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Alahambra guided tour?

We are heading to Malaga at the beginning of March. We have a private tour booked from Malaga to Granada/ Alahambra and they are securing our tickets for the Alahambra. My question is, should we do the 3 hour tour in the Alahambra? 3 hours seems pretty lengthy. We are a family with teenagers (16, 13, and 12) who are very used to traveling and seeing historical sites. We will be with the grandparents (73 and 68). Any comments or recommendations appreciated!

Posted by
344 posts

You could spend all day at the Alhambra. I’m going back for my fourth visit in April. The grounds are extensive and you could easily spend a couple hours just inside the Nasrid palaces. Was with teens on every visit and they loved it.

Definitely take the tour.

Posted by
17765 posts

The Alhambra is not a single building; it is a large complex with considerable walking required between the Nasrid Palaces and the Generalife, two prime areas. I would consider 3 hours an extremely short visit. You would certainly not have time to cover the entire area of the Alhambra. One thing to keep in mind is that the Alhambra is a highly popular sight, so tickets sell out for just about every day. If any of your group want to take pictures of the gorgeous architecture, there will be some waiting around required for photos not full of lots of other tourists. I'd plan on the whole day in Granada. That will not be all that long since you're commuting from Malaga. If you finish up at the Alhambra by mid-afternoon, there are other things to see in the city.

If this is a cruise stop, you obviously need to be really conservative to be sure you get back to Malaga in plenty of time to get on the ship. If it is not, can you not spend at least a couple of nights in Granada rather than in Malaga?

Posted by
576 posts

I agree with acraven about spending a few nights in Granada to see the Alhambra properly and leisurely. And to also enjoy Granada. We had timed tickets for the Nasrid Palaces for 8:30AM, and we didn't leave the Alhambra grounds until around 4PM!!! We took our time visiting the gorgeous Nasrid Palaces, the beautiful Generalife Gardens, and the Alcazaba. There is extensive walking. We also stopped for lunch, and then stopped for a drink/snack break. So we took our time and thoroughly enjoyed this magnificent place.

Posted by
6553 posts

Warning: There are a lot of steps and elevation changes at Alahambra. Although 73 & 68 years old is not that old, I hope they're not at all mobility challenged because it's not the easiest place to tour. Our tour ended up going 3 1/2 hours in June, and it was well worth seeing.
We stayed 3 days in Granada at an apartment at the foot of Alahambra, and we got a taste of the community. It's a very inexpensive place to visit too.

Posted by
2399 posts

I’d definitely not go any shorter than 3 hours! The Alhambra is a huge complex, not a building. There’s the palace, of course, but also several huge gardens with their own palaces, a fort, other buildings, a church, museums and plenty more. When I went the first time I spent a few hours then went back another day just for the gardens.

If you can spend longer in Granada, do so - the old town (Albayzin) is unlike anything else in Europe and the city is just...fun and fascinating. There’s a mildly gritty bohemian feel that the teenagers might really like.

Posted by
775 posts

Hello from Wisconsin,
There are some old posting about the Alhambra that you should find on this site.

The Alhambra is a walled hilltop fortress. Inside the fortress are several very popular places to visit. These popular places require a ticket to enter. The combined ticket is good for one entrance to each of these areas. You will want to acquire one of these tickets well in advance of your arrival date. Months in advance. Tickets for the palaces are sold with an entrance time like 10:30 or 14:00. You can't get into the palace early or arrive late and get in. If it says 10:30, be there waiting at 10:15.

And to confuse you a bit more. To get into the fortress area in general (not the three ticketed areas) is free. But qnything that is photogenic is inside the ticketed areas.

Buying tickets may be easier than it was last year, but I bet not. Seems tickets come on sale 90 days before the entrance date. Don't be tardy in purchasing. And buy a combined ticket for the Palaces and Generalife (the gardens).

Look for the old posting from last late spring to early summer. There are directions on which busses will take you up to the entrance.

wayne iNWI
wayne iNWI