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Places

7 things you must experience in Las Palmas

Gran Canaria is often referred to as a mini continent as it’s so diverse. The same goes for the capital Las Palmas. Here is a mixed bag of must-visit spots – from classic neighborhood eateries, to contemporary art galleries.

Get inspired at CAAM modern art gallery

Las Palmas’ key art establishment CAAM (Atlantic Center of Modern Art) celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. A well-established affair, it has three galleries in the old town of Vegueta. The larger of the trio, which spreads across four floors, is a particular draw for the local art set, who congregate here in the evenings to soak up the creative energy and attend regularly held events, seminars and concerts. On our last visit, we got to discover the extensive solo exhibition of César Manrique, the late Lanzarote-born artist.

Atlantic Center of Modern Art

Calle los Balcones 11, Las Palmas

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The view over the beach walk in the village of San Cristóbal. Photo: Clèment Morin

San Cristóbal fishing village – a colorful dream locale

A visit to the little San Cristóbal fishing village, located a few kilometers south of the city along the coast, is a must when in Las Palmas. It’s by no means sprawling, yet high on impact – particularly for the color enthusiast. Each house is painted in a different hue, creating a kaleidoscope of saturated color. Don’t forget to avert your gaze to the shoreline, where you’ll spot the historic San Pedro Fortress. There are a number of fish restaurants such as Las Botas, which a favorite among locals.

San Cristóbal

San Cristóbal, Las Palmas

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Enjoy the view at Restaurante Jardin Canari. Photo: Restaurante Jardin Canario

Views in a garden setting – refuel at Restaurante Jardin Canario

Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo is the tongue-twisty full name of Las Palmas’ botanical garden. We can’t recommend this beautifully rugged wonderland enough – it’s free to get in and features over 500 plant species across 10 hectares of amazing ravine terrain. It also has an excellent restaurant with sweeping views and partly botany-themed interior. Having explored the vast garden, involving plenty of climbing steep steps, you deserve a break, be it for coffee or something more substantial.

Restaurante Jardin Canario

Carretera del Centro Km 7, 35017 Tafira Baja

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Outside Bochinche Los Jamones. Photo: Clèment Morin

Mingle with the locals at Bochince los Jamones

Just north of Las Canteras beach, in the neighborhood of Las Isleta, you’ll find Bochince los Jamones, a neighborhood favorite since the 1960s. Take a seat among the strung-up hams in this cozy, bar-style place, and chat away with the friendly regulars (one of whom speaks fluent Swedish). The menu is small but satisfying, offering Canarian fare such as the delicious “wrinkly potato” dish papas arrugadas. Alongside this, we sampled a heady mix of snails, serrano ham, a medley of local cheeses and prawns cooked with garlic and chili. (Be sure to state which portion-size you’d like when ordering – these are not tapas-style servings!)

Bochince los Jamones

Calle Luján Pérez, 62, Las Palmas

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Pick up edible souvenirs at El Corte Inglés’ supermarket

Those on a mission to pick up some Canarian specialties will be pleasantly overwhelmed at the variety on offer at Spanish department store El Corte Inglés’ bountiful supermarket. In this gigantic place, locally made honey and olive oil jostle for space with internationally sourced goods. The charcuterie and fishmonger brim with fresh produce, including whole Serrano ham legs. You’ll also find a high-end, deli-style cafe within, serving bocadillos (filled baguettes) packed with cuts of your choice, including top quality 100% Iberico ham.The supermarket is located in the basement of the branch that sells cosmetics on the ground floor (there are two branches on either side of the road)

El Corte Inglés

Avenida José Mesa y López, 18, Las Palmas

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Make sure to walk around for a while on the streets in Vegueta. Photo: Mostphotos

Lose yourself in Vegueta – Las Palmas’ beautiful old town

This is the original settlement, giving birth to Las Palmas towards the end of the 15th century. In essence, it’s a charming collection of cobbled streets and architectural styles (from late Gothic, through to Renaissance), with a huge choice of outdoor terraces from which to soak it all up. Those wishing to participate more actively in their pursuit of culture can visit the Santa Ana cathedral and the fascinating Museo Canario historical museum.

Vegueta

Vegueta, Las Palmas

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The beach Las Canteras in Las Palmas. Photo: Clèment Morin

Las Canteras Beach – more than sun and golden sand

Las Palmas’ city beach, a 2km-long haven of golden sand, needs little introduction, but it’s worth a mention due to its multifaceted appeal. There’s space for both sun-seekers and adventurous surfers, and it’s also an excellent snorkeling location – the beach’s natural offshore reef serves as a wave-break, providing a calm environment for marine life and human beach-dwellers alike.

Las Canteras Beach

Las Canteras Beach, Las Palmas

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