Some twenty years ago an American climatologist declared that Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria, had the best climate in the world. Do you need any greater reason for visiting than sunshine at any time of the year? If so then watch our video which will show you all the best places and all the things to do in Las Palmas.
Las Palmas, for a capital city, is a small town with grand ideas. It is filled with history, architecture, flowers, colour, entertainment and of course, sunshine. And while there is much to see and do in the city, its star attraction has to be its beach, Playa las Canteras. This is one of the main reasons Las Palmas is one of the best places to visit on the island. But what are the best things to visit in the city? Here’s our list:
This former governor’s house is now a museum devoted to its most famous visitor, Christopher Columbus. It’s open every day and free to visitors and you can learn more about his adventures and voyages.
The grandest and most imposing building in Gran Canaria is certainly worth a visit. A mixture of styles – gothic, neoclassic and Baroque – the whole structure took 22 years to build. Go and admire and make sure you go right to the top of the bell tower for the best views of the city and the port. Take a deep breath there are just 216 steps to get to the top, but don’t worry there is a lift if you can’t face it.
This is the name for the historical centre, and if you’re already at the cathedral or Casa de Colon, you are already in it. This is one of the best places to wander around and also offers for some of the best shopping in Las Palmas. Head to Triana, a shopping street with designer shops, boutiques, small studios and craft shops as well as some stunning Art Deco and Art Nouveau buildings. Try and find Ermita de San Telmo, an old sailor’s chapel filled with model sailing ships of days gone by. Throughout the city you will find a number of markets but look out in particular for Sunday’s market Mercadillo de Artesanía y Cultura – a mixture of everything in the centre of Vegueta. And remember while you are on the retail trail that Gran Canaria is a duty-free shopping haven.
Volcano visits are a must when visiting the Canary Islands. They can be found everywhere and always make a great excursion. Las Palmas has its very own volcano crater worth visiting. Just on the outskirts, Caldera de Bandama has great hiking trails, in fact you can walk right to the bottom.
One of the treasures of Las Palmas is the botanical garden and it is one of the best things to see in the city. Although it's one of the most popular attractions, at over 10 hectares, it is big enough not to be aware of other visitors. It is filled with over 500 trees and plants all indigenous to the Canary Islands and is a must for plant-lovers!
One of the most popular beaches on the island and certainly one of the best places to visit while you are staying in Las Palmas. It has everything you could possibly want - miles of golden sand, calm waters, its own coral reef which provides great snorkelling, play zones for children and some of the best beach bars and cafes in Gran Canaria. For those who need a little more action further along is El Confital beach which is great for surfing and bodyboarding.
Add to all of these attractions some of the best restaurants in Gran Canaria, the oldest golf club in Spain (Real Club de Golf just twenty minutes from the centre of Las Palmas), and some great shopping malls and Las Palmas really is one of the best places in Gran Canaria. For real excitement, head to Las Palmas for the annual carnival, which is usually held in late February. While each town in Gran Canaria has its own, the best is found in Las Palmas – three days of fun, music, magic and some of the wildest costumes imaginable. Expect fireworks on the beach on the last day!