The 13th-century Generalife served as a summer retreat for Nasrid kings when they needed a break from palace affairs. From its perch on Cerro del Sol (Hill of the Sun), the series of terraces, promenades, and gardens spread across 74 landscaped acres (30 hectares) of the Alhambra complex afford some of the best views over Granada.
Entrance to the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Generalife Gardens is included in your entrance ticket to the Alhambra, but you can also purchase a separate ticket for the gardens only. Since the complex ranks as one of the most-visited attractions in Andalucia, it’s a good idea to book a skip-the-line tour—small-group or private—of both the Alhambra and Generalife ahead of time to avoid disappointment. It’s also possible to see both attractions on a guided day trip from Seville, Roquetas de Mar, or Malaga.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Generalife Gardens are a must-visit for all first-time visitors to Granada.
- Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to do quite a bit of walking.
- Don’t forget to bring sun protection, as southern Spain can get very hot.
- Strollers are not permitted on the grounds of the Generalife, so plan to bring a baby carrier if needed.
- The Generalife Gardens are mostly wheelchair accessible, and there are modified tours that cater to—and include—wheelchairs.
How to Get There
You can walk to the Alhambra and Generalife from Granada city center, but be prepared for a bit of an incline. If you’d rather save your legs for exploring, opt for a bus or taxi. Most guided tours include round-trip transportation from Granada hotels.
When to Get There
The Generalife Gardens are open daily throughout the year for daytime visits, and for evening visits between March and November. Be sure to book your tickets (which are timed) well in advance, especially if you’re visiting during the peak summer season. It’s a good idea to arrive at the grounds well in advance of your ticket time.
Visiting the Generalife, Nasrid Palace, and Alcazaba
The Alhambra complex is divided into three sections, all accessed with the same ticket. As you plan your tour of the palace, keep in mind that you can visit the Alcazaba and Generalife Gardens at any point during your visit to the complex, but entrance to the Nasrid Palace is for a set time.