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Things to do in Las Palmas

Gran Canaria’s capital is a melting pot of Spanish culture, mountain adventures, and fun in the sun.

Our most recommended things to do in Las Palmas

Gran Canaria: Poema del Mar Skip-the-Line Ticket

1. Gran Canaria: Poema del Mar Skip-the-Line Ticket

Visit Poema del Mar and discover the spectacular biodiversity of the Blue Planet. Immerse yourself in 35 different freshwater and marine ecosystems and marvel at the colorful diversity of life. Enjoy a unique experience through the habitats of countless species with all their curiosities and abilities. Explore the Amazon, the depths of the ocean, and its fluorescent corals, deltas, beaches, and mangroves.   Experience La Jungla – a luminous space that recreates the macro thermal jungle of the Barro Colorado intertropical zone in the Panama Canal. Enjoy the extraordinary biodiversity manifested in an infinite number of plant species. Dive into Arrecife and walk around a large cylinder with over 400,000 liters of water that displays many colors of coral and fish. Explore the recreated coral reef and discover different species of fish and elasmobranchs typical of the Indo-Pacific.  Descend into the deep sea – a unique exhibit that offers a perspective with multiple observation points into the deepest ocean. Observe the wonders of the ocean depths and some 3,000 specimens of up to 40 different species swimming in the dark waters.   Explore El Veril – an exhibit that features numerous Canary Island species. This special aquarium, which has the shape of a kind of vault, gives visitors the impression of almost being able to touch an ecosystem that is very difficult to observe in nature.

Gran Canaria: Horse Riding Excursion

2. Gran Canaria: Horse Riding Excursion

Embark on a horseback riding excursion in Gran Canaria for 1 hour or 2 hours, depending on the option selected, with an instructor and all safety gear included. Meet your horse, with companions suitable for all ages and levels of horse riding ability. Upgrade by choosing hotel transfers. Start off by getting acquainted with your surefooted and gentle horses, with companions suitable for all ages and levels of horseriding ability. With your guide, set off on the mountain trails and discover the beautiful and rugged volcanic landscape of Gran Canaria. See tropical plantations, the sight of large sand dunes in the distance, and admire the vista of Maspalomas Beach. Arrive back at the ranch, where you can purchase a refreshing drink and some snacks. Feel free to visit the farm animals who live onsite, before your activity finishes.

Las Palmas: Las Canteras Beach Snorkeling Trip

3. Las Palmas: Las Canteras Beach Snorkeling Trip

Take a trip beneath the crystal clear waters of Las Canteras off the coast of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. and see a menagerie of lively ocean life. As you explore the seabed, your knowledgeable guides will make sure that you're comfortable and safe at all times. Meet your guide at Las Canteras beach. Jump into the water after putting on your equipment and receiving a brief safety tutorial. Once underwater, you’ll be immersed in a world of aquatic beauty.  See some of the octopi, parrotfish, sea cucumbers, rays, and other fish that are native to the area. Spot marine life hiding in the rocks with the help of your eagle-eyed guide. Use small identification boards to make it easier to identify different species of fish. Learn about the geology and ecosystem off of the Playa de Las Canteras. Snorkelers of all levels will find this excursion to be fun and fascinating. Spend 1 to 1.5 hours in the water, reaching a maximum depth of 5 meters. Enjoy refreshments of water and fresh fruit after your tour.

Las Palmas: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Tour

4. Las Palmas: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the largest city of the Canary Islands. What better way to see all that this amazing city has to offer than from the top deck of our open top double decker bus tour, which allows you to take in a 360° panoramic view of the city. Visit places of interest such as Vegueta/ Catedral, Pueblo Canario, Parque Santa Catalina and many more. Tour Stops: 1. Parque Santa Catalina 2. El Corte Inglés 2a. Auditorio Alfredo Kraus 3. Paseo de la Cornisa 4. Pueblo Canario 5. Vegueta/Catedral 6. Teatro Perez Galdós 7. Estacion de San Telmo 8. Muelle Deportivo 9. Muelle de Santa Catalina 10. Playa de Las Canteras

