Granada is a beautiful colonial city. Most of the tourist action is within a few blocks of the central park: hotels, restaurants, shops and tourist attractions
Must Do: Climb to the top of Iglesia Merced
For the best views in the city, pay $1 to climb the circular staircase up a few flights (it’s not that high) to the top of Iglesia Merced. The exterior of the church is very pretty, but it’s the chance to peer behind the gated facades of all the buildings into (slightly) the courtyards beyond. It’s a popular tourist spot, but the climb is quick.
Gringo Street, aka The Calzada
This pedestrian street lined with restaurants with outdoor tables and inner courtyards is the place for tourists to go out for lunch, dinner and happy hour. We enjoyed a few meals here. Prices and quality were very good!
At the beginning of the strip just outside the park is a souvenir market with t-shirts and other cheap trinkets for tourists. After that, the tour office where we booked our Mombacho volcano tour, and loads of restaurants and bars.
We checked out: El Tercer Ojo (The Third Eye) – delicious tapas and drinks. Seriously good, and in a lovely open air courtyard. Recommend!
Restaurant el Marlin – at the other end of the strip lies a great seafood restaurant with streetside tables and nice staff. Lobster, shrimp, ceviche, all of it good and very affordable.
Nectar – I had lunch here alone on my first day, in a charming courtyard tucked off the street. They had a lot of set lunches for <$10 and the service and wifi were both good. Nice relaxed vibe and tasty fish!
A warning if you do go to “Gringo Street” – there are always street musicians walking around and stopping at tables to play. If you do not like that kind of thing, eat inside in one of the restaurant’s inner courtyards because you won’t be able to avoid them on the street.
Festival of Poets – I was never able to find a schedule for the events of this festival, but we were lucky enough to see some folk dancing on Sunday night in the big park as part of the festival. The dancers were very talented and professional and had beautiful costumes.
Don’t forget – you can also go down to the lake and enjoy the isletas and the malecon. Granada is a lovely city!
Here is an update of where I have been and where I am now: