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Las Palmas

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Las Palmas
—   Municipality  —
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Views of Las Palmas, clockwise from top, Las Canteras Beach, Canaria Local Government Center, Alfredo Kraus Hall, Night of Canaria Catedral, Lighthouse in Las Palmas Port, Perez Galdos Theatre, View of Downtown Las Palmas


Coat of arms
Las Palmas is located in Spain, Canary Islands
Las Palmas
Coordinates: 28°9′N 15°25′W Coordinates: 28°9′N 15°25′W
Country  Spain
Autonomous community   Canary Islands
Province Las Palmas
Island Gran Canaria
Founded 24 June 1478
 •  Alcalde Juan José Cardona ( Partido Popular)
 • Total 100.55 km2 (38.82 sq mi)
Elevation 8 m (26 ft)
Highest elevation 300 m (1,000 ft)
Lowest elevation 8 m (26 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Total 383,308
 • Density Bad rounding here3,800/km2 (Bad rounding here9,900/sq mi)
Demonym Palmense
Time zone WET ( UTC+0)
 • Summer ( DST) WEST ( UTC+1)
Postal code 35001-35020
Language(s) Spanish

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spanish pronunciation:  [las ˈpalmaz ðe ɣɾaŋ kaˈnaɾja]), commonly known as Las Palmas (English / l ə s ˈ p ɑː l m ə s /, Spanish:  [las ˈpalmas]) is the co-capital (jointly with Santa Cruz) and the most populous city in the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands, and the ninth largest city in Spain, with a population of 383,308 in 2010. Nearly half (45.9%) of the people of the island and 18.35% of all inhabitants of the Canary Islands live in this city. It is also the fifth most populous urban area in Spain with a population exceeding 700,000 and (depending on sources) ninth or tenth most populous metropolitan area in Spain with a population of between 625,000 and 750,000. Las Palmas is the largest city of the European Union lying outside the European Continent. It is located in the northeast part of the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, about 150 kilometers (~93 miles) off the northwestern coast of Africa within the Atlantic Ocean.

Las Palmas enjoys a subtropical climate, with mild to warm temperatures throughout the year. According to a study carried out by Thomas Whitmore, director of research on climatology at Syracuse University in the United States, Las Palmas enjoys "the best climate in the world".

It was founded as a city in 1478, considered the de facto only capital of the Canary Islands until the seventeenth century. Today, the city is capital of Canary Islands with Santa Cruz and home to the Canarian Ministry of Presidency (shared in a 4-year term with Santa Cruz de Tenerife), home to half of the Ministries and Boards of the Canarian Government, and home to the High Court of Justice of the Canary Islands. It is the judicial and commercial capital of the Canary Islands, and is also home to a great share of the executive power.


Old jail Barranco Seco
Rotonda lighthouse in Puerto de la Luz

The city was founded by Juan Rejón on 24 June 1478, with the name "Real de Las Palmas". Rejón was head of the invading Castilian army, before engaging in war with the local Guanches (aboriginal people of the Canary Islands). In 1492, Christopher Columbus (Spanish:Cristóbal Colón) anchored in the Port of Las Palmas, and spent some time on the island on his first trip to the Americas. He also stopped on the way back to Spain. The Casa de Colón ( es) museum in the Vegueta ( es) area of the city is named after him. In 1595 Francis Drake failed to plunder the island. The raid and partial destruction of Las Palmas by the Dutch under Vice Admiral Pieter van der Does in 1599 is considered a major event in the city's history. In 1927, Las Palmas was designated the premier capital of the Canary Island by decree of 30 November 1833,

In July 1936 General Francisco Franco launched a coup from Las Palmas that eventually turned into the Spanish Civil War.

The Las Palmas seaport, Puerto de la Luz, benefited greatly from the closure of the Suez Canal during the Arab-Israeli conflict. Due to its situation as nexus of two continents and its importance as a tourist destination, many foreign workers have migrated to the city.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a sister city of San Antonio, Texas in the United States, which was founded in 1718 by about 25 Canary Islanders.