From Las Palmas: Bandama, High Peaks, and Roque Nublo Tour

5. From Las Palmas: Bandama, High Peaks, and Roque Nublo Tour

Explore Gran Canaria on a guided day trip from Las Palmas in an air-conditioned vehicle. Journey to the summit of Gran Canaria, view the volcanic landscapes of the Roque Nublo monolith, and visit the Cross of Tejeda to taste some local delicacies.  Depart from the Las Palmas city center and drive inland towards San Mateo. Have some free time to visit the local farmers market which stocks plenty of local products (only open on Saturday). Continue driving to reach Pico de las Nieves, the summit of Gran Canaria, which sits at 1,959 meters where you can enjoy stunning views of the high neighboring peaks, and if the weather is clear, see all the way to the island of Tenerife. Make your way to the Roque Nublo, a huge volcanically-formed basalt rock that is over 65 meters. Stop at the Cross of Tejeda where you can taste plenty of local Canarian products such as cheese, honey, and fruit. Visit the village of Teror, where you can go for a walk through the charming village and see the Basilica of the Lady of the Pine. Return to Las Palmas at the end of your day trip.

Agüimes Cocodrilo Park Admission Ticket

6. Agüimes Cocodrilo Park Admission Ticket

Discover the incredible animal species at the Cocodrilo Park which offers an unforgettable experience for you and your whole family. At this zoo, which extends over 22,000 square meters, find over 500 different animals including the largest exhibit of alligators in Europe. Some of the animals you can enjoy in the park are meerkats, turtles, lizards, raccoons, several birds, deer, tigers, pigs, pygmy goats, llamas, monkeys, and chimpanzees. The monkey snack-bar offers a delicious menu of hot dogs and refreshing smoothies.

Lanzarote Coast-2-Coast Tour

7. Lanzarote Coast-2-Coast Tour

Admire two emblematic places of art and nature conceived by the artist César Manrique on this full-day trip in Lanzarote to the LagOmar Museum and the Cactus Garden. Take a ferry to La Graciosa and indulge yourself with a savory paella and free time to discover the island.  Begin your tour in the morning with pickup near your accommodation in Lanzarote. Hop on the air-conditioned bus and travel to LagOmar where your multilingual guide will take you to explore the house of the famous Hollywood actor Omar Sharif, its "lagoon", tunnels, and caves carved in the mountain. Enjoy this Arabian Nights-inspired dream situated in the village of Oasis de Nazaret. Legend has it that the actor lost the house in a card game and never returned to Lanzarote. Head to the Cactus Garden, a magnificent example of an architectonic intervention perfectly integrated into the landscape. Cesar Manrique created this audacious artistic complex where you can find over 450 different cactus species from around the world and an traditional windmill. Board a ferry to the island of La Graciosa. Marvel at the breath-taking views of the north coast of Lanzarote on the open upper deck. Once you arrive on the island, explore the small fishermen's village, its peculiar church, and "the smallest museum in the world" before enjoying paella and drinks aboard a docked ferry. Experience the charm of local life or join in activities like hiking, cycling, swimming at pristine beaches, or take a jeep tour around the island in your free time after lunch. Take the ferry back to Lanzarote and transfer back to your hotel at the end of your tour. 

Kayak and Snorkeling Tour in Gran Canaria (Mogan Caves)

8. Kayak and Snorkeling Tour in Gran Canaria (Mogan Caves)

Kayaking is one of the best ways to explore the coastline of the Canary Islands. Set off from Mogan and explore the world under the waves as you snorkel. Meet at one of the best sunny spots in Gran Canaria, the most calmed coast of the island. Learn the best kayaking technique before setting off. The route starts by following the coast formed by volcanic eruptions. Check out the world beneath the surface and do some snorkeling. See amazing rock formations hidden under the surface while you swim and watch the marine life. Those looking for an adrenaline rush can jump the rocks (optional). Go inside ocean caves with the kayak to discover the heart of the island in the most adventorous way

Gran Canaria: 1 to 3 Person Parasail over Anfi Beach

9. Gran Canaria: 1 to 3 Person Parasail over Anfi Beach

Enjoy unobstructed bird's-eye views of Gran Canaria as you fly above the sea accompanied by one or two friends on this breathtaking parasailing adventure. Begin your activity with a brief introduction and safety review, and then you’ll be ready to take to the air. Embark on a boat which will take you out to sea. When you reach the parasailing spot, lift smoothly off the ground as your parachute opens and you get higher and higher in the sky. Watch as the sea falls away below you and you experience the feeling of free flight above the Gran Canaria coastline. Feel the breeze in your hair and the sun on your face as you fly through the sky on a 10-minute flight.

