Day Trips From Nerja to Granada: Expert Travel Tips [2023]

Are you looking for the best options for day trips from Nerja to Granada? In that case, you’re at the right place!

I have been living on Costa del Sol for over three years now, and visited Granada already four times, so in this article, I will share all my insights and local tips that will help you plan the perfect day trip.

Are you ready to explore your options?

Below you will find all the options for day trips from Nerja to Granada, with a detailed breakdown and info for each.

Your Options for Day Trips from Nerja 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 – there are no direct day trips from Nerja, but you can get more options if you’re willing to go to Malaga.
  2. Day trip with a rental car – if you already rented a car, getting to Granada will be fairly easy! All you need to remember is that if you’re visiting Alhambra (highly recommended), you should get your tickets as soon as possible as they sell out pretty fast.
  3. Day trip with public transport – if you’re on a tight budget, using public transport is certainly an option but you need to plan your connections correctly to arrive in Granada on time for your dedicated entrance slot to Alhambra.
  4. Day trip with a taxi or uber – for those who prefer convenience!
Palace Charles V Granada
Palace Charles V Granada
granada spain cathedral

Option 1: Day Trips from Nerja to Granada with a Local Travel Company

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

If you would like to use a local travel company, I think the most sensible option is to get to Malaga and then take a pre-booked day tour from there.

I have added the recommended day trip option below, along with the benefits of using this specific trip option. To get to Malaga, you have a few options available which I also listed below.

BOOK ONLINE: Malaga to Granada Day Trip with Alhambra Guided Tour & Free Time in Granada

  • Convenient pick up and drop off locations in central Malaga, and other locations on Costa del Sol
  • Cancel up to 24 hours before the trip for 60% refund
  • Skip the Line tickets to Alhambra included in the price of the trip
  • English-speaking guide for Nasrid Palace
  • Runs 2 DAYS PER WEEK, giving you lots of options to pick the day for your trip
  • Free time to explore Granada
  • Travel in a comfortable air-conditioned bus
  • Book online in just a few clicks – all you need is your ID and payment card
  • The tickets to Alhambra 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

For this trip, I would recommend securing your spot as soon as you know the details of your stay in Nerja, as it’s very popular and it could be already sold out for the dates you were planning to visit.


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

  • the bus is a convenient and cheap way to get from Nerja to Malaga. The journey takes approximately 1.5 hours and there are roughly 3 – 4 stops on the way, but no changes are required – this is a direct connection.
  • The tickets cost just under 5 euros per person one way, but the price will vary depending on the connection your choose, the date of the travel and how far in advance you book.
  • You can buy your bus tickets in advance on alsa website, which also shows you the timetable with the different connections available.
  • There is no train connection between Nerja and Malaga
  • Your only other option would be to take a taxi which would cost around 70 euros


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.

In addition to the day trip recommended above, there are also other options at similar price points which have other travel dates available and are worth checking out:

BOOK ONLINE: Skip the Line Alhambra Palace Tickets with Audio Guide

Restaurante El Huerto de Juan Ranas, Granada
The Alcazar of Granada

Option 2: Day Trips from Nerja to Granada with Rented Car

If you already rented a car for your stay in Nerja, 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 95 km, which would be 1-hour 15-minute drive one way – I have outlined the journey on the map below
  • 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

BOOK ONLINE: Skip the Line Alhambra Palace Tickets with Audio Guide

Option 3: Day Trips from Nerja 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.

BOOK ONLINE: Skip the Line Alhambra Palace Tickets with Audio Guide

Here is everything you need to know:

  • The only public transport option to get to Granada is using local buses, there are no train connections from Nerja
  • There are roughly 6 to 8 connections per day with local bus operator Alsa
  • The journey time will vary depending on which bus you take, as some make more stops along the way – the fastest buses take 1 hour 50 minutes, and the slowest ones 2 hours 45 minutes
  • The tickets start just under 10 euros one way
  • Check the departure options on the Alsa website in advance, to make sure you can get to Granada in the desired time, especially if you have tickets to Alhambra which have a dedicated time slot
  • 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 Trips from Nerja to Granada with Uber or Taxi

The final option is a taxi ride, which would take just over an hour and cost around 110 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 Trips from Nerja 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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