Alhambra tours from Malaga – tickets, prices, discounts, timings & duration

Alhambra tour from Malaga

Granada is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and the Alhambra Palace, one of the architectural wonders which has taken centuries to build. 

Granada is in the Andalusia province of Spain and is close to all the major cities of the region, such as Malaga, Seville, Cordoba, etc. 

That’s why most of the tourists visiting these cities take a day out to visit Alhambra Castle and the city of Granada. 

In this article, we share everything you must know before booking your Alhambra tour from Malaga or Costa de Sol.

1. How far is Granada
2. Malaga to Granada by train
3. To Granada by ALSA bus
4. Bus tours to Granada
Guided tour to Alhambra
Self-guided tour to Alhambra
5. Private tour by car
6. Alhambra tour from Malaga Port
7. What to bring?
8. Frequently asked questions

How far is Granada from Malaga?

Granada is 135 Kms (83 Miles) from Malaga and you must take Autovía A-92, the highway in Andalusia, Spain. Travel time is 1 hour, 35 minutes. 

If you travel via the A-7 and A-44 highways, you must cover a distance of 150 kms (93 Miles) to reach Granada. 

You will take approximately 1 hour, 40 minutes. 

Possible to visit Granada in a day?

Málaga and Granada are two of the most visited cities in Spain, and there is a lot of tourist movement between these two cities. 

Yes, it is possible to visit Alhambra in Granada in a day and get back with lots to spare. 

Every day, many tourists (and locals!) leave in the morning, explore Alhambra Castle for about three hours, walk around the city of Granada and then get back to Malaga – all in just ten hours. 

Continue reading to find out about how you can plan a day tour Alhambra from Malaga.

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From Malaga to Alhambra, Granada

Alhambra is 2.5 Kms (1.5 Miles) from the center of Granada City. 

You have three ways of getting to Alhambra in Granada – AVE trains, ALSA buses, cars and tour buses.

Malaga to Granada by train

Unfortunately, there are no direct trains from Malaga to Granada. 

Malaga to Antequera to Granada by train
The map shows the AVE train network in Andalucia, Spain. The high-speed long-distance train system doesn’t offer a direct train from Malaga to Granada. Image:

If you still prefer the trains, because of the comfort they offer, you must travel via Santa Ana train station in Antequera. 

You can either take a bus or a train to Antequera, which usually takes half an hour.

From Santa Ana train station, you must board an AVE (high-speed train) to Granada.

AVE trains are costlier than regular trains, but there are no normal trains to Granada.

The cost of this train journey from Malaga to Granada and back will be approximately 60 Euros.

Tourists don’t prefer this because of the lack of a direct train and the prohibitively high cost of travel.

Malaga to Granada by bus

ALSA operates the bus services (also known as Autobuses) between Malaga and Granada.

You can board the buses at Malaga Bus Station and get down at Granda Bus Station.

Every day 19 buses go from Malaga to Granada, the first one at 6 am and the last one at 9 pm. 

Depending on the bus, the journey takes 90 to 105 minutes. 

You can either opt for the Normal bus or the Supra Economy bus, which offers a more comfortable experience. 

Approx cost of bus ticket 

Normal bus, one way: 12 Euros
Normal bus, both ways: 23 Euros
Supra bus, one way: 14 Euros
Supra bus, both ways: 28 Euros

You must be ready to board 15 minutes before departure. 

Return: Granada to Malaga by bus

Every day, 18 daily buses leave Granada Bus station and reach Malaga Bus Station (Paseo de los Tilos).

The first bus leaves at 6 am, while the last bus departs Granada at 9 pm and reaches Málaga at 10.45 pm.

Where to buy Malaga to Granada bus tickets?

You can reach the Malaga Bus Station half an hour earlier and buy tickets from one of the many ALSA ticket kiosks.

You are likely to find a queue at these kiosks to buy tickets.

If you buy the tickets online, you must pay 2.5 Euros extra per person as a convenience charge. They also have mobile apps for Android and iPhone.

Even though it is convenient, we don’t recommend you opt for the bus.

Important: Despite our advice, if you decide to travel by bus, here is yet another suggestion – book Alhambra entry tickets before booking bus tickets because they sell out fast. Read about all Alhambra Castle tickets

Traveling by car

If you are a group of 4-5 people, traveling by car might be a good option. 

If you book an Uber, you can get to Granada in 150 to 200 Euros. 

For the return journey, you can try and rent out a car, and drive along A-92 to get back to Malaga.

Car parking in Alhambra

Private transport is not allowed to enter Alhambra. 

However, there are enough parking spaces located some distance from the Alhambra Box Office and the main entrance to the Castle. Get driving directions

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Malaga to Granada in a tour bus

In our opinion, this is the best option – booking an Alhambra tour which also includes transport from Malaga to Granada and back.

These bus tours from Malaga to Alhambra usually start at 9 am get you back by 7-8 pm.

Such tours happen in new high-end coaches, with a maximum capacity of 30 passengers, driven by professional and friendly bilingual drivers.

These buses also include amenities such as onboard WiFi, mobile chargers, and water.

They are ideal for families, couples and even groups of friends who want to have a relaxed trip instead of having to worry about transport.

We list out our favorite Alhambra Palace tickets below –

1. Alhambra guided tour from Malaga 

This Alhambra tour is the best way to explore the Moorish Castle from Malaga – you don’t have to worry about the tickets, the experience inside the attraction, and transportation.

The tour starts at 9 am, and by 11 am you are at the Castle. 

Depending on which guided tour you choose, your guide takes you around Nasrid Palaces, Alcazaba, Generalife, Gardens, Palace of Carlos V, and Mosque Baths. 

