You only have one day in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and still don’t want to miss the best things to do and highlights? No problem at all with the travel tips and BIG5 checklists from JOURNICATION! The capital of the Canary Island Gran Canaria surprises with a particularly relaxed vibe, a rich history full of explorers and pirates and wonderful city beaches. Tired of hiking, surfing and sunbathing in Gran Canaria? A day in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a welcome change from the many outdoor activities on the island. Find everything you need to know for a perfect day here – including maps and photo spot recommendations!
What do you learn in this article?
BIG5 Things to do in Las Palmas
You don’t want to miss any sights? Find all the tips and your checklist for the city trip to Las Palmas here:
BIG5 Las Palmas – Speed Date
The unbeatable mix of sea, beach, old town and the many activities
Getting a ticket for the yellow city buses is a real challenge
Never been surfing? Try it in Las Palmas, there are many surf schools and board rentals
Spend the day in the hotel – even in bad weather the beach bars are a better place!
Don’t tell your mother:
The biggest dangers in Gran Canaria are a bad sunburn and a bad hangover 😉
BIG5 Las Palmas – Rapid Fire Q&A
- How many days should I plan for Las Palmas? – One day is enough to see the highlights, to explore everything and to have some time for relaxed days on the beach, it should be at least 2-3 days
- Do i need a rental car for Las Palmas? – No, a rental car would only be a hindrance to sightseeing and would spend 95% of the day in parking lots for a lot of money
- I’m traveling by rental car for a day trip to Las Palmas. Where can you park cheaply in Las Palmas? – If you don’t want to spend too much time searching, the parking garages in the large shopping centers or the Triana district are ideal. For up-to-date information, check out the Parkopedia website.
- Would you prefer a hotel near the beach or more towards the old town? – I personally recommend being close to the beach, there is nothing better than a relaxed stroll to the beach in a few minutes. You can quickly get to other parts of the city by bus if necessary
- What would you have wished for during your stay in Las Palmas? – An e-scooter for the beach promenade of Las Canteras, in a few days I felt (or maybe actually …) walked the route of a marathon back and forth and back again
BIG5 Las Palmas – Orga
Best travel time for Las Palmas
The best travel time for Gran Canaria is from April to October with consistently warm temperatures. But Las Palmas is also very suitable as a travel destination in the European winter, the temperatures are often over 20 degrees, even if it is windier and the weather is therefore less constant than in summer.
Arrival & Departure
Visa: Check here whether you need a visa for … with your passport
- Flight: Gran Canaria International Airport (IATA: LPA) has direct daily flights from many airlines.
- Bus: From all parts of the island there are buses to the capital. From the direction of Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés it is line 50. From Puerto de Mogán and Puerto Rico line 91 is the line of choice.
Tip: Avoid line 1 if possible, because it is a bus that will take you more time. The bus stops at every stop on the way. It’s best to use apps like Google Maps to find out about the current and fastest connection
- Taxi: From Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés a taxi to Las Palmas costs at least 50 euros, from more distant destinations accordingly more
- Ferry:There are ferry connections to Las Palmas from all Canary Islands and from mainland Spain (from Cadiz and Huelva)
Next it goes to … Maspalomas, Agaete or the mountains in the center of Gran Canaria.
Accommodation / Hotels in Las Palmas
Recommended location: Walking distance to Las Canteras beach is very comfortable! All other destinations can be easily reached from there by bus
- Budget:La Ventana Azul Surf Hostel (Calleel Salvador 7, 35010 Las Palmas; ~ 20 € dormitory), great hostel with roof terrace, you can hear the sound of the waves in bed
- Budget: HiTide House (Paseo de las Canteras, 57, 35010 Las Palmas; ~ 20 € dormitory), hostel directly on the promenade of Las Canteras, roof terrace with sea views
- Medium: Casa Doramas B&B (7Calle Alfonso elSabio, 35005 Las Palmas; from 50 € double room), sweetly furnished rooms, ask for balcony and sea view!
