Hostel life - Gran canaria

Wonderguide by

Thomas Marsh

Hostel life - Gran canaria

A guide to place to see, things to do and where to stay in Gran Canaria!

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Best beds - Sleep well without breaking your wallet!

The best accommodation for the best prices! Comfy beds, quiet nights!

Image - Columbus Rooftop Hostels
Columbus Rooftop Hostels
Thomas:It's everything about this hostel! One of the cheapest in town its also one of the best! That rare time when you do not need to sacrifice comfort for cost! The building is stunning. Based in the historic old town right next to the Cathedral De Santa Ana. Its a culture hub, surrounded by winding, ancient streets, chic restaurants and bars and incredible friendly locals. There namesake rooftop is undoubtedly the best on the Island. Decked out with handcrafted wooden decking, fully stocked bar and the largest hammock I've ever seen its a amazing place to get to know people, relax, drink, chat and chill. They also offer different activities every day. Although there is no obligation to participate it is always worthwhile doing so. From volleyball on the beach, pub tours, movie nights on the terrace and much more they do everything in their power to keep their guests entertained and they do it very well! This is also the only hostel in Las Palmas to offer a homecooked meal every night of the week! With a chef as the manager the food is always great and fantastic value! Slightly away from the bustling tourist traps it combines ease of access with quiet, restful nights! A two minute walk from the famous Tapas night street (Every Thursday this quiet street of bars and pubs erupts with cheap drinks, cheap tapas and the most social night of the week) this is the perfect location to mix a lively nightlife with a chilled day. Access to amazing beaches, great nights out and a fantastic place to relax and chill I heavily recommend Columbus Rooftop Hostel to any travelers visiting this amazing island!
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Days out - Explore the natural beauty and amazing culture

Things to do, places to go, events, activities and parties!

Image - Thursday Tapas Night
Thursday Tapas Night
Thomas:FREE TO ATTEND - BEER €1/€2 - MOJITOS €2.5 - TAPAS €1/€2 This is the place to be every Thursday in Las Palmas. The historic old town of Vegueta suddenly comes alive! All the the bars and resturants in Calle Mendizabal offer cheap food and drink and everyone comes to enjoy it! The mix of people you can find here is simply staggering. From locals playing traditional music, erasmus students looking for a cheap drink, tourists with no idea what they've just walked into and everybody in between. Every hostel in town brings their guests and everybody who knows about it makes sure they are always there. The cheap tapas is fantastic. The Spanish tradition of always serving a bite to eat with a drink is in full flow. All easy to eat finger food you can enjoy a beer or wine in one hand and a traditional Spanish snack in the other whilst talking to some of the most interesting and colorful characters you are ever likely to meet!
Image - Roque Nublo
Roque Nublo
Thomas:NATURAL MOMUMENT - FREE No trip to Gran Canaria is complete without visiting the truly spectacular mountains in the middle of the island. The best part of which must be Roque Nublo. You can either hike and spend a day in scenery you would never expect in the Canary islands (My personnel recommendation) or you can drive almost to the top and walk the last twenty minutes. When you arrive I can guarantee a view unlike any you have seen before. Now a UNESCO protected world heritage site this location will take your breath away. With a panoramic view of the entire island and Mount Teide on Tenerife dominating the skyline you can lose yourself for hours soaking in the natural beauty. From craggy rock faces, sweeping ravines, iridescent pine forests and deep and inviting lakes this island has it all! Whatever else you do make sure your trip includes a visit to Roque Nublo, I promise you will not be disappointed!
Image - Las Canteras Beach
Las Canteras Beach
Thomas:BEAUTIFUL BEACH - FREE Without a doubt the best beach of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. For those who like idealic days on beautiful, golden beaches without being surrounded by thousands of people then this is the beach for you. Although still very popular this is no where near as busy as the swarming southen beaches on the island. Its the perfect place to soak up some sun, enjoy a game of Volleyball, take a swim in pure, unpolluted waters or even learn to surf! When you're finished on the beach for the day you can stop off at any of the great bars and restaurants along the promenade for something cool the end the day.
Image - Natural Dune Reserve of Maspalomas
Natural Dune Reserve of Maspalomas
Thomas:NATURAL RESERVE - FREE After two years living on Gran Canaria the only place I try to avoid is Maspalomas. I've honestly nothing against the place. It's just such a concentration of heavy drinking tourists is not really my thing! That being said the sand dunes are definitely a must see. With 28 square kilometers or rolling sand as far as the eye can see its incredible to find a mini desert on the ever changing island. You can spend a day by the sea walking across rolling sanddunes. Take a camel ride and pretend you're in the Sahara. If the mood takes you you can even strip off completely to soak up some sun as nature intended or take a dip without worrying if you bought your swimming suit with you.
Image - Vegueta
Thomas:FREE TO TOUR - MUSEUMS 1/2 EUROS - ALL MUSEUMS FREE ON SUNDAYS For those of you who like some culture with your holiday, or just prefer somewhere not surrounded by thousands of tourists, then Vegueta is the place for you. Dotted with museums ranging from the home of Christopher Columbus to the Museo Canario, exploring the rich and vibrant colonial inhabitants of the island, this is a cultural and historical hotspot. With enough to do for many days in a small area you can not have a trip to Las Palmas without spending some of the time walking the streets of Vegueta. Every other day there seems to be local festival, a concert, a fiesta or some kind of free event to enjoy. The Canarians love a chance to celebrate and when they do they love to do it the old town!
Image - Bandama Caldera
Bandama Caldera
Thomas:FREE As you are probably aware the Canary island are all volcanic islands. The proof of which is very visible at this stunning Caldera! A Kilometer wide crater, that many years ago you can imagine spewing forth a torrent of fire, molten rock and ask. Its an awe inspiring site and very much worth the short trip out of town to visit!
Image - Destilerías Arehucas
Destilerías Arehucas
Thomas:GUIDED TOUR AND FREE RUM - €3.5 Do you like rum and also like not spending much money? If the answer to both of these questions is a yes then this is definitely a spot for you. Founded in 1885 this factory has gone on to produce a vast variety of top quality rum with support from locals, tourists and even celebrity endorsements. For a few euros you can take a guided tour of the factory. Learn about its history and brewing techniques and see the inner working of a fully fledged rum distillery. Possibly the best part of the tour happends at the end where you can "try" as much of their rum as you like for free! They only do tours until 1pm so make sure you have no plans that include being sober for the rest of the day! (Disclaimer - I do not endorse day drinking. It is pretty fun though...)
Image - Playa de la Laja
Playa de la Laja
Thomas:Not everyone enjoys crowded beaches! For something a little more peaceful yet still beautiful Playa de la Laja is the place to go. Only a short trip out of Las Palmas towards the Vegueta end of town La Laja is a hidden gem. Beautiful sand, natural rock protected swimming pools (for those not to comfortable in deep sea water) and a calm, peaceful beach it is perfect for those who want to relax not surrounded by screaming kids and holiday makers!
Image - Playa de Güigüí
Playa de Güigüí
Thomas:Quite possibly the most famous "Secret" beach of the Canary islands! You are going to need a car for this one though! Tucked away at the west coast of the Island GuiGui is only accesible after a 5 Kilometer hike. 400 meters up then 400 meters down this is not a hike for amateurs! The effort is well worth it though as you a rewarded with a natural gem hidden away from tourists and idle sightseers. Make sure you go early if you plan to visit! You do not want to be on the hike during the heat of the day. That part of the island gets much hotter than the north and be sure to take plenty of water. The beach itself is stunning. Craggy cliff sides, sweeping black sands. Rock pools, loads of marine life and complete peace and quiet. Its one of my must see trips on this incredible island.

