Wednesday July 15, 2015
Recommendations to enjoy the Alhambra.
Alhambra is the main attraction of Granada and one of the most visited Spanish monuments. The charm of this monument built along six centuries seduces its visitor with the great beauty of its gardens and palaces. There is nothing more exciting than enjoying its rooms’ colors and light as well as the amazing views of the Albaizin, Sacromonte and Granada meadow from the hill of La Sabika where Alhambra is located.
Alhambra means red fortress in Arabic language. It was built over one of the highest points of the city, on the hill of La Sabika, in order to have a strategic situation. Later, it became the royal residence. The Alhambra is made up of different parts, the Alcazaba that was the fortress, the Nasrid Palaces –residence and administrative area- the Partal Gardens, next to the Nasrid Palaces, the Generalife – the gardens traditionally used as a summer residence of Muslim Monarchs- the Palace of Charles the 5th -built in the 16th century and was the residence of the Emperor Charles the 5th – at present it is the Alhambra Museum and the Fine Arts Museum of Granada, and finally the Monastry of San Francisco, current Parador de Turismo, built on an old Muslim palace of 16th century. The Catholic Monarchs graves were prepared in this place while The Royal Chapel, which would be used as a Royal Family mausoleum, was built next to the Cathedral.
Alhambra is a must-see place in Granada but in some seasons, it is very difficult to get tickets. We want to nobody to miss it, so in this post, we will offer some recommendations.
1. WHEN TO GET THE TICKETS
We recommend buying tickets in advance irrespective of whether it is high season or low season. If you plan to travel in high season (April, May, October, Christmas holidays, Easter, weekends and bank holidays) we recommend buying the tickets one month in advance. In low season, one week in advance is enough. It is allowed to buy tickets 3 months in advance only. Everyday Alhambra put on sale an indefinite number of tickets that must be purchased at the tickets office of the Alhambra. You will be able to visit the Alhambra on the day you buy the tickets, but it is not guaranteed that you will get them because as we said before, it is an indefinite number of tickets.
2. WHERE TO BUY TCKETS FOR THE ALHMABRA
The official website to get tickets for the Alhambra is Ticketmaster. These are unguided visits. If you want to arrange a guided visit of the Alhambra with a group or a private tour, El Ladrón de Agua the Arts Hotel will be happy to help you. If you prefer to buy the tickets online, please take into account that you will be allowed to buy tickets for the next day only. Via online it is not possible to get tickets for visiting the Alhambra on the day you buy them.
3. RATES, SPECIAL OFFERS, DISCOUNTS AND PACKAGES.
The price of the general ticket includes the Nasrid Palaces, the Generalife and the Alcazaba. The regular rate of the full visit is 15.30 Euros per person. You can also visit the Generalife only or making a visit at night. There are special discounts for EU citizens. There are special packages which include tickets for others monuments. One of these packages is Granada Card that offers the possibility of visiting the Alhambra without a previous reservation. “La Dobla de Oro” is another package which includes the entrance to some monuments in the Albaizin as well as the Alhambra. The tickets price for children under 12 is free but you must make a reservation for children also. If you have a special discount you must identify yourself at the tickets office of the Alhambra.
4. GUIDED VISITS
It is possible to arrange a guided tour with a group. The price of these visits is 52 Euros per person. If you prefer to make a visit with a private guide, only for you and your family or companions, please, contact us, El Ladron de Agua, the Arts Hotel will be pleased to help you to arrange your visit.
5. I COULDN’T FIND TICKETS, CAN THE HOTEL HELP ME?
Definitely! Tickets in Ticketmaster sell out quickly, especially in high season for that reason the Alhambra offers a number of ticket to our hotel and many establishments in Granada in order to make easier the way to buy tickets for the Alhambra for guests and clients. If you could not get your tickets of if you want us to arrange your visit, please contact us.
6. BUYING TICKETS AT THE TICKET OFFICE OF THE ALHAMBRA.
We recommend buying the tickets in the way we have seen before, but if you planned a last minute trip, you can purchase tickets at the tickets office. Everyday Alhambra put on sale an indefinite number of tickets that must be purchased at the tickets office of the Alhambra or one of the tickets machines next to the tickets office. You will be able to visit the Alhambra on the day you buy the tickets, but it is not guaranteed that you will get them because as we said before, it is an indefinite number of tickets.
7. I NEED TO CANCEL MY TICKETS. WHAT CAN I DO?
If you made your reservation on Ticketmaster, you will have to contact directly with them. Cancellation or any change in your reservation details will have to be made at least 72 hours before the visit. In case of cancellation, you will be refunded the total amount except for 1.40 Euros as management fee.
8. HOW TO GET TO THE ALHAMBRA.
You can go walking, from Plaza Nueva, take street Cuesta de Gomérez, by bus, using the bus C3, by taxi or using the train Granada city tour.
9. I HAVE MY TICKETS ALREADY. WHAT NOW?
If you have your tickets, you will have to print them in one of the office of “La Caixa”, at the bookstore of the Alhambra placed in Plaza Nueva or at the ticket office of the Alhambra.
I you have a special discount remember that you must show your ID to identify yourself at the ticket office. As you can see on your tickets, you have a specific time for visiting the Nasrid Palaces. If you have a morning visit (8.30 – 13.30) you will be able to visit the Generalife and the Alcazaba at these hours. The same thing happens if you have an afternoon visit (14.00 – 19.30 in summer and 14.00 18.00 in winter)
It is recommended to arrive in advance because the visit lasts 3 hours and after the deadline hour you will not be allowed to visit the rest of the areas included in your visit.
BONUS RECOMMENDATION FOR AUSTRALIAN CITIZENS
There are some problems for Australian citizens who want to make the Alhambra reservations on Ticketmaster. It seems to be a problem with Australian credit cards when you want to make your reservations online. That does not mean that you will not be able to pay with your credit card directly at the ticket office of the Alhambra, this problem concerns online purchase on Ticketmaster. If it is your situation, please contact us.