15 Essential Alhambra Tips and Tricks: How to visit Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain

Alhambra in Granada is one of the best places to visit in Southern Spain

15 essential Alhambra tips and tricks to help you to make the most of your Alhambra visit.

Alhambra is the most visited site in Spain.

2.000.000 people visit Alhambra every year, while visits to Alhambra are limited to 6.600 visitors a day.

Arm yourself with these 15 Alhambra tips and tricks to have a relaxed and magnificent Alhambra visit.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO. 

HOW TO VISIT ALHAMBRA IN GRANADA: ALHAMBRA TIPS AND TRICKS 

 Spain is the second the most visited country in the World, following only France. And, Alhambra Palace in Granada is the most visited site in Spain.

Every year more than 80 million people visit Spain. And more than 2 million people a year visit Alhambra.

Visiting Alhmabra in Granada on a striking Andalucia road trip and sampling flavourful Spain foods along the way is one of the top experiences in Spain.

When you visit Alhambra, it gets perfectly clear why Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage site, a top tourist attraction in Spain, the most visited monument in Spain, the best of the best castles in Spain, and one of the most famous tourist attractions in the World overall. There are only a few places in the World that can be compared to Alhambra in Spain. Probably Taj Mahal in India is the one.

Alhambra tips include visiting Daraxa's Mirador and all of Nasrid Palaces early morning as possible
Daraxa’s Mirador is a part of the Nasrid Palaces in Alhambra © World Travel Connector
Alhambra tips
The Patio of the Lions (Patio de los Leones) is probably the most famous site in Alhambra in Granada © World Travel Connector

La Alhambra in Spain has been inspiring poets, writers, artists and alike for centuries: among others Washington Irving, Salaman Rushdie, Federico Garcia Lorca, Paulo Coelho, and George Brandard Shaw. And, Morrish poets called El Alhambra ‘a pearl set in emeralds’.

The Alhambra complex is colorful in every sense: historical,  cultural, architectural, artistic… Alhambra is deep and rich with history, cultures, and stories. Alhambra is a palace, yet a fort. Alhambra of Spain is romantic, yet mystical. It is royal, yet military. But above all Spain s Alhambra is impressive in every way.

best views of one of the Alahmabra tips is to go to Albaicín for the best views of Alhambra
A view of Alhambra from Albaicín © World Travel Connector

The Alhambra Palace is majestic and the Alhambra setting is stunning. The Alhambra Palace stands on the top of Al-Sabika hill superiorly overlooking the valley of the river Darro and dominating the city of Granada in Spain with the Sierra Nevada in the background.

one of the Alhambra tips is for the best views of Granada to go to Alcazaba fortress
A view of Granada from Alcazaba fortress in Alhambra © World Travel Connector

Alhambra Castle was named the Red Castle by Moors since Alhambra means literally ‘the Red One’ in Arabic. Although it was founded by Romans, the true shine was given to Al Alhambra by the Moors in the 8th century during the Al Andalus era, while the Renaissance style was added by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella in the 15th century.

One of Alhambra tips is to visit first Nasrid Palaces
The interior of the Nasrid Palaces in Alhambra in Granada © World Travel Connector

Alhambra is a unique mix of architectural and artistic styles of exceptional universal value. Thus, it is not surprising that Alhambra is one of the most visited sites in the World.

One of the Alahambra tips is to head early in the morning to Nazrid Palaces to see Place of the Lions before the tourist crowds come
Palace of the Lions is a part of Nasrid Palaces in Alhambra in Granada © World Travel Connector

These essential Alhambra tips on how to visit Alhambra will help you to prepare yourself for visiting Alhambra.

1. BUY ALHAMBRA TICKETS ONLINE ON THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Buy La Alhambra tickets in advance on the Alhambra official website, choosing the date, with the exact time of your visit to Alhambra and type of ticket. Visits to Alhambra are limited to 6.600 visitors a day. The official recommendation of the Alhambra is to buy tickets for Alhambra 90 days in advance since only 300 people can enter the Nasrid Palaces (the main attraction of the Alhambra complex) every 30 min.