- Medium: La Palmera Hotel Boutique(Calle Rafael Dávila 12, 35005 Las Palmas; ~ 70 € double room), top-equipped hotel just 150 meters from the beach
- Noble:Santa Catalina 5* (León y Castillo, 227, 35005 Las Palmas; ~ 130 € double room), luxurious 5 * hotel with rooftop pool, nothing to be desired here
- Noble: Suites 1478(CalleDoctorChil 22, 35001 Las Palmas; from 150 € double room), dreamlike hotel in the heart of the old town Vegueta, terrace with a view of the Santa Ana Cathedral
In Spain you pay with Euro (EUR)
Withdraw money: No problem, you can find banks and ATMs all over town
Beer indicator: For a “Cana” (small beer) in the best location 1.80-2.00 euros, for a “Jarra” (0.4l) around 3.00 euros. The typical local beers are Tropical and Dorada
Cost of a taxi: Basic fee: € 2.40 + kilometer price: € 1.10; My experience: Instead of walking for 60 minutes (~ 5 kilometers), it was about 10 euros
Public Transport: The bus from the airport (Global, blue buses) costs 2.30 euros (to San Telmo) or 2.95 euros (Santa Catalina) depending on the final stop.
A small note on the side: The cheapest supermarkets in Las Palmas are those of the “Mercadona” chain, where mainly the locals shop.
Restaurants, Bars & Cafés
- La Garriga (CallePerú, 44, 35010 Las Palmas) – delicious and inexpensive bocadillos (spanish open sandwiches) for every occasion
- Pincho J (Paseo las Canteras, 68, 35010 Las Palmas) – great selection of pinchos, the Canarian tapas
- Casa Roja (Calle Luis Morote, 56, 35007 Las Palmas) – great roof terrace on the promenade of Las Canteras
- Embarcadero (MuelleDeportivo, Calle Joaquín Blanco Torrent, s / n, 35005 Las Palmas) – great location in the marina, you can feed the fish from certain tables
- La Azotea de Benito (Centro Comercial Monopol 2ª Planta, Plaza Hurtado Mendoza s / n, 35002 Las Palmas) – Benito Roof: Grandiose cocktail bar with a roof top
- The Couple (Paseo las Canteras, 23, 35008 Las Palmas) – great café on the promenade in Las Canteras
BIG5 Las Palmas – Activities
- Visit the Museo Casa de Colón
- Visit the Vegueta and Triana neighborhoods
- Stroll along the Las Canteras seafront
- Relax in the warm sand of Playa Grande
- Enjoy the sunset from the Mirador de la Cruz
BIG5 Las Palmas – Photo spots
- Santa Ana Cathedral from different perspectives
- Look at the ornate doors and balconies of the Casa de Colón
- The colorful houses of San Juan from the San Roque neighborhood
- Las Canteras from La Puntilla with the colorful fishing boats
- View from the Mirador de la Cruz over Las Canteras and all of Las Palmas
BIG5 Las Palmas – Things to do off the beaten track
- Discover the San Juan neighborhood and its outdoor elevator
- Enjoy the view from the miradores (e.g. Cuatro Cañones)
- Take a trip to the fishing village of San Cristobal
- Watch the surfers on El Confital beach
- The Pueblo Canario with Parque Doramas and the Hotel Santa Catalina with its spectacular balconies
BIG5 Las Palmas – Culinary Journey
- Sancocho canario – traditional fish dish
- Papas Arrugadas – typical Canarian potatoes
- Mojo sauces (the slightly hot red one goes with potatoes, the green one with fish)
- Pinchos of all kinds – the Canarian variant of Spanish tapas
- Muse de Gofio – delicious dessert based on the typical barley flour
- Additional tip: Ronmiel – a high-percentage mixture of rum and honey
BIG5 Las Palmas – Communication
Spanish is spoken in Gran Canaria.
- thank you – gracias
- yes – si
- no – no
- hello – Hola! / Buenos dias (after 12 or lunch “Buenas tardes”)
- goodbye – Adiós / Hasta luego
BIG5 Las Palmas- Helpful Websites / Links
BIG5 Las Palmas – Overview map for your city trip
A perfect day in Las Palmas 🇮🇨 – here is your overview:
Best suited for screenshots 📷📝
Your morning in Las Palmas
- Catedral de Santa Ana
- Casa de Colón (Columbus House)
- San Juan neighborhood
- Plaza de las Ranas
- Triana district
Your afternoon in Las Palmas
- View from the miradores
- Playa Las Canteras
Your evening in Las Palmas
- Sunset from the Mirador de la Cruz
- Dinner in Las Canteras
- Off to the nightlife of Las Palmas
In addition to the BIG5, I have summarized the things to do in Las Palmas and the circular route for you in an overview map:
Click on the icon at the top left to use the full range of map options!
