10 Things to Do in Granada in Winter

Considered one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, Granada is an ideal destination for a winter getaway. Discover 10 plans for you to enjoy it to the fullest.

Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro

11 min read

10 Things to Do in Granada in Winter

Postcard of Granada | ©Olya Kobruseva

Granada is a city full of things to see and do all year round. Its incredible cultural heritage conquers all visitors. The great Arab legacy that can be breathed in its streets, its folklore and the warmth of its people are some of the aspects that make it a very popular destination.

In winter you will find a large number of activities to enjoy. Feel the Christmas atmosphere of Granada, take refuge from the cold in centenary caves, relax in its famous hammams or even escape to Sierra Nevada are some of the plans you can't miss. Do you want to know more about them? Keep reading!

1. Take shelter from the cold to the rhythm of flamenco in Sacromonte

Flamenco in Sacromonte| ©Jeanne Menjoulet
Flamenco in Sacromonte| ©Jeanne Menjoulet

Andalusia is a community that, in addition to all its attractions and tourist interests, has an indisputable heritage: flamenco. In Granada you can find shows and concerts of this popular style throughout the year, but it is precisely in winter when they tend to be more popular.

One of the areas where the best flamenco shows are on offer is in the Sacromonte area, where today there are still venues installed in caves dating back hundreds of years. I can't think of a better plan to take shelter from the cold than having a good glass of wine to warm up and watch one of these shows so full of passion and strength. Here are some options:

Details of interest

  • Price: these shows are priced from 12 to 40 € approximately.
  • Date: it is ideal to be able to do it if you come in the winter months to be able to take shelter from the cold.
  • Place: there are many places that offer shows in the Sacromonte area such as the Rocío or Tarantos.
  • Recommended: if you like folklore and want to see a live flamenco show.

Book your ticket for a flamenco show

2. Relax and warm up in an authentic Hammam

Arabic bath in Granada| ©James C
Arabic bath in Granada| ©James C

What could be more appealing when it's cold than a hot bath? Maybe in other destinations you have to wait until you get to your hotel, but not in Granada. The enormous heritage that the city has of all the Arab culture has made them have a deeply rooted custom that drives all visitors crazy: the Hammams.

This is a style of Turkish baths in which you can access an area of hot springs, saunas and hot pools, drink some green tea with mint and even receive one of the restorative massages offered. Sounds good right?

Undoubtedly, it is one of the most desirable plans to do in winter and also Granada has some of the best Hammams in Spain. Do not hesitate to book your Hammam experience, it is an unforgettable experience!

Details of interest

  • Price: the entrance fee is usually around 60 €.
  • Date: it is ideal for the cold months, especially January and February, as it is an activity to warm up and relax.
  • Location: there are several Hammams in Granada, such as the Al Andalus in Santa Ana Street, 16.
  • Recommended: if you want to disconnect and spend two hours warming up and relaxing.

Book your experience in a Hammam

3. Stroll through the illuminated city

Christmas lights| ©mi)
Christmas lights| ©mi)

Every December 1st the official lighting of the lights takes place in Granada. If you plan to come during the first weeks of winter to see the city you are in luck as they are usually on until mid-January and it is quite a sight to behold. An ideal time to book a guided tour of Granada.

The days in winter are usually shorter and if you are in Granada in December you can be strolling at 19 h. by some of its main avenues or knowing the Albaicin area while enjoying all the light ornamentation.

Beyond the Christmas holidays, the truth is that Granada is famous nationally for all the effort they put year after year to the decoration of lights. Normally, it is in the Plaza del Carmen where they are usually inaugurated and during the whole month of December and January you can enjoy them. All you have to do is pack some warm clothes in your suitcase and set off to wander through **Granada'**s enchanting illuminated alleyways.

Details of interest

  • Price: it is a free activity.
  • Date: from December 1 and during the first weeks of winter, until the end of January.
  • Place: the whole center is dyed in color and lights, but the most impressive places are the Plaza del Carmen and Paseo de Violón.
  • Recommended: if you want to visit Granada in a different way and enjoy the decorations that change from year to year.

Book a guided tour of Granada

4. Enjoy the snow in Sierra Nevada

Visiting the Sierra Nevada| ©Steve Slater
Visiting the Sierra Nevada| ©Steve Slater

You may have the feeling that Andalusia is a warm region where even the winter is milder than in the rest of the country. But in Granada this is not the case and this is partly due to its location. This makes it an incredible place to go in winter, as you can enjoy not only the snow, but a multitude of winter sports.

