In this post we are going to talk about the things to do in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, capital of Gran Canaria island and the province of Las Palmas. It is located northeast of Gran Canaria and is the most populated city of the Canary Islands with around 380,000 inhabitants. In addition, it is among the 10 largest cities in Spain.
As we see it, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has to be on your list of places to visit in Gran Canaria. In this article, you will find the following contents to discover the capital on your own.
- Vegueta old town
- FREE WALKING TOUR
- Triana, one of the most beautiful neighborhoods
- Beaches of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
- San Cristóbal neighborhood
- Shopping areas
- ACTIVITIES in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
- EXCURSIONS from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
- Map of the places to visit in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
- History of the city
- Video about the things to see and do in Las Palmas
- Restaurants in Las Palmas
- HOTELS in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
- How to get around the city
- HOW TO GET to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
- Best time to visit Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
- Nightlife in Gran Canaria
- Guides to Gran Canaria
Things to do in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has a lot to offer and we as residents have experienced its gradual modernization. More and more hotels are opening, new restaurants and leisure areas are being incorporated, mobility is more sustainable, etc. In addition, in Las Palmas you will find unique urban beaches and an old town with a lot of history. At the same time, we are sure that its delicious gastronomic offer will not leave you indifferent (all the details at the end of our article).
You should also know that it is an ideal destination for outdoor shopping due to its different shopping streets and markets. Next, we make a list of all the places to visit in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
1. Vegueta. One of the best places to visit in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Vegueta is the old part of the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Many of its streets are pedestrians, so a walk on foot through Vegueta is one of the things to see in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Here you have to visit the following:
- Santa Ana Cathedral and square
- Columbus house and museum
- Espíritu Santo square
- Hermitage de San Antonio Abad
- Vegueta market
- Pilar nuevo square
- Santo Domingo square and parish
- Beautiful streets: Montesdeoca, La Pelota, Colón, Los Balcones
We recommend our post about 10 things to do in Vegueta for more details and pictures of each place to visit.
Anyway, the most important thing to discover in your visit is the link between Christopher Columbus and the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. And, specifically, in this area of the city. For example, in the hermitage of San Antonio Abad Columbus prayed on his way through the island of Gran Canaria.
2. Free walking tour Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
If you want an expert to give you a first-hand explanation of every nook and cranny of the city, don’t miss a free tour of Las Palmas (2 hours). Remember that you can climb the tower of the Cathedral for panoramic views. The entrance fee is €6 per person. The reduced price for students, large families, over 65s and Canarian residents is €4 per person (under 12s free). Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.
3. Triana neighborhood, things to do in Las Palmas
It is one of the most beautiful parts of the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Also, together with Vegueta, Triana is one of the oldest neighborhoods. Here you will find shops of all kinds in its different pedestrian streets, restaurants, bars, parks, etc. So that, this part of the city is a must within the different things of what to see in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
In Triana you will also find a large number of emblematic places. We recommend you go through the following:
- Gabinete Literario (access to the interior for members only) and the Cairasco square
- Alameda de Colón
- Pérez Galdós Theater
- Most beautiful streets: Triana, Cano and Pérez Galdós
- House-museum Benito Pérez Galdós (Cano street)
- Lagunetas square and the mural in honor of the women who have stood out throughout history
- Palacete Rodríguez Quegles (Pérez Galdós street)
- San Telmo park and its kiosk
Both in the Pérez Galdós Theater and in the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium, you can enjoy the best theater, music and dance on the island.
4. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria beaches
In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria there are four urban beaches. We mention them below:
✔ Las Canteras beach. One of the best things to do in Las Palmas
The most important and incredible one is the famous beach of Las Canteras. Along it there is a promenade that goes from the Alfredo Kraus auditorium to La Puntilla full of restaurants. In the previous link you can you can have a look at all the relevant information about this beach. As we see it, it is one of the best beaches of Gran Canaria. And the best way to get to know it is by walking it from Alfredo Kraus to Los Nidillos. If you can, even to El Confital beach.
✔ El Confital beach and promenade, places to visit in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
From El Confital you will have spectacular views of the bay of Las Canteras and a large part of the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Also, if you like sports, it has a nice wooden boardwalk and trails for running on land. These trails take you to the neighborhood of Las Coloradas where you will undoubtedly have the best view of the capital of the island of Gran Canaria.
Swimming in El Confital is prohibited due to the quality of its waters. Even so, we locals frequent it a lot to make some sport, sunbathe and meet our friends.
✔ Las Alcaravaneras beach
In the heart of the city we find the beach of Las Alcaravaneras. The smallest of all. It is located next to the marina and is in front of the entrance to the port of Las Palmas. It is ideal for practicing sports such as beach volleyball, canoeing and swimming. Even many groups come to do functional training here.
✔ La Laja beach and natural pools
Last, at the other side of the city, in the access from the south, we find La Laja beach and its natural pools. The beach is of dark sand and has some pools with sea water. To get here there is a spectacular sea promenade, but there are about 10 kilometers from the city center. Better by bike in the lane that is enabled.
5. San Cristóbal neighborhood, things to do in Las Palmas by bike
Another place to visit in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the fishing district of San Cristóbal. It is a fishing neighborhood that is characterized by its colorful houses and local essence. Here you will also find small beaches and coves of stones, in addition to the Torreón de San Pedro Mártir (Castle of San Cristóbal). It is a bit far from the center, but you can get there by bike.
In San Cristóbal you will be able to eat good fresh fish and Canarian food in its best-known restaurants: La Cofradía de Pescadores, Miramar and Los Botes.
6. Markets in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Things to do in Las Palmas
In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria there are three main markets: Vegueta market, Central market and the Port Market. Both the Vegueta market and the central market are focused purely on the sale of fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, fish, flowers, etc. However, the Port Market (Mercado del Puerto) has become a space of restoration composed of different stalls. A few time ago it operated like the rest of the markets in the city.
7. Shopping in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Concerning to shopping, we recommend the area of Triana for its beauty and offer exclusive shops on the island. On Calle Cano is one of our favorite multi-brand stores with national and international fashion. It is Regaliz Funwear.
You also have the area of Avenida José Mesa y López where El Corte Inglés department store and other stores are concentrated. In addition, there is next to Las Canteras Beach a large shopping center, Las Arenas. Here are all the shops you will find wherever you travel, including Primark. Finally, if you are interested in the outlets, in the outskirts of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria you can visit the Las Terrazas shopping center.
8. Things to do in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: enjoy the museums
If you are one of the travelers who loves culture and likes to visit the museums of the cities you visit, we will mention the most important ones:
- House-Museum of Christopher Columbus. It is the house where Christopher Columbus lived during his time in the Canary Islands. Currently it is a museum that deals with the history of the Admiral, as well as the links between Gran Canaria and America.
- Canary Museum, Vegueta. Here they will let you know everything you need to know how the Canarian aborigines lived.
- Atlantic Center of Modern Art (CAAM museum), Vegueta. It is the main museum of contemporary art on the island and the Canary Islands. This is one of the things to do in Gran Canaria for free, as there is no entrance fee.
- Museum Elder, Puerto-Canteras. This is the reference museum of science and technology on the island.
- Castillo de la Luz, Martín Chirino Art and Thought Foundation. In the area of the Muelle de La Luz we find this foundation in honor of the Canarian artists of the 20th century, more specifically in Martín Chirino. The building itself is the Castillo de La Luz, built in 1494 when Gran Canaria was included in the Crown of Castile.
- House-Museum Pérez Galdós, Triana. On Cano Street in the Triana neighborhood you can visit the house where the Canarian writer Benito Pérez Galdós was born and lived. It is a house from the XIX century.
9. Tours in Las Palmas city
Below we detail some activities to do in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. In each link you will find the price and reviews from other travelers:
- Clear Kayak tour in Las Canteras (2 hours)
- Guided tour in the Cathedral of Canarias, Santa Ana square and Casa de Colón (2,5 hours)
- Guided tour through Vegueta and Triana (2 hours)
- Poema del mar aquarium, one of the best things to do with kids in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
10. The best tours from the capital
Below we mention the best tours you can do from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to discover other important areas of the island of Gran Canaria. You cannot leave without visiting the Roque Nublo. In each link you can access the prices and days of the tours, as well as know the reviews of other travelers:
- Guided tour to Teror, Roque Nublo and la Caldera de Bandama (7,5 hours)
- Excursion to Maspalomas, Mogán and Guayadeque ravine (8 hours)
- Tour to Valle de Agaete and the coffee plantations (7 hours)
- Excursion to Maspalomas, Puerto de Mogán and Arguineguín market (8 hours)
Map of the things to do in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Below you can consult a map with the main points of interest to see in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria so that you can plan your route around the capital.