Administrative divisions

Administrative divisions of Las Palmas

Las Palmas is divided into five administrative districts, which in turn are subdivided into districts, not necessarily consistent with the traditional neighborhoods.

No District Population
1 Vegueta, Cono Sur y Tafira 73,243
2 Centro 88,546
3 La Isleta-Puerto-Canteras 71,412
4 Ciudad Alta 101,684
5 Tamaraceite-San Lorenzo 39,191


Las Palmas has a Subtropical semi-arid climate with Mediterranean precipitation patterns, with warm dry summers and moderately warm winters. Its average annual temperature is 20 °C (68 °F)23 °C (73 °F) during the day and 17 °C (63 °F) at night. In the coldest month – January – the temperature typically ranges from 18 to 23 °C (64 to 73 °F) during the day (and sometimes more), around 15 °C (59 °F) at night, the average sea temperature is 19 °C (66 °F). In the warmest months – August and September – the temperature typically ranges from 25 to 29 °C (77 to 84 °F) during the day, above 20 °C (68 °F) at night, the average sea temperature is 23 °C (73 °F). Large fluctuations in temperature are rare.

On the August 1990 reported record, the average maximum temperature of the month during the day was 30.6 °C (87.1 °F). The coldest temperature ever recorded was 6.5 °C (43.7 °F) at night on 27 March 1954. The highest wind speed ever recorded was on the 28th of November 2005, measuring 113 km/h (70.21 mph). Las Palmas city has never recorded any snow.

Annual average relative humidity is 68%, ranging from 65% in March to 71% in October. Sunshine duration hours is above 2,800 per year, from around 190 in winter (average above 6 hours of sunshine duration at day) to around 300 in summer (average 10 hours of sunshine duration at day). It rains on average only 33 days a year, with total precipitation per year of only 133 mm (5.2 inches). Las Palmas enjoys "the best climate in the world" according to a study carried out by Thomas Whitmore at Syracuse University.

Climate data for Las Palmas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 20.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 17.6
Average low °C (°F) 14.7
Rainfall mm (inches) 18
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 3 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 20
Mean monthly sunshine hours 191 192 218 224 265 281 304 294 238 218 191 189 2,805
Source: World Meteorological Organization (UN), Agencia Estatal de Meteorología


As of 2008 nearly 1/5 (18.35%) of all inhabitants of the Canary Islands live in Las Palmas.

Las Palmas panorama.jpg

Throughout history, Las Palmas received waves of immigrants from mainland Spain and countries from every continent. The majority of the population is Spanish, although there are large North and Sub-Sahara African and Latin American communities, as well as important historical minorities such as Indians ( Sindhi) and Koreans and a growing population of Chinese. Ethnically, most Canarians are descendents of a mixture of Guanches (aboriginal people of the Canary Islands now extinct) and the Spanish colonizers and European (Portuguese, Italian, Irish, Flemish, German) conquistadors.

Year Population Density
1991 354,887 3,529.46/km2
1996 355,563 3,536.18/km2
2002 370,649 3,686.22/km2
2004 376,953 3,748.92/km2
2007 377,203 3,751.40/km2
2008 381,123 3,790.38/km2
2010 383,308 3,812.11/km2

Higher education

Las Palmas is home to University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with appr. 25,000 students.


