you have your tickets. That’s the route we recommend for that morning visit – it’s the one we did, and we thought it worked out really well,and we’ve heard feedback over the years from others who said it worked well for them too.

      Once you’re in the Nasrid, there is no time limit for that building. The only time constraint then is you want to visit the rest of the complex without your ticket time, but that really should be fine.I think we needed about an hour in the Nasrid itself, just wandering and taking photos, and going, “WOW!” :)

      Now, in terms of where to pick up your tickets. You should be able to collect them from the ATM as described in the post? That’s how we got our tickets – we put in the card we used to buy the tickets, and it worked fine. Caixa, I think is the bank (check the post above). We have heard before that people with Australian cards do have difficulty with this method, however.

      I hope this helps?

  58. Thanks for making this information available. We just got back from a visit to Spain, and had one day set aside for the Alhambra. We followed your suggestions almost exactly and have to say it all worked out perfectly. Going into the Nasrid Palace at 8:30 was absolutely worth the early start and we had a fantastic day in a stunning place! Thanks!

    1. So glad to hear!!! It’s been a few years now since we visited, so it’s great to hear the advice still holds and nothing major has changed. Really pleased you had a great day – it’s a fantastic spot in the world!

  59. We went to the Alhambra this morning and followed your directions exactly – very helpful! Thank you!

    We picked up our tickets yesterday at the Corral de Carbon (it’s just to the left when you go in), and this morning headed out from our apartment in Albaicin at 7:30am (we were the only sober people out). Grabbed a taxi and asked him to drop us off at Puerta de Justicia (5 euros), and went in. There was absolutely no line or crowd – we were at the front of the line for the Nasrid palaces, and there was a good area for me to sit since I’m 6 months pregnant and can’t stand that long. We were able to take our time and really enjoy the palaces, at least until a huge Korean tour group came in and I was almost battered with selfie sticks :)

    By the time we got out of the palaces, the place was overrun with groups, but we still had a nice walk in the gardens and the Generalife. All in all a lovely morning – we beat the heat and crowds and it was lovely. We have tickets for the evening too so look forward to going back!

  60. Hi Katie,

    Thanks so much for this detailed and informative post on the Alhambra! My husband and I are visiting Spain in 3 weeks and looking to book tickets for Alhambra. The link you provided to ticketmaster works but when you select “buy tickets” on any of the presented options the website says that the Alahambra cannot be found and try searching again. Any tips? Do you know of any other sites we could use to buy tickets?? Thanks so much!!

    1. Hi Suzanne,

      It looks like the Alhambra has changed their ticket process – thanks for alerting us to this, and we will work on updating this post. Tickets can now be purchased on the official website at https://tickets.alhambra-patronato.es/en/. Thankfully, it’s much less confusing now!

      If tickets are sold out on the official website, you can check ticket reputable tour agencies, such as Get Your Guide, which now seem to be able to sell tickets as well, although at a mark-up.

      I’d suggest starting your search on the official website, and if tickets are sold out, try this: https://www.wandertooth.com/m9js

      I hope this helps!

  61. Hi! When we tried to buy tickets for AlHambra last Friday we were thinking that we’ve had very good chance to get good time slot since we were doing this in 2,5 months advance. Boy, we were wrong! For May 6th we’ve got 6pm slot for Nasrid palaces. All other time slots that day and May 7th were sold out. My question to you; since our Nasrid palace entry time is 6pm, can we be at Alhambra by 2pm and visitv Alcazaba and Generalife between 2-5pm? Thanks for the great info.

    1. Hello – so sorry for the delayed response! But to answer your question: probably. Your ticket should be an “afternoon visit” ticket, in which case you’d be able to visit all the other parts of the Alhambra during the afternoon visiting window, and then you’d just have to be at the Nasrid Palaces for your reservation. I hope this helps!

  62. Someone should have mentioned that If you avail any type of discount when purchasing online then this would require you to queue up on the day to have your “ticket” that you purchased online to be verified as it clearly says on the “ticket” – “THIS IS NOT A TICKET”.

    My advice is if your like me and only have a couple of kids then select the full ticket not discounted (extra few Euros) and avoid the queue by printing a proper ticket!

  63. For those wishing to purchase tickets to the Alhambra on the official site, you should now order them at least three months before the first day of the month that you plan to visit. For example, tickets for the month of June go on sale at midnight (Spanish time) on March 1. My husband and I finally secured our tickets after two hours on the Alhambra’s ticketing site. We started at 4 p.m. on February 28 because we live in the Mountain time zone, which is 8 hours behind Spanish time. We wanted tickets for June 18, and by the time we got through, there were only 40 tickets left for the time we wanted. If we hadn’t been able to get the tickets (which are reasonably priced at about $16), we would have had to buy them from a travel agency, most of which charge $200 for a 3-hour guided tour. I believe the travel agencies use bots to buy tickets in bulk so that they can re-sell them to tourists for an enormous profit.

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