Alhambra tickets can be tricky to purchase, particularly at peak times of the year. For example in 2023 2,600,000 people visited the Alhambra Palace. So Booking ahead for your visit is imperative. Reserving as soon as you can you will guarantee that you get a ticket on the day that you are in Granada. At least 2 months in advance will ensure that you get the preferred date and time.
The reason that Alhambra tickets are limited to a certain number is to protect the interior of the Nasrid palaces. The walls and floors are delicate and need to be protected from wear. So limiting the number of people within the palaces ensures there is less crowding. Limiting the people brushing past the delicate plasterwork and damaging those ancient walls.
In 2024 the amount of tickets available is 2.763.500 over the year, an average of just 7600 each day
October 2023 Alhambra Closed
For one week in October the Alhambra Palace was totally closed for visitors. From Tuesday 3rd until Saturday 7th October 2023. The EU Summit will be held inside the monument over those dates.
- Tuesday 3rd October 2023
- Wednesday 4th October 2023
- Thursday 5th October 2023
- Friday 6th October 2023
- Saturday 7th October 2023
However because of the limitation over 5 days, it meant that October sold out quickly. If you are visiting Granada during a busy time. I would highly suggest booking as many activities as you can ahead of time. So that you have secured your place when the city is busy with foreign delegates and visitors.
Whether that is a Flamenco show with dinner, Hammam Spa Experience, Guided Tour of the Historic Town or a daytrip to the Alpujarra. These platforms are the ones I use myself when I travel.
- Tiqets – Granada Activities, Tour + Experiences
- Get your Guide – Tours + Activities in Granada
- Viator – Top Granada Spain Tours
Nasrid palace – Get Alhambra tickets
If you want to visit this UNESCO World Heritage site you need to book Alhambra tickets in advance. They often sell out especially at Eastertime, on weekends and throughout Summer months. In 2024 the last week of March and first days of April covers the Easter holidays.
You can buy tickets online at the official Ticket website of Patronato de la Alhambra. Usually you can buy tickets 2 or 3 months ahead of time. There are different kinds of tickets. The best option if you have never been to the Alhambra before is the General Daytime. It costs 19.09 euros per person. (Children under 11 don´t pay but still need a ticket. Teenagers between 12 – 15 years old pay 12 euros for their ticket)
When you purchase you need to complete the full details of each visitor with passport number, date of birth, nationality etc. This covers the entrance only but does not include an official guide for your visit.
Other options are just to see the Gardens + Generalife ticket or the Nasrid palace nightime visit which only covers the main part of the Alhambra rather than all the complex.
Skip the Line – Priority Tickets
Alhambra Palace Guided Tour
The option of getting Skip the line Alhambra tickets is much simpler. These options include an official tour guide and the entrance ticket for the Nasrid palaces. These options have the Alhambra Palace ticket and a Guided tour in English in a group.
Granada City Pass
The Granada Pass includes a Alhambra Palace ticket and the audio guide. It does NOT include a guided tour with an actual person. But this option allows you to move around the monument in your own time. Expect to spend around 3 hours (or slightly more) inside the Alhambra grounds. It is a palatial city with lots of space to cover. This pass also includes a ticket for the tourist train around the city.
What to Avoid – Alhambra Tours
Do not pay for Tickets and Audio guide services. These activities be highly overpriced. Sometimes they are inconvienent to actually pick up. (the office is may not even be in the Alhambra). Buy tickets with a an official guide or tour. Or a private guide, or tickets only. Get audioguides (without reservation) on the main entrance for 6 euros per person.
This option for example has the Alhambra Palace ticket and Guided Tours from different tour companies. Group Tours + Tickets of the Alhambra Palace
ALL GUESTS MUST HAVE THEIR PASSPORT DURING THE ALHAMBRA VISIT
Where to Stay in Granada
Whether you prefer hostals, AirBnb or Luxury Hotels… See my updated guide here: A Guide to Hotels in Granada Spain
As you will only be visiting the Alhambra itself for half a day. The Alhambra is NOT actually the best location for accommodation in Granada. Shops, restaurants and services tend to be downtown in the historic centre, not around the Alhambra grounds, which is lush and green.
