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Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

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Travel Guide Europe Spain Canary Islands Gran Canaria Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

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Introduction

Las Palmas

Las Palmas

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Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, or Las Palmas for short, is the capital (together with Santa Cruz de Tenerife!) of the Canary Islands, an autonomous region of Spain, albeit a couple of hours by plane away from the mainland. It's the largest city of the Canary Islands and Spain's ninth largest. The city itself has about 400,000 inhabitants, while the total urban area has around 700,000 people living here. It's located along the northeastern coastline of the island of Gran Canaria.

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Neighbourhoods

  • Vegueta, Cono Sur y Tafira
  • Centro
  • Puerto-Canteras
  • Ciudad Alta
  • Tamaraceite-San Lorenzo

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Sights and Activities

  • Playa de Las Canteras - Almost 4 kilometres in length, this beach is the very symbol of the city and its citizens.
  • Catedral de Santa Ana - Embodying several centuries of history, the cathedral can be seen from almost any point in the city center.
  • Vegueta - Historical enclave of the city.
  • Parque Santa Catalina - This is where most of the hot nightlife spots can be found. It's also pretty during the day, although it consist of little more than a few palm trees.
  • Triana - One of the oldest districts in Las Palmas, and now the city's commercial center.
  • Alfredo Kraus Auditorium - Concert and music hall with classical philharmonic performances and a building that's worth a visit on its own.
  • Elder Museum of Science and Technology - Most exhibitions have information in both Spanish and English. When you're in, you can also use the internet computers there, so the entrance fee is pretty decent. Students and children have a lower entrance fee.

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Events and Festivals

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Weather

Weather here is close to perfect, and a scientifcal survey even 'proved' this! Summers last from May to early October when it is generally between 24 °C and 28 °C during the day and nights are between 16 °C and 20 °C on average. Winters last from November to March but temperatures are still around or slightly above 20 °C, nights around 15 °C. This is also the wettest time of year while summers hardly see any rain at all.

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Getting There

By Plane

Gran Canaria Airport (LPA) is the busiest of the Canary Islands and dozens of airlines serve the island. Budget airline Ryanair has flights to a number of cities in Europe, while German based Condor and Air Berlin have flights as well. TUIfly, Thomson Airways and Thomas Cook Airlines serve a significant number of destinations as well.
Only a few cities in Africa are served, though Mauritania Airways started flying to a number of Mauritanian cities from 2009 onwards. Binter Canarias, has flights from Marrakech to the islands.

By Car

  • GC-1 cuts through the city, connecting it with the airport and other important municipalities as far as Tauro (80 km).
  • GC-2 connects the city with the North Zone, extending up to Agaete.
  • GC-3 circles the city and connects the other three highways
  • GC-4 connects Las Palmas with the communities in the center of the island.

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:

  • San Telmo Station in the city center.
  • Santa Catalina Interchange near the city's port. This station is serviced also by the municipal bus system and by taxis.

By Boat

Mainland Spain
Trasmediterránea provides ferries from Cadiz in Spain to and from Gran Canaria and oth Canary Islands.
Portugal/Madeira
Naviera Armas runs weekly services between Portimao in mainland Portugal to Madeira and on to Tenerife, with connections to other Canary Islands, like Gran Canaria.
Other Canary Islands
Trasmediterránea and Fred Olsen, are the main operators between Gran Canaria and the other Canary Islands of Lanzarote, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera.

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Getting Around

By Plane

The Canary Islands are connected by a small airline called Binter Canarias.

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.

By Public Transport

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.
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:

  • Line 1 Teatro - Puerto
  • Line 12 Hoya de la Plata - Puerto
  • Line 30 Alameda de Colón - Santa Catalina

By Foot

Much of the city can be navigated on foot.

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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.

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Drink

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

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Sleep

Upscale

View our map of accommodation in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet is widely available within Spain. Most airports have wifi-zones and in most towns there are internet cafés or shops where you can use internet for a fixed price. Wi-Fi points in bars and cafeterias are available after ordering, and most hotels offer Wi-Fi connection in common areas for their guests.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international access code for Spain is +34. The emergency number for police, ambulance and the fire brigade is 112.

In cities you can find plenty of public phones, and 'locutorios'. The latter are small shops where you can use the phone and use internet. Most of them also sell prepaid cards for mobile telephones. These shops are used a lot by foreigners to call to their mother country.

The main mobile network operators in Spain are Yoigo, Vodafone, Movistar and Orange, as in most of Europe voice and data coverage is generally good in urban areas however it can be patchy in rural locations. Cheap mobile phones (less than €50) with some pre-paid minutes are sold at FNAC or any phone operator's shop (Vodafone, Movistar, Orange). Topping-up is then done by buying scratch cards from the small stores, supermarkets, vending points (often found in tobacco shops) or kiosks.

Post

If you want to post a card, you can head to the post office (Correos). The Spanish post is not yet as efficient as colleagues in other countries so receiving a card can take a bit longer than the number of days that it should take. On the website of Correos, you can find the locations of nearby post offices.
Post offices are generally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, although times will vary according to the size of the city/town and the main post offices might be open until the early evening. Most will also open again on Saturday mornings, but in the smaller towns will close as early as 12 noon. When posting a letter, look for a yellow box and, if possible, post at the post office itself where there will also be divisions for local, national and international mail. Be prepared for long queues at the post office. This is why tobacco shops sell stamps and many will also have the facility to weigh packages. Standard letters/postcards of up to 20 grams sent within Spain are €0.34. However, non-standard letters/postcards of up to 20g are €0.39. Letters/postcards of 20 to 50 grams are €0.45. In the case of international shipping, the price is €0.64 to most countries within Europe for standard envelopes (letters/postcards) up to 20g, for a few European countries and outside Europe it is €0.78. If you want to send a package you are probably better off with a private courier company like TNT, DHL or UPS, as they offer quick and reliable services against competitive prices.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 28.1248227
  • Longitude: -15.4300065

Accommodation in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

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This is version 17. Last edited at 3:31 on Aug 2, 17 by sleepBot. 60 articles link to this page.

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