Alhambra, US credit card and long lines

Oct 15th, 2009, 01:36 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 297
Alhambra, US credit card and long lines

I'm about to book my tickets for the Alhambra online and have some concerns about picking up the tickets at the ticket machine.

With all I've been reading of "chip" credit cards will I be able to use my credit card?

If not, I'm assuming I can go to a manned ticket line but is the line generally long?

I would like to book a morning slot but I'm concerned about these issues.

thanks very much
SashieZ is offline  
Oct 15th, 2009, 01:57 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,183
I didn't have any trouble using my American credit card to pick up my tickets in June.

I reserved the first time slot (which I really, really, really recommend) so there were only a few people ahead of me in the line for the machines. I don't know what it's like later in the day.
Shanti is offline  
Oct 15th, 2009, 02:10 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,644
hi Sashiez,

I can't help with the US credit card issue, but I agree with Shanti about booking an early time-slot. however, if you have a morning ticket, you can enter any time in the morning whatever your time-slot for the nasrid palaces [which is what the time given is for].

for example, if you have a 10.30 timing, you can still pick up your tickets at 8.30, enter the site, wander around, see other parts of it, then arrive at the nasrid palaces at 10.30 -11am.

it takes approx 30 minutes to get from the gates to the palaces, if you walk at a reasonable pace and don't take too long to look at the gardens, shops, workshops, and other things of interest in the way.

hope this helps,

regards, ann
annhig is online now  
Oct 15th, 2009, 02:45 PM
  #4  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,180
I booked an afternoon entry ticket when I visited the Alhambra in Feb 2008. The entry is for 2pm, but I arrived around 12:30pm-1pm. There was no line to pick up my ticket at the self-service kiosk, and there was no problem with me using a non-chip US CC.

But yes, it's a long walk from the ticket desk/kiosk to the entrance.
yk is offline  
Oct 15th, 2009, 07:41 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,227
We booked on line a few months before our trip. We booked the earliest time slot, 8:30am. Glad we did because there were still tour groups at that time, but no where near the number of people who were waiting to get in at 10. You must use the same credit card to print out your ticket at the machine that you used to book the tickets. You can also pick up the tickets the day before. We got to the booth at about 7;45 am, and there was a cleaning woman washing the floors. Supposidly the booth opens at 8 am. We walked in and just printed out our tickets for that 8;30 time slot...walked up to the Alhambra and had a quick coffee at the Parador before our 8;30 time slot. Its a LONG walk from the ticket area to the actual entrance to the Nasrid palace... as we left, we saw people running to get to the Palace on time. They probably didn't know just how far it was. IMO Its not that well planned.
kleroux is offline  
Oct 16th, 2009, 06:38 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 297
That was great information - thanks so much.

My plan is to arrive 8 am and with a timed reservation of 10am for the Nasrid Palace.

Where is a good place for lunch. Is it possible to see the Nasrid Palace, then have lunch at the Parador (for example) and then continue to visit the Alhambra? Or is the Parador too far?
SashieZ is offline  
Oct 16th, 2009, 08:03 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,142
The Parador is not far, in fact it's right in the Alhambra complex. I would imagine lunch for two would run about 150E-200E all in at the Parador.

A good alternative for lunch is La Mimbre. Right outside the Alhambra: charming, simple but delicious, and inexpensive.

We loved it.

http://www.lamimbrerestaurante.com/ (hint - click "Inicio" to return to home page)
bardo1 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2009, 08:10 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,142
The La Mimbre website doesn't show exact address.

Here it is:
Paseo del Generalife, 7, Granada, Spain

try "Satellite view"
bardo1 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2009, 08:55 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,644
hi again,

<>

you may have more time than you think - you have a time slot of 30 mins to arrive at the entrance to the nasrid palaces, starting at the time marked on your ticket. so if the time is 10 am, you have til 10.30 to get there. once you're in, you can stay as long as you like.

also, so far as I could tell, once you are in the site, you can stay as long as you like too. so if you have a morning ticket, you can enter at 8am, and stay til chucking out time in the evening. OTOH, if you have an afternoon ticket, you only get the afternoon session.

I think we arrived at about 9 am, picked up our tickets, entered the nasrid palaces at about 10.30, and finally left via the generelife gardens [where we spent a very long time] at about 3pm.

even if you have tickets for the night-time, you still have to leave at the end of the afternoon session.

given the spanish habit of eating meals somewhat later than most of the rest of us, you could do the same sort of length tour as us, and then have a lovely long lunch at a restaurant.

