6 Tips for Visiting the Alhambra

Visiting the Alhambra of Granada is one of the most rewarding and worthwhile ways to spend a day in Spain. But it can be a little confusing…hopefully this helps. 

1. Do Your Research – Like the Colosseum or the Pyramids, the Alhambra has centuries and centuries of interesting history, and learning about the history makes the trip that much more rewarding. Download some info to your phone or tablet, buy a guide book, or take a guided tour – the choice depends on what you prefer.

2. Buy Your Ticket Before You Go – Entrance is limited to both the Alhambra site itself (6600 per day), and the amazing Nasrid Palace (300 per half-hour). Making a reservation does not cost extra money and will ensure you get to see the monument how and when you want. More information on all the various kinds of tickets and times can be found here…and you can book your ticket online here (your accommodation can probably help you with this if the website won’t accept your credit card).

3. Arrive Early – Just because you have a reservation for the Afternoon Timeslot does not mean you can simply show up at 2 and walk in. You still need a ticket. Take your RESERVATION and your ID and the CARD USED to purchase it and go to the line to the left of the entrance. A guard is usually there to direct you. Be aware that people don’t always respect lines…another reason to get there early (30 minutes to an hour should suffice).

4. Know When Your Entry to the Nasrid Palace Is – You (and 299 other people) are limited to just a half hour entrance timeslot to the Nasrid Palace, the crowning jewel of the Alhambra. A line is there all day, but don’t worry it is full of a combination of people who are unaware that there is a specific time for them, and people who are there two or three hours before their entrance time. If you want to get in line, that is not a bad idea…keep a lookout for the gatekeeper who will wander down the line to check for people who might be stuck behind the people I mentioned above. If it’s getting perilously close to the end of the window, just walk up to the front and show him your ticket, you will be let in!

5. Know the Entrance Limits - You only get ONE entry to the Alcazaba, so if you are looking to kill a few minutes before your entry to the Nasrid Palace, look somewhere else. Also, while entry to the Nasrid Palace is limited, your time exploring it is unlimited…so take some time and soak it in.

6. BE PATIENT – If you’ve traveled before, you know the drill…people will walk in-front of you taking a photo and then expect you to get out of the way of theirs, people will budge in front of you in line, and tour groups will form a great impassable barrier causing you to wait for 10 minutes while their oblivious leader babbles on. I can assure you that everything will be OK, and you will have enough time to see everything and get the pictures you want!

Hopefully this helps…if you have other questions ask in the comments or do a quick Google search, you’re probably not the first person to ask!

Most importantly, have fun!

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