Discovering the Alhambra with children is a fantastic idea, but like all family activities, it requires a bit of organisation to make sure everything goes perfectly. Even more so when it is a long visit of several hours, as is the case of the Nasrid palace city, I tell you everything you need to know!
1. Get your tickets online and in advance to avoid the queues
The dream of many travellers is to go to Granada to discover its mythical Alhambra, one of the most beautiful monuments in Spain and a cultural reference of Hispano-Muslim art in the West.
It is, therefore, a very popular monument where the capacity is limited due to security and conservation reasons. So, to ensure you have access to the Nasrid fortress on the date and time you want, I recommend you book your tickets to the Alhambra as far in advance as possible, as soon as you book your flight or your hotel.
This is the first piece of advice I would give you when it comes to seeing the Alhambra, especially if you are travelling to the city with your family. If you buy your Alhambra tickets online in advance, as well as being able to compare ticket types and prices, you will avoid long queues with your children at the ticket office to get them. This is essential so that they don't get tired before the visit even begins.
2. How are the children's tickets to the Alhambra?
The visit to the Alhambra in Granada is paid and a ticket is required to access the Alhambra. However, children can get them at a lower price than adults, something that allows families to save a little on holidays, which never hurts.
Get your tickets at the ticket office
Sometimes parents prefer to do the cultural visits at their own pace because they feel that they will be more comfortable if there is ever an urgent need to go to the toilet or if there is a need to take a break to eat or play, especially when the children are still young.
If this is your case, you can try to get general admission tickets without a guided tour at the ticket office for the day of the visit and benefit from a discount or free tickets for children depending on their age.
Capacity is limited each day and there are long lines at the ticket office to try to get tickets. If you don't mind the risk of queuing up and not getting tickets for the same day, I recommend you take a look at the conditions to try your luck and take advantage of the reduced price on children's tickets at the ticket office.
Of course, you will have to bring an identity document where the age of the children can be verified at the entrance to the Alhambra.
How to buy tickets online
However, if the children are older and you think they can have a good time on a guided tour of the Alhambra, I highly recommend this option. Not only will they enjoy the beautiful views of the Andalusian palace city, its gardens and fountains, but they will also hear some very curious legends and learn some very interesting things in a fun way.
This kind of tours are adapted to families and the guides are very friendly with the kids, so a guided tour of the Alhambra is a fantastic idea if you want to do something different with your family and at the same time get to know this monument in detail.
If you want to book your places in one of these tours that go around the Nasrid fortress, in Hellotickets you can find tickets or guided tours to the Alhambra where the price of the children's ticket is also somewhat lower than that of the adults, so you can save money without having to get the tickets at the last minute once you are in Granada!
3. Immerse them in the history of the monument
When visiting the Alhambra with children, it is a good idea to prepare the visit with them beforehand so that they know something about what they are going to see and can let their imagination run wild once they are inside.
For example, you can introduce them to its history by telling them when it was built, who lived here, what life was like here, etc.
In fact, there are books about the Alhambra and its legends dedicated to children that can help you in this task, such as "La Alhambra contada a los niños" by Ricardo Villa Real Molina or "Cuentos de la Alhambra para niños" by Washington Irving, an adaptation for children of the original work by the American writer.
Older children will probably be familiar with it from their history classes at school or from having seen it on TV series such as "Isabel", which tells the story of the reconquest of the kingdom of Granada.
4. Bring some snacks and drinks
The visit to the Alhambra is a long one (about 3 hours), so it is likely that at some point during the tour the children will get hungry and thirsty. It is important not to be caught unawares and to carry plenty of water and a snack in your backpack or bag, as there is no place to get something to eat inside.
5. Better to go to see it in the morning
Granada is hot, especially in summer, so if you are going to visit the Alhambra with children I recommend you to do it early in the morning when it is still cool. The kids will wake up full of energy and will be able to make the most of the tour of the monument.
In addition, early in the day there are usually not so many tourists or large groups so it will be more pleasant to walk around without crowds, take pictures, enjoy the details and even take a break to regain strength during the visit.
6. Prepare your clothes for the visit
As with any excursion with children, there are a few things to consider when planning an excursion, such as the weather and the children's clothing.
Many families take advantage of the summer holidays to visit the Alhambra and at this time of year it tends to be very hot in Granada. Remember to protect your children from the sun by wearing a hat and sunglasses, as well as sun cream on their skin because they will be exposed to outdoor spaces such as the Generalife and its gardens or the Partal.
Don't forget to dress them in comfortable shoes because the visit to the Nasrid fortress is long and they will be walking a lot from one place to another. In addition, they will probably take advantage of the outdoor trails to play and run around, so it is best to wear shoes that they have already broken in so that they can enjoy themselves to the full.
7. Make a stop at the toilets before starting the tour
Before starting a visit to the Alhambra with children, it is essential to take them to the toilets, as there are hardly any toilets inside the monumental complex and we know that children can have an emergency at any time.
At the entrances to the palace city and near the Palace of Charles V you will find a toilet area, so bear this in mind when planning your visit!
8. Leave the pram in the cloakroom to see the Alhambra
Those of you with babies or children who do not walk very far should be aware that access to the Alhambra with pushchairs is not permitted for reasons of conservation of the monument.
However, don't worry because there is a free baby carrier service (up to a maximum of 12 kg) for visitors who need to leave their pushchairs in the cloakroom. You will find it at the Wine Gate and you can use it on presentation of your ticket.
It is a good option to move around more freely and to make a visit to the Alhambra with children more comfortable.
9. Plan your meals
When travelling with children, another important point to prepare in advance is where to eat after the visit.
This is not something that should be left to chance, as by the time you're done the kids might be very hungry and if you don't know Granada it's not advisable to make them wander around looking for a free table in such a touristy city. They might get tired and have a tantrum!
So before you go into the first restaurant you come across, I recommend you check out my article with Where to eat near the Alhambra- you'll hit the nail on the head for sure!
10. Take the tourist train to the Alhambra
To make your visit to the Alhambra more exciting and fun, on the day of the activity I recommend you get on board the Granada City Tour tourist train (also known as the Alhambra Train), whose green line stops at the monument.
This way, the little ones won't get tired walking up the slope leading to the top of Sabika Hill, the site of the Andalusian palace city. It is important that they save their energy for the visit afterwards.
It is a means of transport that takes you around the main tourist attractions of Granada and has an audio guide service and two special information channels for children that will explain what you are seeing in an entertaining way, so both adults and children will really enjoy the experience.
Moreover, thanks to the Hop-on Hop-off system, if you buy your ticket for the Granada tourist train you can use the vehicle as public transport to move between different parts of the city, as you can get on and off at any stop along the route.
It's a very useful option if you want to save time on your journeys or give your legs a rest after all that walking, especially if you're travelling with children. However, if you want to know other ways to get to the monument, I recommend you to read my article How to get to the Alhambra.