Rural Grenada Villa
Spain's most visited attraction - Rural Granada Villas White villages with backdrop of Sierra Nevada

The historical Alhambra and Generalife in Granada received 2.9 million visitors during 2009, which makes it the most visited tourist destination in Spain, despite having suffered a decline of 4.68% over the previous year.

The director of the complex, Maria del Mar Villafranca, said in a presentation that although there was a drop in the number of visitors, entrances were up 8.93% to the Alhambra Museum (200,000) and 10.24% higher for visits to the Fine Arts Museum (166,000). These numbers, coupled with 242,000 people attending the activities and exhibitions held at the monument and 270,000 visitors to the outer perimeter of the Alhambra, make a total figure of 2.9 million people

Villafranca  stressed the importance of the cultural activities at the monument. Among others, in 2009, a total of 77,413 spectators saw the programs of the International Festival of Music and Dance. Villafranca said that the downward trend in visitor numbers is “not good, but when taking into account the significance that the economic crisis has had on the tourism sector as a whole, it is to be expected.”

The average profile of a visitor was revealed to be a person, between 30 and 44, visiting from another European Union country and educated to at least college standard and is a qualified employee. A similar profile to that of the tourists who visited in organised groups, although here the age rises to between 45 and 60 years of age.

The country which provides the largest number of individual visitors was France, while Germany supplies the largest number of tourists attending in organised groups. As for the type of visit, a full day pass was chosen by 89.23% of visitors, followed by the garden only ticket (6.81%) and night ticket (2.84%). Advance sales through the Serviticket system were the most frequent method to purchase a ticket (65% of sales), followed by the onsite ticket office at the Alhambra (34%).

Villafranca also highlighted the 40% increase in the number of local Granadians visiting the outer perimeter of the Alhambra complex, which this year grew to 150,000 people.


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