Things to do Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has been one of Europes best-kept secrets. Las Palmas is 50km away from the more famous beaches in the south. The city has an electric atmosphere and more and more people are coming to visit and stay each year. There is so much to see and do in Las Palmas.
Playa Las Canteras
In my humble opinion, Playa Las Canteras is the best city beach in the world. Over 3km of sandy beach. Bars and restaurants make it a very special place and it is right in the city.
Gofit Las Palmas
If the weather is not great you have the option of visiting Gofit on Playa Las Canteras. The complex has a large gym. A swimming pool and Spa. You can pay for just a day pass here.
Go Surfing on Playa Las Canteras
There are a number of surfing shops where you can hire equipment or take lessons on Playa Las Canteras. The main surfing area is at the end of the south side of the beach.
Swim out to the barrier Las Canteras
One of the really cool things about Playa Las Canteras is the barrier. This is a reef about 200 meters from the beach. At low tide, many people swim out to the barrier. As you swim out there are many parts of the water you will be able to stand at low tide. The barrier is a great place for snorkelling and seeing many types of fish.
Vegueta Las Palmas
Vegueta is the historic area of Las Palmas. It is a very easy area to see as it is just a few streets. Here you can enjoy a beer or a meal in one of the many bars and restaurants. Thursday night is a popular night in Vegueta for students.
Casa de Colón Las Palmas
As you are in Vegueta check out Casa de Colón. This is the Las Palmas house of Christopher Columbas. It is now a museum.
Mercado de Vegueta
Vegueta also has a market. You can get a wide selection of local produce here. Be early as it opens early and is closed from the afternoons and Sundays.
Atlantic Centre of Modern Art
Also located in Vegueta the centre has a good display of contemporary art. Admission is free.
Tapas in Vegueta
Thursday nights are Tapas nights in Vegueta. Many bars and restaurants have special offers for beer and tapas every Thursday night.
Triana Las Palmas
Triana is the main shopping street of the old city in Las Palmas. While there are no big shopping centres here you can find many of the big brand names. The main and adjacent narrow back streets are full of some great tapas bars and other places to eat.
Mercardo del Puerto Las Palmas
Probably one of the nicest places to have a tapa and a beer in Las Palmas. The port market is situated just behind Playa Las Canteras on the northern side. The market has music on some nights.
Have a coffee in Parque de San Telmo
Parque de San Telmo is near the old town of Las Palmas. It is opposite the busy San Telmo bus station. I regularly enjoy a coffee here and just watch life go by. It might be simple but it is one of the things I like to do in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
El Confital Las Palmas
Just a short walk from the north end of Playa Las Canteras is the very interesting El Confital zone. This is a favourite walk for many people. This is a popular area where people hang out and picnic. There is also a nudist area nearby if you want to hang out a bit more. There is an area where some people swim and surf. Don’t swim anywhere other than official bathing areas as the currents are strong here.
La Isleta Las Palmas
A 10-minute walk from Las Canteras north beach is the neighbourhood of La Isleta. On the seafront, there are a few bars. It is a really nice place to have a drink and a light meal. There is music here at times. The music is limited due to people living here.
Las Palmas bus tour
If you want to see the main tourist attractions in Las Palmas quickly the city bus tour is the best way. The main stop is located next to the shopping centre in Santa Catalina.
Las Palmas Marina
Another of the things to do in Las Palmas is to visit the Marina. Here you will see 100s of all type of boats. People live on the boats and also people stay short-term. There are also bars and restaurants here where the boating community socialise.
Stroll down the Las Palmas seafront.
As a city with over 400,000 people, Las Palmas has also a busy port. As well as cargo ships Las Palmas is a ferry port. You can catch a ferry to the other Canary Islands and a weekly service to southern Spain. The walk is almost 10km long and has designated space for walkers and cyclists.
Experience local Canarian song and Dance at Parque Doramas.
Every Sunday from 1100 until 1300 there is a performance of Canarian folk music and dance. This takes place in Parque Doramas behind the Santa Catalina hotel. FYI Santa Catalina Hotel is not located in Parque Santa Catalina.
Check out the Cruise liners in Las Palmas
The port of Las Palmas has become a key stop for some of the worlds biggest cruise liners. They use the Canary Islands as a winter destination from September to May. If you like looking at these beautiful ships a good place to view is from the nearby Santa Catalina shopping centre. There are many cafes where you can see the ships from the rooftop as you enjoy a drink.
