If you're contemplating visiting Las Palmas on the stunning island of Gran Canaria, look no further. This list of 20 things to do in Las Palmas is the ultimate travel guide for Gran Canaria. It will help you plan your itinerary while you stay on the island. Plus, it will help you find the best attractions and top spots to visit in the city of Las Palmas. So, discover the city of Las Palmas with this ultimate guide of the 20 top things to do in Las Palmas. You'll be able to visit all of these by foot, so you needn't miss out on anything. Enjoy!
things to do in Las Palmas
First and foremost, before we begin, please note that Las Palmas is the name of the province as well as the city. Las Palmas Province, also known as the Province of Las Palmas encompasses the islands of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and several minor islands. Whereas, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the full name of the capital city of Gran Canaria island. The Island of Gran Canaria is just one of the Canary Islands located off the coast of Northwestern Africa. The Canary Islands belong to Spain.
The city of Las Palmas ranks 9th on the list of largest cities of Spain. Not only is it a thriving capital with tons of things to see, it is also a popular stop for cruise ships as well as shoppers who wish to find duty-free items! The population of Las Palmas is roughly 400,000. Geographically speaking, you can find the city of Las Palmas in the northeastern corner of Gran Canaria. In fact, it's only 150km or 93 miles away from the Moroccan coast!
The city was established in the year 1478 by Juan Rejon as Real de Las Palmas. A few years later, in 1492, Christopher Columbus actually anchored in a Las Palmas port, spending some time in the Canaries, prior to his first famous voyage to the Americas.
A century later, Las Palmas saw some violence in the notorious Battle of Las Palmas, which resulted from the Anglo-Spanish War on Gran Canaria. Although some of the city was destroyed, Las Palmas is rich in history, charming architecture and many cultural sites. The city has a lot of colourful houses with heavy Portuguese influence. Some say, it resembles Brazil's favelas. Best of all, you can all visit these by foot!
best things to do in Las Palmas
1. Poema del Mar
This is a must see! Poema del Mar, or 'Poem of the Sea' is a top-notch aquarium that is home to many marine species, exotic fish and plants. Most noteworthy, get really for an out of this world experience. It has the largest state-of-the-art fish tank in the world, an impressive fish tunnel and more. Check out my review of the Poema del Mar aquarium here.
Address: Muelle del Sanapú, 22, 35008 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
2. Mercado de Vegueta
The Mercado de Vegueta is one of the most beautiful markets in Las Palmas. Visiting this market is one of the top foodie things to do in Las Palmas. You'll come across many types of local cheeses, fresh produce, meats, fruits and fresh Atlantic fish.
The market is open from Monday to Saturday from 6:30 am to 2-3 pm, depending on the day. The market is closed on Sunday.
Address: mercado de vegueta, c/Mendizábal nº 1, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
This is one of the best commercial streets in Las Palmas, packed with buzzing and thriving restaurants upon every footstep. It's definitely worth taking a stroll down this busy street.
Address: Calle Montesdeoca, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
Take a stroll down this historic street. The name suggests that the street is dangerous, however, this couldn't be further from the truth. It is also home of the infamous Toriador Agustun Millares Torres.
Address: Calle Mendizábal, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
5. Cathedral Santa Ana
The Cathedral of Santa Ana, also known as Las Palmas Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral. It is located in the Vegueta neighbourhood and is considered as one of Las Palmas's top landmarks. The Cathedral was constructed in 1570 with Gothic and Romanesque styles. Until recently, (1819), this cathedral was the only one on the Canary Islands! The most beautiful part though is the scenic square in front of the Cathedral. Make sure that visiting this cathedral is on your list of things to do in Gran Canaria.
