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Alhambra Palace Visit Duration

If you are planning your trip to Granada, let me tell you how much time you will need to visit its legendary Alhambra

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

6 min read

Alhambra Palace Visit Duration

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 book your tickets:, so you can organize your visit well in this post I tell you how much time you need to explore the eighth wonder of the world.

How long does it take to visit the Alhambra?

Palacio de Carlos V | ©Clark Van Der Beken
Palacio de Carlos V | ©Clark Van Der Beken
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The itinerary through the palatine city has a length of 3.5 kilometers and the general visit to the Alhambra usually lasts between 3 and 4 hours approximately.

Even so, it is difficult to determine exactly how long the visit to the Alhambra lasts. Knowing a monument of this size, artistic beauty and historical importance requires time but everything will depend on the fascination that awakens you.

The tour of the monumental complex should be organized according to the time of access to the Nasrid Palaces, as each visitor is only allowed to enter this part of the fortress at the time indicated on your ticket and it is not possible to change it.

Organize the route to visit the Generalife or the Alcazaba

Therefore, the visit to the Generalife or the Alcazaba has to be planned to be done before or after the Nasrid Palaces although you also have the option to see 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 fixed schedule

Whatever itinerary you decide to do you must take into account two important hours in the visit to adjust well the times 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 spaces 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 Palacio de Carlos V, one of the best Renaissance works outside Italy.

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How much time do I need to see the Alhambra if I tour it on my own.

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

Whether you go on your own or take a guided tour of the Alhambra:, to see the whole monumental complex you will need between 3 and 4 hours at least.

If you only want to see the Alhambra from above in order to add it to your list of traveler's landmarks, to get an idea of what the palace complex is like, this time or even a little less may be enough.

However, if you're a history and art enthusiast you won't want to spend less than 4 to 6 hours inside to explore the Alhambra inch by inch.

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How long are the Alhambra tours 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 usually last 1 hour and a half, less time than daytime visits since in the morning the visiting time is limited to the hours when the monument is open.
If the beauty of the Alhambra is striking in daylight, it looks with a special charm at sunset. To contemplate it in the stillness of the night only broken by the murmur of the water of its fountains and the light of the moon is a magical experience. The delicate illumination projected on its walls envelops the fortress in an enigmatic and fascinating atmosphere worth seeing.

Maybe it is the first time you travel to Granada and you want to visit the Alhambra during the day but if you want to enjoy a quiet visit without crowds, a fantastic option is the night tickets.

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

Night timetable

  • Night visit during summer hours** (from April 1 to October 14): from 10 PM to 11:30 PM.
  • Winter time night visitation (October 15 to March 31): 8 PM to 9:30 PM.

Isabel's Traveler Tip

During nighttime 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.

How long does the visit to the Generalife last?

The Generalife | ©Charlie Jackson
The Generalife | ©Charlie Jackson
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To see the Generalife calmly, enjoying the views and taking all the pictures you want of this beautiful landscape I recommend spending at least 30 minutes there.

The Palacio del Generalife 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 full of trees, small fountains with water and flower gardens where you can take a pleasant walk and take a short break.

This area of the Alhambra is usually left for the end of the visit and some people do not even go to know it so, unlike the Nasrid Palaces, it is not crowded so there is no time limit and you can walk for a while along its paths quietly.

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How long does the Nasrid Palaces tour last?

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

And 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 make the tour through 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 to enjoy the most of the architecture and ornamentation of this icon of Hispano-Muslim art in the West.

The access to the Nasrid Palaces is carried out in half hour shifts in order not to accumulate too many people inside and thus avoid the deterioration of the monument.

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 tour to the Alhambra should be organized according to the time of access to the Nasrid Palaces, since you can only visit this part of the fortress at the time indicated at the entrance of each visitor.

Isabel's Traveler Tip

To make the most of your visit to the Nasrid Palaces try to be there 15 minutes before the time marked on the entrance. It is important to be on time or you will not be allowed to enter later.

How much time should I spend at the Alhambra in total?

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

To see the monumental complex in its entirety, looking closely at the details of all the rooms and quietly enjoying the walk through the fortress and its gardens you will need between 3 and 4 hours at least.

However, if you just want to see the Alhambra from above with the aim of getting to know it to add it to your list of traveling landmarks, about 2 hours or 2 hours and a half may be enough to get an idea of what this monument is like.

However, if you are an art and history enthusiast, you will probably want to extend your visit to the Alhambra as much as possible to walk around it slowly and enjoy the views. There is so much to see!

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