Windows of Santa Ana Cathedral, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Las Palmas offers a variety of theater, cinema, opera, concerts, visual arts and dance performances. The city hosts the Canary Islands Music Festival, the Theatre and Dance and the International Film Festival. The main City Festival, celebrating the foundation of the "City Fiestas de San Juan" is held in June. The Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is known not only in Spain but also worldwide, and is one of the main attractions for tourists. The city centre of Las Palmas, specifically the Vegueta and Triana neighbourhoods, are included in the tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Museums, theatres and exhibition halls

  • The Museo Canario is located in the historic district of Vegueta. Founded in 1879, it is an international partner of the Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). It has a valuable collection of Canary archaeological objects, which are exhibited in 16 halls. It is also equipped with a library of over 60,000 volumes, many of them dealing with the Canary Islands topics. Its archive covers period from 1785 until today.
Casa de Colón (Columbus House) y Pilar Nuevo
  • The Casa Museo de Colón is in the Plaza de San Antonio Abad, behind the cathedral. It focuses on the history of the Canary Islands and its relations with America. It has 13 permanent exhibition halls, a library and dedicated study centre, and diverse spaces for temporary activities. The complex consists of several houses, one of which was accessed by Christopher Columbus during his first trip to America in 1492; it was the residence of former Governor (now better known as home of Columbus). It is organized into five subject areas: America before the Discovery, Columbus and his journeys, Canary enclave strategic base for experimenting with the New World, The history and genesis of the city of Palmas, and painting of the 16th century to start of the 20th century.
  • The Casa Museo Pérez Galdós is located in the Triana neighbourhood of the city. It is the birthplace of Benito Pérez Galdós. It has an extensive collection of documents, books, furniture and personal belongings of the writer.
Plaza del Pueblo Canario, Nestor Museum
  • The Museo Néstor is in the neighbourhood of Garden City. Dedicated to the modernist painter Néstor Martín Fernández de la Torre, the museum was opened in 1956 in the architectural ensemble of the Pueblo Canario, which was conceived and built by his brother Miguel. It has 10 exhibition halls, as well as a documentation centre and pedagogy.
  • The Elder Museum of Science and Technology is an innovative, interactive, engaged in scientific and technological culture. Elder located in the building, which dates from the end of 19th century has 4,500 m2 (48,438 sq ft) of exhibition halls, workshops, interactive modules, large-format film and greenhouse ecosystem.
  • The Maritime Museum, located in the former Jet Foil station has around 1,000 m2 (10,764 sq ft) of floor space. When the expansion is finished, will have a giant pool to simulate interactive bay, where a large ship can be handled by visitors.
Lady Harimaguada, Martín Chirino.
  • The Atlantic Centre of Modern Art (CAAM), opened in 1989, is one of the most important references for the cultural and artistic life of the Canary Islands, and is responsible for disseminating the art made in the islands to the rest of the world, especially Africa, America and Europe. It has permanent and temporary exhibitions that range from the historical avant-garde to the latest trends. It is located on Calle Los Balcones de Vegueta, and preserves the original façade of the 18th century.
Pérez Galdós Theatre
  • The Teatro Pérez Galdós was designed by the architect Francisco Jareño y Alarcón in 1867. Its current appearance, with some modifications, is due to the intervention of Fernando Navarro and Miguel Martín Fernández de la Torre after the fire that destroyed it almost entirely in 1928. Miguel Martín's brother, the painter Néstor de la Torre, was commissioned to decorate the stalls, lounges and the stage. It was originally called Teatro Tirso de Molina until 1901, when, with occasion of the premiere of Electra, the theatre was renamed after the canarian writer Benito Pérez Galdós. Following works of renovation, the theatre reopened in April 2007.
  • The Cuyás Theatre, on the stage of the former Cine Cuyás is a work of rationalist Canarian architect Miguel Martín Fernández de la Torre. Its main hall has a capacity for 940 people, divided between the stalls and two amphitheatres. It also has a large patio that allows the organization of outdoor events. It is currently constructing an alternative test room with capacity for one hundred seats.
  • The Sala Insular de Teatro is a scenic area which lies in the main hall of an old church. In 2007, after some refurbishment, the Board reopened its doors to the public, welcoming small local assemblies.
  • The Guiniguada Theatre after a decade long refurbishment, will reopen in 2011.

