Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, commonly known as Las Palmas, is one of the largest cities in Spain, and is the largest city in the Canary Islands.
Las Palmas enjoys a subtropical climate, with mild to warm temperatures throughout the year. According to a study carried out by Thomas Whitmore, director of research on climatology at Syracuse University in the United States, Las Palmas enjoys "the best climate in the world".
Gran Canaria has a modern international airport which receives flights from Madrid, about 2 and a half hours, and from Barcelona and Bilbao, both about 3 hours. UK flights takes about 4 or 4 and a half hours. It operates flights to different destinations, mainly to Europe. To get into the city, take the bus number 60 from the airport to either bus station in the city which departs from a stop outside the departures entrance, not the stops outside arrivals. The bus runs every 30 minutes from 6:15am to 8:00pm. The 60 service takes you directly to the Estación de Guaguas (bus station) at San Telmo right in the city centre. The first service from the airport to the capital leaves at 6:00am. and the last service is at 11:15pm. You also have the option of going as far as the Intercambiador de Guaguas (bus depot) at Santa Catalina (Harbour-Canteras area) until 8:15pm.
Tariffs: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (San Telmo station)-Airport: €2.30. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Santa Catalina interchange)-Airport: €2.95.
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. It operates daily routes to other Canary Islands. To Cádiz on the Spanish mainland, a trip by boat takes about 2 days.
Naviera Armas  operates to and from Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Portugal, Madeira, and several other islands. Acciona Transmediterránea  operates the Las Palmas-Cádiz line and some inter-island lines. Most of the inter-island connections are run by fast ferries. Residents of the Canary Islands receive discounted fares. . Yacht charter and sailing - INTERNATIONAL YACHTING GROUP, one of the worlds largest yacht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in Las Palmas and Wordwide.
The only bus company operating interurban lines on Gran Canaria is Global, tel. 902 381 110, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Most of the company's lines have Las Palmas as either their origin or their destination. There are two bus stations in the city:
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, tel. 928 446 500, . The bright yellow buses are known simply as guaguas. The simple fare, paid directly to the driver, is 1.30€ (September 2013). A ticket good for 10 rides is available for 7,50€ (September 2013) in any convenience store in the city. Official website for more info. Change the language to English at the bottom of the page.
The yellow buses will take you anywhere in the city but if you want to visit other parts of the island you'll have to take one of the blue buses. They all depart either from Santa Catalina Bus Station or San Telmo Bus Station. Fares depend on how far you go. There's a round trip ticket from Las Palmas to Maspalomas' Lighthouse for 6,80€ (September 2013) valid only on weekends, otherwise it's a little over 10€. There's an information office at the main bus station in San Telmo.
If you are over 70 and staying longer you can apply for a Senior Citzens Pass at the Bus Station in Telmo. This will give you a 50% discount on all bus trips over 11km 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:
There's also three night buses which operate from 23:00 to 05:00. You don't need a different ticket, price is the same as during the day:
You can hail any taxi you see in the street with the green light on, or you can call (928 460 000) and ask for one. Fares:
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. 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.
Free parking is possible close to Alfredo Kraus Auditorium (Concert Hall) to the South of Las Canteras Beach. Beware, that drug addicts and homeless people are playing parking attendants here, and will charge you. Do not pay, since it really is free parking, and this variant of begging is not warranted by the authorities.
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.
The best shopping areas are Triana, a pedestrian street surrounded by historical Art Nouveau buildings, and Mesa y López Street, which houses two big department stores and lots of other shops. You can also visit one of the many shopping centres. Las Arenas shopping centre, on the west end of Las Canteras Beach (right next to the Music Hall) is the largest, you'll find all the big chains here and lots of restaurants.
There's a small European cinema (Multicines Monopol) in Triana with lots of films in original version with subtitles, in case you're looking for a quiet evening. After the film the check out the trendy bars in the rooftop.
For food items, Hiperdino is a local chain of supermarkets that has a good range of products and set prices. Some of these stores also have a decent selection of wine. For a finer shopping experience head to El Corte Inglés Department Store in Mesa y López Street (Tourists get a 10% discount on all products showing your ID) or the small streets surrounding Triana, where you can find small fancy boutiques and cafés.
Buy the local rum: Arehucas (the most popular among the locals) 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. Grab a snack at a park vendor or check out www.citygonow.com for up-to-date user reviews of local restaurants.
Buy the local rum: Arehucas. Drink clean or with Cola.
Some travelers have complained of travel agents reserving rooms for them with windows that provide little or no view. If this happens, check with the front desk of your hotel to see if they have another room available.
The City Hall has set WiFi hotspots all over the city which allow you to surf the web for free one hour a day, or more if you pay. You only need to register and you're good to go. WiFi Las Palmas
Las Palmas is a fairly safe city, and during the day you should be able walk around freely, but it is recommended to avoid the port's and Santa Catalina Park's area at night, specially during the weekend.
From GC20 you can access Arucas from 1-2-3 roundabouts (as seen from East to West).
From roundabout no. 1 you enter a one-way street (Carretera del Lomo), where you will find a free parking lot on your right hand, in front of the cathedral.
(Beware: Drug addicts and homeless people play parking attendants here and charge one Euro. Do not pay. Parking really is free here).
More beware: Google Aerial View shows correctly, that Carretera del Lomo is a one-way street, whereas Google Street View shows outdated photos of Carretera del Lomo as a two-way street.
When leaving the parking lot (by the two-way street of Carretera el Piño), you end up in roundabout no. 2.
Roundabout no. 3 is the only roundabout that offers a two-way through-fare (Paseo Poeta Pedro Lezcano) through Arucas (to Bañaderos).
Here in Paseo Poeta Pedro Lezcano you will find a second possibility of free parking, namely in the cellar (and beyond, in open air) of the two-storey supermarket Hiperdino - but be sure to buy something in Hiperdino while you park here! Hiperdino does have the possibility to block the exit, in order to charge money for parking!
Near by, in Cruz de Tejeda, beware of souvenir-salesmen: The jollier and heartier the salesman is, the more reluctant you ought to be to buy anything!
For example: The salesman will be overwhelmingly friendly and offer you an item for free, if you buy two other items. The price tags show fictitious prices which the salesman cuts down to at fraction even without you are asking - and so on.
Be very reluctant, and cynical about the end-price, cut away all the extra "gifts" (which you really don't need), and press down the end-price with the price of the "gifts". Or better still: Leave without buying!