Santa Catalina, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
Santa Catalina is a bustling district of
Las Palmas the capital city of Gran Canaria
which lies between
Playa de las Canteras
to the west, and Puerto de la Luz in the east. Through the district of Santa Catalina runs the Calle
Mesa y Lopez boulevard. A very busy thoroughfare, and on both sides of this road you will find many big department stores.
It is easy to spend hours shopping in Santa Catalina, and you need a day, just for looking around El Corte Inglés which sprawls across both sides of the boulevard. El Corte Inglés is Spain's largest department store.
Santa Catalina has at it's heart the Parque Santa Catalina which is more of a square planted with trees and flowers rather than a park, however Santa Catalina is surrounded by bars, restaurants and clubs, and attracts locals and visitors all through the night, lending Santa Catalina a vibrant and vital atmosphere.
Parque Santa Catalina is bustling throughout the day as well with people doing their shopping and frequenting the many cafes and restaurants about. It is a natural part of the Spanish culture to drop in to a bar or cafe for a bite to eat and a coffee and is more "the done thing", than it is a treat.
Around the Santa Catalina square you will see elderly men around small tables, playing chess, cards and dominoes and what can only be tourists at the casa de tourismo, (a kiosk handing out leaflets and local information). Horse drawn cabs await in the Santa Catalina park area to serve you as a taxi or to take you on a guided tour of Las Palmas. DuringCarnival time you will see a huge stage constructed here and Parque Santa Catalina takes on it's role as the centre of the splendid and colourful carnival celebrations in Las Palmas.
The Elder Dempster shipping line used to own a building in Santa Catalina but the building now accommodates the Elder Museum, so called because of the buildings important, former owner. The Elder museum, one of many, is a science and technology museum and it has exhibits to keep you amused for hours, especially children who can watch a robot spot welding cars. This is an interactive museum. Just outside the building, Which is at the heart of Santa Catalina, while you are waiting to get in, they have a simulator to keep the family occupied. It also has an IMAX cinema.
Leading away from Santa Catalina is a pedestrianised area that will take you across to the Muelle Santa Catalina and the large and unique El Muelle shopping centre. The harbour has a ferry terminal with regular connections to Tenerife and other islands.