With one of Spain’s top outdoor shopping areas and several well-stocked malls, Gran Canaria (and especially Las Palmas), has become a great place to shop.
Not bad for a place that only got its first shopping centre in the early 1990s; Gran Canaria now has a good selection of international and Spanish franchise stores, as well as some funky local boutiques and local fashion names.
Here’s our local expert’s guide on shopping in Gran Canaria…
For hassle-free ‘everything you need under one roof shopping’, Las Arenas shopping centre is the best shopping centre on the island. It has lots of fashion stores, a big MediaMarkt, toy shops, plenty of cafes, and a huge Carrefour.
For those of you who prefer outdoor shopping, Mesa y Lopez prides itself on being the main shopping street in Las Palmas, mainly because it boasts the largest El Corte Inglés department store in Spain. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, try El Corte Inglés; It’s expensive but residents can get a credit card.
For enjoyable, alfresco shopping, Triana is the place to go. Voted ‘best outdoor shopping area’ in Spain a few years back, it is still an excellent place to go. The big shops are on the main street, the smaller boutiques up the cobbled lanes.
The Atlantico shopping centre in Vecindario is more convenient than Las Palmas for resort and south-Gran Canaria residents and a has a decent selection of shops.
Almost all these areas and centres have Zara and/or Mango for the ladies and Springfield and/or Jack Jones for the gentlemen, along with a variety of other Spanish/Canarian favourites like Natura for ethnic clothes and jewellery, Pull and Bear, Stradivarius and Promod for urban chic, Bijou Brigitte for accessories and Carolina Boix for cheap shoes.
Local swimwear brand Lenita & XTG is great for skimpy beach wear for anyone who wants to go local on the beaches.
It is true. The Spanish love their shoes. It will come as no surprise then that there are zillions of shoe shops selling fashionable shoes at bargain prices. It is not worth listing the possible shoe shops you could browse as you can’t turn a corner without finding yourself in one. But be warned. Most of the shoes are made of synthetic fabrics which is why they are cheap.
Leather shoes at affordable prices are harder to come by. Yes, there are plenty of shops that sell leather shoes but the prices rocket skywards. Corte Inglés stock quality leather shoes, as do Lopez (Mesa y Lopez and Calle Triana). The sales are your friend.
Christmas sales normally start around 7th January and summer sales around 8th July. Reductions are between 20% and 70% so you can grab some real bargains. The first day of the sales is normally hellish, but by day three you can browse what’s left on the rails at your own pace.
For year-round bargains try the outlet stores: Benetton in Alcampo, and Springfield in La Ballena in Escaleritas. El Corte Inglés has an outlet shop on the top floor of Las Arenas.
Or head to Las Terrazas shopping centre in Jinamar: It has some decent outlet stores and is particularly good for discount shoes. It’s also outdoors and offers free parking. The Mirador shopping centre just over the road has a wider selection of shops but fewer bargains.
You ma also pick up bargains at the Fisaldo shopping fair which takes place in Infecar in Escaleritas every May/June. Local shops empty the previous season’s clothes, furniture and nicknacks into this four-day bonanza. Please bear in mind that generally there is an awful lot of rubbish to trawl through, but for the very shrewd and very patient you can find some real treats. It’s a bit like TK Maxx on steroids.
In Las Palmas, you can’t go very far without passing a Spar but for your bigger weekly shop head to one of the big supermarkets.
Carrefour, with a good choice of European wine and cheese, is in Las Arenas, Tres Palmas and the Atlantico shopping centre in Vecindario.
HiperCor in the Corte Inglés is great for treats but isn’t as cheap as other supermarkets. It does have a great wine selection.
HiperDino (a local brand) and Mercadona (Spanish) compete to be the cheapest place for your weekly shop and there isn’t much between them. Alcampo, at the La Estrella shopping park just off the GC1 in Telde, probably is the cheapest supermarket in Gran Canaria and has a huge selection of fresh meat.
You must have photo ID to pay with a card in Alcampo; It’s the only one that hasn’t accepted that chip and pin cards are perfectly secure.
The Mirador shopping centre in Jinamar has an Eroski supermarket but the rumour is that Carrefour will soon buy it out.
Within Las Palmas, most large supermarkets will deliver your shopping for free. In other areas, you need to ask and cross your fingers.
Local markets are the best places to buy quality fruit and veg in Gran Canaria. In Las Palmas, the main markets open every morning but in smaller towns they pop up at the weekends. The best weekend markets ones close to the capital are San Lorenzo (a genuine farmer’s market), Santa Brigida (a big gentrified these days) and San Mateo (huge but not the prettiest).
You will see a variety of shops selling furniture (muebles) throughout Gran Canaria though in truth most of them are full of shiny yellow-wooded chairs, tables and sideboards, and glass nd metal cabinets, loved by Spaniards the world over. They aren’t as cheap as you’d think either.
Have no fear, Ikea is here. We all know what we’re getting with Ikea furniture (apart from an apartment filled with the same furniture as every other apartment rented by someone British). It’s cheap, cheerful and doesn’t cost that much to have delivered and made while you go to the beach.
Corte Inglés is also worth a visit (especially during the sales) for classic modern pieces.
For imported rustic furniture and imported, Indonesian and Indian furniture try El Rincon (just up the road from old Ikea, Perez Ortega (junction 7b off the GC1 opposite Alcampo) and Perojo (Calle Perojo in Triana).
For all your DIY needs the easiest thing to do is to head to vast and cheap Leroy Merlin (La Estrella or Tamaraceite). It has some English speaking staff so if you’re stuck and monolingual you can get help.
However, for smaller items and local tips on why the toilet keeps making that noise, head to your local ferreteria. It will undoubtedly stock what you’re looking for but unless you know the word for ‘adjustable spanner’ in Spanish you’ll have trouble buying it.
Most shopping centres have at least one sporting goods shop, but for the best range of everything from kayaks to canyoning gear, head to Decathlon. It’s also a good place to buy hard-wearing trousers and gym kit.
Start any search for electronics at one of the big shops like MediaMarkt but do be aware that they aren’t always as cheap as they say they are. Check alternatives, like Carrefour and even specialist shops (Visanta and Duke Fotografía for cameras), as they are often better value.