The Canary Islands have a special status within the EU, which means that (in theory anyway) goods such as Alcohol, Tobacco, Perfumes and Electronics are cheaper than elsewhere in Europe.
However, this special status also means that the Canary Islands are outside the European VAT zone and therefore any goods (above the duty free limit) that you try to bring back will be subject to VAT and Excise duties.
The duty-free limits are: 1 litre of spirits, 2 litres of wine and 200 cigarettes (or 50 cigars).
It is worth shopping around for Alcohol and Spirits as prices can vary considerably – the Airport is usually the most expensive place to buy these goods!
Tip: You will probably be offered Tobacco and Spirits on-board your flight to Gran Canaria. These products are normally a lot cheaper on the Island than on the Aeroplane.
If you are determined to buy a Camera or other consumer electronics device, then do yourself a favour and ask your Travel Rep which shops are okay. There are endless horror stories – rip-offs and Credit Card fraud – associated with the Asian Camera Shops in the resorts.
If you are not sure of the Camera Shop’s reputation (there are actually a few that are honest), then do not even enter. They often use very high-pressure sales techniques – you have been warned!
Businesses in Spain are legally obliged to have a complaints book on the premises, if you experience bad service, you should ask for the “Libro de Reclamaciones”.
Shopping Areas There are plenty of designer goods (as well as cheap knock-offs) for sale in the resorts, but if you want to visit the big high-street stores, you will need to go to one of the following areas.
Many residents of neighbouring Lanzarote and Fuerteventura make regular trips by Plane and Ferry to Las Palmas just to go shopping. Las Palmas offers a both a larger range and better prices than it’s neighbours – justifying the price of plane ticket!
Calle Triana is the great pedestrianised Shopping Street in Las Palmas, with many of the big names that you would expect from a European High Street – Zara, Marks and Spencer, Benetton etc. The Street has a relaxed atmosphere and is intersected by many pretty side streets where you can enjoy a Coffee or Tapa in one of the many open-air Cafés.
Mesa y López
This wide Avenue is the city’s main artery and features the big Spanish Department Stores, El Corte Inglés and Cortefiel, as well as many fashionable Shoe Shops and other Spanish High-Street mainstays such as Caramelo and MaximoDutti.
Centro Comercial Atlantico
This large Shopping Centre is located a few kilometers south of the Airport (at Vecindario), just off the main motorway to the southern resorts. As well as the Shops, there is also a Multiscreen Cinema , which shows some Films in English, and several Restaurants.
Many of the big Spanish Stores are represented here; Zara, Springfield, Mango and Stradivarius as well as the enormous Carrefour Hypermarket.