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Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, or just Las Palmas, is the capital of Gran Canaria, the largest city in the Canary Islands, and one of the largest cities in Spain. In 2018, it had about 380,000 residents. Like for example Rio de Janeiro and Miami Beach, Las Palmas is famous for its urban beaches, of which there are five. Until the late 1960s it was the main tourist center of Gran Canaria, after that it has been surpassed by the resorts popping up along the southern coast of the island. Unlike these, though, Las Palmas also has historical and cultural attractions.


The view over Las Palmas



There is no actual city centre. The nucleus is the picturesque old town Vegueta. There are five administrative districts, each of which is further subdivided into barrios, identified by Roman numbers.

  • Vegueta, Cono Sur and Tafira — The first district corresponds to the historical district, named la Vegueta which translates to the "small plain". This is the narrow coastal plain created by sediments transported by streams from the mountains in the west. Until the mid 19th century this was the whole city. With the arrival of British settlers at that time, the city started expanding northwards. Tafira and Cono Sur, which aren't of much interest to visitors except for Playa de la Laja, a long beach of volcanic sand which is mostly frequented by locals.
  • Centro — Triana and Ciudad Jardin are the most "touristic" barrios in the second district. Triana is north of the old town, separated from it by a stream that has been partially paved over. It takes its name from a similar district in Seville, as many sailors from there settled in the district. The main street here is Calle Mayor de Triana, a pedestrianized shopping street lined by Art Noveau buildings. Ciudad Jardin was built mostly in the 1930s as a project by architect Miguel Martín-Fernández de la Torre in Rationalist style. Here you can find Hotel Santa Catalina, the most prestigious in Las Palmas. Other attractions are the Doramas Park and Pueblo Canario, a reconstruction of a historical Canarian village.
  • Puerto-Canteras — This is where most visitors head, with by far the largest concentration of both hotels and nightlife. Puerto, the port, is where cruise ships arrive, and where one can find the Catalina Park which is a venue for the carnaval and other major events. Further south, between the marina and military port is the Alcaravaneras Beach, home to many sports clubs. At the opposite side of the isthmus is Canteras with the long Canteras Beach which is the most popular and famous of them all. The southern part of Canteras forms the barrio of Guanarteme. There's the Alfredo Kraus auditorium, the Las Arenas mall, and several places to eat and drink.
  • Ciudad Alta — Mostly residential, though visitors are drawn here by the sports stadium (Estadio de Gran Canaria) and the fairgrounds (Feria Internacional de Canarias) with different events around the year.
  • Tamaraceite-San Lorenzo— The largest district with the smallest density of population. It comprises the mountainous regions in the west of the city, along the motorway "Autovía Santa Catalina-Lomo Blanco". A rapidly growing residential area, there are hardly any visitor attractions here.

There are five beaches in Las Palmas, with the most important being Playa de Las Canteras. The other ones are Alcaravaneras, Confital, San Cristobal and La Laja. Alcaravaneras is in the waters of Puerto de la Luz, set between two yacht clubs.


Casa Museo de Colón, the Columbus museum

Las Palmas was founded on 24 June 1478, on St. John's day. On this day captain Juan Rejón landed on the east coast where the Guiniguada streams flows into the ocean and set up a military camp. The whole of Gran Canaria was under Spanish control by 1483 and by then the first houses had been built where the current district of Vegueta is. Las Palmas very quickly became the de facto capital of the island when a courthouse, a tribunal of the Holy Inquisition and a diocese was established here. When Christopher Columbus sailed to the Americas in 1492, he stopped there to have a ship repaired; so in less than a decade and a half the camp had grown to a place where ships could be repaired! From that on, Las Palmas became an important stop for Spanish transatlantic sailings.

Las Palmas established itself as a prosperous city thanks to sugar cane, but also slave trade. Portuguese and Genovese merchants settled in the city. While Vegueta was the seat of the nobility and the royal and clerical authorities, the Triana district across the Guiniguada stream was where fishermen, artisans and merchants lived.

Eventually it became the target for pirates, which led to the construction of walls and fortifications. In 1595 a fleet commanded by John Hawkins and Francis Drake made an unsuccessful attempt to plunder the city. Four years later a fleet of 74 Dutch pirate ships commanded by Pieter van der Does sacked the city for a week before Spanish troops came to rescue and drove them away. Together with subsequent pirate attacks, bad harvests and epidemics also took a toll on the city.

To develop the economy, Las Palmas was given the status of free port in 1852. This attracted especially British shipowners and entrepreneurs, and in 1883 a major expansion of the port Puerto de la Luz (established in 1833) began. In the 19th century, tourism and travelling became possible for more people and also Las Palmas started receiving visitors both from Europe and North America. In 1890 the Santa Catalina Hotel was built, today it's the grand old hotel of the city. Hotel Madrid, on the other hand, gained fame as where future dictator Franco stayed for a long time in 1936, planning his landing in mainland Spain.

Mass tourism arrived in the late 1950s, partially because of the movie Moby Dick that had scenes shot at Las Canteras beach making people aware of this long sand beach. European travel agencies started flying in planeloads of tourists, and to cope with the increase in visitors purpose-built resorts such as Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés were built along the south coast of Gran Canaria. Already in the 1970s, these had become the main destination on the island. Las Palmas still remains a tourist destination, offering visitors history, culture and events in addition to the sun and sea experience the Canary Islands are known for.

Tourist information

  • Patronato de Turismo de Gran Canaria, C/ León y Castillo, 17, +34 928 219 600.