You have two options: explore the attraction with Nasrid Palaces or without it. 

After the Alhambra Palace tour, you visit the Granada city center and explore the Cathedral and have some lunch. 

The return journey starts around 5 pm so that you can reach Malaga by 7 pm. 

Ticket price (WITHOUT Nasrid Palaces)

On the booking page select “Tour – Live Guide”

Regular tickets (3+ years): 89 Euros
Infant tickets (up to 2 years): 15 Euros

Ticket price (WITH Nasrid Palaces)

On the booking page select “Tour with Nasrid Palaces – Live Guide”

Regular tickets (3+ years): 99 Euros
Infant tickets (up to 2 years): 15 Euros

2. Self-guided Alhambra tour from Malaga

This tour is perfect for you if you don’t mind exploring the Alhambra Palace by yourself and only need help with transportation to Granada and back.

You start at 9 am from Malaga, get dropped at Alhambra, after which you are on your own to explore the attraction. 

The tour operator arranges an audio guide for you, which comes in handy. 

After you are done exploring the most beautiful set of buildings in the whole of Spain, you get back to your bus and head to the city of Granada for some lunch. 

Ticket price (WITHOUT Nasrid Palaces)

On the booking page select “Tour – Audio Guide”

Regular tickets (3+ years): 75 Euros
Infant tickets (up to 2 years): 15 Euros

Ticket price (WITH Nasrid Palaces)

On the booking page select “Tour with Nasrid Palaces – Audio Guide”

Regular tickets (3+ years): 85 Euros
Infant tickets (up to 2 years): 15 Euros

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Private Alhambra tour from Malaga

If money isn’t an issue, but you prefer VIP treatment, we highly recommend a private tour to Alhambra. 

This six-hour private tour includes a skip the line ticket to Alhambra, the most popular monument in Spain’s Islamic history. 

During the tour, a professional art historian guide takes you through all parts of Alhambra Castle, including the Nasrid Palaces. 

The operating hours are from 6 am to 11 pm, and after booking the ticket, you can coordinate with the tour operator on your preferred time to leave Malaga. 

Hotel pick up is available in Malaga, Fuengirola, Marbella, Torremolinos, or Benalmadena.

Tour price

1 person: 550 Euros
2 people: 700 Euros
3 people: 720 Euros
4 people: 760 Euros
5 people: 850 Euros

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Alhambra Castle from Malaga port

If you are on a cruise and reaching Malaga port, this Alhambra tour is the perfect full-day shore excursion for you.

This tour is only available for guests arriving on a cruise ship. 

This tour starts from Malaga Port at 8 am, and you drive through the beautiful Andalusian countryside towards the stunning city of Granada.

After helping you skip the long lines, the guide takes you on a tour of Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens.

If you still have time left, you explore the historical city center of Granada and then head back to the Malaga Port. 

Tour price

Regular tickets (5+ years): 95 Euros
Infant tickets (3 to 4 years): 85 Euros

Bonus: If you want to be picked from your hotel in Costa de Sol check out this tour

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What to bring along on Alhambra tour

  1. Your passport is needed to enter Alhambra, so bring them along on the trip. Without a passport, you can’t visit the monument.
  2. Wear comfortable walking shoes because you will end up walking 3.5 to 4 kms (2.2 to 2.5 Miles) while exploring Alhambra Castle
  3. Wear comfortable clothes, according to the season.
  4. Carry some water and sunscreen, especially if you are traveling during summer

Important: A limited number of Alhambra tickets get sold daily (approximately 7000) which results in a lot of demand for last minute Alhambra Castle tickets.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Tourists have lots of questions while planning their tour of Alhambra and Granada from Malaga.

We try to answer a few of them here –

  1. What is Malaga to Granada’s bus timetable?

    There are a total of 19 buses that leave from Malaga to Granada every day. They start at 6 am, and the last one is at 9 pm.

    For your return from Granada, there are 18 buses, the first of which leaves at 6 am, and the last departs Granada at 9 pm.

  2. From Malaga, can I visit Granada as a day trip?

    Yes, you can and be back home with lots of time to spare. 

    If you take a bus tour to Alhambra, you will leave at 9 am and be back in Malaga by 7 pm. 

    If you opt for a private tour to Granada, you can be back in Malaga in 6 to 7 hours. 

  3. Distance from Malaga to Granada?

    Granada is 130 Kms (80 Miles) from Malaga. If you travel by Autovía A-92, the highway in Andalusia, Spain, you will need 1 hour 35 minutes to reach.

  4. How to visit Alhambra from Malaga?

    You have two options: 1) Book Alhambra tickets in advance and take the ALSA bus to travel to Granada on your own. 

    Or 2) You can do what most tourists do – book a Malaga to Alhambra tour, which also includes transport.

  5. What is the best Alhambra tour from Malaga cruise port?

    Spain Day tours have designed an 8-hours Alhambra Castle tour, exclusively for cruisers who get off at Malaga for a shore excursion. 

    We feel this is the best because only cruisers can book this tour, it is rated 4.8 out of 5, and you get picked up from the port and then get dropped back after eight hours. 

  6. Which is the best Alhambra tour from Malaga?

    The best Alhambra tour from Malaga is something that covers both your entry ticket at Alhambra and your transport both ways. 

    If you don’t mind traveling with around 30 other tourists in a luxury coach, we highly recommend the guided Alhambra Castle tour. Else you can opt for the private Alhambra visit

Recommended Reading: Alhambra tours from Seville

Popular attractions in Granada

# Alhambra Castle
# Generalife
# Nasrid Palaces
# Jardines de Zoraya

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