Las Palmas is the capital of Gran
Canaria - and also the 'capital' of the Canary Islands region.
With its 400,000 inhabitants, Las Palmas can be considered a
'small city' and the town is definitely suitable for a 3-4-day
To many people,
Las Palmas is known for its incredible beach, Playa de las
Canteras, and the area behind the beach, which is scattered with
bars, cafés and restaurants.
But Las Palmas has a lot more to
offer. The old quarter, La Vegueta, is very interesting and
there are several good museums in the town.
The major shopping street in Las
Palmas is Avenida Mesa y López, where you will find exclusive
shops such as Versace and Gucci as well as the department store
El Corte Inglés. One of the largest department stores in Spain.
The beaches in Las Palmas
There are two large beaches in Las Palmas, of which Playa de las
Canteras is the most famous one. The beach is a lovely 4 km long
sand beach with some of the clearest water in Gran Canaria. Some
people would even call it the best beach in Spain.
A bit out in the water, there is
a natural reef, La Barra, which is blocking the waves. You
should be very careful when snorkelling next to this reef, and
only when there is a green flag at the beach.
Behind Playa de las Cantera there is a busy sea front with a
wide variety of bars, cafés and restaurants.
There are often surfers on the
water, particularly at the end of the beach called 'La Cicer'.
Here you can spend quite some time watching the daredevils surf
the big waves.
Restaurants and night life
Las Palmas has a very wide selection of cafés and restaurants.
Several of the best restaurants are located in the alleys behind
the sea front. It is possible to eat all kinds of food, but why
not have fish now that you are staying on an island. Fish
courses in Gran Canaria typically include swordfish or sea bass.
The bars are a whole other story:
most of the small bars serve delicious tapas. Some of them are
mainly for tourists, whereas others mostly have local guests.
The night life is also very
varied. There are lots of bars, discos and night clubs. There is
something for every musical taste and age group.
Attractions and activities
The old quarter of Las Palmas is called La Vegueta. With its
narrow streets and historical buildings, it is an attraction in
itself. The many wooden balconies are worth noting, which is one
of the special features of La Vegueta.
The museum Casa de Colón is one
of the main cultural attractions in Las Palmas. It is an old
governor's house where Christopher Columbus allegedly lived in
1492 before he went out on his famous journeys. Columbus was
called Cristóbal Colón in Spanish, which is the reason for the
name of the museum. In the museum, you will find some of the
objects that he brought back from the Mayan and Aztec culture.
Another well-known museum is
Museo Canario. It was founded as early as 1879. It displays the
history of Gran Canaria, with special focus on the original
inhabitants, the Guanches. The museum displays many of the
archaeological finds of the island, including tools, pottery and
The Cathedral in Las Palmas is
called Santa Ana. It is a marvellous building from the 1500s.
From the top of one of the towers, you can enjoy the view of the
town, and there is also a museum.
The concert hall Auditorio
Alfredo Kraus is located by the beach, Playa de las Canteras.
You will find it at the end called La Cicer. The auditorium
offers a varied musical programme; for instance, the Las Palmas
philharmonic orchestra often plays here. There are also operas,
concerts and much more.