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A LETTER FROM LAS PALMAS.

A diary of an Irishman who moved to live permanently in Las Palmas Gran Canaria.

If I had to describe Las Palmas, I would say it has three parts.

 The Old town.

The narrow streets of Triana and the historic area of Vegueta are the original parts of the city.

 

This is where the Spanish started to build a city.  Traders from Seville were among the first to settle here. 

 

I like having a coffee or a beer here, but it gets too quiet at night.

 

Las Canteras.

 

This is the beach area, and I live here.   There are a lot of bars/restaurants and clubs here.  It is the entertainment area.  It is also where most ex-pats live.

 

It also, of course, has a great 3km beach. 

 

The suburbs on the hills. 

 

Us ex-pats tend to forget that most of the city population live not on the flat but up on the hills. 

I had a season ticket for two years to see Las Palmas football club.   I used to walk down the hill past the new city in Siete Palmas and Las Ramblas.  

 

Most of the buildings here are new and of good quality, but if never struck me as a place I would like to live.  There are not many bars or cafes, and it feels cold.  

I took a bus to visit the new Aldi store in Cuidad Alta, a suburb in the hills.   I have never been here before. 

 

The buildings were a lot older than the newer suburbs.  I am sure it is one of the least expensive areas to buy or rent a property.  

 

It did not have the slick feel of the newer area, but it has a lot of character.   There were a lot of bars and cafes.  

 

I like where I live, but if I had to live up on the hills, give me the character of Cuidad Alta over the sterile Siete Palmas anytime.  

Spanish inflation hit 10.8% in July.  Electricity prices in Spain are high.  

 

One of the good things about the Canary Islands is you tend to use less electricity than most areas. 

 

My most recent bill came to thirty-eight euros for a month.   I don’t need heating at any time of the year.  I don’t have air conditioning.  I use lights.  Shower.  Cooker and my washing machine.   

It rained on Friday in Las Palmas.  I cannot remember rain this late in summer.  It was well received as, like most of the Canaries, Las Palmas has been sweltering with high temperatures for a month now. 

 

The lower temperatures lasted just a few days.  The heat is back.  I never thought I would say this, but more rain, please. 

So which is the cheapest Island to book tourist accommodation according to the latest stats in June? 

 

For a hotel room per night.

 

Lanzarote €102.

 

Gran Canaria €101.

 

Tenerife €98.

 

Fuerteventura €91. 

 

For an Apartment per night.

 

Tenerife €65.

 

Lanzarote €60.

 

Gran Canaria €59.

 

Fuerteventura €49. 

I do use my monthly bus pass a lot.  For twenty-eight euros, I can travel all around the island.  

 

Using the local city bus in Las Palmas without a pass costs  €1.40 per journey. Precisely the same as when I first visited Las Palmas in 2013.  Now that is the way to get people to use public transport. 

 

On Sunday, I went by bus to San Mateo, about 20km from Las Palmas, as you headed towards the mountains. 

 

For a few hours on Sunday, there is an area in the town centre where people can dance.  Many people from the capital go there each week.

 

There is also a Sunday market with the most amazing locally produced cheeses. 

 

I like Sundays in Las Palmas.  It is still a day of rest.  

 

Sundays in many countries are now one of the busiest shopping days of the week.

 

Except for the beach area, you could hear a pin drop on a Sunday afternoon in most of Las Palmas. 

 

Most of the big stores and supermarkets open until 930pm Monday to Saturday in Las Palmas. 

 

Six days a week should be enough time to go shopping.  

There are 287,488 foreigners living in the Canary Islands, 13% of the population.

 

That is 23,353 fewer than ten years ago when it was 14.6% of the population.

 

Top 3 in 2022. 50,143 Italians. 28,723 from the UK. 24,425 Germans.

 

I have noticed more Italians in Las Palmas over the years. Many have started businesses here. They tell me there are more regulations in Italy than here. That is quite scary. 

 

 

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