Las Palmas is really a city of 3 parts. The city up on the hills where a lot of the population live. The Las Canteras beach area and port zone. Then there is the old town of Vegueta and Triana where the city began.
The areas of Vegueta and Triana in the old town are as vibrant today as they were in 1478 when Las Palmas was founded by Juan Rejon the leader of the invading Spanish army.
Where is the Old Town Las Palmas
If you are coming from the south of Gran Canaria the first main bus station is San Telmo bus station. If you get off here you can begin at the top of Calle Triana and walk back to Vegueta Old Town. There is also a stop before San Telmo where you will be nearer to Vegueta. This is the picture below. You can also get a local city bus from the Las Canteras area. For example, bus 17 starts at the Las Arenas and finishes at the station near Vegueta via San Telmo. Both Triana and Vegueta Old town are next to each other.
As you make your way to Vegueta the first building of interest just across the street from the bus stop is Teatro Pérez Galdós. Opened in 1890. This Theatre is an important cultural site in Las Palmas. Well known for its top-class productions. It is possible to take a guided tour and get to see the great view of the old town of Vegueta and Triana from the rooftop.
There is really just a road separating both Vegueta and Triana in Las Palmas. This road used to be the Barranco Guiniguada. A natural ravine that ran where the road is now. In the early 1970s, the construction of the road completely covered the Barranco Guiniguada here. To make things worse work connecting the old city to the GC1 motorway further affected the area. Today the city is looking at ways to restore as much as possible the original Barranco Guiniguada. Cost and how traffic can work within any new plan are the main issues.
As we cross the street you will see the Mercado de Vegueta. The market first opened in 1858. Here you can get fresh fruit and vegetables. Fish and meat or just have a coffee. The market opens 6 days a week from 0630 until 1400 Monday to Thursday. 1500 Friday and Saturdays.
As we move out from the market the first main area of Vegueta is Calle Mendizabal. This is the are where there is the biggest number of bars and restaurants are in Vegueta. This street is particularly popular on Thursday. Thursday is Tapas night. Many bars have special offers for beer and tapas on this night.
For such a peaceful area of Las Palmas, the old town has had its excitement over the years. In 1595 the English under Sir Francis Drake made an unsuccessful attempt to plunder the town. In 1599 the Dutch were a bit more successful and did some damage to the town. They were eventually forced back into the sea.
Probably the most famous visitor and part-time resident to Las Palmas is Christopher Columbas. Columbas first visited Las Palmas on his way to the Americas. Today Vegueta hosts the museum, Casa de Colon. Here you can see exhibits showing how Columbas was able to cross the Atlantic and discover a new world.
If you are in Vegueta on a Sunday morning check out Plaza del Pilar Nuevo. This is at the rear of the Cathedral. On Sundays, there is a traditional market here. Traditional Canarian handicrafts, as well as local fruit and vegetables, are on offer.
Las Palmas Carnival is known as having one of the best carnivals in the world. The carnival takes over Las Palmas for almost a month prior to Easter each year. Vegueta used to be the main area the carnival. Due the popularty and the noise the carnival has spread out to other areas in the city. Vegueta still gets to host its part of Carnival. Carnival del Dia Vegueta is a must-see event. Dress up or you will look like a tourist.
Plaza Santa Ana is the main area of Vegueta. Las Palmas Cathedral is here. The Cathedral was one of the first structures started in the city. Work began in 1500. The Plaza also holds some free concerts and events during the year.
Now we are finished with Vegueta we cross the street and we are in the Triana area of the old town of Las Palmas. Directly across from Vegueta there is a really nice square. This is a very popular area with young people. There are fast food outlets and a cinema here.
The Triana district has been an important area from the very foundation of Las Palmas. People who came from Spain to settle in Las Palmas quickly built houses and socialised here. It also was a key area for commerce.
The main street Calle Triana is the main shopping hub of the area. You will not find any large shopping centres here but you will find all the main brands on Calle Triana.
Make sure you check the back streets off Calle Triana. There are some real gems to be found here. Amazing bars and restaurants serving great local dishes.
If you need more information you will find a large tourist office near the top of Calle Triana.
Directly across from Calle Triana is Parque San Telmo. There is a very nice kiosk here where you can enjoy a refreshment.
Also here is the San Telmo bus station. If you are getting a bus out of Las Palmas go into the station to the blue buses. For local buses, within Las Palmas, you will need the yellow buses on street level outside the station.
For Gran Canaria bus routes and times click here.
For more things to do in Las Palmas click here.
Join me on my journey.
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