No holiday to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is complete without visiting the city centre. However, if you venture a little further out, your efforts will be rewarded. Visit one of the...
No holiday to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is complete without visiting the city centre. However, if you venture a little further out, your efforts will be rewarded. Visit one of the city's neighbourhoods such as Arenales, which is home to both the El Obelisco monument and the inspiring institution, Casa África.
Climb up to the colourful barrios of San Nicolas and San Juan. Sitting at the top of a cliff, this area was one of the first to be inhabited on the island. The irregularity of house shapes is due to the fact that the vast majority were self-constructed homes. Formerly more disadvantaged neighbourhoods, they are now an iconic image of the city. Wander down narrow streets and enjoy panoramic views of the city.
Another neighbourhood worth checking out is La Isleta, which is one of the most historic areas in the city. Here you'll be able to meet the descendants of those who stood up to the naval attack of the fearsome pirate, Sir Francis Drake. This admiral, who is a hero in England was considered more of a villain in Spanish waters.
The residents of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria enjoy the second-best climate in the world. Understandably, they like to take advantage of this and one of the most popular ways of doing so is to cycle, skate or simply walk along the Avenida Marítima.
The Avenida Marítima connects the pretty fishing village of San Cristóbal, arguably the best place to eat in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (especially if you're a fish and seafood enthusiast), with Playa de Alcaravaneras. Locals also enjoy taking a stroll through Triana - the city's main pedestrianised shopping area, part of the city's historic centre with a mix of emblematic buildings and architecture. Walk along the Paseo de Las Canteras promenade, situated along Las Palmas de Gran Canaria's premier beach - Playa de las Canteras. This promenade is best enjoyed with an ice cream purchased from one of the many parlours.
Located on the doorstep of the city is a natural wonder called the Caldera de Bandama or the "Cauldron of Bandama". This volcanic crater and geological wonder is located towards the outer limits of the city. The city buses don't go out as far as Caldera de Bandama, instead, take a Global bus heading to Santa Brígida. You can then hike down to the bottom of the 200m-deep cauldron.
You can, however, take a city bus to within walking distance of Tafira's Jardín Botánico Viera y Clavijo. Gran Canaria's botanic garden is living proof that anything grows on the island. This garden displays both native and imported plants. Wander around exploring the impressive collection of flora including giant cacti as well as small lakes and streams.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is home to the Pueblo Canario, a facsimile of a traditional Canarian village in the heart of the capital.
There are free live performances of Canarian folk music here every Thursday afternoon and Sunday morning which you can watch from the comfort of a table on the outdoor terrace, although you'll need to arrive early to secure a seat. The Pueblo Canario also houses the Museo Néstor, one of the city's art galleries.
Of course one of the best things to do on Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is to visit one of its beautiful beaches. Most people head to one of Spain's finest urban beaches, Las Canteras and who can blame them. But if you prefer to walk on the wild side, visit the rough and rugged El Confital. This beach is famous for surfing with many important world championships being held here drawing professional surfers from all over the world.
Nudism is also allowed on this beach. Despite the good waves that are behind the reef that runs through El Confital, there is also a quiet bathing area as well as small saltwater pools and mini beaches to bathe safely away from the waves.
To see Anglo-Saxon influences in Gran Canaria's capital, make your way to the Ciudad Jardín or "City Garden". An oasis in the bustling city, this neighbourhood was established by British residents who dominated the economic life of the region during the late 19th century. In this part of town, you will find many embassies and elegant residential houses set in small gardens, displaying various architectural styles.
As well as housing many of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria's most desirable residences, Ciudad Jardín is also home to the Holy Trinity Church which is the only place that organises fetes in the capital. As well as Parque Doramas, a beautifully landscaped park with water features, statues, a swimming pool and many plants.
Local hipsters love the pedestrianised street that connects Bravo Murillo with the Plaza Cairasco. In Plaza Cairasco you will find many restaurants and bars with terraces. Find the vibrant atmosphere in places such as 200 Gramos and Vai Piano. Pérez Galdós is another great place, there is plenty of historic architecture to capture including the grand Palacete Rodríguez Quegles. Discover more of the best hipster hangouts in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Spend a couple of hours browsing the vintage shops in Las Palmas. Visit Polonium 209 on Carretera del rincón, selling upcycled and pre-owned furniture from the 1940s to 1980s. Admire the items are displayed in a vintage-industrial setting. For vintage clothing, stop by Flamingos Vintage Kilo Las Palmas on Avenida Rafael Cabrera 7 and pick up pieces ranging from the 50s to the 80s at low prices.