The tourist information (Casa del Turismo) operates four kiosks around Las Palmas.

  • 1 Kiosk in Santa Catalina Park.
  • 2 Kiosk at Santa Catalina (in front of the El Muelle mall). open only on days when there are cruise ships visiting.
  • 3 Kiosk in San Telmo square.
  • 4 Kiosk of the old town hall, +34 928 446 824.


Las Palmas
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

Weather-wise Las Palmas is a year round destination - actually Syracuse University has named it as the city with the best weather in the world. Five degrees north of the Tropic of Capricorn and with suitable winds, the medium temperature is +17°C in the winter and +25°C in the summer. However, Las Palmas has a much windier climate than the southern parts of Gran Canaria, which makes it feel cooler. The sea temperate fluctuates between 19°C in March and 23.5 in October, the biggest UV index (11) occurs between Jun and August.

Get in


By plane

Gran Canaria airport as seen from a plane

1 Gran Canaria International Airport (LPA IATA), +34 928 579 095. A modern international airport near the city of Telde, about 70 km south of Las Palmas. There are flights from a large number of airports in Northern, Western and Central Europe, mainland Spain, Italy, other Canary islands and a couple from Africa.

Getting there: take the Global interisland blue buses. Bus routes 1, 5, 11, 60 & 91 all travel from the airport to the city of Las Palmas. The #60 & #91 Global buses are the airport—city express lines. All airport / city buses travel to either of the main city bus stations of San Telmo Park (central near Vugueta/Triana historic old town areas) or Santa Catalina Park (further north near the port/marina & main city beach of Las Canteras). The airport—city buses run approximately every 30 minutes all day and night. Travellers must press the bus stop button to indicate their stop or the bus driver may continue pass stops or stations without stopping. The express lines run normally between 06:15 to 20:50. Airport—city bus travel costs €2.80-4.00, one way per person, depending on the busrouret and time of day. Express line #60 & #91 travel is the cheapest (as of 2021) for €2.80 per person per one trip. Global interisland buses allow you to place luggage under the bus. For city Guagua buses, you must be able to carry and secure your luggage with you while standing or seated if space permits. For each bus, global or guagua, travellers are responsible to load and express to the driver the need to unload luggage if departing at a stop earlier then a station where luggage unloading is facilitated normally. Bicycles can only be transported on buses if in a bag or box, and can be carried by their owner. City buses may refuse luggage or bicycles depending on the driver and number of users. Ths same applies for Global interisland buses other than the airport express line. Carry-on luggage must fit on your lap. Standing is not permitted on Global buses. City buses standing is allowed. If there is no space you must wait for space on the next bus.

A reserved taxi or private tour hire car ride to/from the city of Las Palmas to the airport costs around €30. Private tours and car hires can be cheaper but must be arranged with the drivers in advance. Most hotels and hostels can book private tours and hire cars. Taxis are the most efficient, but also the most expensive travel option. Taxis can pick up only at designated cues at the Airport. Taxis can accept cash or most credit and debit cards.

Rental cars are the main option for most groups for cost savings. Drivers must be over 23 to 25 in most rental cases, have a valid driver's licence and international permit in some cases, and be able to drive manual transmission vehicles. Almost all companies must be booked online prior to arrival. Autoreisen offers good prices with no hidden fees, and free extras such as second driver. Don't expect to get a fee refund from a rental car companies and there is no viable complaint mechanism. Expect pricing changes and vehicle switching. Always rent direct through the specific car company website. There are many, many 3rd party insurance and rental scams in Spain including at point-of-rental desk bookings. This also includes problems with rental car bookings as part of a flight package deal. Expect additional fees and charges when not dealing direct through a rental car company website.

By boat

In addition to plane, other common ways to get in are by cruise ship or ferry

The Port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria receives ships from all over the world. The port is one of the most important ports today and there is a program of further expansion. There are many daily ferries from Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife and smaller islands. Naviera Armas (February 2021) and Fred Olsen are the largest operators, but there are several smaller companies as well. Fred Olsen ferries arrive at the nearby town of Agaete and not in Las Palmas city. Each ferry arriving at Gran Canaria operates a passenger bus to take walk-on passengers from the ferry dock to near the city of Las Palmas bus station of Santa Catalina. Same applies to reach the ferry from near the city bus station of Santa Catalina. Walk-on passengers must select use of passenger bus connection when booking their ferry tickets. If you don't book the ferry passenger connection shuttle, travel to the nearest ferry company ticket office and ask them to assist you to book the passenger shuttle bus for your ferry. Passenger shuttle departure is normally 1 hour prior to scheduled sailing time from the designated ferry shuttle bus stop. Missing the various private ferry connection shuttle buses by walk-on passengers can cost a lot of time and money as the Ferry docking ports are a great distance away (average 10-km walk) from any public transit options. Inter-island car and walk-on passenger ferry connections are run mainly by the fast ferries. Be sure to also purchase online any additional public transit tickets to travel forward from the ferry passenger bus drop-off points as most city bus systems will not allow on bus ticket purchases with cash.

From mainland Spain, there is one weekly sailing every Saturday from Cádiz operated by Transmediterránea. The journey takes about 40 hours with prices from €200. As of 2018, there are no ferries from Morocco.

