Your Essential Guide to Visit Alhambra Granada | Timings, Location, Tips & More
Alhambra in Spain’s Granada province is a palace and fortress complex. The medieval palatine city perched on a hill in the beautiful Andalusia region was once home to the Muslim rulers in the 13th and 14th centuries. Known for the blend of Moorish and Andalusian architecture and stunning gardens, Alhambra is a hotspot for tourists and history buffs.
In 1984, UNESCO inducted Alhambra into the list of World Heritage Sites. Visitors can explore the fortress, palaces, and buildings, and stroll through the beautiful green paths of the enclave. Find out everything you need to know to plan your visit to Alhambra.
Alhambra Opening Hours
Best Time to Visit | Alhambra
Weekday vs Weekend: Alhambra is one of the most visited attractions in Granada. The medieval town is open year-round and the opening hours vary according to season. However, since the attraction is open as early as 8:30 AM in the morning and night tours extend to 11:30 PM, you can comfortably visit the Alhambra without any hassles.
You can choose to visit between 9 AM and 10 AM or go for the 3 PM slot to avoid crowds.
Peak Season vs Low Season: The best time to visit Granada is between May and June or September and October, when the weather is pleasant and the average temperature is around 20 degrees Celsius. You can also enjoy the festivals during this season. July and August are hot and uncomfortable in the blazing summer. September and October have cooler climates but expect occasional rains. From November to March, the region welcomes winter.
Where is Alhambra?
How to Get to Alhambra?
Know Before You Go
- The Alhambra Shop: The shops sell publications, travel guides, and souvenirs.
- Parking: Car parking is monitored 24 hours.
- Toilets: Visitors can use toilets outside the complex, near the ticket office, Generalife, and Nasrid palaces.
- Free Lockers: Backpacks or bags larger than 40x40 cm need to be kept in the lockers located in the Access Pavilion and Puerta del Vino.
- Alhambra is a medieval fort, and some of the passageways and routes are not wheelchair-friendly. Visitors with reduced mobility can ask for a special itinerary.
- Ramps have been built on some of the uneven areas inside the enclave.
- Visitors can access a lift to the Palace of Carlos V.
- Find disabled-friendly toilets at the Entrance Pavilion and Service Pavilion next to Puerta Del Vino.
- Wheelchairs are available for rent at the Entrance Pavilion.
- Assistance dogs, touchpoints, and a special audio guide are available for visually impaired visitors.
- Book free tickets for children aged 3-11. For children under three years old, free tickets are available at the Alhambra ticket office.
- Baby strollers are not allowed inside the monuments.
- Baby change facilities are available in the toilets.
- Some of the attractions such as Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces, and Generalife, can be visited only once.
- The parking space for bicycles is in Plaza de la Alhambra near the Entrance Pavilion.
- Access to Nasrid Palaces is allowed only at the time mentioned in the ticket.
- Photography is allowed but tripods and flash photography are prohibited.
- Making inscriptions and graffiti is a criminal offense.
- You cannot undress, take your shoes off, or lie down on benches.
- No more than 30 people are allowed in a group.
- Facemasks are mandatory.
- Drinking directly from the fountains is prohibited.
- Maintain a safe distance from other visitors.
- Wash your hands whenever possible.
- Parador de Granada Restaurant: Located close to the Alhambra attractions. Only dine-in is available.
- Alhambra Palace Restaurante: A highly rated Mediterranean restaurant. Only for dine-in.
- Los Bandios: A top-rated American restaurant outside the enclave. You can dine-in or opt for takeaway.
- La Bodega de Antonio: Known for its local cuisine and commendable service. Only dine-in.
Extend your stay in Granada by staying at a hotel close to the iconic Alhambra.
- Hotel Granada Center: A top-rated four-star hotel in the city center, known for its quality service and fitness center.
- Hotel Granada centro Navarrete: A highly rated two-star hotel that is pet friendly and close to the public transport systems.
- OYO Hotel Plaza Nueva: A budget hotel known for their good service. It is located close to many nearby attractions.
- Hotel Dauro: Close to the central shopping district and highly rated for their service.
There are two main entrances to Alhambra.
The Pavilion Entrance: This entrance is located on the east side of Alhambra and is accessible to visitors who do not have a ticket or need to get their QR code tickets.
The Gate of Justice or Puerta de la Justicia: This entrance is for visitors who already have their QR code tickets. Please note that there is no ticket office here. It is close to Alcazaba.
What’s Inside Alhambra?
Courtyard of the Lions
This is easily one of the most beautiful parts of the enclave. It is part of the Palace of the Lions, the winter home of late ruler Mohammed V. The centerpiece is the famous lion fountain. The fountain features 12 lions in white marble, while the courtyard around the fountain has 124 ornate columns.
Palace of Carlos V
The Palace of Carlos was constructed in 1526 after the Christian reconquest of Alhambra. However, the palace never was completed for reasons unknown. It still remains a massive structure occupying an area of 63 square meters. The design style is High Renaissance architecture.
This majestic palace was constructed in 1319 during the reign of King Ismail I. The Moorish rulers used the Generalife Palace as a summer residence. One of the most distinguished features of the palace is its beautiful gardens. Kings have ordered stunning green landscapes and leafy paths to create a natural haven here. These gardens, stretched to the top of the hill, are often reminiscent of the Italian renaissance gardens.
- Book your Alhambra tickets in advance.
- We recommend going on a guided tour of Alhambra to make the most of your visit.
- Don’t limit your visit to the fortress alone. There are a lot of landmarks in the area worth visiting.
- Set aside about 2 to 3 hours to explore the entire fortress.
Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Alhambra Granada
A. Yes, Alhambra is open to visitors.
A. Yes, as per the prevailing Covid-19 rules, the maximum number of people in a group visiting Alhambra is limited to 30.
A. Yes, Alhambra is a family-friendly destination. Minors can visit the destination for free but still require a ticket. For kids under three years, tickets can be purchased for free from the ticket counter.
A. Most of the Alhambra areas are wheelchair friendly. You can also rent a wheelchair at Alhambra. Please ask for the itinerary for people with reduced mobility for a hassle-free experience.
A. Yes, vending machines are available at Alhambra.
A. Spend about 2 to 3 hours exploring Alhambra.
A. Yes, Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a unique ensemble of palaces and gardens from the time of long-lost Muslim rulers of the region.