10 Things to Do in Granada in Summer

If summer is coming and you are looking for a place to spend your vacation, let me tell you that one of the best destinations in Spain is undoubtedly Granada. Culture, art and history await you in this heritage city that during the warmer months offers a great number of activities.

Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Granada in Summer

Alhambra, Granada | ©Zygmunt Borowski

Granada has a lot to see and do in summer and so that you don't miss out on any interesting plans, in this article I am going to propose 10 of the best things to do in Granada in summer. Music festivals, traditional nights, live flamenco and a trip to the beach are some of the things that await you.

Granada is one of the most visited cities not only in Andalusia, but in all of Spain. The great historical legacy that has been dragging since the time of Al Andalus is reflected in many of its tourist attractions. In addition, folklore and flamenco shine in every corner, and especially in the warmer months, when people take to the streets with the good weather.

1. Experience the culture at the Flamencolorquiano

Generalife Gardens| ©Raúl Marín
Generalife Gardens| ©Raúl Marín

The city of Granada, as well as all of Andalusia, exudes tradition and pride in every event of the year. However, the Nasrid city has a figure that has catapulted it to the highest spheres; the great poet Federico García Lorca, who was a great defender of popular culture and tradition.

That is why during the summer an event called Flamencolorquiano takes place in the Generalife Gardens by the Andalusian Flamenco Ballet with the aim of paying homage to the poet and dancing some of his verses in the purest flamenco style. Undoubtedly a display of art and passion that you can not miss.

Attend a flamenco show

Details of interest

  • Price: Tickets are around 30€.
  • Date: the different functions take place from mid-July and early September.
  • Place: in the Generalife Gardens.
  • Recommended: if you are interested in seeing a live flamenco show and you like Lorca's work.

2. Attend to the Guitar Festival and feel the music

Participant of the Guitar Festival| ©Rafael Marchena
Participant of the Guitar Festival| ©Rafael Marchena

The Spanish guitar is one of the great symbols of Andalusian culture, since it is one of the bases of its music and of flamenco. The chords that for years have been reproduced in the popular songbook have marked the tradition of the place.

If you are interested in this world and you have come to Granada willing to soak up all its essence, you are in luck, because in summer takes place the Guitar Festival, organized by none other than the European Foundation.

You just have to pay attention to the poster to know the schedule of the performances and, if you come between July and August, you will surely arrive in time to enjoy some of the best Spanish guitars in the world performing the great songs of Paco de Lucia and other geniuses.

Details of interest

  • Price: some tickets are free and others are around 10€.
  • Date: between mid-July and early August.
  • Venue: the festival is distributed in different emblematic places such as the García Lorca Foundation, the Manuel de Falla Auditorium or the Isabel la Catolica Theater.
  • Recommended: if you like live music and want to know a little more of the Andalusian tradition.

3. Take advantage of the Heritage Day activities

Sacromonte neighborhood| ©Jorge Franganillo
Sacromonte neighborhood| ©Jorge Franganillo

Every year, those looking for things to do in Granada in September will find that a day proposed by the Organization of World Heritage Cities is celebrated to promote knowledge and activities in heritage sites in the historic center.

It is known as Heritage Day and, besides being a very interesting initiative for the recognition of Granada, it is also profitable if you come for tourism, since that day you will find many free activities to do.

One of the areas that organize it with more impetus is the Albaicín. It is therefore a great opportunity to visit the Albaicín and Sacromonte for free with specialized guides. In addition, photography workshops are organized in the streets and there are open days in places like Casa Zafra or Carmen de Aljibe del Rey.

Details of interest

  • Price: it is a free activity.
  • Date: usually one day in early September.
  • Place: in heritage areas of Granada such as the Albaicín and Sacromonte.
  • Recommended: if you want to get to know iconic places of the city for free.

Book a guided tour of the Albaicín and Sacromonte

4. Refresh yourself in the summer pools

Enjoying the Pool| ©Samu
Enjoying the Pool| ©Samu

I'm not going to kid you, Granada in the summer can get a little bit desperate because of the heat. Temperatures rise higher than in other parts of the peninsula and, with a situation like this, what could be better than taking a dip?