ALHAMBRA TICKETS OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Tickets for the Alhambra complex are valid for the whole day, but the tickets for the Nasrid Palaces are valid only for an exact time slot indicated on the Alhambra ticket.

Alhambra tips
The ceiling of the Hall of the Ambassadors in the Alhambra in Granada © World Travel Connector

If the tickets are not sold out, you can buy tickets to Alhambra Spain at the Ticket Office on the same day. Before you head to the Ticket Office, check out the official Alhambra website to see if there any available tickets for the day. If Alhambra tickets are sold out, there s no need for you to get up the hill to Alhambra fortress.

I visited Granada and Alhambra in May and bought my ticket for visiting Alhambra 2 days before heading to Granada. I got lucky. I traveled to Spain without a strict itinerary and had the freedom to select the dates of visiting Granada. If you travel Andalusia with limited time, I strongly advise buying Alhambra tickets online in advance.

ALHAMBRA TICKETS OFFICIAL WEBSITE

2. CHOOSE THE TYPE OF ALHAMBRA TICKET

There are different types of tickets to Alhambra: General Alhambra Entrance, Generalife and Alcazaba, Night Visit to Nazrid Palaces, Night Visit to Generalife, Combined Visit and Alhambra Experiences (the nighttime visit to Nazrid Palaces with the daytime visit to Alcazaba and Generalife gardens on two consecutive days).

The Alhambra General Ticket (a ticket that allows visiting the entire Alhambra complex during the day) and the Alhambra Palaces at Night Ticket are the most sought after Alhambra Palace tickets.

I bought the Alhambra General Ticket which gave me access to the whole Alhambra complex.

3. ALHAMBRA TICKET PRICE

Alhambra tickets vary in the range from 7 EUR – 14 EUR

General Alhambra admission ticket fee (the one I bought): 14 EUR

4. CHOOSE YOUR TIME OF VISITING ALHAMBRA WISELY – BEST TIME TO VISIT ALHAMBRA

Best time of day to visit Alhambra is early morning.

If you want to have Alhambra visit with no crowds, aim to buy a ticket for visiting Alhambra at the earliest time as possible, before big group tours come: at 8:3o. I went to Alhambra at the earliest possible time (8:30 am) and took some great Alhambra photos with no tourists.

5. KEEP YOUR ALHAMBRA PALACE TICKET IN YOUR PHONE

When you buy a ticket online, you don’t need to print it.  Previously, visitors needed to print their bought-online tickets. But, not anymore. You just need to show the QR code of your ticket on your phone for scanning and to show your passport.

6.  BE AT THE ENTRANCE AT LEAST 30 MIN BEFORE THE TIME ON YOUR TICKET

Aim to be at least 30 minutes ahead the time on your ticket at the entrance to the Nasrid Palaces. If you are late, you won’t be allowed to enter the Alhambra.

You can’t change the date and time of your entry to Alhambra.

7.  CONSIDER BUYING SKIP-THE-LINE TICKET

If you don’t like or don’t have time to wait in line, buy Skip-The-Line Ticket

8. BEGIN YOUR ALHAMBRA VISIT WITH THE NASRID PALACES 

The Court of the Lions in Alhambra © World Travel Connector

Plan your Alhambra itinerary. The best is to start the Alhambra visit with the Nasrid Palaces and then head to the Generalife Palace and Gardens, Alcazaba and the rest of Alhambra complex.

Keep in mind, visits to the Nazrid Palaces are restricted by the time slots.

Main structures of the Alhambra complex in Spain are the Court of the Myrtles, the Nazrid Palaces, the Generalife Place with Gardens, the Partal Palace with the Partal Gardens, the Palace of Carlos V, and Alcazaba.

The Generalife Gardens in Alhambra © World Travel Connector

The Nasrid Palaces consist of the Palace of the Lions with central Patio of the Lions, Hall of the Mocarabes, Hall of the Abencerrajes, Harem, Hall of the Kings, Hall of the Two Sisters, Hall of the Ajimeces, Daraxa’s Mirador, the Emperor’s Chambers, Queen’s Dressing Room, Patio of the Wrought Iron Grille, Daraxa’s Garden, and Baths

Calle Real de la Alhambra in Alhambra complex in Granada © World Travel Connector

You can find Alhambra map for the download here 

9.  PLAN TO SPEND ABOUT 3 HOURS IN THE COMPLEX

Time to visit Alhambra complex takes 3 hours on average (wear comfortable shoes, bring some water and snacks with you).

