Alhambra Tickets: Buy Online with Insider Tips (2023)

Are you planning to get Alhambra tickets for your trip to Granada? If you’re confused about when to buy them, and where, and how far in advance – you came to the right place!

I have visited Alhambra twice already, with a third visit scheduled for later this year, and as such have plenty of experience buying tickets and knowing this landmark in detail.

Alhambra is incredibly popular and receives over 3 million visitors every year, and even in the low season in winter, you will struggle to get tickets on short notice. The tickets usually sell out weeks in advance even in the low season, due to school trips, and Spanish visitors venturing to Granada to explore this beautiful monument.

In this article, I will share all of my tips and advice on how to get your tickets, common mistakes to avoid, and also how to make the most out of your trip to Alhambra.

If you prefer to skip reading and book your tickets right away, I have included the link to the tickets below.

BUY ONLINE: Alhambra & Nasrid Palaces Fast-Track Ticket

Where to Buy Alhambra Tickets

There are two places where you can buy Alhambra tickets – either in person at the ticket office, or online. For the reasons stated above, it’s pretty much impossible to get tickets on the day from the ticket office or secure them in person with just a few days’ notice.

It’s best to book your tickets online, using the link below, from where you will be able to select your preferred date and also time for the visit. Please note the designated time for the visit refers to the entry to the Nasrid Palace, which is the only part of Alhambra where a dedicated time slot is assigned. If you miss it you won’t be able to enter later.

BUY ONLINE: Alhambra & Nasrid Palaces Fast-Track Ticket

Palace Charles V Granada
Palace Charles V Granada
Generalife Gardens, Granada Spain
Palace inside the Generalife gardens

Types of Alhambra Tickets Available

There are a few options for buying your tickets, depending on if you want to have a guide or not, here are just a few of them:

Top Tips for Buying Alhambra Tickets

Tip 1: Buy Well in Advance

The Alhambra complex is one of the most visited monuments in Spain, receiving around 3 million visitors each year, and increasing every year. If you want to make sure you can visit Alhambra on your trip to Granada, or as part of your day trip to Granada, it is highly recommended to buy your tickets online.

How far in advance?

In the summer, tickets to Alhambra tend to sell out weeks in advance, leaving you very few options but to book the tickets as soon as you book your trip to Granada. Even in the low season, tourists from Spain and school groups book lots of tickets well in advance, so you shouldn’t expect to be able to book tickets with just a few days’ notice.

So my advice is – as soon as you know your trip dates for Granada, or even before your book your main trip, first check that you can get tickets to Alhambra.

BUY ONLINE: Alhambra & Nasrid Palaces Fast-Track Ticket

Tip 2: Buy Online

For many reasons, buying your tickets to Alhambra online is the easiest and best choice.

Many travellers are planning their trip months in advance, and the tickets to Alhambra are often open for booking in this time period, making it very convenient and easy to plan your trip from a distance.

Here are some of the benefits of buying your Alhambra tickets online:

  • Flexibility to choose the dates and see how many tickets are left for each day
  • No need to line up at the ticket office and try to get the ticket on the day, which is pretty much impossible
  • Skip the line tickets available for your selected time slot
  • No long waiting times for your allocated time slot

BUY ONLINE: Alhambra & Nasrid Palaces Fast-Track Ticket

Generalife Gardens, Granada Spain
Generalife Gardens, Granada Spain

Tip 3: Don’t Print Your Ticket

Once you purchase your tickets, you will get an email confirmation with the tickets attached.

There is no obligation to print your ticket, so don’t stress about this if you find yourself in a hotel without any option to print your ticket.

All you need to do is to save the PDF version of the ticket on your phone, and then just show that at the entrance to Palacio Nazaries – they will only need to see the QR code which holds all the details for your entry.

Tip 4: Visit Palacio Nazaries First

Your ticket will have a dedicated time slot for entry to Palacio Nazaries, where the visitor numbers are controlled, and only a certain amount of people are allowed in for the dedicated time slot.

