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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 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
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.
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...
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
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.
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!!
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
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.