Even if you’re not much interested in history or culture the Alhambra should not be missed. It is a well preserved example of Moorish architecture with beautifully attended gardens that has maintained its allure and magic through the ages. A UNESCO world heritage site, the Alhambra (meaning “the red fortress”) has been the subject of poems, songs, operas, books, films, reveries and attracts every year millions of visitors from around the globe.
It was primarily built as a fortress in the 9th century during the reign of the Moors; it was then extended into a palace during the 13th and 14th centuries by the Nasrid dynasty. You can either visit the Alhambra on your own and enjoy its beauty at your own pace (with or without an audio guide) or book a tour with a private guide who will tell you more about its history and architecture (we can book a private guide for you).
If you would like to visit the Alhambra without a guide, do book tickets as soon as possible as they quickly sell out! On the website of the Alhambra Patronage you can book tickets in advance. We recommend the tickets called “Alhambra General”, “Alhambra Experience” or “Dobla de Oro General”, which include the Nasrid Palaces, the highlight of any Alhambra visit. During the buying process you can select a specific time to enter the Nasrid Palaces.
Before you start booking the tickets online, make sure to have the passport details of the people visiting at hand as you will have to enter these in the online form. Once you have purchased your tickets, print the confirmations as they serve as your tickets to enter the Alhambra. There is a QR code on each confirmation that enables you to go directly through ticket control. Make sure to bring the confirmation and your passports or IDs with you on the day of your visit!
Please note: If you have booked any tickets with discounts (children, elderly citizens etc.), your printed confirmations will not have any QR codes on them. You will need to go to the ticket office at the Alhambra main entrance with your confirmations and documentation to proof the age or special status of those with discounted tickets. You will then receive tickets with a QR code for everyone that will enable you to go through ticket control.
The best way to get to the Alhambra is by car. Take the A-44 and then the GR-30 direction Granada and follow the signs for the Alhambra. This will take you around the city, until exit 16, and then after another short bit of highway onto the A-395 up the hill to the Alhambra where you will be directed to its large car park.
Alternatively, to arrive at the Alhambra on foot from the centre of Granada, walk up the street called Cuesta de Gomérez from Plaza Nueva, and after passing through the Gate of the Pomegranates continue uphill through a short stretch of forest to the Gate of Justice on your left. Walk up the steps inside the gate and you will reach a large open area with the Alcazaba on the left side and the Palace of Charles V in front of you. It is a good 25 minutes uphill but it is worth it.
If you want to visit the Nasrid Palaces from this entry point, make sure to have valid entry tickets (with a QR code on them) and your identification documents with you.
Buses for the Alhambra are located in Reyes Católicos square, behind the statue of Queen Isabel with Christopher Columbus, take number C32. You can buy bus tickets on board and it will cost around 1.40 € per person; make sure you have change.
A good option to discover Granada is the local tourist train, on board of which you will be able to explore all of Granada. It passes alongside the Cathedral, up to the Alhambra and through the Arab and Jewish quarters.