Granada- The Basics

If you only have a short time in Granada Spain. Here are some no nonsense tips to help you plan ahead.

When is the best time to visit Granada, Spain?

See this Granada year round calendar with activities and fiestas.

Find Useful Information about Granada Airport and connections here.

If you have more time to investigate see this guide to the whole province of Granada. Alpujarras, Coast and ski resort.

The Alhambra Palace – The basics

This monument is visited everyday by thousands of people. It is extremely important to book ahead. Reserving as soon as you can you will guarantee that you get a ticket on the day that you are in Granada.

The reason that ticket numbers are limited to a certain number is to protect the conversation of the Palace interior.

Book day tickets well in advance as they often sell out. Especially April – June.

Buy online
You can buy tickets online at Ticketmaster. It´s best to do this as far in advance as possible. You will get a confirmation number after completing the purchase. You will need to print the tickets in Granada when you arrive.

As well as in the Alhambra itself when you arrive, you can also do this in the shop Tienda de la Alhambra in Plaza Nueva Square, which is located in the city centre.

Book day tickets well in advance as they often sell out. Especially April – June.

How to pick up Tickets
Once you have bought your ticket online you can collect you ticket at the Alhambra ticket offices when you arrive.

There is a window for people who have prepaid their tickets and usually no queue at all.

Please note that since the end of 2013 it is no longer possible to print the tickets in Servicaixa cash machines.

Which ticket to buy?

There are two options for planning your visit. Night time or daytime visit. When you go to purchase online tickets you need to take care when you select which ticket you are buying.
The night time visit is to enter the Nazrid palaces only. This is includes the famous patio of the Lions. The day time ticket includes Alcazaba, Nazrid palace and rest of the complex.
Generalife Garden visit refers to the White 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.

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 too visit a certain area of the monument. 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.

Please note that the door for Nasrid Palace is quite a way from the Main entrance. You will need about 30 mins to get from the main entrance to the Palacio Nazaries. (you could get a Little lost on route, this allows plenty of time)

Also remember to save your ticket after going into the Alhambra. You may need to show this on different doors further along the visit.

The full 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 lashings of sun cream and hat depending on the time of year. I recommend the Audio guide for the daytime visit. Following the numbers on this guided route ensures you take a logical path around the huge complex to prevent having to back track and walk further.

Food
There are a few restaurants at the entrance to the Alhambra. Restaurante El Mimbre or Jardines de Alberto. Both reasonably priced but not inside the complex. Inside the complex itself there are sandwiches, baguettes and hot drinks sold in a small hut near to Alcazaba. Vending machines and the toilets are located close to Palacio Carlos V. This is in the centre of the Alhambra complex. A packed lunch would be a good choice if you plan to be there all day.

How to get to the Alhambra
• Take a small red bus from Plaza Isabel la Catolica (ticket 1.20 euros)
• 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 arrive at Hotel Washington Irving & then to the Ticket office and main entrance.
• A taxi will cost around 6 euros to go the the Alhambra ticket office (of course the 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. The walk downhill is better after the visit, for a pleasant stroll.

Should you have more than one day in Granada, check out this post: Free things to do in Granada Spain

Albaicin area

Take in the famous view from the Saint Nicolas Square or Mirador de San Nicolas. See this: Best view in Granada
You can get a taxi up the hill for about 6 euros or you can get a bus from Plaza Nueva. (no 31 stops there) The driver can tell you which stop to get off if you ask him clearly for Mirador San Nicolas.
Once you get off the bus walk up the slope and then up the cobbled stairs to see the beautiful view. This is spectacular at Sunset.

Here are two posts written about the Albaicin & Mirador San Nicolas area.

For a different view over the city. Get a taxi to the Hotel Alhambra Palace, have a snack or a coffee on the terrace, see the city sprawl below from their balcony.

Granada´s Jewish District – El Realejo

Granada doesn´t have a Synagogue or specific monument to visit as other Spanish cities do, such as Cordoba or Girona. Although there is a history to the Jewish quarter of Granada

Read more: Granada & its Jewish quarter

If you are considering Moving to Granada Spain Read these FAQs

Find out and Explore the Granada Province here

Typical Granada Food
Read this post about typical dishes in Granada and find out on this post where the classic Tapas bars are in Granada

Typical Gifts & Souvenirs
Need to take gifts home? Here are 15 gift ideas from Granada & Andalusia These are things that I would actually buy myself.