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 International Airport (IATA: LPA) , 928 579 095, .
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 Port of Las Nieves in Agaete, 50 km from Las Palmas, offers a connection to Santa Cruz de Tenerife through Fred.Olsen, .
The only bus company operating interurban lines on Gran Canaria is Global, tel. 902 381 110, email: email@example.com. Most of the company's lines have Las Palmas as either their origin or their destination. There are two bus stations in the city:
- San Telmo Station in the city center.
- Santa Catalina Interchange near the city's port. This station is serviced 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 center 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, 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:
- Initial charge: 1,65€
- Charge per kilometer: 0,60€
- Hour waiting: 11,00€
- Night fare: +0,55€
- 24 and 31 December, 5 January: +3,00€
- Large luggage: +0,35€
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.
Inside the Catedral de Santa Ana
- Playa de Las Canteras - Almost 4 kilometers in length, this beach is the very symbol of the city and its citizens. Considered one of the best urban beaches in the world, it's quite safe due to the barrier reef and there's lots to do along the promenade. It can be a great place for a stroll during the evening because of the sunsets and the low tides, and on a good day you can even see the lights of Tenerife. You can get the bus number 1 and 12 to get here.
- Parque Santa Catalina - Park and transport hub in the port's vicinity. Every year around February the Carnival's celebrations are held here.
- Triana - One of the oldest districts in Las Palmas, and now the city's commercial center. In 2013 won an award for the best Spanish commercial street. The first Sunday of every month all shops open and there's gigs and other entertainment. Guirlache ice creams are a hit with the locals. Almost all of the buses go through Triana, you can get off at Teatro or San Telmo Bus Station.
- Vegueta - Historical enclave of the city. Best place in town for drinks and dining. It get's quite lively on Thursdays due to 'Tapas Evenings'. Calle Pelota and Calle Mendizábal it's where it gets the busiest, also the area surrounding the public library.
- Catedral de Santa Ana - Embodying several centuries of history, the cathedral can be seen from almost any point in the city center. For 1,50€ go up to the top and enjoy the views. Get off the bus at Teatro (buses 1, 12 and 17) and it's just three minutes walking from there.
- Casa de Colón Museum - This old mansion, right behind the cathedral, used to be the house of the governor of the island, and it claims it was the temporary residence of Christopher Columbus before departing for the Americas. It now houses a museum about the explorer, the conquest of the Canary Islands by the Crown of Castille, and the pre-columbine America. It's open everyday from 10:00 to 18:00 except on Sundays and bank holidays when it closes at 15:00. Entrance fee is 4€ for adults and 2€ for people over 65 or students between 18 and 23 years old. Minors and unemployed people go in for free. First weekend of the month is for free as well.
- Casa de Pérez Galdós Museum This is the house where the famous Spanish author was born and lived until he was 19 years old. It has been kept as it used to be as a showcase of the Canarian domestic architecture from the 19th Century. Entrance fee is 3€ for adults and 1,50€ for people over 65 or students between 18 and 23 years old. Minors and unemployed people go in for free. First weekend of the month is for free as well. Tuesday to Friday it's open from 10:00 to 16:00, on weekends from 10:00 to 14:00 and on bank holidays from 10:00 to 16:00. Closes on Mondays.
- 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. Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am. to 8pm. Take the number 12 to visit the museum.
- Muelle Deportivo - Have some drinks or dinner watching the sunset among the yachts. During the weekends this is a popular party area. It's also nice to visit on a Thursday when there's discounts and tapas. Bus number 17 will take you there.
- Alfredo Kraus Auditorium - Concert and music hall with classical philharmonic performances and a building that's worth a visit on its own. Get off on the last stop of the bus number 17 to get here.
- Museo Canario - It's located in the historic district of Vegueta. Founded in 1879, it is an international partner of the Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). It has a valuable collection of Canary archaeological objects, which are exhibited in 16 halls. It is also equipped with a library of over 60,000 volumes, many of them dealing with the Canary Islands topics. Its archive covers period from 1785 until today.
