About Las Palmas

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, or just Las Palmas, is the capital city of the island of Gran Canaria. Jointly with Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Las Palmas is the political capital of the autonomous community of the Canary Islands (Comunidad Autonoma de Canarias in Spanish).

Las Palmas is located in the northeastern part of the island of Gran Canaria, about 150 km (93 miles) off the African coast.

With more that 700.000 inhabitants in the greater urban area, Las Palmas is the 9th most populous city in Spain. It is also the largest city of the European Union, located outside the European continent.

Las Palmas has a rich history. The city was founded in 1478 by Juan Rejón, an Aragonese captain who was appointed by Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon to conquer the Canary Islands. The name of the original settlement was Real de Las Palmas. In 1492, Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón in Spanish) spent some time in Las Palmas on his first voyage to the Americas. The Columbus House Museum (Casa Colón) in the old neighborhood Vegueta is named after him. In 1599, Las Palmas was raided and partially destroyed by the Dutch navy under the leadership of Vice Admiral Pieter van der Does.

Las Palmas offers a variety of cultural events - cinema, theater, concerts, opera and visual arts performances. The city hosts various festivals - the Canary Islands Music Festival,  the Theater and Dance Festival, the International Cinema Festival, Fiestas de San Juan (a festival celebrating the founding of Las Palmas). The Carnival of Las Palmas, organized in early February, is well known in Spain and abroad. It is a major tourist attraction which draws plenty of visitors to the city.

Las Palmas is an attractive destination for tourists. One can find the major tourist attractions in the old neighborhoods of Vegueta and Triana in the city center. The city center also boasts a couple of busy shopping streets and plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars. Las Palmas has an excellent subtropical climate and there are four major beaches within the city limits - Las Canteras, Las Alcaravaneras, la Laja, and Confital.

Street View - Las Palmas city centre, Gran Canaria

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