Granada

Dec 23rd, 2014, 10:56 AM
  #1  
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Granada

I have read contradictory reports about the Alhambra. Would someone who has been there within the last 6 months please give me some guidance. Is there an all inclusive 1 or 2 day ticket that enables you to spend unlimited time in all parts of the Alhambra? If not do you recommend purchasing a morning ticket or an afternoon ticket? What about the night ticket? Garden ticket? We are in Granada for several days and are staying close to the Alhambra. Perhaps we should spread our visits over several days. Ideas please???? Thanks
BHull is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2014, 11:11 AM
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Several days in Granada is about six too many for many - why several days? Relatives?
PalenQ is online now  
Dec 23rd, 2014, 11:38 AM
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Beyond the Alhambra, be sure to visit the cathedral with the tombs of Ferdinand and Isabella. Also the Albaicin and Fajalauza pottery.
Bedar is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2014, 01:32 PM
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ok, well we went a few years ago but so far as i know the system hasn't changed that much.

dealing with the day tickets first, there are two sessions, morning and afternoon. if you have a morning ticket, you can enter from any time it opens and stay until the afternoon session starts; however, if you have entered the Generalise gardens before 2.30.[or whatever time the morning session ends] you can spend as long as you like there i.e. you can more or less stay all day. The ticket will show a time on it - that is the time at which you should enter the Nasrid palaces - you have a window of 30 mins to get there, starting with the time given on your ticket.

another option is the evening ticket, which just gives access to the garden and/or the Nasrid palaces. the same applies - the ticket gives access to the site for the evening, but you have a 30 minute window to enter the palaces.

IMO it's well worth doing both - they allow in far fewer people at night and the buildings are beautifully illuminated. Since we went, they have introduced tours of the gardens too which should be worth seeing.

you cold easily fill a couple of days and nights just around the Alhambra. The cathedral and Albercin are also well worth seeing.
annhig is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2014, 03:48 PM
  #6  
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We are in Granada for 2 full days plus 2 part days. I guess that's not really several but it will be good for us.

Thanks annhig for your admission tips. And thanks Bedar for your other interesting suggestions. We do plan to visit the Cathedral and want to spend some time in the Albaicin area. Will look up the pottery.
BHull is offline  
Dec 24th, 2014, 12:44 AM
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The Royal Tombs (Royal Chapel) have different entrance and separate admission charge to the cathedral, at 4 euro (well worth it). Get there when it opens to beat the crowds and tour groups.
Alec is offline  
Dec 24th, 2014, 06:26 AM
  #8  
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Thanks Alec. We plan to go to the Cathedral and the Royal Tombs. Thanks for the tip to arrive when it opens.
BHull is offline  
Dec 24th, 2014, 01:35 PM
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if you want to go to the Albacin, you can get a bus straight there from outside the Alhambra; you can then walk back into town which is nice.

also, if you stay in one of the hotels opposite the Alhambra [or even if you don't] buses go from the main square every 10 mins or so up to the alhambra and cost about €1. there are some nice little shops on the road leading down into the town.
annhig is offline  
Dec 25th, 2014, 03:11 AM
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Buses are now 1.20 euro per ride. There is a multiple-ride travel card but probably not worth it. We had four nights in Granada in October and never used buses. We just walked everywhere. Distances are fairly short and walking downhill from the top of Albaicín (for viewing Alhambra) to the cathedral was about 20 min.
Alec is offline  
Dec 25th, 2014, 07:22 AM
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alec - my experience was about 5 years ago, so I'm not surprised that bus prices have risen.

did you walk up to the top of the Albacin as well as walking down?
annhig is offline  
Dec 25th, 2014, 10:06 AM
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Although we were at Alhambra just last October it was with a tour group and they got the tickets. One thing for sure is that the gatekeepers are very strict about showing tickets several places. Our tough luck...it was raining hard but nevertheless wonderful place. I just finished a trip report on Spain.
Ozarksbill is offline  
Dec 25th, 2014, 12:40 PM
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I too am planning a trip to Granada and I see there's an option to visit the Alhambra on a tour. Is a guided tour worth it? Any recommendations? We don't like audioguides as well because we get separated, i.e. off sync.
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Dec 25th, 2014, 09:39 PM
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kja
 
