The Lonely Planet states the following about Granada "The goose that laid Nicaraguan tourism’s golden egg is beguiling Granada, whose restored colonial glories render it a high point of many travelers’ time in Central America".
I thought it a pretty, but rather vacuous tourist trap. Compared to Leon, it had none of the edgy, revolutionary, arty vibe about it. Think horse-drawn carts ferrying around fat tourists, restored, gringo-owned restaurants selling $10 hamburgers to the same fat tourists, and you’ve pretty much got the idea.
The average Nicaraguan can no longer afford to even be in Granada (unless they’re sweeping the streets), let alone own property, work and support a family here as the foreign tidal wave of property & business acquisition sweeps through this once splendid city – turning it into another Antigua – beautiful, empty buildings, but no locals.
That may sound a bit harsh, and it wasn’t that I found Granada so bad, it simply felt a bit empty and characterless compared with the rest of Nicaragua.
Leon vs Granada? Leon wins hands down.