Rotunda and Water Fountain at Parque Central Granada Nicaragua

The beautiful colonial city Granada Nicaragua is a must visit on any Nicaragua trip. Granada was our home for a year and is one of our favourite places in the world! Charming colourful buildings line the streets. Dramatic views of Mombacho Volcano can be seen from many vantage points throughout the city. Additionally, the sound of horses clip-clopping through the town brings you back to a simpler time. The heart of the city is Parque Central de Granada – a pretty central park overlooking the distinctive Granada Cathedral. Here you can find street vendors selling delicious Nicaraguan street food. Conveniently located in the centre of the country, Granada is a great base for exploring Nicaragua. Day trips from Granada include boat rides on Lake Nicaragua as well as trips to the stunning Laguna de Apoyo and the active Masaya Volcano. Find out more in this Granada Nicaragua destination guide.

Short on time? Here are our Granada Nicaragua top recommendations:

Hightlights: enjoy a horse and carriage ride from Parque Central de Granada, take a boat ride around the Islets of Granada and climb to the top of the Catedral de Granada.

Activities: book your Granada Nicaragua Tours with Get Your Guide.

Accommodation: we use to find the best hotels.

Private Transfers: Pacific Tours,

Flights: find cheapest flights with cashback on WayAway.

Airport Lounge Access: start your holiday the right way with Priority Pass.

Travel Medical InsuranceSafetyWing Nomad Insurance is the ideal choice for long-term travellers and digital nomads.

Travel Banking: Wise makes global travel banking seamless and affordable.

What is Granada Nicaragua famous for?

Granada is a city that is rich in history. It is the oldest colonial city in Nicaragua and also one of the oldest continuously inhabited European-founded cities in Central America. Granada is known as a popular Nicaraguan tourist destination due to its picturesque colonial architecture and in particular its stunning cathedral.

Why you should visit Granada Nicaragua

Horse and cart in front of Iglesia San Francisco Granada Nicaragua
Horse and cart in front of Iglesia San Francisco Granada Nicaragua

Granada Nicaragua is a charming colonial city with beautiful and colourful architecture as well as plenty of activities to suit all ages. At the heart of Granada is a beautiful central park which is right next to a stunning cathedral. From here you can take horse and carriage rides to explore the city. Mombacho Volcano overlooks Granada and this stunning volcano can be seen from many vantage points throughout the city. Granada also has bustling local markets and a great food scene. Calle La Calzada is the main eat street in Granada with plenty of al fresco dining options. Additionally there is a great selection of cafes and restaurants throughout the city. Granada also has delicious street food, which is perfect for those wanting to see Nicaragua on a budget.

Granada is also the perfect base for a Nicaragua vacation. Its central location means there are plenty of great day trips from the city. Furthermore, it is less than an hour drive from the Nicaragua main airport, which makes getting in and out of the country from here a breeze.

Granada Nicaragua Destination Guide: Know before you go

Basic info about Granada Nicaragua

Man from 100 Cordoba Note Nicaragua
Man from the 100 Cordoba Note

  • Date founded – Granada Nicaragua was founded by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba on April 21, 1524.
  • Language – Spanish; Many tour operators and hotel staff speak English in popular tourist areas, but if you prefer travelling and shopping local you will need a basic understanding of Spanish.
  • Currency – Nicaraguan córdoba (NIO). Many hotels and restaurants also accept United States dollars (USD). ATMs dispense both cordobas and US dollars. For more details on money in Nicaragua, see this post.
  • Population – 133,086 (2021)
  • Area – 592 km2 (229 sq mi)
  • Department (Departmento) – Granada. Granada is the capital of this department.
  • Emergency number – 118
  • Police number – 101 (tourist police), 118 (police)

Utilities in Granada Nicaragua

  • Electricity – Nicaragua uses Types A and B power plugs, which is the same plug type as the United states. It operates on a 120v supply voltage at 60Hz. Power outages in Nicaragua are not uncommon but generally don’t last for too long.
  • Water – the tap water in Granada Nicaragua is safe to drink. However many expats and tourists prefer to drink filtered water. Most accommodation in Granada provides filtered water for guests to use.
  • Toilets – sit-down flushing toilets are the most common type of toilet in Nicaragua. Don’t flush your toilet paper – use the bins provided. Public toilets are not common in Nicaragua, but you can usually find toilets in cafes and restaurants.
  • Telephone country code: +505

Where is Granada Nicaragua?

