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10 Must see and do in Granada, Nicaragua

Granada is one of the most beautiful colonial cities to see in Nicaragua, and for this reason, it is one of the most visited. It is a city full of color, and for a time it was disputed to be the capital of the country. It was founded in the year 1524 by Spanish settlers, and is characterized by its rich history and great cultural legacy.

Initially, in the space now occupied by the city, there was a Xalteva settlement. Later, in the 17th century, the city suffered numerous pirate attacks and looting until in 1856 the city was destroyed after a fire. After the war, the city was completely rebuilt.

In this post I talk about the 10 essential things to see and do in Granada (Nicaragua) and some great accommodation options. In addition, I add some tips on how to visit the Masaya Volcano.

que ver y hacer en Granada, Nicaragua


1. Visit the Cathedral of Granada (Nicaragua)

The Cathedral of Granada is one of the most essential places to see in Granada. It is the symbol of the city and undoubtedly the most photographed.

It is located in the Parque de Colón and is easily recognized by its characteristic reddish and ocher colours. The cathedral is of neoclassical architectural style. Its construction began in 1880 but was not completed until almost 100 years later, in 1972.

You can visit it for free any day of the week, and to climb the bell tower you have to pay 30 córdobas. It is worth going up and enjoying the views from above.

que ver y hacer en Granada, Nicaragua

2. The House of Lions

This priceless colonial building is currently a cultural center that hosts art exhibitions, organizes workshops, concerts and film screenings and readings. Of the façade, only a stone arch dating from the 18th century remains, the rest has had to be rebuilt and renovated a couple of times. Do not miss the interior, its entrance is free and it is impressive.

The Casa de los Leones is open from Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

3. Independence Square of Granada, Nicaragua

The Plaza de la Independencia is one of the most beautiful areas of the city. It is surrounded by colorful colonial-style buildings. In the Plaza de la Independencia, the Episcopal Palace, the Communications Palace and the National Palace stand out.

There are the National Palace, which dates from the 18th century and has had to be rebuilt several times, the Episcopal Palace and the Communications Palace.

4. Enjoy walking through the streets of Granada, Nicaragua

The charm of this city lies in its colorful streets full of life, markets and people. Without a doubt, wandering through its streets, aimlessly, discovering its cobblestone streets, small cafes, interior patios... is one of the best things to do in Nicaragua.

Calle de la Calzada is the busiest as it connects the main tourist attractions. There you will find bars, restaurants and souvenir shops, local products and crafts.

Granada has lots of small churches, parks and lots of colonial houses and houses with beautiful colorful facades.

5. Churches to see in Granada

In Granada there are many churches from whose bell towers you can see the entire city and the natural parks that surround it. In addition to being able to see the volcano in the background. The main churches to visit in Granada are the churches of Xalteva, La Merced, San Francisco, the Chapel of María Auxiliadora and the church of Guadalupe. All have an entry cost of around 1 euro approx.

6. The municipal market of Granada

Granada's local market is a vast maze of aisles with stalls selling fresh produce, prepared foods, and handicrafts. Jars full of rice and beans, avocados the size of my head, delicious fruit, yellow mangoes… all delicious and very cheap. Visiting the market and eating there is very cheap.

7. Sail on Lake Cocibolca

In Lake Nicaragua, also known as Lake Cocibolca, there are 365 islands that you can navigate between. Most of them are uninhabited, but there are also other private ones full of mansions, other more modest ones where fishermen live, and others full of monkeys. You can go to the pier and from there take a 2-hour tour that sails between these islands and makes a couple of stops. The price is about 15 euros.

Watching the sunset from the shore of the lake is one of the best things to do in Granada.

que ver y hacer en Granada, Nicaragua

8. Visit the Gunpowder Fortress in Granada, Nicaragua

Walking from the Iglesia de la Merced up the street you will find the Fortaleza de la Pólvora, a historical place to visit in Granada. The fort was built in 1748. Currently, it is not possible to visit it and you can only go closer to see the outside.

9. Take an excursion to the Masaya Volcano, the most incredible place to visit in Granada

The visit to the Masaya volcano is a unique experience and will make your trip to Nicaragua unforgettable, without a doubt.

From the top of its crater you can see a lake of hot lava. It can be visited both during the day and at night, but when the sun goes down it is one of the most spectacular moments.

The visit can be done independently or with an organized tour. These tours leave several times a day from Granada.

que ver y hacer en Granada, Nicaragua

10. Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve

The Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, better known as Laguna de Apoyo, is a protected area in Nicaragua recognized as a nature reserve since 1991 by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources. It is a natural park of volcanic origin with an area of ​​19.44 km2. There are many trails for trekking, mountain biking, picnics... The area surrounding the lake is incredible, it is a very beautiful natural environment.

que ver y hacer en Granada, Nicaragua


Granada is a small city that can be visited practically all on foot. The best option is to stay in the center and I advise you to look for accommodation with a pool, the humidity in the area is quite high and so you can take a good refreshing bath after a day visiting the city.

Some great accommodation options in Granada, Nicaragua:


I hope you enjoy your trip to Nicaragua a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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