Auditorium and Convention Centre

Auditorio Alfredo Kraus
  • The Auditorio Alfredo Kraus is located on the Atlantic, near the Playa de Las Canteras, one of the most privileged areas of the city. Its 13,200 m2 (142,084 sq ft) floor area has 11 rooms which accommodate from large conventions and concerts to conferences.
  • The Palais des congrès de Gran Canaria is in the premises of the Institución Ferial de Canarias with a capacity for 800 people on 16,000 m2 (172,223 sq ft).
  • The Center for Initiatives of the Caja de Ahorros de Canarias (CICC) is housed in a mid-19th century building by the architect Manuel Ponce de Leon in the neighbourhood of Triana. It is a small conference centre with the latest technology and up to 500 guests.


The city has a wide network of libraries. Along with the 11 municipal libraries, there are three specialized centres:

  • The Library Island, which has the capacity for 500 users in its three floors, besides a hall and more than 100 computer connections with 20 Internet access points.
  • La Biblioteca Simón Benitez Padilla, centre specializing in geology, biology and ecology that contains valuable bibliographical former president of the Museum Canario Simón Benitez Padilla, notable advocate of the study of the Canarian culture.
  • The Archives Joaquín Blanco, which contains 160 years of history of the city, as the burning of the Houses Consistoriales in 1845 destroyed the previous document repository.

A library is situated in the first floor of Woermann Tower.

Other cultural events

  • Dance Centre
  • Festival of Theatre and Dance
  • Festival Internacional de Cine de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
  • Canary Islands Music Festival
  • Jazz Festival
  • Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
  • Founding Celebrations
  • WOMAD Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (World of Music Arts and Dance)
  • Opera Festival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
  • Fantastic and Terror Film Festival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria


  • Triana
  • Vegueta
  • Alcaravaneras
  • La Isleta
  • Tafira


One of the themed nights of the Carnival of Las Palmas 2008

The historic district of Vegueta has regained great popularity in recent years, the meeting place of choice at weekends for many young people, who fill its bars and discos. In the port area are also numerous bars and nightclubs, particularly in the vicinity of Santa Catalina.

The Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria usually takes place between January and February each year; popular activities include Mogollon dances and queen and the drag queen galas. The WOMAD (World Of Music, Art & Dance) Festival usually occurs in November each year in the capital of Gran Canaria – 2010 marks the sixteenth edition.



View of Las Canteras Beach
Las Canteras Beach Avenue

The city has four main beaches: Las Canteras, Las Alcaravaneras, la Laja, and Confital.