I don;t know if you can get a "pass" to go out for lunch and then come back.

i agree that the information available is very poor and the only way to find out how the "system" works is by doing it or finding out from others.

hope this helps,

regards, ann

PS - do try to get tickets for the night-time session as well. although you only get to see the nasrid palaces and their immediate vicinity, they limit the numbers quite stricly, and it is really fabulous to see it all lit up.
annhig is online now  
Oct 16th, 2009, 10:21 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 420
I purchased my tickets from US and there was no line at the machine to get my ticket. There was a person there to help so it went really fast. Be sure you have the credit card you purchsed the tickets with because it is just a swipe.

Do go at night. It is a beautiful experience. There are two separate ticket machine - one for day and one for night but you do it at once not separate lines.

We ate at Yeda Real just outside the grounds. It was very good and reasonable.
milliebest is offline  
Oct 16th, 2009, 10:22 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 420
I purchased my tickets from US and there was no line at the machine to get my ticket. There was a person there to help so it went really fast. Be sure you have the credit card you purchsed the tickets with because it is just a swipe.

Do go at night. It is a beautiful experience. There are two separate ticket machine - one for day and one for night but you do it at once not separate lines.

We ate at Yeda Real just outside the grounds. It was very good and reasonable.
milliebest is offline  
Oct 16th, 2009, 10:47 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,276
No problem with a US credit card.
Egbert is offline  
Oct 16th, 2009, 12:23 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,227
The Parador has a lovely patio/terrace for non hotel guests. At least I think its basically for non hotel guests. Its a bit pricey..but such a lovely experience. The food was good, and we enjoyed having beers and Sangria sitting outside. IMO one has to sometimes bite the bullet and pay a bit more for a once in a life time experience. We usually ate large breakfasts at our hotels... cheese, ham, etc. These are "Continental" breakfasts...not just rolls and butter. That plus Cafe au lait kept us pretty well most of the day. So that splurge at the Parador in the late afternoon after visiting the complex all day was a very welcome treat.
kleroux is offline  
Oct 16th, 2009, 12:46 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 297
Had no idea lunch at the Parador would be so pricey...but I agree with you, a splurge once in a while is a good thing. I wonder what dinner would cost.

thanks again all! I promise to write a detailed trip report when I return.
SashieZ is offline  
Oct 16th, 2009, 01:26 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
You can eat for less than that at the Parador. They have several menus. One for 22E, as a celebration of their 80 yrs., another for 33 and a longer one,a tasting menu for 45. All plus drinks.

Or you can order one plate or have whatever you want. Reservations suggested but not totally necessary.
lincasanova is offline  
Oct 16th, 2009, 05:13 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,227
yes, the lunch menu was no where near the 150E quoted above. The poster may have been in another restaurant in the Parador, but the lunch terrace and adjoining restaurant were not that expensive.
kleroux is offline  
Oct 17th, 2009, 02:30 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
Depending on the wine, you could pay a lot more than the base price, but if you like beer.. that is the least expensive alchoholic option anywhere in Spain.

If you got the tasting menu, a fine wine, before lunch drinks and coffee.. might get up there, ( with tax and tip)but it will be easy to stay on budget, I believe.

(kleroux.. the 150 quoted was for TWO.)
lincasanova is offline  
Oct 17th, 2009, 03:59 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 297
Another poster mentioned the Parador being within the Alhambra. So I would assume it is possible to continue touring the Alhambra after lunch?

We love wine and would probably order that unless it was an extremely hot day. Wine could very easily make a inexpensive lunch expensive - but worth it! We don't usually eat a big lunch (three courses) - we would have a big meal in the evenings - big lunches make me sleepy (NO siesta - we only have 10 days on this trip!)
SashieZ is offline  
Oct 17th, 2009, 05:06 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,227
Yes the Parador is in the middle of the Alhambra, so you can take a break and then continue touring everything except the Nazrid palace, which is a timed entry. You'll find that whether or not you chose to eat a main meal at lunch time... in Spain and Portugal this is about 2-4 in the afternoon... everything pretty much shuts down between 2-5. So it might limit what you can do during that time. Since dinners tend to begin much later than we are used to... starting at 8;30 and most people arriving around 10...going to bed on a full stomach isn't fun either, IMO. We also found that the house wine was often very good (and we're from Sonoma County Calif. wine country)... I'm not a beer drinker per se, but found a "Cano con limon" (sp?) or beer cut with lemonade quite refreshing and not heavy for a mid/late afternoon break. We were able to take late afternoon breaks, then go back out and see sites which stay open until 8 pm or so. Made touring a bit less tiring.
kleroux is offline  
Oct 17th, 2009, 05:44 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
You may find you are ready for a slow relaxing meal in such a nice place. Would be shame to rush out .

Caña con limón..or una clara .. is what you liked, K.
lincasanova is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:26 AM.