Day Trip From Cordoba To Granada: Best Travel Tips [2023]

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Are you looking for the best options for a day trip from Cordoba to Granada?

In that case, this article has all the options and answers you need to plan the perfect day trip!

As I have already visited Granada four times, I have also included lots of practical insights and tips that will help you plan a day trip to remember, and save you a lot of hassle and research.

Let’s dive in!

Your Options for Day Trip from Cordoba to Granada

Here is a quick breakdown of the available options for this day trip – I included detailed information for each of these in the sections that follow.

  1. Day trips with a local travel company – unfortunately there are no direct day trips available for this journey, the only trips are in the other directions from Granada to Cordoba. I have suggested some alternative options to explore below.
  2. Day trip with a rental car – a very easy option if you have already rented a car, check the section below for the journey details.
  3. Day trip with public transport – Granada and Cordoba are connected by a train network, so using public transport for this day trip is certainly an option to consider.
  4. Day trip with a taxi or uber – for those who prefer a convenience and private transport option.
Palace Charles V Granada
granada spain cathedral

Option 1: Day Trip from Cordoba to Granada with a Local Travel Company

Somewhat surprisingly, the direct day trip options from Cordoba to Granada are really hard to find – the only options available online are in the opposite direction, taking a trip from Granada to visit Cordoba.

If you’re staying in Cordoba and would like to do this day trip with a local travel company, I could only recommend taking a train trip to Malaga and using a local tour operator from there. It’s certainly not convenient, but if you were planning to explore Malaga in any case, it might be an option to consider.

I linked the suggested day trip option below.


If you checked the day trip option and you don’t see available dates anymore, you still have the option to go to Granada on your own, with a rental car or train/bus, BUT you should get your Alhambra tickets as soon as possible if you want to see the palace, as the tickets do sell out quite fast.


If you’re considering using this option, here are the different ways you can get to Malaga from Cordoba:

  • train tickets for Malaga via the national operator Renfe cost between 20 euros up to 40 euros one way. The price varies depending on how far in advance you book and what train connection you take.
  • the trains run from 6.30am until 8pm nearly every day, and there are roughly 15 train connections per day.
  • there is a small variation in the journey times, but on average, it takes about an hour to get from Cordoba to Malaga. Please note the train is not direct, and you have to change trains at Antequerra Santa Anna, which is the first stop after Malaga. The train station there is very small, and the change won’t take long. 
  • the other option is using local buses to Malaga – the tickets are best to purchase online in advance here, but you can also get them from the station or the bus driver (no seat reservation guaranteed if you don’t book online).
  • The ticket prices start at around 8 euros, so they are much cheaper compared to the train, but the journey time is much longer – around 2.5 hours.
Restaurante El Huerto de Juan Ranas, Granada
The Alcazar of Granada

Option 2: Day Trip from Cordoba to Granada with Rented Car

If you already rented a car for your stay in Cordoba, 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 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 Granada with Public Transport

For those who are on a tight budget, this may be the most cost-effective option. The only thing you need to remember is 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.

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 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, just take a local taxi to Alhambra to get to the entrance of the Nasrid palace on time, within your dedicated time slot. The journey should take about 15 – 20 minutes directly to the Alhambra entrance.
Generalife Gardens, Granada Spain
Generalife Gardens, Granada Spain

Option 4: Day Trip from Cordoba to Granada 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 be actually 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 Granada

Here are some of my tips for making the most out of your 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
  • 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, 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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