Considered the eighth wonder of the world, the beauty of the Alhambra in Granada has inspired travellers from all over the world for generations. In daylight, the Nasrid fortress looks imposing and monumental but after sunset, darkness and silence envelop it in a mysterious and fascinating atmosphere worth seeing.
Contemplating the Alhambra by moonlight is a magical experience that you can't miss during your trip. Here's how to get your Alhambra tickets and everything you need to know about night visits.
Tour the Alhambra by night in this magical experience
Discover this unique monument on a guided night tour that will take you to contemplate the best of Islamic art in a special light.
Whether you're a first-time visitor or a repeat visitor, like many, this guided night tour of the Alhambra is one of the most popular things to do in the city. You'll tour the complex with an expert guide who will help you discover the special charm of this must-see monument.
In small groups of no more than 10 people you will explore the different palaces and rooms of the Alhambra in a two-hour tour under the spectacular moonlight of Granada.
Recommended if... you don't want to miss the most romantic and original plan possible and contemplate the night illumination of the Alhambra.
How to book a night guided tour in the Alhambra
Guided tours of the Alhambra are the best way to explore the mythical Nasrid palace city, the last living trace of this dynasty in Spain.
During the tour you will be accompanied by an expert guide who will tell you about the history and architecture of this benchmark of Hispano-Muslim art in the West, explaining in detail everything you see. Thanks to their experience, they know how to turn a cultural visit into something fun and interesting, so a night visit to the Alhambra is a plan that you definitely have to do during your stay
The price of the guided tours to the Alhambra varies depending on the type of tour you book and what the tour includes. In Hellotickets you can book online the night guided tour of the Alhambra. However, do it well in advance of your trip because they sell out quickly.
How to get tickets to visit the Alhambra by night
There are currently two types of night visits to the Alhambra: to the Nasrid Palaces and to the Generalife Palace and gardens. As with the daytime visits, you will also need to buy a ticket to the Alhambra by night to see these areas of the monument separately.
Night tickets to the Nasrid Palaces (which includes access to the Mexuar, Palacio de Comares, Palacio de los Leones and Corredor - Lindaraja) cost 8 euros while night tickets to visit the Generalife Palace and gardens cost 5 euros.
However, in my opinion, buying tickets at the ticket office is not the best option. My advice is to buy your Alhambra tickets online in advance to avoid queuing at the ticket office. The Alhambra is one of the most visited monuments in Spain even at night!
There are many people who have already seen the monument in the morning and now want to come back to see it at night for an original and different experience under the stars. If you don't book your tickets to the Alhambra in advance you could run the risk of not getting them as the capacity is limited and that would be a shame!
Is it worth seeing the Alhambra at night?
Absolutely. If the beauty of the Alhambra is striking in daylight, I must say that at night it has a special charm. To contemplate it in the stillness of the night and in the moonlight is a magical experience.
Despite the darkness in which the visit takes place, the spaces are well lit, which allows you to better appreciate certain ornamental elements such as the reliefs of the plasterwork, the chiaroscuro of the architecture or the muqarnas. At night the Alhambra displays its colours and beauty in all its splendour!
Moreover, as it is quiet at night and there are not as many tourists as in the morning, the walk around the Alhambra is peaceful and you can enjoy the fusion between the palatine city and the surrounding nature much more. Contemplating the Alhambra at night while listening to the sound of the water in the background is an intimate and cosy experience.
In any case, I believe that night visits to the Alhambra are complementary to daytime visits and not a substitute for them. That is to say, they provide a different and unique view of the monument but if it is the first time you go to the Alhambra I recommend you to do a daytime visit because you will be able to walk around the entire enclosure and you will have a global view of the fortress, while in the night visits you are only allowed to see a part of it: the Nasrid Palaces or the Generalife and its gardens.
In short, I recommend a night visit to the Alhambra if you already know the monumental complex and want to enjoy the views of this beautiful place in an original and surprising way while discovering its legends and its more enigmatic side.
However, if you are one of those travellers who prefer to avoid the morning crowds when visiting the palace city, I think that the night tours of the Alhambra can also be a very interesting option for you. So don't hesitate, you'll have a great time!
How much does it cost to visit the Alhambra at night?
The night tours of the Alhambra do not cover the entire monumental complex but only a small part (although very important) where you can only see the Nasrid Palaces and the Generalife Palace and the gardens. The price, therefore, is lower than the general daytime ticket which costs 14 euros at the ticket office.
Thus, the price of night tickets to the Nasrid Palaces (which includes access to the Mexuar, Comares Palace, Palace of the Lions, the Palace of Charles V and Corredor - Lindaraja) is 8 euros while night tickets to visit the Generalife Palace and the gardens cost 5 euros.
If you book a guided tour of the Alhambra, the entrance fee may be a little higher, around 60 euros, but it is well worth it as you will be accompanied by an expert guide who will explain the history and architecture of this monument in an entertaining way, so you will get the most out of your visit. You won't miss a single detail!
How long does the guided tour of the Alhambra last?
Unlike the daytime tours which usually last between 3 and 4 hours because they cover the whole complex, the night tours of the Alhambra are shorter as they only cover either the Nasrid Palaces or the Generalife Palace and gardens. Normally the Alhambra night tour lasts about 2 hours.
Can I visit the Alhambra at night with children?
Of course you can. The guided tours of the Alhambra are suitable for families and the guides are very friendly with children.
However, parents are the ones who know the children best, so that they know if a tour of this kind is something they would like to do. If this is the case, I highly recommend the night tour because not only will they enjoy the beautiful views of the Alhambra but they will also learn things in a fun way and hear some very curious legends.
If the children are still very young, sometimes parents prefer to visit the monuments on their own in case there is an emergency or they need to take a break to eat or play a little. If you think your family will be more comfortable visiting the Alhambra at night on their own, it is best to buy general admission tickets.
What are the opening hours of the Alhambra at night?
To visit the Alhambra at night there are two types of visits, the Nasrid Palaces and the Generalife Palace and gardens. Both are done at the same time but separately.
- Night visit in summer time (from April 1st to October 14th): from 10 PM to 11:30 PM.
- Night visit in winter time table (from 15th October to 31st March): from 8 PM to 9:30 PM.
What will I see on the night visit to the Alhambra?
The Nasrid Palaces were the complex where the kings of Granada resided. They are made up of three separate buildings known as the Mexuar (the audience area), the Palacio de Comares (the king's official house) and the Palacio de los Leones (the harem and the royal family's dwelling).
During the tour of the Nasrid Palaces you will see such beautiful rooms as the Hall of the Abencerrajes (the king's bedroom), the Ambassadors' Hall (the symbolic centre of Nasrid power), the Hall of the Kings (the sultan's council room), the Court of the Myrtles (where embassy receptions were held) and the Court of the Lions (an allegory of paradise).
These palaces are an example of the sophistication and good taste of the Nasrid kings, the last rulers of al-Andalus. During your visit to the Nasrid Palaces I recommend that you pay attention to the marvellous ornamental motifs that decorate them, such as the impressive muqarnas on the arches and domes, the glazed tile plinths and the spectacular plasterwork.
The Generalife Palace and gardens
The Generalife was the summer villa of the Nasrid kings, where they went when they wanted to relax and escape the formalities of the court.
Situated on the Cerro del Sol, it is one of the most beautiful places in the Alhambra and one of the few surviving almunias from the medieval period in all of Al-Andalus.
Strolling through the Generalife, among its gardens and manicured courtyards, is a delight at night. An oasis of tranquillity where you can enjoy the fresh air and the soothing sound of the water from the palace's fountains and pools.