Day Trip From Benalmadena to Granada: Best Options [2023]

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Are you planning to book a day trip from Benalmadena to Granada? Whether you’re thinking of driving there with a rental car or finding a local day travel company for this trip, in this article you will find lots of practical tips and insights for each of the options.

If you’re ready to book right away without reading all the details, I have added a link to my recommended local travel company below – simply click on the link to see the available dates and prices for this trip.

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Your Options for a Day Trip From Benalmadena to Granada

There are four options for this day trip, some more convenient and more expensive than others. Here is a quick glance view of all, followed by a detailed breakdown and practical tips for each of them:

  1. Day trip with a local travel company – the most convenient and hassle-free option, also very affordable, with pick-up points directly from Benalmadena and availability 4 times per week.
  2. Day trip with a rental car – makes sense if you already rented a car for your stay, just be mindful of the parking options in Granada and driving to Alhambra.
  3. Day trip with public transport – allow at least 2 – 3 hours for one way trip with public transport, very affordable, however, it takes a long time to commute just one way.
  4. Day trip with a taxi or uber – most convenient but also most expensive, would make sense if you’re travelling as a group of at least 4 people.

Option 1: Booking Your Day Trip From Benalmadena to Granada with a Local Travel Company

The most popular option for this trip is to use a tour organized by a local travel company. It has a lot of advantages, which I listed below.

  • very convenient trip with pick up in Benalmadena and drop off in Benalmadena
  • runs 4 times per week
  • tickets to the Alhambra monument are already included in the price (skip the line tickets)
  • English-speaking guide for Nasrid Palace
  • travel in a comfortable air-conditioned bus
  • free time in Granada to explore on your own
  • book online in just a few clicks – all you need is your ID and payment card

For this trip, I would recommend securing your spot as soon as you know the details of your stay in Benalmadena, as it’s very popular and it could be already sold out for the week you might be in Benalmadena. If you check the day trip option below and you don’t see available dates anymore, as it’s sold out, you still have the option to go to Granada on your own (using one of the other three remaining options) and to secure tickets to Alhambra on your own.

alhambra, granada spain

Option 2: Day Trip From Benalmadena to Granada with Rented Car

If you already rented a car for your stay in Benalmadena, it makes the most sense to do this day trip with the car. I have outlined the journey in the map below.

Here are a few things you should know:

  • first of all, get your tickets to Alhambra well in advance before you get to Granada
  • the distance to Granada is about 147 km and you can drive there in 1 hour and 40 minutes, depending on the traffic
  • some of the roads may be toll roads (the ones with “P” in the name), so have some cash ready in the car in case you hit the toll booth
  • I recommend taking the Mediterranean highway A-7 road as its more pleasant to drive and with better views, even though it may be a tiny bit slower
  • be mindful of your speed, there are traffic cameras everywhere
  • check parking options in Granada in advance, and especially so if you’re planning to get to Alhambra – in that case it may be much easier to park somewhere in central Granada and take a local taxi there

Option 3: Day Trip From Benalmadena to Granada with Public Transport

This is the slowest and least convenient option, but if you’re on a tight budget it might be the right choice for you.

Just keep in mind that one-way commute to Granada will take you between 2 to 3 hours, so keep this in mind and check the train or bus departure times before you secure your entrance tickets to Alhambra (the Nasrid Palace has dedicated entry time slot you can’t miss!).

Here is everything you need to know:

  • to get to Granada, you need to take the local C-1 cercanias (commuter) train to Malaga Maria Zambrano. The trains run every 20 minutes and cost under 8 euros return. The journey takes 30 minutes.
  • once you get to Malaga Maria Zambrano, you have the option to either take the train to Granada, or walk across the street to the main bus station and take the bus from there. In both cases, the journey to Granada takes about 1 hour
  • I used both options and found the buses cheaper and more convenient, and they also run more often
  • in both cases I also recommend buying your tickets for the train or bus online in advance, it works out cheaper and you’re guaranteed a seat on the bus for example
  • once you get to Granada, just take a local taxi to Alhambra to get to the entrance of the Nasrid palace on time, within your dedicated time slot
  • to get back to Benalmadena, you only need to check your trains or buses back to Malaga, as the trains from Malaga back to Benalmadena run until midnight, so that shouldn’t be an issue
Alhambra in Granada, Spain

Option 4: Day Trip From Benalmadena to Granada with Uber or Taxi

The final option is the most costly one – a trip from Benalmadena to Granada would cost you between 150 euros to 190 euros, depending on the company and time of travel.

While it’s certainly not cheap, if more people are sharing the trip, it might be not just convenient but also affordable.

Generalife Gardens, Granada Spain

Practical Tips for Your Day Trip From Benalmadena to Granada

Here are some of my tips for making the most out of your trip:

  • The day trip option I linked above runs four times a week, so you have plenty of availability to choose a day that works for you!
  • For the booking, you will need to provide details for the travellers including their date of birth and passport number – the tickets are issued as personal ones and checked against the ID at the entrance, don’t forget to bring your ID with you for this trip
  • Granada is pretty big and beautiful – if you have free time I would recommend exploring the Albaicin district and Sacromonte
  • Granada is one of the last remaining places in Andalusia where you get free tapas with every drink, so do a bit of restaurant hopping and tapas tasting to enjoy this old tradition – I would recommend sitting down in any of the restaurants at Paseo de los Tristes so you can enjoy your drink with nice views of Alhambra
  • Wear comfortable shoes for exploring Alhambra and the gardens, the complex is pretty big
  • Take water with you to keep hydrated, especially in the summer months. There are some vending machines between the Nasrid palace entrance and the Alcazaba courtyard, that’s where the toilets also are
  • No food is allowed inside the complex, you can have a snack in the courtyard between the Charles V palace and Alcazaba, there is also a small kiosk to buy coffee, drinks and snacks
  • No backpacks are allowed inside the Alhambra complex (bigger than 40×40 cm), there are lockers near the vending machines but the number of available ones is pretty limited – please keep this in mind!
  • Baby prams are also not allowed inside the complex, you will have to leave them in the luggage storage room

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Lucia is a founder and travel writer at Viva La Vita. She has been living on Costa del Sol in Southern Spain (Fuengirola) since 2020. She helps travellers plan the perfect trip to Spain thanks to her local insights, practical tips and unique insider perspective complemented by original photography.

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