Granada Alhambra Palace Visit Duration

If you're planning your trip to Granada, here's how much time you'll need to visit its legendary Alhambra.

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

6 min read

Granada Alhambra Palace Visit Duration

Inside the Alhambra | Hari Nandakumar

If you are passionate about cultural visits, in the Alhambra in Granada you will find a very special monument full of art and history that will leave you speechless. It is the only medieval palace of its time that has come down to us and the last living trace of the Nasrid dynasty in Spain.

The Alhambra in Granada is full of amazing corners and discovering them will take you a while. After booking your tickets, this post will tell you how much time you need to explore the eighth wonder of the world so that you can organise your visit.

How long does it take to visit the Alhambra on your own?

Charles V Palace| ©Clark Van Der Beken
Charles V Palace| ©Clark Van Der Beken

The itinerary through the palatine city is 3.5 kilometres long and the general visit to the Alhambra usually lasts between 3 and 4 hours approximately, if you buy the tickets to the Alhambra and the Nasrid Palaces on your own.

Even so, it is difficult to determine exactly how long the visit to the Alhambra lasts. To get to know a monument of this magnitude, artistic beauty and historical importance takes time, but it all depends on how much fascination you feel for it.

Organise the route to visit the Generalife or the Alcazaba

The visit to the Generalife or the Alcazaba should be planned to take place before or after the Nasrid Palaces although you also have the option of seeing the royal residence of the sultans interspersed between the Generalife or the Alcazaba. In other words, you could do the following tour inside the Alhambra.

  • Alcazaba - Nasrid Palaces - Generalife
  • Alcazaba - Generalife - Nasrid Palaces
  • Nasrid Palaces - Alcazaba - Generalife

Visits with a fixed timetable

Whichever itinerary you decide to follow, you should bear in mind two important times during the visit in order to adjust your time during the tour of the Alhambra.

  • The time of access to the palatine city.
  • The time of entry to the Nasrid Palaces.

Once you have visited the most emblematic areas of the Alhambra you can also dedicate some time to visit other places such as the Museum of the Alhambra and the Museum of Fine Arts, both located in the Palace of Charles V, one of the best Renaissance works outside Italy.

Book tickets and guided tours to the Alhambra

How much time do I need to see the Alhambra with a guided tour?

Discover new things in the Alhambra| ©Victoriano Izquierdo
Discover new things in the Alhambra| ©Victoriano Izquierdo

If you book a guided tour of the Alhambra to see the monumental complex it will take you about 3 hours. The guide will take you to the essential places such as the Generalife and its gardens, the Palace of Charles V or the Alcazaba. You can find out more about these guided tours in this post.

Compare tickets and tours for the Alhambra

How long do the Alhambra tours last at night?

Feel the magic of the Alhambra by night| ©Ben30
Feel the magic of the Alhambra by night| ©Ben30

Night visits to the Alhambra normally last about two hours, less time than daytime visits as visiting time is limited to the hours when the monument is open.

If the beauty of the Alhambra is striking in daylight, it is especially enchanting when the sun goes down. To contemplate it in the stillness of the night, broken only by the murmur of the water of its fountains and the moonlight, is a magical experience. The delicate illumination projected on its walls envelops the fortress in an enigmatic and fascinating atmosphere worth seeing.

Perhaps this is your first time in Granada and you would like to visit the Alhambra during the day, but if you fancy a quiet visit without the crowds, a fantastic option is the night entrance tickets.

Night timetables

There are two types of night visits to the Alhambra: the Nasrid Palaces and the Generalife Palace and gardens. Both are made separately but under the same conditions.

  • Night visit in summer timetable (from April 1st to October 14th): from 10 PM to 11:30 PM.
  • Winter evening visit (from October 15th to March 31st): from 8 PM to 9:30 PM.

During night visits to the Alhambra remember to remove the flash from your camera to avoid dazzling other visitors and disturbing their serene perception of the monument.

Book a night-time visit to the Alhambra

How long does the visit to the Generalife last?

The Generalife| ©Charlie Jackson
The Generalife| ©Charlie Jackson

To see the Generalife at your leisure, enjoying the views and taking as many photos of this beautiful landscape as you wish, I recommend spending at least 30 minutes there.

The Generalife Palace was the summer villa where the Nasrid sultans retired to rest and escape the formalities of the court. Its gardens are beautiful and from here you have stunning views of the fortress and the city of Granada in the distance.

The Generalife is a haven of peace filled with trees, small fountains with water and flower gardens where you can take a pleasant stroll and take a short break.

Useful information

This area of the Alhambra is usually left until the end of the visit and some people don't even go to see it so, unlike the Nasrid Palaces, it is not crow ded so there is no time limit and you can walk for a while along the paths at your leisure.

Book a guided tour of the Alhambra and Generalife

How long does the tour of the Nasrid Palaces last?

Patio de los Leones| ©Rafolas
Patio de los Leones| ©Rafolas

Although you could spend hours contemplating the Partal, the Palace of the Lions, the Mexuar or the Palace of Comares, you will only have 30 minutes to do the tour of the Nasrid Palaces, so I advise you to keep your eyes wide open and pay close attention to all the details of the rooms and spaces you will see in order to enjoy the architecture and ornamentation of this icon of Hispano-Muslim art in the West to the full.

Access to the Nasrid Palaces takes place in half-hour shifts so as not to accumulate too many people inside and thus avoid the deterioration of the monument. To make the most of your visit to the Nasrid Palaces, try to be there 15 minutes before the time indicated at the entrance. It is important to be punctual or you will not be allowed to enter later.

The Nasrid Palaces of the Alhambra is the place where the sovereigns of the kingdom of Granada resided and the jewel of the monumental complex. In fact, it is the most visited part of the monument, so the Alhambra tour must be organised according to the time of access to the Nasrid Palaces, as you will only be able to visit this part of the fortress at the time indicated on each visitor's ticket.

Book your tickets for the Alhambra and the Nasrid Palaces

In summary, how much time in total should I spend in the Alhambra?

View of the Alhambra| ©Dimitry B
View of the Alhambra| ©Dimitry B

To see the monumental complex in its entirety, paying close attention to the details of all the rooms and enjoying a leisurely stroll through the fortress and its gardens, you will need between 3 and 4 hours at least (either on your own or with a guided tour).

However, if you just want to see the Alhambra from above with the aim of seeing it and adding it to your list of travelling landmarks, 2 to 2 and a half hours may be enough to get a good idea of what the monument is like.

However, if you are an art and history enthusiast you won't want to spend less than 4 to 6 hours to walk around it slowly and take in the sights. There is so much to see!

Book tickets and guided visits to the Alhambra