Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the largest city in Spain and is home to one of the best beaches in the world. Capital to the island of Gran Canaria, Las Palmas is a charming and glamorous city/ seaside resort.
With a rich history and culture depicted through exquisite architecture, Las Palmas is home to a lively autonomous community, sunny beaches, and plenty of scope for a shopping spree.
Whether you are on a day trip or looking to spend a weekend, Las Palmas is the perfect destination. Of course, no trip is successful without a well-laid-out itinerary. Here, we have a brief guide to the city of Las Palmas, including places to see, things to do, and delicacies to try here. Read on to find out!
For the Die-hard Foodies
The Canary Islands is home to numerous tapas and local restaurants that serve up delicacies not available in mainland Spain. Some of these must-haves include ropa vieja, papas arrugada, and Sancocho Canarias. You can find numerous tapas at Mercado del Puerto and taste the authentic Canarian flavours. A few restaurants to try out would be Casa Montesdeoca, La Lonja, and Marsala.
For the Dedicated Sightseers
Las Palmas is a city to be explored on foot, with lots of sights and attractions, paved pathways, and numerous parks and cafes. To get the best out of your trip to Las Palmas, it is best to walk or take the bus through the city. Here are a few sights and attractions at Las Palmas.
1. Hop-on Hop-off Tour
For a quick tour of Las Palmas without missing out on any landmarks or attractions, the hop-on-hop-off bus tour is a perfect choice. The bus takes you to all the famous landmarks at Las Palmas and is accompanied by an audio guide.
2. Avenida Marítima
The best way to get the best out of Las Palmas is to walk, which is sure to be pleasant owing to their wonderful climate. Avenida Marítima is the best place to walk through, and it connects two great places – Playa de Alcaravaneras and San Cristóbal, a fishing village. San Cristóbal is a haven for seafood enthusiasts, one of the best places to eat out in Las Palmas.
3. Catedral de Santa Ana
This cathedral is situated in the historical district of Vegueta. Catedral de Santa Ana exhibits an architecture considered to be Atlantic Gothic, with grand columns and stained glass windows. The cathedral’s construction took 350 years to complete and today houses numerous paintings by 18th-century artist Juan de Miranda from the Canary Islands.
4. Gabinete Literario
As a lover- of books, libraries, and architecture -I can’t help mentioning the Gabinete Literario. This national monument dates back to 1844 and features rooms filled with books, a grand atrium, and a patio inside. With a fancy terrace currently, a restaurant, the building and its surroundings operate as a private club.
5. Castillo de La Luz
A short distance away from La Isleta is Castillo de La Luz, a historic landmark built-in 1494. This fort was built for defence purposes and used for the same until the 1800s. Today, this fort is open to the public and symbolizes the history of the city.
6. Museo Canario
Popular among history lovers, Museo Canario is where you need to be if you are searching for the history of Gran Canaria. You can get an insight into the indigenous people of Gran Canaria, known as the Guanches.
7. Caldera de Bandama (Cauldron of Bandama)
The Cauldron of Bandama is a volcanic crater and a natural wonder in the outskirts of the city. It is 200m deep, and the highest point stands at the height of about 500m.
8. Pueblo Canario
Pueblo Canario at Las Palmas is a replica of a traditional Canarian village. Every Thursday afternoon and Sunday morning, you can enjoy Canarian folk music performed live for guests, free of cost. The village is also known for Museo Nésto, one of the art galleries here at Las Palmas.
9. Casa de Colón
Casa de Colón is a beautiful structure and an excellent Canarian architecture model, with wooden balconies and an elaborate, ornamental doorway. It was also home to the great explorer Christopher Columbus during his short stay at Gran Canaria. Currently a museum, you can find old maps drawn by Columbus and a replica of his diary at Casa de Colón.
10. Ciudad Jardin
The City Garden or Ciudad Jardin exhibits many buildings with exquisite architecture. Here, you can see some of the most beautiful buildings and houses at Las Palmas which are examples of Anglo-Saxon architecture. The striking Holy Trinity Church is also situated here.
11. Neighborhoods to Visit
Although Las Palmas is home to numerous landmarks of historical significance, certain places are worth a special mention. Two such cities are San Nicolas and San Juan, the first areas inhabited by people on the island. Placed atop a cliff, they showcase a variety of self-constructed houses that portray the beginning of inhabitance. It is also the best place to get great views of the city.
La Isleta is the historic part of Las Palmas, holding remnants of moments through time.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is also home to Casa Africa and the monument El Obelisco, located in Arenales’ neighbourhood.
A Day at the Beach!
When vacationing at Spain’s smaller islands, especially Gran Canaria, a beach trip is always in order. Las Palmas has many beaches, and one of the best of those is Playa de Las Canteras, which is also one of the best city beaches in Europe.
Las Canteras offers many activities for families and kids alike, such as surfing, sunbathing, and enjoying the Paseo de Las Canteras Promenade located along the beach.
The La Barra reef here at Las Canteras makes it special, with snorkelling opportunities during a low tide.
El Confital is another beach at Las Palmas, very different from the lively urban Las Canteras. El Confital holds several world championships and has drawn the attention of professional surfers to its rough and rugged waters. You can also find mini beaches and saltwater pools for a quiet and safer bathing experience.
We know that there is no shortage of beaches at Las Palmas, and another beach to hit up is the Alcaravaneras beach. It is visited by the curlew, a migratory bird, during the winter.
For the Party Animals
Las Palmas is known for its vibrant nightlife and parties. Concerts are held on Fridays and Saturdays outdoors, after which you can hit the dance floor at a nearby club. Known as Playa Viva, this a series of concerts held on Saturdays. Starting in the evening, different bands perform different genres of music for almost an hour each.
The concert travels to different locations, covering the Churruca square, Plaza del Pilar, and Plaza de la Musica.
For the Shopping Lovers
Of all the districts in Las Palmas, Triana is known for its extensive shopping opportunities. There are numerous shopping streets here, apart from Calle Mayor de Triana.
There are several shopping centres in Las Palmas and streets lined with shops in the city centre. El Mirador, one of the largest shopping malls in Spain, is located in Las Palmas. For higher-end products, you can visit El Corté Ingles.
If you’re looking for local products, the best place would be the local markets. Two of the most popular market halls here at Las Palmas are Mercado Central and Mercado del Puerto. The best way to remember and materialize a trip is to keep a souvenir. The best place to purchase an souvenir from Las Palmas is at the Mercado de Artesania Y Cultura de Vegueta, held every Sunday.
For the Adrenaline Junkies
There are various water sports and other activities to be done at Las Palmas that is sure to get the adrenaline coursing through your veins. Water sports include surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, and freediving. You can also go paragliding after a course on tandem paragliding. Kayaking is another activity you can enjoy here.
Surely, this is a brief overview of the sights and activities at Las Palmas does not do justice to the beautiful town as there’s a lot more to do here. While you can get a quick tour of Las Palmas in a day or two, it will take much more to explore the minute details that highlight the town’s splendour.
To get the best end to your trip, visit Mirador de Cuatro Cañones, Mirador de Las Torres, or Mirador de Schamann as the sun sets. Enjoy the night view here as you get a glimpse of the well-lit towns of La Isleta and Vegueta. Truly, Las Palmas is a cosmopolitan city teeming with life, a city not to be missed on your next trip to Gran Canaria or Spain!
Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, and Tenerife are other smaller islands in the vicinity of Gran Canaria. Taking the Playa Blanca Fuerteventura route, you can see the whole of canary islands in the Fuerteventura Lanzarote Ferry ride.
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