Address: Plaza Sta. Ana 13, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
6. Old Town Hall
The Las Palmas Town Hall is another one of the city's popular landmarks. It is a 19th century building located on the Plaza of Santa Ana next to the cathedral. Locals refer to the Las Palmas Town Hall as Ayuntamiento de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Address: La Naval 229, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
7. Dog Statues
These dog statues are a monument to the guardians of Gran Canaria. They are also known as Los Perros de la Plaza de Santa Ana, located at the square in front of the cathedral. There, you'll have a glimpse of the typical Canarian courtyard characteristics. The first floor of the surrounding buildings have a wooden balcony. The courtyard has a fountain in the middle and tall palm trees beside it. You can sit beside the dog statues on the benches and also enjoy the lovely potted flowers which surround you.
These cast iron dogs are life-sized and were donated to the City by James Miller (also known as Diego Miller).
Address: Plaza de Santa Ana 1, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
8. Espiritus Santa Square
This quiet and beautiful square is located in the Vegueta neighbourhood in the old town of Las Palmas. It is also known as Plaza del Espiritu Santo. This square is the starting point of the water supply network on the island of Gran Canaria. The fountain as outlined by Ponce de Leon remains one of the few fountains on the island with Spanish-style architecture.
The square dates back to the 17th century. In the past, this was the noble area of Las Palmas, where wealthy people built their manor houses. The more wealth a family had, the more status statements were made in housing.
Address: Plaza del Espíritu Santo, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
9. Gabinete Literario
Translated to Literary Cabinet, this is easily one of the most beautiful buildings in Las Palmas. It contains many decorative ornaments and exotic domes to catch the eye. The interior is rather modern, it includes a main staircase which leads to the Golden Hall (a former ballroom) decorated in the French style. In addition, artist Manuel González Méndez has painted the ceiling rather grandly in mythological themes. The Red Hall, also, is home to ceiling art and a collection of oil paintings from the early 20th century.
Address: Plaza de Cairasco, 1, 35002 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
10. Playa de Las Alcaravaneras
This is a golden sandy beach with an urban vibe. It is located in the middle of the port which is home to many sailboats. There are lots of sports facilities on the beach, the waters are generally calmer - perfect for paddle boarding. A handy tip though, I wouldn't recommend going to the beach on a windy day.
Address: Playa de las Alcaravaneras, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
11. Las Canteras
The popular Las Canteras beach is known for its long and scenic promenade. Along your stroll, you can discover various types of street art and hidden landmarks while learning about the former residents. The sandstone from the reef was used on some of the buildings in the old town, especially by nobility and wealthy families.
Address: Playa de las Canteras, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
12. Mercado del Puerto
An old market offers a variety of tastes from around the world! Lots of options to eat and drink. An excellent place to eat pintxos and tapas. It includes fresh fruit, vegetables, local cheeses and other produce.
Address: nº76, Calle Albareda, 35008 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
13. Museo Elder de la Ciencia y la Technologia
Excellent idea for an educational activity. Don't hesitate to visit the Science and Technology Museum!
Address: ML Muelle Santa Catalina s/n, 35008 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
14. Playa de Confital
This beach offers scenic views of the mountains and has flowing, golden sands! Great during the summer.
Address: Calle Rodrigo de Manrique 8, 35009 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
15. Caldera de Bandama
Make sure you don't miss out on this hike trip on a stunning volcano. An absolute must see for nature lovers! The climb is fantastic – and what a view from the top!
Address: Santa Brigida, 35300 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
16. Canarian Museum
A memorable museum with a unique exposition on the prehispanic archaeology of the Guanche people! You'll have the chance to learn about the indigenous people of the Canaries. In addition, the museum has numerous skulls on display.
Address: Calle Doctor Verneau 2, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
17. Casa Museo Perez Galdos
This is the house of the very famous Spanish dramatist, Benito Perez Galdos. He was one of the main contributors and representatives of literary realism in Spain.
Address: Calle Cano 2 and 6, 35002 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
18. Parque de Santa Catalina
Explore this local park. Don't be scared if you come across street chickens running around!
Address: Porte Las Palmas, 35007 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain