Are you considering a visit to the Alhambra with Kids? If so, I can highly recommend it!
The heat was already stifling and we were sweaty messes after walking the steepest route up to the The Alhambra, but as soon as we had our tickets scanned and walked into the shade of the tall trees at the start of the magnificent gardens, we realised the walk was totally worth it.
The Alhambra has long been on my travel bucket list, so when we were taking a little road trip around Andalusia I knew we needed to book a stop in Granada to experience a visit to this wonderful monument.
As always we had the three kids in tow, and so this was very much a family day out. With the size of the Alhambra, coupled with the tricky walk to access it, this was no mean feat! But we did it, and we loved it! If you’re thinking of visiting the Alhambra with kids, read on for my tips.
Book in advance
This is the most important tip, and I only know this because we very nearly missed out! It is vital to book your tickets in advance, and at busy times of year possibly even months in advance.
We were only staying one night in Granada, and had planned to visit the Alhambra on the Friday. Around a month before our visit I had a sudden thought that I should book tickets online – I logged on only to discover that they were totally sold out, I could’t believe it!!
We were due to continue our road trip on the Saturday, but I decided to check if there were any tickets that day just in case and was delighted to find that there was one time slot still available that day and I snapped them up!
So make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Decide if the walk up is really for you.
The Alhambra holds an impressive location, high overlooking the town of Granada on the edge of a hill. This obviously creates magnificent views both from the buildings and gardens themselves but also if you are viewing the Alhambra from one of the many Miradors (viewing points) in the Albacín across the valley.
But this historically advantageous position isn’t ideal on the legs, especially little legs when visiting with kids!
There are a few different ways to walk up to the Alhambra. If you are in town already, there is a walk from Plaza Nueva which we were told is not too difficult and is very picturesque. There is also a steeper route that goes up behind, and starts at the foot of the Albacín.
Because we were staying in the Albacín area of Granada, we decided that we would take on the steeper route, as it didn’t seem to make sense for us to walk a long way down to Plaza Nueva and then up again.
The walk was definitely steep, but we made it! Miss T insisted on being carried the whole way (Mr DLT was a hero to make it up with her on his shoulders most of the way!) and the boys were happily running along playing a game the whole way up. My calves definitely felt it, but I was pleased we did it, it felt like an achievement!
You can of course get a taxi, or even a bus from town. Checking online or popping in to the tourist office for advice on this would be a good idea.
Give yourself enough time to get to the Palaces entrance once inside the main entrance
I mentioned above that you buy a ticket for a time slot to visit and it is worth pointing out that this time slot is for your visit to the Nasrid Palaces, not just for the gardens. And the entrance to the palaces is actually a good walk away from the main entrances so it is important to give yourself enough time to get there.
We chose to arrive early and explore the Genralife gardens before our visit to the palace, but equally you could do the palaces first and then visit the gardens.
The gardens are extensive…and so beautiful! So you really need to give a good amount of time to appreciate them fully.
Don’t go with the agenda of seeing and learning everything
I think this is true when visiting anywhere that is possibly enjoyed more by grown ups than kids, and this is definitely the approach we took when visiting the Alhambra. It is huge, and whilst it is off the scale beautiful and interesting, it is not always going to appeal to kids.
So if you do have kids in tow like we did, it may be worth just seeing how it goes – if they are interested then that is great, but if not then sell it to them as a walk in a really pretty park and don’t make them hang around for too long at each area.
End with a treat
There is a small convenience store just across from the main entrance and a cafe just down the hill slightly – pick up a treat to say well done for taking on such a massive monument, especially if it is a hot day.
We actually walked back down the hill and sat at a cafe and had a cold beer and gave our older two kids a cold glass of coca cola for the first time ever – that’s how impressed we were with how they handled the day!
Have you been to the Alhambra with kids before? If so, I’d love to hear how you got on!