The Alhambra in Granada
11 junio, 2019
With an average of more than 6,000 visitors per day, the Alhambra Palace located in the Andalusian city of Granada is Spain’s most visited monument and the country’s best example of Islamic architecture, with influences from various cultures.
This massive architectural complex is located on top of the hill al-Sabika, on the left bank of the river Darro, to the west of the city of Granada facing the neighbourhoods of the Albaicin and of the Alcazaba. It dates back to AD 889 and its value is huge in terms of historic, artistic, and touristic interest. Its design, mosaics, and mind-blowing views are truly breathtaking and never fail to leave visitors in awe.
Planning your visit
If you are planning on visiting Granada soon, hosted in a luxury apartment, it’s more than likely that a visit to the Alhambra is going to be one of the highlights of your trip. Due to the huge size of the complex, we recommend setting aside at least a full day to enjoy the visit to the max.
We also strongly recommend buying your ticket in advance as soon as possible to avoid arriving at the venue and facing the disappointment that it has been completely sold out. We must warn you that due to its popularity, tickets sell out weeks—and during high season, sometimes months—in advance.
The Alhambra website now offers the possibility to buy tickets online which is the most convenient option. However, if you’ll be spending quite a bit of time in Granada, you can also buy them in person at the ticket office for a future date. For 14 euros you will get general admission to the Alhambra that will get you into each of the site’s main areas.
Most people visiting the Alhambra come to see mainly the Nasrid Palaces, the most famous part of the monument. When buying your tickets, you’ll have to select a specific time for entrance to the palaces. Be sure to commit to a time when you’re sure you’ll be able to visit as these entrance times are strictly observed,
The majority of the visitors spend around 3 hours in the Alhambra and walk around 3.5 km on average, distributed like this: 15-30 minutes for the Generalife, 20-30 minutes for the Alcazaba, 15 minutes for Charles V Palace (without visiting the two museums) or 45 minutes (visiting the two museums), 1 hour for the Nasrid Palac. To this, we have to add around 1-1,5 hours of walking between one site of interest and another, plus 30-60 minutes of waiting in line.
The Alhambra is quite big and the attractions are spread around a large area. It takes about 20 minutes to walk from the main entrance to Generalife. Then you have to walk back the same way to get to the other palaces – that’s another 30 minutes. To this, you have to add the time you spend walking around the palaces.
How to get there
There are several options for getting to the Alhambra from Granada:
Taxi: around €6 (each way). This is the easiest and most convenient way to visit.
Bus: You can take the C3 bus behind the statue of Isabella and Columbus to get a ride up the hill almost to the front entrance. It costs €1,2.
Car: It takes about 15 minutes from Granada. There is an allocated parking space that costs €5,45 euros for 3 hours and €7.00 for 4 hours.
Walking: Start at Plaza Nueva and follow Cuesta de Gomerez. When you reach the Gate of the Pomegranates, turn left and continue until you reach the Puerta de la Justicia (Gate of Justice) entrance at the Alhambra. It’s a steep walk, but you can make it there in 15-20 minutes.
Where to eat
After a few hours visiting the sites of the Alhambra, you’ll probably start to feel hungry. There are not many options, though. The best one is to visit the Alhambra Parador which is a hotel right inside the Alhambra in an old monastery. Nonresidents are also welcome. There is a proper elegant restaurant inside, and a bar-snack-type rather than full meal on the terrace, perfect for a little break while enjoying the magnificient views.
There’s also a kiosk and a small vendor next to the Alcazaba, but that’s more for snacking and water.
Another option is to do a picnic and ate it in the beautiful Partal Gardens.