Sights of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
A visit to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is highly recommended if you are celebrating a holiday in Gran Canaria. You can choose to spend one or more nights in Las Palmasor you can travel to Las Palmas for a day to see the main highlights of the city. With a population of about four hundred thousand souls, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is by far the largest city on the island. It is also the capital of the Spanish province of Las Palmas and is one of the capitals of the autonomous region of the Canary Islands. In terms of surface area and number of inhabitants, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria can be compared to the Dutch city of Utrecht. You will notice that as soon as you enter Las Palmas. There is traffic and parking stress here. This is primarily a city where people live and work. Tourism plays a much less important role here than in the seaside resorts on the island. On the other hand, this ensures that a visit to Las Palmas can be interesting. Here you have a more realistic shopping offer, a much wider choice of gastronomic experiences and a number of important museums and other attractions can be found here in Las Palmas.
Don’t underestimate the distances in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The city has developed in such a way that the walking distances are actually too great. For example, the distance between the historic center of Las Palmas and the Parque de Santa Catalina, which is considered the heart of the city, is already almost five kilometers. If you come to Las Palmas with a rental car, you can choose to park in two (or more) different places in the city and explore the nearby attractions from there. Another way is to move around the city by taxi, city bus or hop-on-hop-off bus.
To make your visit to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria easier, we have already listed the ten most beautiful and interesting sights and activities of this city for you.
Top 10 sights of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
According to Calculatorinc.com, Vegueta is the oldest neighborhood in the city. As soon as you enter the historic center you enter a completely different world. Here it seems as if time has stood still and the hustle and bustle that you experience elsewhere in Las Palmas has suddenly disappeared completely. La Vegueta is home to some of the city’s most beautiful buildings, such as the Santa Ana Cathedral, the Casa de Colón and the Casa Consistorial. The square in front of the cathedral, Plaza de Santa Ana, offers some great photo opportunities thanks to the beautiful buildings and the eight bronze statues of different dogs. The house of Columbus (Casa de Colón) is one of the most beautiful museums in all of Gran Canaria. Another museum not to be missed is the Museo Canario.
Don’t be guided by the most important buildings in Vegueta, but enjoy this district as a whole. Pay attention to the sometimes beautiful details that adorn the historic facades and absorb the atmosphere that you will experience in the streets of Vegueta.
#2. Casa de Colon
The Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus discovered America under the Spanish flag, among other things. On both his outward and return journeys he regularly made a stopover in Las Palmas. And no, Columbus is not the one who discovered the Canary Islands. The contemporary history of the city started when Juan Rejón founded Las Palmas in 1478 after a victorious battle against the Gaunches (the original inhabitants of Gran Canaria). This made Las Palmas the first overseas city of the Spaniards.
Casa de Colón literally means ‘House of Columbus’. However, it was never a Columbus home. The impressive building is a rebuilt version of the former residence of the former governors. In the middle of the last century, the impressive building was turned into a museum dedicated to the voyages of discovery of Christopher Columbus. The way it was done makes this the best Columbus museum in the world. The collection is extensive and thanks to the audio guide you can follow everything well. As far as we are concerned, the replica of a La Niña cabin is the most special object within the Casa de Colón.
#3. Poema del Mar Aquarium
Near the port of Las Palmas you will find Poema del Mar. Opened in 2017, this underwater zoo introduces you to the various fish and other mammals that live in the oceans and seas. In addition, Poema del Mar also houses a number of terrariums where you can view amphibians such as frogs, crocodiles and turtles. Poema del Mar is one of the best of its kind. The highlight is the Deep Sea saltwater aquarium, which has a huge arched window. Through the window of 36 meters wide and 7 meters high you can enjoy swimming by sharks, rays and other fish. Poema del Mar has a clear walking route. On average, you spend an hour or two on a visit. Shorter is possible, but longer is certainly also possible.
