Bustling with a vivid, exotic feel thanks to its fusion of African, Chinese and Indian cultures, Las Palmas excites at every turn. And for the cruiser with only a matter of hours to spare, it’s ideal because you can pack in many sights in a short space of time. Whether you’re looking for museums, galleries, charming neighbourhoods, and sandy beaches, Las Palmas has them in abundance.
Perhaps best of all, Las Palmas enjoys a sublimely subtropical climate, with constant mild to warm temperatures throughout the year. And since you’re almost guaranteed nice weather when visiting the city during your Canary Islands cruise the big question on your lips is most probably: what should I do?
For those bound for its gorgeous climes, we’ll guide you through how to get around the city, as well as its finest attractions and where to sample the best food.
How to Get Around
Convenient and flexible, the Hop-On & Hop-Off double-decker tour is possibly the best way to see the city of Las Palmas as you can travel at your own pace, and set your own itinerary. We recommend doing the whole circuit first and later deciding which place you want to return to for an in-depth exploration.
For either 24 or 48 hours, you can hop on and off at any stop en route, or just stay on the bus for the entire trip to enjoy a unique view of the city. Some of the recommended hop-off spots include Las Canteras Beach, the shopping areas in Las Arenas, or Paseo de la Cornisa for a pleasant walk along the water’s edge.
If you want to get around in a less touristy manner, there are plenty of buses in the metropolitan area. An individual trip will cost you €1.40, but if you’ll be using it multiple times, then go for the 10-trip bono de guagua, which will cost around €8.50. You can pick them up from bus stations or newsagents, and can be shared between a number of travellers, which is great if there’s a group of you.
What to See and Do
Las Palmas is ripe for exploration, whether you want to delve into its captivating history, hit the shops or just chill out on the sandy shores.
La Vegueta is the old town and Las Palmas’ historic centre. As such, you can walk down the streets and take yourself back 500 years, when Christopher Columbus visited to plot his New World adventures.
Santa Ana Cathedral
For architectural enthusiasts, the heart of the town plays host to the Santa Ana Cathedral, the first church in the Canaries. Because it was completed over four centuries, differing architectural styles from the Gothic, Renaissance, and Neoclassical periods are clear to see.
Playa de las Canteras
Up amongst the world’s best city beaches, Playa de las Canteras boasts nearly two miles of pristine sands, it’s the perfect place to relax if you need a break from your busy itinerary. Twinned with a promenade that runs the length of the beach, visitors can enjoy uninterrupted, traffic-free walks in the sun, while the beach’s reef, known as the Barra, offers plenty of opportunity for swimming and snorkelling in its vast pool.
Calle Mayor de Triana
Las Palmas’ main shopping area has treats for both the wallet and the eye. If you’re looking for a spot of retail therapy, then it’s packed with plenty of shops, but its architectural design creates some superb photo opportunities, so be sure to get your camera at the ready while you’re here.
What to Eat
Sumptuous seafood and exceptional imports make Las Palmas a city rich with culinary delights.
Restaurante El Herreño
For traditional Canary Island fare, give this spacious atmospheric dining room a try. Well-priced with plenty to choose from, its calling card is its location. Across the road is a market, so you’d be hard-pressed to find fresher food than this. Go with the local dishes, like their seafood soup and mojo potatoes, and you’ll be in for a treat. Their version of rice pudding is absolutely delicious too.
La Dolce Vita
You’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Italy after experiencing La Dolce Vita’s authentic menu and film poster-plastered walls. A simple, dimly-lit restaurant that nevertheless takes its dedication to Italian cuisine very seriously, the pasta here is hand-made and brimming with hearty, traditional flavours. Caviar and black truffle sauces make this an indulgent treat, while the welcoming company and flowing vino mean this homely trattoria is always a highlight for visitors.
Situated on the seafront of Playa de las Canteras, La Marinera’s surf-soaked location makes it very popular with both locals and visitors alike. Obviously, seafood is in abundance here, with plenty of specialities and fish of the day (caught just outside) on the menu here. Go for fideua, a paella-style fish made with noodles, a sizeable treat for two that’s sure to fill you up.
There are meat dishes too, but for local fish that’s as fresh as it gets, it’s definitely worth going for the sea-based fare that’s on offer.
Since opening in 2007, Deliciosa Marta has been pegged as one of the city’s hotspots. Chic at times, romantic at others, you’re sure to be greeted by the owner Marta, and with chef Pol showing off his specially-trained skills to excellent use, the food here is quite simply incredible. We’d highly recommend booking here as it’s very popular, but those lucky enough to get a space are in for a treat, with dishes of scallops, pork belly, and 24-hour, slow-cooked lamb just waiting to delight with every bite.
Note: This page was updated in November 2017 for relevancy.