Gran Canaria: Panorama Tour

10. Gran Canaria: Panorama Tour

Explore the wonders of Gran Canaria on a panoramic tour with pickup and drop-off and an optional Canarian lunch. Visit the villages of Tejeda, Artenara, Tunte, Fataga, and more. Discover the best stops for local food, natural scenery, and unbeatable photo spots. Start your day from Maspalomas before taking the scenery-filled drive to Mirador las Moscas. On the way, enjoy views of the famous sand dunes. Continue on your journey to Fataga Village and enjoy time to visit the old center, use the restroom, or grab a local coffee.  Next, drive to San Brtolomé de Tirajana to reach Ayacata and Tejeda, the highest altitude point in the area. While in the antique center of Tejeda, you can visit a famous almond bakery before heading to the cave houses in Artenara, one of the most important and popular attractions on the island.  On the way to the island in Fontanales, stop at Monte Pavon Mirador, sit down for an optional Canarian lunch, and take some photos of Las Palmas and Tenerife. Following the street down to Moya, venture through the valley of Los Tilos. Head along the north coast, pass banana plantations, and stop at the brave North Sea before taking the highway back down south for drop-off.

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Frequently asked questions about Las Palmas

What top attractions are a must-see in Las Palmas?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Las Palmas?

The best day trips and excursions from Las Palmas are:

Maspalomas

What are the most popular museums and exhibitions in Las Palmas?

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Las Palmas

Travel blogger Check Out Sam lived in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for one month to experience everything this little city and the island has to offer. Here are some best tips when visiting the capital of Gran Canaria:

What should I do on my first trip to Las Palmas?

Immediately head to the stunning Playa de las Canteras and walk along the embankment. From there you get great views over Las Palmas and if the sky is clear you can even see Tenerife! I suggest you book a tour or rent a car from Las Palmas too. There are plenty of options around the capital of Gran Canaria. Visit the rough north or be surprised by the rocky center. The island truly is stunning and Las Palmas is the best place to organize your day trips from.

What are some hidden gems to see in Las Palmas?

Since it's not really in the city center of Las Palmas, a lot of people skip the Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo. Don't! This botanical garden is well worth some of your time. It showcases a huge variety of plants that are (almost) only found on the Canary Islands. The paths at this attraction can get quite steep and take you down a cliff from where you get stunning views. However, this also means that you should be quite careful when visiting this stunning attraction!

How much time should I spend in Las Palmas?

There are not a lot of sights in Las Palmas itself, so you can easily visit all of them in about two days. However, this city is also the perfect starting spot to discover more of the island. Most highlights of Gran Canaria are never much further away than a one hour drive from Las Palmas. Depending on what you want to see in the area, you should add another three days to your itinerary.

What food is Las Palmas known for?

Just like in the rest of Spain, the Canarian people are very proud of their tapas. A lot of them are similar to the one you can find in mainland Spain, but with a Canarian twist. Definitely try out the papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) with their delicious mojo sauce. Their shrimp with avocado salad is also something I would suggest to everyone and last but not least: try some of their cheeses! They go from soft, to milky to hard and I'm sure there's a flavour for everyone!

What is the best way to get around Las Palmas?

Since the city's not that big, walking is probably the easiest option to get from one sight to another. The historical part of Las Palmas is still quite far away from the areas near Playa de las Canteras. Therefore, make use of the cheap public transportation. Taxis are also not very expensive, so especially when you're travelling with multiple people this is probably the cheapest ánd fastest way to travel. If you want to visit sights in Gran Canaria that are elsewhere on the island, I suggest you rent a car or book a tour.

What are the best months to visit Las Palmas?

Gran Canaria has great weather year round, although evenings can still be quite chilly until April. However, winter and spring on this island are really quite amazing since there are a lot of events going on! In November the Winter Gay Pride is celebrated all over the city (but even more so in Maspalomas). For about one week, lots of great events are organized and stunning performances of drag queens and other allies of the LGBTQI+ community can be visited. An even bigger celebration is the Carnival of Las Palmas. In February and/or March, carnival is celebrated for three weeks or more. Most of these events take place in the Santa Catalina Park. Here you can witness the Carnival Queen or the Carnival Drag Queen being chosen.

What are the best neighborhoods for food? 

The promenade at Playa de las Canteras has lots of great restaurants. You'll find a lot of tapas, but also plenty of good Italian, Asian, South-American, ... food. In the historical city center, you'll find a mix as well.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping? 

