You arrived to Gran Canaria and between all the things you want to do on the island, you start doing some research about must see places and must to do things. Those places that your friends have visited and you have seen several times in pictures. Today we talk about things to do in Vegueta.
Vegueta is the name of the old town of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria city. This historical neighbourhood is located in the northeast side of the island and it is a must stop in your visit to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Warning! You are going to fall in love with the colonial architecture and with the typical Canarian houses and its balconies.
How can you get there? By public transport is very easy, whether you are coming from the south or the north area. If you are coming from the south by bus (guagua), get off at TEATRO stop. If you are coming from the north side, SAN TELMO station is the nearest to walk to the historical center of Vegueta. Have a look to this local guide of public transport in Gran Canaria that we wrote to help you with your trip in Gran Canaria.
Why Vegueta is famous and where does this name come from? I’m sorry to tell you that Vegueta’s name doesn’t come from the sci-fiction character of manga and anime. But the word “vega” means meadow or field for grazing. Because in ancient times this area was a forest with a lot of … In our HandyVisits tour around Vegueta we tell you more interesting and curiosity information ;)
Vegueta is the foundational neighbourhood of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. 500 Centuries ago we were conquered by the Spaniards, because the conquest of the island started in this area and it finishes in Ansite Fortress around 1483. The founder of the city was Juan Rejón and he disembarked at St John’s Night, on 24th June of 1478.
Let’s continue with some local recommendations about what to do in Vegueta, its touristic attractions and non touristy places.
Could you see the two towers of Santa Ana Catedral when you are closer to them? When you are in front of the façade, we recommend you to look up because… There are people moving!
Yes, we recommend you to go up to Santa Ana Cathedral tower because it costs 1,5€ per person (ride by elevator) and you could see one of the best panoramic views of the coast and the neighbourhoods with their colorful houses. Pictures from here are ready to be posted on Instagram! ;)
Have you noticed that Santa Ana’s Cathedral front doors are closed? This is because the entrance to the inside it is located on the right side (south part of the Cathedral).
The entrance to the inside of the Cathedral (don’t forget to look it up) and the Sacral Museum cost 3,5€ per person. Don’t want to pay to enter? Go on Sunday morning during the mass and you will visit it probably without paying.
If we talk about Vegueta’s attractions, apart from enjoying its architecture and beautiful squares, we need to mention the museums. Maybe you are not a big fan of museums, but if your visit to Gran Canaria happens the first weekend of the month, the entrance to some museums is FREE.
Do you want to discover who were the aboriginal people of the Canary Islands? Where they came from? What kind of tools did they use to survive? All the answers are in the museum about the prehistory of the Canary Islands. In one of its rooms you are going to get surprised because there are… mummies! Mondays afternoon the entrance is FREE. Go to the Canarian Museum website to learn more.
Christopher Columbus departed from Genoa and … he travelled around almost all the world! In his voyage to the New Lands, he stopped in Gran Canaria and La Gomera island. Inside this house that turned into a museum you will discover the voyages that this sailor did, a replica of one of his caravels, a room about the history of the Canary Islands and another room about the history of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Moreover, when you get in you will see someone waving you and it is not a person ;). Look for more information about the museum on the website Columbus House.
The Modern Art Center of the Atlantic (CAAM) is a temporary exhibition museum. It is very close of Pilar Nuevo square, on Los Balcones street. The other CAAM building is located in San Antonio Abad square. It has the name of ‘Atlantic’ because it refers to the strategic point of the Canary Islands, Spanish region between Africa, Europe and America. This museum is perfect for art lovers. Have a look to the currently exhibitions on CAAM website.
After visiting some museums maybe you are hungry, or are we wrong? Go ahead and take an appetizer, have lunch or dinner around the most famous gastronomic places in Vegueta. If you are vegan or vegetarian, we recommend you to check out this article, about the best vegetarian restaurants in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Both streets are close to Vegueta’s market (we'll talk about it later). Mendizábal street finishes/starts where San Agustín church is located. Pelota street finishes/starts next to Guiniguada theater. Guini what? Yes, this is an aboriginal name that refers to the ancient ravine between Vegueta and Triana.
You will find several options to eat here, international and local restaurants. Don’t leave without trying the typical gastronomy of the Canary Islands like: papas arrugadas con mojo (salty boiled potatoes with wrinkles and mojo sauce), goat cheese or smoked cheese, white or red wine from the Canary Islands, desserts like polvito uruguayo… Some of our favourite restaurants are: Champiñonería, Marsala, Taskita Los Hermanos… We invite you to try the one that catch your attention the most and tell us later how it was.
Before supermarkets, we used to go to markets. Are we right? Don’t miss the chance to do something different while travelling. Dare to buy fruits and veggies that you won’t find probably in your country: dragon fruits, tunos indios (cactus fruit), papas arrugadas...
Vegueta’s market opens only in the mornings, until 14:00 pm approx. There are different stands to buy fish, meat, bread, sweets… And other traditional business like an old hairdresser or a shoe shop.
If you like dark tourism (visiting places historically associated with death and tragedy) wherever you go, don’t miss Vegueta cemetery in the old town.
This cemetery is an authentic outdoor museum, that even Canarian people don’t know the amount of mausoleums and statues that are there.