2 Naviera Armas pier. This is where ferries arrive. Getting there: no public transport available, however, Naviera Armas provides free shuttle buses from El Muelle shopping mall beside their main office building near to Santa Catalina Parks underground interisland bus station connection portion in Las Palmas city. Fred Olsen's passenger shuttle bus departs from near the children's park in Santa Catalina Parks outdoor city bus station section near to their Fred Olsen office.

By bus


The only bus company operating interurban lines on Gran Canaria is Global, +34 902 381 110. Most of the company's lines have Las Palmas as either their origin or their destination. There are two bus stations in the city:

  • 3 San Telmo Station (in the city centre).
  • 4 Santa Catalina Interchange (near the city's port). This station is served also by the municipal bus system and by taxis.

By car

  • GC-1 cuts through the city, connecting it with the airport and other important municipalities as far as Tauro (80 km).
  • GC-2 connects the city with the North Zone, extending up to Agaete.
  • GC-3 circles the city and connects the other three highways
  • GC-4 connects Las Palmas with the communities in the centre of the island.

Get around

Map of Las Palmas

By bus

City bus, these are locally named Guaguas Municipales

Google Maps and Moovit cover the city and the island for finding the right bus line to your destination.

City buses


Las Palmas has the best quality bus system in the archipelago and one of the best in Spain. The service is provided by Guaguas Municipales, +34 928 446 500, and that's why the bright yellow buses are known as guaguas pronounced wah-wahs as the g is silent in Spanish. A simple fare, paid directly to the city bus driver, is €1.10 per person per any city bus trip in x1 direction only (can not stay on the city Guagua or islands Global buses for a circular journey).

As of Jan 2021, due to the pandemic, you can’t buy tickets with cash from any bus drivers. You must buy ahead one of the various plastic top-up cards as single journey tickets are not available. They can be bought online or in Guagua booths in Santa Catalina park, San Telmo station or Teatro . Least expensive is a 2-journey city bus ticket that you blip once getting on the bus. A bus card ticket that is good for 10 rides is available for €8.50 + one time fee for the plastic rechargeable city bus card of €1.50 (best deal for city bus travel without lots of paperwork).

Family passes are available for further discounts and children under 6 are free - don't tap pay for them as refunds are not possible and cards are charged for every tap / blip. Students, seniors, and families (max 5) get further additional price discounts if presenting valid ID at purchase and fill out applicable forms online prior or at the official vendors in the bus stations when they are open. If you are over 70 and staying longer you can apply for a Senior Citizens Pass at the bus station in Telmo. This will give you a 50% discount on all bus trips over 11 km here. You will need passport photos for this and €5.

These bus cards can be recharged at machines (libraries, malls, bus stations) and various store kiosks throughout the city for a minimum top-up payment of €8.50. Machines and kiosks can accept cash, or credit or debit cards as is also possible when making an initial card purchase and top-up at the official bus station card vendors.

With a standard rechargable city Guagua bus card trips are a cost of €0.80. It is possible to take x2 city bus trips on a card within 1½ hours and not be charged more (depending on direction of travel) however this not a guarantee and at all times you must blip the city bus card when entering the bus. No money on the card means no permission to ride the bus. A city bus card may be used to pay for anyone in a group by tapping it on entry for the amount of persons in a group.

The most important bus lines have frequencies of between 3 and 15 minutes during the day and between 10 and 40 minutes at night. Most lines have service throughout the night. Among the most useful lines are:

  • Line 1 Teatro - Puerto
  • Line 12 Hoya de la Plata - Puerto
  • Line 30 Alameda de Colón - Santa Catalina

Interisland buses


Interisland Global buses (blue in color) accept most debit & credit cards for a journey purchase on the bus as most travel around the island will cost around €1 per every 15km one-way with deals for specific routes. Dual Guagua city + Global Interisland bus cards can be purchased as well at official vendors and online for significant savings.

By taxi


Taxis with the green light on are vacant and you can flag it down. It's also possible to go to one of the city's 42 taxi stops or call for a taxi.

By bike

City bike rental station

There's just one major bike route, but leads to most sites a visitor go to. Unless you're familiar with the local style of driving, don't venture out on major streets - on smaller streets it's probably safer to get around by bike. On the downside, biking around Las Palmas can be uncomfortable due to hot weather.

There's a bike rental scheme named Sitycleta[dead link], similar to in many large cities around the world. You open an account at their site, registering your debit or credit card. Then you can go to a rental station and unlock a bike, use it and return it there or to another station and will be billed for the time in-between.

By car


Dense traffic on workdays and in certain commercial leisure zones mean that driving is really no fun here. The city street plan is not at all rectilinear, so the streets can confuse even experienced drivers.

Parking is also pretty expensive in most places. Some of the shopping malls can be used for parking for a limited time (e.g. up to three hours free) and if you need or intend to shop, receipts from the shops may be used to pay for the stay.

On the upside, the price of gasoline is significantly cheaper that the rest of Spain and Europe, there are no toll roads, and entrances, exits, main streets and important zones are all well-signposted.

Photo radar cameras & heavy police traffic enforcement is common. Do not park illegally. The local cars rarely are towed or ticked for illegal actions or parking. Tourist cars and almost always held to every traffic law possible for revenue.

