The long-awaited month of December arrives to end the year with crucial dates and numerous events for you to add to your list of plans in Granada. At this time, the city receives many people who go to know the monuments of its historic architecture and exquisite tapas!
And not only that, after skiing in Sierra Nevada, you can enjoy the Muslim treasures and renew yourself in the best hammam in Granada to finish the day with leisure activities and the best gastronomy. You will also be able to do many other things. Here's what you can't miss.
1. Discover the Alhambra at Christmas
Although booking a visit to the Alhambra can be done throughout the year, the truth is that one of its charms is how it changes its vision with the different seasons. From the colors of its gardens when Granada goes through the autumn or spring season, to the special activities that you can find when you visit it at the end of December.
Precisely, in these last dates, the Alhambra and the Generalife present activities specifically aimed at families through its Family Christmas program. More or less from the beginning of the school vacations, around December 22 or 23, you can book itineraries with a playful, educational and creative perspective. If you want to visit the Alhambra with children, these thematic routes will show them all its attractions in a unique way and focused on their tastes and needs.
The visits usually take place both in the morning, around 10 am, and in the afternoon, around 3 pm. Both times are compatible to find a place to eat near the Alhambra, both before and after the visit. Regarding the price, the guided tour costs from 45 € for adults and from 37 € for children up to 11 years.
2. Relax with an Arab bath in the best Hammam in Granada
Temperatures drop in December and there is no better time to book a session at the Hammam Al Ándalus than at Christmas. You can immerse yourself in a magnificent Arab bath next to the Alhambra palace. In my opinion, there is no doubt that this is the best hammam in Granada.
You can spend an hour and a half in the comforting thermal baths and steam rooms while sipping mint tea surrounded by beautiful decorations. You can also opt to enjoy a massage with selected oils or choose to indulge in a ritual that includes exfoliating treatments.
3. Skiing in the snow on the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada.
Those who like skiing already know that the essential plan is to book an excursion to Sierra Nevada. Without a doubt, an essential stop for fans of this sport.
With 124 slopes for all levels spread over a very large area, it is a very fun activity that can take an afternoon, a whole day or even more depending on your intentions. It is also one of the best things to do if you go to Granada with children.
To make it easier, here is how to get from Granada to Sierra Nevada. In addition, this activity gives you an approach to the Christmas spirit that begins to appear in the snow-covered mountains, with live music, some slides, guided tours, sleigh rides or ice skating.
4. Listen to the Christmas carols in the squares of Granada.
If you walk through the streets of Granada during the month of December, specifically from the 22nd or 23rd, I recommend stopping in the squares where stages have been set up, you will most likely be able to see small free carol concerts. You will most likely be able to see small free carol concerts.
In addition to the nativity scenes, the carols take the main role capturing the attention of children and parents. At the end of December, the city of Granada organizes a Christmas song contest in several squares of the city.
If you are not too fond of classical carols, Granada also offers another type of music of great artistic, anthropological and, of course, touristic interest. If you have time, go to the Sacromonte neighborhood and book a flamenco show in a cave restaurant. It is an ideal experience at this time of the year.
5. Escape to the Alpujarra
As you can see, the list of things to see and do in Granada is very long. If you like rural tourism, near Granada is the perfect area for you: the Alpujarra. In December, with the winter weather, all the villages that compose it acquire a special charm, without forgetting the advantage of the smaller presence of tourists.
My advice is to study well the villages that make up the area and how to get there, as some may be more difficult to reach due to the presence of snow.
6. Experience the festive atmosphere of the streets of Granada
Granada is a truly beautiful city, especially when the colorful lights and the smell of roasted chestnuts delight every corner of the streets. Tasting the latter, moreover, is one of the things you can't miss if you travel to Granada in winter.
If your arrival in Granada is in the December long weekend (around the 6th and 8th), you will most likely see the city with Christmas decorations. With the cold weather getting cold, I advise you to book a guided tour of Granada. Also, you can make a stop on your route to eat some churros with delicious hot chocolate.
