There are buses that can whisk you inexpensively up and down from the Alhambra. The little minibuses (as shown in the photo) are ideally suited for getting up and down the steep climb and descent of the hill. The fare is a very reasonable 1.2 Euros each way for adults as of May, 2012. The problem is that the buses are nearly always full during the day from spring to fall.
To make your likelihood of easily getting up and down to the Alhambra by bus consider this. From downtown there are basically four bus routes ( Line 30, 31, 34 and 35) that will get you to the Alhambra; two leaving from Gran Via and two from Plaza Nueva. To improve your chances of getting a seat go to Gran Via 1 which is the first stop where the bus loads to go up the hill. The bus will be numbered 30 or 34 and will say "Alhambra." Don't walk up the street just because there appear to be fewer people waiting. When we were there the first bus in the morning up to the Alhambra left just after 7 a.m. Last bus in the evening is around 10 p.m. Check the schedule to make sure.
Another option is to take it from the first stop at Plaza Nueva near the statue. The bus will be numbered bus 31 or 35.
For those wanting to take the walk up from Gran Via or Plaza Nueva it is a bit of a steep climb. It will take you, depending on your fitness level from fifteen to thirty minutes. Why waste the energy when the bus ride is just a mere 1.2 euros.
Granada airport is nice and small. and situated about 12 kms west of the city.
Leave the terminal from the exit to the right and there is an area where you wait for you transport whether it be Bus, Hire car or personal pick up.
There is a bus shelter right there and the airport bus that takes you into town. The bus waits for the flight if it is late!
When traveling alone with the Little Rock Chic, the driver was very helpful, helping us with our luggage and telling us where to get off etc
I have found Spanish public transport is very reasonably priced, reliable and most buses have air conditioning.
Price from airport to city center bust station - 2.50 euros (2007)
Route: Airport, la Caleta, all bustops on the Gran Vía, Fuente de las Batallas (in front of the department store El Corte inglés), Palacio de Congresos
Telephone: 958 27 86 77
From Granada centre7:55, 9:10, 12:55 (no service at the weekend),
14:00 y 18:15
From the airport
9:05, 10:00, 14:00 (no service at the weekend),
15:05 y 19:35
For buses to other destinations - Alsina Graells Sur (Link below in English)
Tel 958 18 50 10
Alsina Graells is the biggest company and goes to most destinations in Andalucía
Granada is very well connected by bus however from my experience the drivers are usually a little dangerous. I never travel by bus from Granada to Cádiz because at least 2 drivers have really scared me. Others report the same experience. It also costs roughly the same as the train and takes roughly the same tame too (the bus is one hour quicker because by train you have to change).
However I usually travel by bus to and from Malaga as the buses are way quicker than the trains (as you have to change at Bobadilla and it is a VERY long wait-hours!!!!).
It is about 3 hours to Cordoba and
Sevilla and about 4.5 hours to
Madrid on Continental buses. Madrid-Granada costs 14,22€ one way.
The best company to take is Alsina Graells if you are travelling from Granada around Andalucia. Please find the number below.
You can get the bus to the Sierra Nevada from the Palacio de Congresos. Look for the Autobus Viajes Bonal (958 34 06 25). To the Alpujarras get an Alsina Grealls bus at the bus station.
From Seville on to Granada to continue my visit in Spain I used a long distance bus. For both trips I left from the Prado de San Sebastian Bus Station on c/Manuel Vazquez Sagastizabal.
The platforms are outdoors but there are waiting rooms that are indoors too, one at each end of the platform.
I used ALSA. The buses are on time, clean and easy to use. There was a really nice travel video with scuba divers and lots of beautiful under water scenes for most of the trip.
I had reserved my ticket for Granada online in advance. A user friendly site. No problems making my reservations. You can sign up as a user, but it is not necessary to reserve a ticket.
There was no need to stop at the ticket window. The driver accepted the printout without questions. Seats numbers are reserved. You choose your seat when you make the reservation.
To Granada I paid Euro 21.32
You will find the Blue Gonzalez Airport Buses just outside the small and easily manageable Garanada Airport. These buses run frequently, synchoronized with flight arrivals, cost 3 euros flat, take 40 minutes to one hour to reach to city center, and have enough bellies to accomodate your luggage. Bus tickets can be purchased from the driver.
As far as public transport is concerned, there is no other option available, and this is the only bus that runs through all the major streets of Granada. We took the bus during our backpacking trip and found it reliable and convenient. The only flipside is that one has to take another bus connection should their destination not come enroute.
Following are the stops that the Airport Bus do (in the reverse order from the airport):
1. Paseo del Violón (next to Bar Ventorillo) - near Conference Centre (Palacio Congresos)
2. Acera del Darro (in front of Hotel Dauro)
3. Gran Vía (1st bus stop nearest Plaza Isabel la Católica)
4. Triunfo (bus stop in front of the gardens)
5. Avenida Consitución (last bus stop opposite train station)
6. Bus stop in front of the bus station
7. Avenida Andalucia (corner of Calle Periodista Eugenio Selles)
A question in the Travel Forum has prompted me to write this tip. Someone asked about making their own way to Granada from a cruise ship rather than taking an expensive, pre-booked tour.
Yes, this is possible but if you want to do this I would advise you to get yourself organise well in advance of your departure from home as you obviously are limited by your cruise schedule.
First you need to get to the main bus station - I don't know about getting there from the port but I'd say a taxi would be your best option. There are regular buses all through the day, at intervals of about an hour . The journey takes about 1h45 mins . You can book your ticket online here
Timetables, cost, etc are all on this site.
