Vegueta, The Old Town Of Las Palmas Spain
Located just 6km from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (the island's capital city), Vegueta is the old town of this beautiful city. This is the original settlement from which Las Palmas was born, and a visit here transports you back in time. Things haven't changed much since Christopher Columbus stopped off here on his trip to sail to the West Indies in 1492. Strolling around the district's quaint, cobbled streets, with their historical buildings and traditional wooden balconies, it's easy to lose track of time. There are a number of fascinating sights and attractions to explore while you're here, whatever you're into.
Historical architectureWhen you come to Las Palmas, head for Vegueta and wander around the Plaza Santa Ana. Here you'll see historic buildings such as the Casas Consistoriales (Town Hall), the 17th-century Casa Regental, and the Palacio Episcopal (Bishop's Palace). The twin spires of the beautiful Catedral de Santa Ana are also a highlight, and if you climb to the top you'll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of Las Palmas.
Art and cultureHistory buffs can't afford to miss a trip to Casa de Colon (Columbus House). Visited by Columbus in 1492, this traditional Spanish-style house has now been turned into a museum. You can wander around the beautiful, leafy courtyard and explore a fascinating collection of artefacts linking the Canaries to America. Afterwards, head for the Museo Canario (Canary Museum) where you'll have the opportunity to find out about the history of the island's original inhabitants and see many pre-Hispanic artefacts. For something a little more modern, check out the collection of modern art at the Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno gallery.
Al fresco drinks and diningThe sun always seems to be shining in Gran Canaria, so why not make the most of your trip to Las Palmas and enjoy a spot of people watching in the main square? There are plenty of restaurants with outdoor terraces for drinking and dining, as well as cosy cafés where you can enjoy a coffee or a cold beer. Thursday night is tapas night, when you can sample authentic Canarian cuisine in small portions. Then head for Calle Mendizabal to start the weekend early.
Vibrant nightlifeVegueta is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, which kicks off after midnight with karaoke bars, live music and Spanish salsa clubs. If you're looking for something a little more low-key, the Teatre Perez Galdos on Calle Triana hosts regular classical concerts and recitals.
Shop ”til you dropVegueta's Sunday market, the Mercado de Artesania y Cultura de Vegueta (held in Plaza de Pilar Nuevo) is the ideal place to shop for souvenirs or local produce, with arts and crafts as well as fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese for sale. Cross the road to the Triana barrio (neighbourhood) and stroll along Calle Mayor de Triana, the main shopping street, or explore the district and head off down the side streets where you'll be rewarded with quirky boutiques, galleries, restaurants and bars. For bargain hunting, the Centro Comercial Las Terrazas shopping centre, located between Las Palmas and the airport, is the place for outlet shopping and is popular with visitors and locals alike. Whatever you're looking for from your holiday to Gran Canaria Las Palmas, stopping off at Vegueta is a must. Wandering around the pedestrianised cobbled streets, shopping for souvenirs or people watching over tapas is the perfect laid-back day out in the sunshine, and there's plenty of art, culture and history to keep the whole family entertained.