I thought this sounded like a great, simple idea. Not so! Beware! We arrived in Granada late Friday night so it wasn't possible to pick up the tickets then. The Caja Granada banks were all shut on Saturday anyway because it was a bank holiday and the kiosk on Plaza Nueva's internet connection was broken so they couldn't print them. This kiosk also only opens at 9.30 and we had booked the Nasrid palace for 10am (which is not long enough to get there).
The 3-day bono also does NOT include a 24-hour sightseeing bus tour contrary to what you might have thought. It includes 3 or 4 local bus trips, not 9. The Science Park is also out of town. Other monuments like monasteries only cost €3.50 anyway so just pay individually and it will be cheaper!
Unique Suggestions: I suggest to visit Alhambra you just buy the ticket in advance and pick it up on the day with your same credit card. We ended up buying the bono (€50 for 2) and then paying for Alhambra and the Nasrid again.
Though this hills in the outskirts of Granada are an interesting visit, the "flamenco shows" offered everywhere use to be a little tourist trap. Not all of them, of course, but some of them are a little prices for what you get, so book them in an official place and ask well before you book them.
Fun Alternatives: http://www.sacromontegranada.com/ingles.html
In 1964, I wrote:
Immediately when I set foot outside and was immediately accosted by gypsies trying to sell me castanets and wanting to tell my fortune. Perhaps I should have bought some. I did not have any pickpocket problem at this time.
I remember being glad that the flamenco dancing was included in the tour, but not overwhelmed with the quality. I wrote:
I took the tour yesterday afternoon and it included the gypsy dancing (which wasn't much)
I was on a limited time, and hadn't pre booked my ticket, I decided to visit at night.
Doors open at 21.30, to buy tickets. I queued in a shorter line than the ones I'd witnessed earlier in the day.
I paid 10 euros (same price as day time ticket) I had to be at the Palacio Nazaries between 22.00 - 22.30.
Earlier in the day I'd noticed taped guides for hire. So I left my guide book behind
I found out this service isn't available at night!
I hurried along the spot lit paths, and entered the Nazaries Palace in my allotted time.
My next disappointment was that there was no written info depicting what I was seeing There were no guides around either.
This is a major tourist destination - so why no multi lingual notices ?
Although I quite enjoyed the architecture, I was disappointed (no, annoyed !!) that 2 of the main attractions- the Patio de los Leones, (Lion Courtyard) and the Rectangular Pool weren't illuminated! So you couldn't really appreciate what you were seeing, and photo ops were limited. Surely there is enough money passing over the counter to pay for a few lights!
I did get a bit confused at the end of my visit to the NP, as there are no exit signs, so I spent a good while trying to retrace my steps.
Be Aware that some of the surfaces are slippery, I saw one woman fall quite heavily on the marble flooring near the pool.
Though you have the luxury of less crowds, I don't feel that paying the same price as the daytime tickets is warranted. You can pass through the gardens etc, but you can't see them.
So for me, this was a bit of a rip off. (I've since learned that it is only the Nazaries Palace that You're paying for, but then again I couldn't see the Lion statue or pool clearly)
One reason I was underwhelmed, was probably because I'd been in Marrakech a few months earlier, and had probably OD'd on Islamic architecture
Unique Suggestions: Enjoy the quiet night air, and smaller crowds.
I think this would be a good idea if you've already visited in day time hours, it would give a different perspective. Listening to others who'd visited previously, they seemed to enjoy the night viewing as much, if not more.
It's probably quite romantic for couples!
If you want to know What you're looking at, bring a good guide book with you, or read up well before your visit
Fun Alternatives: Well, there is a lot more to Granada than the Alhambra.
Ok, It's a ' Must See', and it is quite impressive, but if you're only here for a short time, even if you've pre booked, you'll still have to queue - Lifes too short for queueing!!!
You only Queue and Pay for entrance to the Nazares Palace, the rest of the Alhambra is a public park, so You can still visit the other areas without the inconvenience.