Castillo de la Luz Las Palmas
Built-in 1494 was almost destroyed by the Dutch attack on Las Palmas in 1599. The small castle has been restored over time. Located in a small park near the port area. There is also a small cafe in the park.
Sitycleta Las Palmas
Las Palmas can be a long city. The distance between the old city and beach area of the city is 4km. The Las Palmas bike scheme can be a great way to see all the main sites. You can use the bikes for regular short trips. Click here for more information.
Playa Alcarvaneras is the second biggest beach in Las Palmas. It is very popular with families and beach sports clubs. Maybe not the best beach for swimming due to many boats nearby.
Parque Santa Catalina
It is not a park as such but it is one of the main entertainment areas in Las Palmas. There are many bars and restaurants and music at weekends. Usually, if there is an event in Las Palmas it will be here. Las Palmas Carnival is held here. Las Canteras beach is just a few streets away.
San Cristóbal Las Palmas
San Cristobal is a small fishing area that is now a neighbourhood of Las Palmas. It is on the edge of the city as you enter from the south. It is famous in Gran Canaria for its fish restaurants. It is also very popular with the local population, especially at weekends. If you are in the city you can get the number 12 local city bus here. Get off near the hospital and there is an underpass you can cross to the other side of the road.
Terraza Kopa Las Palmas
If you fancy dancing the night away Terraza Kopa maybe for you. Located next to the Santa Catalina shopping centre it attracts a mixed age crowd.
Attracting a more mature crowd Dancing Fanys is on Playa las Cantares. The name says it all.
Poema del Mar Las Palmas
Opened in 2018 the aquarium has proven to be an instant hit with visitors to the city. A large aquarium you can spend hours here enjoying the numerous species of sea life.
Shop eat and drink in one of the main shopping centres.
Las Palmas has some great shopping centres. One of the most popular is Centro Comercial El Muelle near Parque Santa Catalina. After you finished shopping you can grab something to eat overlooking the port. The cruise liners visiting Las Palmas dock next to here during the winter season.
Gran Canaria bus
As Las Palmas is the capital of Gran Canaria it is well connected by bus to all of Gran Canarias towns. The North of Gran Canaria is not as well known as the more popular beach resorts down south. For me, the north and interior of the Island are far more beautiful and interesting. Las Palmas has 2 main bus stations. San Telmo in the old town and Santa Catalina near PlayaLas Canteras.
Auditorio Alfredo Kraus
At the end of Playa Las Canteras is the striking building Auditorio Alfredo Kraus. There is a substantial programme of plays musical shows all throughout the year.
Museo Elder de la Ciencia y la Tecnología
The Elder museum of science and technology in Parque Santa Catalina exhibitions on both floors. A must for children as it is encouraged to actively engage with the exhibits. The museum used to be a warehouse for the Elder shipping company.
Las Palmas Sunday Market
Every Sunday morning until early afternoon Las Palmas has a very busy Sunday market. You can buy all sorts here and it is one of the better Sunday markets you will see. The market is situated just behind Parque Santa Catalina.
Estadio Insular Las Palmas
One of the more unusual parks in Las Palmas. It was formally the stadium of UD Las Palmas football club. Years ago the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona would have played here. It has now been turned into a park. Very popular with local families. There is also a restaurant n the park selling drinks and snacks.
Eat like a local at Pachichis
Located in Calle Los Martínez de Escobar just off Playa Las Canteras Pichichis is extremely popular with locals. So much that fills up quickly once it opens at 8 pm in the evening. It does not have an extensive menu but it has a very tasty menu of cheap local dishes. Be early or make a reservation.
Restaurante Gran Playa Las Palmas
If you are the kind of person that likes to eat a good meal that will do you for the day then here if for you. Good wholesome food and lots of it. The value is amazing. There is a reason why you will need to wait for a table. The restaurant is on Playa Las Canteras.
This place keeps popping up on many peoples lists of great places to eat in Las Palmas. Quality wines and Tapas are served. Near Playa Las Canteras on Calle Galileo. If you rock up here late in the evening you more then likely will need to wait as it is quite small.
