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Europe > Spain > Granada

See: Why rent a car in Granada ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

(All of these pages will look a lot nicer when they are tidied up later in the spring)

Your key questions for any destination:

Do I need a car in Granada?

Strictly speaking, there are very few travel destinations anywhere in the world where it's absolutely essential to rent a car in order to see the main points of interest.

That's why we give you loads of ratings scales from 1 to 10, rather than just yes or no answers!

  • The need question is generally answered by looking at public transport (transit) options. Is it good enough for visitors who are happy to consider using it?
  • How many public transport routes are there, and are they mainly rail or road (bus) based?
  • Is public transport fast, frequent, safe, reliable and cheap?
  • Does public transport actually take you to the places you'll probably want to see?

Is it worth hiring a car in Granada?

This question is usually more about value for money. For this, we look at Granada car hire options, and consider how rental costs compare with using transit.

How far are you likely to drive anyway, and how much might you expect to spend on fuel, road tolls, parking and any other charges. We compare Granada with other destinations locally and around the world.

This is obviously much more of an issue if you are planning a longer road trip than it is on a small island.

Should I rent a car in Granada? 

This is basically a merging of the two questions. Everything else might be about giving certain facts about the costs of car rental or using public transport in Granada, but answering this question is very much a matter of opinion.

The Andalusian city of Granada is undoubtedly most famous for its Alhambra fort. Yet here is plenty more to see in this part of southern Spain than just this single attraction.

Please note that is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2022 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. 

We do not intent to include detailed covid information, nor do we intend to suggest hiring a car, just because public transport might still have a mask requirement. Our advice will be based on the same criteria we've always used, ie whether or not you can get a better travel experience, or at least a better value one, by choosing not to hire a car.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Granada is in car rental price band: 1/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Granada? 

Yes. Extremely cheap car hire, if booking economy vehicle outside peak holiday period.


Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Granada between the peak and the off peak season?

7/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 4/10

Non car score:6/10

Balance: 3

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -


The range of flights to Granada from outside Spain is very limited. Other thank UK cities like Manchester or London, you are only likely to get a direct flight here from Paris. This means that you are much more likely to visit Granada having flown into a city such as Malaga or Seville.

Why? Visiting Granada using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Granada ?

  • Terrible train service – Granada is not on the high-speed AVE network. Getting here by train is going to take some time, even from other cities in Andalusia. This means that the chances are that you will already be arriving in Granada in a hire car, and you will want to use it as much as possible.
  • One fort wonder – once you’ve got past the queues to get in, enjoyed the superb views of Alhambra from below, and even then come back for a night visit, chances are that you will be itching to carry on elsewhere, and a hire car is going to give you the most flexibility to do this.

Why not? Visiting Granada without a car

Why don't you need a car in Granada ?

  • Amazing Alhambra – as I’ve hinted above, Granada’s main attraction really is spectacular, and it is arguably worth a trip to southern Spain just to see it.
  • Appreciating Albaicin – now this historic part of Granada is somewhere that you will either love or you will hate. I fall into the love camp – I must have walked around here for several hours without keeping any track of time.
  • The landscape, or cityscape if you prefer is splendid in its own right, but the real intrigue here was the amazing graffiti, which somehow seems perfectly natural and very photogenic. I’d rate this is one of my favourite walking experiences, and would certainly recommend adding in an extra day for walking around the rest of the city on top of allocating time to see Alhambra itself.
  • Jaen etc by train – although it is often still easier to drive.
  • Granada metro – finally opened in the autumn of 2017, the metro provides a rapid transit light rail service running right through the city.

Ratings: How does Granada compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Granada? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Granada, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?



Do you need to hire a car in Granada? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Granada (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Granada? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel


Car hire basics:


Public transportation basics:


Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):


As you start ....

Does Granada airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No






Has our advice for Granada car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 3

2019 - 4

2021 - 3

Average score - 3



Is it worth hiring a car in Granada?  Conclusion – on first glances, Granada does not look obviously accessible without a car. As with anywhere, four wheels will give you convenience, but is also a good chance that it means you miss out on some of the best details. If you can work out how to get here without a car, I would certainly advise staying here without one.


Do you or don't you need a car in Granada ?

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