  • Playa de Las Canteras (Las Canteras Beach) is the largest of the existing city, and is frequented throughout the year by most city dwellers and foreign visitors. It lies on the west side of the isthmus of Guanarteme, which links the peninsula of La Isleta, located to the northeast, with the rest of the island of Gran Canaria. The 3,100 m beach is oriented to the northwest in what is known as Confital bow or bay, and stretches from the foothills of La Isleta until shortly before the mouth of the ravine Tamaraceite. Along much of this length, the beach is sheltered from the currents of the Atlantic by a natural barrier of coral sandstone popularly known as "the bar", which is in easy swimming distance from shore. A system for environmental management has been introduced, and the beach has received ISO 14001 certification – one of only three beaches in Spain to do so, namely La Concha in San Sebastián and La Victoria in Cádiz. On the inner side of the coast, runs the Paseo de Las Canteras, pedestrian street that runs parallel along the beach from near the Auditorio Alfredo Kraus to the area known as "Puntilla" and hence, in line, until reaching near the beach Confital, place some years ago was only frequented by surfers, which creates what many consider as the best wave right in Europe. La Playa de Las Canteras covers three areas that correspond to the arches and inflections that it conducts on the coast. Each presents certain morphological characteristics.
  • Playa de Las Alcaravaneras (Las Alcaravaneras beach) stretches rising side of the Isthmus of Guanarteme, old language of sand dunes and mountains linking the peninsula of La Isleta, located to the northeast, with the rest of the island of Gran Canaria. It extends from the Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria until his meeting with the new marina breakwater of the city for just over half a mile of fine golden sand. The whole beach is covered by the promenade, which starts in Las Alcaravaneras, communicates with the Playa de San Cristobal and ending in Playa de La Laja, ten miles south. This ride is one of the recreational areas of the city and is popular with people who take the opportunity to walk, run, play sports or cycling. The tranquility of the bay, and yacht clubs close to the existing beach make Playa de Las Alcaravaneras a great place to practice sports such as sailing and canoeing. Furthermore, on the beach there are facilities for the practice of other sports like beach volleyball, beach soccer or futvóley (organized tournaments in the summer) and court sports such as basketball, indoor soccer and volleyball.
  • Playa de la Laja (La Laja Beach) with fine gray sand, is approximately 1200 m long and 40 m average width. Its moderate waves and currents are no longer dangerous, following the construction of a dam in the south in the 1990s. At the time, the Ministry of Environment also trawled the seabed to bring sand onto the beach, and the construction of a boardwalk has significantly improved pedestrian access. Due to the intensity of its streams and incoming waves, La Laja has been hailed as a favorite surfers' beach. It is the starting point for boat races that occur every weekend between April and October.
  • Playa del Confital (Confital Beach), southwest of the peninsula of La Isleta, is a natural extension of Las Canteras Beach. The area normally suitable for swimming covers about two kilometers, but the coastal strip is much greater. It consists of panels of rock with a layer of gravel at the end of them. Until some years ago, the beach was home to a small shanty town, which was eradicated; the land of the Confital went back to being public. Ensuing works proved controversial, as some environmental organizations and the residents of the city questioned the legality of the proceedings. The waves arriving at the beach are highly thought of by amateur and professional surfers, some of whom consider the Confital as having the best waves in Europe. Here, the ocean currents form a tube that is used by more experienced surfers for its speed and strong contrasts. Each year, qualifying events for the professional world surfing championship take place on this beach.

Parks and squares

Parque San Telmo
  • Avenida Marítima
  • Avenida Mésa y López
  • El Confital
  • Fuente Luminosa
  • Parque de la Mayordomía
  • Parque de Santa Catalina
  • Parque Doramas
  • Parque Juan Pablo II
  • Parque San Telmo
  • Plaza de Canarias
  • Plaza de España
  • Plaza de La Feria
  • Plaza de Las Ranas
  • Plaza Santa Ana
  • Triana
The Cathedral of Santa Ana, in the capital city, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Castillo de la Luz
Church of San Juan Bautista
Botanic garden in Arucas