The N332 website has best English driver instructions, translations and explanations of Spanish driving laws possible for free. Read up as Spain's driving laws have many quirks and quarks not seen elsewhere. Be very cautioned regarding entry and exit rights of traffic circles in Spain as the outside lane gets priority. Also, paying the guy helping you to park your car does not mean the meter was fed. Always go and pay at the meter and do tip the illegal parking helpers (€0.50 to €1) or you may find a few scratches on your car not previously there or worse that they told the traffic cop or tow truck to ticket or tow you to save them time. Fines are very high for illegal parking especially when in rural areas or historic, cultural or natural sites. Traffic police may ask you to follow them to a tow truck company site or yard to pay a ticket right away for half price. Call the Emergency line 112 should you feel something is wrong with a police officer interaction while it is happening and request an additional uniformed officer to arrive to the scene at any time, especially if it is an unmarked car or plainclothes officer or officers. You have the right to film any police interaction provided you do not make comment nor intrude their space or ability to perform their duties.

In Spain you must stop at the scene of an accident to help if no one has begun assistance. 112 is the emergency number in Spain. Many areas of Gran Canaria do not have cell phone service due to the geography of the island.


Las Palmas cathedral


  • 1 Castillo de la Luz, Calle Juan Rejón, s/n, +34 928 463 162. 16th century fortification, originally built to fend off pirate attacks. Today it's surrounded by a rose garden and since the 1960s it houses a cultural center - Fundación de Arte y Pensamiento Martín Chirino - and a shipping museum. Castillo de la Luz (Q1049274) on Wikidata
  • 2 Alfredo Kraus Auditorium. Concert and music hall with classical philharmonic performances and a building that's worth a visit on its own. Auditorio Alfredo Kraus (Q3629501) on Wikidata Auditorio Alfredo Kraus on Wikipedia
  • 3 Catedral de Santa Ana, Calle Espiritu Santo 20. Embodying several centuries of history, the cathedral can be seen from almost any point in the city center. Building began in 1497, and went on for several centuries and as such it's built in many different styles - gothic, baroque and classicism - and includes many works of art. The main part is open to the public during services, otherwise access is through the Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro (requires a €3 ticket). On the roof, between the towers there's a viewing platform, and you can walk up stairs to the right hand tower to have great views over the city. cathedral (Q2977) on Wikidata Cathedral on Wikipedia
  • 4 Pueblo Canario, Calle Francisco González Díaz, s/n. A reconstruction of a traditional village, designed by Néstor Martín Fernández de la Torre in 1937 and realized by his brother Miguel two years later. The village covering 3,500 m² is in the Doramas Park and is also a venue for different folkloristic shows. There's also a craft centre and a painting in bodegón style.
  • 5 Ermita de San Antonio Abad, C. los Balcones, 11, +34 928 311800. Tu-Sa 10:00-21:00, Su 10:00-14:00. A former church built in 1757 on the site of a chapel where according to legend Columbus prayed before setting sail westwards. It is used as an exhibition space for the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno.


  • 6 Columbus house museum (Casa Museo de Colón), Calle Colón, 1, +34 928 312 373. The house where Columbus lived when his ships were repaired and improved for his first journey to the West Indies, at the time the house was the residence of the governor. It was remodeled in 1777 so it looks a bit different now and like the cathedral you can see details from many architectural styles. Opera tenor Alfredo Kraus (whose name the local concert hall bears) was born in this house in 1927. In 1952 the house was turned into a museum presenting the travels of Columbus with ship models, a replica of a cabin of La Niña (one of Columbus three ships) and objects one could find onboard a ship in the late 15th century. There's also an exhibition of the history of the Canary Islands, and art gallery presenting art from the 16th to the 20th century and a library with about 25,000 volumes. House museum of Christopher Columbus (Q2813530) on Wikidata
Museo Canario
  • 7 Museo Canario, Calle del Dr. Verneau, 2, +34 928 336 800. Founded in 1879, this museum has the largest collections of objects from the island from the pre-Spanish era, with the oldest objects from about 500 BC. There are models of traditional houses, a replica of the Cueva Pintada cave in Gáldar complete with mummies and a cabinet with skulls.
  • 8 Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Calle los Balcones, 11, +34 928 311 800. The former Banco de España building has been a modern art museum since 1989, housing a collection of about 2,500 works mainly from Europe, Africa and the Americas. free. Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (Q1054252) on Wikidata Atlantic Center of Modern Art on Wikipedia
  • 10 Elder Museum of Science and Technology (Museo Elder de la Ciencia y la Tecnología), Parque de Santa Catalina, . Interactive science museum, with a planetarium, a space station replica and a 3D cinema. Most exhibitions have information in both Spanish and English. When you're in, you can also use the Internet computers there, so the entrance fee is pretty decent. Students and children have a lower entrance fee. Elder Museum of Science and Technology (Q6033305) on Wikidata Elder Museum of Science and Technology on Wikipedia
  • 11 Poema del Mar, Muelle Sanapú. Aquarium opened in 2018 with three different themes named jungle, reef-beach and deep ocean. The big aquarium can be watched from all sides and from the middle, and some of the highlights are big rays and sharks. There's a restaurant too, so you can sit down and watch the underwater life while having a meal.
  • 12 Museo Néstor, Calle Francisco González Díaz, s/n (Pueblo Canario, Parco Doramas), +34 928 245 135. Art museum displaying the works of Néstor Martín-Fernández de la Torre (1887 - 1938), one of the most famous painters of the Canary Islands. Museo Néstor (Q2884470) on Wikidata
In the Pueblo Canario

Streets and squares


If you don't necessarily want to see every corner of the city, do concentrate on the old town, Vegueta. Coming by car from Maspalomas and the airport, turn left at the marina to get to Vegueta. There's an underground parking below the small park, park there and explore the old town on foot.

