If you’re spending a few days on the island of Gran Canaria and you want to see everything it has to offer, it’s a great idea to spend a day exploring its capital: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. This is a major city which, in addition to beaches, has plenty of interesting culture, lovely areas for strolling around, and leisure activities to keep you occupied all day.
Exploring the historic quarter
First we’ll visit the oldest and most picturesque part: the Vegueta district. It’s full of narrow cobbled streets and houses in the traditional architectural style of the Canary Islands. Stroll around streets like Los Balcones or Espíritu Santo until you reach Plaza de Santa Ana and the Cathedral of Santa Ana.
Left: Cathedral de Santa Ana / Right: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Island of Gran Canaria
You really get to know a city by mingling with its people, and you have a fantastic chance to do that at Vegueta Market. It’s very close to the Cathedral, and always busy and bustling in the mornings. It’s a great place to buy some traditional local products, such as cheese.If you want to learn something about the earliest inhabitants of the Canary Islands, the Museum of the Canary Islands is close by. Other interesting buildings in the area are the Episcopal Palace, the Casas Consistoriales, Casa de Colón and the chapel of San Antonio Abad.
The shopping and tapas area
This is a good moment to visit one of the main shopping areas: Calle Mayor de Triana and its surrounding area, with plenty of Art Nouveau buildings. There are shops of every kind, including interesting local crafts, and major fashion designers. The area is also full of outdoor cafés where you can enjoy a few tapas and even have lunch.Among the many delicious Canary Island recipes worth trying are the papas arrugadas (baby potatoes boiled in their skins) with mojo (a spicy sauce), and sancocho (poached fish). If you try the restaurants in the area around Plaza de Hurtado de Mendoza and Plaza del Cairasco, you’re sure to have a good meal.
You can’t visit the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria without having a good stroll around town and also having a dip at the famous beach Las Canteras.
After lunch, you’re sure to feel like relaxing for an hour or so and enjoying the good weather which is such a constant feature of the city. You can choose between a terrace in the Marina, surrounded by yachts and sea; or the Pueblo Canario leisure and culture centre in Parque Doramas, where you can enjoy a coffee in a typical Canary Island courtyard.
A trip to the beach in the heart of the city
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is always a relaxing holiday destination, especially when you find yourself on Las Canteras beach. It is the city’s main beach and its promenade is over three kilometres long. It’s practically obligatory to have a dip in these transparent waters and watch the fish swim around you. The sea is often so calm it feels like a swimming pool, making it a very safe place to swim.
After a dip, let’s look for a pavement café on Paseo de Las Canteras for a drink or a snack next to the beach. The scene is so delightful, almost always with a gentle temperate climate, you’ll probably want to walk a bit more, maybe down to the end of the beach and the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium. From here, there is a lovely view of the whole beach.
It’s time to hit the city for a hearty dinner and some good music. Here we tell you where to find both of these.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has the island’s most active nightlife, and you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.
If you want to relax after a day’s sightseeing, you can enjoy a concert at the Alfredo Kraus auditorium or go to the Pérez Galdós theatre. For dinner or drinks in an easy-going atmosphere, Vegueta has plenty of restaurants, bars and pavement cafés to choose from. In the area next to the Triana district there are places with live music, or where you can dance to salsa and the latest hits.