Malaga Airport to Granada: Your Detailed Transport Guide

Are you travelling from Malaga airport to Granada and wondering what’s the easiest transport option? Do you want to save time and money on your airport commute?

In that case, this article has all the answers you need to make the travel from Malaga airport to Granada convenient, easy and affordable.

Best of all, this article has been written by a local expat, so you’re only getting the most accurate insider information that will save you a lot of hassle and headaches.

Are you ready to jump in?

Distance from Malaga Airport to Granada

The distance between Malaga airport and Granada is approximately 135 to 160 kilometres (83 to 99 miles), depending on which travel route you take to your destination.

If you’re thinking about arriving at the Almeria airport, the distance is pretty comparable at 160 to 180 kilometres (99 to 111 miles).

granada spain 3
Granda Cathedral, Spain in autumn

Location of Granada

Granada is located in Southern Spain, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, in the autonomous region of Andalusia.

It is also the capital of the district of Granada. When travelling to Granada, you can choose to arrive either at Malaga airport or Almeria airport, with Malaga international airport having more connection options.

The location of Granada in Spain is marked on the map below.

Malaga Airport to Granada: Transport Options

If you would like to travel directly from Malaga airport to Granada, there are a few options available to you. I have listed an overview below, with detailed travel instructions available lower down.

  • by car – 1.5-hour journey via the A-92 motorway.
  • by bus – 2 – 2.5 hour bus journey directly from the airport, with tickets starting at 12.21 euros, one way per person. Probably the cheapest and most convenient option.
  • by taxi – a convenient, but an expensive journey at 135 to 160 euros.
  • by train – a short journey of over an hour, with tickets starting at 18.50 euros per person, one way. The trains go from Malaga Maria Zambrano station, no direct train connections are available from the airport.

1. Malaga Airport to Granada by Bus

If you’re looking for cheap and convenient transport between Malaga airport and Granada, the bus is probably your best option.

There are a number of connections per day, and the tickets are very cheap. If you book online, you can also reserve your seat. The only disadvantage is that you can’t use the buses if you’re arriving very late at night or early in the morning, in which case a taxi or car rental is your best option.

DIRECT BUS FROM THE AIRPORT TO GRANADA

You can get a direct bus to Granada straight from Malaga airport. The bus connection is operated by Alsa and it runs 13 to 15 connections every day.

The first buses leave from the airport around 8 am and the last ones at 10.45 pm. The bus journey ranges between 2 hours for a direct bus journey with no stops, to 2.5 hours for those with stops.

It’s best to purchase your tickets in advance directly at Alsa website as you can select your seat and guarantee that you can get on the bus.

The bus stop for this connection is in front of terminal 3, at Garcia Morato Avenue. The bus stop will be clearly marked, so you can’t miss it.

The tickets cost around 12.21 euros one way, per person.

Malaga main bus station terminal
Bus terminal at Malaga

BUS TERMINAL AT GRANADA

The bus terminal in Granada is pretty big and has some basic facilities, including a cafeteria where you can get warm food, some basic shops and there is also a big taxi rank outside the entrance.

There are public toilets available on the lower floor, you will need to pass the cafeteria and walk all the way to the end of it.

If you’re taking a taxi to your accommodation in central Granada, the taxi journey will cost around 10 euros.

2. Malaga Airport to Granada by Train

A frequent train connection runs between Malaga Maria Zambrano and Granada main train station, but no direct trains run between the airport and Granada.

To use a train, you will have to get the local commuter train C-1 towards Malaga Centro. The commute takes under 10 minutes and costs just a couple of euros, with the trains running every 20 minutes.

The train stops at the following stations:

Guadalhorce

Victoria Kent

Malaga Maria Zambrano

Malaga Centro

The first trains leave around 5.30am and the last ones before midnight, at 23.40pm.

Please be careful where you check the timetables for these train connections as they are almost always not accurate. The best way is to check the Renfe website and their timetable here.

Where to take the train from?

When you get out of the main airport building at arrivals, head straight down the road following the signs for the train station, which is all the way at the back of the airport.

There are two sets of escalators that will take you down to the platforms, with ticket booths available by the entrance. Make sure you get the train in direction of Malaga Centro, not Fuengirola.

There are ticket machines by the entrance, select a day ticket and find Malaga Maria Zambrano in the list. You don’t need to do anything with the ticket on the train (no need to validate), you will scan it at the gates as you are leaving the station in Malaga.

TRAINS MALAGA MARIA ZAMBRANO TO GRANADA

The tickets for the train to Granada start at 18.50 euros one way, per person.

The price varies and can go up to 57 euros one way, depending on how far in advance you book and which train connection you are taking.

The shortest direct journey train connection is 1 hour 12 minutes long, and there are also trains that travel for 3.5 hours.

Don’t leave your ticket reservation to the last minute if you want to ensure you can get the best price and choose the train time that works for you.

You can get the tickets online on the Renfe app or on their website, with no need to print the tickets – you simply scan the barcode provided.

old town Granada in autumn
Streets of old town in Granda, Spain

TRAIN TERMINAL AT MALAGA MARIA ZAMBRANO

The train station in Malaga is a pretty big place which looks more like a shopping mall with a station attached to it. It has lots of clothing shops, a big Mercadona supermarket, cafes where you can get coffee and sandwiches to go, souvenir shops, magazine shops and much more.

There are a handful of decent restaurants on the first floor, along with some fast food options.

On the ground floor and top floor, you will also find public toilets.

Renfe also has a customer support office in there, in case you have any issues with your tickets.

TRAIN TERMINAL AT GRANADA

The train terminal in Granada is considerably smaller than the station in Malaga and I was somehow surprised by that. In comparison the bus station in Granada is massive.

