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.
Ride the Alhambra Bus; it will save a long walk up a very steep Sabika Hill, the hill on which the Alhambra sits. It's a cute mini-van styled bus. With the odd fare of 95 euro cents, the driver carries cash.
If you go to the Night Tour of the Palacio Nazaries, don't count on taking the bus back down the hill as the last bus leaves at 2305 (11:05 pm), which is only an hour and five minutes after the entrance time for the tour. Your alternatives are to catch a taxi at the Alhambra entrance or to walk down. If you choose the latter, don't bother walking all the way back to the Alhambra entrance but instead take the path downward path near the Palacio de Carlos V and exit through the Puerta de la Justicia. The Plaza Nueva is a short 15-minute walk downhill on Cuesta de Gomerez from this point.
Unfortuantely Granada's Bus Station (and nearby Train Station) are quite a long distance from the city centre, around two miles I would say. This means catching another bus, or a taxi to Gran Via, or your accommodation.
Buses 3 and also 33 take you between the Bus Station and the city centre, for around 1 euro - pay the bus driver when you get on. Because there were three of us we caught a taxi into the city centre - they use meters and it cost about 6 euros to the Cathedral, or 8 euros all the way to the bottom of 'our' street. The taxi's have cards which they use to access the (normally closed) streets of the old city.
The bus service is great to other parts of Andalucia from Granada. The long-distance buses are very busy and popular. It cost about 7 euros one-way to Malaga or under 6 euros to the Costa Tropical (both around 1 1/2 hours).
a lot of people poo-pooh open top bus tours but I really like them, they give you a great birds eye view of the city and you can get on and off wherever you want to see all the major sights
we took the Granada tour bus because our feet were aching and it was the ideal sort of day for an open topped bus, clear cool and crisp with brilliant sunshine in an amazingly blue sky, no risk of sunburn like there is on a blazing Summers day ! we saw parts of the city that we hadnt previously found and because of time wouldnt be able to visit, all filed away now for when we visit again, but the most wonderful sights were of the majestic snow covered mountains of the Sierra Nevadas
the ticket costs 10 euro, this allows you unlimited use of the open topped bus and the Microbus Touristico [which covers the Alhambra, Albaicin and Sacromonte where large buses cant go] for a 24 hour period, save your tickets, if you take a city sightseeing tour in another city worldwide producing it means you will get a 10% reduction in the ticket price
its a beautul walk up to the Alhambra, but its up a steep path. If you want to conserve your energy for walking around the complex - and believe me you`ll need it - then you can catch one of the little buses in the Plaza Neuva and ride up for only 95 cents
the buses fill up very quickly, there are only 8 seats, but you can stand, its not far, there are also buses here to take you up to the Albacin and Sacramonte through the narrow winding streets that ordinary buses cant get through and where only the brave or foolhardy drive
but walk down, you pass interesting houses and see wonderful sights
turn right as you come through arrivals and follow the signs to the airport shutle bus, they are timed to the flight arrivals, the buses are blue and white
the tickets are 3 euro one way, when you get on board look behind the drivers seat, there is a guide to which stop to get off at for the main hotels
the journey takes about 20 minutes, the driver will give you a timetable for your return to the airport, or you can look on the sign at the bus stop at your destination
a word of warning, your driver may be unable to direct you to your hotel, ours sent us in completely the wrong direction
and if you are really really unlucky you will sit in front of a guy who rings his boss, his 3 girlfriends, his best mate and his Mummy and talks to them all very loudly
if that was YOU on 15th November - didnt anyone ever tell you that no-one wants to listen to YOUR telephone calls ?
On the ''plaza Nueva' you can jump on those
little buses. For one euro they bring you
to the 'Alhambra' or up the hill of 'Albaicin'.
You can easely do those distances by foot too.
That is if you got the time and the energy.
It can be verry warm and their cheap...
Getting by car to on of both places is not recommended.
Think about a parking spot for starters...
Bus 19 from Malaga airport to malaga bus station 1euro. Turn right out of arrivals hall.
Friendly information kiosk in airport where you can get maps.
Tickets to Granada from inside the bus station to the left.
We got a "Bono"discount ticket for 10. 68euros. Normal price 8.29 each.
Tickets have a seat number(place)on them.
We caused a bit of chaos by just piling on and sitting anywhere.
Coach was full so I'd advise booking in advance or as soon as you get to the bus station.Once in Granada go up esclator to local bus stops, 3 or 33 takes you to the cathedral or next stop Acera de Darro, 0.95euro
The bus terminal is 3km northwest of the city centre. I arrived here from Sevilla from EUR15 and I took bus to Madrid from here fro EUR 20. Check out your outward bound bus schedule before leaving the bus station for the city.
For here, you need to take local bus to the city centre.
I found that one of the best ways to get around Granada is by taking the bus. I highly recommend that if you are going to spend a couple of days here to buy a multi pass ticket. I believe it was about 10 Euros, when I was there 2 years ago. It is a very cost effective way to get around the city.
Granada is small and compact, so you can walk just about anywhere if you´re feeling ambitious... but it can be very hot with searing sun, and the busses are air conditioned.. They run up and down the main streets, cost .90 euros, and there are bus cards which you can buy at tobacco shops.
They stop running here at either 11:00 PM or Midnight.. so after this time you will be walking or taking a taxi unless you have a car.
I found it interesting that there are some larger seats on the busses.. for larger people?
In Granada there are tons of buses driving around all day long - if you need to go to some of the turist attractions a bit far from the center there is always a bus going there, and you can get around in a rather short time.