Visiting the Alhambra in Granada is an almost essential thing when traveling to Andalusia. It is the most beautiful palace in the region, and it is one of the most important ensembles in the world, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Alhambra can be visited all year round but there are periods that it is best to avoid because it is not the best time to visit. There are several tickets that allow you to visit the Alhambra in Granada, choose the right one for your visit.
The Alhambra in Granada is one of the most visited places in Spain with 2.5M people visiting each year, roughly on par with Spain’s other monument: the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
- What to visit at the Alhambra Palace 🤩
- Where to buy tickets 🎟
- The map of the Alhambra Palace📍
- Where to stay with a view of the Alhambra 👍
- The best time to visit 🌄
- The other must-sees in Granada ⭐️
Why visit the Alhambra? The Alhambra is a medieval fortified palace built by the Moors. The Moors ruled the south of the Iberian Peninsula for centuries, and the Alhambra represents the most important legacy of that time. From this period also remains the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, the Alcazar of Seville or even certain monuments in Sintra, near Lisbon.
1. What to visit in the Alhambra Palace in Granada?
The Alhambra in Granada is made up of several distinct elements that can be visited separately or not.
- The Nasrid Palaces
- The Partal Gardens
- The Alcazba
- The Generalife and the gardens
How long to visit the Alhambra in Granada? Allow half a day or 3 hours, if you want to visit the Alhambra in Granada on a guided tour. On the other hand, if you make a free visit, then add another 1h30 – 2 hours. Read pour blog post: Best places to visit in Granada.
The Nasrid Palaces of the Alhambra in Granada
The Nasrid Palaces represent a set built over several different eras: Mexuar (the oldest), Palace of Comares, Palace of the Lions.
This is the most interesting part of the Alhambra, and it is the most difficult to access. The number of visitors is limited, and tickets to visit this part of the Alhambra in Granada are often sold out several days or even weeks in advance. We talk about it in more detail below in the Tickets section.
On tickets for The Nasrid Palaces, you will have a passage time to respect. No question of arriving late, you will not have access to the Palaces. With the ticket you can at any time to the other monuments: The Generalife, the Gardens, the Alcazba.
2. Buy tickets to visit the Alhambra Palace in Granada
There are 2 types of tickets, allowing different access:
- Generalife, Alcazba, Gardens
- Generalife, Alcazba, Gardens AND The Nasrid Palaces
WITHOUT The Nasrid Palaces. It is possible to visit the Alhambra very easily if you do NOT want to visit the Nasrid Palaces. There are always tickets available. It is not at all recommended to buy them on the spot because there can be a very long wait. It is best to always buy skip-the-line tickets, you can even do it at the last minute, on the day. Click here to buy Skip the Line tickets for the Alhambra without the Nasrid Palaces.
WITH The Nasrid Palaces. Places are limited every day here. When you buy the ticket, there will be an entry time indicated, to be respected. You have to buy your ticket well in advance because tickets are in high demand. No need to imagine arriving in the morning and buying tickets.
The same day, at the last minute. To find a ticket with access to the Nasrid Palaces at the last, it’s cotton at the Alhambra. The solution is to scour all the sites that sell tickets, the official site in Spanish and the GetYourGuide reseller. You can also find availability with an individual or small group guided tour. It is sometimes possible to buy the City Pass “Granada Card” which includes a ticket with the Nasrid Palace. Finally, the last technique is to try to find a ticket for a night visit.
At the evening. There are also tickets to visit the Alhambra in Granada, at nightfall, 10 p.m. in spring-summer, from Tuesday to Saturday. We only have one hour to visit, we have to go fast enough. There are 2 tickets: only the Nasrid Palace or only Generalife and the Gardens.
Guided tour for the Alhambra Palace in Granada. Visiting the Nasrid Palaces with a guide is a very good idea because there is a lot to say about this monument. It is possible to visit alone, without a guide, but you will probably miss many details. The guide allows you to understand and imagine how this place was used at the time: click here to see more info about a small group guided tour.
3. Plan of the Alhambra Palace in Granada
Here is the plan of the Alhambra of Granada, you can download it to have it on the phone.
4. Having a splendid view of the Alhambra in Granada
There are some hotels that allow you to have a splendid view of the Alhambra. After all, when you come to Granada, it’s mainly to see the Alhambra, so you might as well take your eyes off it.
There is a hotel that is really right next to the Alhambra, it is the Aurea Washington Irvin. You can see the walls of the Alhambra from the window! There is a shuttle bus with the city center.
Another solution, a hotel in the center but which has a rooftop with the most beautiful view of the Alhambra. For example, Eurostars Gran Via. Look at this view! You don’t want to end your day on the roof of the hotel sipping a cold drink?
5. The best time to visit the Alhambra in Granada
The Alhambra in Granada gets crowded in the summer, and it’s so hot, not the best time to visit. It is best to go there in the spring, or in the fall. From mid-April until mid-October, the weather is good in Andalusia. It’s also a little less crowded, so you’ll be able to find tickets more easily.
In winter, it is calm, but it is quite cool. The gardens will not be so sumptuous and it is the kind of place that is made to protect yourself from the heat.
In our opinion, visiting the Alhambra in Granada taking advantage of a bridge in the month of May seems to be the best time to visit the Alhambra. The gardens will be at their most splendid in the spring.
6. The other must-sees to visit in Granada
The Alhambra is the most majestic monument in Granada, but there are other places to visit:
- Visiting the Cathedral of the Incarnation of Granada and the Royal Chapel
- Strolling through the historic center of Granada on foot
- Taking a moment of relaxation in the Hammam Al Ándalus
- Discovering Sacromonte: visit the caves and Sacromonte Abbey
- Seeing a Flamenco show
- Taking a trip to the Alcaiceria market
Find our other must-sees to visit in Granada here.