Canary Islands, Spain: Shopping, Nightlife, Culinary and Accommodation

Canary Islands, Spain



Shopping in the Canary Islands is duty-free, so electronics, cameras, jewellery, perfume, tobacco and alcohol are particularly cheap. Many visitors are also interested in the rich variety of local handicrafts: embroidery and lace, pottery, wickerwork made from palm leaves, willow and reeds, and wood carvings. The tobacco grown on the Canary Islands is world famous. Cuban-style cigars are a particular specialty on La Palma. Canarian cigars are of particularly high quality. High-quality wines are produced on Lanzarote and Tenerife. Specially-wrapped strelitzias, the islands’ most exotic flowers, and Canarian mojo sauce are popular souvenirs. On Tenerife, several fashion designers and designers work for the Tenerife Moda fashion label, which offers a wide range of fashionable creations from evening dresses to swimwear and children’s fashion to everyday clothing. The label now consists of over 20 different brands, the best known include Ocean Canarias, Pi tres Catorce, Torai, Proa Swimwear and Proa Infantil, Girasole, M&M, By Lu básico and By Lu fiesta, Maria Cao, Arapahoe, Oh Soleil Mujer and O Soleil Infantil. Shopping centers can be found in all major holiday resorts, and there are particularly good shopping opportunities in Playa des Ingles on Gran Canaria. Weekends, flower and farmer’s markets take place in many cities at weekends. We recommend the Sunday flower and weekly markets in Las Palmas,

Opening hours

Shops are usually open Mon-Sat 9am-1pm and 4pm-8pm. Many large shopping centers also open on Sundays.



The Canary Islands are generally known for their rather quiet nightlife, but there are discotheques, bars and pubs in all major tourist centers and hotel complexes. Canarian folklore performances and flamenco shows are also often presented in the tourist resorts, although flamenco actually has nothing to do with the Canary Islands. Night owls are particularly drawn to Playa de las Américas on Tenerife or Playa des Ingles on Gran Canaria. Both places are famous, sometimes notorious, for their intense nightlife. Playa des Ingles is also known for having one of the largest gay scenes in Europe. In the city’s largest shopping mall, the Yumbo Centrum, A varied entertainment program is also offered in the evenings. On Gran Canaria, the cities of Maspalomas and San Agustin also have a varied nightlife to offer. There are jazz bars, piano bars and discotheques with live music. Open-air concerts are often held on the beach. As the only larger city in the archipelago, Las Palmas offers a comprehensive range of cultural entertainment with theaters and more sophisticated nightclubs.  In Lanzarote, Puerto del Carmen is the place with the liveliest nightlife, while in Fuerteventura the town of Corralejo offers the best parties. On the other islands, peace and quiet prevail.



Canary Islands cuisine specializes in fish dishes. Side dishes are usually the famous “wrinkled” potatoes and a special sauce called mojo picón. The local fruits such as bananas, tomatoes, avocados and papayas are also part of the regional cuisine. In addition to a large number of bars and restaurants that offer regional specialities, there are Swiss, German, Argentinian, Spanish, English, Indian and Scandinavian restaurants, especially in the main holiday resorts.

Regional specialities

Traditional dishes include watercress soup and sancocho canario, a highly recommended dish made with fish salad and a hot sauce. Tirijalas, bienmesabes, frangollo, bizcochos and lustrados are delicious pastries, as are the meat pies and the local “nougat” made from cornmeal and molasses. A popular dessert is platanos fritos, fried bananas.


Service charge is i. Generally included in hotel and restaurant bills, however, it is customary to leave room staff a small tip. Porters receive a small fee per piece of luggage. If you decide to tip, you give between 10-15% in gastronomy. If the waiter returns the change, the guest leaves the tip. However, it is considered extremely impolite to leave small amounts such as two or five cent coins lying around. In the taxi, the fare is rounded up.

Regional drinks

The excellent Spanish wines and spirits are often quite cheap. The local light beer has only a low alcohol content. The Quesadillas wines are produced on the island of Hierro, the Rapaduras y Marquesotes on La Palma. There is also rum, honey rum and Malmsey wine on the islands.

Minimum age for consumption of alcoholic beverages

In the Canary Islands you can drink alcohol from the age of 18.



A large selection of hotels of different categories is available.


There are several campsites, including in Las Palmas and Santa Cruz. The Tourist Office can provide further information (see addresses).

Other accommodation options

The Spanish Youth Hostel Association (REAJ) operates a youth hostel in Las Palmas. Address: Dirreción General de la Juventud, C Léon y Castillo 226, E-35002 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Tel: (928) 29 24 56. Fax: (928) 29 05 84.



Catholics (95%); Protestant and Muslim minorities.

Social Rules of Conduct

Appropriate manners: One greets one another with ¡Hola! (Hello), ¡Buenos dias! (Good morning) or ¡Buenas tardes! (Good day). They shake hands to greet each other. Men who are friends pat each other on the shoulder in greeting, women kiss each other on both cheeks. People address each other as Señor (Mr.) or Señorita (Miss), older women as Señora (Ms.). Visits should be announced in advance. The usual courtesy formulas should be observed, e.g. B. when inviting the hosts over a small gift. Flowers are only given on special occasions. Attire: Smart casual attire is generally accepted. In some hotels and restaurants, men are expected to wear a jacket and tie, especially during the winter months. In the summer months, the dress code is a bit more relaxed. Swimwear belongs without exception on the beach or the pool. Proper attire is expected when entering churches, shoulders and legs should be covered. Photographing: People should be asked before being photographed. Photography is prohibited in some churches and cultural institutions. Smoking: As in mainland Spain, there is a smoking ban in all public facilities, on public transport, in airports, in telephone booths and rooms where ATMs are located, as well as in children’s playgrounds and schoolyards. The smoking ban also applies in all gastronomic facilities and bars. Smoking zones in guest rooms are no longer permitted. Some hotels offer smoking rooms.


Best travel time

The climate of the northern islands is subtropical. The southern islands are hotter and drier, with little rainfall.

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Canary Islands, Spain