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Granada 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

Granada Alhambra Palace Visit Duration

Inside the Alhambra | 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 booking 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 the visit to the Alhambra last?

Charles V Palace| ©Clark Van Der Beken
Charles V Palace| ©Clark Van Der Beken

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. Visiting a monument of this size, artistic beauty and historical importance takes time, but it all depends on how much fascination you feel for it.

The tour of the monumental complex should be organized according to the time of access to the Nasrid Palaces, since 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

Whichever itinerary you decide to follow, you must take into account two important hours in the visit to adjust the time 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 areas 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 Palace of Charles 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 visit it on my own?

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

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

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 are passionate about history and art, you will not want to spend less than 4 or 6 hours inside to explore the Alhambra inch by inch.

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How long do the Alhambra tours last at night?

Feel the magic of the Alhambra at night| ©Ben30
Feel the magic of the Alhambra at 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.

Perhaps this is the first time you travel to Granada and want to visit the Alhambra during the day but if you feel like enjoying a quiet visit without crowds, a fantastic option is the night tickets.

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

Night timetable

  • Night visit in summer schedule (from April 1 to October 14): from 10 PM to 11:30 PM.
  • Night visit in winter schedule (from October 15 to March 31): from 8 PM to 9:30 PM.

Isabel's Traveler Tip

During night 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 the visit to the Generalife lasts

The Generalife| ©Charlie Jackson
The Generalife| ©Charlie Jackson

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 Generalife Palace 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 stroll 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 see 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 tour of the Nasrid Palaces last?

Patio of the Lions| ©Rafolas
Patio of the Lions| ©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 of the Nasrid Palaces so I advise you to keep your eyes open and pay close attention to all the details of the rooms and spaces you will see to fully enjoy the architecture and ornamentation of this icon of Hispano-Muslim art in the West.

Access to the Nasrid Palaces is carried out in half-hour shifts so as 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 in total at the Alhambra

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

To see the monumental complex in its entirety, paying close attention to the details of all the rooms and enjoying a leisurely stroll through the fortress and its gardens, you will need at least 3 to 4 hours.

However, if you only want to see the Alhambra from above with the aim of knowing it to add it to your list of traveler's 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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