Private Guided Tour
Should you wish to book a Private Guided Tour of the Alhambra or Guided Tour in a small group, again you need to do this ahead of time. The difference is that the Private Alhambra Tour is an official Tour guide just for you. This can be arranged with entrance tickets or without if you already have your own tickets.
There is also the option of a Semi Private Tour which is a small group tour. (max 5 people)
Daytrip from Malaga or Seville
If you prefer not to drive yourself you can visit the Alhambra palace from Malaga or Seville. These services are organised for a maximum of 17 passengers and include the guided tour, Alhambra palace tickets and minibus transport.
Book online one month ahead of the your tour date to guarantee your place.
How to pick up Official Alhambra Tickets
If you buy from Patronato de la Alhambra website. You will receive the tickets in PDF format or to add to a digital Passbook on your phone. If you need to collect tickets (babies or toddlers) head to the Alhambra ticket offices at the main entrance when you arrive. There is a window for people who have prepaid their tickets and usually a very short queue.
Corral de Carbon at Calle Reyes Catolicos now have machines which print your Alhambra tickets. They are open until 7pm Monday to Friday. (photo of Corral del Carbon below)
Which type of Alhambra visit?
There are two options for planning your visit. Night time or daytime visit.
When you go to purchase online Alhambra tickets you need to take care when you select the ticket you are buying.
- The Night time visit is to enter the Nazrid palaces only. This is includes the famous patio of the Lions. Recommendable in Hot Summer Months.
- The General day time ticket includes Alcazaba, Nazrid palace, generalife gardens and rest of the complex. This is the most complete way to visit the Alhambra.
- Generalife Garden visit refers to the Summer palace and it´s gardens. This visit is a great compliment once you have seen the rest of the monument. In spring and summer the fragrance from the plants and colors from the flowers are spectacular. This ticket only allows entry to the Gardens. You will not see the inside the palace, the Lions Courtyard or Nazari Palace on this ticket.
- Alhambra Palace WITHOUT Nasrid palace – This is not a recommendable option. The areas that you are being shown will be the public areas and Generalife gardens. The garden ticket costs 7 euros so just book that instead.
25th December and 1st January are the only two days in the year that the monument is closed.
Entrance time on your ticket
*Really important information*
When you are heading to the Alhambra palace for your visit, it is very important to arrive earlier than the time printed on the ticket. The time printed on the ticket is not the time to go in the Main entrance. It is the time which you have been allocated to visit a specific area of the monument. Nasrid palaces. If you arrive at the Nasrid palace door later that the time printed on your ticket you will NOT be allowed entrance. They are not flexible on this point at all. I would suggest getting to the main entrance at least 45 minutes before the Nasrid Palace entrance time.
Take your Passport
When you visit the Alhambra they may request (random check) your ID and your ticket. So make sure each visitor has their passport or official I.D with them on the day of the visit. (Driving licence for example would be acceptable) No passport, they dont let you in.
Getting to the Nasrid Palace
Please note that the door for Nasrid Palace is quite a way from the Main entrance. You will need about 15 mins to get from the main entrance gates to the Palacio Nazaries. (you could get a little lost on route, so allow plenty of time). From the Parador de Granada it takes about 5-10 mins from the hotel to Palacio Nazaries. Just walk along the main street Calle Real, past the Hotel America, to Charles V palace and turn right at the corner of the Palacios Carlos V.
Also remember to save your ticket after going into the Nasrid Palces. You may need to show this on different doors further along the visit.
The Full Alhambra visit
If you go for the whole day, wear comfy shoes or trainers. Along the route there are dusty tracks, cobbles, steps to climb and smooth marble floors. Please make sure you are prepared for the day, some parts of the visit are outside.
You may need to take a jumper/coat or sun cream and hat depending on the time of year. The Alhambra is higher up than the city of Granada and surrounded by woods, so it can be hotter/colder than in the city itself.
I recommend the Audio guide for the daytime visit. (for those who do not have a guided tour). Following the numbers on this audio guided route ensures you take a logical path around the huge complex to prevent having to back track and walk further.
