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A magical experience.


Let's begin with some serious travel advice.  The very minute that you begin to consider Granada as a place to visit, check the availability at the Parador.  The opportunity to spend the night alongside the Alhambra when the tourists have disappeared, and to wake up there, is absolutely extraordinary.  That Parador itself is historic, but it is the location, not the Parador itself that is the draw.  One night at the Parador may be worth rearranging your whole schedule.
Something else that is well worth doing is to arrange dinner at a wonderful restaurant that has a breathtaking view of the Alhambra, which is illuminated at night.  This is on another hillside from the Alhambra itself, so this is especially recommended for evenings which will not be spent at the parador.  We highly recommend El huerto de Juan Ranas (information below), but we also had a recommendation to visit Las Tomases.  (Couldn't find it on the web.)  Our only regret is that we left our camera in the hotel room, when there would have been breathtaking, nightime photo ops.
El huerto de Juan Ranas,
c. de Atarazanza, 8
Mirador San Nicolas
18018 Granada
+ (34) 958 28 69 25

Visiting the Alhambra -- If possible, try to visit on a weekday, when it is somewhat less crowded.
Tickets are for half-day visits.  Timing is controlled by giving the ticket-holder a half-hour window for visiting the palace.  If you order tickets in advance, most likely you will be given the first slot - 10 am or 2 pm.  If you show up in person, you will be given the first slot available, and told to visit other parts of complext in the meantime.
We encourage two visits on two days.  What worked beautifully for us was a morning visit to everything except the Generalife.  Another morning, we visited the Generalife.  We returned later that afternoon for a much closer, less hurried visit to the Palace.
The experience of wandering around the grounds in the moonlight, after a dinner at the Parador, was extraordinary.  Maybe it would be possible to do that simply in connection with a dinner reservation to the Parador's dining room.  I am not sure.  Then, the experience of waking up, knowing that you are on the grounds of one of the world's greatest sites, and wandering around before the visitors arrive, was absolutely wonderful.  Just one night at the Parador added those two irreplaceable opportunities to a visit to Granada.