Buying tickets in advance
More than 2.4 million guests visit the Alhambra of Granada every year, making it one of the most visited touristic sights in the world. Due to the confined space within the compounds of the palaces, tickets per day are limited. You will be well advised to reserve a ticket for your visit to the Alhambra in advance as otherwise you might end up in front of the entrance gate not being allowed in.
a) Buying individual tickets online via the official Ticket Master Website:
You can reserve a ticket on the official Ticket Master Website. Be warned though that the navigation on the website is rather uncomfortable.
Follow these steps:
1) Click the button ‘Buy tickets’ for the option ‘Alhambra General‘. Choosing this option ensures that all important sights are included in your ticket and you have access to all areas: The Alcazaba, the Generalife AND (most importantly) the Nasrid Palaces.
2) You will see a calendar at the bottom left of the page. Choose the day of your visit. Then click on ‘Buy Tickets’. Days that are marked red are sold out!
3) Next choose the number of tickets you wish to purchase.
4) Choose a time slot. This is important! What you choose here is the precise time of your visit to the Nasrid Palaces (you absolutely have to arrive at the Nasrid Palaces on time for your time slot otherwise you will be denied access!). This is necessary because only 300 visitors can enter the palaces at the same time. You can therefore either choose to visit the general Alhambra complex during the morning session (all year 8:30-14:00) or the afternoon session (in summer 15.March-14.October 14:00-20:00, in winter 15.October-14.March ONLY 14:00-18:00). That means that in winter the afternoon session is 2 hours shorter!
5) Next you can choose discounted tickets (for seniors, children, disabled, etc. → Will be checked at entrance points, so you will need to provide proof!). The standard ticket price is 15,40 Euro.
6) Enter your contact and credit card details and you’re all set. You will receive a purchase confirmation via email.
Collecting your tickets
On your day of visit you have to collect your actual tickets. You can collect them…
✓ … at the official Alhambra Ticket Office/Entrance Pavillion (see Point 1 on the map of the Alhambra; top right). In the room to the right of the entrance you have several yellow ServiCaixa ticket machines from which you can retrieve your tickets. It is important that you use THE CREDIT CARD that you made the purchase with online! Once you have inserted your credit card into the machine your tickets will be printed. The Ticket Office is open 8:00-18:00 in winter and 8:00-20:00 in summer.
✓ … at the Tienda de la Alhambra bookshop on Calle Reyes Catalicos 40. Open every day 9:30-20:30. Again you need the credit card that you made the purchase with.
✓ … at the Caixa Bank on Calle Gran Via de Colon 16, using the ServiCaixa machine.
b) Buying a guided tour online
If the complexity of buying a ticket online and collecting it in advance sounds a bit overwhelming, it is a good option to buy a Guided Tour online. Again, make sure that you choose the right offer which grants you access to all areas (the Alcazaba, the Generalife AND the Nasrid Palaces). Guided tours are more expensive (the one that we are recommending costs around 30-40 Euro per person), but you will be able to skip all the lines, you will have a professional English-speaking guide who provides you with valuable information and you will avoid the hassle of ticket collection.
The guided tours might also be your only hope should you wish to visit the Alhambra on a day when all the tickets are already sold out on the Ticket Master Website. Most of the time the various vendors online still have some open slots available. So check on google for guided tours in case you are desperately searching for tickets for a specific (sold out) day.
Buying tickets while staying in Granada
If you did not buy your ticket online in advance you will need a bit of luck to still be able to secure a ticket during your stay in Granada.
✓ You can buy individual tickets at the Alhambra book shop on Calle Reyes Catolicos 40. They are open from 9:30-20:30. You have to do this at least one day in advance.
✓ You can buy tickets at the cash machines of La Caixa Bank (for example on Calle Gran Via de Colon 16). A time slot has to be chosen for the visit of the Nasrid Palaces via the machine. You will receive a voucher from the machine that you need to collect your ticket from the Alhambra Ticket Office (map point 1). You need to buy tickets at the Caixa cash machines at least one day in advance.
✓ You might be able to buy individual tickets on the day that you want to visit at the Alhambra Ticket Office (map point 1). There is a limited amount of on-the-day tickets available. The ticket office opens at 8:00.