Las Palmas

The view over Las Palmas
Las Palmas cathedral

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is one of the largest cities in Spain, and is the largest city in the Canary Islands.

Get in

By plane

Gran Canaria has a modern international airport which receives flights from Madrid, about 2 and a half hours, and from Barcelona and Bilbao, both about 3 hours. UK flights takes about 4 or 4 and a half hours. It operates flights to different destinations, mainly trough Europe and northern Africa. To get into the city, take the bus number 60 from the airport to either bus station in the city. The bus runs every 30 minutes from 6:15am to 8:50pm and costs €2.70

By boat

The Port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria receives ships from all over the world. Because its strategic position it receives visitors every year from all over Europe, Africa and America. For business or for tourism the port remains as one of the most important ports today and there is a program of further expansion. It operates daily routes to other Canary Islands. To Cádiz on the Spanish mainland, a trip by boat takes about 2 days.

Naviera Armas operates to and from Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Portugal, Madeira, and several other islands. Acciona Transmediterránea operates the Las Palmas-Cádiz line and some inter-island lines. Most of the inter-island connections are run by fast ferries. Residents of the Canary Islands receive discounted fares.

The Port of Las Nieves in Agaete, 50 km from Las Palmas, offers a connection to Santa Cruz de Tenerife through Fred.Olsen, .

By bus

The only bus company operating interurban lines on Gran Canaria is Global, tel. 902 381 110, email: sugerencias@globalsu.net. Most of the company's lines have Las Palmas as either their origin or their destination. There are two bus stations in the city:

By car

Get around

By bus

Las Palmas has the best quality bus system in the archipelago and one of the best in Spain. The service is provided by Guaguas Municipales, tel. 928 446 500, . The bright yellow buses are known simply as guaguas. The simple fare, paid directly to the driver, is 1.10€. A ticket good for 10 rides is available for 5.80€ at official shops in the city. The Tarjeta Insular (Island Card) is good on both municipal buses and Global buses, offering a 20% discount on first validation and a 70% discount on the second.4

Sorry but as from 1 January 2011 - the Gran Canaria Global bus company no longer issue or sell these very popular with tourist and Canarians so-called €15 or €10 Tarjeta Insular tickets through the local ticket agencies. For more information on this check or contact Global direct at: http://www.globalsu.net/

If you are over 70 and staying longer you can apply for a Senior Citizens Pass at the bus station in Telmo. This will give you a 50% discount on all bus trips over 11 km here! You will need passport photos for this and €5.

The most important bus lines have frequencies of between 3 and 15 minutes during the day and between 10 and 40 minutes at night. Most lines have service throughout the night. Among the most useful lines are:

By car

Dense traffic on workdays and in certain commercial leisure zones mean that driving is really no fun here. The city street plan is not at all rectilinear, so the streets can confuse even experienced drivers. Parking is also pretty expensive in most places. On the upside, the price of gasoline is significantly cheaper that the rest of Spain and Europe, there are no toll roads, and entrances, exits, main streets and important zones are all well-signposted.

See

Inside the Catedral de Santa Ana

Do

A surfer takes a dive in Las Palmas

As a beach town, Las Palmas is especially popular for oceanside activities. Catch a wave, grab your snorkel, or just soak up some sun (after applying sunscreen, of course!). Or if you feel like exploring terra firma, do as the locals do and make use of the public tourism bus, known affectionately as the guiriguagua.

Events

Buy

Shop in the city center or in one of the department stores like "El Corte Ingles". There are cheap electronic products and souvenirs for sale everywhere.

For food items, Hiperdino is a chain of stores that has a good range of products and set prices. Some of these stores also have a decent selection of wine. Check out Mercadona too.

Buy the local rum: Arehucas or Artemi or Armiche (and check out the local Honey Rum "ron miel").

Eat

Many restaurants have menus in an abundance of languages, and waiters often will also often be able to converse in your own language. Grab a snack at a park vendor or check out www.citygonow.com for up-to-date user reviews of local restaurants.

Drink

Buy the local rum: Arehucas. Drink clean or with Cola.

Sleep

Some travelers have complained of travel agents reserving rooms for them with windows that provide little or no view. If this happens, check with the front desk of your hotel to see if they have another room available.

Connect

You can always get in touch the old-fashioned way

Safety

If you have a veranda/patio on ground level -don't leave doors nor windows open unattended for any period of time.

Stay away from anyone that offers you anything for free -like lottery tickets or a free meal. These are often salespeople who want you to buy potentially worthless "holiday club" memberships or dodgy time-shares. They may seem pleasant at first, but may turn hostile and start threatening you.

Go next

Gáldar 
It used to be the capital of Gran Canaria before the Spanish conquered the island. La Cueva Pintada (The painted cave) represent a piece of history of the guanche population.
Arucas 
Famous for its rum and its Cathedral. The distillery is open to the public and it can be visited for free. There are samples of different alcoholic beverages that can be tested.
Tejeda 
Go up to the mountains where you can enjoy an spectacular view of the island. You can walk to the "Roque Nublo" by foot through stoned pathways built centuries ago. El Roque Nublo is the symbol of Gran Canaria.
This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, September 05, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.