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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Las Palmas

Las Palmas Holidays

As the capital of Gran Canaria, Las Palmas mixes sumptuous beaches and sublime architecture to superb effect. Markets and shopping mingle with excellent cuisine in this city of sunshine.

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A seaside city like no other

While people adore holidays to the Canary Islands for their sun-drenched beaches and eternally hot blue skies, there's more than natural beauty to enjoy here.

Indeed, Gran Canaria's capital, Las Palmas is a spectacular and stylish city rich in culture, history and activities aplenty. Take a stroll along the Avenida Maritima and get lost in narrow Spanish-styled streets and winding avenues. The seafront promenade is a wonderfully scenic route that winds along the shoreline, peppered with modern artworks such as a massive dragonfly statue.

With your camera in one hand and an ice cream in the other, follow the Avenida Maritima and reach the premier beach of Gran Canaria – Playa de las Canteras. Protected from the greater ocean by the natural reef of La Barra, this three-kilometre beach beautifully frames Las Palmas and is a popular hotspot for holidaymakers as much as it is for natives.

South of the beach sits a little area of coast called La Cicer, where surfers gather and diving schools help you explore the world beneath the waves.

Quick Tips

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Sensational shopping all round

If your idea of a happy Gran Canaria holiday includes some retail therapy, you'll love Las Palmas. Head for the weekly street markets at Mercado Central, where local wines and cheese mingle with hand-woven fabrics yet there's a great deal more to the city than farmers and artisans.

The real retail experience to savour in Las Palmas is Calle Mayor de Triana, better known as Triana. This is the main shopping street, where fashion stores, bookshops and tapas in coffee houses can be found. Make sure you visit on the first Sunday of each month too, this is when you'll find special offers, usually for one day only.

History and heritage

You can step back in time up to five centuries and more when you head to the Vegueta district of Las Palmas. It's the old quarter of the city, and for that reason it's where the richest history and most inspiring architecture can be found.

Alongside magnificent churches and cathedrals such as Santa Ana Cathedral and San Antonio Abad are city squares and green spaces such as Plaza de Santa Ana.

Museums are also high on many holidaymakers' agenda. Perhaps the most renowned is the Casa de Colon, dedicated to Christopher Columbus, the explorer famed for stopping at and eventually residing within Gran Canaria following his epic voyages.

Meanwhile, the Museo Canario celebrates the relics of the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands, and the Museum of Sacred Arts takes its cues from the surrounding churches to evoke tremendous works of Catholic art.

Wining and dining

A capital city with true Spanish heritage, Las Palmas nights are hard to forget, from your evening meal right through to the bars you choose to visit. Thanks to the way the city cups the coastline, splendid views are also guaranteed. This is particularly evident at the city's promenade restaurant, La Macarena, where seafood and pasta make up much of the menu.

When the sun goes down, the nightlife begins to shine. So, if you're seeking a clubbing experience with a difference, the external dancefloor of Sotavento Club is a great place to show-off your moves and mingle, while sipping a few cocktails.

If you're looking for a rooftop cocktail bar with elegance, head for La Azotea de Benito, or for a laid-back beer, stop by La Terminal, styled like a reclaimed airport lounge with added flair and pizzazz.