Granada Nicaragua is a city in the department of Granada Nicaragua. This city is on the shore of Lake Nicaragua (Lago Cocibolca) and also at the foot of Mombacho Volcano. It is an inland city located in western Nicaragua.

The closest cities to Granada Nicaragua are Masaya, Managua and Rivas. Granada Nicaragua is 20 minutes by car from Masaya and around an hour by car from Managua as well as from Rivas.

How to get to Granada Nicaragua

Granada Nicaragua destination guide: Arriving by land

Granada Nicaragua intercity land transport

Local Bus Jinotepe Nicaragua
Local Bus Jinotepe Nicaragua

The main transport options for travelling overland to Granada Nicaragua are:

  • Private vehicle
  • Private transport operator
  • Shuttlebus
  • Bus
  • Minivan

Driving to Granada Nicaragua from within Nicaragua

If you are driving to Granada Nicaragua from within Nicaragua, here are the travel times and distances:

  • Masaya – 22 minutes (18km, 11miles) without tolls
  • Managua – 48 minutes (41km, 26miles) without tolls
  • Rivas – 1 hour 7 minutes (70km, 43miles) without tolls
  • San Juan del Sur – 1 hour 31 minutes (98km, 61miles) without tolls
  • Peñas Blancas border crossing to Costa Rica – 1 hour 35 minutes (104km, 65miles) without tolls
  • León – 2 hours 14 minutes (134km, 83miles) without tolls
  • Estelí – 2 hours 46 minutes (171km, 106miles) without tolls
  • Las Manos border crossing to Honduras – 4 hours 30 minutes (272km, 169miles) without tolls
  • Bluefields – 5 hours 41 minutes (319km, 198miles) without tolls

Intercity trains to Granada Nicaragua

There are no trains in Nicaragua.

Shuttle buses to Granada Nicaragua

Shuttle buses operate between major tourist destinations in Nicaragua. You can often book these shuttles through your accommodation or through tour operators. Expect to pay around $15 per person for a shuttle between Granada and San Juan del Sur (as at 2023). Additionally there are two shuttle bus companies that provide shuttle services to Nicaragua from other countries in Central America: Nicabus and Ticabus.

Local buses to Granada Nicaragua

Local bus driving through Mercado Municipal de Granada Nicaragua
Bus squeezing through!

A common way to get around Nicaragua is by using local buses. Tourists often refer to these as chicken buses. Nicaragua public buses are old US yellow school buses that are often painted in bright colours. They have the destination on a sign at the front of the bus. Buses rarely leave on time, so patience is key. Before the bus leaves as well as during the journey a number of vendors may get on the bus selling food and other goods. This is a great opportunity to get a snack for your trip or even do your grocery shopping.

Bus terminals in Granada Nicaragua

Granada does not have one centralised bus terminal. The bus stop to use will depend on your destination.

  • Granada – Huembes Terminal GR-MAN: this is the terminal for buses from Granada to Managua (goes to Terminal de Autobuses Mercado Roberto Huembes in Managua).
  • Granada – Estación de autobuses Masaya Jinotepe: this is the terminal for buses from Granada to Masaya and Jinotepe (central Nicaragua, west of Granada).
  • Granada – Terminal de Buses Rivas, Nandaime, pueblos blancos: this is the terminal for buses from Granada to the white towns (central Nicaragua, west of Granada).
  • Granada – Nueva terminal de buses a Rivas: this is the terminal for buses from Granada to Rivas (from Rivas there are buses to San Juan del Sur and Popoyo (Pacific Coast of Nicaragua). It’s also a 15 minute drive from San Jorge, which is where the ferries to Ometepe Island depart from.
Common bus routes for Granada Nicaragua

Details for some of the most common bus routes for Granada Nicaragua are listed below:

FromToBus FareDurationFrequency/Departure Time
GranadaMasayaC$1545 minutes
GranadaManaguaC$30 approx1.5 hours
GranadaRivasC$502.5 hours5:50am, 6:30am, 8:05am, 9:30am, 11:30am, 12:40pm, 1:10pm, 3:10pm
RivasGranadaC$502.5 hours6:10am, 8am, 10:15am, 11:15am, 12:10pm, 1:55pm, 3:10pm 4:20pm and 5:55pm

The above bus fares are as at 2021.