Things to do in Las Palmas in the morning
Explore the old town of Las Palmas: Vegueta
Start your tour of Las Palmas in Vegueta, the old town. On historical paths where the city was founded by the Spanish in the 15th century. You can still find many houses and streets in colonial style today. A good starting point is the large “Teatro” bus stop, which can be easily reached by public transport from anywhere in the city, regardless of which accommodation you have chosen.
Across the street from the market hall is the Mercado de Vegueta, the market hall. If you are on time, stop by the market hall! The locals still shop here today and you get a good first impression of the local products.
Follow the narrow streets of Vegueta, for example Calle Pelota, lead to Plaza Santa Ana. The central square is dominated by the Catedral de Santa Ana. Take a look inside and don’t miss going up to the towers. From up here you have a literally outstanding panoramic view of the city, the harbor and the mountains
In the immediate vicinity is the Episcopal Palace, which unfortunately can only be viewed from the outside.
From here it is only a stone’s throw to the Museo Casa de Colón (Columbus House). This is the former governor’s house, which became famous because Christopher Columbus paid a visit here in 1492 on his expedition to India, eeeehhm … America. In the museum you will find numerous exciting stories, explanations and exhibits about Columbus’ voyages of discovery to the “New World”.
Bargain hunters watch out: admission to the museum is always free on Sundays!
Discover the San Juan neighborhood
For the explorers among you, I have a little insider tip: The San Juan district. There are many pictures of it, but how about a little tour in the middle – definitely a bit off the beaten tourist track. Instead of strolling from the cathedral in the direction of Casa de Colón or Triana like other travelers, you add another highlight!
From Plaza Santa Ana you walk past the Plaza de Santo Domingo through some streets to a huge, unfortunately closed, outdoor elevator. “Unfortunately” because you know exactly what that means: climbing stairs! The San Juan neighborhood is located on one of the hills of Las Palmas, and you have to earn the view with every step in the warm temperatures of Gran Canaria. In return you get a great view over the old town, the harbor and the surrounding neighborhoods.
There are no more tourists to be seen in the streets of San Juan – at least it was like that with me. The downhill route then practically runs by itself.
In search of the best photo spot for the picturesque, colorful houses of San Juan you unfortunately have to cross the big main street – please be careful! In the district San Roque there are some great photo spots for the opposite San Juan, which in my opinion should not be missing in any Instagram gallery in Las Palmas.
And now back to the old town Vegueta to the other tourists 🙂
Things to do in Las Palmas: Shopping and rest in Triana
The next stop is the Plaza de las Ranas, the “Frog Square“. The area is known and popular for its varied shopping opportunities, especially on the loooong Calle Mayor de Triana – the main shopping street.
In the side streets you will find many restaurants, cafés and bars that seem made for a short break after excessive shopping and trying on.
At the end of Calle Mayor de Triana is the San Telmo park with the neat kiosk La Modernista. A special place for a break – but it’s about time. So, sit down and enjoy your café conleche or your Cana Cerveza (small glass of beer).
From here you can either take the bus or continue on foot (less recommended, it takes a long time and nothing really worth seeing is on the way if you are on foot)
An equally unusual and extremely practical way of getting from A to B in Las Palmas quickly is the “Sitycletas“, practical rental bicycles.
Everywhere in the city you will find stations where you can rent and return your bikes – conveniently via app. Much faster than on foot and more flexible than any bus, a great mix for exploring Las Palmas individually.
Things to do in Las Palmas in the afternoon
Get an overview of the miradores
Las Palmas not only has beaches, but also decent hills – not to say mountains. And what do mountains mean? Really a great view, from the so-called “Miradores“. On the way north from Triana there are some recommended viewpoints from which you have a great view of Las Palmas.
One of them is the Mirador Cuatro Cañones. You can get there on foot – but it’s a decent stretch. From above you will be rewarded with a great view over the city, from Vegueta over the marina to the distant El Confital. Nearby is the Mirador Paseo San Antonio – also recommended.
