Tuesday, 07 July 2015 13:26

Gran Canaria Shopping: Duty Free Allowances & Prices

Duty free allowances and prices in Gran Canaria Duty free allowances and prices in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is not part of the EU Customs Union so allowances are stingy by European standards. On the plus side, prices are low in the Canary Islands thank to low VAT and taxes. 

Duty free allowances for people over 17 flying from Gran Canaria and all the Canary Islands are as follows...

  • 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars or 250gms of tobacco. You can mix and match provided that you don't exceed the total tobacco allowance.
  • 4L of still wine.
  • 1L of alcoholic beverages stronger than 22% or 2L of fortified or sparkling wine or other liqueurs up to 22%. You can mix and match provided that you don't exceed your total alcohol allowance.  
  • 16L of beer (good luck getting that home in your luggage allowance).

What to buy in Gran Canaria

Cigarettes are as cheap as they come in Gran Canaria with a sleeve of 200 top brand ciggies like Marlboro and B&H costing less than 30 euros. A litre bottle of local Arehucas rum and brand spirits like Smirnoff vodka costs less than 10 euros in local supermarkets. Perfumes are also significantly cheaper than in most European countries, as are cameras and electronic goods, thanks to low VAT levels.   

Where to buy duty-free in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria airport is rarely the best place to buy duty-free perfume, cigarettes and alcohol. Prices are almost always cheaper in local supermarkets like Hiperdino and Spar and in specialist shops like Fundgrube (for perfume). Buying local has the added advantage that you can pack your duty free in your suitcase and forget about it until you arrive home. 

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Tip of the day

  • The Parafarmacia In Gran Canaria Is Not A Chemist!
    The Parafarmacia In Gran Canaria Is Not A Chemist!

    If there is one thing we hate it is visitors being tricked in Gran Canaria. In the past we've warned about overcharging at Gran Canaria chemists, and rip off electronics shops in resorts. 

    In this Tip Of The Day we return to the island's chemists or rather, to the island's fake chemists.

    A chemist in Gran Canaria is called a Farmacia and always has a green cross sign. Farmacias are the only place tobuy medicine in Spain, even basics like paracetamol.

    However, there is another kind of shop in Gran Canaria that looks and sounds like a chemist but doesn't sell medicine. This is the Parafarmacia and it also uses a green cross sign.

    A parafarmacia is a herbal medicine shop that is not allowed to sell any normal medicine such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or antibiotics. 

    Instead, parafarmacias sell herbal alternatives to medicine but don't have to prove that they work and they can charge whatever they want.

    We recently heard from a visitor to Gran Canaria who went into a parafarmacia and was charged 40 euros for a herbal alternative to Ibuprofen. It was only when they read the label that they realised what had happened. 

    To locate a genuine farmacia, see this website and search within your municipio (Puerto Rico is in Mogán, Playa del Inglés is in San Bartolomé de Tirajana). At weekends and on fiesta days many farmacias close but there is always one open, known as the farmacia de guardia, in each municipio.

    Search for the nearest one to you with this tool

    Lex Says: To keep costs down, see this article for the way to ask for generic medicine rather than expensive branded alternatives. 

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