Make sure you are there at least 30 minutes before your time slot, as people will start queueing up to enter. If you miss your time slot, they might not let you in the palace anymore.

Tip 5: Choose an Early Time Slot

For the best chance of nice photos from inside, I always recommend getting the first tickets available for the day, these are usually around 8.30am.

Most people like to sleep in on their holiday, so that leaves more ticket options for those that want to get up early and experience the palace without crowds inside. If you’re at the line early enough (at least 30 minutes before entry), you get to be one of the first ones to enter, leaving you lots of space to explore and get pictures without other tourists in them.

Tip 6: Visit in Spring or Autumn

Granada gets notoriously hot in the summer months, and it can be very rainy in the winter, making late spring and early autumn the ideal time to visit the Alhambra.

While it won’t be as crowded as in the middle of the summer, it’s still very much a busy season for the monument, so don’t underestimate that and get your tickets in advance.

Alhambra in Granada, Spain
Alhambra in Granada, Spain

Alhambra Tickets: Common Mistakes People Make

A lot of the time people don’t do research well in advance and expect to be able to get tickets at the gates, as is the common case in many tourist attractions.

Unfortunately, with Alhambra and many other historic sights in Spain, due to their popularity, it’s nearly impossible to get tickets on the day or buy them with just a few days’ notice.

Here are some common mistakes and how to fix them:

  • Missing out on entry point to Nasrid Palace – there is a dedicated time slot for your entry to the main palace, if you miss it they won’t let you in and you can’t reschedule your ticket anymore. The other parts of the monument like Alcazaba and Generalife Gardens can be visited anytime within the day, until closing hours.
  • Thinking that you can re-enter the monument at any time – the ticket is valid for one-off entry, that means as soon as you step inside the Nasrid Palace, Alcazaba or Generalife Gardens, you cannot leave and re-enter
  • Thinking that you need extra tickets for Charles V Palace – this palace is open to the public and no tickets are needed to see it
  • Expecting to buy tickets with just a few days’ notice in low season – even in low season you can expect tickets to be sold out weeks in advance. Always plan ahead and secure them as soon as you can.

BUY ONLINE: Alhambra & Nasrid Palaces Fast-Track Ticket

What To Do If You Can’t Get Alhambra Tickets

If you missed a chance to book the tickets for the duration of your stay in Granada, don’t worry – there are a few things you can do:

  • Some local tour operators book out tickets in advance, so you might get lucky asking around in your hotel to see if they have any available.
  • If you were out of luck and can’t get tickets to Alhambra, in most cases you can still get a separate ticket to Generalife, or the night visit to Alhambra.
  • There are some public areas of Alhambra which can be visited free of charge, without a ticket – it’s the courtyard between the Palace of Charles V and Alcazaba (beautiful views), the Palace of Charles V and some of the outer areas of Alhambra.
Alhambra in Granada, Spain
granada spain 104

How to Use Your Alhambra Tickets

Once you get your booking confirmation, the ticket will show you the time for the visit of Palacio Nazaries (Nasrid Palace), which is the most important time to remember – it is recommended you get there 30 minutes before your scheduled entrance time.

Once you get to the complex – see instructions below, you will see a line of people waiting to get their tickets checked, before you line up just confirm with the member of staff that they are waiting for your allocated time slot, not for the previous one.

When it’s your turn to get in, a member of staff will scan your ticket QR code and also ask to see a copy of your ID. Your tickets are not transferrable and valid only with your ID, so it’s super important to take it with you.

The same process is then repeated when you want to see the Alcazaba and Generalife Gardens.

Practical Tips for Your Alhambra Visit

How to Get to Alhambra

There are a few ways to get to Alhambra, and I would not recommend repeating the mistake that I did the first time round – glancing at the map and deciding to navigate the winding forest roads leading up to the entrance.

