This page is here to provide information on how to go about getting tickets to the Alhambra because we at El 8 cannot get tickets for you. It is getting harder to get tickets as time goes on as it is the most visited tourist site in Spain at the moment with around 8,000 visitors a day. For many parts of the year it is necessary to reserve several months in advance.
A proper visit to the Alhambra can easily take around 4 hours if done calmly. It is a very large complex so allow yourself most of the day for this monument and bring water and snacks with you so you can enjoy the visit better.
Most of the tickets are monopolized by the major tour companies, so for the independent traveller these are the following options:
1) The official website: www.alhambra-patronato.es This is the official option if you are buying in advance.
2) Bono-Turistico: www.granadatur.com. This is to acquire a Bono Turistico. It is more expensive but includes visits to other major touist sites, dicounts to various museums, 9 trips on any Granada town bus and one day free on the Granada Tousit bus. A good option if you are staying in Granada a few days and plan on visiting many monuments.
3) Guided Tours: This is a good option if you are looking to have a visit with a professional guide or if there seem to be no tickets available online. A guided tour is more expensive than individual tickets and the visit is usually faster than if you are on your own. Just do a search online for Alhambra tours and many options will come up.
4) Same day at ticket gate: If you do arrive to Granada without tickets, have checked the website and seen that it is sold out and don´t want the Bono Turistico or a guided tour you still have an option. You can get tickets for the same day at the ticket gate of the Alhambra. They hold on to a few hundred tickets just for that same day to be sold on-site. The earlier you get there the better you chances. They open at 8am. Depending on what time of the year you arrive, high season, national holidays, etc., this will determine how early you need to be up there because during some times of the year queues can begin to form at 6am or earlier!
Instructions for the Alhambra visit:
The system for visiting the Alhambra is quite complex so this information is to help your visit there run smoother.
When you get your ticket you will have to choose a morning visit or afternoon visit. Then you will have to choose a time to visit the Nazari Palace. Dont miss the entry time to the Palace as they are not very flexible with this.
There are three sections of the Alhambra that are included in your entrance fee: the Alacazaba, the Generalife and the Nazari Palaces.
If your palace slot is anytime before 2pm you can go in to the grounds starting at 8am. If your slot is after 2pm you can only enter the grounds after 2pm (times may vary depending on winter or summer).
If you have bought your tickets online you should print them before you head to the Alhambra either at the Alhambra office downtown or the Caixa Bank on Gran Via. You can also print them at the official entry, but give yourself plenty of time to collect your tickets as the queues at the ticket booths can at times be long during the high season. There are machines that look like ATMs where you need to use the credit card you bought the tickets with online. Just make sure to calculate getting your tickets with time so you dont miss your palace visit slot.
Although this may all seem very complicated once you are there you will see it was greatly worth the effort!
Good luck and enjoy your time there!