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  • Writer's pictureGosia Granada Guide

Visiting the Alhambra-year in review


Visiting the Alhambra
Tourists visiting the Alhambra, January 2024

The monument of Alhambra and Generalife in Granada bids farewell to the year 2023 with pride, as it has achieved a record attendance among visitors. The palace and fortress complex attracted over 2.6 million visitors last year, marking a 9% increase compared to the previous year. It is worth noting that this result is particularly impressive considering the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in previous years. These impressive numbers are a clear signal of a return to normalcy for the city's most important tourist attraction.


The data received indicates an exceptionally favorable end to the year, culminating with the organization of the European Summit in October 2023. This prestigious event significantly boosted the recognition of Alhambra worldwide, directly translating into increased ticket sales for the year 2024. If the observed trend persists, there is a realistic chance of reaching the full number of visitors to this monument.


It is worth emphasizing that these positive results not only contribute to the success of the current year but also impact the future, heralding the potential achievement of the total possible number of tourists for this historical site. Nevertheless, responsible management should be kept in mind, as the monument of Alhambra has a specified maximum number of visitors annually to protect the integrity and conservation of this unique palace.


Gonzalo Mochón, the head of the Visits and Marketing Department of the monument, pointed out that the year 2023 was "very successful with an annual attendance rate of 94.50%." This takes on special significance, considering that the monument was closed for three days to accommodate the organization of the visit and the subsequent gala dinner of the European Summit.


The tourists from Spain once again play a key role this year. All holiday periods in 2023 surpassed the visitor figures from 2022, with Christmas recording the participation of 81,000 visitors, marking an increase of over 3%. If the current trend persists, it can be anticipated that in 2024, Alhambra will approach the full visitor capacity, conservatively limited to 2,763,500 people within the historic monument complex for conservation reasons. It is worth emphasizing that such developments align with the long-term goals related to the management and preservation of this historical site.


Record Numbers

With an impressive number of visitors reaching 2.6 million, Alhambra is approaching the conclusion of its most successful year in history. The standout month, surpassing all others, turned out to be May, attracting 269,730 visitors. Additionally, over half a million people visited the Alhambra Museum in the last twelve months, which the Alhambra management considers remarkable.


Tickets were sold out for over 210 days throughout 2023. The most significant increase in the number of visitors compared to 2022 was recorded during the holiday on October 12, witnessing a growth of 7.05%. These figures not only reflect the popularity of Alhambra but also confirm its position as one of the most significant tourist destinations.


In 2023, the average lead time for ticket purchases was 23.54 days, which is four days longer than in 2022. This extension of the pre-purchase period suggests increased attendance and more precise travel planning by visitors.

Looking at the diversity of nationalities, in 2023, Spanish visitors constituted 36.10% of the total, with Americans coming in second (8.58%) and Koreans third (7.28%). Among Europeans, Alhambra was most frequently visited by the French, followed by Germans and Italians. It is noteworthy that compared to 2022, the percentage of Spanish visitors decreased in relation to foreigners, dropping from 42.87% in 2022. This is a significant aspect that may result from different tourism trends or changing preferences of travelers.


Alhambra is a true masterpiece of Islamic architecture. Its complex consists of palaces, gardens, and fortifications, attracting the attention of both history and architecture enthusiasts. Spaniards, fascinated by cultural heritage, visit Alhambra to better understand their own history and roots. Foreigners arriving in Spain often include Alhambra in their travels due to its international renown. Moreover, for many, it is a place of relaxation where they can spend time in the picturesque gardens and fountains.


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Find out more about the Alhambra and Granada. You can already book your visit here. This way, your Andalusian experience will include additional attractions not found in traditional tourist guides!

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