Microbuses or minivans to Granada Nicaragua

An affordable but slightly more expensive alternative to buses in Nicaragua are microbuses or minivans. These vans generally seat around 10-15 people. They are more direct and generally only a few córdobas more expensive than buses. They usually leave when they are full and are also typically more frequent than buses. We personally think that buses are more comfortable than the minivans as people do get crammed into the minivans and minivans generally don’t provide much legroom. However you do always get a seat in minivans, albeit once my seat was just an upside-down crate in between two other seats. Microbuses in Granada Nicaragua depart from the microbus terminal: Granada – UCA Terminal de Buses Granada – Managua (UCA).

Granada Nicaragua destination guide: Arriving by air

The closest airport to Granada Nicaragua is Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (Airport code MGA). This international airport is located in Managua, 33km (21 miles) away. However a popular alternative is Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (Airport code LIR) in Liberia Costa Rica. This airport is 155km (97 miles) away.

Other nearby airports include:

  • Costa Esmeralda Airport (Airport code ECI). This airport is 57km (35 miles) away.
  • Nosara Airport (NOB). This airport is 220km (137 miles) away.

Nicaragua does not currently have a national airline of Nicaragua. Airlines that service Nicaragua include American Airlines, Aeromexico, Copa Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Avianca Airlines as well as United Airlines. The domestic carrier in Nicaragua is La Costeña.

Granada Nicaragua destination guide: Arriving by boat

Ometepe Island Ferry Approaching Moyogalpa
Ferry approaching Ometepe Island

Puerto de Granada (Granada Pier) is on the banks of Lake Nicaragua, about 15 minutes walk from the city centre. Ferries from Granada to Ometepe Island and San Carlos run once a week in each direction. Ferries depart from Granada at 5pm on Mondays, stopping at Altagracia on Ometepe Island at 9pm before finally arriving at San Carlos at 6am the next morning. The return journey departs from San Carlos at 5pm on Tuesdays, stopping at Altagracia on Ometepe Island at 1am before reaching Granada at 6am on Wednesday.

Ferry fares for ferries servicing Granada Nicaragua are as follows:

FromToStandard FareChildren’s fares
GranadaSan CarlosC$200Children under 5 years free
GranadaAltagracia, Ometepe IslandC$100Children under 5 years free

The above ferry fares are as at 2023.

The ferries will allow cargo for an additional cost. For more information and to make a reservation call 2552-6618 or 7829-0672.

Granada Nicaragua destination guide: How to get around Granada Nicaragua

Walking in Granada Nicaragua

Man Walking through the streets of Granada Nicaragua, colourful buildings, volcano Mombacho in background
The Colourful Streets of Granada Nicaragua

Granada Nicaragua is a very walkable city. However it does get very hot and sunny in the middle of the day and there’s not too much shade on the streets so we’d recommend wearing a hat if you plan to walk around the city. Additionally, avoid walking around the lake at night for safety reasons. We also recommend exercising caution around the lake during the day. While we have walked around the lake during the day many times without incident we have heard of robberies occurring in that area.

Local buses in Granada Nicaragua

Local buses service Granada Nicaragua. However these are mainly used to go from Granada to other cities and towns in Nicaragua.

Trams in Granada Nicaragua

Granada Nicaragua does not have a tram system.

Local trains in Granada Nicaragua

Granada Nicaragua does not have a local train line.

Metro trains (subway or underground) in Granada Nicaragua

Granada Nicaragua does not have an underground train line.

Vehicle hire in Granada Nicaragua

A wide variety of vehicles can be rented in Granada Nicaragua. This includes:

  • Bicycles
  • Motorcycles
  • Cars
  • SUVs
  • Boats

In Nicaragua they drive on the right side of the road.

Horse and carriage rides in Granada Nicaragua

Horse and Carriage Ride in Granada Nicaragua
Horse and Carriage Ride in Granada Nicaragua

A charming way to get around Granada Nicaragua is by horse and carriage. This is a relaxing way to see the sights and familiarise yourself with the area. Expect to pay around US$5 for a 30 minute tour or US$10 for a 1 hour tour. Carriages hold a maximum of 4 passengers. In Granada horse and carriage rides depart from Parque Central de Granada.

Tuk-Tuks in Granada Nicaragua

Auto-rickshaws or tuk-tuks are common in Nicaragua. They are a cheap and quick way to get from one place to the next. Agree on a price before you start your journey. Expect to pay around C$20-C$30 for a couple for a 10 minute trip. Tuk tuks may pick up other passengers along the way, so don’t be surprised if you have to share a ride with other passengers.

San Juan de Oriente Nicaragua Tuk-Tuk
Tuk-Tuks are a popular mode of transport in Nicaragua

Taxis in Granada Nicaragua

One of the most convenient ways to get around Nicaragua is by taxi. Taxis in Nicaragua don’t generally have metres, so be sure to agree on a price before you begin your journey. In Granada the fare to get to anywhere within the city is C$10 per person during the day (7am-10pm) and C$15 per person after 10pm. Taxis may pick up other passengers along the way, so don’t be surprised if you have to share a ride with other passengers.

Ride-share in Nicaragua

Uber, Lyft and Grab do not operate in Nicaragua. In Managua there are some alternatives:

  • Aventón
  • Ray Nicaragua
  • inDriver

Granada Nicaragua destination guide: Is Granada Nicaragua worth visiting?

Granada is one of the unmissable destinations on any Nicaragua trip. Its central location makes it an easy stopover from Nicaragua’s international airport regardless of whether you’re visiting the popular Nicaragua beach destination of San Juan del Sur or the spectacular Ometepe Island. Furthermore the city itself is full of charm, infinite photo opportunities and great food. It is a very tourist friendly Nicaraguan city with plenty to do and see. Additionally, if you are considering living in Nicaragua, we highly recommend calling Granada home.

Granada Nicaragua destination guide: How long to spend in Granada Nicaragua

Mombacho Hike Crater Trail Final Lookout Nicaragua, 3 people enjoying the view
Final Lookout on the Crater Trail – Mombacho Volcano Nicaragua

Located less than an hour drive from Nicaragua airport, Granada is a great base for exploring the country. It is a very ex-pat friendly city and we called it home for one wonderful year. If you’re pressed for time, you only need one day in Granada to see most of the attractions in the city. However if you have more time we recommend a longer stay to experience all that the area has to offer. Granada is also perfect for day trips, with major Nicaraguan attractions such as Masaya Volcano, Laguna de Apoyo and Mombacho Volcano being just a short drive away.

Granada Nicaragua destination guide: What to do in Granada Nicaragua

Granada Nicaragua is a peaceful Nicaraguan city with a number of interesting activities. It has a range of great free activities as well as paid activities.

Granada Nicaragua destination guide: Free things to do in Granada Nicaragua

Market Vendor at Mercado Municipal de Granada Nicaragua
Mercado Municipal de Granada

There are enough free activities in Granada Nicaragua to keep you entertained for a day or two:

  • Parque Central de Granada
  • Catedral de Granada
  • Calle La Calzada
  • Mercado Municipal
  • Malecón de Granada
  • ChocoMuseo
  • Iglesia La Merced
  • Capilla María Auxiliadora Parque Xalteva
  • Palacio Episcopal
  • Ruinas Hospital Sn Juan deDios
  • Monument of Cordoba
  • Guadalupe Church
  • Cemetario de Granada
  • Old Train Station Museum
  • Fortaleza de la Pólvora

Granada Nicaragua destination guide: Paid activities in Granada Nicaragua

Monkey and Boat Driver on boat in Las Isletas
Animal Encounter on Las Isletas Boat Tour

A number of attractions in Granada Nicaragua charge a fee:

  • Islets of Granada (Las Isletas) – boat rides around the islets are available for a fee.
  • Mombacho Volcano – entry fee $5 USD for foreign adults plus trail fee $2 USD, $4 USD or $6 USD depending on the trail chosen (as at 2023).
  • Hotel Darío – this is a beautiful historic building in the heart of Granada. While there is no fee to enter the hotel, you should have a drink or a meal at the restaurant if you want to look around the premises.
  • Magician Lounge – 1,500 cordobas for a welcome cocktail, 3 course meal and the show.
  • San Francisco Convent Museum – entry fee $5 USD for foreign adults (as at 2023).
  • Nicaragua Butterfly Reserve – entry fee $5 USD for foreign adults (as at 2023).
  • Zapatera Island – boat rides around the island are available for a fee.

Events in Granada Nicaragua

La Purisima Festival in Granada Nicaragua
La Purisima Festival

Granada Nicaragua hosts a number of events throughout the year, including:

  • Año Nuevo – New Year’s Day 1 January. Typically celebrated with bombas (fireworks) in the street as well as setting alight effigies.
  • International Poetry Festival – the largest poetry festival in Central America. This is celebrated in February each year.
  • Semana Santa – Holy Week (Easter). This is celebrated in March or April each year. Local families often flock to the beaches for holidays during this period.
  • Hípica de Granada – a horse riding festival which includes horse parades as well as plenty of food, music and dancing. This is typically held in August each year.
  • Patron Saint festivities – the patron saint of Granada is the Virgin of the Assumption. The patron saint festivities are celebrated between August 6 and 15 each year.
  • Tope de los Torros (Running of the bulls) – bulls run through the main streets of Granada. This happens on the Sunday before 15 August each year.
  • Nicaragua Independence Day – 15 September.
  • Día de los muertos – 2 November.
  • La Purísima – a festival celebrating the Virgin Mary. This festival is held from November 29 to December 8 each year.
  • La Gritería – this is the final day of the La Purísima festival. It culminates in a parade, fireworks and performances.
Young boy riding a horse at the Hipica Horse Riding Festival on Calle Real Xalteva Granada Nicaragua
Fun for young and old!

Weather in Granada Nicaragua

The climate for Granada Nicaragua is classified as tropical, with relatively uniform hot temperatures and also high humidity throughout the year. The hottest month is April with an average temperature range of 24°C to 34°C (77°F to 93°F) and coldest month January with an average temperature between 22°C to 31°C (79°F to 88°F). There are two main seasons in Nicaragua; a wet season that typically commences in May and continues through to the end of October; and the dry season, which lasts from November through to April.

Woman walking next to Lake Nicaragua at Malecon de Granada Nicaragua
Malecon de Granada Nicaragua

Best time to visit Granada Nicaragua

We lived in Granada for a year, so we have seen the city at every point throughout the year. As such we have first hand experience of when is the best time to visit Granada Nicaragua. Most people visit during the dry season, which is November to April. However don’t be deterred from visiting during the wet season, as the rain is typically for only an hour or two in the last afternoon and shouldn’t greatly impact your travel plans. Additionally, during the wet season Granada is typically less crowded and prices may be lower.

If you can time your Granada Nicaragua trip to coincide with one of the festivals or events, we highly recommend doing so. We have experienced a number of festivals in Granada first hand and they are really fun to be part of. We particularly enjoyed La Purísima, which is celebrated from late November to early December. Other events we recommend include Hípica de Granada and Tope de los Torros (Running of the bulls) which are both celebrated in August.

Internet and mobile phones in Nicaragua

The main internet and phone companies in Nicaragua are Tigo and Claro. Tigo has the widest coverage but is slightly more expensive. Both currently operate on 4G. Movistar is another common provider.

The phone messaging app Whatsapp is used extensively in Nicaragua, along with the other popular social media platforms.

High speed optic fibre internet is available in some areas of Nicaragua. The best speeds we’ve experienced have been around 40 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload. More common speeds that we have found in city hotels have been 4-5 Mbps download and 1-2 Mbps upload (as at 2021). Free wifi comes standard with most accommodation and you can find free wifi in many restaurants and cafes catered to tourists.

Cell phone SIM cards can be bought in many places throughout Nicaragua, including local corner stores known as pulperias.

For more on internet in Nicaragua, see this post.

How much to budget for Granada Nicaragua?

Is Granada Nicaragua expensive?

Nicaragua is one of the most affordable destinations in Central America and the city of Granada is also one of the best value tourist destinations in the country. We lived in Granada for a year and were shocked at how inexpensive a place it is to live in or to visit. There’s a reason why it’s a popular destination on the Central America backpacking trail. However if you want to stay in luxury accommodation in Nicaragua, Granada also has plenty of options that are much cheaper than what you’d pay for equivalent accommodation in other countries. Getting around the city is also very budget friendly. Granada is easily walkable, and even if you take a taxi it will only cost you C$10-C$15 cordobas per person depending on the time of day. Food in Granada Nicaragua is very cheap and street food in Granada costs as little as $1 USD. Furthermore, tours and activities in Granada are very affordable.

Granada Nicaragua destination guide: Daily spend for a couple travelling in Granada Nicaragua

Man buying tomatoes at Mercado Municipal Granada Nicaragua
2 pounds of tomatoes for 20 cordobas

Granada Nicaragua is a great value budget destination, but it also caters to those after a more luxurious experience.

As a rough guide, we recommend the following budgets for a couple:

  • Low-budget daily spend – US$40 per day for a couple will get you hostel accommodation, meals at local eateries and markets, local transport and free or cheap activities such as visiting the central park, churches and local markets.
  • Mid-range daily spend – US$100 per day for a couple will get you mid-range accommodation, local transport, taxis within the city and a few tours.
  • Luxury spend – $500 per day for a couple will get you a premium experience in Nicaragua, staying in luxury accommodation, travelling by private transport, doing a range of tours and eating at high end restaurants.

Granada Nicaragua destination guide: Accommodation in Granada Nicaragua

Casa AguaLuna Luxury Home in Granada Nicaragua
Our Luxury Home in Granada Nicaragua

There is a good range of accommodation to suit most budgets in Granada Nicaragua. However what makes staying in Granada particularly special is its abundance of beautiful colonial properties. Airbnb also operates in Nicaragua, and there are a number of Airbnb properties in Granada Nicaragua. Additionally, property management companies such as Granada Property Services have fully-furnished properties available for short-term or long-term rent.

Where to stay in Granada Nicaragua

We recommend the following accommodation in Granada Nicaragua:

  • Best hostel in Granada Nicaragua – Hostal De Boca en Boca is one of the best hostels in Granada Nicaragua. It’s clean and comfortable with delicious free breakfasts. There is a spacious common area and it also has a well equipped kitchen.
  • Best value hotel in Granada Nicaragua – We highly recommend staying at Hotel La Gran Sultana for budget friendly accommodation in Granada Nicaragua. We stayed here ourselves and thought it was a great value option. It’s also conveniently located, has a pool, delicious breakfasts and a spectacular rooftop area.
  • Best hotel in Granada Nicaragua – Hotel Jardín de Granada is one of the best hotels in Granada Nicaragua. It has an amazing garden and pool area. It is within easy reach of the major attractions of the city whilst also being in an area that is peaceful and quiet.
  • Best luxury accommodation in Granada Nicaragua – If you are after an impeccably presented villa and a luxurious experience in Granada Nicaragua, you can’t go past Casa Bubu Guesthouse. The team at Bubu offer exceptional service in a little piece of paradise.

How much is accommodation in Granada Nicaragua?

Woman on Balcony of Hotel La Gran Sultana Granada Nicaragua at Sunset
Hotel La Gran Sultana Granada Nicaragua

For short-term accommodation, a general price per night is as follows:

  • Budget accommodation – US$8-33 for a bed in a dorm.
  • Mid-range accommodation – US$29-150 for a private room.
  • Luxury accommodation – US$150-200 a night for a luxury hotel.
  • Rental property – US$90-370 a night for a fully furnished 3-4 bedroom home.

Granada Nicaragua destination guide: Food in Granada Nicaragua

How much does food cost in Granada Nicaragua?

Refresco drink vendor in Mercado Municipal Granada Nicaragua
Make sure you try some refrescos naturales while in Nicaragua!

Our price guide for your food budget in Granada Nicaragua is as follows:

  • Restaurant meal – US$10-15 for a main dish (350-500 cordobas)
  • Local eatery – US$3-5 for a main dish (100-200 cordobas)
  • Street food – US$1 (30-40 cordobas)
  • Beer (try the local Nicaragua beer Toña) – US$1 (30-40 cordobas)
  • Local fruit drink (refresco) – US$0.30-0.50 (10-15 cordobas)

Must eat food in Granada Nicaragua

Woman selling traditional Nicaraguan dish Vigoron at Granny's Vigoron at Mercado Municipal Granada Nicaragua
Vigoron is a Nicaraguan specialty!

  • Local street food from local fritangas. Our favourite fritanga in Granada is Fritanga La Chinita.
  • Vigorón
  • Nacatamales
  • Grama (a non-alcoholic drink)
  • Quesillos
  • Indio Viejo (Nicaraguan Beef Stew)

Cheap Eats in Granada Nicaragua

Man buying bread from street vendor in Granada Nicaragua
Bread Delivery in Grandad Nicaragua

  • You can’t go past street food for a cheap and delicious treat. Our favourite street food includes enchiladas, nacatamales, hamburgesas and raspados. You can find street food all around Granada, particularly at Parque Central de Granada as well as around the local markets as well as at transport hubs. A lot of street vendors sell food from in front of their homes or else go door to door down the street, so you’re never far from great food!
  • Bakeries are a great place to get cheap and delicious food.

Granada Nicaragua culture

Weekends in Granada Nicaragua

Weekends in Granada are on Saturdays and Sundays. Sundays are typically quieter in the city and public transport may be less frequent on Sundays as well.

Granada Nicaragua public holidays

Fairy Floss Vendor Dancing at Hipica Festival Granada Nicaragua
Getting the party started!

Public holidays for Nicaragua are as follows:

  • New Year’s Day – 1 January
  • Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) – the Thursday before Easter Sunday, typically in March or April
  • Good Friday – the Friday before Easter Sunday, typically in March or April
  • Easter Sunday – typically in March or April
  • Labor Day – 1 May (holiday on the Monday if it falls on a weekend)
  • Mother’s Day – 30 May
  • Sandinista Revolution Anniversary – 19 July
  • Battle of San Jacinto – 14 September
  • Independence Day of Nicaragua – 15 September
  • Indigenous Resistance Day – 12 October
  • All Souls Day (Day of the Dead) – 2 November
  • Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Immaculate Conception Day) – 8 December
  • Christmas Eve – 24 December
  • Christmas Day (Navidad) – 25 December (holiday on the Monday if it falls on a weekend)
  • New Year’s Eve – 31 December

National symbols of Nicaragua

Cathedral of Granada and Blue and White Flag
Cathedral of Granada

  • Nicaragua flag – two blue bands with a white band containing the Nicaragua coat of arms in the middle. The blue bands represent the Pacific Ocean as well as the Caribbean Sea and the white band symbolises peace.
  • Nicaragua coat of arms – this consists of a triangle, the Cap of Liberty, a rainbow, the rays of sun as well as 5 volcanoes. The Cap of Liberty represents national freedom, the 5 volcanoes represent the original 5 member states of the United Provinces of Central America and the rainbow and sun represent the bright future of Nicaragua.
  • National flower – sacuanjoche (the flower of the frangipani tree).
  • National bird – guardabarranco.
  • National heroes – poet Rubén Dario, revolutionary leader Augusto C. Sandino.

Nicaragua pastimes

  • National dish – gallo pinto. This is a dish of fried rice mixed with red beans and also spices. It can be eaten at any time of day. It is typically served at breakfast along with eggs, tortillas, fried plantains as well as a type of cheese called queso fresco.
  • Popular drinks – grama, Toña beer, Flor de Caña Rum.
  • National sport – baseball.
  • Religion – 56% Catholic, 28% Protestant, 1% Jehovah’s Witness (as at 2010).

Famous people from Granada Nicaragua

  • Famous people born in Granada Nicaragua – catholic priest Ernesto Cardenal Martínez, painter Armando Morales, poet José Coronel Urtecho.
  • Sports stars from Granada Nicaragua – Major league baseball player Dennis Martínez, surfer Carlos Muñoz.

Is Granada Nicaragua Safe?

Nicaragua travel guide: Safety in Granada Nicaragua

Woman with basket on head selling fruit and vegetables door to door in Granada Nicaragua
Food vendors come right to your door in Nicaragua!

We found Granada Nicaragua to be a very safe place to visit. Petty crime and crimes of opportunity can be an issue, so we recommend taking care to keep your valuables secure and out of sight. As with any country, there are some areas that are safer than others. For Granada, the area around the lake is a hot spot for theft as well as robberies, particularly at night. However we generally found Granada very safe. For more information on safety in Nicaragua, watch this video.

Nicaragua did experience a period of civil unrest in 2018. This has now passed, and as a tourist you should not be affected.

General safety considerations in Nicaragua

Other general safety considerations for travel in Nicaragua:

  • Drinking water – Tap water in Granada Nicaragua is safe to drink. We drank tap water without issue. However many tourists prefer to drink bottled water. Additionally, most accommodation provides purified water for guests to use.
  • Mosquitoes – The mosquitoes in Granada don’t generally carry tropical diseases. Additionally, Nicaragua has mosquito control programs and many buildings are sprayed regularly for mosquito control.
  • Scorpions – Granada has scorpions. We recommend checking your shoes before putting them on and keeping bags zipped closed when not attended to ensure you don’t get any nasty surprises.
  • Road safety – In Nicaragua we often travelled standing up in the back of vans or in vehicles without helmets or seat belts. This does come with an element of risk
  • Water safety – take care when swimming as currents and waves may be stronger than you expect. Also, the Nicaragua bull shark is in Lake Nicaragua.
  • Earthquakes – Nicaragua experiences regional and local earthquake activity. In an earthquake, stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls and anything that could fall. If inside, get under a table, desk or solid furniture and hang onto it. Cover your head and torso to protect from falling objects. If outside, stay outside and go to an open area away from buildings.
  • Volcanic eruptions – the closest volcanoes to Granada are the active volcanoes Mombacho Volcano and Masaya Volcano.
  • Hurricanes – Granada is not typically significantly affected by hurricanes. You may get some heavy rain during hurricane season and blackouts may occur.
  • Sun safety – The UV Index is very high in Nicaragua. Therefore sun protection such as sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses is very important.
  • Dogs – stray dogs are common. For more on dog safety, watch this video.

As with any destination, take all of your normal safety precautions.

Nicaragua Blogs

You can find our Nicaragua blogs below.

Parque Central de Esteli Nicaragua

Esteli Nicaragua Destination Guide (2024): What You Need to Know

Estelí is a city that will delight your senses with its delicious cuisine, stunning street art and exquisite cigars. Nestled ...
Volcan Concepcion-Hotel Finca Venecia Ometepe Island Nicaragua

Ometepe Island Nicaragua Destination Guide (2024): What You Need to Know

If you want a unique island experience, come to Ometepe Island Nicaragua. The island rises out of the middle of ...
Nicaraguan Art-Masaya Nicaragua

Masaya Nicaragua Destination Guide (2024): What You Need to Know

Most people visit Masaya to stare into the heart of an active volcano, but Masaya has so much more to ...
San Juan del Sur from Cristo de La Misericordia Nicaragua

San Juan del Sur Nicaragua Destination Guide (2024): What You Need to Know

San Juan del Sur is one of the most popular beach destinations in Nicaragua. Once a small fishing village, is ...
Managua Seawall (Plaza Nicaragua) Managua Nicaragua

Managua Nicaragua Destination Guide (2024): What You Need to Know

Nicaragua’s capital is an often overlooked destination, but it has a lot to offer. It is a sprawling city which ...
Lion Fountain Leon Nicaragua

Leon Nicaragua Destination Guide (2024): What You Need to Know

León is a gorgeous colonial city which is a must visit on any Nicaragua trip. It is a city steeped ...
Rotunda and Water Fountain at Parque Central Granada Nicaragua

Granada Nicaragua Destination Guide (2024): What You Need to Know

The beautiful colonial city Granada Nicaragua is a must visit on any Nicaragua trip. Granada was our home for a ...
Parade of Horses and Carts along Calle Real Xalteva at the Granada Hipica Festival

Transport in Nicaragua – Complete Guide to Nicaragua Transportation (2024)

Nicaragua has got to be one of the most interesting places to travel around. There are just so many transport ...
Casa AguaLuna Luxury Home in Granada Nicaragua

Where should I live in Nicaragua?

Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America and has one of the lowest cost of living in the world ...
Malecon area next to Lake Managua at Puerto Salvador Allende Managua Nicaragua; straw covered cabanas with colourful flags; water views and hills in background

Top 5 Things to do in Managua Nicaragua (2024)

The capital of Nicaragua is an often overlooked destination. It does however have plenty of great experiences to offer. With ...
Ometepe Island Ferry Approaching Moyogalpa

Granada Ferry: How to get to Ometepe Island

Ferries from Granada across Lake Nicaragua have restarted on the 4th of October 2021. This is great news for tourism ...
Woman at San Pancho Nicaragua to Costa Rica Border Crossing, woman in front of Costa Rican flag

Nicaragua Costa Rica Border Crossing: Complete Travel Guide

Land border crossings can be stressful experiences if you don't know what to expect, but fortunately you've come to the ...
Woman and Man outside colonial style home in Granada Nicaragua after home invasion

Home Invasion in Granada Nicaragua

In our last month of living in Nicaragua, the last thing we expected to experience was a home invasion in ...
Woman in bikini standing on swing over turquoise water at Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Nicaragua

Ojo de Agua: Paradise in Nicaragua!

Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island is a jungle oasis and it is also one of the must visit destinations in ...
Digital Nomad in Popoyo Nicaragua

How Good is the Internet in Nicaragua?

These days, access to internet is almost as important as food and water and having a roof over your head ...

Affiliate Links

This website contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission on any purchases at no additional cost to you. Your support helps us continue our travels and make more travel blogs and travel videos, thank you!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *