Visiting the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain

Visiting the Alhambra Palace Granada Spain

Visiting the Alhambra Palace Granada, Spain

A guide to visiting the Alhambra Palace in Granada

I have to be honest here. Until I actually started researching I have to admit (ashamedly) that I had never thought of visiting The Alhambra Palace. In fact I hadn’t even heard of it – for shame!

This vast UNESCO heritage site is really spectacular. It deserves all your attention so dedicate at least 1 day (more if possible) to absorb the entire complex.

It started life as a small fortress in 889. Later in the 11th century, the emirate of Granada transformed it into a palace. Then in the 13th century it became a fully fledged Royal Palace by the Sultan of Granada, Yusuf I.

I found it tricky to get all the information for my visit. The information I did find was a little confusing so hopefully this will help making it easier for your trip.

What to bring & expect

  • Comfortable shoes – You will be walking a lot so leave the heels behind
  • Camera or phone – make sure there is plenty of space and it’s fully charged. You will get snap happy.
  • Water – It can get VERY hot. There are places to buy water but it is no harm to bring some with you
  • Sunscreen/ hat – you will be outdoors a lot so make sure you are well protected from the rays ( it can climb into the mid 30c/90f)
  • Money – you may want to buy some things and not everywhere takes cards
  • Respect – please don’t litter, be mindful of others and respect the building. I saw some cringe-worthy behaviour from some fellow tourists.

How to buy tickets for the Alhambra?

Caligraphy tile detail Alhambra alcazaba

Calligraphy tile detail Alhambra

So we just rocked up went to a ticket machine ( no queue) and bought a ticket. However, you might want to book in advance.

Where to buy tickets for the Alhambra:

  • Book online –  – (charge 10% extra tickets old via Ticketmaster) bring your credit card to claim the ticket.
  • From a machine on the day at the main entrance
  • In the city centre – at the Tienda de la Alhambra shop on Calle Reyes Católicos
  • Phone – +34 902 888 001

What type of ticket do I need?

  • Alhambra General This gives you access to everywhere –  Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces, Generalife, Carlos V Palace, Public baths and the Mosque. [recomended] €14
  • Alhambra Gardens, Generalife and the Alcazaba – Generalife and the Alcazaba visit allows access to all areas of the monument to visitors except Nazari Palaces. €7
  • Alhambra at Night PalacesNight visit around the around the Nasrid Palaces €8

What if it’s sold out?

  • If it is sold out there is still a substantial quota sold on the day
  • There is still loads you can see the grounds without a ticket
Evening view of Alhambra Palace and Sierra Nevada Mountains

Evening view of Alhambra Palace and Sierra Nevada Mountains


What time of day should I go at?

  • There are 3 times slots ( morning, afternoon & evening) once inside you can stay for the remainder of the day
  • Try to go in the morning or afternoon it gives you more time. The evening is great for photography and you can get some nice sunset shots.

TIP – The Palacios Nazaries can only be accessed for a half-hour time window (shown on the ticket) within your visiting period.

How to get to the Alhamabra?

Wall decorating Nasrid Palace

Wall decorating Nasrid Palace

  • On foot – we choose this option it takes about 30-40 minutes. However, it is all uphill, and a bit of a hike. You might want to save your legs for the rest of the day and choose the other options.
  • By bus – Get the C3 bus from the Pavaneras 1 stop (behind Plaza Isabel La Catolica) and the Gran Via 1 stop (next to the cathedral) which offers a direct connection to the Alhambra the fare is about €1.20
  • By taxi – Costs about €5

Where can I eat?

  • Bring a picnic – and enjoy the view
  • Restaurante La Mimbre – We ate outsider under the shade of a leafy canopy in the late afternoon to brake up the day. The service was terribly slow but the food and ambience more than made up for it
  • Paradores de Granada – We sat on the terrace enjoying a coffee and sharing an ice-cream while soaking up the view across to Generalife….bliss

Map of the Alhambra Palace

Map of the Alhambra Palace

Click to download the full map of the Alhambra Palace in English

Are you visiting the Alhambra palace soon?

Have you already been? Leave your thoughts or questions in the comments below ….