Brief history of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
The city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria was founded on June 24, 1478 when Juan Rejón, the captain of Castile, founded the Real de Las Palmas. This small corner gave rise to the historic neighborhood of Vegueta. The foundational center was initially formed by some houses surrounded by a small wall. On one of these buildings, the Casa de los Gobernadores, is today the famous Casa de Colón.
Today you can find the previous facade on Montesdeoca street in the historic center of the city. Next to this stone there are three palm trees (three palms) identifying the exact point where the capital of Gran Canaria was founded. All this will be explained to you by a local guide if you decide to book a walking tour of Las Palmas.
Video: things to do in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
We have also prepared a video for you about the places to see in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Here we mention the points of interest to see in Las Palmas in one day (not counting the museums of course). Remember that you can subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss more videos about what to do on the island. And keep reading that below we tell you more things you need to know before traveling to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Places to eat in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
An important part about the best things to do in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is also enjoy eating 🙂 We suggest you to have a look at our 10 favorite restaurants in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Hotels in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Without any doubt, one of the best places to stay in Gran Canaria is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. We always recommend that you stay at least one night in the city, which is where the local life is. Do your search for hotels in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria now and stay where the local life is! Here we show you one of the most emblematic hotels in the capital, opened in 1890, the Santa Catalina hotel.
How to get around Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
The best way to visit the capital of Gran Canaria is on foot, especially the pedestrian areas of Vegueta and Triana streets. However, it all depends on how many days you have to visit the city. If you ask us about the best the things to see in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 1 day, we recommend renting a bike to be able to travel, for example, from Plaza Santa Ana to Confital beach. Throughout the city there are SityCleta bikes for rent by time. We leave you below a tour of Las Palmas by bike in case it helps you to visit more important places on your own.
Another option is to travel by public transport. The company that operates within the city is called Guaguas Municipales (we do not have a metro or Lyft or Uber in Las Palmas). On the other hand, in the capital we also have the Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour that will help you get to know Las Palmas quickly.
How to get to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Before moving on to the next topic, let us tell you that Las Palmas is approximately 25 minutes from Gran Canaria Airport. You can get there by bus directly to Parque Santa Catalina or to Parque de San Telmo. The most comfortable option that many travelers choose is the private transfer. You can check the prices based on the number of people, as well as the reviews of other users here.
Best time to visit Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
As we see it, any month is perfect to visit Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. However, if you can choose, we recommend the months of May and June or September and October. Why? These are the months in which the weather in Las Palmas usually has more sunny days and it is not so hot. During the months of July and August, the famous donkey belly is installed in the city. That is, a layer of clouds that is formed thanks to the trade winds. The good thing is that thanks to this phenomenon the temperatures remain warm without rising above 30 degrees in the middle of summer. Of course, you will not see the radiant sun.
From November to April the weather is also pleasant and rarely goes below 17 degrees. However, it is cooler and there is more chance of rain. Although, the donkey belly will no longer be there and it is easier to see the sun in the sky of the city. The above photo was taken at Christmas time.
Festivals in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
One of the most important festivals in the city is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival, which is mostly held in the surroundings of Parque Santa Catalina. In this setting the famous Drag Gala takes place, the election of the Carnival Queen and the best murga (parody singers). On the other hand, in the Triana and Vegueta neighborhood, the Day Carnival and Los Indianos are celebrated. They are usually celebrated during the month of February, everything will depend on when will be the Easter. If you want to know the program of each year, the ideal is that you consult the website of the Las Palmas City Council.
On the other hand, during the month of June the founding festivals of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria take place. With which, for approximately two weeks the City Council schedules a series of events and concerts for its celebration. Finally, the big party takes place on the eve of San Juan (June 23) around Las Canteras beach. This night the residents meet at the beach and many of them even bathe to the sound of fireworks.
Nightlife in Las Palmas
We don’t want to go on too long here explaining where to go out in Las Palmas, but we do want to leave you here with our post about nightclubs in Las Palmas.
Guides to Gran Canaria
Finally, if you want to know more about the most authentic side of Gran Canaria island, as well as about the restaurants we frequent, you can not miss our local guides of the island. Stop wasting your time looking for information here and there, we have all you need here!