I have visited Gran Canaria several times over the past decade, twice in the past year alone. As such, I know first-hand how to travel around the island as a tourist.
If you’re staying in a tourist area of Gran Canaria, amenities should be within walking distance. However, if you want to explore more of the island, there are three ways you can get around:
The best way to travel around Gran Canaria is going to depend on several factors, including:
- Where you want to go
- Who you’re travelling with
- How much travelling you want to do
For example, a taxi is best if you only want to travel from Las Palmas Airport to Maspalomas. But, if you want to spend several days exploring the island, hiring a car will be a better value for money and more convenient.
If you want to explore the island of Gran Canaria over several days, hiring a car is the best way to do so. There are multiple car hire locations across Gran Canaria, especially in tourist areas such as Playa Del Ingles and Puerto Rico.
However, if you plan to hire a car for your entire trip to Gran Canaria, you are best off collecting your car from Gran Canaria Airport.
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Driving around Gran Canaria is easy. The island is connected by a handful of highways, and traffic is rare outside the capital city of Las Palmas.
Of course, the cost of hiring a car in Gran Canaria is comprised of several components. The car rental itself is just one part of it. So when deciding whether hiring a car is economically viable, be sure also to consider:
- Petrol (Gas)
- Extras (car seats, etc.)
If you only plan to use the car for several small journeys while in Gran Canaria, it may be cheaper to take a taxi instead. Alternatively, to cut costs when hiring a car in Gran Canaria, consider booking a hotel with free parking or close to free roadside parking.
Taxis are the best way for most tourists to get around Gran Canaria. Rideshare services Uber and Bolt are available in Gran Canaria. However, the number of drivers is severely limited.
Instead, there are three ways you can get a taxi in Gran Canaria:
- Go to the nearest taxi rank.
- Ask the hotel to call a taxi for you.
- Flag a taxi down in the street.
All popular tourist areas have several taxi ranks with taxis ready to take you to different locations across the island. Meanwhile, to flag a taxi down in the street, raise your arm when you see a taxi with a green illuminated light.
Taxis in Gran Canaria work on a meter. As such, taxi drivers can give you an estimated journey cost; however, the exact amount will vary. Some factors that influence the total cost of a metered taxi fare in Gran Canaria include:
- Time of day (evenings are a higher tariff)
- Journey duration
- Pick-up/drop-off location (the airport, for example, is a higher rate)
There are no trains in Gran Canaria. Instead, the only form of public transport on the island is buses. Gran Canaria boasts an extensive public bus service, known locally as “guaguas”. The buses are efficient, cost-effective and reliable, making them a great way to travel.
If you’re taking the bus to the airport, allow 30 minutes for delays. You want to arrive at Gran Canaria Airport with plenty of time to check in, drop off any bags and go through security.
The cost of a bus ticket in Gran Canaria varies depending on the distance. However, buses are affordable and always cheaper than taking a taxi. You can pay for your bus tickets in Gran Canaria either:
- In cash
- Using a pre-paid Bono Bus card
A Bono Bus card offers discounted bus fares and can be purchased at bus stations and newsstands.