Visiting the Alhambra

Overview of the Alhambra

The oldest part of the Alhambra is called the Alcazaba, or citadel, and only its massive outer walls, towers and ramparts are left. The most distinctive feature of the Alcazaba is its watch tower, the Torre de la Vela, and it was here that the flag of Ferdinand and Isabella was first raised to mark the Spanish re-conquest of Granada in 1942.

The Palaces of the Moorish monarchs (Los Palacios Nazaríes) are made up of a maze of beautiful courtyards linked by passageways and corridors, and filled with fountains, plants and ornamental ponds. One of these is the famous Patio of the Lions, with its central fountain supported by twelve lions in white marble, not designed with sculptural accuracy, but as emblems of strength and courage.

The Generalife was the Moorish rulers’ summer residence set to the east of the Alhambra and boasts magnificent gardens which, with their clipped hedges, grottos, fountains, and cypress avenues, are said to retain their original Moorish character.

The Renaissance-style Palace of Carlos V was added later by the Christian monarchs, and some of the original Arab architecture within the complex was also altered and restored over the years, including work to repair damage caused by an earthquake in 1821.

Getting Tickets

In order to protect the monument, there is a limit to the number of visitors per day. Therefore ticket numbers are limited and are sold according to availability. The tickets are always in great demand so advance booking is recommended.

If you decide just to turn up on the day, get to the ticket office as early as possible and be prepared not to get a ticket. Tickets are named, and you need to have your ID with your ticket, and tickets are valid only for the day of the visit.

During the daytime you can either buy a general day ticket, which gives you access to everything – the Palacios Nazaríes, the Alcazaba, the Generalife and gardens – or a gardens visit, which gives you access to the gardens, Generalife, Alcazaba but NOT to the Palacios Nazaríes. You can also buy tickets for night visits to either the Palacios Nazaríes or to the Generalife and gardens.

The daytime tickets are valid for the whole day during opening hours (according to season) but if you are visiting the Palacios Nazaríes, then you must enter during your time slot.

Access to the Palacios Nazaríes

Your ticket will assign you a half-hour time slot for entrance to the Palacios Nazaríes, due to a maximum of 300 people being allowed in every half hour. If you miss your assigned time slot you will not be allowed in. It therefore makes sense to enter the Alhambra well before your assigned time. You can then visit other sections of the Alhambra beforehand. The last entrance time for the Palaces will be one hour before closing time.

Opening Hours

From 15th October to 31st March Visiting hours Ticket office
Daytime visits*
(Monday to Sunday)
8:30 – 18:00 8:00 – 18:00
Evening visits
(Friday and Saturday only)
20:00 – 21:30 19:00 – 20:45


From 1st April to 14th October Visiting hours Ticket office
Daytime visits*
(Monday to Sunday)
8:30 – 20:00 8:00 – 20:00
Evening visits
(Every day except Sunday and Monday)
22:00 – 23:30 21:00 – 22:45


Ticket Sales

Tickets can be bought in several ways. We strongly recommend advance booking and tickets are named and non-transferable. Tickets for children aged 3-11 are free but must be booked in advance along with the adult tickets. Tickets for children under 3 will be issued on the day at the ticket office and advance booking is not required.

Advance Sales

  • Official website: Click here
  • Phone number: +34 858 953 616
  • Automatic machines located in the Alhambra and in the Andalusi monuments
  • Ticket Office, access pavilion (subject to availability for the current day)

Your ticket has a QR code which can be either printed out or shown electronically. You may be asked to show your ID along with your ticket.


Daytime general visit 18 Euros
Daytime visit to the gardens 10 Euros
Night time General Visit 10 Euros
Night time visit to the Garden 7 Euros
Children under 12 years of age Free

Discounts for children aged 12-15, EU citizens over 65, disabled people and European Youth card holders

Getting to the Alhambra

It is a steep uphill walk to the Alhambra from the Plaza Nueva. If you don’t fancy this then catch a microbus from the Gran Vía (number 30 or 32) or if you are coming by car and want to avoid driving through Granada, park at the Alhambra car park which can be reached from the ‘Ronda Sur’, the motorway that runs along the south-side of Granada. This in turn is reached from the GR-30 ring-road (circunvalación) that also links Granada with Motril to the south and Jaén to the north – take the Motril direction on the GR30 and exit 16 to the Ronda Sur and follow the pink signs for ‘Alhambra’ and this will take you there.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the compilation of this information, The Away Company will not be held responsible for any loss, damage, or inconvenience whatsoever caused as a result of any inaccuracy or error within this website.

Go back to ‘Cities of Spain’ section