The city is located in the foothills of Sierra Nevada, one of the great lungs of Andalusia that has one of the highest peaks, the Mulhacen. If you are wondering how to get to Sierra Nevada from Granada, you should know that it is only an hour from the city and you can easily get there by car or bus for less than 5 €, although you can also book an excursion to Sierra Nevada to get there comfortably.

And once there, you can book a snowshoeing tour in Sierra Nevada.

Interesting details

  • Price: organized excursions to Sierra Nevada usually cost around 80 €.
  • Date: Sierra Nevada has snow almost all winter, especially in January and February.
  • Location: Sierra Nevada.
  • Recommended: if you like nature and want to take advantage of the winter to go to see the snow.

Book an excursion to Sierra Nevada

5. Take advantage of the winter sales

Sales| ©cottonbro
Sales| ©cottonbro

Winter for many is synonymous with shopping and you can not forget that during this season you can find some of the best bargains on the market.

The winter sales usually start at the beginning of January and usually last for three months so, no matter when you come, you will always be able to take advantage of your trip to Granada to see if you can get a bargain. One of the biggest shopping centers in Granada is Nevada Shopping, where most of the brands are located.

However, if in your city you already have access to this type of stores, the bargain sales in Granada can be found in more artisanal and typical shopping areas such as the Alcaicería, full of stalls with the best crafts, fabrics, clothing and decoration in which, during these weeks, you can get real bargains.

Interesting details

  • Price: depends on what you want to spend, but you can find discounts of up to 75%.
  • Date: from the beginning of January to the beginning of March.
  • Place: the Nevada shopping center is in Avenida de las Palmeras, 75 and the Alcaicería in the street with the same name.
  • Recommended: if you like to look for the best deals and take gifts and souvenirs of your vacation.

6. Celebrate the Feast of the Day of the Taking

Granada City Hall at Christmas| ©Mari Fernández
Granada City Hall at Christmas| ©Mari Fernández

Christmas and New Year's Day are two of the most anticipated winter holidays in all Spanish cities. However, in Granada, in addition to the traditional national holidays, the first days of the month are celebrated a very important holiday within the community of Granada: the Day of the Taking. If you travel to Granada in January you can celebrate the end of the so-called Reconquest by the Catholic Monarchs and it is a day full of events and traditions.

The day in particular is January 2 and is a holiday throughout the municipality, coinciding as a continuation of the New Year's Eve festivities. Normally, all kinds of events are held on that day, such as the pilgrimage to the tomb of the Catholic Monarchs or the procession from the Town Hall Square.

The traditional "Moors and Christians" parades are also celebrated in the city and you can see the parade of the guard and the army from the City Hall through the main streets of Granada. A very autochthonous and important event for the people of Granada that you cannot miss.

Details of interest

  • Price: free of charge.
  • Date: every year it is celebrated on January 2, the date on which "la Toma" took place.
  • Place: most of the events take place in the Town Hall Square.
  • Recommended: if you like history and traditions and want to experience a moment full of meaning for the most conservative Granadinos.

7. Warm up with the San Antón pot.

San Antón Pot| ©JJ Merelo
San Antón Pot| ©JJ Merelo

If you plan to come to Granada in mid-January and you like to eat, I can assure you that one of the best plans is to go to one of the many restaurants that these days celebrate San Antón with a special menu, such as La Cueva de 1900.

In Granada there is a saint that is celebrated with much more fervor than in other communities and that adapts perfectly to the cold of winter. San Antón, patron saint of animals, is celebrated every year on January 17 and the people of Granada pay special tribute to the figure of the pig. Although it sounds paradoxical, one of the best ways they have found to celebrate this animal has been to popularize a spoon dish that triumphs throughout the city; the pot of San Antón.

It is a stew made from dried beans, rice and various types of pork, ideal for warming up in the cold months. You also have the option of taking one of the tapas tours around Granada since, during the weeks of this month, they are sure to offer tastings of this special stew.

Interesting details

  • Price: restaurants usually offer full menus for around 30 € per head.
  • Date: from January 17 until the end of the month.
  • Place: in any restaurant in Granada you can find during January San Antón pot offer.
  • Recommended: if you like to eat and you are a meat lover.