Don´t wait in the qeues for tickets in The alhambra, go to any office of the BBVA or LA GENERAL, both are banks and buy the tickets there, is better that wait hours
Unique Suggestions: Go Early
Fun Alternatives: Buy In Advance in Internet, or local banks offices
The Albanta Restuarant at the bottom of the hill leading up to the palaces was the worst I have eaten in the whole of Spain. It was our last day of a 2 week holiday, the menu and the restaruant looked attractive but a bit expensive.
The tropical fruit salad with langustionos tasted like it had come out of the same tin. My 'solomillo' tasted worse than my grandma's old leather handbag.
The white wine was warm and despite being advertised as vino blanco seco tasted like Andrews liver salts!
Unique Suggestions: There are so many good restaurants and Tapas bars in Granada that don't cost a fortune and use fresh local ingredients. The best thing to do is ask other travellers.
Fun Alternatives: Every other eating place we had stopped off on our 2 week soujourn from Malaga to Alicante and returning via Granada and back to Malaga - food was usually fresh, local and excellent value for money.
The star attraction of the Alhambra is Nasrid Palace, for which the tickets are mostly sold-out. Sadly, many still queue up for hours only to discover to their dismay that they'll have to return the following day.
Unique Suggestions: If no slots for the Palace are available for the day you require, you can still buy tickets to view the Gardens & other sections of the complex, for 5EUR each. These are in ample supply.
Fun Alternatives: If you have more days at Granada, buy Nasrid Palace tickets for the following day.
*** I met a Polish girl who knew about the difficulty with tickets, and yet, determined to see this place, she arrived in Granada from Cadiz at 0400 hours by bus, then spent 3 hours at the station, before heading straight for the ticket office before it opened, hoping & praying that she manages to buy tickets for that very day!
Luckily, her perseverance & prayers paid off! But remember, she was lucky & she worked very hard to achieve this!!
When you pay for your media sets to serve as tailored-guides of the complex, the staff often don't hand out the accompanying headsets, sometimes saying that they are only for elderly people or those with hearing disabilities.
This is not true. Though the sets have a built-in microphone, constantly holding them up to your ears is cumbersome, and since you've paid for the service, you're entitled to the convenience of the headsets!
Unique Suggestions: So, hold your ground, even if you have to say you have hearing problems... a claim not difficult to feign!!!
Fun Alternatives: Take no prisoners... don't leave without the headsets. Simple as that. You want your visit & experience to be a pleasant & memorable one, surely?
In fact I'd become pally with a couple & enquired where their sets were. They said the staff told them it was for old people, so I told her to go back & claim "though i look young, i'm a lot older than i look"! And this worked!!
To explore Granada get a good street map from any Tourist Information booth. You will come to admire the local architecture. If you get lost people are quite nice , just be prepared to speak at least some spanish.
Unique Suggestions: The streets are quite narrow so be careful of the local traffic. It is advise not to tour these streets at night .
Avoid arriving late to the entrance of the Alhambra - the queues are enormous, and they only let in a fixed number of people at a time.
Unique Suggestions: Be here early! And bring something to beat the boredom with... and something for your blood sugar...
Fun Alternatives: Go explore the town instead!
Skip Pans and company when you're feeling hungry. It's expensive and the servings are of disappointing size.
Fun Alternatives: Go to a local café instead and get real spanish food - cheaper, better and with a lot cosier atmosphere.
The walls of the Alhambra are full of decoration and writings where we can read sentences as (Only God is the winner) or poems of the various poets as , Ibn al-Yayyab, Ibn al-Jatib e Ibn Zamrak
At the Comares palace, once you pass the Mexuar you enter at the Court of the Myrtles or Patio de los Arrayanes, at your left you will see the entrance to the Ambassadors? Hall.
The decoration of the walls is impressive.
They could not use imagines, so they wrote poems and coran writings.
This is at the Generalife gardens just outside the building.
I do not remember what it was exactly for, but it looks beautiful
Andalucia learnt a lot about water thanks to the Arabs, for many centuries
Close to Sala de los Dos Hermanas is this Mirador
It means Eyes of the Sultana
From here the Sultana could watch the gardens.
Also Washington Irving stayed here during his visit.