Last Updated on March 2, 2024

In addition to Cadiz, I also love Las Palmas as a cruise port, because it’s so easy to get off the boat and walk straight across to the boardwalk and beach or to the attractions in the Old Town.

Las Palmas Port entrance in Gran Canaria, Spain
Here I am by the Cruise Port in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

You also have the convenience of the shopping mall right next to the port, and tonnes of cafes and bars within a 10 to 15-minute walk.

The weather is so often great when we are there and there’s more than enough to see or do on an 8-hour or so cruise visit.

Quick facts

  • Las Palmas cruise port is located in the capital city of Gran Canaria, which is part of the Canary Islands, Spain.
  • The cruise port is named Santa Catalina Cruise Ship Port.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Euro

Getting Around from the Cruise Port

One of the key things about Las Palmas (I should have included it on the list of cruise ports where you really do NOT need to book an excursion) is that you do not need to waste any money on expensive pre-booked tours via your cruise line.

Here are the main options for getting around Las Palmas from the cruise port:

1. Walking

Las Palmas is a pedestrian-friendly city, especially in areas like Vegueta and along the beach promenade.

As you walk off the cruise boat and exit the main gate to the cruise ships, just walk straight ahead for 10 minutes, for example, and you will already find yourself on the main Las Canteras beachfront.

Or just outside the cruise port main gate walk about 100 meters and you will see the hop-on hop-off bus stop and there are always 2 or three hop-on hop-off staff there. No need to pre-book.

Las Canteras Beach
Las Canteras Beach is a beautiful sandy beach and you can walk to it easily from the boat

2. Taxis

  • Taxis are easy to find and to hail and very affordable.
  • Nowhere is that far from the cruise port in terms of the attractions I list below in the Old Town or by Las Canteras and the surrounding area, so you shouldn’t need to spend more than Euros 10 on a ride from the cruise port.

3. Hop-on Hop-Off Bus

The Las Palmas Hop-on Hop-Off bus leaves from just outside the cruise port’s main gate. You’ll very easily see the big red bus.

The great thing about these hop-on buses, even though they are not that cheap for a day pass, is that they will take you to every attraction or location you are likely to need to go.

So, if you are only in Las Palmas for one day, this is really quite a good option.

4. Local Buses

I wouldn’t bother with the local buses because taxis are so cheap and you will not be traveling very far.

Why waste valuable cruise port time stuck on a local bus?

Best Attractions & Things to Do in Las Palmas in 1 Day

1. Las Canteras Beach and BoardWalk

With Valeria on Las Canteras boardwalk
With Valeria on Las Canteras boardwalk

Relax on Las Canteras, one of the city’s most famous beaches. The promenade is lined with shops, bars and restaurants and is a great area to head to from the cruise ship.

You can walk to and from the cruise ship directly to the beach in around 15 minutes (speedy walker) or about 20 minutes (leisurely walker).

There’s plenty to see and do on the seafront as you have:

  • Tonnes of shops, bars, and restaurants lining the mile-long boardwalk.
  • Long wide sandy beach
  • Great for a long walk along the seafront

If you want a nice walk I suggest walking down the boardwalk (so turn left when you reach the boardwalk) and then walking down as far as the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium building.

2. The Old Town

Las Palmas’ Old Town, known as Vegueta, is a historic and charming district with narrow streets, colonial architecture, and significant cultural attractions.

There are several worthwhile attractions in the Old Town including the:

i) Cathedral of Santa Ana (Catedral de Santa Ana)

This stunning Gothic-style cathedral is one of the most iconic landmarks in Vegueta.

This 15th-century cathedral features impressive architecture and artwork.

ii) Casa de Colón (Columbus House)

Casa de Colón is a museum that showcases exhibits from Christopher Columbus and his voyages.

The museum is located in a historic building and houses exhibits on the history of navigation, maritime routes, and the Canary Islands’ role in the Age of Discovery.

iii) Calle de los Balcones (Balcony Street)

Stroll along Calle de los Balcones, a picturesque street known for its colorful houses and beautiful balconies.

iv) Canarian Museum (Museo Canario)

The Canarian Museum is dedicated to the pre-Hispanic history of the Canary Islands.

It showcases artifacts, tools, and exhibits related to the indigenous Guanche people, providing insights into the islands’ ancient cultures.

v) Plaza de Santa Ana

Plaza de Santa Ana is the main square in Vegueta and a central gathering place.

The square is surrounded by historic buildings, including the Cathedral, and is a great spot to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.

vi) Vegueta Market

Like many local markets, it’s a great chance to see and taste the local foods and delicacies and to shop for some local souvenirs, worth taking back to the cruise ship.

3. Las Palmas Aquarium

Las Palmas Poema del  Mar Aquarium
Inside Las Palmas Poema del Mar Aquarium

There is a world-class aquarium just a 10-minute walk from the cruise port and we loved it and highly recommend it and called the Poema del Mar Aquarium.

It is not cheap but they have one massive fish tank in particular that is extremely impressive, in addition to a submerged tank that you can walk underneath.

4. Centro Comercial El Muelle

As soon as you exit the cruise port gate, on your right you will see a very large shopping mall. So the mall is literally a 2-minute walk and you have waterfront views and you can just relax there if you wish to in a cafe.

Pizza in the Centro Comercial El Muelle
Pizza on Las Canteras beach area

If you do not want to travel far and want to stay within sight of the ship but do some shopping, sit in a coffee shop, and use the WiFi to catch up on your emails or video call family and friends, then you have Centro Comercial El Muelle.

Cruise Port Location and Map

To be honest, you do not really need a map as it’s easy to get around from the port to the beach or to find the hop-on-hop-off bus as discussed, but nonetheless, it can be nice to get a sense of where things are and this map might help.

Overall, Las Palmas is the perfect cruise port stopover as, if you want the beach, just somewhere quiet to do emails with a sea view, want to go shopping or see something historical, it has it all, and it’s all easy to get to and it’s usually warm but not too hot.

Paul at Las Palmas cruise port

FAQs

1. Where can I get WiFi at the cruise port?

There is a shopping mall right outside the cruise port entrance gate on your right.

You will find 5 or 6 bars and cafes in the mall with a sea view and you can use their WiFi.

Do consider using a VPN on your device for greater security if using public WiFi.

2. When is the best time to go to Las Palmas?

The weather in Las Palmas tends to be good all year round with annual daily average temperatures between 18 and 25 Celsius.

So, if you are looking for somewhere warm and sunny in the wintertime, Gran Canaria and the other Canary Islands are a great option.

3. Is it safe in Las Palmas?

Las Palmas is a very safe place in comparison to other places worldwide.

Do be aware of pickpockets but overall few cruise visitors ever experience any kind of problem.

Paul Symonds