Ahh, Vegueta. The romantic old quarter and original settlement of Las Palmas, was my favourite place to visit during my trip to Gran Canaria. Chalk full of charming old world Canarian architecture and Spanish music playing from the tiny restaurants, Vegueta is the quintessential Canarian experience.
Getting to Vegueta is very easy, you could even walk there from Las Canteras if you’re feeling up to it. If you aren’t into walking for over an hour, you can take the local bus with ease. From Las Canteras beach in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, take the local number 17 yellow Guaguas, which will run you about €1,40 each way and takes about 35 minutes.
While you’re wandering Vegueta, make sure to explore the narrow cobblestone streets and soak in the vibe of this relaxed district of the Capital City. Although not big in size, Vegueta is home to some of the most historical parts on Gran Canaria. Here are just a few ideas of places to visit and things to do while walking around Vegueta’s charming streets.
Santa Ana Cathedral
Situated in the heart of Vegueta, sits the grandiose Roman Catholic Catedral Santa Ana (Santa Ana Cathedral). Construction began in 1500 and lasted approximately four centuries and in the time, many different architects worked on the cathedral, which resulted in the inevitable mix of architectural styles such as Gothic, Renaissance and Neoclassical. Entering the cathedral is free of charge, so I made sure to pop in to look around and to my surprise, I walked in on on a mass taking place on Nov 1st (Día de Todos los Santos, or All Saints’ Day), which is when families visit grave sites of relatives and friends that have passed away and bring bouquets of flowers to their graves to keep their memory alive. Make sure to take the elevator in the south tower to the top for spectacular views of Las Palmas, the streets below and the magnificent harbour for a small fee of €1.50.
Casa de Colón (Columbus’ house)
This impressive colonial styled mansion situated in the heart of Vegueta, once belonged to the first governors of Gran Canaria and was where Columbus stayed during his stops in the Canary Islands en route to the Americas. There is a museum on site that is open to the public everyday and houses a few rooms dedicated to the history and significance of the Canary Islands to the Americas. The facade of Casa de Colón is one of the prettiest in the city, so make sure to visit early to take photos, as groups tend to gather here after 9am.
Plaza de Santa Ana
Relax with a cold beer and delicious tapas in one of the many restaurants while people watching the afternoon away in the inviting Plaza de Santa Ana. Built in the 16th century, this plaza is home to many of Vegueta’s events, concerts and local nightlife and is guaranteed to be hopping with music during the weekend nights.
Plaza del Espíritu Santo
This hidden oasis of a plaza, which is located next to the Ermita del Espiritu Santo (Hermitage of The Holy Spirit), houses a small stone domed fountain, which is surrounded by large palm trees, greenery and colourful manor homes. The picturesque plaza dates back to the 17th century and was once used as a platform for theatrical performances in the city and is worth the visit to bask in the beauty and peace and quiet of the shaded square.
Wander The Cobblestone Streets
Walking through Vegueta will transport you back in time and surround you with beautiful Spanish balconies and colourful buildings while the smell of fresh brewing coffee and sounds of the cathedral bells and chirping birds fill the quiet streets as you make your way around them. Vegueta is a place to relax and enjoy the laid back ambiance, but don’t let its sleepy persona fool you. Come night time, the people flow into the cobblestone streets, enjoying a glass of beer, wine, or rum while indulging on numerous delicious Canarian tapas late into the night with groups of friends.
Enjoy A Relaxing Moment At A Luxury Hotel
For a relaxing escape from the streets below, head to Veintiuno – Emblematic Hotels in the heart of Vegueta and head up to the rooftop bar for gorgeous views of Catedral Santa Ana. This stunning urban hotel is an adults only hotel, so you can escape to the rooftop and enjoy a drink with friends in luxuriously decorated seating areas alongside a small plunge pool while basking in the relaxed ambiance. Lounging on this beautiful rooftop is a surefire way to chill out and enjoy your alone time before hitting the streets to join the masses at the bars later on in the evening.
Vegueta should not be missed while visiting Gran Canaria. It has an abundance of cool restaurants, historical sites and endless streets with pretty corners and colourful buildings. If you’ve been to Vegueta, what’s your favourite part of this charming area of Las Palmas? Let me know in the comments below! xo