A stroll through the district of Vegueta is undoubtedly one of the essential things to do in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. You can visit the old quarter of the capital on foot, as practically all of its streets are cobbled and therefore pedestrianised. Here are our top 10 places to see in Las Palmas old town. Let’s go!
Places to visit in Vegueta old town: the 10 must-sees
1. Casa de Colón, what to see in Las Palmas old town
The Casa de Colón or Cristopher Columbus house is one of the most beautiful and emblematic buildings from Gran Canaria. It has more than 500 years old and nowadays it is a museum. It is focused on studying and divulge the history from the city and its relationship with America. The museum also has a section with some recreations from the expeditions which Cristopher Columbus did. Moreover, they invite you to discover everything about Cristopher Columbus visit to the Canary Islands. Finally, there is a painting collection from the centuries between the XVI and XIX.
In front of the Casa de Colón we have the back side from the Catedral de Canarias (Canary Islands Cathedral) and the Pilar Nuevo square, a place where the women usually met to collect water. At the Pilar Nuevo square there are some nice terraces to have a drink.
2. Santa Ana Cathedral and square
Another of the things to do in Vegueta is to visit the Cathedral of Santa Ana. It is considered to be the most important monument of Canarian religious architecture. In fact, it is also known as the Cathedral of the Canary Islands. We recommend you to climb to the top of the cathedral to have a panoramic view of the whole city and the coast. To enter the cathedral, the diocesan museum of sacred art, as well as to climb to the top of one of the towers, you have to pay €6 per person (children under 12 free). For over 65s, Canarian residents, large families and students €4 per person. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.
Construction of the cathedral began in 1497 and continued until the end of the 20th century. The styles it combines are neoclassical (façade), Gothic and Renaissance. It is next to the famous Santa Ana square, the first planned main square in Spain (16th century). From here you can see different historical buildings of Vegueta, as well as the Cathedral of Santa Ana. These are the Bishopric, the Casas Consistoriales, the Casa Regental, the High Court of Justice of the Canary Islands and the Provincial Historical Archive. You will also come across the well-known statues of the canary dog or “can”.
By the way, if you want to take a break, we recommend a stop for a drink on the Belvedere terrace, a rooftop with the best views of the Cathedral and Plaza de Santa Ana square.
3. San Antonio Abad hermitage and its small square
This hermitage is located at its square with the same name and it is well known because Cristopher Columbus prayed here in his stop at Gran Canaria in 1492, before starting its way to the discovery of America. It was the first church in the town.
Just a few steps away from the chapel you can walk along Calle Montesdeoca, where Juan Rejón founded the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (formerly Villa Real de Las Tres Palmas) on the night of San Juan in 1478. And why the name? Because at that time three palm trees were planted here (you can see them in the photo above). Since then, the capital celebrates its birthday every 24th of June with its famous founding festivities. If you want to discover more stories about Vegueta, you can book a free tour here or take a more complete tour that includes entrance to the Cathedral and the Casa-Museo de Colón.
4. Espíritu Santo Square and hermitage
The Espíritu Santo square is located next to the Consistorial Houses, old headquarter from the municipal offices until 1979. It is one of the noblest areas from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Therefore, around it we can appreciate some stately constructions. There is a fountain covered with a stone cupola. It is one of the few covered fountains from the hispanic architecture. Next to the fountain there is a drago and an araucaria tree and it represents the twinning between the Canary Islands and America. In the same square we will find the hermitage Espíritu Santo which was built in 1540.
5. Santo Domingo square and Church
The Santo Domingo square and church are the focus from the Rosario pilgrimage which goes across Vegueta and Triana in October, since from here it starts. This square has a fountain from the century XVIII and the church with the same name.
6. Vegueta market
The Vegueta Market opened in 1863, so it is one of the oldest from the island. Here you will find all kind of fresh products of Gran Canaria and mix with the resident people.
7. Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM museum)
The CAAM museum is a contemporary art centre located at the awesome street Los Balcones (the balconies) and it opened its doors in 1989. The building still keeps its facade, neoclassic style and its main courtyard. Its exhibitions have the last trends from the art world.
8. Canarian Museum
This museum tell us how the Canarian indigenous lived, so it is mainly dedicated to the Canary Islands history and prehistory.
9. The most beautiful streets of Vegueta in Las Palmas
We love some Vegueta old town streets. One is the Pelota street because of its gastronomic offer and beautiful buildings as the one we can see below. We have also Los Balcones street, because of the different balconies that it has. Finally we recommend you the Mendizábal street because of the festive atmosphere that you will find here every Thursday with the tapas night.
10. Triana neighborhood
Finally, if you have time, we recommend you visit the Triana neighborhood, another of the most beautiful and oldest in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It is only five minutes away on foot, crossing the Guiniguada ravine. Currently, through this area of the Guiniguada ravine, there is a road that connects the district of Vegueta, Cono Sur and Tafira. It is also the exit from this part of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria towards the south of the island or towards the port.
Free tour through Vegueta old town
If you prefer to be accompanied by an expert guide on your visit to the neighbourhoods of Triana and Vegueta, we recommend that you hire a free walking tour of the city (2 hours) in which you pay the guide whatever you consider necessary for his services. As mentioned before, there is also a more complete guided tour that includes access to the Cathedral and the Columbus house (2.5 hours), which you can see here.
Restaurants in Vegueta old town
There are some yummy restaurants in Vegueta. If you really want to mix with the locals, you have also the option of visiting the ruta de los pinchos or tapas route which takes place every Thursday evening at the Mendizábal street and streets around it. We will mention our favorite restaurants in Vegueta old town below.
- Triciclo and Manuela Jimena. These are two restaurants with creative cuisine located on Pelota Street. Both are from the same owner, the Triciclo has a more daring and current cuisine with a mixture of flavors that will amaze you. Concerning Manuela Jimena, they try to imitate the typical Madrid bar with tapas, calamari sandwich and even churros with chocolate for dessert. Both have very good service.
- Tapas route. As we explained you, every Thursday evening, mainly at the Mendizabal street, it takes place the “pinchos” night at Vegueta. Normally you will pay 2€ for one beer and a Spanish tapa. This night we recommend you the restaurants La Barbería and La Champiñonería.
- Have a drink on the Belvedere rooftop. As we mentioned before, as well as having a coffee or a good cocktail with views of Santa Ana, you can also have a bite to eat here. They have a variety of croquettes, Canarian cheeses, Iberian cured meats and a wide range of preserves.
- Breakfast. At the boutique hotel Suites 1478 you can enjoy a super full breakfast for 15€ (even if you are not staying). The hotel is an old Canarian house full of works of art. It’s beautiful, but what we like the most is the breakfast. You have all the details about this hotel, as well as how to book breakfast here.
Hotels in Vegueta old town
The old town is a very good option to stay in the capital. In addition, they have recently opened several boutique hotels. We leave you below with a link if you want to check the different options of hotels in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Vegueta.
Video about the places to visit in Vegueta Las Palmas
Guides to Gran Canaria
Finally, we invite you to take a look at our guides to Gran Canaria. With these routes and itineraries you can discover the most authentic side of the island. What’s more, you won’t have to look for what to do and where to eat, wasting your time, we have already organised everything for you. You can see them all below.