You will also need to book your ticket for the Alhambra as entries are restricted and timed. This is the bit you really need to do asap as the Alhambra is a major, major tourist attraction and the destination of thousands of tourists from all around Andalucia on any one day
Get a map of the city bus routes from the Tourist Info Office - several in town. On your first bus ride, buy a multi-ride card. There are several choices depending on the number of rides you might want to take and discount off the already cheap fare. There is a 2 Euro charge for the card which is refunded when you turn in the card on your last bus ride.
3 different lines go up to the Alhambra stopping at the ticket booth and also up at the Justice Gate. Don't try to drive around any of the old town area - no parking, very narrow and twisty, and some traffic restrictions that will put a big post up thru the middle of the street - without a special pass, you don't pass. Park it and take the bus.
Tickets for the airport bus cost 3 Euro one way and are purchased from the driver. It's easy to find the bus on arrival at Granada airport. Departures from outside the terminal building are timed to coincide with flight arrivals.
Stops in the city include (in this order): the Bus Station, Jardines del Triunfo, Cathedral (this is the stop you need if you are staying in the Albaicin area), Acera del Darro (outside Hotel Dauro) and Paseo del Violon.
Buses to the airport currently generally leave from the terminus in Paseo del Violon at 45 minutes after the hour (8.30 a.m. is an exception). The timetable is posted on the wall of the tourist office in Pl S. Ana. According to the timetable, journeys take 40 minutes from the terminus to the airport, but the English translation says 45 minutes (my journey took 50). Ifyou pick up a map of Granada at the tourist office the airport bus stops are clearly marked.
Getting to granada from malaga airport is with the ALSA bus from malaga busstation.I recommend to buy your return ticket because sometimes the bus is full and you have to wait 1 more hour and miss the flight what nearly happend to me.
The Alsina Graells bus to Madrid is one of the best value routes I've found. It has one stop at a cafe in a small town in the middle of nowhere. I can recommend the coffee and croissant!
The bus to Malaga (which is maybe worth a day trip for the friendly atmosphere, old town and Roman ruins and beach) is also one of the best deals. I used to go to Malaga for the airport but of course Granada has a fully functioning commercial airport now!
Getting to Granada by public transport can be quite awkward if you are trying to get up from the southern end of the Costa del Sol. Where I was staying, at Puerto de la Duquesa, the logistics of taxi, then bus, then train were so complicated that I looked into what the local tour operators had to offer. Viva Andalucia, based around the Estepona area do trips to all the major attractions in Andalucia, so while an organised tour would not be my option of choice I decided it was a preferable option to not seeing Granada at all. A coach picked us up at 7.15 and we were in Granada around 10.30. With tickets for the Alhambra booked for 2.30 this allowed time enough to see what the city had to offer and soak up a little of the ambience. I had read a lot in advance and knew exactly what I wanted to see, so I was able to use the time available to full advantage. The company provided a guide who was extremely knowledgeable and during the journey she gave some really good historical and architectural insights on Granada and the Alhambra. There was no obligation to stay with the group once we reached our destination and there was the huge advantage of being dropped off right in the city centre. Unfortunately, we had the services of a local guide in the Alhambra and to say she did not appear to enjoy her job would be an understatement. We left Granada about 6.00 and got back home around 8.45. A long day but I would have to say, very well organised and at EUR 60, quite good value for money.
The Alsina Graells bus leaves/arrives from the bus station a few km away from the city (take buses 3 or 33 from the Gran Via). It leaves 10 times a day and costs 11.40 euros. Direct routes are 2 ½ hours, but some are indirect (Ruta) and take longer.
We had originally planned to drive from Marbella to Granada but I was reluctant because I hadn't driven a manual car in quite a few years and Kat wasn't comfortable after seeing the traffic on the highway so we ditched the car idea and took the bus instead.
It was 2 3/4 hours to get from Marbella to Granada, 45 minutes longer if you got a non direct bus. Even though our bus was direct, it did stop in Malaga. Once on the road, I was glad we decided to take the bus, we could enjoy a chat and the scenery and avoided the crazy roads in Granada, it would have taken ages to find our hotel!
The cost was 13.27E one way, slightly more for the non direct bus.
We did not have advance reservations, if you need to be on a specific bus, you might ask if that is a possibility as our bus was pretty full. I think some other VTers had purchased in advance.
It takes about 19 minutes off-peak, and roughly 30 minutes during peak-time to make the journey from the Estacion Autobus to the heart of Granada.
Fares are very reasonable: 1.10 EUR one-way
A pretty cool way to see the city too, especially if you board from opposite the Cathedral. You will go past a prison that sits on the main road!
Also, you will see a lot of construction work going on, as well as the heavy traffic flow that can build up at times!!
After having a nice lunch at a cafe alongside the Darro River which sits right below the Alhambra, we asked our waiter how to get to the Alhambra and he said we could either walk back to the Plaza Nueva and take a bus or walk and that the pathway was just a short distance away. "Just a little steep" he said.....
I'm never adverse to climbing anything (just ask my husband about that vertical hour climb up to Eze!) but I suppose I could have looked at where we were standing in relation to where we needed to go and should have known that "just a little steep" was a bit of an understatement. I left the decision up to my trusty sidekick Kat and she said let's walk it and it really wasn't that bad of a climb. And it deposited us pretty much right at the ticket office!
But really, just how silly was it to walk UP and take a bus back down? ;-)
The bus back down was small and very crowded but the ride is short, cost is 1E. We stopped several times going from the ticket office back down, look for a bus that is going to Plaza Nueva.