At the beginning of May 2021, Leo and I started with perpetual traveling. We packed our bags, gave away our apartment, and started the journey. This step was the inspiration for these guides. We want to explore the different cities worldwide for you and share our subjective opinion about them.
Let me briefly describe what we like and what's important for us to give you a better idea. We prefer summer and the sun over winter. We usually use Airbnb or Booking.com to find our accommodation. We are not looking for long-term contracts now as we are not planning to stay longer in any city. We normally work from home, combined with coffee places and co-working spaces, so good internet in all these places is one of the main priorities. We like to eat good (and also cheap) and go out in the evening for nice drinks or a "wine walk" (like a walk but with a bottle of wine 😊). We like to run and do fast walks, so walkability in the city is important for us. We are not going to the clubs or dancing, so we are probably not the best address to give tips on that.
We choose the Canary Islands as our starting point to new and location independent life, and it was the right decision. We started with Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife and Los Gigantes, where we had our holidays, and then moved to our first long-stay apartment in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, where we stayed for a month.
Quick facts about the island
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a city and capital of Gran Canaria island in the Canary Islands, also known as the Canaries. They are the southernmost of the autonomous communities of Spain and consist of 8 main islands: Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, and La Graciosa.
Las Palmas is located in the northeastern part of the Gran Canaria, with warm temperatures and a pleasant climate throughout the year. Therefore, it's a great escape from the winter season in the other European countries. It was founded in 1478, and its oldest district, Vegueta, was officially declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You can enjoy yourself on one of 4 main beaches: Playa de Las Canteras, Playa de Las Alcaravaneras (northeast), Playa del Confital (southwest), and Playa de la Laja.
The most tourist place in the South of Gran Canaria is Playa del Ingles in Maspalomas.
The most typical food is small wrinkled potatoes with a slightly spicy mojo sauce (Papas arrugadas con Mojo). Ron Miel liquor (honey rum) is the most popular Canarian drink and exported worldwide.
Best time to visit
Anytime. All Canary Islands have a great climate, and the temperatures stay spring-like all year round. Summer temperatures on Gran Canaria average 26 ºC to 28 ºC (79 – 82 °F), nights are cooler from December to April, but they rarely drop under 17ºC (62ºF). The climate is dry, but the north and northeast are cooler and wetter compared to the south.
I guess this is one of the reasons why Las Palmas is very popular among digital nomads. The great thing about these temperatures is that you can leave the apartment at any point of the day without suffering from the heat, especially if you are a bit sensitive to the sun as we are. But don't forget to put on a suncream, sometimes cloudy sky and wind on the beach, doesn't mean that there is no strong sun behind the clouds. We learned this hard way and got burned a couple of times.
Best areas to stay
We booked our accommodation through Airbnb, next to Playa de Las Canteras. With a monthly discount, we paid €1070 for the whole month. The apartment was fully equipped, with all the necessary amenities that you need for a comfortable stay. We were about 200m from the beach, with plenty of great international and local restaurants and coffee places around.
Las Canteras is one of the most popular spots for digital nomads. You can find many great Airbnb apartments close to the 3km long sandy beach; there are many coffee places to work and many restaurants to choose from. So it's very comfortable to stay in that area.
Besides Las Canteras, some other areas are popular for remote workers.
Vegueta is the old town of Las Palmas and about an hour walk from Las Canteras. Yes, we are walkers, so if the location is up to 1.5h away, we normally walk there. You can also take a bus, which takes about 10mins from Las Canteras.
La Isleta - is the old fishermen’s quarter located on the northern end of Playa de las Canteras, situated on a small peninsula. While this is a more rural area where you can still find trendy bars and restaurants, we prefer to go there for a nice afternoon trip than to stay there longer.
La Cicer - is located at the other end of Playa de Las Canteras. If you are a surfer, this is the area for you, there is the wind, and there are the waves.
Getting there and around
Gran Canaria has one international airport located south of Las Palmas. You can normally find very affordable flights to fly to other parts of Spain and European countries as Ryanair, Wizzair, Vueling have their bases there.
We flew from Vienna, Austria, with Ryanair to Tenerife as we wanted to spend 2 weeks there and took the ferry to Gran Canaria. You can take the ferry from Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Fred Olsen), which takes you to the harbor of Agaete. From there you take the bus that is waiting for you (organized by Fred Olsen) and in about 45min you will reach the bus station next to Catalina Park in Las Palmas. The trip with the ferry cost us around 40 euros.
Las Palmas is a very walkable city, it's flat, and you can easily reach different areas on foot. However, if you prefer to take a bus, they are very affordable, and the network is good to come anywhere. You can hop on most buses from Catalina Park.
There is no Uber, but taxies should also be very affordable; the basic fee is €2.40, the kilometer price is €1.10.
We didn't try it, but there is also a bike rental called Sitycleta, which anyone can use, and it's available daily from 6 am - 11 pm. All you need to do is to download the app, create your profile, and you can rent a bike from any of the locations/stands in the city. The basic rate for half an hour of cycling costs €1.50, but they also have weekly/monthly/annual rates.
Of course, this varies from person to person, but Las Palmas is a fairly affordable city. I was quite surprised as I always thought that the Canary Islands are way more expensive due to the many tourists.