  • 13 Plaza de Espana. One of the traffic nodes of the city, right at Avenida Mes y López. The square has cafés popular with the younger upper class at nighttime.
  • 14 Ermito de San Telmo. In Triana, at the end of the shopping street. A tiled kiosk houses a café, with tables and chairs below palms where you can take a break and watch people walking by, and the small San Telmo chapel.
  • 15 Plaza de Santa Ana. The square in the front of the cathedral has eight statues out of green rock depicting dogs. It's also lined by other grand buildings: Casa Consistorial (old town hall), Casa Regental, and the Palacio Episcopal (bishop's palace). Plaza Mayor de Santa Ana (Q5574225) on Wikidata


  • 16 Parque Doramas. Named after the Guanche hero Doramas, it's regarded as the most beautiful park in the city. In the present day it's part of the villa district of Ciudad Jardin.
  • 17 Parque Santa Catalina. This is where most of the hot nightlife spots can be found. It's also pretty during the day, although it consist of little more than a few palm trees. There are small cafés next to the park and you can see elderly locals playing domino and chess. Parque de Santa Catalina (Q23979165) on Wikidata



As a beach town, Las Palmas is especially popular for oceanside activities. Catch a wave, grab your snorkel, or just soak up some sun (after applying sunscreen, of course!) Or if you feel like exploring terra firma, do as the locals do and make use of the public tourism bus, known affectionately as the guiriguagua.

Water and beach activities

Las Canteras beach, for many the reason to come to Las Palmas
  • 1 Playa de Las Canteras. Almost 4 km in length, this beach is the very symbol of the city and its citizens. The northern section has golden sand and is above water most of the time. It is good for swimming with low tide, when the barrier emerges, stopping the waves and creating a natural swimming pool. The central area is a natural aquarium, where you can see and feed the local shore-dwelling fish and occasionally turtles and is suitable for snorkelling. At low tide, children can hunt for crabs in the rock pools. Las Canteras is also very popular with surfers, with winds often coming in from the west. The two main spots are "La Cicer" (bigger waves as this part not protected by rocks) and "La Barra". Many schools and gear hiring shops, especially to the south, where the sand is black.
  • 2 Playa de Las Alcaravaneras. Beach right at the port, suitable for tanning rather than water activities. Alcavaneras (Q11752910) on Wikidata
  • 3 Playa del Confital. Beach with volcanic rock surface, mostly used by locals. There are permanent beach chairs and a toilet. El Confital (Q5821550) on Wikidata
  • 4 Playa de la Laja. Beach with grey and brown-black fine sand surface to the southeast of the city, popular with surfers. Playa de La Laja (Q6079132) on Wikidata

Land activities


There are two golf courses in Las Palmas:

The west coast of the peninsula La Isleta in the north of the city is an interesting hiking destination. The coastal path follows black volcanic cliffs rising from the sea. On the cliffs you can see large crabs resting in the sun, and the sand and rock landscape created by erosion also looks interesting.


Carnaval dancers

Major events in the city take place during the winter and early spring. In addition the local newspaper La Provincia has a good coverage on upcoming events, in Spanish.



The local carnaval is almost as famous as that of the neighbouring island of Tenerife, yet different and perhaps even better. It is without a doubt quite spectacular, takes place over 25 days in February and March and is centered on the Santa Catalina Park. The opening ceremony is known as el pregón - "the announcement". A famous musician or a band opens the carnaval with a concert in Santa Catalina park, historically this took place in the small square in the front of the cathedral.

The individual highlights of the carnaval are the six galas. Out of these the largest (attracting most spectators) are the Gala de la Reina where the queen of the carnaval is selected, and the Gala Drag Queen to select the drag queen. The Saturday after these galas, the Gran Cabalgata takes place, a procession through the city from Castillo de la Luz to Teatro Pérez Galdós celebrating the two queens with dance groups (murgas) each consisting of 25-30 dancers in carnaval costumes dancing along the streets to intense music. There are also comparsas - groups composed of rhythm musicians, singers and dancers.

In addition to the main events there are smaller ones like themed nights, a body painting event and a dog show. The carnaval ends with Entierro de La Sardina - "the funeral of the sardine" on Saturday before Shrove Sunday. A mock funeral procession goes through the city ending on Las Canteras beach where a boat with a large sardine in it is burned. This is followed by fireworks, song, dance and partying until next dawn. Shrove Tuesday is the time for the "day carnaval", Carnaval de Día , a street masquerade celebrated in the Santa Catalina park and in the streets and squares of Vegueta.

Other events

Nuestra Señora de la Soledad procession on Good Friday
  • Nuestra Señora de la Soledad. Good Friday. On Good Friday, the statue of Virgin Mary from the Parroquia de San Francisco de Asís church, is carried through the streets of Vegueta in a solemn procession.
  • Lluvia de pétalos (the cathedral). Ascension Day. Ascension Day is celebrated with the "rain of petals", a floral offering. A tradition since 1649, petals are dropped from the inner part of the cupola on the people attending the mass.
  • St John's night. 23 - 24 June. St. John's night marking the beginning of the summer (and the foundation day of the city) is celebrated with fireworks on the Canteras beach and locals and tourists go swimming in the sea during the night. There are similar celebrations all around Gran Canaria.
  • Romería de Vegueta. First weekend in October. The Catholic festival celebrated in the Vegueta area of the city, celebrated as a pilgrimage walk along the streets accompanied with music.
  • WOMAD Music Festival. November. Celebrated in the Santa Catalina Park zone, this festival brings in thousands of spectators every year for quality music free of charge.
  • Christmas (Natale). 25 December. Christmas is considerably warmer than where most visitors come from, and it's common to throw parties on Las Canteras beach. Sometimes a white Christmas tree is set up on the beach to simulate snow (that has never fallen in the city during recorded history), and a nativity scene is built in sand.

Spectator sports

  • Football: 7 UD Las Palmas, Estadio Gran Canaria (3 km south of city centre). They were promoted in 2023 and now play soccer in La Liga, Spain's top tier. The stadium was multi-purpose when opened in 2003, but in 2014 the running track was taken out and capacity expanded to 32,400.
  • 8 Gran Canaria Arena, Calle Fondos de Segura, s/n. Basketball court and cultural venue.
The Alfredo Kraus auditorium


  • 9 Auditorio Alfredo Kraus, Avda. Príncipe de Asturias, s/n, +34 928 491 770. The main venue for classical music and art, built in the 1990s after a design by Óscar Tusquets, next to Las Canteras beach. It's architecturally striking as well, with a huge window to the sea.
  • 10 Teatro Pérez Galdós, Plaza Stagno s/n. Triana. The main theater named after author Benito Pérez Galdós (1843-1920), the main representative of the literary style Spanish realism, who was born in the city. On the adjacent square there's a large monument dedicated to him.
  • 11 Teatro Guiniguada (Cine Avellaneda), Calle Mesa de León, 2, +34 928 32 18 07. Cultural venue in an impressive palace built in 1938. Theater, dance and music shows and film screenings take place here.



Shop in the city centre or in one of the department stores like "El Corte Ingles". There's also the Calle Triana, a pedestrianzed shopping street in the north of the old town. There are cheap electronic products and souvenirs for sale everywhere. For food items, Hiperdino is a chain of stores that has a good range of products and set prices. Some of these stores also have a decent selection of wine. Check out Mercadona too. One local specialty is the local rum: Arehucas, Artemi or Armiche (and check out the local Honey Rum "ron miel").

Mercado del Puerto

Shopping malls

  • 1 Centro Comercial Las Arenas, Carretera. del Rincón, s/n (southern end of Las Canteras beach), +34 928 277 008. The largest shopping mall in the city, featuring a big Carrefour hypermarket. Reportedly very noisy.
  • 2 Centro Comercial El Muelle, Muelle Sta. Catalina, s/n (at the cruise port), +34 928 327 527. This place isn't all about shopping, you can also go there for the views from the terrace - many people go there for just that.



Visiting the markets can be an interesting experience, also to see market life and taste local products.

  • 3 Mercado del Puerto, Albareda 76, +34 928470208. Near Las Canteras beach, in a building from 1891 built in modernist style.
  • 4 Mercado Central, Galicia, +34 928243769. The central market has a large selection of fish and seafood.
  • 5 Mercado de Vegueta, Mendizábal 1, +34 928334129. Founded in 1787 it's the oldest market. It's a particularly good place to buy fresh fruit, most of which has been grown on the Canary Islands.



In a Spanish-speaking environment like Las Palmas, you will likely learn the language more effectively. There are language schools offering different classes depending on your skill level.

The city has a university, focusing on human sciences and medicine. It's partaking in the European Erasmus student exchange programme.


Papas arrugadas, a Canary signature dish. Potatoes boiled in very salty water, left to dry and served with some sauce, in this case chili sauce.

Many restaurants have menus in an abundance of languages, and waiters often will also often be able to converse in your own language.



San Telmo


There are many inexpensive restaurants in the San Telmo neighborhood.

  • 1 Restaurante Bodegón Lagunetas, C. Constantino, 16. The place is super big and has a terrace. Very typical foods. Pleasant treatment of the waiters. Menu of the day and à la carte.
  • 2 Gourie 41, C. Francisco Gourié, 41. Unbeatable choice and quality cuisine. Super attentive and food like home. Best daily menu.
  • 3 Midway, C. Domingo J Navarro, 9. Best (potato) omelettes and tortillas. Spectacular salmorejo. The treatment and service of the waiters is unbeatable.
  • 4 La Coqueta de Cano, C. Cano, 30. Fabulous little tavern for tapas. Charming, pleasant, a meeting point, endearing and... as if the name indicates: Flirtatious. Emblematic and charming terrace.
  • 5 Sakura City, Muelle, 2, +34 928 370 299. Good quality, well-priced Japanese & Asian cuisine. Great for a little something different. Perfect for group or family dinning out. Seated buffet all-you-can-eat menu when dinning in. Various dishes selection for take-away or delivery company order. Located below the San Telmo Park Hotel in San Telmo Park and Main Bus Station.

City centre

  • 6 Tasca Galileo, C. Galileo, 13. Tavern with rustic interior. Delicious food, small but cozy place. Attentive and friendly staff, varied menu, tasty portions.
  • 7 Bochinche El Chato, Calle Dr. Grau Bassas, 12. Small family-run restaurant. Recommended for trying the typical dishes of Canarian cuisine.
  • 8 Bar Cafetería Ricarepa, C. Secretario Artiles, 67. Great variety of typical Venezuelan dishes. Very delicious cachapas and handmade arepas. Great treatment.
  • 9 Mama Angela, C. Sgto. Llagas, 6. Amazing fish pasta and pizza, all fresh products. Most delicious goat meat. Franco and Angela are very friendly.
  • 10 Verde Limón Comida casera, C. Veintinueve de Abril, 11. Delicious Canarian cuisine. It's like your home! Homemade food made with love. Nice and quiet place.
  • 11 Bodegón Pachichi, C. los Martínez de Escobar, 51. A pleasant place to eat typical Canarian tapas and have a good time. Quality local gastronomy. Good vibes.


  • 12 Pizzería Pomodoro, Ruiz de Alda, 24, +34 928 227 488. Good quality, low-priced Italian cuisine; fast, attentive service in a comfortable atmosphere.


At El Confital Bay you can often see crabs

San Telmo

  • 13 La Candella, Av. Primero de Mayo, 18, +34 928 20 27 32. Tu-Su, 13:00-16:00 and 20:00-23:30. Good wood-fired pizzas to go or to eat in. Approx. €10 for a pizza.
  • 14 La Travesia de Triana, C. Lagunetas, 11. Great tapas bar with flair, larger selection of wines than in many other tapas bars. The grilled octopus or the fried black pudding are real highlights. Great food and amazing atmosphere! Also a good sign to be swarmed by locals who call the staff by their first names. Efficient service given the number of people.
  • 15 Restaurante Que leche!, C. Torres, 22. Exquisite treatment, careful and delicious food, excellently presented. A small place with personal service. The broken eggs and the aguachile to be loved. Attentive service and great local wines. Reservation for the dinner is recommended.
  • 16 Tasca Siete Viejas, C. Pelota, 6. A lovely tapas bar. The food is incredible, the waiter so lovely and helpful. The chicken salad, the asparagus with truffle and Parmesan, the grilled cheese and the potatoes are amazing. The staff is very kind and the bar has a lot of character with historic value. The most charming place in Vegueta.
  • 17 La Dolce Vita, Calle Agustín Millares Torres, 5, +34 928 31 04 63. Italian restaurant renovned for its pasta dishes and film posters on the walls.

City centre

  • 18 Restaurante Samoa, Valencia, 46, +34 928 241 471. A favourite of the locals, for good solid Spanish food with appropriate (not too high) prices. Top Spanish tapas and home made local cuisine. A super homey place, the waiters are super attentive and very friendly.
  • 19 Restaurante Ons, C. Portugal, 13,. Spectacular second courses and giant portions. Generous, cordial, emotional service. The food is beautifully presented and very delicious. Highly recommend is the potato salad with shrimps. Less touristic place with really good simple, tasty cuisine and variety of dishes.
  • 20 Restaurante Tabla Caliente, C. la Naval, 6. A different place to eat very well. They make the food in front of you, with care and professionalism. Very friendly, they recommend you according to your tastes. A lovely local restaurant. A place that seems like you are at home.
  • 21 Sakura I, Calle Néstor de la Torre, 29, +34 928 248 221. High-quality Japanese kitchen, great value for money.


  • 22 Camino al Jamonal, C. Américo Vespucio, 11. Really good jamon and iberico restaurant. The treatment is very friendly, the place charming and the food exceptional. It is hard to find a restaurant of this quality on the island. The restaurant has few tables so you have to book in advance, especially on holidays.
  • 23 Restaurante Marisquería Rías Bajas, Simon Bolivar, 3, +34 928 271 316. Excellent Spanish food. Very tasty dishes, unique service and a cozy place. Highlighted are the quality of its products, the sincerity and professionalism of its employees. Central location with terrace.



Local beverages include the Arehucas rum, that is drunk straight or with cola, and the Tropical beer.

  • 1 Bar San Remo, C. Secretario Artiles, 42. 11:00-01:00. Cozy bar with indoor and outdoor seating, pool and darts. €2.5 beer, approx. €5 cocktails.
  • 3 NYC TAXI RockBar, Calle Numancia, 25, +34 928 220 861. Bar where blues and rock music is played. Also serves hamburgers and sandwiches.
  • 5 Ginger, Paseo las Canteras, 2, +34 696 728 992. Cocktail bar.
  • 6 Bodegón Pachichi, Calle los Martínez de Escobar, 51, +34 646 62 18 42. A classic for cheap drinks, and a favourite with locals.




Night falls over Las Canteras beach
  • 2 Hostal Falow, Calle Alfredo Calderón 25, +34 928 230 627. Clean, welcoming and cheap guesthouse with Wi-Fi.
  • 3 Hotel Apartamento Bajamar, Venezuela 34, +34 928276254. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Hotel Apartment 70 m from las Canteras Beach, near commercial hub Mesa y Lopez Avenue; 19 complete apartments.
  • 4 Hello House Hostel Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Calle Conde Albrit, 24. Family friendly hostel, knowledgable hosts, clean, good value, free wifi and workspaces available in common areas. Bookings only accepted by Airbnb with a 3 nights minimum booking & no same day bookings accepted. Hello House does not have reception service and guests need schedule an arrival time with hosts through website. Permitted entry only to booked guests and hosts. Smoking permitted only on designated rooftop terrace space. Increased percentage discounts available for stays longer then a week or month. Persons under 18 years of age are denied admission unless accompanied by a legal guardian. Hostel is on a hillside (with lots of stairs to climb) 15 minutes walk uphill from the city of Las Palmas central main bus station - Bus Station San Telmo. Hello House Hostel doesn't have wheelchair access and pets NOT permitted. Local bus access by #32 bus is possible to bus stop beside this hostel at certain hours. Closed seasonally from 01 July to 15 September. avg €14 bed per night in 4 person dormitory; €30 per night (1 or 2 adults) private room; 3 night minimum booking; only available on Airbnb.


  • 5 Hotel Madrid, Plaza de Cairasco, 4, +34 928 36 06 64. Old historic hotel in the Triana district, it has been renovated without losing the old atmosphere. On the other hand it doesn't have all of the features other mid-range hotels have. The restaurant's walls are covered with photos of prominent guests.
  • 6 NH Imperial Playa, Ferreras, 1, +34 92 8468854, . Centrally located on the Paseo de Las Canteras, close to the beach of the same name. A resort and business hotel overlooking the ocean. There is one other NH Hotel in Las Palmas.
  • 8 Hotel Pujol, Salvador Cuyas 5, +34 928 27 44 33. Two star hotel with 48 rooms.
  • 10 Hotel The Fataga, Calle Néstor de la Torre, 21, +34 928 290 614. Rooms have normal amenities for a mid-range hotel: bathroom, A/C, tv, coffee maker, fridge, Wi-Fi. The hotel has a restaurant and business workspace.


Hotel Santa Catalina, one of the city's most iconic hotels, in business since 1890
  • 13 Bull Hotel Reina Isabel & Spa, Calle Alfredo L. Jones 40, +34 928 260-100, fax: +34 928 274-558, . Another iconic hotel of the city, opened in 1965 right at the beach promenade of Las Canteras. There are 208 rooms and 16 suites, and a roof terrace with a large pool offering nice views both to the city on one hand and the ocean and Tenerife on the other. Adjacent to the terrace there's a spa and wellness area, likewise with views. You can eat breakfast at the outdoor seating and watch beach life and walkers along the promenade.
  • 14 AC Hotel Gran Canaria, Eduardo Benot , 3-5, +34 928 266 100. Four star hotel part of the Mariott chain.
  • 15 Hotel Cristina, Calle Gomera, 6, +34 928 268 050. The five star Cristina opened in 1970 is the most luxurious of the hotels on the beach, though the prices are reasonable for what one gets also during high season.


Las Palmas has good connectivity



As of June 2022, Las Palmas has 4G from MasMovil/Yoigo, and 5G from Movistar, Orange and Vodafone.



There are free Wi-Fi areas around town both in public and private spaces, the latter include Las Arenas and El Muelle shopping malls.

Postal services


The postal office in the El Corte Inglés department store has longer opening times (until 21:30) and has poste restante, parcel and money transfer services. The same set of services can be found at the 5 post office at calle Anzofe 18-20, (behind Castello de la Luz). The 6 main post office is in Triana at Avenida Primero de Mayo 62, and the 7 Vegueta post office is at Granadera Canaria 28.

Stay safe


If you have a veranda/patio on ground level - don't leave doors nor windows open unattended for any period of time.

Stay away from anyone that offers you anything for free -like lottery tickets or a free meal. These are often salespeople who want you to buy potentially worthless "holiday club" memberships or dodgy time-shares. They may seem pleasant at first, but may turn hostile and start threatening you.

You may run into drunks and prostitutes on the streets. During nighttime, particularly in the small hours when nightclubs there will be groups of drunks who occasionally pick fights with oncomers just for the fun of it. If you're out then, it's safer to take a taxi.

Go next

Houses in Teror
View from Pico de las Nieves to Tenerife

Any destination on Gran Canaria is reachable as a daytrip if you have a car. Nearby destinations include:

  • 8 Gáldar. Used to be the capital of Gran Canaria before the Spanish conquered the island. La Cueva Pintada (The painted cave) represent a piece of history of the Guanche population. Rediscovered in 1862 it contains a lot of pre-Hispanic frescoes. From here it's just 10 km to Puerto de las Nieves from where there are ferries to Tenerife.
  • 9 Arucas. Famous for its rum and its cathedral built of black lava rock. The distillery is open to the public and it can be visited for free. There are samples of different alcoholic beverages that can be tested. Arucas (Q716384) on Wikidata Arucas, Las Palmas on Wikipedia
  • 10 Teror. Traditional village 24 km inland from Las Palmas. It's famous for its white decorated houses and for the weekly flea market. Here you can see the sanctuary Virgen del Pino, the island's patroness built on the site where Virgin Mary according to legend appeared in 1481. From here you can continue further inland with the mountainous landscape described as a miniature of Tibet to reach Morro de la Agujereada, the highest point on Gran Canaria at 1956 m above sea level.
  • 11 Tejeda. Go up to the mountains where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the island. You can walk to the "Roque Nublo" by foot through stoned pathways built centuries ago. El Roque Nublo is the symbol of Gran Canaria.
  • 12 Burrone di Guayadeque (Barranco de Guayadeque). One of the deepest canyons on the island with many caves where many archaeological discoveries have been made. Many caves have been turned into chapels, restaurants or similar. Regional road GC-103 follows the bottom of the canyon. At its southeastern end are the villages of Ingenio famous for its porcelain and Agüimes famous for its architecture that has inspired a resort in Maspalomas.
  • 13 Santa Brígida. Town with a view to the Bandama volcanic crater. Santa Brígida, Las Palmas (Q984488) on Wikidata Santa Brígida, Las Palmas on Wikipedia
  • 14 Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo (7 km from downtown). Established by Swedish botanist Nils Svedelius around 1950, it gives a good overview of the plant life of the Canary Islands. Highlights include the cactus garden and waterfalls. It's accessible by city bus (line 301) or car (parking available). free. Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo (Q1303386) on Wikidata Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo on Wikipedia
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