The capital of the island of Gran Canaria, the gateway for gay tourists to Maspalomas, the city of Las Palmas is a metropolis of nearly half a million inhabitants, constantly growing and attracting an ever-increasing population. It is also an excellent tourist destination for those who wish to discover a tropical island. It is the most populated city in the Canary Islands and is full of treasures and surprises to discover. Surprises that are often overlooked.
Founded in 1478, more than five centuries ago, the city of Las Palmas has a rich historical heritage of the most interesting, rich culture and an architect that attracts the eye. At the same time, it is the city of today, modern, open, and in motion. Las Palmas is, without a doubt, a city to discover!
The traveler visiting for just a few hours will obviously not have time to see and visit everything, but here are some tips and recommendations of things to do and places to go to get the best and most complete idea possible of the city’s heritage and many assets. Its port is ranked 3rd in Spain in terms of volume and is the largest for thousands of miles. Find out what to see and do when you only have a day to spend there.
1. Enjoy tapas and montaditos with a good glass of wine at the Port Market
The Mercado del Puerto, often known as the Port Market, is located not far from Las Canteras beach and Santa Catalina square. It is, above all, a market with fruit and vegetable stands as we like it, the tastiest cold cuts and cheese to discover. The place also has many food stalls where you can have a bite to eat while sitting at a counter. A joy for tourists who discover Las Palmas for the first time.
There are tapas, montaditos, and various local specialties, including wines produced on the island or craft beers. The atmosphere is warm and relaxed. Special events such as concerts, flea markets, and cultural fairs are organized on certain days and evenings. The building alone is worth seeing; it is made of a typical 19th-century iron and glass frame and was built by a disciple of Gustave Eiffel.
2. Leave from San Telmo Park and walk along Calle Mayor de Triana
This walk is perfect for discovering the rich architectural heritage of the city of Las Palmas. To begin, you must reach the magnificent San Telmo Park located in the heart of the city. Take the time to admire its cafe and its 1900’s style bandstand. A classic to do! The small hermitage church, which dates back to the city’s origins, is worth a visit, especially for its unique architecture on the island. Then, walk down the pedestrian street located a few steps away from the church.
Take the main artery of the neighborhood, Calle Mayor de Triana, and discover this corner of the capital. Always very lively, this tourist district is distinguished by the magnificent facades of the colorful houses that line the streets, often brightly colored and shimmering and with languid shapes, Art Nouveau style. A district among the most beautiful on the island. It is necessary to walk while raising the eyes so much it is beautiful.
Don’t be on your cell phone; take the time to admire what you see at the moment. The show is breathtaking. You will certainly not be disappointed! A real luxury of ornaments and decorations. At the end of the main street, after crossing the expressway. You will quickly arrive in the Vegueta district, the oldest district of the metropolis. This is where the city was founded. So you can imagine that the place is rich in history!
3. Take the elevator in the tower of the Santa Ana Cathedral
The historic Santa Ana Cathedral is among the most famous attractions in the city of Las Palmas. This cathedral is also among the best ways to get a feel for the city, and its importance is to go up to the roofs. Just take the elevator installed in the right tower and climb a few steps.
Few tourists think of taking advantage of this opportunity, which is worth the detour. You need to know the tourist trick. It costs almost nothing, and it’s worth it because once up, the 360 view is breathtaking of the city and the region. In addition, climbing the inside of the tower allows you to touch the materials used and better understand the construction of the building.
4. Visit the Casa de Colón
Christopher Columbus made several stops in Las Palmas during his exploratory voyages on his way to America, and he stayed in what is now known as the Casa de Colón. It was then the palace of the first governors of the island.
Composed of several houses joined together, this architectural complex is worth a visit both for its original buildings, its exhibition rooms with numerous works of art, and its very successful evocation of the voyages of the famous explorer and the colonization of the Americas. Among the exhibits is a life-size reproduction of the ship used by Columbus, models of Las Palmas through time, a typical Canarian patio, several rooms devoted to paintings and sculptures from the 18th century, and the foundations of the building.
5. Visit the house-museum of the great Spanish writer Perez Galdos
Pérez Galdos is considered the greatest naturalist novelist in Spain. He is one of the most important writers in the country and one of the most known at the international level. He was a friend of the French writer, Émile Zola. Among his most famous works are Tristana and Villages. Pérez Galdos was born in Las Palmas in an impressive house that can still be visited today.
Its three floors have been converted into a museum, and you can learn a lot about the life and work of the writer while discovering the typical decor of the 18th-century bourgeois in Gran Canaria. The different rooms have been perfectly preserved and maintained, with period furniture and objects familiar to the writer.
Sound off in the comments section below, and tell us what you want to read next and if you want to read more about Las Palmas.