The Alhambra palace is visited everyday by thousands of people. Alhambra tickets can be tricky to purchase at peak times of the year. So its 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 interior of the Nasrid palaces., Some of the walls and floors are delicate and need to be protected from wear.
Nasrid palace – Get Alhambra tickets
If you want to visit this UNESCO World Heritage site you need to book Alhambra tickets well in advance. They often sell out epecially around Eastertime and Summer months.
You can buy tickets online at Ticketmaster. However these tickets tend to sell out quickly and can only be purchased 6 weeks before the visit. As they are only released 90 days ahead of time it´s not always so easy to be on the ball and get the times you need to coordinate with your travel plans.
The option of getting Skip the line Alhambra tickets is much simpler.
This way you can book online for Alhambra tickets and enjoy your visit with minimal fuss. (So you can actually skip the next paragraph too)
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.
The Tienda Librería Alhambra in Plaza Nueva, a bookshop in Granada just up from Gran Vía no longer print out Alhambra tickets.
Corral de Carbon at Calle Reyes Catolicos now print Alhambra tickets. They are open until 7pm Monday to Friday. (photo of Corral del Carbon below)
Please note that since the end of 2013 it is no longer possible to print your Alhambra tickets in Servicaixa cash machines outside of Andalusia. If you are in Andalusia you will be able to print out your tickets at any Servicaixa ATM.
Which Alhambra tickets to buy?
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.
- The day time ticket includes Alcazaba, Nazrid palace and rest of the complex.
- 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.
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 20 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 10 mins from the hotel to Palacio Nazaries
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 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 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.
If you would like a guide to accompany your visit Cicerone Granada have guides with several languages and can tailor the alhambra palace visit to your exact requirements.
You can even enjoy a Nighttime visit with them (seen below)
Visitors with reduced mobility
Take a taxi Palacio Carlos V and just see the Palacio Nazaries. This is the heart of the Alhambra. This visit will keep steps and long walks to a minimum.
Food inside the Alhambra
To have lunch or dinner inside the alahambra 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 America 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.
Getting 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.
Other posts about the Alhambra: