Granada captured our hearts quiet easily on arrival with its colourful facades and ease of finding somewhere to eat. Yes, this does become very high on requirements when dealing with hanger and sun! It really is a beautiful, picturesque, colonial city which keeps you enthralled. There are a good few tourists around and with that brings its own problems as we saw a much higher amount of beggars and kids asking for money in comparison to other cites. I know it’s hard but don’t give the kids any food or money as it promotes the cycle of begging. We spent 4 nights in Lucy’s hostel, great location and it included breakfast.
The picturesque and colourful streets of Granada
What did we do in Granada?
Visit a church or two
A trip to Granada is not complete without visiting and admiring some of the churches that it hosts. The Cathedral of Granada is a beautiful yellow building and the most prominent landmark in Granada and quiet rightly so. It stands proudly in parque central and offers the perfect opportunity to take some pictures from its bell tower ($1 to enter). We loved taking pictures of the landscape through the circular cut outs in the tower, well maybe I did and not Alan! Inside the Cathedral the ceiling depicts different scenes with the help of some animals and god-like figures. It will be even more amazing and some feat when the ceiling has been completed, Michelangelo-esque!
The stunning Cathedral of Granada
The paintings on the ceiling are amazing!
For more views of the city we visited another church, Iglesia la Merced and climbed the bell tower ($1), it looks somewhat like a ruin from the outside but remains a functioning church. Iglesia de Xalteva, Igelesia Guadalupe and the Antiguo Convento San Francisco were the other churches we wandered around looking for.
Iglesias La Merced from the outside
The views from the bell tower are worth the entrance fee
Walk the streets with camera in hand
There are so many idyllic shop and home fronts, and colonial architecture in Granada that there is nothing better to do than walk around this pretty colonial city and take a few pictures. There are so many colours you cant help but feel happy when strolling around. We ended one of our days with a walk out to Lake Nicaragua. There is a path there with some benches with shade to chill out at too.
The colourful facades
Alan’s inner Instagram girl came out
Restaurants along Calle La Calzada
Sometimes its nice to have one main street where you have plenty of options for eating and Calle La Calzada is definitely the street in Granada for this but don’t expect many locals. We enjoyed a few happy hour specials in O’Sheas bar, you guessed it its Irish, and Alan even streamed a Liverpool match there (of course Liverpool lost!).
Even the streets along Calle La Calzada are pretty!
Have you ever wanted to peer into the depth of a volcano?! If yes, then the Masaya volcano is only a short drive away from Granada. We paid $17 for an evening tour which included a guide, transport and entrance to the museum and volcano. It was a cool experience seeing the glow from the volcano and some lava but you only get about 15 minutes up on-top and then you must leave before the next 50 or so cars enter. But I suppose at least there is a system so you have a better opportunity to enjoy it and not be crowded out of it.
The faint peer of lava in Volcan Masaya
You can see the lava quite clearly here!!
Try local, what is the worst that could happen?!
We decided that we wanted to eat in a more local place instead of Calle la Caldaza so tried out Gorditios, a small restaurant located in the park. Alan being the more adventurous one picked something he had no idea what it was and I, being the cautious one, went with eggs and rice with tamarind juice! Not sure if it was a bad day at the office but it wasn’t great but we thought, o well, win some, lose some. Afterwards we watching a random event MC’d by a clown where kids play fought for prizes and a few dance troops showed off their skill. My stomach decided to take a turn and lets say that walk/jog/run back to the hostel was not fun. Another memory to add to the bank!
Granada is so photogenic!
Other things to do in Granada
There is a lot more to do in Granada depending on your interests, heres a few: Choco museum, Volcan Mombacho, Isletas de Granda, Laguna de Apoyo. There are horse drawn carriage options available that can bring you around the city, but Granada is small enough to walk on your own two feet.
The infamous circle picture from Granada Cathedral
Getting from León to Granada via Managua
We got a taxi from León to the bus terminal for about 30 cordobas, just ask for Managua bus terminal. Next up was the colectivo to Managua . Its a confusing terminal with no signs so ask around for colectivo to Managua (UCA) and have a price in mind. People will come over and try take your bags so be ready. Lines mean nothing and there is always a big rush when the collectivo pulls in, which adds to the fun of the experience! It cost us about 160 cordobas. We were scammed and had to pay for one bag. Lesson learnt – don’t let them put the bag on a seat as you will have to pay for it.
The collectivo dropped us at corner before terminal (other passengers were not impressed!) in Managua but it was only a short 3 min walk to bus terminal for Granada. Ask the different buses about prices and bag payment. We waited until we were happy with seats and not paying for bags! We paid about 60 cordobas altogether and it dropped us off at parque central in Granada.
A reminder of Granada’s colonial past
Next up was Ometepe, check out our Ometepe blog for our adventures there.
Let us know what your favourite things to see were in Granada and comment below.