8. Live Christmas in Granada

Granada at Christmas| ©Alison Waller
Granada at Christmas| ©Alison Waller

Spending Christmas in Granada is, without a doubt, an experience that will leave you enchanted, since this city during the holidays knows how to mix the typical traditions with the Andalusian atmosphere that is so popular everywhere.

During the whole month of December and taking advantage of the arrival of winter, one of the most popular plans is to go to the Christmas markets and participate in the activities that usually take place in the Plaza Bib Rambla, Paseo del Violón and Plaza del Humilladero, where they usually mount merry-go-rounds and games for the little ones.

In addition, there are many restaurants that during the night of December 24 organize menus to celebrate Christmas Eve in a special way. Some, like El Cortijo, offer closed menus so you can come with your family and live this special night full of flamenco and Andalusian essence.

Details of interest

  • Price: the price of a Christmas menu is around 25 € per head and the activities of the center's Christmas parties are usually free.
  • Date: December 24th and 25th.
  • Place: the Christmas markets and the merry-go-round are usually in the center, in the squares of Bib Rambla and Humilladero.
  • Recommended: if you have Christmas spirit and want to spend the holidays getting to know Granada.

9. Play like a kid in Juveandalus

Juveandalus| ©GranadaD
Juveandalus| ©GranadaD

If you are looking for things to do in Granada with children, you should know that winter seems to be a season designed for them. Not only because it has all the Christmas festivities to enjoy, but also because it is precisely at this time when one of the annual fairs dedicated to the little ones of the house takes place. This is Juveandalus, a festival that takes place every year at the Fermasa fairgrounds and is aimed at youth entertainment.

This fair attracts families from all over, not only from Granada, but from neighboring cities and if you come with small children you can not miss it.

You can participate in workshops, contests, storytelling and all kinds of family activities. It also has an enclosure with attractions for the bravest. A whole experience to make your visit to Granada with your family a lot of fun.

Details of interest

  • Price: the entrance fee is between 5 € and 8 €.
  • Date: takes place from late December to early January.
  • Place: at the Fermasa fairgrounds, on Ctra. de Armilla.
  • Recommended: if you come with children to visit Granada and want to have a fun time with the family.

10. Attend the New Year's concert

New Year's Concert| ©Alex Camara
New Year's Concert| ©Alex Camara

If you are spending a few days in Granada in late December and early January and want to attend one of the most anticipated events of the year for the people of Granada, you should definitely come and listen to the live music of the great composers performed by the Symphony.

When it is time to say goodbye to the year, many large cities organize events and concerts so that people can get together and celebrate the arrival of winter and a new cycle.

Granada was not going to be less and that is why every year a New Year's concert by the Granada Symphony Orchestra is held in the Manuel de Falla Auditorium.

Details of interest

  • Price: the ticket price is usually around 20 € and it is advisable to book in advance.
  • Date: it is usually on January 2, so as not to coincide with the previous holidays.
  • Place: in the Manuel de Falla Auditorium.
  • Recommended: if you like live music and want to celebrate the arrival of the New Year in a special way.

Temperatures in Granada in winter

Granada in Winter| ©Kent Wang
Granada in Winter| ©Kent Wang

If you are going to spend 3 days in Granada in winter, you should know that it is going to be cold. From the end of December until the end of February, temperatures usually remain stable between 2ºC to 10ºC, being February the month with the highest percentage of rainfall.

Once we enter March, temperatures begin to rise gradually reaching 15ºC or 16ºC.

Even so, do not be confident and if you come in winter always bring warm clothes, since, with the exception of indoor plans such as flamenco shows, Christmas concerts or relaxing Hammams, most attractions in Granada are outdoors.

Book the Granada tourist train

Tourist influx in Granada in winter

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

The truth is that Christmas is a great incentive that makes Granada is full of tourists most of December and January. However, with the arrival of February and the intensification of the cold, it is usually much less crowded with tourists and is much more pleasant to see, despite the low temperatures, and enjoy all the things to see and do in Granada.

Even so, the city is an ideal destination for weekend getaways and there are many couples and families who come as a trickle during these months to know it. My recommendation is that, even if you see less tourism, make sure you book certain visits and reserve in advance, for example, tickets to the Alhambra, one of its main tourist attractions.

Granada is a city that will surprise you at any time of the year, but certainly in winter it has something special. The Christmas spirit, the comforting food and that touch of cultural mix will make it an unforgettable experience, are you going to miss it?

Book a tour of the Albaicin