Tickets for Alhambra, Granada, Spain

The plans for visiting Granada was made 3 months prior to actual date of visit, hotel reservations too were made a month before the dates but we forgot to do one important thing. That is, check up the places we intended to visit. Alhambra always figured in the top of the list of must see places in Granada, but it never occurred to us that the entering it actually isn’t so easy. It is not like just buy the tickets for Alhambra and walk in.

When I read up in detail about the place I panicked. Alhambra sells limited number of tickets both online and for day visitors. When I checked for availability of tickets, all online tickets were sold out for 19th May 2015. This meant I have to be on time at the ticket counter for that day’s ticket. The thought of not being able to get tickets for that day kept nagging me. However I kept the thought aside and we stuck to our original route plan.

Barcelona to Granada was a long journey but not tiring. After a short tour of Granada streets and early dinner we retired to bed setting the alarm to wake up soon. Rick Steves had advised: Same day tickets are virtually never available unless you are willing to get up very early and wait in line.

Tickets for Alhambra

Ticket counters open at 8. We planned to be there by 6.30, but in spite of all rush we made it there at 6.45. We were disappointed seeing the long queue for tickets for Alhambra and gave up hopes of getting the same day ticket. But no sooner did we stand in the queue more tourists poured in and within 5 minutes the line length was almost double. They all must have read Rick Steves I thought.

Some good sense had prevailed the previous night and I had made arrangements for light breakfast, packing up scones and muffins. We stood in queue munching on these for next two hours slightly hopeful slightly nervous whether we would make it to the ticket counter before the tickets get over. At sharp 8, the counters opened, the display board kept updating the status on tickets.

Alhambra general, this is the only ticket which allows you to see Palacios Nazaries during day. There were around 325 tickets for the day split between 8.30hrs to 14.00hrs and 14.00hrs to 20.00hrs. The bookings for 19th night were made at Seville so we had to leave Granada by evening whether we get to see Palacios Nazaries or not.

As we neared the ticket counter there were 7 or 8 couples ahead of us when the board showed 22 tickets remaining. It was a nail biting wait for the next 10 to 15 minutes. Because even if 2 of the couples decide to buy more than 4 tickets there would be none left for us.

Finally!!!! We had the tickets for Alhambra in hand; it took some time for the feeling of happiness to sink in. We got the last slot, visit time was 19.00hrs. That meant it would be at least 20.30 hrs when we leave for Seville, a long 3 hrs drive. We decided to worry about it later, the next agenda was to have a decent breakfast!

The moral of this story is: Plan your visit well and book your tickets in advance. Else you will be like one of those million tourists who come all the way to Granada and go back without seeing Palacios Nazaries in Alhambra.

Where and how to get tickets to Alhambra.


Sunset on 19th May, Spain
Street Lamps from Barcelona

33 Responses to “Tickets for Alhambra, Granada, Spain

  • Ah, long lines are never fun!! That was one of the best things about living in Spain as long as we did!! Hope you have a great new week, Indrani!!

  • Waiting to see more beautiful pictures.

  • Wow, that was close. I can imagine the tension!

  • Glad you got in 🙂
    Now waiting to hear the next instalment of the story.

  • Great post, amazing pictures Indrani 🙂

  • Nothing is as irritating like going close to what we love and return back without experiencing it. Prior planning is must as you said Indrani. Good interesting post.

  • One can find such long and disciplined queues in many places in Kerala state also….

    In front of Kerala Beverages Corporation (IMF Liquor) outlets…!

  • Wow you made the reading so exciting!! 🙂

  • Understood the moral. Btw, good happens to good people 🙂

  • We have unplanned tours most of the time and we have faced similar problems in many places. Glad you could get in finally…. 🙂

  • Can sense the anticipation and tension in your blog…Glad you could make it. 🙂

  • Phew – so glad you made it! The Alhambra is just beautiful!

  • Glad you got the tickets…the wait in queues is the most trying time. Looking forward to the virtual tour of Palacios Nazaries with you 🙂

  • Wow, I am glad you were able to get your tickets. Good advice to plan well ahead! Have a happy week!

  • Oh the anticipation! Glad you made it to the ticket counter in time. Looking forward to read about Palacios Nazaries! 🙂

  • very beautiful pictures of a nice place to visit . your write up is very informative for those who wish to be there .

  • interesting post and pictures… 🙂

  • Ha! So much rush for the tickets can still ve imagined but the concept of selling limited no of tickets is kind of unimaginable. Interesting!

  • I could feel the tension waiting to see if you got those tickets. Glad you did. Thank you so much for visiting my blog while I was away. Have a great week.

  • Wonderful pictures Indrani 🙂

  • I'm not a fan of standing in lines although it is fun to watch people and take photos of those in the line. 😉

  • I really hate waiting in any line no matter what but sometimes it is necessary. Good thing you had a light snack with you and that you had read Rick Steeves tip in advance.

  • It’s always such a disappointment when you can’t get tickets for something you really wanted to see. I learned my lesson the hard way recently when I didn’t book tickets in advance for Neuschwanstein castle. It was a 2 days and 2 hours ahead of ticket online ticket cutoff that I didn’t know about. It pays to check through your whole itinerary for things you might be missing.

  • well done for making it! I hope it was worth the early start – sure we’ll find out more soon!

  • So lucky you made the last slot- close call!

  • Ive not been to Granada yet I was hoping to go this year but other places got in the way so fingers crossed I get to visit next year. Good tip about getting tickets for the Alhambra though as it looks a lovely palace and it would be a shame to miss it on a visit.

  • Goodness how nerve-wrecking! 22 tickets left with 8 couples ahead of you?? I would have passed out from anxiety haha.. glad you got to go!

  • What a fantastic story. I could imagine us standing in line, not knowing, and Jenn being a worried mess. I am glad everything worked out for you guys and we super appreciate the heads up. The more we travel, the more we appreciate the first hand experiences of our fellow travelers.

  • Phew! It is great that you got the tickets. This has happened to me several times. The most recent was not being able to go to Alcatraz! I should really learn my lesson.

  • Wow I wouldn’t have expected this to be such a pain. Thanks for giving us a heads up!

  • Any post about Spain makes me more excited. I just wish the visa processing get approved soon! Bookmarking this for future reference. Thanks for sharing

  • I love, love, love Spain! Good to know about how hard it is to get tickets. I had no idea that this was a thing. I’m glad you were able to get in and I’m glad you didn’t have to wait all day just to be told no. I bet you had an incredible time!

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