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The beautiful and bustling port for Gran Canaria, Las Palmas is the island chain’s largest and busiest city. It’s a tourist favourite, with soft white beaches that are ideal for a day of relaxation and for topping up your tan. Consistently warm and dry, it’s a stereotypical holiday destination that’s heavily influenced by mainland Spain. You’ll dock at the port of Las Palmas in Santa Catalina, and from there you’ll have easy access to the attractions, restaurants, beaches and parks that make Las Palmas the perfect place to enjoy a shore excursion.
Throughout the city, you’ll find plenty to see from impressive buildings to parks full of palm trees. Plaza de Santa Ana is the main, central city square and is easily recognised once you see its 15th Century cathedral, with two towers and Gothic architecture. Enjoy the atmosphere of traditional Spain in the city’s old quarters of Triana and Vegueta, where you can shop and dine, or take a stroll through Parque Doramas which is one of the city’s most impressive parks with formal gardens and green, open spaces. The city’s other attractions are also guaranteed to keep you busy.
Museo Elder de la Ciencia via Tecnologia
The Elder Museum of Science and Technology is one of the biggest and best attractions in Las Palmas. It’s within walking distance of the port, and has a wide range of interactive exhibits as well as an on-site internet cafe that’s free to use once you’ve paid your entrance fee.
Playa del Ingles
You’ll need to get a bus or taxi to take you to this popular resort, but won’t be disappointed by what you find at the end of the journey. There are bars and restaurants, and you can spend time amongst the sand dunes on Maspalomas Beach.
Alfredo Klaus Auditorium
If your visit coincides with an orchestral performance at the Alfredo Klaus Auditorium, then you can book well-priced tickets for an unforgettable show. Alternatively, visit the building just to appreciate its unusual shape and design.
Souvenirs of your time in Gran Canaria might include locally produced bottles of rum. Sold in Las Palmas, the sweet honey rum known as ‘ron miel’ is a favourite with cruisers. Others include armiche, arehucas and artemi. Stalls and independent shops sell a wide selection of hand-made items, and crafted creations, from high quality leather bags and accessories to painted pottery including plates, vases and ornaments.
As well as independent shops selling traditional Spanish souvenirs, and items unique to the Canary Islands, you’ll find that the city has department stores and chain stores selling a wider range of goods. If you’re missing any holiday essentials, would like to purchase snacks or want to buy more clothes for your cruise, then you’ll have no trouble finding a store with what you need.
The Canary Islands are heavily influenced by the Spanish mainland, and by the surrounding sea. Popular dishes in Las Palmas include salted fish (sancocho), and local cheese (flor de guia). Most fish dishes are served with a sauce, usually including garlic or a selection of herbs. If you like seafood then you’ll be spoilt for choice, with paella dishes being another option that you’ll find on most menus.
You can choose to enjoy a meal at one of many modern restaurants, though you might prefer to visit to the Vegueta old quarter for a more intimate romantic dinner. There are restaurants by the Elder Museum of Science and Technology that are easy to reach from the port, and you’ll find that French breads and Italian pasta and pizza dishes are also served in the city. Waterfront restaurants, with views of the beach, are also a favourite with many tourists.
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