My Recommendations

Image - Restaurante Sakura VI Wok
Restaurante Sakura VI Wok
Thomas:€12.95 For all you can eat - Slightly pricey but well worth it! For an island with incredible local cuisine I feel a little bit bad adding this as one of my recommendations. However the food, service and ambiance to this place is fantastic. I am a big fan of all you can eat restaurants. The main downside to most of those places is the poor quality of food. This is definitely not the case with Sakura Wok. With a vast menu of Japanese food on offer everything is cooked to order and promptly bought to the table. A vast array of Soups, Sushis, roll, dumplings and just about anything else you care to name is on offer. Always delicious, all fresh and always great value. I've never left without feeling uncomfortably full.
Image - Triciclo
Thomas:With a well deserved reputation as some of the best, authentic local cuisine on the island this is a must visit for the discerning gourmet.
Image - OCEANSIDE | Surf Camp and Surf School Quiksilver
OCEANSIDE | Surf Camp and Surf School Quiksilver
Thomas:Prices Vary depending on experience and requirements The Canary islands are world renowned for their fantastic surfing! Whether you are a first timer, had a go before or an experienced surfer there are waves here just perfect for you! There are almost as many surf schools as there are surfers though so finding the best deals on a budget can be tricky. Oceanside has very capable trainers, great equipment and know the best spots to catch waves that are perfect for any level of experience. To get the best deals it is always good to approach someone who works with them. I would again recommend Columbus Hostel. Although not a surf hostel they work with Oceanside and can get great deals with them.
Image - Multicines Monopol
Multicines Monopol
Thomas:ENTRANCE - €6 Everyone likes a cheap night at the Cinema! With new films shown in a number of languages, English included obviously, this is a cheap and fun night out. For those looking to holiday on a budget its a great escape. Remember to check showing times and film lists before you head down!
Image - Los Botes
Los Botes
Thomas:This comes heavily recommended by many of my friends! Fantastic food and very cheap prices. All local, canarian food. Fresh fish caught directly outside the front of the restaurant. Very cheap, very fresh and very good. It is also usually very busy so try and make a reservation if you can!
Image - BENITO ROOF Cocktail Bar
BENITO ROOF Cocktail Bar
Thomas:ENTRANCE FREE - BEER €4 For those who like classy drink this cocktail bar is a must see! Slightly hidden away, in a center then up a flight of stairs this rooftop bar has an incredible view over the stunning old town of Vegueta. With the cathedral dominating the skyline you can drink a fantastic cocktail and enjoy an amazing view. Although not the cheapest place to drink its well worth the slightly inflated price.
Image - Guincho
Thomas:A very popular spot with a great atmosphere. Its a friendly bar with great people. Very good prices on drinks with food typical bar food always available. A regular hangout spot for hostel travelers and Erasmus Students. Mainly on Tuesdays due to their 50 cent beer night!

Wonderguide map

  1. Columbus Rooftop Hostels
  2. Thursday Tapas Night
  3. Roque Nublo
  4. Las Canteras Beach
  5. Natural Dune Reserve of Maspalomas
  6. Vegueta
  7. Bandama Caldera
  8. Destilerías Arehucas
  9. Playa de la Laja
  10. Playa de Güigüí
  11. Restaurante Sakura VI Wok
  12. Triciclo
  13. OCEANSIDE | Surf Camp and Surf School Quiksilver
  14. Multicines Monopol
  15. Los Botes
  16. BENITO ROOF Cocktail Bar
  17. Guincho

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