Alhambra in late December

Sep 21st, 2012, 08:11 AM
Original Poster
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Alhambra in late December

We are a family of 6 going to the Alhambra in late December. We would like suggestions on the best time of day to visit and how long to plan to spend there (we have two children ages 8 and 11)?
FamilyRoadTrippers is offline  
Sep 21st, 2012, 08:48 AM
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Late morning visit so you are not late. If you are you won't be able to see the Nasrid palace. I think 3 hrs. is a reasonable amount of time. Granada is very cold in December.
Egbert is offline  
Sep 21st, 2012, 09:08 AM
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Actually Granada is cold in Dec - but only for Spain. The highs are usually in the 50s (IMHO very warm for Dec) and the lows are above freezing.

So - hot or cold is all in your perspective.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2012, 09:38 AM
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The last time I was there in November it was 33 degrees fahrenheit at night.
Egbert is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2012, 10:41 AM
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Precisely - which where I come from 33 at night is mild for the winter. At night we often have temps in the teens and it goes below zero (f not C) every winter.

So - it is cold for Spain - but not cold for winter overall. For anyplace north of the Alps this would be average winter weather.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2012, 11:35 PM
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Whatever you decide and whether you know or not - you should purchase Alhambra tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
WomBatt is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2012, 11:59 PM
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Will get to your question after I explain... we were there over Easter in April one year. We stayed outside the main part of the city and took a bus into town. From the center we took a taxi up to the main entry as we also had two younger kids and were not sure how long of a walk we were in for. Once at the ticket area we were confused by the lines. We approached the "main line" which I believe was a part of a larger/taller building and straight on from where the taxi dropped us. We were stressed for time (even though the advice was to allow for extra time . We turned around and noticed a group of self-serve kiosks...we ditched the main line and went to the kiosks and there we picked up our tickets! The tickets had been pre-reserved and which I would recommend doing so you are assured of getting in.

Now to answer your question...a morning visit is the way to go so that way you know for sure you can get thru it all. Plus, the views of Granada area are beautiful and you don't want to miss that. It is very cold at the top so dress accordingly. (Much colder than central Granada centrum). I packed a small backpack with gloves and hats and we put them on-this was April. My sister and family were there in December one year and froze because they didn't heed my advice. If you are dressed properly and have good walking shoes you can spend several hours looking around. I also brought some water and apples in the keep the kids going. Chocolate works wonders too!
cheapboxofwine is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2012, 03:22 AM
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The Alhambra is almost entirely an outdoor site, and its interior sections are not heated. It sits on top of a generally windy hill, and once you are there, you won't find amenities like cafes where you can scoot inside to warm up. The comparisons to NYC are silly (it mostly doesn't drop below freezing in NYC in winter, by the way) unless you are talking about the homeless unemployed. You do need to be prepared for very cold touring conditions.

You really need to head out in the morning because of the short daylight hours in December.
pizzocchieri is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2012, 04:37 AM
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pizzocchieri, I would never disagree with you where Italy is concerned but I must take issue with you on the temps in NYC. It most certainly does drop below freezing in NYC OFTEN.

As for the Alhambra in late December - go early enough that you have 3 hours to spend before it begins to get dark. That happens early in late December. So go no later than noon. Also, dress for the outdoors on the day you go. Layers work, and take scarves and gloves. As noted, you will spend much of your time outside.
mamcalice is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2012, 05:04 AM
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pizocchieri -

You have obviously never spent much time n NYC.

Winter is cold - much colder than Granada. It is also humid with very cold rain, sleet and often substantial snow (we get storms of 2 feet or more very couple of years and some snow every winter) and it's usually windy - since we're located on a major deep-water harbor and the city is surrounded by rivers.

I have no doubt that Granada seems very cold in winter to people used to southern Spain- which is usually VERY hot (we were in Granada twice. Once late April when the temps were in the high 70s and once the very beginning of April when it was about 10 degrees higher.

So yes, if someone is expecting 80 and thy get 50 it will seem cold (but in the overall scheme of winter temps that is actually quite warm for any place in europe).
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2012, 06:11 AM
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This IS NOT about New York and yes it certainly does drop below freezing there in the Winter and if you want to keep whining about that please start a new thread.

As to the Alhambra and the children of a young age. I agree it is mainly an "outdoor" site and I suppose the gardens won;t be at their best, etc. Also be aware that the rooms are pretty much vacant except for the wall decorations and frankly one room starts to look like another after a while so am not sure how well the children will hold up. the fountains and waterways should interest them a bit I would think.
Dukey1 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2012, 10:54 PM
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We were in Granada last year around 21st December. We did not find it too cold - we come from Sydney, so are not really used to extreme cold, so we took no chances (always had a coat and scarf at hand). Days were brisk but beautiful sunny for us - hope you have equally nice weather.

This were our observations upon our return:

GRANADA HOTEL. We booked our hotel in Granada over the internet through and stayed at Hotel Sercotel Carmen ( ). We chose the hotel based on trip advisor reviews and price. It was only for 2 nights and we did not want to spend a lot of money – our main aim going to Granada was to see the Alhambra Palace. The hotel was very comfortable, and we found it to be a good downtown location. Would happily stay there again.

GRANADA SIGHTSEEING. Our prime reason for going to Granada was to see the Alhambra Palace, and it did not disappoint – loved it! We prebooked our tickets over the internet before leaving Australia, with a 9am entrance into the Nazrid Palace. We were told we could pick up our tickets from any La Caixa terminal in town, but we never managed to master the machines! We always ended up getting Spanish instructions, and despite all attempts we could not get our tickets. (I am sure we were doing something wrong, but we never figured out what). Instead we took a taxi up to the palace on the first afternoon, asked at the information office, and picked up our tickets with great ease at the La Caixa machine on the sight – no problems. We then walked down the hill (lovely autumn colours – pleasant walk) back through town, detouring through the Albaycin (old Muslim quarter). As it was siesta time, it was pretty quiet. (Read afterwards that area should be avoided during Siesta time due to muggings?? No doubt this is true, but we barely saw anyone at all.)
We visited Alhambra on our full day – getting there at between 8am and 8:30am and leaving after lunch. A solid half day was most enjoyable! In the late afternoon we took a taxi up to Mirador San Nicolas for amazing views of the Alhambra Palace in the late afternoon light. We returned to town on the little local buses.
Whilst in Granada we noticed everyone seemed to have hot chocolate and churros in the late afternoon. Tried it in a cafe filled with Spanish speakers. Did not really care for the churros, but enjoyed the experience!

Hope you have a great trip!
PRLCH is offline  
Sep 26th, 2012, 07:08 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
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We visited the Alhambra last year in december. The cold wasn't too bad and we walked around comfortably in winter jackets. I agree with other posts that morning / early afternoon would be the best time to visit and enjoy the sun. There weren't many people when we visited and it took us about 3 hours to see everything including the gardens. Enjoy your trip!
Traveler_2012 is offline  
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