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10 Things to Do in Granada in Winter

Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, Granada is an ideal city to come and discover at any time of the year. If you've decided to take a short break in winter, here are 10 plans for you to enjoy it to the full.

Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro

12 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 tourists who come to visit it. The great Arab legacy that can be breathed in its streets, its folkloric heritage and the warmth of its people are some of the aspects that make it a very popular destination.

If you have decided to ask for a few days in winter to escape from the routine and get to know Granada, let me tell you that you will find a great number of activities. Feel all the Christmas atmosphere of Granada, take refuge from the cold in centenary caves, relax in its famous Hammams or even go to its acclaimed Sierra Nevada are some of the plans that you can't miss, do you want to know more about them? Well, I'll tell you all about them!

1. Celebrate the Festivities of the Day of the Taking

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

Christmas and New Year's Day are two of the most eagerly awaited festivities of the winter in all Spanish cities. However, in Granada, in addition to the traditional national holidays, a very important festivity is celebrated in the first days of the month within the Granada community: the Día de la Toma.

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 the 2nd of January and is a public holiday in the whole municipality, coinciding as a continuation of the New Year's Eve festivities. Normally, all kinds of events are held on this 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 held in the city and you can see the parade of the guard and the army from the Town Hall through the main streets of Granada. A very autochthonous and important event for the people of Granada that you can't miss.

Details of interest

  • Price: free of charge.
  • Date: every year it is held on 2 January, 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 more conservative Grenadians.

2. Warm up with San Antón's hotpot

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

If you are planning 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 celebrate San Antón with a special menu, such as La Cueva de 1900.

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

This 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, as during the weeks of this month they are sure to be offering tastings of this special stew.

Details of interest

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

Book the best tapas tours in Granada

3. Experience Christmas in Granada

Grenada at Christmas| ©Alison Waller
Grenada at Christmas| ©Alison Waller

Spending Christmas in Granada is without a doubt an experience that will leave you enchanted, as this city 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 visit the Christmas markets and take part in the activities that usually take place in the Plaza Bib Rambla, the Paseo del Violón and the Plaza del Humilladero, where they usually set up merry-go-rounds and games for the little ones.

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

Interesting details

  • Price: the price of a Christmas menu is around €25 per head and the Christmas party activities in the centre are usually free of charge.
  • Date: 24 and 25 December.
  • Place: The Christmas markets and the merry-go-round are usually in the centre, in Bib Rambla and Humilladero squares.
  • Recommended: If you are in the Christmas spirit and want to spend the festive season getting to know Granada.

4. Stroll through the illuminated city

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

Every December 1st the official lighting of the Christmas lights takes place in Granada. If you are planning 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.
The days in winter are usually shorter and if you are in Granada in December you can be strolling at 7pm along some of the main avenues or visiting the Albaicín area while enjoying all the light ornamentation.

Beyond the Christmas festivities, the truth is that Granada has a national reputation for all the effort they put year after year into the decoration of lights. They are usually inaugurated in the Plaza del Carmen and can be enjoyed throughout December and January.

All you have to do is pack some warm clothes in your suitcase and set off to wander through **Granada'**s enchanting illuminated alleyways.

Interesting details

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

Book a guided tour of Granada

5. Play like a child at 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 young people's entertainment.

This fair attracts families from all over, not only from Granada, but also from neighbouring cities and if you come with young children you can't miss it.

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

Interesting details

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

6. 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 at the end of December and beginning of January and want to attend one of the most awaited 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 Orchestra.

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

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

Interesting details

  • Price: the ticket price is usually around €20 and it is advisable to book in advance.
  • Date: usually on 2 January, so as not to coincide with the previous public 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.

7. Take advantage of the winter sales

Sales| ©cottonbro
Sales| ©cottonbro

Winter for many is synonymous with shopping and you can't 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 last for three months so, whatever time of year you come, you can always take advantage of your trip to Granada to see if you can pick up a bargain.

One of the biggest shopping centres in Granada is Nevada Shopping, where most of the major brands are located.

However, if you already have access to this type of shops in your city, the best bargains in the 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, clothes and decoration where, during these weeks, you will be able to pick up some real bargains.

Details of interest

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

8. 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 region 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 all year round, but it is precisely in winter when they are most popular.

One of the areas where the best flamenco shows are on offer is in the Sacromonte area, where there are still venues in caves that date back hundreds of years. I can't think of a better way 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.

Also, despite the cold, it is always advisable to visit the Albaicín and Sacromonte areas to understand the essence and heritage of Granada.

Details of interest

  • Price: these shows usually cost around €25.
  • Date: It's ideal to go if it's 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 the Tarantos.
  • Recommended: If you like folklore and want to see a live flamenco show.

Book your ticket for a flamenco show in Granada

9. 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 in cold weather than a hot bath? In other destinations you might have to wait until you get to your hotel, but not in Granada. The city's enormous heritage of Arabic culture has led to a custom that has become deeply ingrained in the city that drives all visitors crazy: the Hammams.

These are a style of Turkish baths in which you can access an area of thermal baths, saunas and hot pools, drink some green tea with mint and even receive one of the restorative massages on offer. Sounds good doesn't it?

Without a doubt it is one of the most appetising things to do in winter and Granada has some of the best Hammams in Spain.

Interesting details

  • Price: the entrance fee is usually around €70.
  • Date: It is ideal for the cold months, especially January and February, as it is an activity to warm up and relax.
  • Place: There are several Hammams in Granada, such as the Al Andalus in Calle Santa Ana, 16.
  • Recommended: if you want to disconnect and spend two hours warming up and relaxing.

Book your Hammam experience

10. 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 also a multitude of winter sports.

The city is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, one of the great lungs of Andalusia with one of the highest peaks, the Mulhacén.

If you're wondering how to get to Sierra Nevada from Granada, it's only an hour from the city and can easily be reached by car or bus for less than €5, although you can also count on a day trip that can take you on a tour of the snowy landscape.

You can also hire a sledge or even skis upstairs and set off on an adventure in this natural paradise.

Interesting details

  • Price: Organised excursions to the Sierra Nevada usually cost around €70.
  • Date: Sierra Nevada has snow almost all winter, especially in January and February.
  • Place: Sierra Nevada
  • Recommended: If you like nature and want to take advantage of the winter to see the snow.

Temperatures in Granada in winter

Grenada in Winter| ©Kent Wang
Grenada in Winter| ©Kent Wang

If you're going to spend 3 days in Granada in winter, it's going to be cold. From the end of December to the end of February, temperatures are usually stable between 2ºC and 10ºC, with February being the month with the highest percentage of rainfall.

Once we get into March, temperatures start to rise little by little, reaching 15ºC or 16ºC.

However, don't be overconfident and if you come in winter, always bring warm clothes, as, with the exception of indoor events such as flamenco shows, Christmas concerts or the relaxing Hammams, most of Granada's attractions are outdoors.

Tourist numbers in Granada in winter

Granada's Alhambra at sunset| ©Leon LEE
Granada's Alhambra at sunset| ©Leon LEE

The truth is that Christmas is a great incentive for Granada to be full of tourists for a good part of December and January. However, with the arrival of February and the intensification of the cold weather, Granada tends to be much less crowded with tourists and is much more pleasant to see, despite the low temperatures.

Even so, the city is an ideal destination for weekend getaways and many couples and families come in droves during these months to see the city. My recommendation is that, even if you see less tourism, you should make sure you book certain visits and reserve in advance, for example, tickets to the Alhambra, one of the city's main tourist attractions.

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