After things to do in Playa del Inglés? As Gran Canaria’s most discerning blog, we’ve got loads of cracking suggestions. Browse our guide to one of the island’s household names.
We say Gran Canaria and you might very well say Playa del Inglés in reply. For there are few groups of words associated with the island quite so readily. But just what can you get up to in Playa del Inglés? Here’s what:
1. Holiday in Playa del Inglés
Although San Agustín‘s home to the south of Gran Canaria’s first hotel, neighbouring Playa del Inglés has long since established itself as the island’s most popular resort. Meaning there are more bus stops here than any other built-up area on Gran Canaria with the exception of capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Hop on Global‘s 90, for example, at the airport and a one-way journey will currently set you back €3,75.
Originally, Playa del Inglés was the island’s biggest asset in attracting the bucket-and-spade brigade. More recently, the resort’s reinvented itself with higher-star establishments opening their doors to a more moneyed category of tourist. And then there are the centros comerciales which were built in the 1970s which, despite showing their age somewhat, mean that everything you might possibly want in terms of food and drink is within easy reach.
So, now Playa del Inglés attracts visitors with varying budgets. From the cheap and cheerful accommodation on offer at eó Las Gacelas to the apartments reinvented as hipster hotel, Gold by Marina and the four-star superior beachfront Santa Mónica Suites. Going all the way up to the exclusive, adult-only five-star Bohemia Suites & Spa, one of only two Design Hotels on Gran Canaria.
Playa del Inglés also houses four establishments belonging to super-friendly chain Riu. There’s the all-inclusive ClubHotel Riu Papayas and the unbelievably-mere-three-star Riu Don Miguel. Along with the more upmarket Riu Palmeras and the misleadingly-named Hotel Riu Palace Maspalomas.
This is, above all, a resort wanting to offer its visitors home comforts. From the English breakfasts at The Red Cow in Avenida Alfereces Provisionales to the live televised football at the likes of near beachfront Sahara Beach Bar and Gran Chaparral’s Kim’s Bar. Not forgetting branches of the legendary German bakery, Bäckerei Zipf.
Pampering is also on the menu at Playa del Inglés. Especially at Siam Spa, the spa of Bohemia Suites & Spa, where a 90-minute traditional Thai massage will set you back €89. For professional hair and make-up services, head to Avenida de Tirajana and Frederick Cleverly.
If you like your seaside holiday of the traditional variety, take your pick of Playa del Inglés’ mini golf courses. Don’t forget a ride on the tourist train either. And you can rest assured that every arcade in the resort includes the obligatory air-hockey table.
A holiday in the sun isn’t a holiday in the sun without an ice-cream. And Playa del Inglés’ finest ice-cream parlour is undoubtedly the Italian Ciao Ciao in CC Anexo II. Along with the standard chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavours, there are also vegan carrot and green tea options.
2. Eat out in Playa del Inglés
Homesick Brit? You’ll be able to tuck into the UK’s national dish, as in Chicken Tikka Masala, at Gran Chaparral’s Zayka. And if you like your food spicy, you’ll appreciate the Asian flavours of David Gibson’s eclectic Fusion.
Another adventurous kitchen is to be found at Restaurante Calma Chicha whose €39 tasting menu could include dishes of the ilk of green apple gazpacho with marinated shellfish salad and sea urchin caviar. Add €20 if you want these dishes to be paired with appropriate wines. Even more of a special-occasion venue is 360, a great place to eat out or in if you’re a Bohemia Suites guest.
If you’re looking for a budget option on the gastronomic front, there are plenty of takeaways to choose from. There’s also the legendary Gran Buffet Universal Las Camelias. A product of the early 70s, a year younger than Mr Gran Canaria Local in fact, it’s open every day of the year with adults able to eat as much as they like for €12,95.
3. Make a night of it in Playa del Inglés
If it’s strobe lighting and repetitive beats you’re after, Playa del Inglés houses clubs galore. You’ll see sweat dripping off the walls in the lively dancefloors of the gay-friendly Yumbo. There are also loads of late-nighters rocking another local shopping centre, the more hetrosexually-inclined CC Kasbah, whilst the vibe is positively Balearic at Pacha Gran Canaria.
If you’re searching for the craic, you’ll find it in the likes of Dunes & Tunes which hosts regular live Gaelic music concerts. Then there’s the Republic of Ireland’s Mike Buckley who has transformed Gran Chaparral’s Havana into the warm and welcoming Shamrock Bar. Home to karaoke and impromptu weddings.
If you want to enjoy a more downtempo evening out in Playa del Inglés, head to the top floor of the Bohemia Suites. And Atelier Cocktail Bar. Where the island’s leading mixologist, Raimond Palomba, leads a small but commited crew of fellow artisans.
4. Visit the beach in Playa del Inglés
Before Playa del Inglés the resort came Playa del Inglés the beach. Whilst PDI the resort became the island’s most sprawling tourist development, the original beach remains one of Gran Canaria’s most unspoilt ones. At 2.7km long, it’s just 10 metres shorter than next door’s Maspalomas.
With its Atlanticside location, the resort’s a perfect location for watersports lovers. Indeed Surf Canaries offer surfing lessons here. As do Pro Surfing Company who also offer classes in windsurfing from their CC Eurocenter base.
If you’re feeling lazier, you can always hire a jet ski. Or take a ride on the beach’s infamous banana boat. This is a fun-for-all-the-family experience with riders wearing a life jacket to prepare themselves for the inevitable dunking.
5. Start a new life in Playa del Inglés
Not every visitor to Playa del Inglés is a one-off holidaymaker. There are tourists who return year after year, season after season. And expats aplenty who fall in love with the place and want to live in the sexy south for good, creating the need for Facebook groups like Gran Canaria Residents and Visitors.
So, there’s property to buy as well as rent. To help your relocation go even more smoothly, we recommend Alpha Team Canarias who can assist with everything from acquiring a N.I.E number to registering with a doctor. And the Language Exchange Gran Canaria hold regular events in venues across the resort so you can meet up with both expats and locals.
The bright, light skies of Playa del Inglés attract casual workers who pick up work in the area’s bars and restaurants. Then there are location-independent digital nomads visiting on workcations. They can share office space at CoWorking Maspalomas who are situated on the fourth floor of the CC Eurocenter.