#4. Playa de Las Canteras
Thanks to its location on the coast, Las Palmas has several beaches. Playa de Las Canteras is the largest and busiest beach in the city. The total length of this beach is almost four kilometers. That is during low tide. At high tide, the beach is a bit smaller. You can of course sunbathe on the beach or swim in the always pleasant sea water. Don’t you have any swimwear on or with you? Then Playa de Las Canteras is a wonderful place to walk on the car-free boulevard or enjoy a drink on one of the many terraces along the beach. Here you forget that you are in a big city. No sound of traffic, but the wonderful murmur of the waves is what you hear here.
#5. Museo Elder de la Ciencia y la Tecnologia
Are you interested in science and technology? Then the Museo Elder de la Ciencia y la Tecnología is worth a visit. This science & technology museum is housed in the building of the former Elder Dempster Lines shipping company. This explains the name of the museum. The museum’s exhibit is spread over four floors, with exhibits from technology, physics, math, geology, biology, medicine, and astronomy. You can see a digital planetarium in operation, view a steam locomotive from 1885 and get to know various facets of science and technology interactively. Whether it is really a museum for young and old, or whether the museum focuses more on children, is something on which the visitors do not always agree. The low entrance fee and the fact that you can leave the museum with a ticket and return the same day, ensure that the visit is accessible.
The historic heart of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria consists of two districts. Vegueta is the oldest and most famous neighborhood of the old center, Triana is the other part of historic Las Palmas. It is located immediately north of Vegueta. The busy GC-5 thoroughfare separates the two neighborhoods. Triana is slightly younger. This neighborhood has developed into the best shopping area of Las Palmas. The shopping street Calle Triana in particular is very popular among shoppers. This approximately one kilometer long pedestrian street is home to numerous shops, including the larger national and international chains. For the nicer boutiques and local shops, you should mainly look for it in the smaller streets within Triana. The shops are closed on Sundays.
#7. Las Palmas Cathedral
The most beautiful square in Las Palmas, the Plaza Santa Ana, is home to the most important religious building in the Canary Islands. The Catedral de Santa-Ana has been the religious center of the archipelago since the end of the fifteenth century. It took a long time until the cathedral of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria was completely finished. Construction began in 1497 and was completed in 1570. A lack of money then led to the fact that it was not until 1781 that the realization of this magnificent building was continued. The spread of the construction work has meant that the design has been adjusted a number of times. As a result, the basilica has several architectural styles. The exterior is mainly neoclassical.
#8. Castillo de la Luz
In the past, Las Palmas had to be protected against external threats. Therefore, during the first centuries of its existence, several fortresses and other defenses were built. The Castillo de la Luz is the oldest castle in Las Palmas. This stone square fort was built in 1494 on the foundations of a previous fort. At the end of the sixteenth century, Castillo de la Luz burned down completely. The Castillo de la Luz was rebuilt and renovated in stages during the twentieth century. It is now a historical monument where exhibitions and events are regularly held. The castle can be visited daily, with the exception of Mondays. On Sunday afternoon, the castle, which nowadays has more of a museum function, closes
#9. Centro de Arte La Regenta
In Las Palmas you can choose from several museums. One of our favorites is the Centro de Arte La Regenta. This museum was established in 1987. The museum is housed in a former tobacco factory designed by the architect Fernando Delgado. The appearance is reminiscent of a simpler version of the Art Deco architecture that was popular at the time. In the Centro de Arte La Regenta you can admire modern and contemporary art in various forms. In addition to the permanent collection, changing temporary exhibitions are organized.
#10. Caravel La Nina III
In the eastern part of the Santa-Catalina Park, you can admire a replica of the historic Caravel La Niña III for free. This ship played an important role in Christopher Columbus’ expedition to the Americas and the claiming of the Colombian history of the capital of Gran Canaria. The caravel “La Niña III” took part in the expedition under Christopher Columbus. The replica of the boat was built in Galicia in 1992 according to the design and criteria of Captain Carlos Etayo. That year she was transferred to Palos de La Frontera, in Huelva, from where she sailed to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to sail to the Dominican Republic. The caravel has been in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria since 2000.