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Granada-- Visiting Alhambra with Discounted Student Tickets

Our family is visiting Granada, Spain end of March/beginning April and just purchased tickets for the whole family to the Alhambra. We purchased a discounted student ticket for my 12 year old. After purchasing, we just read the part in Rick Steve's book that says to ignore the discounted student ticket. Rick Steves says "Children’s and Discounted Tickets: Children under 12 are free, but still need a reservation booked online in their name. Ignore the discounted student tickets (ages 12-15)—they require waiting in a long line at the Alhambra (buy adult tickets to skip the needless hassle)."

Since we already have the tickets, i'm trying to figure out what the hassle is. Does anyone know? I'm trying to decide if I should purchase another ticket for him, if it's available, so we don't have to stand in a line or something. Any tips would be helpful if you know first hand. Thank you! We're going the very end of March. Will we have a problem?

Posted by
14211 posts

It's exactly that. You have to go to the main entrance and wait in line to collect the ticket because you have to show proof of age. Did you really get tickets with a bar code for everyone? Also, what is the entrance time to the Nasrid Palaces?

Posted by
6525 posts

You have to wait in line to collect a ticket at the student price. Who knows how long it will be on that day. What time is your entrance into the Nasrid Palaces?

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you so much for your replies!

The PDF that they emailed me show our names and the date and time (13:00) of our entrance to the Palacio Nazaríes. It has a booking number and order number along with our ID numbers but no barcode. We used the link to get tickets provided in the Rick Steves guidebook.

So, is it worth purchasing a new adult ticket for my son if we can get it at the same day and time? What would you suggest?

Posted by
6525 posts

Since your entry into the Nasrid Palaces is at 13:00 I would go pick up the student ticket at 10am. I doubt the line would take long The Nasrid Palaces part of the whole Alhambra is the only part where you absolutely need to show up at your assigned time which is 13:00. The other parts of the Alhambra you can show up and explore at any time on the day of your ticket. Do you know if there are still adult tickets available at 13:00 on the day you want?

Posted by
3 posts

That sounds like a good plan. It looks like we will need to stand in line to get our tickets anyway, though two lines is not great. We'll do what we have to. I think we will plan on going early and taking care of all the tickets when lines are, hopefully, shorter. Our tickets expressly state that they are not tickets but rather are holding our spot and to present them at the booth to obtain our tickets.

I checked and there are no longer any adult tickets available at 13:00 that day. I do notice that several other times now have 1 ticket available and that wasn't the case when I purchased our tickets earlier. It may be that an adult ticket will come available at the right time in the future. Just trying to decide if I spend the extra money and get him a new ticket or hope for short lines.

I appreciate your comments and suggestions. We are looking forward to getting to know Andalucia.

Posted by
6525 posts

The line for your entry to the Nasrid Palaces is just for people schedule to enter at 13:00 and moves fast.

Posted by
404 posts

We did exactly the same thing in November - bought a discounted ticket for one of our kids. Go to the main ticket area and show your printout to one of the employees at the front of the line. Do not get in line. I was told to wait a minute, along with my son. My husband and other son were told to wait a ways away. Then the employee let us into the ticket area to wait for the next person at one of the ticket windows. I had to show his passport, then received all 4 our tickets.

Posted by
14211 posts

People line up way in advance for the Nasrid Palaces, and I'm not sure why. I did it since the line looked kind of long and in the end it didn't really matter much. 200 people enter in a steady flow. So the very first people in do get to see the first couple of rooms more or less empty. Most of what you're looking at is above head level so it's not a big deal. Those folks who want to be in first will be in line more than 30 minutes ahead. One of the staff began walking through the line about when the entry began to make sure that everyone had tickets for that time. If you get to the line after they've started going in, make sure the people ahead of you have the same time as you do. If you're more than a few minutes "late", go straight to the front of the line, assume everyone else is waiting for the entry after yours.

Once you are through the "magic" door, you can linger as long as you want in any room. There is a one-way route through the rooms but you can backtrack as much as you like, though you have to exit at the end of the route.

It is a long walk (downhill) from the main entrance to the Nasrid entrance. Since you probably won't go back that way, allow time to enjoy the vistas and minor sights along the path. If you want to visit the Charles V Palace, go early, it's usually (always?) only open in the morning. (It's been some 6 years or so since I was there, so possibly somethings have changed.) There is a multistory building near the entrances to the Nasrids and Alcazaba (also a ticketed entry). You can store large bags and backpacks (not allowed in the Nasrids), and there are toilets. If you store items, you'll have to backtrack after the Nasrid visit to collect them. If not, you may want to visit the Alcazaba before the Nasrid, so you don't have to backtrack for that. It doesn't take very long to see (maybe 30 min?) and there are nice views of the city below.

is very close to the entrance to the Nasrids. If you wait to

Posted by
17907 posts

I really enjoyed the museum in the Charles V palace.

If you want to rent an audio guide, check to see whether they are available in the place where you pick up your tickets. If they are not, look for a cart near the line-up for the Nasrid Palaces. I thought the guide was quite good.