If you’re staying in Cordoba and would like to see the famous Alhambra palace complex in Granada, it’s super easy to accomplish on a well-planned day trip.
There are a number of options available to plan the day trip from Cordoba to Alhambra.
Below is a quick overview and a detailed breakdown of each option.
Best Options for Day Trip from Cordoba to Alhambra
- Day trips with a local travel company – there are no travel companies that offer this day trip, unfortunately!
- Day trip with a rental car – a straightforward option if you have already rented a car; check the section below for the journey details.
- Day trip with public transport – a train network connects Granada and Cordoba, so using public transport for this day trip is certainly an option to consider.
- Day trip with a taxi or Uber – for those who prefer a convenience and private transport option.
Option 1: Day Trip from Cordoba to Alhambra with a Local Travel Company
Somewhat surprisingly, there are no direct day trip options with local travel companies from Cordoba. Most of the tour operators only offer day trips in the opposite direction, from Granada to Cordoba.
Some options are available, but you will have to travel to Malaga to take part, which adds to the total journey time and defeats the purpose of a day trip.
Option 2: Day Trip from Cordoba to Alhambra with Rented Car
If you have already rented a car for your stay in Cordoba, it makes the most sense to make 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 from Cordoba to Alhambra is about 208 km, which would take 2 hours and 20 minutes to drive
- The journey is outlined on the map below
- As it’s a long journey, I would recommend leaving Cordoba as early as possible in the morning in order to avoid rush hour traffic and to arrive in Granada in good time, to give yourself enough time to explore the city
- 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.
- Be mindful of your speed; there are traffic cameras everywhere
- Check parking options in Granada in advance, 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 Cordoba to Alhambra with Public Transport
This may be the most cost-effective option for those on a tight budget. You only need to remember to check your travel connections early and secure your tickets to Alhambra well in advance.
The entrance to the Nasrid palace has a dedicated time slot you can’t miss, so give yourself plenty of time when checking your bus arrivals in Granada.
BOOK ONLINE: Skip the Line Alhambra Palace Tickets with Audio Guide
Here is everything you need to know:
- Probably the easiest public transport option is taking a local train, run by the national operator Renfe
- The journey time is just under 2 hours and ticket prices start at 25 euros one way
- There are roughly 8 to 10 connections per day, which makes this a good option for a day trip
- Check Renfe website for the accurate timetable and to book your tickets in advance (you can change the language to English or translate in the browser)
- The other option for this trip is a bus, but the travel time is close to 3 hours, so I don’t think it’s a good option to consider for a day trip.
- Once you get to Granada, take a local taxi to Alhambra to get to the entrance of the Nasrid palace on time, within your dedicated time slot. The journey to the Alhambra entrance should take about 15 – 20 minutes.
Option 4: Day Trip from Cordoba to Alhambra with Uber or Taxi
The final option is a taxi ride, which would take just over an hour and cost around 140 to 200 euros – while that may seem like a lot, it could actually be the cheapest option available, especially if you’re travelling with a group of up to 4 people and can split the costs.
Practical Tips for Day Trip from Cordoba to Alhambra
Here are some of my tips for making the most out of your trip:
- Wear comfortable shoes for exploring Alhambra and the gardens; the complex is pretty big
- Don’t forget to bring your IDs with you when entering Alhambra – the tickets are issued against your ID number and they do check them as you get in!
- 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 and 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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