Christmas carol songs and concerts and nativity scenes, as well as bells in the square, parties and cotillions, will bring the warm atmosphere that will gladly welcome many tourists and locals. Also, the Christmas decorations include a Ferris wheel to sit and contemplate the view of Granada from above.
7. Take home a souvenir of the Christmas markets
If there is something typical to do in Granada at Christmas time, it is to visit its Christmas markets. I recommend a visit to the Puerta Real and Bib-Rambla markets. The latter contains many nativity scenes that make it an emblematic place at this time of the year. Because of its location, it is ideal to visit after your visit to the Cathedral.
In Puerta Real, you will see another very popular market that contains many stalls set up around the Fuente de las Batallas (Fountain of Battles). Here you will find many original gifts, as local crafts are promoted, as well as ceramics, handmade toys and leather, among others.
Don't miss the handmade nougat at all the markets and go to the Christmas convents, they usually have many typical sweets!
8. Experience the theater and its Christmas splendor
During the month of December, the Isabel la Católica Theater hosts a series of performances to live the Christmas spirit to the fullest.
The theater will revive many recognized plays, as well as concerts with the carols that every December delight the spectators with characteristics of the Granada experience
This emblematic theater, located in the center of Granada, is the only one that has remained open despite the changes that the city has undergone until the present. The different performances will take place throughout the month of December so you can enjoy and choose at your leisure if your travel schedule is tight.
- Where: Isabel la Católica Theater, Acera del Casino Street.
- Price: Depends on the performance.
- When: Throughout the month of December, usually in the afternoon.
9. Let yourself be dazzled by the experience of Granada's illumination
Every year, the illumination dresses the streets with colors that set the mood for the Christmas celebration: trees, pine trees and bells can be seen when walking on the main streets.
The squares do not go unnoticed and are a center where markets with crafts and more lights are displayed, some of them can reach two meters, as in Pedro Antonio de Alarcón street, where a simulation of a star shower is usually performed.
In short, Christmas lights will not be missing in Granada, they will even be so abundant that they will be part of the entire landscape, flying over the city in the form of arches and angels.
Go up to the viewpoint of San Nicolas, in the Albaicin neighborhood, if you want to have the best views of Granada illuminated for Christmas.
10. Experience New Year's Eve in Granada
You may have decided to say goodbye to the year in Granada (actually, I recommend you do so if you can). Although the custom is to have dinner with the family, you will definitely find alternatives to spend a great night. Would you like to end the year with an incredible dinner?
- You can enjoy an artistic dinner at La Platea restaurant on José Luis Pérez Pujadas street. It is a well known place in Granada for its promotion of local artists, whose works accompany a very elaborate menu. In addition to the key and distinctive concept of this gastronomic experience, the menu prepared for New Year's Eve includes a New Year's Eve plan for around 90 €. Highly recommended!
- A very recurrent recommendation in Granada is El Claustro, a place that promises another unique experience by sitting down to eat inside a refectory with an amazing 16th century architecture. A very avant-garde menu in a historic and unique setting, with a very renowned chef, will ensure that your start of the year will be on the right foot. Their New Year's Eve menu costs no more than 140 €, with prices that justify the attention and excellent service for an excellent New Year's Eve in Granada.
After dinner it's time for the party. The City Hall organizes in the Plaza del Carmen a spectacular celebration to welcome the New Year with live music and fireworks. In addition, the cotillion bags are usually handed out between 10:30 pm and 11:00 pm. After midnight, the fun of partying in countless discos and bars lasts all night long.
The weather in Granada
In December, the weather in Granada can reach a maximum temperature of 13 degrees and a minimum temperature of 4.
In the cooler evenings, it may be necessary to wear warm clothes, especially on cloudy days. If you go up to Sierra Nevada, it is best to opt for thermal clothing.