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Granada is home to the Alhambra, the greatest Moorish monument in Spain and one of the country’s most unmissable attractions. Luckily, it also lies within easy visiting distance (just 125 km) of Malaga. There are several options for travel between Malaga and Granada, making a visit there easy to organize.
The bus from Malaga to Granada is the most economical choice. ALSA is the only company running buses between the two cities. Direct buses from Malaga city and Malaga airport to Granada are available, both for around USD 14*. There are about 18 departures per day from the city and about 10 from the airport, although fewer on Sundays and holidays. For more comfort and luxury, go for ALSA’s “Supra Economy” buses with extra legroom and other features, costing a few USD more. Journey time is about 1 hour 45 mins.
- Malaga bus station is located around 1 km southwest of the city centre, next to the train station.
- If you arrive at the airport and no bus is scheduled to leave for some time, it is easy to transfer to the city station. The best option is to take the train. They leave every half-hour and take 15 minutes.
A more comfortable and convenient, but more expensive, option is to take a taxi. Journey time is about the same as for the bus, but the advantage is there is no waiting around.
- The cheapest option is to take a taxi from the taxi rank outside the airport. Agree on the price with the driver before you leave and ask the driver to write it down, to avoid “fluctuating” rates, changed minds and language barrier hassles. Prices start at around USD 170*.
- Pre-booking a car is more expensive. Some companies are willing to do the trip for around USD 195.
- While there is train access from Malaga to Granada, it is not recommended. There is no direct train so you will just be doing a lot of transferring. At USD 27, the price is far higher than the bus and the journey takes a lot longer too; around 2 to 3 hours.
- Due to traffic and difficulty of parking, hiring a car for a self-drive to Granada is only worth considering if you also plan to make trips outside of the city in Granada. In this case, there are many car hire options from Malaga. A handful of them have offices at the airport as well. It is advised to research well before choosing your company as many of them employ dubious practices to bump up the initial price.
Organized day tours from Malaga to Granada or the other towns along the coast is a simple, hassle-free and effective option. A bus will drive you to Granada to visit the Alhambra, the Generalife Gardens and other places of interest in the city, before returning in the late afternoon. Prices for most of these tours start from around USD 100* per person.
There are several convenient options for travel from Malaga to Granada or Granada to Malaga. Anybody with a day or two to spare when staying in Malaga should defintiley consider making the trip. In fact, Granada is a highly recommended destination for anyone on a trip to Spain.
Note: Prices are as of March 2018.