You can find Alfredo Kraus tomb, Tomás Morales tomb, Manrique de Lara tomb, León y Castillo tomb, Gregorio Chil y Naranjo tomb… Maybe all these characters are unknown for you but what it really worths is to contemplate all the mausoleums and statues made by their families.
There are days of the week and year that Vegueta is in parties. Because there are not only things to do during the day, but also at night.
Every Thursday evening is celebrated the route of Tapa and Pincho in Vegueta. Pincho is a little piece of bread with some food on top with a stick. And a tapa is a plate with a little portion of food. On Mendizábal street and Pelota street is offered little portions of food with a drink in restaurants. Pincho + drink (Tropical brand beer is a must) = 3€ or 3,5€.
The best thing about this tradition is that it has turned into a social meeting point for young and adults. The streets are full of people and the joy lasts until 12 pm.
Taking the advantage that the first weekend of the month the entrance to some museums is free, you can take a walk around Pilar Nuevo square. In this beautiful area you will see some market stands of Canarian handcrafts and typical Canarian gastronomy.
Also, if you like to listen to folk music and get into the local culture, we invite you see the folk dances from 11 or 12 am. It is a good chance to see how the typical Canarian dressing looks like and even to dare to dance with some Canarian inhabitants there.
Sometimes we like to go off to the beaten track and let destinity surprises us. Here there are some suggestions:
You are invited to attend to discover the Canarian treasure in Vegueta. How? With little games, quizzes and local challenges. Everytime you overcome a task, you’ll get a special coin… How many coins will you be able to get when the tour is over? Come to let time flies and take fresh smiles at home.
Views from this modern and cozy boutique hotel in Vegueta are impressive. The hotel location is very strategic since it looks to the back of Santa Ana’s Cathedral (East side of the Cathedral).
This is a perfect plan to have a drink with or without company after a walk in Vegueta, before going to tapas on Thursdays evening or even at weekends.
What is the smell of the Canary Islands? On Herrería street there is a Canarian perfume museum-shop where they explain you how an ancient Canarian family made perfume with flowers and how they kept tradition nowadays. They show you the traditional process to create essences and perfumes with Canary Islands aromas.
Now that you have the plans and things to do in Vegueta, what is the first thing you are going to do?
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Una forma novedosa de conocer un sitio tan agradable y único como Teror, en el corazón de Gran Canaria. La guía hace un trabajo espléndido, con el valor añadido de que es del mismísimo pueblo de la Virgen del pino. ¡Felicidades a las emprendedoras de Handy Visits!
Yesterday I took part in a sightseeing tour around Vegueta in Las Palmas on Gran Canaria. It was an different experience. The tour was created interesting and interactive with a small treasure hunt and at different quests with a little friendly competition.
Una muy buena e innovadora experiencia. Me sorprendió gratamente ya que al residir en la misma ciudad no esperaba descubrir/aprender grandes cosas, ¡pero lo consiguieron!. Lo recomiendo si quieren descubrir la ciudad de una forma diferente y divertida.
A great introduction to the city and Gran Canaria. This is the most fun you will ever have on a tour, as Aida and Elena make the tour fun and interactive and let you experience first-hand the friendliness of the people of Gran Canarian, as well as the food, language, music and many more things that make this island so great. A must do for anyone new to the island!
If you like discovering local culture in a funny way, you will love Handy Visits! The tours are full of challenges and small games really fun to do. A unique way to learn more about the place you are. Just go!
Handy Visits is a start-up whom unique value proposition is to offer a new concept of interactive tours in Canarias. Young and local guides will lead you around in town in order to discover secrets and tips unknown at any other tourist, including backpackers.
Una visita genial y diferente, llena de juegos. Experiencia innovadora y para rematar nos invitaron a una tapa de comida típica canaria. un 10!.
They make discovering the old town of Las Palmas a game with lots of group tasks, quizzes and stuff. I had a lot of fun, lost track of time and learn a lot of interesting facts about the city, its conquering and foundation and canarian culture. Way better than just listening to someone telling you the buildings history. 100% recommended
Hice su visita en Teror y Vegueta, fue muy divertida. Elena y Aída son personas encantadoras. El tour tiene una forma especial, y pude conocer la cultura canaria con ellas. No se puede comparar a otros tours que hice en otras ciudades. ¡Muy recomendable!
I did the Teror tour - it was awesome! :-) Elena and Aída are doing a great job showing you around in a funny and entertaining way. Both are originally from Teror and know everything about the city. That makes it super authentic. We also got some water and snacks of local products, which is quite convenient (water) and interesting to experience (snacks). I would definitely recommend it!
Do you like challenges? Say goodbye to those boring tours while you travel to Gran Canaria. Handy Visits is the best option to get to know the island, but in a funny and always-on-the-move way. I took the gastronomic tour in Teror, a lovely village in Gran Canaria. Found out interesting things about the place, explored hidden treasures and solved urban challenges. All this in a great and multicultural company. After this experience, Teror quickly became my favourite place on the island!
Thanks a lot Elena & Aida for the lovely tour in Teror. Discovering the beauty of Teror and got to know a lot of insights with the special interactive tour. You are doing a great job