BEST TIME TO VISIT the Alhambra, Granada

When to visit the Alhambra?

  • To enjoy great weather & the full beauty of its gardens, the best time to visit the Alhambra is spring, particularly April and May. However, it's also when it's the busiest.
  • The least crowded time of the year to visit the Alhambra is from November to February.
  • The best time of the day to visit the Alhambra is any time.
Patricia Palacios, co-founder of España Guide
About
PATRICIA PALACIOS
España Guide Co-Founder
Patricia is an engineer turned content creator who for over a decade has been helping travelers navigate her native Spain. In addition to her own website, her tips and recommendations have been featured on BBC Travel, CNN, El País & Lonely Planet, just to name a few.

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Best time of the day to visit the Alhambra

Alhambra at sunset with the Sierra Nevada mountains in the background – Granada, Spain
Alhambra at sunset with the Sierra Nevada mountains in the background

Some say early morning, some say mid morning before the tourist buses arrive, some say during lunch time, some say in the afternoon when people are already leaving. The truth is, the Alhambra is busy the whole day and there isn’t much difference from one time of the day to another.

There is a limited number of tickets sold per day and a limited number of 30-min slots for the Nasrid Palaces – once they’re booked up, that’s it. That means if you book for say 10:00am at the Nasrid Palaces and the time slot is full, then you will have the same amount of people as the 2:00pm slot that is also full.

Graph of visitors to the Alhambra per month

If your priority is to see the architecture and take photos then the biggest factor is the time of year you visit, not the time of the day. Taking in the details of the palaces and snapping photos is definitely easier when you don’t have so many people around.

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The winter months are your best bet in such cases. November to February have significantly fewer visitors than other times of the year. However, if you want to see the gardens in full blossom then you are going to have crowds – there’s just no way to avoid it.

Best time of the year to visit the Alhambra

The gorgeous Generalife gardens in spring in Granada's Alhambra – Granada
The gorgeous Generalife gardens in spring

To be able to have great weather and see the full beauty of the Generalife gardens then spring is best time to visit – particularly April and May before the intense summer heat picks up. It’s no surprise that this is when the Alhambra is busiest.

The summer months of July and August can experience some brutal heat often exceeding 40ºC (104ºF). Unless you can deal with that kind of heat, we would recommend avoiding those months.

Graph of temperatures in Granada by month

October is a very comfortable time to visit and the last real month when you will be able to see blooms in the garden. Normally, the trees will start to change colors in November which can also be very pretty.

Novembers is also when the low season at the Alhambra begins. There aren’t as many people visiting the complex and the weather is still reasonably mild.

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