Other sights on the suburbs

  • Bandama Caldera (Bandama Natural Monument) in Santa Brígida, Las Palmas is part of the Tafira Protected Landscape. It's considered a point of geological interest, because of the Caldera de Bandama. This volcanic caldera reaches 569 m (1,867 ft) above sea level at the highest point on its rim, Pico de Bandama, and is about 1,000 m (3,300 ft) wide and 200 m (660 ft) deep. The steep walk to the bottom of the caldera takes about half an hour. Volcanic ash of different hues is in great abundance, and there are some interesting botanic species of Canary Islands origin. There are facilities for food and refreshments as well.
  • Archaeological sites in Santa Brígida. In the valley of La Angostura and Las Meleguinas can find numerous traces of Aboriginal canaries that have prompted the declaration of the area as a Cultural, as groups of caves carved into rock, silos or sidewalks. In the archaeological site of El Tope, discovered on 16 July 1988, where you can see remnants that suggest the existence of an aboriginal burial mound, as well as ceramics, pottery and curious pintaderas. En la pared norte de la Caldera de Bandama se encuentra la Cueva de los Canarios, utilizada por los aborígenes como granero. It has been discovered Libyan-Berber inscriptions and some vessels (which are now in the Museo Canario). Also in the same area in the wall of the volcano in the stew is the Cueva de Los Frailes was discovered in 1933 a set of 37 caves.
  • Church of San Juan Bautista (also vulgarly known as Catedral de Arucas due to its big size) built entirely in Arucas stone by local master masons, and it dates from 1909 (Initial Configuration from the 17th century). Apart from the wealth of the carved stone columns and column heads, there are also some beautiful stained glass windows, the works of Canary Island painter Cristobal Hernandez de Quintana, and an extraordinary carving of the Reclining Christ, by Manuel Ramos.
  • Jardín de la Marquesa de Arucas - Botanical Garden in Arucas.
  • Iglesia de San Juan Bautista de Telde is the true spiritual centre of Telde. Located in the square of the same name and founded in 1483, the old church was erected by the Garcia del Castillo family at the time of the town's foundation. It still has the original gateway, an example of Sevillian– Portuguese Gothic architecture. The towers, however, are an example of early 20th neo-Gothic construction. The real marvels are inside the building: the statue of Christ on the main altar, made from corn dough by the Tarasco Mexican Indians, brought here before 1550, the Flemish Gothic main altar, which dates back to before 1516, and the triptych of the Virgin Mary, brought from Flanders, also in the 16th century, depicting five religious scenes.
  • Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pino in Teror from 1760.
  • Archaeological sites in Telde. Telde has 101 archaeological sites and 709 listed assets of ethnographic interest. In regard to the aboriginal time deposits, each year it expands its number or discover new aspects of old fields, but most are in disrepair and many are disappearing. Some of the most prominent are the coastal town of Tufia in good condition and extensively excavated by archaeologists, four doors located on top of a mountain overlooking the plain teldense and consists of a large cave with four doors and its name suggests, plus an Almogarén (religious vessel) at the top and a village of caves with collective barn in the back, the caves of Tara and Cendro remains of the ancient centre of population, the town of Draguillo on the border with Ingenio, Las Cuevas Chalasia which consist of a labyrinthine series of artificial caves linked by tunnels and the impressive Necropolis of Jinámar which includes more than 500 tombs of various types belonging to the old canary.
  • Basílica de San Juan Bautista in Telde
  • Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pino in Teror from 1760.


Roads and highways

Road in the city

Urban road infrastructure is overburdened on workdays and in certain areas; the city street plan is not at all rectilinear, and may be confusing even to experienced drivers. However, there are no toll roads; entrances, exits, main streets and important zones are all well-signposted.

Las Palmas, being the centre of the Las Palmas metropolitan area, is the hub for the island's motorway network. The city is linked with three highways: the GC-1 to the south, the GC-2 to the west and GC-3 to the centre of the island.

The GC-1 links the capital with Puerto Rico in the south. It is the fastest route from the top of the island to the bottom and vice versa with a speed limit of 120 km/h (75 mph). It is approximately 75 km (47 mi) in length and runs along the eastern and the southern coasts, and is also the second longest superhighway in the Canary Islands. The road provides easy access from the airport to the major cities and resorts, which include Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés. The increase in tourism over the years has necessitated the route's upgrading and widening to cope with traffic growth. The GC-1 begins south of the downtown area of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the highway runs within the beach of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and 2 km south intersects with the GC-2 and later runs with a few clover leaf interchanges and later forms a junction with GC-5 and south, the GC-31.

The GC-2 North Highway connects Las Palmas with the small northern port and village of Agaete. The eastern portion – about 20 km in length – is a superhighway with interchange numbers, the rest of the highway is a two-laned; the western part is also only two-laned and has exit numbers. The highway begins by the beach area of the island, and runs through the downtown area, linking with the GC31 at a roundabout interchange. The freeway runs within the beaches and the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean for the half part but at around the 20th km, it becomes a highway after the unidirectional parclo interchanges and runs within the coastline, it later has several interchanges and several towns as it passes to the northwest and finally, it ends in Agaete.


