10 Things to Do in Granada in Summer

If summer is coming and you are looking for a place to spend your holidays, 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 offers a wide range of activities during the warmer months.

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 anything interesting, in this article I'm going to suggest 10 of the best things to do in Granada in summer. Music festivals, traditional nights, live flamenco and a trip to the beach are just some of the things that await you.

Granada is one of the most visited cities not only in Andalusia, but in the whole of Spain. The great historical legacy it has carried with it since the time of Al Andalus is reflected in many of its tourist attractions. In addition, folklore and flamenco shine in every corner of the city, 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 the whole 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 Jardines del Generalife by the Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía 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 not to be missed.

Attend a flamenco show

Interesting details

  • Price: Tickets cost around €30.
  • Date: The different performances take place from mid-July to the beginning of September.
  • Venue: in the Generalife Gardens.
  • Recommended: If you are interested in seeing a live flamenco show and you like Lorca's work.

2. Attend the Festival de la Guitarra 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, as it is one of the bases of its music and of flamenco. The chords that have been played for years in the popular songbook have marked the tradition of the place.

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

Just keep an eye on the line-up to find out the performance times and, if you come between July and August, you're sure to arrive in time to enjoy some of the best Spanish guitarists in the world performing the great songs of Paco de Lucia and other geniuses.

Details of interest

  • Price: some tickets are free and others cost around €10.
  • Date: between mid-July and early August.
  • Venue: The festival takes place in different emblematic venues such as the García Lorca Foundation, the Manuel de Falla Auditorium and the Isabel la Catolica Theatre.
  • Recommended: if you like live music and want to get to know a little more about Andalusian tradition.

3. Make the most of Heritage Day activities

Sacromonte neighbourhood| ©Jorge Franganillo
Sacromonte neighbourhood| ©Jorge Franganillo

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

It is known as Heritage Day and, as well as being a very interesting initiative for the recognition of Granada, it is also useful if you are a tourist, as on this day you will find many free activities to do.

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

Details of interest

  • Price: This activity is free of charge.
  • 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 Albaicín and Sacromonte

4. Cool off at the summer swimming 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 in the heat. Temperatures rise higher than in other parts of the peninsula and, with such a situation, what could be better than taking a dip?

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

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

Also, 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, what more could you ask for 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.
  • Place: The swimming pool of Almanjáyar is in C. Pedro Machuca, 131.
  • Recommended: If you want to have a moment on your holiday 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 start to drop as the day ends, this monumental setting organises night visits to see the Alhambra in a different way.

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

Book your ticket to the Alhambra

Interesting details

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

6. Attend the fun-filled Cascamorras Fiestas

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

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

The origins of these fiestas go back centuries, when the so-called Cascamorras wanted to steal the patron saint of Baza. The citizens, to prevent this, chased the Cascamorras by staining him black and throwing him out. Nowadays it is a very amusing fiesta in which everybody ends up smeared with black paint and the whole town takes to the streets to celebrate.

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

Interesting details

  • Price: it is a free event.
  • Date: the Cascamorras festivities are held on 6 September.
  • 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 sunbathe on a paradisiacal beach. If you have come on holiday to Granada you are in luck because, despite being an inland city, its location is privileged.

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

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

Details of interest

  • Price: the bus to get there usually costs around €5.
  • Date: You can enjoy the beaches all summer long.
  • 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 long awaited arrival of summer and the 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't miss the party that takes place in some of its neighbourhoods.

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

Granada is one of the cities in Spain that celebrates this day in a special way. Several towns organise popular festivities and place a large bonfire in the middle of the square, such as Motril or Baza.

However, if you happen to be in the city of Granada on this date, you won't be left wanting to miss out on this special celebration, as every year in the Bola de Oro neighbourhood they organise events throughout the day and, at night, there are usually concerts and, of course, the famous bonfire of San Juan.

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

Interesting details

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

9. Attend the International Festival of Music and Dance

International music and dance festival| ©P Find
International music and dance festival| ©P Find

In summer, Granada hosts one of the most beloved festivals by all its citizens, as it fills its streets with colour and life for almost a month. This is the International Festival of Music and Dance, an event that takes place in different key venues in the city, such as the Manuel de Falla Auditorium or the Federico García Lorca Centre, and which showcases the best of the year's music and dance.

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. All you have to do is check the programme and decide what kind of show you want to see. From ballets, folk dances, flamenco or contemporary music. A whole range of culture to make the most of the good weather.

Details of interest

  • Price: Tickets usually cost around €20.
  • Date: It starts in mid-June and lasts until the end of July.
  • Venue: It is a festival that takes place in the main theatres and auditoriums of Granada.
  • Recommended: If you enjoy culture and want to attend internationally renowned concerts and shows.

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) it is the Granada Sound. If you come to Granada at this time of year and you're up to date with all the styles of music that have been happening this year, you're sure to have a great time.

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

The final line-up is usually released a few months in advance, so keep an eye out and if there's a band you like, don't hesitate to buy a ticket and attend. In addition to the concerts, you can enjoy other activities and have a drink in the open air to the rhythm of your favourite bands.

Details of interest

  • Price: the general ticket usually costs around €40.
  • Date: takes place over two days at the beginning of September.
  • Place: It is usually held in the Paseo del Cortijo del Conde.
  • Recommended: If you like music festivals and want to enjoy live contemporary music.

Temperatures in Granada in summer

Granada rooftops| ©Jerzy Kociatkiewicz
Granada 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 up to 40ºC.

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 plan your day so that you 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 the most 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, around spring and autumn, as you will see fewer tourists and you won't have to put up with 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.