When people come to Las Palmas, they either head to Las Canteras beach, or they wander the cobbles of Old Town Vegueta and Triana districts. Then they do some shopping, often along Calle mayor de Triana, recently voted the best outdoor shopping area in Spain. 

However, most people miss the little streets that run off Triana’s high street and this is a real shame. While they lack the big names of the main shopping drag, they are full of small independent shops and charismatic local bars and restaurants. 

It’s worth just wandering around these side streets and dipping in to the shops as they sell far more original goods than the big names on the main drag. 

Calle Cano: Where old and new Las Palmas merge seamlessly

This pedestrian street is my favourite in the whole historical area of Las Palmas because of how old and new blend together.

If you start at the south end of Calle Cano, the architecture is medieval with squat old buildings with stone doorways and heavy-set doors. Note the traditional wooden balconies on the top floors. 

There’s a restaurant right on the corner setting the tone with excellent Spanish ham and traditional food served at outdoor tables. 

Casa Museo Perez Galdós: A museum dedicated to a Spanish wordsmith

As you walk north along the street you come to the Casa Museo Perez Galdós set in the splendid old building where Benito Perez Galdós, one of Spain’s most famous novelists and Spain’s leading 19th Century literary figure, was born in 1843. 

You don’t have to read his detailed accounts of middle-class Spanish life to appreciate the museum. It’s a beautiful house with internal courtyards, high, wooden ceilings and lots of fascinating information about the author and the period he described so well with his pen.

Art deco and local flourishes along Calle Cano

Further north along Calle Cano and the medieval gives way to the early twentieth century with art deco wrought iron balconies replacing the more traditional wood. The shops here are local in character with hairdressers and even a nursery mixed in amongst the boutiques. 

You’re never more than a few metres from a restaurant with outdoor tables shaded by big parasols. One popular place is Mr Kale, a thoroughly modern spot that caters to vegetarians and vegans. It serves healthy smoothies and snacks nd is opposite a boutique selling shoes that cost more than most people’s entire holiday.

 The Librería del Cabildo: The best Canary Islands book shop

Or, stay on Calle Cano for the Libreria del Cabildo, a spectacular bookshop with the best collection of Canary Islands books I’ve ever seen in one place.  Drop in between 09.00 ands 13.00, or 16.30 to 20.00 on weekdays, and have a browse as you’re sure to find something to read on the beach. 

More restaurants, local Spanish food

Calle Cano ends at the Plaza de San Bernardo in a flourish of restaurants serving modern Spanish and traditional Canarian food. 

The other side it turns into Calle Viera y Clavijo and the facades slowly become more recent until you reach the beginning of modern Las Palmas. There’s a lovely sushi hole-in-the-wall, a Bang and Olufsen store, and plenty of clothes and shoe shops to keep you occupied. 

Viera y Clavijo is lined with Jacaranda trees so if you in Las Palmas in early summer the street is carpeted in electric mauve flowers.

At any point you can drop down one of the cobbled side streets and come out on the much busier and commercial Calle Mayor de Triana for a hit of contemporary high street fashion. Or, head a block up the hill to Calle Benito Perez Galdos for what is Las Palmas’ most hipsterish street with its home decoration boutiques, tattoo parlours,  and a cluster of vegan and upmarket restaurants. 

Keep walking south along Benito Perez Galdós and Calle General Bravo and you get back to the pretty Plaza del Cairasco with its tall palm trees and outdoor cafes. From here you are just a couple of minutes walk away from the Cathedral and the museums and galleries of Old Town Vegueta. 

Article published originally on the excellent Hello Canary Islands website.

Published in Las Palmas

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  • How To Choose A Legal Gran Canaria Airport Transfer
    How To Choose A Legal Gran Canaria Airport Transfer

    Gran Canaria's hotels have to be licensed and offer a quality level of service as well as having insurance and complying with fire regulations. The same goes for the boats that take people out to watch dolphins, the companies offering jeep safaris, and even the holiday let apartments. 

    However, not everybody in Gran Canaria follows the rules. For example, there is a significant industry running illegal and uninsured transfers between Gran Canaria airport and the island's resorts. These cars, driven by locals and foreign-residents, are just private vehicles and the drivers are unregulated and uninsured. They don't pay tax and there is no way to hold them responsible if something goes wrong. 

     At Gran Canaria Info we believe that all people and all companies offering services to tourists should legal and above board.

    So, how do you know that your airport transfer service is legal and registered with the Gran Canaria authorities?

     Using legal Gran Canaria airport transfers

    It is quite easy to know if your airport transfer service is operating in a legal way because all registered transfers have the following...

     A blue license plate: Taxis and other public service vehicles in Gran Canaria all have blue plates.

    A VTC sticker in the window: This stands for Vehículo de Transporte con Conductor, the official designation for licensed transfer drivers ans chauffeurs.

    An SP sticker on the car: This indicates that the car offer a Servicio Publico or public service and is therefore allowed to pick up and transfer members of the public. 

    Parked in the transport zone: Official airport transfer vehicles don't park in the public car park of the airport. Instead they have their own parking zone right by the arrivals gates at the airport (next to the taxis and package tour buses). Your transfer driver therefore should not have to pay a parking fee before leaving the aiport. 

    How to spot an unlicensed transfer service

    Unlicensed drivers get away with offerring their service because they claim that they are just members of the public picking up a friend. They are allowed to stand at arrivals with a sign (just like any member of the public can).

    However, they also have to park their car in the public car park and will walk you there with your luggage, stopping to pay the parking fee at the meter. A licensed transfer driver does not need to do this because they have their own parking zone right by arrivals.

    Some unlicensed drivers don't even wait at the arrival gate because the official drivers recognise them and get annoyed. Instead they have to stand further away (often by the Spar supermarket or the car rental desks). 

    When an unlicensed driver drops you at the airport they will not want to be paid in a public area because this proves that they are charging rather than "transporting a friend" for free. 

    An unlicensed car will not have a blue license plate, or a SP or VTC sticker, and will often look like a private car (because it is a private car). 

    What's the problem with unlicensed airport transfers?

    Some people use unlicensed cars because they are the cheapest option and don't realise that they are unlicensed. 

    There are several problems with unlicensed services. The most obvious is that they are uninsured so if something goes wrong or there is an accident, you are not protected. The price that unlicensed drivers offer is only low because they cut corners (hopefully not literally). You have no way of even knowing if your unlicensed driver has a Spanish driving license, insurance and a good driving record. Licensed drivers are vetted regularly and must be fully insured and licensed to work.

    Another problem is that unlicensed transfers undermine the legitimate transfer drivers and businesses in Gran Canaria. Local drivers make a living from transfers and offer a legal, regulated service with minimum standards. Every time an unlicensed service undercuts them, it is effectively stealing from local people and the island economy.

    We believe that everybody in Gran Canaria deserves better!

    Gran Canaria Airport Transfer Services

    To find out more about the Gran Canaria airport transfer, see our Gran Canaria airport transfer article which explains the three different models; man/woman from pub with car, online transfer websites, and local transfer services.

    Or you can book a legitimate Gran Canaria airport transfer at a great price right here. Our service uses local drivers and supprts the island economy because all the money you spend stays in Gran Canaria.

    Alex Says: Using our service also helps the Gran Canaria Info team to keep providing quality local information here and in our Facebook Group

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