It doesn’t have many facilities, there were one or two small shops where you can buy some basics like food or small snacks, no restaurants to speak of. Within the area of the station, there aren’t many facilities either, so if you’re planning to have lunch/dinner before heading to your train, it’s better to do that in the city.

The station also has a scan for luggage which I had to do on my last trip, and it may not be required for all the journeys. But it’s best to count some extra time as you’re arriving, in case they are still scanning the luggage.

3. Malaga Airport to Granada by Car

There are two route options for driving to Granada from Malaga airport.

ROUTE 1

The fastest option is taking the road in direction of Casabermeja and arriving in Granada from Santa Fe direction (see the map below). This journey takes approximately 1.5 hours, depending on traffic.

ROUTE 2

The second option is a more scenic route and a good alternative if you would like to make some stops along the way. It follows the Mediterranean highway and then turns northbound ahead of Motril. This journey will take approximately 1 hour and 46 minutes, with a total distance of 161 kilometres.

As far as I know, none of these two routes should use roads with tolls (unlike the AP-7 which goes in the direction of Marbella).

Both routes navigate around the central part of Malaga, avoiding the heaviest traffic, but you should still count on some delays as you’re passing through the highway in the city as it gets quite busy.

4. Malaga Airport to Granada by Taxi

Another option for convenient transport is a taxi straight from the airport to Granada – you can take either one from the stand at the airport and use a pre-booked one.

The second option has the advantage that you have a price secured and you don’t have to worry about locating a taxi if you’re arriving very late at night or early in the morning.

In my experience, they tend to be a bit more expensive than the taxi from the rank, but that depends on how far you travel and how many people are sharing the fare. They will usually get the driver to wait for you by the arrivals hall.

There is a big taxi rank available right outside the arrivals hall – you need to turn to the right once you exit the building and follow along until you see the taxis parked there.

The taxi from Malaga airport to Granada will cost in the range of 135 euros up to 160 euros, depending on when you take it / book it and how many people travel.

Usually, there are just normal size cars, and maybe one big car parked there. The taxis are available even in the late or early morning hours as they wait for the arrival of the plane, so you shouldn’t have any problem catching a taxi as you arrive.

Albaicin district in Granada
Albaicin in Granada on early autumn morning

5. Malaga Airport to Granada by Uber

Uber is a popular service on Costa del Sol and covers almost all of the major cities. If you’re planning to get one from the airport, it’s certainly an option, although not as convenient as getting a taxi from the rank at the arrivals hall.

Uber cars don’t have the same privileges as a normal taxi when accessing the airport, so you will have to probably navigate through the parking lot and locate the driver there.

From my experience, uber drivers don’t like going to the airport because of the logistics of locating the passenger and the fees for accessing the parking, but if the trip is longer and more expensive some drivers may be willing to make the trip there.

Uber app has also the option to book your trip beforehand, so you can compare the costs of the journey with a standard taxi and choose one that’s cheaper.

Frequent Questions about Malaga Airport to Granada Route

How to get from Malaga airport to Granada?

The most convenient and cheapest option is to take the bus straight from the airport, which costs just 12 euros one way and takes on average 2 hours.

The other option includes a train, which you have to take from the main train station in Malaga, or using an Uber or taxi straight from the airport.

Is there a train from Malaga airport to Granada?

No, there is no direct train connection. You will have to take the local commuter train C-1 towards Malaga Centro (the only train connection passing the airport) and get off at Malaga Maria Zambrano (second to last stop). From the main station, you have lots of train connection options, with the shortest ones taking just over an hour and costing around 18 euros one way.

How far is Malaga airport to Granada?

The distance between Malaga airport and Granada is approximately 135 to 160 kilometres (83 to 99 miles), depending on which travel route you take to your destination.

How long does taxi take Granada to Malaga airport?

The journey would take on average around 1.5 hours.

How to get from Malaga airport to Granada by train?

There is no direct train connection between Malaga airport and Granada.

You will have to take the local commuter train C-1 towards Malaga Centro (the only train connection passing the airport) and get off at Malaga Maria Zambrano (second to last stop). From the main station, you have lots of train connection options, with the shortest ones taking just over an hour and costing around 18 euros one way.

What bus from Malaga airport to Granada?

You can take the direct bus connection operated by Alsa, with the first buses leaving at 8am and last ones before 11pm. The bus journey ranges between 2 hours for a direct bus journey with no stops, to 2.5 hours for those with stops. The bus stop for this connection is in front of terminal 3, at Garcia Morato Avenue. The bus stop will be clearly marked, so you can’t miss it. The tickets cost around 12.21 euros one way, per person.

Which is closest to Granada Almeria airport or Malaga?

The distance between Malaga airport and Granada is approximately 135 to 160 kilometres (83 to 99 miles), depending on which travel route you take to your destination.

If you’re thinking about arriving at the Almeria airport, the distance is pretty comparable at 160 to 180 kilometres (99 to 111 miles).

carmen de los martires in granada
Carmen de los Martires gardens in Granada

What to Do in Granada?

How to Spend One Day in Granada, Spain: The Highlights Itinerary

13 Beautiful Photography Locations in Granada: Tips from a Local Expat

Visiting Alhambra in Granada: The Complete Guide

Best Restaurants in Granada: Great Food & Free Tapas

Generalife Palace & Gardens, Granada

The Charming Albaicin Neighbourhood of Granada

Restaurante El Huerto de Juan Ranas, Granada

Restaurante Carmen St Miguel, Granada

The Alcazaba of Alhambra, Granada

Restaurante Mirador de Morayma, Granada

Carmen de los Martires, Granada

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