Things to Do in Granada: Gringo Street and More

Iglesia Merced

Granada is a beautiful colonial city, and the most popular tourist city in Nicaragua. It’s easy to tour because most of the sights are within a few blocks of the central park: hotels, restaurants, shops and tourist attractions all together. Here are my recommendations of things to do in Granada, including “Gringo Street”.

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 for a slight glimpse into the courtyards beyond. It’s a popular tourist spot, but the climb is quick even if it’s busy when you go.

Iglesia Merced Things to do in Granada Nicaragua
Iglesia Merced
Iglesia Merced View
Iglesia Merced View

Things to Do in Granada: Gringo Street

This pedestrian street just off the main square is lined with restaurants with outdoor tables and inner courtyards. Gringo Street, aka The Calzada, 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 and choices abound.

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.

El Tercer Ojo

El Tercer Ojo (in English, The Third Eye) – delicious tapas and drinks. Seriously good, and in a lovely open air courtyard with a lively crowd. Recommend!

Tercer Ojo
Tercer Ojo

Restaurant el marlin

This great seafood restaurant lies at the other end of the strip from El Tercer Ojo, maybe 4 or 5 blocks. It’s got streetside tables, so maybe you’ll have entertainment. Lobster, shrimp, ceviche, all of it good and very affordable. The staff who served us was all very nice and attentive.

El Marlin Granada
Food at El Marlin


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! The portions are generous to say the least.

Lunch at Nectar
Lunch at Nectar

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. We found it fun to watch and listen to all the varied performers.

Musician Calzada
One of the many street musicians on the Calzada

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. This is an annual event in Granada, so we just got lucky to be here at the time.

Folk Dancing Granada
Folk Dancing
Dancing at the festival in Granada

If you visit Granada, Nicaragua, you should also go to the lake and enjoy the isletas and the malecon. Granada is a lovely city with a lot to offer. These are my top recommendations for things to do in Granada, Nicaragua. Have you been to Granada? Share your favorites in Granada in the comments.

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Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

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