- Atlantic Centre of Modern Art (CAAM) - Opened in 1989, is one of the most important references for the cultural and artistic life of the Canary Islands, and is responsible for disseminating the art made in the islands to the rest of the world, especially Africa, America and Europe. It has permanent and temporary exhibitions that range from the historical avant-garde to the latest trends. It is located on Calle Los Balcones de Vegueta, and preserves the original façade of the 18th century.
A surfer takes a dive in Las Palmas
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 neighboring 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.
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").
San Telmo Park ice cream kiosk
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.
- Galia, Luis Morote, 49, ☎ +34 928 223 219. 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.! edit
- Rias Bajas, Simon Bolivar, 3, ☎ +34 928 271 316. Excellent Spanish food; very expensive, but well worth the cost. edit
- Sakura I, Nestor de la Torre, 1, ☎ +34 928 248 221. Good quality, well-priced Japanese cuisine. Great for a little something different. edit
- Pomodoro, Ruiz de Alda, 24, ☎ +34 928 227 488. Good quality, low-priced Italian cuisine; fast, attentive service in a comfortable atmosphere. edit
- Samoa, Valencia, 46, ☎ +34 928 241 471. A favorite of the locals, for good solid Spanish food with appropriate (not too high) prices. edit
Buy the local rum: Arehucas. Drink clean or with Cola.
- 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. edit
- 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. edit
- Pachichi, Martínez de Escobar, 51. A classic for cheap drinks, and a favorite with locals. edit
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.
- Residencia Ibiza, Nicolás Estévanez, 31, 85007 - Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, ☎ +35 263123. Very basic, but clean and cheap. €22/€28. edit
- 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. edit
- Pension Falow, Calle Alfredo Calderón 25 (diagonally opposite the Hostel Alcaravaneras), ☎ +24 928230627, . Very clean, friendly and particularly cheap. Has wifi. The staff aren't always around so you may need to hang around a while before you're checked in. €18. edit
- NH Imperial Playa, Ferreras, 1, +34.92.8468854 . 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, Ph. +34928.290614 Fax +34 928.292786, . Las Palmas city center.
- Hotel Apartamento Bajamar, Venezuela 34, ☎ 928276254, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Hotel Apartment 70 m from las Canteras Beach, near commercial hub Mesa y Lopez Avenue; 19 complete apartments. 32/85. edit
- Downtown House Las Palmas, Domingo J. Navarro 10, ☎ 0034 618 089 237, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. B&B / Hostel in the heart of Las Palmas, next to Triana St. and just two minutes from San Telmo Main Bus Station, conected with the City and whole island. Shared dorm for 17€/pax, individual rooms from 20 €, Double rooms for 36€. Towels, sheets and breakfast are included. 17€. edit
You can always get in touch the old-fashioned way
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.
- Germany, Calle Albareda 3-2°, ☎ 928 49 18 80 (fax: 928 26 27 31), . edit
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Calle Luis Morote 6-3º, ☎ 902 109 356 (Info.Consulate@fco.gov.uk, fax: +34 928 267 774). edit
- Gáldar It used to be the capital of Gran Canaria before the Castillians conquered the island. Cueva Pintada (The painted cave) represent a piece of history of the guanche population.
- Arucas - Famous for its rum and its church. 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. It's a beautiful small town and worth the visit. Not too far from Las Palmas.
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!
- 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 builded centuries ago. El Roque Nublo is an iconic feature of Gran Canaria and it's a must see. You can see Tenerife from up there and sunsets are spectacular.
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!
- Maspalomas - Massive beach on the southern tip of the island which is almost a desert on it's own. There's beach huts, nudist area, gay area and lots and lots of dunes to roll down.
- Mogán - Tiny beautiful port with canals and bridges, white houses and lovely Bougainvilleas. There's a small beach and a viewing point on a hill worth checking out.