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Is there a best time of day to visit the Alhambra?

Is there a best time of day to visit the Alhambra?

Dec 11th, 2013, 06:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
Is there a best time of day to visit the Alhambra?

I'm preparing to purchase our online tickets for the Alhambra and after reading guide books and posts here I'm trying to decide what time of day I should request when ordering.

We are going to be there in early April. We are staying two nights in Granada mainly to visit the Alhambra so I really only have one full day for our ticket choice. One guidebook said there are 6600 tickets available each day and in high season the tickets sell out especially morning times. Since we are there April 2&3 I thought this would still be off season but I want to order the tickets as soon as the date becomes available.

Are the mornings a better time to tour the Palace and other sights in the Alhambra or would it be less crowded so more enjoyable in the afternoon? Is the length of time for a visit of the entire Alhambra the same between morning and afternoon tickets?

Do you have recommendations of how to make the most out of our visit; like the order we should visit the sights and the scheduled time I should choose for the Palacio Nazaries? Or am I doing too micro planning regarding an Alhambra visit?

Any information or suggestions you can give about timed tickets would be appreciated. Thank you, Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 03:49 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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The best time would be mid-morning, before the hordes (bus tours) arrive.

It would be easy to spend several hours walking around the grounds with the gardens are in full bloom, but I would break up the day and have lunch at the Parador (between 2:00 to 3:00 pm).
Robert2533 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 04:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,963
The best time comes in the plural - make one visit first thing in the morning, then make another at night. That's an entirely different scenario, and well worth it!

Realize that you'll get a narrow time window to enter the palace inside the grounds, and you forfeit that if you don't show up in time. But otherwise you can gallivant around the grounds at will, and Robert is right - if you can get yourselves there first thing, you win.

You book online, but you withdraw the ticket on arrival, it gets dispensed by machines that look like ATMs, in a low building behind the main entrance next to a gift shop. You need the exact same credit card that you used for the online booking - it serves as ID to verify the transaction, you won't get charged twice.
michelhuebeli is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Definitely -- TWO times, day and evening!

As you ave already been told, for your daytime visit, you need to pick a slot for the Nasrid Palace and you may enter it ONLY during your 1/2 hour time slot. But once you are in it, you can stay as long as you like. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the Nasrid Palace from the main gate, so I would pick anything OTHER than the first slot of your session (morning or afternoon), giving you maximum flexibility for seeing the Palace. Also, I believe you can stay THROUGH the lunch hour if you have a morning time, so I'd say get a morning session if you can. When you are finished with the Alhambra, you can leave and come back for your evening session. And I do recommend going in the day first-- you can get a sense for the place, listen to the audio guide, and see things in the brighter light of the day (even while sharing with many other people). Then, when you go back at night, you are free to take in the experience -- and I definitely found it magical at night!
kja is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 09:32 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,289
Perhaps we were a little slow-witted on the day, but we were confused about which parts of the complex were limited to the morning/afternoon and which ones weren't. (The timed entry for the Nasrid Palace is clear, I'm talking about the others parts).

It is a rather large complex with a hotel (or two) in the middle. As a result you pop in and out of ticket-required areas. Due to apparently poor time management we had to make a choice on whether to see the Carlos V Palace or the Generalife since it appeared both were restricted to before 2 pm with our ticket.

Perhaps we were confused, but I'd be careful with taking the "stay as long as you like" comment too far (i.e. perhaps that just applies to the palace once you are in).

Happy for others to clarify and/or correct.

We had a noon entrance which was fine, but we should have gotten there a little earlier for the other sites.
indy_dad is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 09:44 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Oh, I do hope I haven't misled anyone! When I went, I thought I had to choose between morning and afternoon; I choose afternoon and arrived promptly for the opening of that session. I made it through the entire site, but only because I rushed through the Generalife -- I would have loved to have had at least one more hour there. Since then, I've been told by SO many people that those who arrive in the morning are allowed to stay throughout the rest of the day that I have come to accept it as truth -- but maybe it isn't, or maybe it changes. I trust others who are more knowledgeable about it will chime in!
kja is offline  
Dec 12th, 2013, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,289
kja -- it didn't seem that way to me, but maybe I was confused . . .
indy_dad is offline  
Dec 13th, 2013, 05:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
Thank you for the helpful comments. I WAS considering not going at night, thinking that a night visit could not equal a daylight visit.

Is the lighting at night electric/gas or candlelight? In September while visiting the Chateau Vaux le Vicomte gardens by candlelight the visibility was such that I almost took a header off a shadowed ledge!!

Thanks again, Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  

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