Best things to see in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Situated in the northeast of the island between two bays, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a lovely capital city that offers magnificent scenery. With a population of more than 380,000, it is Spain's seventh largest city. The city is a major tourist destination and is home to many excellent bars and restaurants. Its Las Canteras Beach, over three kilometres long, is one of its main attractions. Check out my choice of top attractions to visit in Las Palmas.34 vegueta las palmas thesanetravel.comP1275328

Las Canteras promenade walk

The jewel in the crown of Las Palmas is Las Canteras Beach. It is a long strip of sand that stretches for kilometres along the bay.09 las canteras thesanetravel.com20221210 12281711 las canteras thesanetravel.comP1275228 Las Canteras is also known as the Changing Beach. Since the beach is constantly changing, it looks different every day. 16 las canteras thesanetravel.com20221207 10254919 las canteras thesanetravel.comP1286302As you stroll along the promenade, you will see different statues all along the beach as well as talented sculptors who work hard throughout the year to make sand figurines. 17 las canteras thesanetravel.com20221207 102938At Christmas, they make a huge sand Nativity scene. Among the permanent statues on the promenade, notice a statue of Mary Sánchez, one of the island's most renowned folk singers. 14 las canteras thesanetravel.comP1275249The statue was placed close to her childhood home. I also found the statue of a fisherman cleaning a fish interesting. 10 las canteras thesanetravel.comP1275219There are also other statues along the promenade. If you have enough time, continue your walk to Playa del Confital (El Confital Beach).  18 las canteras thesanetravel.comP1286301

Playa del Confital

Located next to Las Canteras Beach, it has a completely different vibe. Las Canteras and El Confital beaches are linked by a promenade along the coast with views of the entire El Confital Beach. El Confital has rock pools, a wooden boardwalk and world-class waves. 29 playa del confital thesanetravel.comP1286325Locals go to this beach for picnics at sunset and surfing as well as for nude sunbathing at a designated place. It is also excellent for snorkelling and diving.  At low tide, lots of small pools emerge among the rocks to splash in. There are no showers or food outlets available and public toilets can only be used in summer. However, you can enjoy the fantastic view of the sea and the city all year round.


The Vegueta neighbourhood of Las Palmas was the first settlement after the Spanish conquest of Gran Canaria in 1478 by Captain Juan Rejón. For centuries this area was a walled town and the first urban settlement on the island. Vegueta is home to many of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s most iconic buildings. Santa Ana Cathedral, Cristopher Columbus House, and the Canarian Museum are worth visiting. Columbus stopped there in 1492 on his return voyage, seeking repairs to his ship.

Casa de Colón

More than 500 years old Casa de Colón (Cristopher Columbus House) is one of the most beautiful and emblematic buildings in Gran Canaria. 42 veguetathesanetravel.com20221207 13484243 veguetathesanetravel.com20221207 135020Columbus brought his ship to the Port of Las Palmas at the end of the 15th century to make some repairs before his first voyage across the Atlantic. The museum within the building showcases Christopher Columbus, the Canary Islands, and America and is excellent for an in-depth look at this crucial chapter of world history.

Address: C. Colón, 1

Plaza Santa Ana

One of the main squares in the city is the Plaza Santa Ana (Santa Ana Square), named after the patron saint of Gran Canaria. The square is surrounded by interesting historic buildings, including the cathedral. 39 vegueta las palmas thesanetravel.comP1275352The Casas Consistoriales building across the cathedral used to house the town hall until 1977 when it was moved to another place. Now it is the site for the Tourist Information Office and has an exhibition space for the most important works of art in Gran Canaria.31 vegueta las palmas thesanetravel.comP1275317

Dog statues

The eight mysterious cast iron dog statues are a fascinating feature of the plaza. The most prevalent story is that the statues were gifted to the city by a French captain after their stay on the island. Another one is that they were donated to the city by Londoner James Miller at the end of the 19th century.33 veguetathesanetravel.com20221207 141252

Santa Ana Cathedral

Construction of Santa Ana Cathedral started in 1497 but was not finished until the end of the 20th century. 34 vegueta las palmas thesanetravel.comP127532841 vegueta las palmas thesanetravel.comP1275365Some parts of the cathedral were never built, so there is still an empty space for future chapels and churches. The building combines the neoclassic, gothic, and renaissance styles because of the different times it was built. Its cloister with wooden balconies is one of the few of its kind in Spain.39 veguetathesanetravel.com20221207 144635 The cathedral’s towers provide great views of the historic neighbourhood.37 veguetathesanetravel.com20221207 14313136 vegueta las palmas thesanetravel.comP1275334

Parque Doramas

Parque Doramas (Doramas Park) is next to the Pueblo Canario and the emblematic Hotel Santa Catalina. With an area of ​​47,800 m2, it has dragon trees, ficus, palm trees, and other native species. Its cascading fountains and extensive vegetation invite visitors to relax after a long day. 50 park doramasthesanetravel.comP128622654 park doramasthesanetravel.comP1286279A couple of impressive sculptures complete the landscape in the park. 49 park doramasthesanetravel.comP1286221Walk up the hill to get a fantastic view from the top overlooking the city next to the Gospel Church.55 park doramasthesanetravel.comP128628357 park doramasthesanetravel.comP1286287