Granada has several municipal swimming pools in the city center, such as Almanjáyar, one of the most popular.

They are fairly inexpensive to access and are perfect for dealing with the city's hottest hours.

In addition, if you come with your family, it can be an activity that suits you all. A morning of swimming and an afternoon of sightseeing and tapas, can you ask for more from life?

Interesting details

  • Price: the price of the municipal swimming pools is no more than 3€.
  • Date: the pools are open throughout the summer season.
  • Location: the swimming pool of Almanjáyar is in C. Pedro Machuca, 131.
  • Recommended: if you want to have a moment during your vacation to cool off from the heat.

5. Visit the Alhambra by night

The Alhambra in Granada at sunset.| ©Leon LEE
The Alhambra in Granada at sunset.| ©Leon LEE

The Alhambra in Granada has infinite things to see and is open all year round. However, in summer I assure you that you can access this great fortress in a much more special way.

Taking advantage of the fact that temperatures begin to drop as the day ends, this monumental environment organizes night tours to see the Alhambra in a different way.

As you can imagine, it is an activity quite demanded by tourists, so I recommend that you book in advance. If you want to know in depth this impressive place, I can assure you that this is one of the best ways to do it; you avoid the heat, you see it illuminated and you can more easily get into all the atmosphere and Arab essence that gave life to it.

Book your ticket to the Alhambra

Interesting details

  • Price: the price of this type of ticket is around 30 €.
  • Date: this type of visits usually last two hours and are ideal for summer because the nights are warm.
  • Place: the Alhambra in Granada.
  • Recommended: if you want to know one of the World Heritage Sites in a much more intimate and special way.

6. Attend to the fun Cascamorras Festival

In black in Cascamorras| ©Antonio Lopez Garcia
In black in Cascamorras| ©Antonio Lopez Garcia

Granada is a fantastic city to spend your vacations but, besides its network of central streets, one of the best things it has in its surroundings are the popular festivals. Some of the best villages in Granada celebrate during the months of September one of the best known and most acclaimed festivals; the Cascamorras.

The origins of these festivities date back centuries, when the so-called Cascamorras wanted to steal the patron saint virgin of Baza. The citizens, to prevent it, chased Cascamorras staining him black and throwing him out. Nowadays it is a very funny party in which everyone ends up stained with black paint and the whole town takes to the streets to celebrate.

The town of Baza is less than an hour's drive from Granada and if you have the opportunity to go, I assure you that you will have a great time with this curious tradition and, of course, its verbena and after party.

Details of interest

  • Price: it is a free event.
  • Date: the Cascamorras festivities are held on September 6.
  • Place: in Baza, a village 40 minutes from Granada.
  • Recommended: if you want to experience a traditional festival and get to know the rural surroundings of Granada.

7. Immerse yourself in the Costa Tropical

Tropical Coast| ©A_Peach
Tropical Coast| ©A_Peach

In the summer, one of the things you most want to do is sunbathing on a paradisiacal beach. If you have come on vacation to Granada you are in luck because, despite being a city and interior, its location is privileged.

Just as it is half an hour away from one of the highest mountain ranges in Spain, Sierra Nevada, it is only an hour away from another of its treasures; the Costa Tropical.

If you feel like taking a swim in an idyllic beach like the one in Motril, just take the car or a bus for less than 5€ and go to spend the day in this beautiful environment, which also boasts a great climate almost all year round. Definitely a great plan if you come with children to Granada.

Details of interest

  • Price: the bus to get there is usually around 5 €.
  • Date: you can enjoy the beaches all summer.
  • Location: one of the most famous beaches is Motril.
  • Recommended: if you want to spend a real day at the beach less than an hour from Granada.

Book an excursion to the Costa Tropical from Granada

8. Welcome the summer with the Bonfire of San Juan

Bonfire of San Juan| ©Ana .
Bonfire of San Juan| ©Ana .

One of the most important dates of the year is the expected arrival of summer and good weather and, as in much of Europe, Granada celebrates this day with the traditional night of San Juan. If you are in the city, you can not miss the party that takes place in some of its neighborhoods.

This pagan celebration takes place on the summer solstice and is usually held around a bonfire that symbolizes the burning of all that is bad and the beginning of a new stage.

Granada is one of the cities in Spain that celebrates this day in a special way. There are several towns that organize popular celebrations and place a large bonfire in the middle of the square, such as Motril or Baza.

However, if you are in the city of Granada on that date, you will not stay far from living this special celebration, because in the Barrio de la Bola de Oro every year they organize events throughout the day and, at night, there are usually concerts and, of course, the famous bonfire of San Juan.

I can not think of a better way to welcome the summer than going to spend a pleasant evening in this neighborhood and share with the rest of Granada to the rhythm of the music and the party.

Details of interest

  • Price: it is a free event.
  • Date: the night of June 23, summer solstice.
  • Place: the neighborhood of Granada that has the biggest celebration is Bola de Oro, south of the city.
  • Recommended: if you want to live the tradition and celebrate the arrival of summer in style.

9. Attend the International Festival of music and dance

International Festival of music and dance| ©P Find
International Festival of music and dance| ©P Find

Granada in summer hosts one of the most beloved festivals by all its citizens, as it fills its streets with color and life for almost a month. It is the International Festival of Music and Dance, an event that takes place in different key places of the city, such as the Manuel de Falla Auditorium or the Federico García Lorca Center and that exhibits a sample of the best music and dance of the year.

If you are interested, you should know that tickets usually go on sale in March, although there are always some tickets available at the box office. Just check the program and decide what kind of show you want to see. From ballets, folk dances, flamenco or contemporary music. A whole display of culture taking advantage of the good weather.

Details of interest

  • Price: tickets are usually around 20 €.
  • Date: it starts in mid-June and lasts until the end of July.
  • Place: it is a festival that takes place in the main theaters and auditoriums of Granada.
  • Recommended: if you enjoy culture and want to attend concerts and shows of international fame.

10. Have fun at the Granada Sound

Granada Sound Festival| ©Patricia Cabeza
Granada Sound Festival| ©Patricia Cabeza

If there is a music festival awaited by the people of Granada (and many visitors) that is the Granada Sound. If you come to Granada around this time and you are up to date with all the styles of music that have been given this year, you are sure to enjoy yourself.

This event is held every year in early September to say goodbye to the summer with the best current music from both inside and outside the borders.

The definitive posters are usually released a few months in advance so be attentive and if there is a group that you like, do not hesitate to buy the voucher and attend. In addition to the concerts, you can enjoy other activities and have a drink outdoors to the rhythm of your favorite bands.

Details of interest

  • Price: the general voucher is usually around 40 €.
  • Date: takes place over two days in early September.
  • Place: it is usually organized in the Paseo del Cortijo del Conde.
  • Recommended: if you like music festivals and want to enjoy current music live.

Temperatures in Granada in summer

Grenada rooftops| ©Jerzy Kociatkiewicz
Grenada rooftops| ©Jerzy Kociatkiewicz

You may have guessed it by now, but Granada, and the whole region of Andalusia in summer, is really hot. Especially if you visit Granada in August, when temperatures can reach 40ºC (104ºF).

Generally, the average is between 25º-35ºC so being well hydrated and wearing cool clothes is essential.

If you come in one of these months, be sure to organize your day to have plans under cover or in the evening to enjoy a slight drop in temperatures.

Tourist influx in Granada in summer

Generalife in Summer| ©Elliott Brown
Generalife in Summer| ©Elliott Brown

Despite the heat, Granada is full of tourists in summer. It is the season when you can find more people. That's why one of the best tips to see the Alhambra or any other major tourist attraction is to book in advance to avoid unnecessary queues.

Even so, it is preferable to go during the months of June and September, close to spring and autumn, as you will see fewer tourists and, in addition, you will not have to endure very high temperatures.

Warmth, culture, music, sea and mountains. Granada in summer has it all and if you are thinking of going, I assure you that you will not regret this experience.