There is no actual city centre. The nucleus is the picturesque old town Vegueta. The city has several districts:
- Vegueta - Historical enclave of the city.
- Triana - One of the oldest districts in Las Palmas, and now the city's commercial centre.
- Isleta - The district bordering the northern art of the Las Canteras beach. Most hotels are here.
Las Palmas has a much windier climate than the southern parts of Gran Canaria, which makes it feel cooler.
|Climate data for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain|
|Average high °C (°F)||20.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||18.1
|Average low °C (°F)||15.3
|Average rainfall mm (inch)||25
|Average rainy days||3.0||3.0||2.0||1.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||1.0||2.0||4.0||5.0||21.0|
|Mean daily daylight hours||11.0||11.0||12.0||13.0||14.0||14.0||14.0||13.0||12.0||11.0||11.0||10.0||12.2|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||5.9||6.8||7.4||7.6||8.8||9.5||9.9||9.7||8.0||7.1||6.2||5.8||7.7|
|Percent possible sunshine||54||62||62||58||63||68||71||75||67||65||56||58||63.5|
|Average sea temperature °C (°F)||20.0
|Average UV index||4||6||8||9||10||11||11||11||9||7||5||4||7.9|
|Source: Weather Atlas - Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain - Weather forecast and Climate data|
Getting there: take the bus number 60 from the airport to either bus station in the city. The bus runs every 30 minutes from 06:15 to 20:50 and costs €2.70 (as of 2018).
A pre-booked ride from Isleta to/from the airport should cost around €30.
The Port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria receives ships from all over the world. Because its strategic position it receives visitors every year from all over Europe, Africa and America. For business or for tourism the port remains as one of the most important ports today and there is a program of further expansion. There are numerous daily ferries from Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife and smaller islands. Naviera Armas [dead link] 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. Most of the inter-island connections are run by fast ferries and residents of the Canary Islands receive discounted fares.
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 . This is where ferries arrive. Getting there: no public transport available, however, Naviera Armas provides free shuttle buses from El Muelle shopping mall.
The only bus company operating interurban lines on Gran Canaria is Global, ☏ . 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.
- 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.
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. The simple fare, paid directly to the driver, is €1.10. As of Jan 2021, due to the pandemic, you can’t buy tickets from the driver. You must buy ahead in Guagua booths in Santa Catalina park, San Telmo station or Teatro. Single journey tickets are not available, but you can buy 2 journey tickets that you blip once getting on the bus. A ticket good for 10 rides is available for €5.80 at official shops in the city.
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.
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
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.
- 1 Playa de Las Canteras. Almost 4 km in length, this beach is the ve symbol of the city and its citizens.
- sunbathing and swimming: 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.
- snorkelling: the central area is a natural acquarium, where you can see and feed the local shoredwelling fish. At low tide, children can hunt for crabs in the rock pools.
- very popular with surfers, the two main spots are "La Cicer" and "La Barra". Many schools and gear hiring shops, especially to the south, where the sand is black.
- 2 Catedral de Santa Ana. Embodying several centuries of history, the cathedral can be seen from almost any point in the city center.
- 3 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.
- 4 Alfredo Kraus Auditorium. Concert and music hall with classical philharmonic performances and a building that's worth a visit on its own.
- 5 Elder Museum of Science and Technology. 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.
- Poema del Mar. A aquarium opened in 2018 near Parque Santa Catalina and Las Canteras. Stiffly priced.
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.
- Carnaval - Almost as famous as that of the neighbouring island of Tenerife, yet different and perhaps even better. It is without a doubt quite spectacular.
- WOMAD Music Festival - Celebrated in the Santa Catalina Park zone, this festival brings in thousands of spectators every year for quality music free of charge.
- Romería de Vegueta - The Catholic festival celebrated in the Vegueta area of the city.
Shop in the city centre or in one of the department stores like "El Corte Ingles". 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.
Buy the local rum: Arehucas or Artemi or Armiche (and check out the local Honey Rum "ron miel").
Many restaurants have menus in an abundance of languages, and waiters often will also often be able to converse in your own language.
- Galia, Luis Morote, 49, ☏ . Great French food, well worth the price. It's not cheap, but if you feel like a small splurge and a little luxury, give Galia a try.
- Rias Bajas, Simon Bolivar, 3, ☏ . Excellent Spanish food; very expensive, but well worth the cost.
- Sakura I, Nestor de la Torre, 1, ☏ . Good quality, well-priced Japanese cuisine. Great for a little something different.
- Pomodoro, Ruiz de Alda, 24, ☏ . Good quality, low-priced Italian cuisine; fast, attentive service in a comfortable atmosphere.
- Samoa, Valencia, 46, ☏ . A favourite of the locals, for good solid Spanish food with appropriate (not too high) prices.
Buy the local rum: Arehucas. Drink straight or with cola.
And the local beer: Tropical.
- Tropical Muelle Deportivo, C.C. Sotavento - Muelle Deportivo de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.. Sip your tropical drink on the roof deck, looking out over the city.
- Las Ranas, C.C. Monopol (Plaza Hurtado de Mendoza ó Plaza Las Ranas). A good spot for music and partying, but also a quiet place to have an afternoon drink. Outdoor seating available.
- 1 Bodegón Pachichi, Calle los Martínez de Escobar, 51, ☏ . A classic for cheap drinks, and a favourite with locals.
- Alcaravaneras Hostel, Calle Luis Antúnez 22 (at the junction of Calle Alfredo Calderón and Calle Luis Antúnez). A clean, safe place to sleep for not too much coin. €22/30.
- NH Imperial Playa, Ferreras, 1, ☏ . 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.
- Hotel Fataga, C/Néstor de la Torre, 21, ☏ , fax: . Las Palmas city centre.
- Hotel Apartamento Bajamar, Venezuela 34, ☏ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Hotel Apartment 70 m (230 ft) from las Canteras Beach, near commercial hub Mesa y Lopez Avenue; 19 complete apartments. 32/85.
- Hello House Hostel, Calle Gloria, 5. Opened in June 2019, clean, good value. Must register and book beds in advance through website. Family friendly. Same day booking available. No reception service nor do they accept walk-in guests. Comfortable common areas including large terrace with ocean, city and mountain views. Host staff friendly. Various shared dormitory rooms with comfortable bunk beds and private rooms with King size beds. Permitted entry only to booked guests and hosts. Free Wifi. Smoking permitted only on designated rooftop terrace space. €9/€55.
- Santa Catalina Hotel Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Leon Y Castillo, 227. This 5-star hotel has reopened as of 1 November 2019. First opened 1890. €120/€955.
- 2 Sailor's Bar, Muelle Deportivo - Pantalán 10. It has free wifi.
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.
- Gáldar — it 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.
- Arucas — famous for its rum and its Cathedral. 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.
- Tejeda — go up to the mountains where you can enjoy an 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.