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Five Things to Do in Granada, Nicaragua in 2024

Have you plans to visit Granada in Nicaragua? We lived like a local for a short while as we were house-sitting in the city centre and fell in love with Granada and the surrounding regions.

Parks, churches, great food, quaint colonial streets and a blue volcanic lake are some of the five things to do in Granada Nicaragua.  Of course, there is much more to see and do in this city, but these five activities will certainly whet your appetite. We have also included in our top things to do in Granada,  the top five hotels to stay in Granada Nicaragua, the top 5 restaurants and the top 8 tours.

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Where is Granada Nicaragua

Granada in Nicaragua is located on Lake Nicaragua.  Lake Nicaragua is #20 in the world for its size. One of the prettiest islands – Ometepe Island is located in the middle of the Lake. One of the top things to do in Granada Nicaragua if you are into hiking and trekking a volcano or two you should catch the ferry to Ometepe Island for USD2 or you can take an organised tour, click here for details.

Five things to do in Granada Nicaragua
Map of Granada Nicaragua

Map of Granada Nicaragua

Five things to do in Granada Nicaragua

Granada is Nicaragua’s most beautiful city with its parks, churches, lakeside location and its food street – Calle La Calzada

What to do in Granada Nicaragua:

#1 Parque Central Granada Nicaragua – 

A must-do in Granada Nicaragua.

Five things to do in Granada Nicaragua
Horse Drawn Carriage Rides start from Parque Central

A typical Spanish colonial-designed central park that is the hub of Granada.  Here you will find local food stalls selling Granada’s famous dish Vigoron – fried pork skins with cabbage salad and Yukka wrapped in a banana leaf.

Horse-drawn carriages can be hired for a tour around the city sights from here. There are approximately 30 twin horse carriages to choose from, seating up to 4 passengers for a 30 or 60-minute journey. For more information on a longer tour of the City that includes the horse-drawn carriage ride and walking tour click here.


#2 Granada Churches – free things to do in Granada

La Merced Granada
La Merced

Granada is not short of spectacular churches. La Iglesia de la Merced the oldest religious church in Central America is located on Calle Real Xalteva.  Destroyed in 1655, 1781 and 1854 and rebuilt and completed in 1863 is said to be Granada’s most beautiful church.  Spend USD1.00 and climb to the top of the Bell Tower for 360-degree views over the countryside and on a clear day you can see the Mombacho Volcano.

Five things to do in Granada Nicaragua
The View from the Top
Granada Cathedral
Granada Cathedral

The yellow and white Granada Cathedral stands majestically on the eastern side of Parque Colon – it is the iconic photographic image of Granada. Built originally in 1583 it has been destroyed over the years and recently rebuilt in 1915.

The colourful colonial buildings and churches in Granada really make the town one of the most picturesque in Nicaragua.

#3 Calle La Calzada Granada

One of Granada Nicaragua’s tourist attractions is the central pedestrian boulevard lined with restaurants, shops, bars, local tour operators and artisan bread shops. No doubt, this is where you will spend most of your time eating, drinking and shopping.

Looking for a casual dining restaurant in La Calzada? Look not further than O’Shea’s Irish Pub!

Five things to do in Granada Nicaragua
O’sheas famous fish and chips and of course the bucket of beer!

O’Shea’s Irish Pub was recommended to us by two individual travel bloggers for the best fish and chips in town.  We had to go just on these recommendations alone and we were not disappointed. There is always an Irish Pub in most places that you visit but O’Shea’s was one of our favourite ones.  Don’t forget to enjoy an afternoon sharing a bucket of beers!

#4 Laguna de Apoyo Granada

A great activity in Granada – a short day trip.

Five things to do in Granada Nicaragua
Laguna de Apoyo

The volcanic blue crater lake, Laguna de Apoyo, which lies 25 minutes from Granada and 30 minutes from Managua was declared a natural reserve in 1991.  It lies between Mombacho Volcano in the South and Masaya Volcano in the North.  A great place for swimming, kayaking, boating and viewing the flora and fauna.

The Laguna Beach Club on Laguna de Apoyo Granada
The Laguna Beach Club on Laguna de Apoyo

The Laguna Beach Club is a great place to spend a day relaxing, swimming and eating.  There is a small entrance fee if you are not staying there to use their facilities.  You can even bring your own food for a bbq.

There is accommodation available at the Laguna Beach Club.

#5 Mansion de Chocolate Granada

Mansion de Chocolate Granada
Mansion de Chocolate

Mansion de Chocolate is located in the largest colonial mansion in Granada.  Apart from boutique hotel accommodations they also offer a selection of therapeutic and relaxing spa services and beauty treatments.  The Choco Museo offers workshops in the history of chocolate and for hands-on experience, they teach you how to create your own chocolate drinks. Don’t leave without trying their Hot Chocolate.

Where to Stay in Granada Nicaragua

For the top 5 hotels to stay in Granada Nicaragua see our recommended list below.

Hotel Plaza Colon: Frente Al Parque Central, Granada

Free wifi and an outdoor swimming pool centrally located in Granada. This four-star hotel is a firm favourite of travellers.