Visitors with reduced mobility
To get to the Alhambra, take a taxi to Palacio Carlos V. Plan your visit just see the Palacio Nazaries. This is the heart of the Alhambra and the most beautiful part of the monument. This visit keep steps and walks to a minimum.
Please note that pushchairs are not allowed inside the Nasrid Palace. You will need to leave the strollers at the security desk next to Palacio de Carlos V (Puerto del Vino) and collect it afterwards. The same applies to large rucksacks and Trolley suitcases.
Wheelchairs users have information on a map of a particular itinerary that they can follow to see most areas of the monument. When you arrive, please ask staff to show you the details.
Food inside the Alhambra
Where to Eat at the Alhambra Palace
To have lunch or dinner inside the Alhambra palace complex, there are several options.
- You may want to take your own food. This is not a problem, however you need to eat in one of the areas outside of the palaces. Benches in the gardens or one of the open spaces around the monument. Near to Carlos V or the Wine Gate are good areas. A packed lunch would be a good choice if you plan to be there all day or want to stick to a budget.
- Restaurante El Mimbre or Jardines de Alberto. Both are reasonably priced but not inside the complex. They are located opposite the main entrance.
- Hotel América is a small white building just up from Palacio Carlos V. They serve simple food in their courtyard.
- Inside the Alhambra some sandwiches, baguettes and hot drinks are sold in a small hut next to the Alcazaba entrance on Plaza de los Aljibes.
- Vending machines and the toilets are located close to Palacio Carlos V. This is in the centre of the Alhambra complex.
- Parador de Granada. The restuarant is fabulous and overlooks the Generalife. It is the more pricey option but wonderful for a treat after all that walking about.
- Café next to gift shop at the main entrance. A little space opposite the book shop close to the main entrance. There is a small café selling cold drinks, sandwiches and snacks with a few benches outside.
Getting to the Alhambra
- If you want you can walk up the steep hill from Plaza Nueva. Take Cuesta Gomerez all the way up through the woods and you will go past the Hotel Washington Irving & then to the Ticket office and main entrance.
Granada Tourist Train
- Small children and visitors spending longer in the city may enjoy the Tourist Train.
- Prebook tickets online: Hop on Hop off Train Granada
- This train goes to the Alhambra main entrance, but also includes Albaicin and other main points of interest on the route.
Take the Bus to the Alhambra Palace
- Take a C30 or 32 small red bus from Plaza Isabel la Catolica (ticket 1.40 euros) just get on and pay the driver.
- The main stop outside Ticket offices is the one most people will get off at. Driver always shouts ALHAMBRA.
- To go to Carlos V Palace or Nasrid Palaces get off at the second stop (Puerta de la justicia) Use this stop only if you already have your tickets.
- A taxi will cost around 6 euros to go the the Alhambra ticket office (Final cost depends on where you are in the city) I think this is the best option, especially if there are two or more people.
- If you want to skip the busy entrance ask the taxi driver to drop you off at Palacio de Carlos V (unless you have a pre arranged meeting point with a guide)
- The walk downhill is better after the visit, for a pleasant stroll.
How to drive to Alhambra Palace
- Follow signposts to the Alhambra off the motorway. This will take you up past the cemetry and into the main visitor car park. This route will not take you through the old town of Granada. The route is outside of Granada via motorway/dual carriageway.
- You cannot get to the Alhambra by car through the city of Granada. (taxis can but other vehicles cant) If you have a rental car and are staying in Granada itself. Please take a taxi to the Alhambra. Leave your car parked in the city.
- The Alhambra car park is a short walk above the main entrance. A little further up the road from the ticket offices.
- Please note that when you have finished your visit you should pay the car park ticket before getting into your car. Pay at the machines in the car park. You need the ticket to be paid so you can leave the car park. Insert your paid card into the box at the barrier control once you are driving out of the car park.
More information about the Alhambra Palace:
- Visit Granada with children – Tips for Alhambra Palace & more
- Granada Alhambra Palace Secrets -The Writing on the Wall
- The Secrets of the Alhambra Palace: Water
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