Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, capital of the island of Gran Canaria, is situated on the north-eastern vertex of the island where a small peninsula sticks out into the sea. The centre of the city is divided by the old Guiniguada Gully, which used to be the limits between the historical quarter of the municipality and the more cosmopolitan and commercial boroughs of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The main official and administrative centres of the island are also to be found in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Moreover, the essence of the capital of the island can be encapsulated by a visit to four clearly differentiated areas: Vegueta - Triana - Ciudad Jardín (Garden City) – Alcaravaneras - Puerto (Port) - Canteras
The popular Borough of Vegueta is formed by the most emblematic buildings of the city, as well as the principal museums. The centre of Vegueta is presided by the Santa Ana Cathedral (open during worshiping hours), whose construction began in the XVI century and is flanked by the Plaza de Santa Ana with its important historical buildings: The Casas Consistoriales (the Old Town Hall) of neo-classical style, the Episcopal Palace (identified by a beautiful balcony with lattice windows from the first third of the XVII century), the Casa Regental (one of the few examples of renaissance buildings in the city and present day seat of the Presidency of the Canarian High Court of Justice) and the Historic Provincial Archives.
Behind the Cathedral is the Plaza del Pilar Nuevo, which invites a visit to the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (the Atlantic Centre of Modern Art), one of the main art centres in Spain. Opening hours, Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 21:00 hours; Sundays from 10:00 to 14:00 hours; closed on Mondays and Public Holidays.
Also in Vegueta you can be witness to the history of the city by visiting the Christopher Columbus House Museum (visiting hoursMonday to Saturday: 10:00 - 18:00 hours / Sunday and public holidays: 10:00 - 15:00 hours); or admire the historic vestiges of the previous settlers of the island in the Canarian Museum (museum and handcraft shop opening hours from 10:00 to 17:00 hours Mondays to Fridays on workdays). The Sacred Art Museum also offers the visitor an exhibition of a number of art pieces of religious devotion. (Public opening hours Mondays to Fridays from 10:00 to 16:30 hours; Saturdays from 10:00 to 13:30 hours).
In Vegueta it is also possible to visit the Church and Square of Santo Domingo, the Espíritu Santo Square (presided by a beautiful quarry stone fountain) and the Market of Vegueta, which dates from 1854 (public opening hours Mondays to Thursdays from 06:30 to 14:00 hours; Fridays and Saturdays from 06:30 to 15:00 hours).
In the Borough of Triana the main attraction is the commercial Triana Street, where one can find a number of buildings of great historic and artistic value.
One of the emblematic buildings of this borough is the Pérez Galdós Theatre, of italian inspiration, with an interesting music, dance and theatre listing during the 365 days of the year. Timetable for guided visits, Monday to Friday from 10:30 to 12:15 hrs. and Saturdays from 11:00 to 12:15 hrs.
Close by is Cairasco Square, where two buildings must be highlighted: the Hotel Madrid and the Gabinete Literario. The latter is of neo-classical style with modernist decorations (visit subject to previous petition). The Quegles Building, from 1900, is itself considered one of the most emblematic architectural elements of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and is situated in the well known Pérez Galdós Street. Lastly, the Pérez Galdós House Museum located in Triana contains the documental archives on the biographic and literary investigations of this novelist. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday & bank holidays: 10:00 - 18:00 h. The museum is closed on Mondays, 25th and 31st December, 1st and 6th January, Shrove Tuesday and 1st May.
Not far away we find San Telmo Park where you will discover the hermitage of San Telmo, a kiosk of modernist design which is a café and a bandstand, also of modernist style.
In the centre of the city we find Doramas Park. Its gardens contain autochthonous flower examples, and in the precinct you will find the Pueblo Canario (the Canarian Village), the Santa Catalina Hotel and the Néstor Museum (public opening hours Tuesdays to Fridays from 10:00 to 13:00 hours and from 16:00 to 20:00 hours; Sundays from 11:00 to 14:00 hours; Mondays and Saturdays closed. Closed in August).
The Muelle Deportivo (Sports Marina), situated on the Avenida Marítima (the Maritime Avenue) in front of the Santa Catalina Hotel, is an ideal place to walk, flavour the varied gastronomic offer of its bars and restaurants and enjoy observing the leisure boats which are moored there. At night its open air terraces offer a lively night atmosphere. Every November more than two hundred sailing boats depart towards the island of St. Lucia in the Carribean from the Sports Marina.
The Alcaravaneras Beach flanked to the north by the Royal Nautical Club and to the south by the Varadero Maritime Club, is a place where numerous water sport activities are practised.
In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, one must highlight one of the greatest city beaches with atmosphere of all the Spanish capitals: Las Canteras, with three kilometres of golden sand bordered by an attractive beach walk from where bars, pubs, discotheques, terraces, ice-cream parlours, kiosks and so on, branch out. From 1989 the blue flag, a distinction conceded by the European Union, has been waving over the beach. To one side, the Confital Beach opens up at the foot of the mountains as a prolongation to the sea. On its shore surges the best right hand wave in Europe for the practise of surfing. At the other extreme of the beach, in La Ciccer, is located the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium, stage of the island’s most important musical concerts, festivals of international prestige, as well as international congresses. Guided visiting hours, Mondays to Fridays at 12:00 hours.
In the district of La Isleta is one of the most popular parks of the city: Santa Catalina. Here annual events such as the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival and international music festivals such as the WOMAD, take place. In the park is located the Science Museum, in the Elder Building (public opening hours Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00 to 20:00 hours) and the Miller Building, where cultural activities regularly take place.
To enjoy the beautiful landscape of the municipality, the visitor might want to travel to the residential area of Tafira, where it is possible to admire examples of Canarian architecture. In this area you will find the Viera y Clavijo Botanic Gardens, 7 kilometres from the capital (public opening hours, Mondays to Sundays from 10:00 to 18:00 hours), which gathers together the main botanic endemisms of the Canaries. Close by we find the Caldera de Bandama (approximately 15 kilometres from the capital), an extinct volcanic crater with a diameter greater than 100 metres and a depth greater than 200 metres. The area of Bandama also has an 18-hole golf course.
From Las Palmas de Gran Canaria you can also take a tourist bus to discover the capital in an enjoyable way. For more tourist information on Las Palmas de Gran Canaria we recommend you visit the Tourist Offices located in the main areas and avenues of the city.
If you would like to go on daytrips around the historical town centre of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, just contact Tripgrancanaria