Pueblo Canario

The Pueblo Canario is the recreation of a Canarian village in the heart of Las Palmas. Designed by Miguel Martín Fernándes de la Torre and his brother Nésto, the Pueblo Canario depicts a traditional Canarian village with houses, a town square, and a chapel, taking its guests back in time.60 pueblo canario thesanetravel.comP128623061 pueblo canario thesanetravel.comP1286234 Be sure to visit it on a Sunday or Thursday to enjoy a free show with folk dances and songs. 65 pueblo canario thesanetravel.comP128625564 pueblo canario thesanetravel.comP1286244Check with the Tourist Information Office when the shows take place. While in the Pueblo Canario, visit the famous Museo Nestor (the Nestor Museum) dedicated to the renowned artist and painter Nestor Fernandez de la Torre.66 pueblo canario thesanetravel.comP1286264

Address: C. Francisco González Díaz, 6

Santa Catalina Hotel

Surrounded by extensive gardens, the Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel is located next to the Pueblo Canario and within a 5-minute walk from Las Palmas Marina.70 santa catalina thesanetravel.comP1286269 Sir Winston Churchill, King Charles III, and the Spanish royal family are among the famous guests who have stayed at the stately Santa Catalina. Built in the late 19th century, it has a grand, colonial design with high ceilings and chandeliers. This hotel features an outdoor pool, three restaurants, a rooftop bar, and a wellness centre. Even if you do not plan to stay there, take a look at it or visit a bar or one of the restaurants.

Address: C. León y Castillo, 227

Botanical garden

The Botanical Garden Viera y Clavijo is located in Tafira, about nine kilometres southwest of Las Palmas. It is Spain’s largest garden covering 27 hectares with a broad range of flora from across the Canary Islands, including many rare and endangered species. The botanical garden was established in 1952 by an extraordinary Swede, Eric Sventenius, who wanted to gather the islands’ botanical riches in one place. In 1973, he lost his life in a fatal road accident. His grave lies in a shady laurel forest area of the Garden. After Eric’s death, other naturalists took up his work.81 botanical garden las palmas thesanetravel.comP1275382

The botanical garden is divided according to its different species, allowing visitors to see the diverse ecosystems within the island. It has the Laurel Forest, Palm Tree Square, Island Garden, Hidden Garden, World Garden, and Ornamental Macaronesian Garden, which groups together all the endangered species from the Macaronesian archipelagos (Azores, Cape Verde, Canary Islands, Madeira or Savage Islands).84 botanical garden las palmas thesanetravel.comP127539587 botanical garden las palmas thesanetravel.comP127542689 botanical garden las palmas thesanetravel.comP1275444

The best time to visit the garden is in spring when the majority of the plants are in gorgeous bloom.

The garden is open every day except for public holidays. If you travel by public transport, take a bus No. 303 or 311 departing from San Telmo bus station. An alternative is the yellow bus No. 7 from the city theatre. Get off at the bus stop Campus Universitario. From there, you have to go about five minutes on foot to the upper entrance of the botanical garden. A tour of the garden leads you downhill, and at the end of your visit, you will reach the lower entrance of the garden. To return to Las Palmas, go back to the upper entrance uphill because the nearest bus stop is there.80 botanical garden las palmas thesanetravel.comP1275380

Practical information

Public buses in Las Palmas are convenient and easy to use. You can buy a ticket from the driver either with cash or a credit card. 100 bus las palmas thesanetravel.com20221209 194217Google Maps show bus routes for your trip.

If you want to swim in a pool and have underwater massages, try GO fit Las Palmas. I really enjoyed its pools and sauna.

Address: C. Secretario Padilla, 88, 90

95 go fit thesanetravel.com20221210 12203793 go fit thesanetravel.com20221210 121724

Allow at least two days to visit the sites mentioned in this article.

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What did you think? Have you visited Gran Canaria and Las Palmas? I’d love to hear from you so please add your comment below.

  • Published by Anita on January 27, 2023

    Author: Anita Sane

    Anita 03 18

    About the author
    Anita is a part-time traveller, passionate photographer and a retired career woman from Latvia, 
    travelling mostly solo for more than 15 years. She is a skilled travel planner who plans and executes her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter and Bloglovin.


    Thank you for sharing. Santa Ana Cathedral looks spectacular and it seems like Las Palmas has a lot to offer!
    Linda (LD Holland)
    We have only visited the Canary Islands by cruise ship. It is clear we need to head back for a longer stay. I love the variety in the things you found to see and do in Las Palmas Gran Canaria. We headed out of the city and did not get back in time to explore this vibrant city.
    Las Palmas looks so beautiful, it's definitely on my bucket list.
    I am starting to collect ideas for a visit to Gran Canaria. Adding your suggestions to my list of things to do in Gran Canaria.

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