Set in the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains the fortress of Alhambra is one of the most visited monuments in Spain. Its sandstone walls are carved with elaborate arabesques and Islamic calligraphy, gurgling fountains and windswept ramparts with sweeping views of the rolling hills of the Andalusian countryside; a visit to the Alhambra Palace is simply magical!
However, getting your tickets to see the Alhambra in Granada can be quite tricky as they allow only 6,600 people into the complex per day. They also limit the number of visitors to the Nasrid Palaces within Alhambra to 300 people every half an hour. While this may sound like a lot, you must know that Alhambra tickets sometimes sell out, over 90 days in advance. So, you’ll need a bit of planning to make sure you don’t miss out on seeing this attraction!
Types Of Alhambra Granada Tickets
You will need to purchase tickets to enter the three main sites of the Alhambra complex.
This area of the Alhambra is specially protected and the entry of visitors is strictly controlled. You must enter at the exact time indicated on your ticket. There are 22 time slots of 30 minute duration. Each time-slot sells between 100 and 175 tickets.
You can by tickets one year in advance until 23.59 hrs the day before. Tickets picked up at the ticket offices and dispenser machines need to be one hour in advance of the indicated time for access to the Nasrid Palaces.
When purchasing you need to supply identification which you also need to bring, with the bank card you made the purchase with, when you are picking up the tickets.
Tickets will allow you to access the following parts of the Alhambra:
The Alcazaba is the oldest part of the Alhambra, fortified military enclosure with towers and surveillance posts where the soldiers lived. This contains the famous Torre (Tower) de la Vela which has stunning views of Granada, Torre Quebrada, Torre del Homenaje, Torre de la Polvora, Torre del Cubo etc.
The Nasrid Palaces was the residence of sultans of Granada, a set of palaces and courtyards built at different times. This contains the Patio de los Leones, Salón del Trono, Patio y Cuarto Dorado, Palacio de Comares, Patio de los Arrayanes, The Mexuar, Court of the Myrtles, the Ambassadors’ Room etc.
The Generalife is country estate with beautiful gardens used by the Sultans of Granada as a place of rest and summer residence. This contains the Jardines Bajos, Patio del Cipres de la Sultana, Escalera del Agua, Mirador Romántico, Patio de la Acequia, Viewpoint of Ismail etc.
What Tickets are Available to visit the Alhambra?
With the new online ticket system you can now purchase tickets up to a year in advance. You can purchase your tickets from https://tickets.alhambra-patronato.es/
- Alhambra General Entrance – This costs 14 euros and is the most popular entrance and the most complete, includes everything: the Nasrid Palaces, Generalife and Alcazaba.
- Generalife Gardens and Alcazaba – This entry costs 7 euros and includes access to the gardens and palaces of the Generalife, the Partal and its Palace, and the Alcazaba. It does not include access to the the Nasarid Palaces.
- Night Visit to the Nasrid Palaces – This costs 14 euros and includes only the Nasrid Palaces, does not include the Generalife or the Alcazaba. So it may be worth purchasing this with a day ticket to the Generalife and Alcazaba, see the Alhambra experience below.
- Night Visit to the Gardens and Generalife – This costs 5 euros and includes only a nighttime visit to the Generalife and its gardens includes the Access Pavilion, Paseo de los Nogales del Generalife, New Gardens or Low Gardens of the Generalife and the Generalife Palace.
- Double Gold General – This costs 19.65 euros and is combination of a general daytime visit to the Alhambra and visits to the the following six Hispano-Muslim monuments: Corral del Carbon, Bañuelo, Dar al-Horra Palace Moorish House (C / Horno de Oro), Chapiz House and Zafra House.
- Combined Visit Alhambra and Rodriguez-Acosta Foundation – This costs 17 euros and includes Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces and Generalife, on the day and time indicated at the entrance. It also includes a visit to the Rodríguez-Acosta Foundation.
What to do if the Alhambra tickets are sold out?
If you have tried all the ticket options on the main website then you are down to a couple of options.
The Granada Card can be purchased which can include entrance to the Alhambra and the Nasarid Palaces, as well as other sites in Granada.
If they are also sold out then you can purchase an entry with a guided tour.
Alhambra Opening Hours
The Alhambra Monument is open every day except 25th December and 1st January. The general visiting hours for the Alhambra are as follows:
Visiting Alhambra between 15th October – 31st March
Monday – Sunday: 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Nasrid Palaces – Night session: (Fri to Sat) 8.00 PM to 9.30 PM
Generalife Palace – Night session: (Fri to Sat) 8.00 PM to 9.30 PM
Visiting Alhambra between 1st April to 14th October
Monday – Sunday: 8:30 AM to 8.00 PM
Nasrid Palaces Night session: (Tuesday – Saturday) 10.00 PM to 11.30 PM
Generalife Palace and Gardens – Night session – 1st April – 31st May: (Tues to Sat) 10.00 PM to 11.30 PM
Generalife Palace – Night session – 1st Sept – 14th Oct: (Fri to Sat) 10.00 PM to 11.30 PM
10 essential tips for visiting The Alhambra
- The entry time on your ticket is for entering the Nasrid Palaces — not the Alhambra complex in general. This can be confusing since when you first enter the Alhambra you are in the garden area. Many people have missed the chance to visit the spectacular palaces because, by the time they arrive, their entry time has passed. Don’t let this happen to you. So make sure you enter the Alhambra complex well in time to reach the Nasrid palace for your 30 minute entry slot. Once your slot has passed, they will not let you enter. It may be worth planning on visiting the Nasrid Palaces first, and then seeing the other parts of the Alhambra such as the Generalife gardens and the Alcazaba fortress at your leisure.
- If you have a purchased an Alhambra Granada Ticket online, it is recommended you access the complex through the Puerta de la Justicia. It is closer to Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces and Palacio del Partal, and you the queue than the main entrance.
- Some buildings in the complex, such as the Alcazaba and parts of the Generalife have a single entry so make sure you have ample time in hand before entering these buildings. To visit everything at a leisurely pace will require about 4 hours and is a 3km walk.
- Do your research on the palaces – The Alhambra has a fascinating story full of sultans, emperors, kings, queens, uprisings, and rebellions. Read through our in-depth guides before you visit.
- You cannot buy food while in the Nasrid Palaces altough these is a snack bar at the Plaza de Los Aljibes.
- While card payments are accepted in the ticket line, cash payments are faster. Only VISA or MASTERCARD credit or debit cards are accepted.
- While many people trust official websites for purchasing attraction tickets, you must know that the Alhambra official website is a little risky and glitchy. There have been many instances where payment does not go through, and even if the payment does the tickets are not booked. To avoid such hassles, it’s best that you purchase from trusted third party vendors like Viator etc.
- It is imperative that you carry your passports or ID you used when you purchased your tickets with you. Acceptable ID’s are Passports or DNI / NIF or NIE.
- Skip the Line tickets are an absolute boon, especially during peak season ( April to June). Or else, you’ll spend a good part of your day standing in queue and trust me, the Spanish sun is harsh, very harsh.
- Selfie sticks, camera flashes, and tripods are prohibited in Nasrid Palaces and closed spaces.
Alhambra Tickets Frequently Asked Questions
If the tickets you want are sold out, your best bet is buying a guided tour ticket or maybe a partial ticket that allows you entry to the Generalife and Alcazaba or maybe a Night Ticket to Nazrid Palaces and Generalife. While this may not suffice for an ideal experience, these are your best options. Among the above, a guided tour is the easiest option.
Yes, it is possible to cancel your General Alhambra tickets at least 72 hours in advance the time of your visit as long as you have not printed them out at the ticket machine. There is an 8 € fee for this.
Yes, you must have your passport or the ID you used when purchasing the ticket.