Gran Canaria Airport

Las Palmas is served by Gran Canaria Airport, often called Las Palmas Airport ( IATA: LPA ICAO: GCLP). In 2008, it handled 10,212,106 passengers,. This airport handled 33,695,248 kg of cargo, and is the fourth busiest in Spain. It is also the only airport on the islands with two runways, thus can accommodate up to 53 landings and take-offs per hour. The lengthy runways made the airport an alternative landing site for the NASA Space Shuttle. Also this airport is a base for Binter Canarias and Navegacion y Servicios Aéreos Canarios, airlines which operate regional inter-island flights within the Canary Islands. The Airport is located in the eastern part of the island, about 18 km (11 mi) from the Las Palmas city centre.

An airbase of the Spanish Air Force is located to the east of the runways. Beyond several hangars opposite the passenger terminal, the Gando Air Base (Base Aérea de Gando) contains ten shelters situated on the southern end of the eastern runway.


View of the Puerto de Las Palmas

Puerto de Las Palmas (Port of Las Palmas), also known as 'Puerto de la Luz' (Port of Light), or Puerto de la Luz and Las Palmas is a main port for fishing, commercial, passenger and sports in the northwest of the city. It has been the traditional base for scale and supplying ships on their way through the Middle Atlantic for five centuries. The Port of Las Palmas is not only the first port of the Canary Islands, it is one of the main ports of Spain and the first of the geographical area of West Africa. As the leading port in the mid-Atlantic, it serves as the crossroads between Europe, Africa and America. In 2007, the port received some 11,262 ships; it welcomed a total of 907,782 cruise passengers, a 16.26% increase on 2006. In terms of annual TEU, the port of Las Palmas ranks as the 5th in Spain, and is among the first 15 ports of Europe.

The Port of Las Palmas is the first Mid-Atlantic fishing base, with an annual traffic of more than 4,500 stopovers and with some 400,000 tons of frozen fish processed. Despite experiencing some decline in recent years, it retains its dominance in the fishing industry over other ports in the Canary Islands. The port provides 175,000 cubic meters of cold storage facilities. At the foot of pier, special refrigerated containers and preparation rooms for frozen products owned by Trastainer can carry out the entire chain of post-processing and storage of fish, from refrigeration and distribution, to manufacture and supply of industrial ice. The port's EU-approved border inspection post is responsible for inspecting all types of imports and exports between the European Economic Union and its trading partners.

Public transportation

Guaguas Municipales

Las Palmas boasts a high quality bus system, provided by Guaguas Municipales. Municipal Bus Lines offers 40 urban transport routes, covering both the bottom and the top of the city. The main lines are the 1 (Teatro - Puerto), 2 (Alameda de Colón - Puerto), 17 (Teatro - El Rincón), 25 (Campus Universitario - El Rincón), 12 (Puerto - Hoya de la Plata) and 30 (Alameda de Colón - Santa Catalina, via Rehoyas). In addition, two circular lines (A: Santa Catalina - Santa Catalina, via Alcaraveneras) and B (Santa Catalina - Santa Catalina, via Ciudad Alta).

The most important bus lines have frequencies of between 3 and 15 minutes during the day and between 10 and 40 minutes at night; most lines have service throughout the night. The bright yellow buses are known simply as 'guaguas'. The unique tarif, paid directly to the driver, is 1.30 euro. A 10-ride ticket is available for 7.50€ at official shops in the city. The Tarjeta Insular (Island Card) which offered a 20% discount on both municipal buses and Global buses was discontinued on 1 January 2011.

Global, inter-hire company, has 119 lines, many to or from the capital. This company was formed in 2000, resulting from the merger of the previous Salcai and interurban lines Utinsa.

There is also the Guagua Turística, which covers the most interesting sites of the city with a guide in several languages.

Under construction

El Tren de Gran Canaria (TG) is a rail project initially proposed as an alternative way to get from Las Palmas to Maspalomas but was later raised to Agaete extension.

Another project is the Tramway Palmas (Gran Canaria), which would cover the same journey as the bus line 1, with an average frequency of 5 minutes and a journey time of 35 minutes.


