Between the harbour Puerto de la Luz in the east and the Playa de las Canteras to the west, you’ll find the bustling district of Santa Catalina, where, especially along the Calle Mesa y López boulevard, most of the big stores can be found, including two branches of Spain’s largest department store El Corte Inglés, as well as specialised shops and elegant boutiques. The heart of this district is the big and busy Parque Santa Catalina – which is actually more of a square dotted with palm trees and flowerbeds than a park – where a sizeable slice of Las Palmas’ nightlife takes place. Numerous restaurants, bars, clubs and discos attract fun-loving locals and visitors until dawn.
But also during daytime there is always a lot of activity here, with people doing their shopping or frequenting the many outdoor cafés, crowds of elderly men playing cards, chess and dominos and tourists getting information at the tourist information point. It’s also where the city’s sightseeing bus (guagua turística) begins its tour. At carnival time a big stage is erected here and the Parque Santa Catalina becomes the centre of the city’s colourful and exciting celebrations. A role it repeats during the popular WOMAD music festival in November.
On the port side of the park you will find the outstanding Museo Elder de la Ciencia y la Tecnología, an impressive and well-organised science and technology museum, accommodated in a building that formerly belonged to the Elder-Dempster Shipping Line, hence the name. In this museum, motto: forbidden not to touch, visitors especially children can entertain themselves for hours on end.
A landscaped pedestrianised area leads from the museum to the Muelle Santa Catalina, the ferry terminal for connections to Tenerife and other Canarian islands, located at the south side of the Avenida Marítima.
Overlooking Parque Santa Catalina is the AC Hotel Gran Canaria, a perfect base from which to explore the riches of this city. Enjoy 4-star luxury, sophisticated accommodation and a wealth of facilities, located in the heart of this exciting capital. Spain-Grancanaria only works with the best hotels on the island and this surely is one of them.
In front of the ferry terminal you will find an entrance to the city’s second underground bus station and to the left of it, overlooking the port, there is the ultra-stylish shopping centre El Muelle gleaming in shades of blue and yellow with numerous big-name chain stores, cinemas, discos, open-air restaurants and cafés.