If visiting the Alhambra on a Sunday afternoon in mid June and I plan to stay until it closes at 20:00 hr, what hour ticket should I buy? How many hours is good to explore the Alhambra?
I assume what time do you make your Nasrid Palace reservation for since you'll be getting the afternoon ticket. Someone casually walking through the Nasrid and just casually looking at each area before moving along can probably do it in 30-45 minutes. Really stopping to look, sit and ponder or take lots of photos might spend up to 2 hours.
The rest of the site can be seen in between 1 and 3 hours. Plus you can have food there or browse the bookshop and gift shops. All told, it's not hard to spend 3-4 hours for the whole site if you really want to take it all in.
And just to clarify, the Alhambra is one large site with numerous ticketed entry areas within it. The Nasrid is the only place that requires the timed entry. The rest of the sites within you can do anytime within your afternoon slot.
Douglas's last paragraph is very important. You must enter the Nasrid Palace within the half hour time window on your ticket. But you can visit the other sections requiring tickets at any time in the afternoon (assuming your Nasrid Palace entry is in the afternoon), and some parts of the complex require no tickets and can be visited at any time. I also agree with his time estimates. Note also that, at least when I went in 2006, once I entered the Nasrid Palace, not only could I stay as long as I liked, but I could walk back and forth within the Palace as long a I didn't exit (so I went back to see some sections twice).
I will put in a plug for a separate night visit to the Nasrid Palace. Ideally as your first visit. It is magical.
IMHO the best timing for the Alhambra is in the 12 to 2 or so window when you are allowed full entry all day -- if you have a morning or afternoon ticket you are not able to entry restricted (ticket controlled areas during the opposite time period -- but if you get a mid-day ticket, you have entry all day. The Alhambra really needs a full day. We got tickets for 1 pm entry to the Nasrid Palace and could use it to enter the other areas any time that day.
Before our first visit, long ago, I asked the same question.
After our first visit we asked how many more days will we need?
Btw: stay hydrated as it will be hot in June.
the best timing for the Alhambra is in the 12 to 2 or so window when you are allowed full entry all day
I don't think this is accurate. There are only two daytime ticket sessions: morning 8-2 and afternoon 2-8 (in summer). You are not allowed in the ticketed areas before or after your session expires. You can roam the grounds and visit the shops and restaurants.
Thank you for all your responses. I took your advise to heart, BUT I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO PURCHASE TICKETS VIA TICKETMASTER.ES. I have tried for 3 days and every time it looks like it is going through and then my card or surname or …? is rejected. I have tried different cards and I can never, at the end, purchase the tickets. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG ? :(
Have you checked with your bank? They might be blocking the transaction.
I don't see any other red flags on the Tickemaster site (e.g., no Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode security system). It looks pretty straightforward, so I must second the advice to call your bank.