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Top sights in Granada
Learn everything you need to know before visiting Granada’s fantastic Alhambra. From the historical significance to how much time to spend, our tips and information will help make your trip unforgettable.
As both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the 12 Treasures of Spain, the Alhambra holds special significance in the region. While all of the monuments are worth visiting, the Nasrid Palaces are the Alhambra’s most popular feature. Near the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the palaces recall Granada’s prominent Muslim heritage and history. Made up of the Mexuar, Serallo, and Harem, the royal complex exhibits the extravagance of life at the height of the Nasrid dynasty.
Planning ahead is always smart, but it’s a must to see the Alhambra. The monument holds a 3-day cutoff policy for ticket sales. For popular times of the year like the winter holidays or around Easter, travelers should book at least 3 months in advance to ensure entry. If basic entry tickets are sold out, you may still be able to book a guided tour of the monuments. Remember, you’ll need to provide your full name and ID or passport number to receive your tickets.
Surrounded by mountains, accessing the Alhambra isn’t easy. Few roads lead to the palace, so make sure you’re not in a rush. If you’re already in Granada, the trip takes at least 20 minutes. Most guided tours that include the palace complex and Generalife Gardens take at least 3 hours. As one of Spain’s most popular attractions, you may also find yourself waiting in line. Of course, purchasing tickets to see the Alhambra in advance is a great way to make the most of your time.
Originally built in 889 AD on top of Roman ruins, the Alcazaba Military Fortress is the oldest part of the Alhambra. Renovated by the Nasrid Dynasty in the 13th century, monuments like the Generalife Gardens and the Courtyard of the Lions were eventually added to the fortress. While some guided tours of Alhambra will take you to all of the monuments, each monument has its own access point and entrance tickets. Additionally, some areas on the palace grounds are free to access.
The palace is open all year, except for December 25 (Christmas) and January 1 (New Year's Day).
There is no dress code for the palace, but be aware that some other Catholic establishments in the city may require arms and legs to be covered. And remember to stay in the shade and drink lots of water!
Public transport (line C3) will take you right to the ticket office. Alternatively, you can walk. There are a few different routes from the city center (about 800m each). The most serene, beautiful, and historically interesting is the road from Plaza Nueva. The route will take you up the Cuesta de Gomérez, through the Gate of the Pomegranates, and into the tree-lined avenues that lead to the Alhambra.
- When should I visit?
Tuesday-Saturday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
Sunday, 9:00 AM-3:30 PM
Holiday hours may vary
- Is it expensive?
- The adult ticket prices start at €14.00, and booking in advance is highly recommended.
- Will I need a guide?
- You may be interested in an expert's narration while you try to take in the architecture, room by room.
- How to get there
- Public transport (line C3), car, or on foot from the city center.
- Additional information
- This attraction is free for children under twelve years old, but booking is still required.
- Entrance to the Nasrid Palaces is allocated per half-hour time slot. Don't be late!
What people are saying about Alhambra
Excellente et très agréable visite de l’Alhambra. Notre guide Marco-Antonio fût excellent à tous égards : il partage son savoir encyclopédique avec humour et s’exprime dans un français parfait. Cette visite est très riche (les palais et les jardins nécessitent au moins 3 heures de visite), mais nous n’avons pas vu le temps passer. Marco-Antonio est spécialiste de l’histoire médiévale espagnole et sera le guide parfait pour vous faire découvrir (ou redécouvrir) l’Alhambra, tant pour relater les faits historiques majeurs ayant façonné ce lieu d’exception que pour partager des anecdotes culinaires en longeant le potager. Un guide passionné et passionnant!
My best experiment in Andalousia! The visit was supposed to be with an audioguide but because of covid, Getyourguide employed local guides to make the guided visit. It began on August 12th at 10:30am and ended around 2pm. The guide, Mar was simply awesome: erudite, effective, she managed the covid rules changements nicely and made us at ease. We visited the place like royals and she generously shared informations and answers. No need to say: the place is gorgeous, even more than what I was expecting. Thank you Getyourguide and muchas gracias Mar.
We were so lucky to have Ana Diaz as our guide for the Alhambra tour. Such a lovely and knowledgeable lady who made everything very interesting. We had a problem ( our fault,) by forgetting our passports (we had ID but you need something with a photo on it) and had to go back to the apartment in a taxi. Ana worked out when she and the rest of the group would be and told us to get a taxi to there. It worked out brilliantly thanks to her thoughtfulness and kindness.
The guide (Vanessa) was very nice and explained everything very well. She was also upbeat and enthusiastic about what she does, which makes it way more fun. We had some issues getting in to some buildings because of new ID requirements and she was patient and very helpful. We appreciate it so much, and thumbs up also to the personnel at Alhambra for being very helpful as well.
About 3 hours of guided tour with a small group of 6 pple. The place is a must see in Granada. Ana was a great guide. I would have got lost without a guide! We did the tour at 10AM and there was not many tourists so there was no queue anywhere and made the tour very enjoyable. We were able to stay longer on the site after the tour to enjoy the views over the city.