First on our list is Maspalomas, located in San Bartolome de Tirajana, at the South of Gran Canaria. It has been at Europe’s forefront as one of the largest and most popular places for LGBT activities for years. Every year, the streets of Maspalomas are filled with ever growing crowds during the annual Maspalomas Gay Pride. The town hosts two weeks of shows and parades with nearly 100,000 attendees looking to celebrate Gay Pride. Activities range from fun-filled pool parties, especially organized boat excursions, and a whole host of other great LGBT activities, which will not only provide great entertainment, but are a great way to get to know the island too. Maspalomas Gay Pride is about to hold its 15th edition, get ready and expect lots of fun.
Between the beaches of Maspalomas (near The Lighthouse) and Playa del Inglés, there is a group of seven chiringuitos, small beach bars or kiosks, spread across the coast of this large part of the island. What better way to enjoy the the paradisiac and sunny atmosphere of the beaches than by grabbing yourself a seat at one of the chiringuitos and ordering yourself a refreshing cocktail or a Clipper (a typical soft drink made in Gran Canaria)? Most places will also serve a selection of snacks and sandwiches – try a bocadillo de tortilla (Spanish omelette sandwich) to really revitalize your body! One of the most popular chiringuitos in the area is Kiosk Nº 7, located on what is locally referred to as ‘the Gay Beach.’ It’s easy to spot this kiosk because of the rainbow flag waving to the rhythm of the most popular hits of the moment.
Kiosk Nº 7, The Gay Beach, Maspalomas, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
This popular shopping mall located on the Playa del Inglés, is one of the biggest and most emblematic spots for the LGBT community in Europe. Located just a kilometer away from Kiosk Nº7, it is the perfect stop after a long day at the beach, as it offers plenty of fun activities any time of day or night. During the day, Yumbo Centrum is like any other shopping mall in Spain with the benefit of being totally LGBT-influenced. However, when the sun sets and the neon lights of the storefronts are turned on, Yumbo Centrum becomes home to some of the hottest nightlife in Europe. Top up your energy levels with a wholesome meal from one of the many restaurants in the area, such as Grill Toro II or Skansen, then head to one of the busy show-bars located in the mall, like Mykonos or Terry Show to dance the night away. The vibrant atmosphere of the area is perfectly complemented by the open-minded and friendly attitude of those there to have a great time.
The capital of the island, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, provides a constant invitation for the LGBT community at night. At Las Terrazas de Mariana de Pineda, you are able to meet new people or friends even during the day. This avenue of bars is perfectly accomplished because of the choices offered by it: sitting outdoors with friends or visiting an LGBT bar like Sentido (exclusive for lesbians). Another great option is club TAO. Not far away from this area, you will be surrounded by the commercial street of Triana and the historic district of Vegueta. These are two places definitely worth exploring, due to their architecture. Vegueta is claimed to be one of the Historic-Artistic Sites in Spain. Find Casa de Colón, a museum and cultural center, which was home to Christopher Columbus in 1492 before he made his first travel to America.
One of the most notable highlights of the Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is without a doubt the The Drag Queen Contest. This contest calls for a total expression of freedom. People from around the islands come to this contest to show their skills in dancing and singing (or lip syncing), while wearing their famous drag shoes. Everybody showcases their skills on the impressive stage they prepare for each performance. Since 1998, each year you have an invitación to watch and live the biggest contest of the Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Our final word of advice: explore all of the island. Whether you want to wander through the streets of Agaete hand in hand, or enjoy some mountain sports with your partner near Roque Nublo, the open-minded locals of Gran Canaria will not think twice about who you choose explore the island with. Forget about eyes staring and heads turning, it’s something people have left in the past. Wherever you are and whoever you’re with, don’t hold back from discovering the scenic beauty and vibrant nightlife of Gran Canaria.