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A must see tourist spot in all of Spain... And tickets are hard to come by...but here's a fantastic tip - take a debit card or credit card with a pin number. Once you get to the Alhambra ticket office, go to the right hand side of where everyone is waiting in the insanely long line to buy tickets. There are automated machines that let you buy tickets with your card! This saves you a 2 hour wait on the ticket line and another hour or two wait to get into the Alhambra. When the ALHAMBRA is busy and the tickets are SOLD OUT, no one in a queue or using a bank card will be allowed entry. This approach only works when tickets are available for current-day sale. During high season and holidays, it is quite normal for tickets to be sold out in advance.
Hotels are often able to secure tickets for their guests. If tickets on the Ticketmaster website are sold out too, contact your hotel by email and ask them to assist.
A third option is to buy the Bono Turistico Official Card , issued by Caja Granada. With this card, you can redeem tickets for the Alhambra and other Granada sights.
To avoid disappointment decide to buy tickets in advance if you can --- the earlier the better. Read the useful notes about how to go about this on Trip Advisor :http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g18...
For more information about what you will see:An excellent review by a TA member.
How to visit the Alhambra, from the official website, alhambra-patronato.es.
For visitors using Senior Citizen reduced fare tickets:
According to a TA member who visited in April 2012, visitors using Senior Citizen tickets must present them at the MAIN GATE (not the Justice Gate). Moreover, only residents of European Union countries qualify for this discount.
Planning a visit:
Access - there are 5 car parks and a separate one for buses and caravans. Parking 1 is the closest and Parking 5 is the farthest. Signs at all major roads in the city with guidance on how to get to the palace. Parking is charged by the minute (pay at the automated machine) and is approx 3.5E per hour.
Audio guides at the entrance for a fee of 6E plus deposit money. These must be returned to the entrance, which is not so great when you want to exit using another gate instead of walking all the way back. Audio guides very poetic and descriptive, rather than informative.Would suggest avoid for teenagers or smaller children as they may not appreciate.
From the entrance its a fast 10 minute walk or a 5 minute run (in case you're really running late) to the entry of the Nasrid Palaces. They ask you to deposit all strollers and large bags(for free) near the entrance to the Palace, and give you free baby bjorn carriers. Good solution for babies under 1. But for 1-3 year old who may not be able to walk a lot, its a bummer.
Palaces beautiful, but no description cards of rooms about. So audio guide is only tool. There were signs all over saying that there was a free bluetooth download of the guide on the smartphone. Takes anywhere between 1.5 - 3 hours depending on your pace.
There are vending machines near the stroller area for drinks and sandwiches. Good and reasonable stuff. There are 2 hotels within the Alhambra complex: the Parador de San Francisco and Hotel America. The former serves both snacks and full meals with very reasonable set menus and a la carte options. The latter serves breakfast and lunch only.
The Carlos V Palace doesn't offer much except the Alhambra Museum (closed on Monday) - budget a half hour for this, unless you want to sit around and rest.
The Generalife gardens have an entry slot as marked in the tickets. The ticketed areas are basically the 'garden palace', but huge sections of the garden are free and don't require tickets. Lovely gardens with all kind of herbs, roses,etc growing. Water is a key theme.
A must to book in advance online. Collection is from any of La Caiaxa terminal in Spain.
http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue... has a lovely virtual tour for those who missed it!