10. CHOOSE YOUR STAY IN GRANADA SMART

Alhambra is on a hill. From the center of the city of Granada to Alhambra takes a 20 min walk or a 20 min drive. Plan enough time to reach the Alhambra to enter. The best would be to stay nearby Alhambra or to take a stay in an Alhambra Palace hotel. There are two options to stay within the grounds of the Alhambra Castle: Hotel America and Parador de Granada.

11. DECIDE HOW YOU WILL GET TO THE ALHAMBRA COMPLEX 

You can get to the Alhambra complex: on foot, by bus, and by car. The walk up the hill is steep and it takes about 20 min to the Alhambra complex from Plaza Nueva.

There are two gates to enter the Alhambra complex: the Gate of Justice and the Gate of Pomegranates. The Gate of Justice is the place to enter the Nasrid Palace. If you are planning to start your visit to Alhambra from the Generalife Palace and Gardens, you need to go to the Main Entrance. If you are planning to start your Alhambra visit from the Nasrid Palaces, you need to enter Alhambra at the Gate of Justice.

Torre de Las Damas in Alhambra in Granada in Spain © World Travel Connector

If you are not into uphill walking, take bus No 30 and No 32 from the Plaza Nueva in Granada. The one-way ticket costs about 1.20 EUR. But, the bus takes to the Main Entrance, not to the Gate of Justice. If you haven’t bought your ticket in advance, you need to wait in the long queue to buy the ticket. From the Main Entrance, you can visit the Generalife Gardens before going to the Nasrid Palace.

If you choose to get to Alhambra by car, there’s a parking lot in front of the Main Entrance. Alhambra parking ticket costs 5.45 EUR for 3 hours, 7 EUR for 4 hours. You will get the ticket when you enter the parking lot. And you need to pay the parking at the parking machine before leaving the parking lot. From the center of Granada to the parking lot take a 15 min drive on average.

12. ADMIRE ALHAMBRA FROM DIFFERENT VIEWS IN GRANADA

one of the Alhambra tips is for the best views of Alhambra to go to Carrera del Darro in Granada
A view of Alhambra from Carrera del Darro in Granada © World Travel Connector

See Alhambra from different places in Granada. Take a stroll in Granada and admire the fortress-palace from the banks of the river Darro, from Alabacin (famous medieval Moorish neighborhood), charming Sacromonte neighborhood (famous gypsy quarter). The views of the Alhambra complex from Alabacin and Sacromonte are especially spectacular in the sunset. Best sunset view of Alhambra is from Mirador de San Nicolas (Plaza San Nicolas in Alabacin).

13. ALHAMBRA HOURS

A view of Granada from the Torre de Las Damas in Alhambra © World Travel Connector

Alhambra opening hours:

8:30 – 18:00 (Mon-Sun; mid-Oct – Mar)

8:30 – 18:00 (Mon-Sun, Apr – mid-Oct)

Nasrid Palace at Night:

20:00 to 21:30 (Fri-Sat; mid-Oct – Mar)

22:00 to 23:30 (Tue-Sat, April – Mid-Oct)

Generalife Palace & Gardens at Night

22:00 to 23:30 (Tue-Sat; Apr-May)

22:00 to 23:30 (Tue to Sat; Sep – mid-Oct)

20:00 to 21:30 (Fri-Sat; mid-Oct – mid-Nov)

14. WHERE TO STAY IN GRANADA

Alhambra tips for finding a perfect stay in Granada

Hotels in Granada Spain near Alhambra:

Hotel America – a boutique style hotel within the grounds of the Alhambra Palace

Parador de Granada – a luxury hotel within the grounds of the Alhambra overlooking the Generalife. Romantic, especially recommended for couples

Alhambra Palace – a luxury hotel just outside of ancient walls of Alhambra with spectacular views of the city of Granada. A peaceful oasis with the views of Granada to die for.

Apartamentos Campo Del Príncipe – 10 min walk from the Alhambra Palace, 500 m from Albaicin and 600 m from the Arab Baths. Great value for the money.