By small tourist bus: These small red buses are available on several routes and provide easy access to Alhambra, I took one from Plaza Nueva. The tickets cost 1.40 euros one way, and you can find more information about them here. The bus number connections are C30 (Alhambra – Centro), C31 (Albaycin – Centro), C32 (Alhambra – Albaycin), C34 (Sacromonte – Centro).

On foot: Walk up the Cuesta de Gomerez from Plaza Nueva (a small hidden alleyway just off the main square), which will lead you to Puerta de la Justicia. You can enter from here if you already have a ticket, otherwise, you need to locate the ticket office.

By taxi: The taxi journey is pretty short and it won’t cost a fortune. I think we paid around 7-8 euros to get to the main entrance in Alhambra, driving from the main square in Plaza Santa Ana.

By car: You can access the complex via Av. Santa Maria de Alhambra which leads to a roundabout and parking access. You can also drive up from the other side, via P. del Generalife.

The Alcazar of Granada
The Alcazar of Granada

Entrance to Palacio Nazaries

As you enter the complex, it’s not very clear where to get inside the palace or even to start exploring.

There are very limited sign displays. Luckily there are helpful guides that will navigate you to the correct spot.

The tickets are checked on the courtyards between Alcazaba and Palacio Nazaries, and you can enter the palace from there.

In there you will also find a small kiosk where you can buy coffee, drinks and small refreshment. It’s a great place to stop halfway through your visit and enjoy some gorgeous views with a cold drink.

Facilities and Visit Restrictions at Alhambra

  • Most important before your visit – take your ID document with you, as they check your tickets against it and will refuse entry if you don’t have it
  • Toilets are located in the main courtyard near the Charles V Palace and clearly marked with a sign
  • The same building where you will find toilets also has some vending machines and some locker boxes available
  • Visit to the Palace of Charles V is free and you do not need to show your entrance tickets there
  • Flash photography and tripods are not allowed in the complex
  • No pets (even if your dog fits in your handbag)
  • Kids are to be supervised by an adult at all times
  • No oversized luggage (max 40×40 cm backpacks)
  • Beware of pickpockets and always keep an eye on your belongings
Alhambra in Granada
granada spain 115

Alhambra Tickets: Frequent Questions

Do you need to book Alhambra tickets in advance?

Yes, it is highly recommended to book your tickets in advance, even in the low season. There are over 3 million people visiting Alhambra every year, and it’s one of the most popular historic monuments in Spain, so getting your tickets in advance is a must.

Can you buy Alhambra tickets on the day?

You could try, but it’s almost impossible, even during the low season. It is recommended to always secure your tickets well in advance, usually a few weeks in advance of your trip.

How to buy Alhambra tickets in advance?

To buy your Alhambra tickets in advance, you will have to do it online here.

How to book Alhambra tickets?

Go online and purchase them for your chosen day here.

Where to buy Alhambra tickets?

It is easiest to buy them online here.

Which tickets to buy for Alhambra?

It’s best to buy full access to the Alhambra complex, which also includes entrance to Generalife Gardens (these can be also purchased independently).

Can get a ticket to Alhambra without a guide?

Yes, you can! The basic ticket which you can buy online is available here, and you have an option to also upgrade to tickets with a guide here.

Can I buy tickets for Alhambra on site?

There is a ticket office on site, but it’s nearly impossible to get them for your dates, especially if you think you can buy them on the day or a few days in advance. Tickets normally sell our weeks in advance, even in the low season.

Do I have to print Alhambra tickets?

No, you do not have to print them. To get entry with your tickets, you only need to show the QR code from your PDF ticket, that’s all.

How far in advance can you buy Alhambra tickets?

I would recommend getting them as soon as you know the dates for your trip to Granada. They are usually available for a few months ahead of time.

Explore More in Granada

The Palace of Charles V in Alhambra, Granada

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Visiting Alhambra in Granada: The Complete Guide

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El Banuelo: The Oldest Arab Baths of Granada

A Masterpiece Covered in Gold: Basilica San Juan de Dios, Granada

The Queen’s Home: Palacio Dar al-Horra, Granada

The Botanical Gardens of the University of Granada

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