Latest Guest Review: One of the best hotels we stayed in Central America! The hotel is absolutely gorgeous, with beautiful palm trees, and a tranquil pool area, the decor was like an old colonial mansion. The staff are super friendly and so helpful with anything you need. The rooms are large, very clean, and spacious, with super comfy beds, great a/c, and strong wifi for work, and the showers had awesome pressure and great hot water. The breakfast spread was so good. And the location is right in the middle of the central park and walkable to all the main attractions. Highly recommend!

Five things to do in Granada Nicaragua

Hotel Jardin de Granada : La Otra Banda Contiguo a Farmacia, Granada

A popular 3-star hotel with an outdoor swimming pool, garden and terrace.

Latest Guest Review:

The room was immaculate, AC and ceiling fans worked great, beautiful gardens and a lovely pool with Mountain views. The owner, Miguel, went out of his way to be helpful and accommodating. All the staff members were wonderful. Delicious breakfast was included with my stay; choice of Nica or American style (I always choose the traditional Nica).

Five things to do in Granada Nicaragua

Hotel Casa San Francisco  207 Calle Corral, Granada

Another popular 3-star hotel in Granada with an outdoor pool,  sun terraces, free breakfast and free access to a fitness centre 50m away. Central Park is only 50m away.

Latest Guest Review:

A beautiful small hotel very close to the city center, the breakfast is delicious but I think the best thing from this hotel is the staff, all of them are very helpful and friendly.

Five things to do in Granada Nicaragua

Hotel Real La Merced  Frente a Iglesia la Merced, Granada

The 4-star hotel located in the centre of Granada offering guests the choice of an outdoor or indoor pool.

Latest Guest Review:

Wonderful property located in the heart of Granada. This is a beautiful historic mansion that has been renovated. It is in traditional style with the hotel surrounding a lovely enclosed garden/patio with a pool. They had a fantastic cafe right on site and the breakfasts were excellent. Just a short few blocks to the centre of the city and right across the street from a beautiful church with a tower you can climb to view the City, Iglesia del La Merced.

Five things to do in Granada Nicaragua

Hotel Patio del Malinche  Calle El Calmito, de Alcadia 2 1/2c al Lago, Granada

The 3-star hotel offers guests an outdoor swimming pool, a garden and terrace and a bar.

Latest Guest Review:

The property is beautiful in a great location. Staff was amazing including car service from airport and to San Juan del Sur. I would definitely recommend and stay again when in Granada

For other hotel options:

Five things to do in Granada Nicaragua

Where to eat in Granada Nicaragua

Our top 5 restaurants in Granada as recommended by travellers on Tripadvisor:

Restaurante El Garaje: Calle Corral 512, Granada #2 of Restaurants in Granada – international cuisine.

Pan de Vida: Calle La Calzada 406, Granada #1 in Bakeries in Granada

La Frontera: Xalteva Church, Granada #3 in restaurants. Great pub food and American cuisine.

Bocadillos: Calle Corrales 207, Granada #4 in Restaurants – latin, fusion, bar and international cuisine.

Cafe de las Sonrisas: Calle Real Xalteva, Granada #9 in restaurants in Granada  – international cuisine

For other restaurant options:

Five things to do in Granada Nicaragua

Granada Nicaragua Tours

We are very happy using Get Your Guide in activities in cities that we visit.  We love their ‘best price guarantee’ which means if we find the same activity by the same local tour operator in the same currency for less they will refund the difference.  Currently they offer over 35,000 activities in over 7,600 locations.


Getting Into Granada Nicaragua

The closest airport to Granada is Managua (the capital of Nicaragua), 44 km away with an average driving time of 50 minutes.

You can book a private transfer here from the airport to Granada.

Flight Deals to Nicaragua

Find the cheapest flights with Skyscanner our go-to when researching and booking flights throughout the world.

The cost of a taxi from Managua to Granada is around USD40 to USD50.  It is recommended to reconfirm the price clearly before booking a taxi.

Bus Travel Around Nicaragua

For the latest bus schedules and ticket prices for travel around Nicaragua click here.

You can get buses from Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador to Nicaragua.

Travel Insurance

We recommend taking our travel insurance as soon as you pay for your flights, tours and or accommodation.  By taking it out at this time and not the day before you travel is that you are covered for cancellation due to health reasons or other reasons that are covered by your policy.  Please ensure that you read all the conditions of the policy.


Time in Nicaragua

GMT – 6 is the time zone for Nicaragua.

Best time to visit Nicaragua

The best time to visit Nicaragua is during the dry season which covers the months from December to April.


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Five things to do in Granada Nicaragua


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Final Words on Granada

We hope you enjoyed our Granada Nicaragua Travel Guide. Two of the best things to do in Granada is the Granada Nicaragua City Tour and the Granada Nicaragua Walking Tour (which is mentioned above as a combined tour).

For day trips we highly recommend a visit to Ometepe Island with its two volcanoes and very impressive lake.

Related reading:

South American Travel Guide

Tikal Sunrise Tour in Guatemala




Thanks for stopping by and welcome to To Travel Too – Australia’s top Baby Boomer lifestyle and travel blog, with an international worldwide audience in mind, run by the married couple, freelance writers and full-time travellers Jane and Duncan Dempster-Smith. Come with us as we explore the world. Our two mantras that we live by are 'chase time not money' and 'age is no barrier when it comes to travel'.

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