Panza de Burro Las Palmas
Ok, this may be more a reason not to visit Las Palmas. At times Las Palmas is affected by unique weather phenomena called El Panza de Burro or in English the belly of the donkey. This is a cloud that fits into the city like a glove. At times when the Panza de Burro is over Las Palmas, it can be sunny skies a few kilometres away. In my experience, the Panza de Burro cover the city around 15% to 20% of days. That means 80% of the time it is blue skies all the way. Even on Panza de Burro days it still is warm.
Plaza de Farray
Just behind Las Canteras is Plaza de Farray. It is a popular place for locals to eat and drink.
Ermita de San Telmo Las Palmas
This small church is at the edge of San Telmo park. It was destroyed in 1599 during a Dutch attack on Las Palmas. It was restored in the seventeenth century.
Sotavento Club Las Palmas
If you are looking for a club nested next to the water then check out the Sotavento club in the marina. Popular with a younger crowd at the weekend.
Plaza de Espana
Another popular place in Las Palmas to grab a coffee a beer and chat. Located near the beach area.
Mercado Central De Las Palmas
The biggest market in Las Palmas located in Calle Galicia. Offering fruit, vegetables, meats, fish and local cheeses. There are also a few cafes where you can get something to eat and drink. Most of the stalls begin to close early afternoon.
Abuela Bar Las Palmas
For such a large city with a relaxed population, Las Palmas has a very small gay scene. This is probably because of 50km down the road in Playa del Ingles has one of Europes largest gay scene. Abuela gay bar in Las Palmas is one of the better bars in the city. With very welcoming owners the bar has a mixed clientele. There is also outdoor seating.
Las Palmas Casino
If you are feeling lucky why not try the biggest casino in Las Palmas. The casino is just 2 minutes walk from Parque Santa Catalina.
Cruz del El Confital
Just on the edge of Las Palmas as Gran Canaria comes to an end is Cruz del El Confital. It very popular with walkers. The view of Las Palmas here explains the city. No words are needed.
Cueva de Los Canarios
Just a few minutes down from Cruz del El Confital are some caves. The caves were occupied by original inhabitants of Gran Canaria. The day I visited it looked like people are living in the caves now. They may not be accessible now.
Las Coloradas Gran Canaria
If you are near Cruz del El Confital you may want to check out Las Coloradas the last town on northern Gran Canaria. There is not much happening here but the town does have a restaurant and a few bars. The main attraction here is the view. There is also a trail down to El Confital. You can walk back to Playa Las Cantares from here. Bus 41 also goes here from Santa Catalina bus station.
Avenue José Mesa y López.
Avenue Mesa y Lopez is a very popular shopping area near the Las Canteras area. The famous El Corte Ingles shopping chain is located here. The street also hosts events at weekends at various times during the year.
Stay in the 5 star Santa Catalina Hotel Las Palmas
This hotel was built in 1890 in a colonial style. It is an iconic landmark in Las Palmas. The hotel is situated midway between the old town and the Canteras beach area.
Have a beer at the beach
A popular place to hang out at night are the few bars located at the southern end of Playa Las Canteras near the Las Arenas shopping centre. There is music here on most Saturday nights.
Go see UD Las Palmas
UD Las Palmas is the football team of the city. They play their home games at the Estadio Gran Canaria. It is about 4/5km from the
Calle Ruiz de Alda
Another street to hang out in Las Palmas is Ruiz de Alda. This street is just behind Av Mesa Y Lopez which is a busy shopping street near Playa Las Canteras.
Las Palmas Carnival
Las Palmas Carnival is only on for three weeks of the year, but if you can plan your visit during Carnival, you will not regret it. It is the best free party in Europe and has to be seen to understand what a special event it is. It happens approximately six weeks before Easter so check the dates before you visit.
Playa Laja Las Palmas
Just as you enter, Las Palmas from the south is Playa Laja one of Las Palmas lesser-known beaches. There is a beach and walled swimming pools here. The cliff near the beach can cast a shadow later in the day, but the swimming pools continue to receive the sun all day.
San Cristobal beach
The fishing village of San Cristobal also has a cool small beach. It is also on the outskirts of Las Palmas. After your swim, you can enjoy the great seafood in one of the many fish restaurants here.
If you are thinking about living in Gran Canaria click here for more information.
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