Las Palmas has a mainland-Spain feel, spiced up with an eclectic mix of other cultures, including African, Chinese and Indian, plus the presence of container-ship crews, and the flotsam and jetsam that tend to drift around port cities. It’s an intriguing place, with the sunny languor and energy you would normally associate with the Mediterranean or North Africa. The hooting taxis, bustling shopping districts, chatty bars and thriving port all give off the energy of this city, which is Spain’s ninth-largest.
Vegueta, the oldest quarter, is both atmospheric and fashionable, with a fine selection of boutiques and cool bars. At the other end of town, the sweeping arc of Playa de las Canteras provides you with the tantalising possibility of taking a plunge in between sightseeing and shopping. Venture into the confusing maze of streets behind the beach and you'll find excellent restaurants serving more than the usual array of Canarian dishes. Las Palmas is an authentic Spanish working city, and while there are areas you wouldn’t walk at night with a camera slung round your neck, overall, you should feel perfectly safe here.