We did spend a bit more, as this was the first trip after Covid lockdown for us, so we basically were enjoying the local cuisine daily. We rarely prepared some meal at home, as we were thrilled that the restaurants are open, while in Vienna, they were still closed.
Here's a rough breakdown of our expenses and prices that we were paying (in restaurants):
One-bedroom Airbnb apartment (100m from Las Canteras) - €1070/month
Draught beer - €2.50 - €3.50
A glass of local wine - €3.00
Coffee with milk - €1.50
Water (0.33-liter bottle) - €1.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant - €30 - 35
Tapas - from €3.00 to €6.00/tapa
The tab water doesn't taste good, so it's recommended to buy it in the shop. Prices are low and go around 60 Cents (€) for a big 5l bottle.
You can easily manage in Gran Canaria without speaking Spanish. Even if people don't speak English, they will not be shy to try. But it's nice to have at least basic knowledge of the language, so through the whole time being on the islands, we were practicing Spanish with Duolingo.
It's entertaining and a great way to get the basics so you can at least greet and order your food and drinks in the local language. I think you can get to know the culture better through the language. We are planning to continue learning the local language for every country we visit.
Internet and places to Work
Las Palmas has some great cafes where you can work from, and some have even nice views of the sea. Here is a couple of our favorite ones:
- Roka Cafe - Calle José Franchy Roca, 34
A couple of blocks away from Playa de Las Canteras, laptops friendly environment, fast internet, cozy inside the sitting area, a terrace, nice staff, great tapas, and cocktails for after work.
Weirdo Recommends: Tapas and Cocktails
- Café Regina Las Canteras - Paseo las Canteras, 21
Located directly on the main promenade, good coffee and food/snacks, fast internet, great views, inside and outside sitting areas, friendly staff.
Weirdo Recommends: Pastel Vasco - Basque Cake
- The Couple - Paseo las Canteras, 23
Located on the main promenade, good internet, affordable and tasty breakfasts, inside and outside sitting areas, chilled environment, and friendly staff.
Weirdo Recommends: Moscow Mule
In the whole month of staying on Gran Canaria, we haven't worked from any coworking space. We loved the cute coffee places too much.
Best restaurants and bars
Las Palmas offers a lot of good places to make your belly full. Unfortunately, when we were there, the Covid was still present; therefore, many restaurants were still closed. Nevertheless, we definitely enjoyed the culinary side of Las Palmas. The only thing that we were missing was more Asian cuisine (especially Vietnamese) as we both really like it.
Here is a couple of our favorites:
- Corazon de Venezuela - Calle Luis Morote, 50
Located just around the corner from our apartment, we fell in love with this place. The food tasted good, authentic, the staff was super friendly, and the price - size - quality ratio is great. In addition, they have plenty of space inside and outside, so we never made a reservation.
Weirdo Recommends - Felicidad para todos (mixed plate for 1 or more people so that you can try all they specialties) and Guarapita de Parchita (1l drink to share, composed of rum and passion fruit extract)
- Pizzeria Da Luigi - Calle Torres Quevedo, 27
One of the best pizzas we had in a restaurant (not counting the homemade pizzas our friend Alessio makes for us 😊). Fresh and high-quality Italian ingredients, perfect dough, and friendly staff. If your lucky, Luigi will come to greet you and share his love for pizza with you. We felt really welcomed here.
Weirdo Reccomends: Pizza Parmegiana
- El Tiburon - Calle Numancia, 17
Located just on the edge of the surfers' beach Cicer. Very chilled place, friendly staff, tasty food, and nice drinks. Sitting outside and watching surfers riding the waves gives a nice vibe when you're sipping your Negroni.
Weirdo Recommends: Negroni and Mako Burger
- Bodegón Pachichi - Calle los Martínez de Escobar, 51
Very chilled and authentic tapas place just a few blocks from Las Canteras. Friendly staff, the choice of tapas is simple, but they are delicious.
Weirdo Recommends: Chorizo al Ferno, Chorizo and Honey spread, house wine.
- Dulces de Portugal - Calle Ripoche, 23
Visiting this cute bakery is like a little trip to Portugal. Great choice of authentic sweets and some salty pastries, and good coffee. By far the best Pastel de Nata on the island.
Weirdo Recommends: Pastel de Nata and Coco
- El Churrasco Restaurante - Calle Olof Palme, 33
Good steak house and friendly staff.
Weirdo Recommends: Argentine Novillo Entrecote
Best Running trail
I love the closeness of any water, sea, or lake, so running in Las Palmas was amazing. The weather was not too hot, and there is a great trail along the coast. My favorite route starts from the mid of Playa de Las Canteras and goes up through Playa del Confital and ends on the west of La Isleta. There is a fence at the end, and you can't go any further. The trip there and back is approximately 10km.
You can also adjust the length of the trail by starting more south of the island or turn earlier.
We arrived on the Canary Islands at the beginning of May and stayed until mid of June. The entry restriction was a negative PCR test. The situation there was quite relaxed, the bars and restaurants were open (not all of them), but the only negative part is wearing the masks everywhere - inside and outside. You can take them off only when you sit at the table (terrace and inside) and while doing sport.
Not a big deal, but it gets annoying, especially if the sun is strong and you are walking around and exploring the city. So I hope they lift this, in my opinion, unnecessary rule.
Gems that we found and liked
There are many hidden spots along the coast that offer you amazing views and paths for a walk and meditation.