The Alhambra palace sits elevated above the bustling city of Granada with the snowy, jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada adorning the backdrop. Most people who visit Spain squeeze in a visit to Alhambra Granada, be it for a day or two. If you happen to be one amongst those dreaming about a visit to the idyll Alhambra Palace, our FAQS guide below will take care of all the doubts that may crop in your mind.
Alhambra Palace - Basics Answered
What is the Alhambra Palace famous for?
The Alhambra Palace as we know it is one of the best surviving examples of Moorish architecture in Spain, apart from the Giralda in Seville and La Mezquita in Córdoba. The Palace is a sophisticated blend of medieval Islamic, Renaissance Christian and modern architectural styles, making it nothing short of breathtaking.
Who built the Alhambra Palace?
The Alhambra wasn’t constructed by a single ruler. It is the work of successive rulers of the Nasrid dynasty and the subsequent Spanish rulers. The first known historical records of the Alcazaba (and the greater Alhambra) date back to the 9th century. A man named Sawwar Ben Hamdun is said to have sought refuge in the Alcazaba fortress due to civil fights between Muslims and Muladies (a mix of Arab and European descent). The records suggest that Sawwar ben Hamdun and other Muslims may have then initiated new constructions at the fortress.
However, the Alhambra was largely ignored until the Nasrid rule in 11th century. Mohammed ben Al-Hamar (Mohammed I), founder of the Nasrid dynasty is said to have laid the foundations for Alhambra as we know it today by fortifying the royal site.Al-Hamar’s son and grandson, Mohammed II and Mohammed III, continued the work of their predecessor and so did their successors. Most of the well-known structures of the Alhambra complex known today were constructed by Yusuf I and Mohammed V.
In 1492 when King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile conquered Granada, they took over the Alhambra Palace and commissioned additions and changes to the Palace grounds. What we see today is the fruit of years of construction.
What are the highlights of the Alhambra Palace?
The highlights of the Alhambra Complex are : Nasrid Palace, Generalife Gardens, Alcazaba, Palacio de Carlos V and the Rauda. These apart, the Palace complex is a beauty inside out and demands to be explored for a whole day. To know more about the best parts of Alhambra head here.
Is the Alhambra Guided Tour recommended?
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!
Can I do an audio self guided tour? If so, where do I pick up headphones?
Yes! You certainly can. These Skip The Line: Alhambra, Generalife, Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces with Audioguide allow you to explore the palace at your own pace with a well-versed audio guide. On-site, you can display your vouchers on your mobile phone with a valid photo ID at our local partner's visitor's office in exchange for your physical tickets and audioguide
The best views of the Alhambra are for free and from the Albayzin area. You can enjoy fine views from the banks of the River Darro but the best views are from the Mirador San Nicolas viewing platform, especially around sunset. Take minibus C1 from the town center and get dropped outside Mirador San Nicolas.
Alhambra is built on a hill, so expect fantastic views in every direction. Some of the finest views are from the watchtower in Alcazaba, from the windows at Nasrid Palace and from the Generalife Palace.
Is it really worth visiting Alhambra?
Definitely! It is the most visited monument in all of Spain, the second most visited site in Europe and often counted amongst the wonders of the world. Have no second thoughts and grab your Alhambra Granada Tickets today.
Alhambra Granada Timing Queries
Is Alhambra open everyday?
The Alhambra Palace is open every day of the year, except 25th of December and January 1st. The timings vary during the summer and winter months. Check out the opening hours during your visit here.
What is the best time of the year to visit Alhambra?
While Alhambra Palace is a treat year round, there are specific months and certain times of the day when crowds are thin and the palace is more beautiful and serene than ever. The months of spring and summer give you a chance to see the gardens in their full bloom and take a few hours of respite from the Mediterranean sun inside the cool palace complex. As for the time of the day, mornings are best recommended. I Arrive as soon as the doors open, explore the Gardens before the heat sets in and then seeing the Palaces and other sites.
What are the opening hours for Alhambra Palace?
From April 1 to October 14
Day Visit : Monday through Sunday
- Hours - 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM
- Ticket Office Hours/ Gate Hours - 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Evening Visit : Tuesday to Saturday
- Hours - 10:00 PM to 11:30 PM
- Ticket Office Hours/ Gate Hours - 9:00 PM to 10:45 PM
From October 15 to March 31
Day Visit : Monday through Sunday
- Hours - 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM
- Ticket Office Hours/ Gate Hours - 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Evening Visit : Friday & Saturday
- Hours - 10:00 PM to 11:30 PM
- Ticket Office Hours/ Gate Hours - 9:00 PM to 10:45 PM
How long does it take to see Alhambra?
Keep 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.
Alhambra Granada Ticket Queries
What are the ticket prices for Alhambra Granada?
There are different types of tickets available at Alhambra, however below are the prices for the General Day Visit that gives you access to the Nasrid Palaces, Alcazaba and Generalife Gardens. These are an entry only price and does not include a guide or any gratuities over and above the entrance fee.
- Adults - 14.85€
- Youth ( with European Youth Card) - 9.54€
- Pensioners ( with proof) - 9.54€
- Disaabled - 8.48€
- Children aged 12- 15 ( with proof) - 8.48€
- Children under 12 ( with proof) - Free entry
How far in advance can I buy Alhambra Granada tickets?
If you're planning to purchase your Alhambra Tickets from the official website, you can do so only 2 months ( 90 days exact ) before your visit. If you're purchasing a guided tour from a licensed third party vendor like Headout, you can book your tickets about 4 months in advance. If you book via telephone, you can book three months and up to two hours before your visit.
How can I buy Alhambra tickets online?
Buying the Alhambra tickets online is a fairly easy process. Depending on the availability and the type of ticket you want ( ticket only or tour) , you can buy the tickets from the official website or third party vendors like Headout. Since only 6000 people are allowed in a day, tickets are limited to 6000. Try your luck everywhere possible!
Can I buy Alhambra Tickets via telephone?
Yes, you can. Dial +34 858 953 616 and make your reservation.
How to buy last minute Alhambra tickets ?
There are 3 ways to go about getting last minute Alhambra Tickets. Buy the Granada Card, book a guided tour or get up early and stand in queue at the Alhambra counter. To know more about getting last minute tickets to Alhambra, check out our complete guide.
Do I have to bring a printed ticket for my child who is below 12 years old?
Yes. All visitors should bring a ticket with a bar code, including those whose entrance to the monument is free, such as children less than 12 years old.
Who all are eligible for discounted Alhambra Tickets?
- EU Students under 30 with valid ID
- EU senior citizens (65+)
- People with disabilities (with more than 33% disability and upon presentation of valid document)
- Members of the International Council on Monuments and Historical Artistic Sites (ICOMOS) and of the International Council of Museums (IOCM): Free admission.
- Children under 12 years : Free Admission
What do I do if the tickets are sold out?
In case of this disappointing scenario, you have 3 options
- Skip the Nasrid Palace: There are tickets that give you access only to the Generalife gardens and Alcazaba fortress. These are easier to get, hence skip the general admission ticket and opt for this ticket if you're willing to forgo the palace and still take a sumptuous gulp of Alhambra.
- Choose an evening/night visit: Alhambra at night is hauntingly beautiful and though nightime tickets are quite popular, they are still easier to get than daytime tickets. Note, you have to buy tickets to the Nasrid Palace seperately from tickets to Generalife and Alcazaba for the night visit.
- Book a guided tour: A guided tour is a great way to learn more about the Alhambra in context as you make your way through the incredible monument. You can opt for guided tours from trusted partners like Headout, Get Your Guide, Viator etc and book a tour in case entry only tickets are sold out.
- Grab the Granada Card: This handy tourist card gets you access to all of Granada’s most iconic monuments, including the Alhambra! You’ll also end up saving up to 30% compared to buying tickets to each attraction individually.
Can I buy same day Alhambra Tickets on-site?
As of November 2017, you can no longer buy same-day tickets at the on-site ticket office. You must purchase tickets in advance, either online or by phone.
Can I collect my Alhambra Tickets a day in advance?
Yes you can. In fact, it is always advisable to collect them the day before especially if you have an early morning slot to visit the Nasrid Palaces.
How many tickets can I buy at once?
You can buy up to 10 tickets in advance but not for the same day.
Why do I have to choose a time when I buy my tickets?
Only 6000 people are allowed inside Alhambra per day. Hence, each visitor is assigned a time to enter the Nasrid Palace in order to restrict the number of visitors inside the palaces. While you have the entire day to visit the rest of Alhambra, the selected time is for entering the Nasrid Palace.
Do I need to print my tickets?
If you've opted for a guided tour, you do not need to print your tickets. If you'be purchased tickets from the website, you can print your tickets at home or the printing machine at Alhambra as per your convinience. The QR code on the printed ticket is your pass to entry.
Do I have to bring any identification proof along with me?
Yes. You must have your passport on you for entry to the Alhambra palace complex. No other form of ID is accepted, not even government approved IDs from other nations.
Can I change the date and time of my booking after purchase?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the cancellation policy of Alhambra Tickets? Will I get a complete refund?
