City guides

Santa Cruz de Tenerife city guide

santa cruz de tenerife

Make Santa Cruz de Tenerife the right way!

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the Capital of the Island of Tenerife and it’s biggest and most cosmopolitan city. Tenerife is part of the Canary Island archipelago, a chain of islands off the coast of Morocco that belongs to the government of Spain.

The Canary Islands are well known for their tropical climate, pristine beaches and laid-back vibes, and Santa Cruz is no different. It blends all the good things of island living with the hustle and bustle of the city, the best of both worlds. 

Santa Cruz de Tenerife city guide - Table of Contents

Practical information to plan your visit to Santa Cruz de Tenerife

5 top reasons to visit Santa Cruz De Tenerife ​

Auditorio de Tenerife

Designed by one of Spain’s top architects, Santiago Calatrava, who is also responsible for the City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia, this amazing auditorium is one of Santa Cruz’s main attractions. If you can attend a performance, we would highly recommend it, if not, you can enjoy a guided tour of the auditorium. It takes 45 minutes and has to be booked ahead of time. Admission is 7,5€and the tour can be enjoyed in English, German or Spanish.

If you arent feeling up to the tour, and there are no performances to be enjoyed, you can always enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee at the auditoriums bar and just sit back and enjoy the view. 

TEA: Tenerife Espacio de las Artes 

The Tenerife Espacio de las Artes or the Tenerife Art Space in English, is housed within an impressive contemporary building. The museum features its three galleries and the stunning library on the main floor. The galleries play host to rotating exhibitions of different art forms from photography, to installations to canvas. The space is dedicated to up-and-coming Spanish artists and therefore is quite edgy and Avant-guard (Guided visits of TEA are €15).

The building itself is a work of art. Designed by Swiss architects and Pritzker Prize Laureates Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, who are also responsible for London’s Tate Modern.

The TEA also features a cinema that shows independent films, and art and experimental cinema as well. The entry fee is 4€ and films are shown at 7pm and 9.30pm Friday to Sunday are in their original language, with Spanish subtitles.

Lastly, the TAE also features an amazing, classically designed  library that is open 24 hours.

Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África

This bustling market opened its doors back in 1944. The building in which the market is located features arab style arches and patios making the place feel all the mor exotic. A tall clock tower helps the market stand out amongst the surrounding buildings.

You will find fresh produce, fish and meats as well as local treats and delicacies including local wines, charcuterie and cheeses. Keep your eyes peeled for mojo salsa, cactus marmalade, local honey, and the famous banana wine if you are in the mood to try some authentically Canarian products 

MUNA Museum

The MUNA Museum of Tenerife is an interesting hybrid museum equal parts natural history museum and archeological museum. Housed in what was once a hospital, the museum contains mummies of the indigenous people of the Canary Islands, known as Guanches, as well as tools and artifacts used and fashioned by these original “Canarios”. You will also find informative displays on local wildlife, flora, and geology. Tenerife is a volcanic island and the local ecosystem is unique and almost other-worldly. 

The archeological displays also include remains from the Bereber people who also inhabited the islands. The Berbers came to the islands from Morocco and (understandably) never returned. Learning about the microcosm that is the canary islands is at the very least fascinating. 

Nuestra Señora de la Concepción church

Nuestra Señora e la Conceptión is the cities oldest church. It is easy to find because it’s imposing bell tower. It is built in the traditional Mudéjar style. The current iteration of the church was finalized in the 18th century but the original building went up in 1498, just after the conquering of  Tenerife by the Spanish. In the center of the gleaming silver altar is the 1494 Santa Cruz de la Conquista (Holy Cross of the Conquest), which gives the city its name.

Best time to visit Santa Cruz De Tenerife ​

The Canary Islands enjoy a tropical climate, so in that sense, you will have decent weather all year round. When it comes to crowds, the two most crowded times to visit Tenerife is during the summer months and during January when the cities Carnavales take place. 

If you are looking to avoid crowds and the heat of the summer then the months of March, April, and May are a good bet. 

Weather in Santa Cruz De Tenerife ​

Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the canary islands enjoy a tropical climate with very uniform temperatures all year round

Recommended hotels in Santa Cruz De Tenerife ​

These are out top recommended hotels in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Recommended attractions in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

These are our top recommended attractions to enjoy in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 

Carnival of Tenerife / Carnaval de Tenerife

Carnival of Tenerife: The Ultimate Guide

One of the most colourful festivals in the world, the Carnival of Tenerife is second only to the one in Rio de Janeiro. During two weeks, the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife are full of people that take part in parades, dancing competitions, or that simply observe the queens. A great party, with amazing atmosphere and one of the fun guaranteed festivals in Spain

Path in the forest of Anaga Tenerife

Anaga natural park in Tenerife

The Parque de Anaga is located in the northeast of the island, at 30 minutes drive from Santa Cruz de Tenerife (at 30 minutes drive).

teide national park

Teide national park

Teide national park Teide National Park is one of Spain’s 15 national parks and stands out for several different reasons. It is home to the

Killer whale jumping at Loro Park in Tenerife

Loro park Tenerife

Loro Park Tenerife Loro park or the parrot park in English is a private zoo on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands (off

Best things to do Near Santa Cruz De Tenerife ​

Views of the ocean from la Orotava
Hidden Gems

La Orotava, Tenerife

La Orotava has a very interesting historical district, the most interesting one in the island after the one in San Cristobal de la Laguna. When the sky is blue mount Teide provides the perfect landscape scenery on the back of La Orotava.

Tower of the church de la Concepcion in La Laguna
Hidden Gems

San Cristobal de la Laguna, Tenerife

San Cristobal de la Laguna was founded in 1496 and it was the capital of the island for centuries. Its charm lies in its architecture. Any person with a thirst for buildings and colonial architecture will enjoy a good time at La Laguna. Its historical center with cobbled streets was designed following certain planning schemes and its layout was used to shape some of the towns and cities in Latin America.

Killer whale jumping at Loro Park in Tenerife

Loro park Tenerife

Loro Park Tenerife Loro park or the parrot park in English is a private zoo on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands (off

Video of Santa Cruz De Tenerife ​- The city in a nutshell