Digital Nomad tips: Las Palmas

I’m trying the Canaries for this Spring’s trip as SE Asia was too hot and humid for me and the Canaries are only a few hours flight from the UK. I heard great things about Las Palmas so this is the first stop. Here are some tips for digital nomads and remote workers.

Flight & Transport

I paid £28 for a one way flight from EMA to LPA with Thomas Cook, with a flight time of 4.5hrs. They didn’t weigh or measure my Osprey Farpoint 40 carry-on and I got a free meal by mistake. The Airport Express from LPA to Las Palmas is €3 and runs every 20mins. Buses are cheap around town. There’s no Uber and local cabs are cheap enough.

Accommodation

This isn’t SE Asia. The Las Palmas AirBnbs I used were pretty bad for around £25 a night and wouldn’t have been suitable for the longer term. Both landlords didn’t actually live in the flats which seems to be a growing situation with AirBnb. I want to live in someone’s house, not a shitty flat full of strangers. The first was difficult to access due to poor instructions and no English speakers and the second was noisy, stunk of cigarette smoke and had no toilet paper. I got a few days at the ReStation co-living place which was great, then moved to a surf hostel for one night which was clean and had an amazing roof bar, but I didn’t sleep well and it was the same price as an AirBnb!

I luckily then got an apartment share with two locals for around £350 for the month. It seems other apartments are not available short term with 3 or 6 month leases being the norm here. Not ideal for nomadic folk. Somebody could make a killing setting up another nomad co-living place like they have at ReStation.

UPDATE: I found an amazing flat with other nomads for the second month on the Gran Canaria Digital Nomads Facebook group. It’s spacious and clean with fast internet and it’s on Mesa y Lopez so the location is perfect (if a little noisy sometimes).

Co-Working

CoworkingC

coworkingc las palmas

I had a site to launch so jumped in to CoworkingC as it was near the bus station. The downstairs doesn’t have any windows and there was a guy with a jackhammer working next door so it wasn’t ideal, but I got my work done. Proper coffee machine and a variety of desks including a standing desk.

Drinks and snacks: Free tea, coffee (bean to cup machine) and water

Costs: €15 per day? €180 a month

Trial: Free day

Accommodation option: Yes

Website

Coco Co-working

coco coworking las palmas

Very light space with lots of plants and windows plus secure door entry.

Drinks and snacks: Free tea, coffee (regular and decaf, pod machine) and water, plus a huge pastry on the day I was there!

Costs: €8 per day, €130 a month

Trial: Free day

Accommodation option: No

Website

ReStation

restation-coworking-las-palmas2

Lovely, light environment with good sitting and standing desks and some sofas. Lots of plants and nice smells, free snacks and water and insanely fast internet. Down sides are minimal coffee facilities and it’s open to the street so potentially low security. Tried a few days of co-working and co-living, went to their breakfast/evening events, met awesome people and then joined for a month – £130.

Drinks and snacks: Free tea, filter coffee (regular and decaf, kettle) and water, fruit and snack bars

Costs: €10 per day, €56 a week, €150 a month

Trial: Free day

Accommodation option: Yes

Website

Cafes

If you’re not into co-working spaces or fancy a break, there are a few cafes that you can work from too.

Cafe Regina

Awesome Colombian coffee that they grind themselves. Good chairs/tables, power points and solid wifi (email sign in and an advert when first connecting).

Transformer Cafe

60s hippy crossed with shabby chic decor. Decent cheap coffee (inc decaf). Good chairs/tables and OK wifi.

Granier

Branches around town including one on the seafront. OK coffee, amazing range of bread/pastries, good chairs/tables and 1hr free wifi if you sign in with Facebook. Seafront one has outdoor seating and gets very busy.

Social and Events

There are a ton of events organised through Facebook and Meetup as well as events run by the co-working spaces. I met a ton of people in my first week and was worn out by the end of it!

Local SIM

Vodafone mobile allows tethering – paid €20for 2gb (4gb with special offer for April) on PAYG and it lasts for 30 days. It’s called ‘International smartphone’ or something similar and I signed up in their shop in the Las Arenas shopping centre in about ten mins with my passport.

Money, time, health and safety

BBVA bank ATM worked fine with my UK TSB card and it asked about currency conversion, which I declined to avoid getting ripped off by the DCC. Got a Revolut card which is saving me the fees every time I use a UK card and it works as a debit card.

There’s no time difference from the UK, which makes my life a lot easier. No visa required at the moment (Brexit might changes this…) and no mosquito borne diseases. Temperature is mid 20s in the daytime with sun most of the day. It only drops to 18 at night so I’m still wandering around in shorts late into the evening.

I nearly got robbed while walking between accommodation and stopping for food in a park. A gang of thieves were scoping me out, some old ladies tipped me off and I left the park but got stalked to a cafe. Most people I’ve met report no safety issues, but one guy has been mugged twice during his stay. Be sharp!

Summary

I’ve had a great time so far and the co-working scene and other benefits make this a great place for a UK based nomad.  Accommodation is not as cheap and easy as places like Chiang Mai for short stays.