Tips for a great weekend (and a long one) at the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival

Party night and day, or enjoy the celebrations in the historic quarter: these are the main attractions for these dates on Carnival Queen and Carnival Drag Queen Days in the Gran Canaria capital.

The A Night in Rio Carnival, which is being celebrated in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria this 2019, has a weekend that features big in its diary: an intense weekend ... and a long one. From Friday 1st March until Tuesday 5th, the fiesta holds the events best known outside the Canaries, and it starts its nights of celebration with concerts, carrying on with the celebration of the Daytime Carnival, and even has a great parade devoted to children. If you're in the city at this time of year, you can't miss the Carnival, a fiesta of tourist interest which visitors find enthralling.

Fiesta nights

Fiesta nights

The area around Santa Catalina (at the rear of the Park) will hold its fiesta nights with concerts, starting at 22.30 at night. They'll be on Friday March 1st (with performances from local groups), Saturday 2nd (with more music and a unique Cock fight - Freestyle Rap) and Monday 4th (Carnival Monday, which includes a performance from a Queen tribute group). These are nights of fun out in the street, in amongst the crowd and the fancy dress.

Nights that also follow on from the great Carnival Galas: the Gala to select the Carnival Queen (Friday 1st, at 21.00 hrs) and the internationally famous Preselection Gala and the Drag Queen Gala (Saturday 2nd and Monday 4th, at 21.00 hrs). The tickets offered by the organising committee for these events are already sold out, although the area around the events, at Santa Catalina, is always very lively.

Celebrations in the classic city

Traditional Carnival

As well as this, the old city resumes the fiesta on Saturday 2nd, with a daytime celebration in Triana's Calle Mayor (a leading commercial area) and the Traditional Carnival on the night of Monday 4th (where everyone dresses in white and throws talcum powder at each other in recollection of the Indianos, emigrants who made their fortunes in America before returning home, in a party which the Casa de La Palma started to organise as a tribute to the great traditional celebration which takes place on that island every year.)

Santa Catalina, in the daytime

Santa Catalina daytime

The Park, the heart of the Carnival in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, doesn't go quiet during the day. There will be celebrations in the sunlight on Saturday March 2nd from 12.00 hrs onwards (at 17.00 hrs, Las Canteras will also have a little sample of the Carnival on that same day), on Sunday March 3rd and on Carnival Tuesday, March 4th, with Carlinhos Brown in concert (free entry).

The Children's Parade

Children’s Parade

Finally, on Carnival Tuesday again, the great children's parade features on the programme, winding its way from the Castillo de La Luz (the city's old fortress defending it from pirate attacks) to Santa Catalina. Groups of children and prizewinners from the Children's Carnival take part ... and a crowd full of families with large numbers of children in fancy dress. This will be from 17.00 hrs onwards, and at 19.30 hrs the Park will be the venue for a grand fiesta for the little ones.

How to get around

City Sightseeing bus

The city offers an extensive public transport network with the Guaguas Municipales bus company, which covers journeys between the two ends of the city, Vegueta and the Port (the area in which Santa Catalina is located), with routes that include 12, 17 and 1; visitors can pay the driver directly, at a fare of €1.40, or buy a bus pass (bono de guagua) at newsagents or at the Guaguas Municipales points of sale in the Santa Catalina Park and the Pérez Galdós Theatre area. You can also get around by bike, with the public bicycle hire service, Sitycleta. Or by taxi. In addition, visitors can take a tour on the City Sightseeing bus, with its main stop in Santa Catalina.

Where to eat

Eating places

Both Vegueta and the Santa Catalina and Las Canteras area are full of eating places frequented by the locals. On festival nights the Carnival refreshment stands provide quicker solutions. Bear in mind that in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as an urban destination, there do not tend to be places specifically for tourists: the natives mix freely with visitors in bars and restaurants.