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@ Mimar -- I want there some time ago -- in 2006 -- and things could have changed, but I found the audioguide for the Alhambra VERY good. It let me choose when to turn it on/off, so there was no problem with getting out of sync -- I could take as much time as I wanted, listen to segments more than once, etc. And I wanted to do that in part because there were so many tour groups moving through the Alhambra, with guides speaking so loudly, that I couldn't always hear. My observation was that people had to stay very close to the guides so that they could hear, and were then whisked off to the next room, without ever really having a chance to SEE what the guides had described. So not only was the audioguide a good one from my perspective (in both content and controls), but I also came away thinking that this was one place where a guided tour would most decidedly NOT be a good option. And BTW, that's one reason why I so appreciated the chance to visit the Nasrid Palace afterwards in the evening, when it was so quiet and still that I could actually hear the water in the fountains. Others might have had different experiences.

Sorry, BHull, to jump in with an experience more than 6 months old.
kja is offline  
Dec 26th, 2014, 01:55 AM
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There is now a rule in place that any group more than 7 people must use headphones and is strictly enforced, as offending groups can be asked to leave. You still hear guides talking to smaller groups, but they largely respect other visitors and speak sotto voce.
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Dec 26th, 2014, 04:45 AM
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We visited the Alhambra last May. As I wasn't able to purchase any morning entry tickets through the website (although I was booking 2 months in advance) I decided to do the tour with the local tourist agency. Normally we prefer to do these sort of things by ourself but I have to say that we ended up being very pleased at how things turned out.

The guided tour was much better than we had anticipated. Our guide was excellent and as, mentioned above, all the tours now have to use headphones. They worked very well and also meant that you didn't need to be crowded around your guide to hear what he was saying. You could be quite a reasonable distance away and still hear so you could linger at somewhere you were interested or move off to the side etc if you wished. The cost was quite reasonable. I chose not to get picked up at our hotel to save on the cost and we just caught the local bus up, although we were fortunate in that the bus stop was only a 100 metres from our hotel. There was also no need to leave when the tour did, you were more than welcome to stay on wandering around the gardens, taking extra photos etc if that was what you wish.
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Dec 27th, 2014, 05:26 AM
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I came across some good suggestions about ticketing and touring the Alhambra, noting especially strict schedules, etc. for you to know about: http://maribelsguides.com/mg_granada.pdf. Skip down to p. 10 and following.
Ozarksbill is offline  
Dec 27th, 2014, 09:01 AM
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Maribel's Guide for Granada hasn't been updated for over 5 years and some of the information is out of date, though still largely useful. annhig's post is accurate (I was there two months ago). Just to add that with morning ticket, you must enter the two other ticketed areas (Alcazaba and Generalife) by 2 pm (once only). Nasrid Palaces during the designated slot only. Once inside the ticketed area, you can stay on until closing time. There is no clearout at the end of morning session. With afternoon ticket, you can't enter any of the ticketed areas before 2 pm. Charles V Palace with two museums, parish church, Arab baths and former Franciscan convent (now parador) are free entry, so you can combine with your Alhambra ticket to make the best use of your available time.
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Dec 27th, 2014, 09:05 AM
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Fine Arts Museum in Charles V Palace has small entry charge for non-EU citizens. Alhambra Museum is free for all. Check opening times on official Granada website at http://www.alhambra-patronato.es/
Alec is offline  
Dec 28th, 2014, 02:36 AM
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Maribel's Guide for Granada hasn't been updated for over 5 years and some of the information is out of date, though still largely useful. annhig's post is accurate (I was there two months ago).>>

pleased to hear it, alec. i did check with the website before I posted, but you never know until it's been confirmed by someone on the ground.

you have confirmed what I believed about the Generalife - that with a morning ticket you can stay as long as you like so long as you get there by 2pm. A gardener friend who went a few months ago got so carried away in the main part, they did not reach the Generalife until after 2pm and were refused admittance. Such a shame given her profession, and apart from the Nasrid Palaces, it is the part that i remember best. Even in November it was fabulous.
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