As we hurtle into the month of December activities are planned in Granada for the colourful festive season. This Christmas guide to activities runs through all of December and up to January 7th. Nativity Scenes, Shopping tips, Restaurant opening times and Christmas concerts are included.
In the UK and Nordic countries, the switching on of Christmas tree lights is usually an important event. In Granada, the Nativity Scene is the main feature in most shop windows and offices. Christmas trees are not quite as abundant as in other countries. Last year in the official Belen competition, 35 Nativity scenes participated. Although there are actually many more unofficial displays around the city. Every year in Granada has a Ruta de Belenes so you can visit all the nativity scenes. This route is on from 5th December until 5th January.
Some of the most popular ones are:
- Granada Town Hall. Set inside the inner patio of the Ayuntamiento at the Plaza del Carmen. Open from 10am-2pm & 5pm-9pm until 5th January.
- Outdoor scene by the Sagrario Neighbourhood group at the Fuente de las Batallas. Open from 11am-2pm and 5.30pm-9pm
- Condes de Gabia Palace on the Plaza de los Girones. Open from 11am-2pm & evenings 6pm-9pm
- Caja Rural at Avenida de Don Bosco (close to Granada Science Park Museum) Open 6pm- 9pm daily until 6th January (closed on 24th, 31st Dec & 5th Jan)
- Angel Custodio at Calle San Anton 38 from 6pm-9pm. Holidays open from 11.30-2pm. At this Nativity display they also sell traditional Christmas bakes too.
- Casa Jaen on Calle Jardines has a large nativity scene inside their courtyard.
- Bajo Albaicin Neighbours Association on Calle Zafra 10. This display even includes the Alhambra. Open from 11am-2pm
- Casa de los Pisa is just off Plaza Nueva at Calle Convalencia. Open from 10am to 2pm & 5pm-7.30pm daily (closed 24th, 31st Dec & 5th Jan)
- Full List: http://www.granada.org/ob2.nsf/21005be0eaebf8eec1256cd20034bc61/46cfcedcc807bcfec1257dac00416e17/$FILE/TRIPTICO_NAVIDAD%202015.pdf
Nativity scenes in Granada province
- Alberto Sanchez Nativity Scene in Pinos Puente. This amazing set up has been going more than 25 years. Open from 1st December until 6th January 11.30 til 2pm & 4pm until 9pm.
- Trevelez, Alpujarra. This village has a Nativity scene based on local traditions. Find it on Calle Carcel next to San AntonionHermitage. Open from 11am-10pm every day.
- Do keep an eye out for signs that say Belen as some people even set up their own ones in their garage or small business.
Flamenco at Christmastime
There are lots of Flamenco concerts and typical Rociero choirs on over Chrismastime. At the Teatro Isabela la Catolica this year they have shows on at the beginning of the month, 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th of December 2015. Tickets can be purchased at the theatre kiosk. (Puerta Real/Fuente de las Batallas)
On 4th December at the Auditorio de Garcia Lorca there is a Flamenco show on at 9.30pm. More details here
Frozen the Musical and other shows are on at Palacio de Congresos Granada. Find out more information on their website: Palacio de Congresos Granada
Granada Christmas markets
- Monday 7th December 2015 – Zoco del Salon Christmas Craft market is open from 10am to 6pm on Paseo del Salon. (next to the river)
- Sunday 20th December – Made in Granada Craft Market is on at Campo del Principe from 12 noon until 7pm
To find out more about Christmas markets in the city: Click here
Other Christmas activities in Granada
Ski season is open at Sierra Nevada. The Pradallano resort is open until the end of April each year which marks the end of the season. Find out more about Skiing in Granada here
On Friday 18th December 2015 a Christmas Fun Run is held in Granada. This colourful event is interesting to see as many of the runners dress up. The race gets to Granada city centre around 8pm-9pm that evening.
26th December every year there is a Church service in honour of Patron of Granada, the Virgen of Angustias. Bell ringing is traditional and this ceremony hopes to protect the city of Granada from Earthquake damage the following year. (Virgen de las Angustias Church on Acerca del Darro)
Eating at Christmas in Granada
The Spanish celebrate Christmas eating lots of Shellfish. The main meal on Christmas Eve is often turkey or lamb.
Sweets are typical too, particularly Marzipan figures and lots of almond nougat which they call turron. Polvorones and mantecados are popular as well.
Restaurants and bars will be open over the Christmas period continually. The days that they will be closed are:
- Christmas Eve: On December 24th bars and restaurants are open all day until 5pm-6pm. (no evening opening) Above is a menu for Casa Lopez Correa (Calle Molinos 4) who are offering a Christmas Eve Menu. Book ahead: 958 22 37 75
- Christmas Day: Bars and Restaurants are open all day as normal.
- 31st December – Bars & restaurants are open all day until 5pm-6pm. New Years Eve, For evening meals, only available when pre booked. Many places will be closed.
For information about New Year and Reyes. See my New Year Guide to Granada
Visiting the Alhambra at Christmas
Opening times in wintertime are Monday to Sunday from 8.30am to 2pm and 2pm to 6pm.
The ticket office is open from 8am to 5pm.
The Alhambra is closed on 25th December 2015 and 1st January 2016.
Tickets to visit the Alhambra palace are already sold out on some of the days near the Christmas holidays.
If you would like to visit around this time, book as soon as you can.
The official site is the Ticketmaster website
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