Lemon Rock Hostel – a budget option  25 min walk from the Palace Alhambra, in the heart of Granada. New and modern.

15. ALHAMBRA TOURS

If you don’t buy your Alhambra ticket online through official Alhambra website www.alhambra-tickets.es, or at the Ticket Office on the Alhambra entrance, you can buy Alhambra guided tour in an Authorized Travel Agency.

Alhambra tours: Book Alhambra tour

Or if you want to learn more about the history of the Alhambra, a good idea is to take a guided tour with an expert guide.

3-Hour Alhambra & Generalife Guided Tour by a Local Guide: Skip-the-Line

Alhambra and Nasrid Palaces PRIVATE Guided Tour

Full Alhambra Complex Guided Tour 

Premium Small Group Tour with Official Guide

Alhambra, Generalife & Nasrid Palaces: Tour with Fast Track

Alhambra Ticket & Arabian Baths

If you are in Seville, Malaga, Marabella, and Estepona, you can take a day trip to Granada and visit Alhambra.

From Seville: Alhambra Palace and Alybacin Tour

From Malaga: Granada & Alhambra

From Nerja: Granada & Alhambra

From Malaga: City of Granada & Alhambra

From Marbella: Alhambra Small Group

From Estepona: Alhambra Small Group

After visiting the Alhambra in Spain, I bet you would like this family game:

Pin and save these Alhambra tips and tricks to make the most of your Alhambra visit!

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THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ MY DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO.

11 comments

  1. I had no idea Alhambra was such a top tourist destination — thanks for the tips on how to get in. The architecture is stunning! I would love to see the Court of the Lions and the archway in Torre de Las Damas where you took a photo of Granada is exquisite! Very beautiful place. Pinned!

    -Summer
    https://travelingsummer.com

  2. I appreciate all the information you provided here. I’m visiting Spain in March 2020 and have been slowly putting my itinerary together. Granada is of course on the list, and I hope to visit Alhambra as well. Thanks for the heads up on buying the tickets ahead of time and the skip the line ticket, I love those things!! I don’t have any patience what so ever, so I’ll always fork over the extra few bucks if I don’t have to stand in a long line.

  3. Oh, Alhambra looks so gorgeous and pretty from a distance. Did you use a drone or is it because of the landscape only? I have read a lot about Granada, wish I could go there.

  4. I’m so glad I came across this post! I was actually planning to visit Alhambra next month and I was looking around for tips and tricks when traveling here. Your post provided a lot of useful information. Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work

  5. I saw beautiful photos from my friend, but I never knew there’s a cap on number of people visiting per day. Good to know so next time I’ll be sure to book my tickets online 6 months in advance =)

  6. I have yet to visit Granada and am hoping to include it in our itinerary during our next visit to Spain. You’ve captured the magnificent architecture of Alhambra so beautifully through your amazing photographs. Thanks for the detailed information and excellent tips in the post that can definitely make the visit to Alhambra a memorable one. Will be referring back to this post for sure as we plan our trip to Spain.

  7. We, Filipinos, have Spanish ancestry as we have been a Spanish colony for over 300 years. As such, we would love to visit Alhambra—it would be like visiting to our roots. The architecture though seems to be more Indian or Middle Eastern in influence. Too bad though that it’s difficult for us to go to Europe due to the fact that our passport is not exactly that “strong.” But who knows? One day…

  8. The Alhambra look magnificent. I was in Granada 2 years back and I was amazed exploring this palace. I liked how you have given the details of each corner of the huge place. Anyone visiting the Alhambra should surely keep couple of hours in hand as you have mentioned. It’s really important not to miss any of it.

  9. I missed Alhambra Palace in Granada during my Spain Tour due to lack of time. Now after reading your post, I regret why I missed it. Alhambra Palace in Granada is really magnificient and especially the views from top.

  10. I am loving all your Spain posts! I just subscribed 🙂 I grew up in Southern Spain, but haven’t lived there in a long time and things are really different. When I was a kid there were far fewer tourists and no need to book tickets ahead of time, etc. I’m taking my family on an Andalucian road trip next spring and using your posts to help plan. Thank you!

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