One of the main Gran Canaria Tourist Information Centres is known as “Casa del Turismo” which means “Tourism House." It is a white Canarian-style cottage with a big wooden balcony, located in the heart of Parque Santa Catalina. This is where the main tourism information point is, and is very easy to find. All you have to do is look for the bus stops, and right in front you will find it. This picturesque cottage is only a ten minute walk from the cruise harbor, from the underground bus terminal located there, and from El Muelle Shopping Center.
This picturesque cottage was designed in 1935 by the local artist Nestor Martin-Fernandez de la Torre. He was a man of vision, and very talented. He had travelled and worked in various parts of Europe such as Paris and Barcelona, before coming to settle in his home town. Three years after he designed it, he passed away. It took another 7 years for his brother to make Nestor’s dream come true. The total building cost was 1200 euros, which was a lot of money back then! Some of the building materials had to be brought from mainland Spain especially for it.
Once it was opened, it was the main Gran Canaria tourist information hub, with various sections. It was (and still is) centrically located. Sailors who arrived by sea, and other visitors, could stop there and taste local products in the restaurant, and even buy them from the shop, located next to it. They could also get information tourist information about the island. In fact, the Tourism House was there right before Las Palmas de Gran Canaria became a popular tourism destination. This happened in the 1950’s and the number of tourists grew tremendously in the 60’s and 70’s. That’s why we consider Nestor a man with vision. Unfortunately, after that, some of the mayors didn’t find it worthwhile to keep it open.
In 2013, the city council of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, renovated, and moved their whole tourist department to this building. They pumped new life into the building, and gave it back the importance it deserved. Right now, there is lots of activity in the building. Press conferences and presentations of upcoming events, daily meetings to improve tourist activities, marketing of the city’s various web portals and social media, are all done from here. We could definitely consider it one of the most important Gran Canaria tourist information centres, although there are other smaller ones evenly distributed all across the island.
Below is a short video about the "Casa del Turismo" and its designer, Nestor. The video is in Spanish with subtitles in English.
Parque de Santa Catalina s/n
35007 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Telephone: (+34) 928 446 824