You can buy tickets to the Alhambra between two hours and one year in advance of the visit.
No, you cannot change the day and time of entry once your booking is complete. However, you can return the ticket and buy a new one if there are tickets available. Also, tickets can be returned with a minimum 5-day notice period by writing to [email protected]
Early fall and the late spring is an ideal time to visit. With pleasantly warm weather, limited rainfall, and smaller crowds, these months are best as compared to the harsh summer months. Winter sees less daylight, hence plan your visit well and the cold months make for a great time to visit as well. All in all, Alhambra is a great year-round destination and there’s no particular month that one should completely avoid visiting.
I’d recommend keeping aside 4 hours for a leisure visit of Alhambra. Start early in the morning and hit up Nasrid Palace (depending on your slot) followed by the Alcazaba and the Generalife.
Definitely! Nothing beats an expert guide taking you through the rooms and passages of Alhambra, narrating the stories and lores that the walls of the palace have sealed for centuries. No audio-guide or book can do justice to this experience, and who would you ask questions if you want to know something more about the Moorish clan? A guided tour is recommended all the way!
Unfortunately, you cannot transfer your Alhambra Granada Tickets to another person’s name. Since the booking is in your name, the ID shown at the entrance must match the name of the booking. Hence, no. Transferring to another person is not allowed.
Children will definitely enjoy the gardens of Generalife and though they may not appreciate the architecture, they will have a good time. That said, you can’t bring a stroller/buggy into the Nasrid Palace or Generalife. There are special areas to keep the strollers while you’re visiting the Nasrid and there are free baby carriers where you can store the stroller. Children from 3 to 11 years have reduced ticket prices and kids below the age of 3 have free entry.
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Granada is a fascinating part of Spain with a rich history and culture. As with any city it is packed with attractions and monuments to explore – starting with the the amazing Alhambra fortress and the old Moorish neighborhood of Albaicín and Sacromonte, cracking street art, great tapas bars and a annual fiesta.
The Nasrid Palaces | The Heart of Alhambra
The Nasrid palaces are what everyone thinks of when the Alhambra is mentioned. The Alhambra’s most celebrated structures are the three original royal palaces built by the Nasrid rulers during the 14th Century when they moved out of the Alcazaba into more comfortable accommodation.
Generalife Alhambra | The Architects Garden
Generalife occupies the slopes of the Cerro del Sol or Hill of the Sun, across the valley from the Nasrid Palaces. The Generalife was built in the 13th century as a leisure place for the kings of Granada when they wanted to get away from the official affairs of the palace.
Alcazaba Alhambra | The Fortress of Alhambra
The history of Granada is somewhat distinctive from most of Spain. Lying just a couple of hundred kilometers from Morocco, this part of Spain has experienced the best of the Moorish era.
The Nasrid Palaces | Palace of the Lions
In the Alhambra, the Palace of the Lions or El Palacio de los Leones marks the highlight of its splendor. The Palacio de los Leones (Palace of the Lions) stands next to the Comares Palace but should be considered an independent building.
The Nasrid Palaces | The Comres Palace
The Comares Palace was the official residence of the king and it comprises several rooms that surrounded the Patio de los Arrayanes. Its building was initiated by the Nasrid ruler of Granada, Ismail I (1314–25), and continued by Yusuf I (1333–54), though he was assassinated before he could complete the work.
The Nasrid Palaces | The Mexuar
The Mexuar was the first palace to be built by Ismail I at the start of the 14th Century. This became the semi public part of the palaces administering justice and controlling state affairs.
Boabdil, the last King of Granada
Abu Abdullah was the twenty-second and last Nasrid ruler of Granada in Iberia. Boabdil is a Spanish rendering of the name Abu Abdullah.
The Nasrid Dynasty
The Nasrid dynasty was the last Moorish and Muslim dynasty in Spain. The dynasty rose to power after the defeat of the Almohad Caliphate in 1212 at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa.