Seville to Granada

Hi - We are wondering 1) what the best/most direct mode of transportation is to get from Seville to Granada - train looks like a slow trip. Rental car? Bus? Tour? Train?
2) I have some limitations with walking. How far away from the palace are the parking lots at the Alhambra? Is the walkway fairly level (ie cobblestones or flat) and how much of a hill to get from parking to the palace? 3) We're thinking of getting a private tour guide. Anyone have recommendations? Planning a day trip to Granada - what are the other must-sees? Thanks!

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
3509 posts

The Nasrid Palaces are the highlight for most. There is an entrance quite near them where a car could let you out. Then it's a short walk uphill (2-3 minutes), then downhill (about 5 minutes) to the entrance . The walkways are flat, not cobblestones. However, it is a one-way tour and from the exit you have to walk up quite a few stairs, and possibly cobblestone walks to get back. Then it's the uphill walk to the entrance. In the Palaces, there are 1 or 2 chairs in many of the rooms. It is physically possible for cars to go up and down the bit of walkway to the level part near the Palaces entrance. Maybe you can get permission? The evening tour may be a better choice. Most of the Palaces' rooms are open, and it is lovely at night. The route is shorter, circular and pretty level, so you exit quite near the entrance. The rest of the Alhambra is much more uphill/downhill and/or lots of stairs, long distances and cobblestones, especially through the gardens. It's just over 3 hours by train, that's probably the easiest and not slower than any other way. You'd have to get the 6.50 am train. The next one is only at 11.50. You could return on a train at 5 p.m. or 9 p.m. You wouldn't be able to take the evening tour without staying overnight. Granada is difficult walking. The most interesting area is the Albaicin, which is built on a steep mountainside. The cathedral is not so special. Quite near it is the Moroccan market, worth a look-see (and bargains to be had on souvenirs) if you are already there.

Posted by David
Bellevue, WA, USA
740 posts

you can look into buses, very comfortable. you'll likely walk up/down the hill, so using taxi if you can, it's not that expensive. i'd take taxi up to the palace entrance. if you just do a day trip, then visit the palace and possibly stop by the cathedral. there are many things to see, and if it gets hot when you're there it can be exhausting.

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2386 posts

I always recommend the bus. It's just as fast as the train and the stations are no less convenient. You'll probably want to taxi to/from stations and the Alhambra palace itself. Once at the grounds, it's actually very flat with only some stairs. I recall the pathways were pretty even and smooth for the most part. But the other poster was right about there not being much of anywhere to sit down, especially inside the Nasrid Palace portion of the site. Be sure to reserve your Alhambra tickets well in advance, they do sell out. If you are doing it as a daytrip, keep in mind that it will be a VERY long day and you'll need to get a palace entry time that works for your schedule. You MUST enter the Nasrid Palace portion within the 30 minute timeslot you choose - NO exceptions given. The rest of the time (morning or afternoon) you are free to wander the rest of the grounds.

Posted by Joy
Visalia, Ca
5 posts

Thanks for your replies. We think we will get a private tour and will consider renting a car. Any experience driving in Spain? Joy

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
3509 posts

Where do you want to drive? There's no point to driving from Seville to Granada, if that's what you're asking.

Posted by Adam
Boston
2632 posts

I agree with Chani. Buses from Seville to Granada are frequent and very comfortable. A car in Granada will be a logistical hassle. Taxis in Granada are reasonable.

Posted by Joy
Visalia, Ca
5 posts

Okay - So what we are wanting to do is get from Seville to Cordoba, and then Cordoba to Granada. We are overnighting in Granada, and seeing the Alhambra in the AM. Then we want to get back to Seville late afternoon from Granada. So do you still recommend the bus for all legs? And f so - are any sort of reservations needed? Thanks!

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2386 posts

The Cordoba-Granada train is very slow. I'd think the bus is faster. Bus-train times from Granada to Sevilla are equal. The bus offers much more schedule flexibility. Advanced purchase is not necessary.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

The train from Cordoba to Granada is an Altaria and takes 2 hours 20-30 minutes. There are two a day ( in June), at 11:10 and 19:09. Cost is 36,10 €. From Granada to Sevilla, the MD train takes 3 hours. There are three a day, but the one you would want ( late afternoon) is the 17:32. Cost is 29,00€. Sevilla and Cordoba are connected by the high-speen AVE and it only takes 45 minutes. These are frequent. We did this triangle all by train two years ago and it was easy and pleasant. We bought our train tickets in advance to be sure of getting them. It was an easy and inexpensive taxi ride between the train station and our hotel. My understanding is the Granada bus station is farther out than the train station.

Posted by Joy
Visalia, Ca
5 posts

We are convinced! We're dumping the car idea and will probably take the train for 2 legs and the bus from Cordoba to Granada. Great info, everyone - thanks.

Posted by Tim
Wyckoff, NJ, USA
671 posts

I just noticed that you OP says "day trip to Granada", which I guess is from Cordoba. That's not impossible, and I agree that Granada is a must-see. But especially if there is a problem with walking, do you really want to be rushed and exhausted? There are other attractions besides the Alhambra, although standing and walking are unfortunately important for all of them. I certainly agree with your train decision. But I note that you did not ask for a trip that included Ronda or Arcos or other stops along the way. I was not sorry we drove from Seville to Granada, stopping in Arcos and sleeping in Ronda a few nights. In fact it was unnerving being told to park on the sidewalk by the Hertz guy for return in Granada. But sunset from the Mirador one night, and from a restaurant with a view of the Alhambra another night, the Lorca house, the monasteries, the old baths, what a magical place! Another reason to spend the night, if you get a smaller hotel with pleasant management, they might recommend a private guide with special knowledge for disabled guests. (I don't mean I know what that might be, but I mean possible shortcuts or guards who can be tipped for special services ... )

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2386 posts

^^^ One of my pet peeves is people that post without reading the thread. Joy has posted several updates of her plans as we help her along. She is staying overnight in Granada.