The Granada Cathedral rises above the city skyline in a vision of red domes and lemon-yellow walls backed by the towering Mombacho volcano. Well recognized for its beauty, the Spanish Renaissance cathedral—whose first stone was laid in 1523 and took 181 years to complete—is a quintessential image of Nicaragua and a popular Granada attraction.
As a central Granada landmark, the Granada Cathedral is just about impossible to miss. Step inside to see its flowing arches, frescoed ceilings, and light-catching stained glass windows, or admire its silhouette from the facing Parque Colón or one of Granada’s many rooftop bars. To hear the cathedral’s fascinating history, including its destruction at the hands of American filibuster William Walker during the Battle of Granada in the 1850s, join a Granada city tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Granada Cathedral is a must-see for all first-time visitors to Granada.
Entrance is free to this active cathedral, which holds regular mass in Spanish.
There is often live music on the central plaza outside the cathedral.
Look out for the Episcopal Palace, a beautiful red building across the street.
How to Get There
The Granada Cathedral sits on the eastern side of the city’s main plaza, Parque Colón, and is difficult to miss. You’ll likely pass right by it on your way to other nearby attractions like the San Francisco Convent (Museo del Convento de San Francisco), La Merced, Parque Central, and La Calzada. If coming on a day trip from Managua, León, or Masaya, visit the cathedral as part of a guided tour to make the most of your time in Nicaragua’s colonial city.
When to Get There
The cathedral is open to visitors between 8am and 8pm daily; no reservation or tickets are required. Mass is held at 9am Monday through Saturday, and 10am and 11am on Sunday.
A trip to the Granada Cathedral pairs well with Granada's more adventurous outdoor attractions. After visiting the cathedral, take a boat tour of Las Isletas on Lake Nicaragua (aka Cocibolca and Lake Granada), explore Laguna de Apoyo, or fly through the forest canopy on a Mombacho volcano zipline tour.