Food, nature, landmarks — we’ve got you covered!

Quick notes:

  • Visit the old town of Las Palmas for the main historical sites

  • Go to Tapas Night in Vegueta to experience local food and culture

  • Las Palmas has two main beaches to choose from, and both of them are good for surfing

  • Explore the nearby natural landmarks in a day trip from Las Palmas

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the most populous city on Spain’s Canary Islands, and it’s also a popular tourist destination. Blessed with good weather year-round, it attracts people from all over the world with its beautiful beaches, delicious food, and laid-back lifestyle, which you will rarely find in other big cities. Las Palmas can offer plenty of activities to keep you busy, and there’s even more to explore within a short ride away. 

Back to colonial times

Walking around Vegueta — the historical district of Las Palmas, Spain — is the perfect way to step back in time and get a feel of what the town was like in the 15th century when it was first founded. You will find a hidden gem on every corner among colorful houses, medieval squares, and beautiful churches. While you’re here, don’t miss to visit the Cathedral of Santa Ana, the main cathedral of Las Palmas.

Along these narrow cobbled streets walked Christopher Columbus when he stopped on the Canary Islands on his way to discovering the New World. You can visit the house where he stayed (“Casa de Colón”), which is now a small museum part of which is dedicated to Columbus and his voyages. Another important museum in this part of town is the Canarian Museum, which tells the early history of the Canary Islands.

Local food: what and where to eat in Las Palmas 

Image by Pixabay

Canarian food is an exciting mix between Spanish and South American cuisine, which is no surprise considering the close cultural and historical relations in the Spanish-speaking world. One of the few things you couldn’t try anywhere else is “gofio” — a flour made from roasted sweetcorn, which is widely used in Canarian cuisine. Seafood is also very popular, so make sure to go to one of the many restaurants in Las Palmas, offering fresh seafood.

For a unique food adventure, head to Vegueta on Thursdays for Tapas Night. All restaurants on Mendizabal street take part in this event, offering tapas for as little as 1 euro. It’s not just a food festival; it’s the atmosphere that makes it so unique and attracts hundreds of visitors every week. The whole street gets full of people eating, drinking, and having fun, so you can enjoy the party while trying great food from authentic Las Palmas restaurants.

Beach time all year round

Las Canteras is the name of the main beach in Las Palmas, and it is also the busiest and the most touristic area in town. The street along the beach is lined with bars, restaurants, and shops, but beware of high prices and tourist traps. Las Canteras is also a great surfing spot with conditions suitable for beginners and experienced surfers alike. You can find plenty of surf shops next to the beach, offering surf equipment and lessons.

Take a short walk from Las Canteras to the north, and you will reach El Confital, the other popular beach in Las Palmas. It’s like a different world, though, with its rocky landscape and peaceful atmosphere away from the crowds, which makes it easy to forget you’re still in the city. You won’t find any bars or amenities here, so bring enough food and water to enjoy a calm afternoon at the beach.

Explore the surroundings

If you have more time in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, why not venture out and discover some of the natural sites near the city? You can rent a car or take a guided tour to explore the mountains and the small towns nearby. The most popular natural landmarks are the rock of Roque Nublo, the volcanic crater of Bandama, and the highest peak on the island — Pico de las Nieves.

A deeper dive — Related reading from the 101:

Here are some great tips for traveling to other destinations with good weather

If Las Palmas seems too far away, consider these beaches away from the crowds