This depends on the type of ticket you purchase. Certain tickets have a super flexibile cancellation policy that allow you to cancel upto 7-10 days prior the experience date for a full refund. Certain tickets have a strict cancellation policy that does not allow any amendment or cancellation. If you're looking for a flexible cancellation policy ticket, you can buy the Small Group Tours or the Premium Tours that allow you to cancel upto 7 days in advance for a full refund. This is a great option for those whose plans are not concrete.
Can I leave Alhambra and come back inside with the same tickets?
It's a yes and no answer. You can enter each ticketed section "once only" with strictly no re-entry. Since your tickets will have a definite time-slot for entry into Nasrid Palace, make sure you make it there on time. You can leave the premises for a while after you finish Nasrid Palace and come back via Justice Gate to see the Generalife Gardens, Carlos V Palace and Alcazaba. However, for each of these you can enter only once and re-entry is not allowed. You can do Carlos V Museums whenever you wish and as often as you wish, as that is not ticketed.
I have tickets for Nasrid Palace at 8:30 AM. Which gate should I enter through to bypass the ticket queues.
You should enter through the Puerta de la Justicia. If you enter via the main ticket office, you won't get to the palaces on time for your slot.
I can't make it for my visit. Can I transfer the booking to someone else?
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.
Visiting the attraction from the inside
Alhambra Visitor Queries
How many entrances are there to Alhambra?
There are two main entrances to Alhambra - The Main Entrance with the ticket office (near the Generalife Gardens) and Puerta de la Justice (near the Nasrid Palace & Alcazaba). Here's everything you need to know about Alhambra Entrances and which entrance you should choose for a smooth visit.
Which bus can I take to reach the Justice Gate?
Minibus C3 from Plaza Isabel la Católica will drop you right outside Puerta de la Justicia.
Which bus can I take to reach the Main Gate?
Minibus C3 and C4 from Plaza Isabel la Católica will drop you right outside main gate which has the ticketing office.
I pre-purchased my ticket online. Which gate is best recommended for my entry?
Those who already have their tickets are advised to enter the grounds through the Justice Gate (Puerta de la Justicia).
Where can I park my car at Alhambra?
Alhambra has a parking lot with 500 spots and is guarded 24 hours a day. The car park is divided into four zones - one for buses and caravans and the other for cars. The prices are: 6.35€ for 3 hours and 8.15€ for 4 hours. This is ideal as it takes only upto 4 hours for a sedate visit of Alhambra Palace.
Can I take outside food into the Alhambra premises?
Yes, you can take your own food. Snacks and sandwiches with a small bottle of water/soft drink is definitely allowed, but if you try bringing in a complete picnic hamper they may stall you.There are beautiful outdoor gardens to enjoy as you eat.
Where are the washrooms at Alhambra?
Washrooms are accessed at the Wine Gate (Puerta del Vino) in between the Nasrid Palace and Alcazaba and near the stage of the modern open-air auditorium near the Generalife gardens. There are no washrooms inside any of the palace buildings.
About 50% of Alhambra is accessible for those with reduced mobility, 30% is accessible with support from others and the rest 20% is not accessible on wheelchairs. You can rent a free wheelchair during your visit and follow the disabled route sign for a comfortable visit. It is recommended that those with disabilities enter via the Puerta de la Justicia gate.
While Granada is a hilly region and Alhambra has its share of steep roads and hilly pathways, the site is quite senior-citizen friendly. That again, depends on your fitness level and it subject to each persons physical capabilities. However, there are plenty of places to sit and rest in case you get tired.
Is photography permitted inside the Alhambra Palace?
While photography is permitted in most parts of the Palace, selfie sticks, camera flashes and tripods are prohibited in specific sections of Alhambra Palace. There are clear warnings around such places, hence feel free to click away unless you see these signboards.
Are there any rules that I must be aware of while visiting the gardens?
Yes, there are a couple of them you should be aware of.
- Do not drink water from the fountains and pillars. There are sufficient fountains with potable water.
- Do not take off your clothes or shoes.
- Do not lie down on benches or in gardens.No touching the plants in the garden.
Are there lockers at Alhambra? If so, how much do they cost?
Yes, there are lockers at Alhambra and they are free. You can leave one medium-sized bag per person at the locker room near the Carlos V Palace.You have to show your ticket to use the locker room.
Is Alhambra a child-friendly attraction? Will my kids get bored?
Yes, of course. Kids tend to 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.You can deposit the strollers while you’re visiting this part of the complex and take it back from the rest. However, baby carriers are allowed in all parts of the complex.
Children from 3 to 11 years have reduced ticket prices and kids below the age of 3 have free entry.
I have doubts regarding my Alhambra Tickets. Who can I contact?
You can direct your queries towards the Council of the Alhambra and the Generalife :
Telephone number: +34958027971
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