Shopaholics will love Las Palmas! There are lots of (huge!) shopping malls such as Las Arenas and La Ballena, but also several Corte Inglés chains where you literally can find anything. At the car free Avenida de Jose Mesa y Lopez you'll find plenty of chains and big department stores.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Las Palmas?

I again recommend to stay at the historical city center or somewhere close by Playa de las Canteras. At both areas, you'll find everything you could ever need to enjoy your visit to Las Palmas.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Las Palmas?

Head out on the water for a fun day of snorkelling, dolphin spotting or even try some exciting paragliding. On the pristine waters around Gran Canaria, you and your family will definitely have a lot of fun!

What is the best thing to do in Las Palmas for solo travelers?

For both solo travelers, couples, families or friend groups I recommend to rent a car. Don't just stay in Las Palmas, but venture out to the north or center of the islands for some stunning landscapes and beautiful hikes. Solo travelers can easily make friends along the way to some highlights, whereas couples just have to enjoy romantic sunsets at places like Roque Nublo or the nearby viewpoints. Families or friend groups will love all these activities too, since it'll be a great way to bond with each other over the stunning nature.

What is the best thing to do in Las Palmas for couples?

Take a stroll along the boulevard of Las Canteras and pick one of the many great restaurants (or cocktail bars) to watch the sunset from. If it's not too cloudy, they are often spectacular!

What are the best annual events in Las Palmas?

Every year, carnival is hugely celebrated all around the island (February and March). In Las Palmas however, you'll find the biggest celebrations. Stunning performances and awesome parades move towards the city center and transform the whole city into a colorful paradise! As I said earlier, the winter gay pride is also an excellent way to discover the love for life this island has. And if you can't get enough of these celebrations, just come back in May! Because that's when the summer pride is being organized!

What are the best areas for outdoor activities around Las Palmas?

In Las Palmas you're never far away from the beautiful rough interior of the island or the rugged northern coast. You can go explore both areas with a guided tour or rent a car and head there on your own. I personally really enjoyed the (easy) hike towards the Charco Azul waterfall, a visit to the famous Roque Nublo and the GC 200 Route from stunning Agaete to the Mirador del Balcon.

What are the best beaches around Las Palmas? 

You will find the most relaxing beaches of the island on the south. From Las Palmas it takes about one / one and a half hour to get there. Playa de Amadores is man made but has a Caribbean vibe and the beach of Maspalomas (with the famous dunes!) is perhaps my favorite of the whole island. If you're looking for more authentic beaches you need to be in the north, which is closer to Las Palmas. I recommend the beach of Agaete for its stunning views, the Salinas del Bufadero for an authentic experience (rocks, not sand!) and of course Playa de Las Canteras in Las Palmas itself.

Other Sightseeing Options in Las Palmas

Want to discover all there is to do in Las Palmas? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Las Palmas

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 5,045 reviews

Highly recommended Day Trip in Gran Canaria: Pavel is a most knowledgeable and talented guide who gave us a wonderful experience of the island. He also has a great sense of humour which made the trip even more enjoyable. The day was well structured to provide us with a lot of fascinating information and the chance to explore a little on our own when appropriate. We learned about history, traditions, canarian food, the climate, fauna and flora, and the economy of this lovely island. The itinerary provided us with great stops for photos and refreshments. We were even treated to a free mid morning coffee and sandwich. Lunch was in a nice restaurant with a typical canarian menu. The coach was comfortable and driven with skill by Salvador, a most experienced and friendly driver. Don't hesitate to book this excursion!

Excellent tour with a good mix of sitting on the bus and getting off to explore towns or taking pictures at scenic spots. Stop for lunch where you can have a set meal at a restaurant or buy sandwiches. Tour guide was very informative, friendly and always concerned that he didn't leave anyone behind at any of the stops. Driver was careful on the narrow windy mountain roads

One of the best travelling experience I have ever had! Highly highly recommended, Pavel is a passionate, knowledgeable and easy going guide. Very organized trip and smooth communication, unique view across the island from north to south! Special thanks to Salvador, top-class driver for sure!

Nice bus ride in a small group, we learned a lot of information about life in Gran Canaria, our questions were also answered very well, we were often pointed out to unique things on the island during the trip (e.g. cavehouse). It was a great trip and worth seeing.

The experience was amazing! We couldn’t believe the amount of fish that were so close to the beach. The guide was really good too. 100% recommend!