Colourful Granada © Delirante_bestiole
The colourful city of Granada is packed with historical sights and beautiful colonial architecture, some of which dates back to the 1600s. Granada was founded in 1524 and is said to be the oldest city in the New World; it was a Spanish showpiece and still retains a regal, if somewhat dilapidated charm. Many of the historic buildings have been restored multiple times over the centuries, with residents making an effort to protect their heritage despite pirate invasions and civil wars. The city's markets and museums offer visitors some of the most popular tourist attractions and activities in Nicaragua. Granada is home to a vibrant nightlife scene and a number of popular festivals, including the colourful Granada Holy Week festivities. Popular places to visit in Granada include the town's six main churches, Parque Centrale (central park), Fuerte La Polvora (an 18th-century fort), Lake Nicaragua, and the Mi Museo (a private museum). Among the many fun things to do in and around Granada are zip-lining forest canopy tours, treks around the Massaya Volcano, shopping excursions at the town's local market, and trips to coffee farms in the area. Granada is the best town for visitors to use as a base while exploring Lake Nicaragua, as well as many of the country's volcanoes and beaches.