Alhambra: Tour with Nasrid Palaces
- Skip the ticket line
- Duration options: 2.5 - 3.5 hours
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.
We, a family of 4 with 2 girls of 13 and 10, visited the Alhambra in early January on a slightly wet and very cold day. Despite the weather it was a truly memorable experience. The monument lived up to all the reviews we had read, beautiful gardens of Generalife and stunning Nasrid Palaces and almost no other visitors at that time! My only complaint was the price I paid. I booked through Get Your Guide and paid €115 for 4 tickets with audio guide. I knew I was paying almost as much as a guided tour but with 2 young children I did not want to be tied to a 3-hour tour. When we arrived we discovered there were hardly any visitors and plenty of tickets available on the door at a cost of €14.75 for adults and free for children under 12! I understand there are admin costs but being charged almost 300% when tickets were fully available at face value left a very bad taste. I am still glad we went but hate being left with the feeling of having been ripped off.
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!
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.
Was lucky enough to be the only one, so got myself a private tour...and it was absolutely MAGNIFICENT. Manuel had the tour very well thought and he showed me so many things I would've surely missed, if I had been there by myself. I recommend you all to get guided tours to Alhambra, otherwise you would only see beautiful sceneries, without the background story. And I definitely recommend Manuel to be your guide!
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.