Estadio Gran Canaria

Las Palmas is home to five major professional sports teams. These are:

  • UD Las Palmas - association football club playing in Segunda División; it has two stadia: Estadio de Gran Canaria, with a capacity of 32,665, and Estadio Insular(estadio insular is now closed), with a capacity of 22,000. Honours: Spanish SuperLeague: Runner-up 1968-69, Spanish Cup: Runner-up 1977-78, Semifinal: 1974, 1984, 1997.
  • CB Gran Canaria - basketball club playing in Liga ACB at the Centro Insular de Deportes, with a capacity of 5,200. Honours: 1/8 finals of ULEB Eurocup: 2007.
  • CV Las Palmas - volleyball club playing in Superliga Femenina de Voleibol, also at the Centro Insular de Deportes.
  • La Caja de Canarias (Club Voleibol J.A.V. Olímpico) - volleyball club playing in Superliga Femenina de Voleibol.

Las Palmas will be one of the arenas of 2014 FIBA World Championship. Matches will be played in the new arena - Palacio de Deportes de Las Palmas with a capacity of about 10,000.

Many [mainly] outdoor sports are practised in city and neighbourhood, for example: surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, swimming, diving, skydiving, paragliding, running, cycling, rowing, tennis and golf (mainly in Las Palmeras Golf, Real Club De Golf De Las Palmas, El Cortijo Club de Campo and Oasis Golf). Real Club De Golf De Las Palmas, inaugurated on 17 December 1891, is the oldest golf club in Spain.

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Las Palmas is twinned with:

  • Spain Palma de Mallorca, Spain
  • Spain Cádiz, Spain
  • Spain Móstoles, Spain
  • Spain Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
  • Spain Salamanca, Spain
  • Spain San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Spain
  • Spain Garachico, Spain
  • United States San Antonio, United States
  • Venezuela Caracas, Venezuela
  • Venezuela Altagracia de Orituco ( es), Venezuela
  • Mauritania Nouadhibou, Mauritania
  • Netherlands Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Flag of Morocco.svg Rabat, Morocco
  • Cape Verde Praia, Cape Verde

People from Las Palmas

  • Alfredo Kraus, a 20th century tenor;
  • Antonia San Juan, a Spanish actress, director and screenwriter;
  • Antonio Betancort, football (soccer) player, former goalkeeper of Real Madrid, Deportivo de La Coruña and U.D. Las Palmas;
  • Benito Pérez Galdós, a 19th century writer;
  • Carla Suárez Navarro, tennis player;
  • Francisco Kraus, Spanish baritone, and a voice teacher;
  • Javier Bardem, a famous Spanish actor (Academy Award–winning)
  • Jerónimo Saavedra (Former Spanish Minister of Education and Science, Minister of Public Administrations of Spain, President of Canaries;
  • José Comas Quesada, painter;
  • José Viera y Clavijo;
  • Juan Bordes, sculptor;
  • Juan Carlos Valerón, football (soccer) player;
  • Juan Fernando López Aguilar (Former Spanish Minister of Justice);
  • Juan José Armas Marcelo, a Spanish writer;
  • Juan Negrín, politician; President of Government of Republican Spain 1937-39
  • Kira Miró, actress;
  • Lolita Pluma, (1904–1987) Eccentric character of parque de Santa Catalina, remembered as a statue of her, surrounded by cats;
  • Magüi Serna, tennis player;
  • Manuel Pablo García Díaz, football (soccer) player;
  • Marta Marrero, tennis player;
  • Mateo Gil (writer and film director);
  • Nicolás Estévanez, military officer, politician and poet;
  • Nicolás García Hemme, 2012 London Olympic Silver Medalist;
  • Sven Giegold, a German politician;
  • José Doreste, a Spanish sailor and olympic champion
  • Luis Doreste, a Spanish sailor and 2x olympic champion
  • Roberto Molina, a Spanish sailor and olympic champion
  • Patricia Guerra, a Spanish sailor and olympic champion
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