Santa Catalina Park is in the north of Las Palmas. Here you will find the tourist information in a beautiful Castillo-like building, colorful benches by continent, many cafes and restaurants and a memorial to the Carabela La Niña III, one of Christopher Columbus’ ships.
Vamos a la Playa: Las Canteras
Now it is really time: What would Las Palmas or all of Gran Canaria be without its famous beaches? With 3 kilometers of wonderful sand, Playa Las Canteras is one of the longest beaches in Europe and one of the longest city beaches in the world!
Las Canteras can be divided into different sections:
- Playa Grande – a picture of a beach. Here you can comfortably drop into the soft warm sand. On the wide beach, sun loungers and sometimes parasols are offered everywhere. This is how it works with the right beach flair.
- Playa Chica is one of the best places for snorkeling because there are many rocks in the water and a lot to discover with the flora and fauna that are native to them. The reef makes the section look like a large natural pool that is not so affected by the high seas and waves.
- El Cicer in the more southern section near the Auditorio Alfredo Kraus, surf professionals and those who want to become one cavort. Most of the surf schools and board rentals can also be found here.
You will find many authentic restaurants and tapas bars along the entire beach promenade up to the Auditorio Alfredo Kraus and shopping center Las Arenas. The beach and the promenade are also very popular with locals as a kind of local recreation area – and you notice that, especially on weekends.
If you walk the promenade in a north-easterly direction to the end, you will come to La Puntilla, a great photo spot with a view over Las Canteras with beautiful colorful fishing boats in the foreground.
View and sunset from El Confital
Either you stay in the bars, restaurants or the warm sand of Las Canteras, or you go on a short hike. About three kilometers further along the sea on the La Isleta peninsula is El Confital Beach, one of the most popular surfing beaches in Europe. There are rugged cliffs and rock formations to admire along the way.
Do you fancy a gigantic view? – Logo! Then on to the Mirador de la Cruz. The way is not as difficult as it looks from below – and not as far either. From up here you have an outstanding view over all of Las Palmas and Las Canteras…
… and of course also of the surfers from El Confital:
Things to do in Las Palmas in the evening
You can enjoy the most beautiful sunset in Las Palmas either from the Mirador de la Cruz in El Confital or – if you don’t want to descend in the semi-dark – from the promenade between El Confital and Las Canteras. You can also admire the sunset directly from Las Canteras, the promenade is perfectly aligned for this.
The place to be in the evening is the beach promenade of Las Canteras with its numerous restaurants and bars. After a long and sweaty day with the Canarian temperatures, let the island’s chefs pamper you with a delicious dish made from fresh seafood, with a cana (small beer), no, better a jarra (large beer). Just look in the BIG5 section for restaurants and other culinary recommendations.
And now to the nightlife of Las Palmas – y masdespués: Buenasnoches!
Do you have more than one day in Las Palmas?
Muy bien, because there are many other things to do and highlights in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria:
- Muelle Deportivo – The marina for sports boats and yachts has a very special atmosphere. And if you are looking for a place on a boat in the Caribbean, you have a good chance here …
- Pueblo Canario – Traditional Canarian dances can still be seen today in the square, which was laid out for tourist purposes. The Nestor Museum (dedicated to Néstor Martín-Fernández de la Torre, the most important painter of the Canary Islands), the ParqueDoramas with ponds full of fish and the Hotel Santa Catalina with its spectacular balconies are also nearby
- San Cristobal -Make a trip to the small “fishing village” San Cristobal just outside the center of Las Palmas. Some of the houses have already fallen into disrepair, but that is what gives it a special flair. You can often watch surfers near the tower-like Castillo de San Cristobal. Highly recommended: Ask in the few restaurants about freshly caught fish or seafood!
- La Playa de la Laja – Laja beach is a popular swimming spot, especially with locals. And above it all is Triton de la Laja, a sculpture of the sea god Triton.
- Jardín Canario – A little outside of Las Palmas you can admire countless plants in the Botanical Garden of Gran Canaria that can only be found on the Canary Islands
Que bueno, now you know exactly how to spend a day in Las Palmas and which things to do and highlights there are to discover! Have fun under the Canarian sun, buen viaje! 🇮🇨
If you’re looking for nice winter holiday activities in Portugal, let’s have a look at the Portimao article from my friend Amy.