Las Palmas for Digital Nomads: a Short Guide

June 26, 2022
A picture of Las Palmas' landscape

I never planned to visit Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, but I’m glad I did. After participating in a retreat for Digital Nomads, I stayed on the island for four months.

Although I didn’t explore it thoroughly, I did enjoy it enough to share my best tips in case you’re planning to go there.

The lifestyle is chill and sport-friendly

Las Palmas is, surprisingly, quite a big city with modern infrastructure and services, but also an amazing 3km-long beach and promenade 一 Las Canteras 一 which is where most social life happens.

A bike in front of Las Canteras beach in Las Palmas

The promenade is always busy with backpackers, retirees, jugglers, merchants, surfers, digital nomads and plenty of families. You can just chill and watch people for hours, wondering in a glance what their life is like.

The beach life is bustling with people playing volleyball, tennis, and football 一 plus, the beach break at Le Cicer offers great waves for surfers of all levels. Living near Las Canteras was my favorite thing, as I could easily go for a walk, a run, or a mini “sun break” during working hours 一 a perk that not many big cities can offer.

Just a heads up, since the island is conducive to an active lifestyle, make sure to have proper insurance! I hurt my foot while playing football and had to get an MRI (I recommend the HPS Private Hospital, they were quite swift and professional.) I wasn't covered by insurance because, as a European, I have access to Spain's healthcare system. But since I didn't want to wait long hours for a visit, I ended up going privately. Had I been insured, my expenses for the visits and medication would have been lower in the end. 🫠

If you're under 39 years, the Nomad Insurance costs around $45 USD for any period up to 4 weeks (in over 175 countries.) A key benefit is the flexibility to activate or deactivate your policy anytime. And they've recently added the option to include adventure sports and protection against electronics theft.

If you need it, I have an affiliate link to share: Go get insured!

Banner for an digital nomad insurance ad

The nomad community is active

You can find most events and connect with fellow nomads via the Slack group Live it Up, Las Palmas!. It’s run by Nelleke, a Dutch girl who is putting a lot of effort in keeping the community active, facilitating the networking among newcomers and seasoned nomads. Through Slack, many people organize events such as yoga and salsa classes, hiking, language exchange and more 一 which is great to start making new connections.

Overall, I’ve been to a few meetups and rooftop parties, but apart from a few people, I didn’t find “my kind of crowd”. I guess I’m more aligned with other communities, like the ones in Lisbon or Ubud, or maybe it was just bad timing.

I feel that the best way to enjoy Las Palmas is to find a few folks you really like, stick together, and spend most time with them 一 instead of relying too much on meetups.

There are nice coworking spaces and cafés

The main co-working space is Talleres Palermo: located in a modernized industrial building, it costs 140€/month or 80€ for 10 day passes. It also has a cafeteria where you can work from by spending a minimum of 5€, but the seats are uncomfortable and it gets quite noisy. Other cafes to work from are Un Lugar, Luwak, and Cool Beans.

Wi-Fi speed is great and reliable across the island 一 except maybe for the most remote areas.

You can find tasty international food

There are many great restaurants in Las Palmas offering both local and international cuisine. I've saved my favorites in a Google Maps list, which includes other points of interest mentioned in this blogpost.

I’ll just mention three:

There are great hikes with stunning views

Besides the few highly touristy areas, Gran Canaria has actually lots of untouched nature. These were the highlights for me:

Lovely short hike to Roque Nublo, a volcanic rock formation at 1.8km above sea level. On sunny days you have stunning views all around.

A group of Digital Nomads enjoys the Roque Nublo hike

Tejeda is the cutest and quietest town on the island, with white houses and plenty of cafés all around. From there, a 10-minute drive will get you to Cruz de Tejeda where lots of hiking trails start.

Viewpoint and hiking trails around Tejeda

The Dunes of Maspalomas offer a unique natural landscape and they’re fun to climb up and down. Pro tip: if you go at sunset to enjoy a few beers, don’t sit or you’ll be drinking sand too.

On the Southern coast, it’s also worth visiting the colorful town of Puerto de Mogan and the white sand beach Anfi del Mar.

A person walks on the dunes of Maspalomas

Good accomodation is hard to score

I lived in three different modern flats, paying on average 800€ per month for two people. The best way to score accomodation for short-term stay is through the Slack group, whereas for longer-term deals is better to find something on Idealista.

The biggest issue with accommodation in Las Palmas was to find a quiet place. I don’t know how they build houses there, but sound isolation is near non-existent. In the first accomodation the neighbors were a couple who “started living” after 22pm, talking loud and having friends over until 4am. In the second accomodation an old lady watched television until late 一 the TV was on the other side of the wall, next to our bed, so we could hear everything even with ear plugs.

Moreover, there are construction works all over the city and many streets have bars where people gather until late at night 一 especially during the weekend. Luckily our third apartment was quiet enough to rest well and work from home. As someone who considers sleep sacred, this was the biggest downside of my staying in Las Palmas.

🚗 Getting around is easy

There is no Uber in GC, but Taxis are cheap and you can use a similar local app called PideTaxi. There are also city bikes and electric scooters.  

To go explore the island, it’s ideal to rent a car. We rented with CICAR and I can only recommend it: easy online booking, 40€ a day for an Opel Corsa/Fiat 500 (fully insured), pay with credit card, 24/7 parking lot to return the car 一 super smooth experience!

💸 The Cost of Living is relatively low

Living in LP is fairly cheap compared to other European destinations. Of course, it largely depends on whether you share a flat, eat at home, etc. but I would say it ranges between 800€-1600€ per month.

🌞 The weather is stellar

The weather in Las Palmas is overall stellar, averaging 24 degrees year-round. It’s often sunny and not too windy, at least compared to the neighbor Fuerteventura. I was there in December and going to the beach felt incredible. Apparently the worst months are July and August, when a phenomenon called Panza de burro covers the city with clouds 一 although if you need the sun you can just drive anywhere else on the island!

To wrap it up, I didn’t completely fall in love with Las Palmas, but the more time I spent there the more it grew on me. Overall, I think it’s a fantastic choice if you want to stay in Europe 一 especially during Winter. And as I said before, if you find the right crowd you can have a really good time!

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