Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santa Cruz is located in the northeast of Tenerife, about 60 km from the main airport on the south coast. The city has more than 250,000 inhabitants, making it the second largest city in the Canary Islands. Only Las Palmas is larger, and these two cities share the title of capital of the archipelago.

Santa Cruz offers many exciting experiences, and those with an interest in culture, architecture, gastronomy and shopping should book 1-2 days to explore the city. A perfect starting point is the 5-star hotel Iberostar Heritage Grand Mencey, which is centrally located and gets very good reviews from guests.

Auditorio de Tenerife and Castillo de San Juan Bautista
Auditorio de Tenerife and Castillo de San Juan Bautista

The city is best known for the beautiful concert hall Auditorio de Tenerife, which is right next to the coast. The concert hall is built like a big wave that washes over the city. Right next to it is the well-preserved fort Castillo de San Juan Bautista from 1641. Also known as the Black Castle, it was long important in the defense of Santa Cruz.

Calle del Castillo
Calle del Castillo

Shopping is best in the pedestrian street Calle del Castillo, and the many interesting side streets with with all kinds of specialty shops. Calle del Castillo is located between the two beautiful squares Plaza de España and Plaza Weyler. Those who prefer shopping centers should go a little further south, where there are three good shopping centers within a short distance: El Corte Inglés, Nivaria Center and Centro Comercial El Meridiano.

Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África
Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África

A completely different and more authentic shopping experience can be found in Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África. Behind the impressive exterior hides a huge marketplace with countless shops and stalls selling fresh fruit, vegetables, local cheeses, meat and fish. A lovely atmosphere and many unique products.

Beaches in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz does not offer any large, beautiful beaches. The only beach is the 70-metre-long Playa del Serres with dark lava sand. The beach is right in front of the large swimming pool complex Parque Marítimo César Manrique, which is a wonderful place to spend a few relaxing hours.

Las Teresitas Tenerife
Las Teresitas

The nearest good beach is Las Teresitas, which is 10 km north of Santa Cruz. Las Teresitas is considered Tenerife’s best beach and it’s definitely worth the drive.

Restaurants and nightlife
Santa Cruz gastronomic scene has been on a high level for many years. The city offers several high-quality restaurants with very good guest reviews, and even a handful of restaurants included in the Michelin guide. The best is Etereo by Pedro Nel, which serves international dishes based on Spanish cuisine.

Etereo by Pedro Nel
Thanks to @etereo.restaurante for sharing this photo from Etéreo By Pedro Nel.

What’s more Spanish than tapas? If you fancy tapas, book a table at D’Tapas, 26. Here the concept is to order several small dishes and the guests love it. Another Spanish-inspired restaurant is El Porrón Tasca Andaluza, which serves tapas and other Spanish dishes at very reasonable prices.

Nightlife in Santa Cruz is more relaxed than on the south coast, but there are plenty of high-quality places. One option is to start the evening with a drink at Chema Gin Club and continue at Bambú Lounge Bar, a very popular outdoor club with dance music.

Flower clock in Santa Cruz
García Sanabria City

Activities and attractions
Santa Cruz has many beautiful parks. The most central and best free park is García Sanabria City, which impresses with its fountains, sculptures and the famous clock made of flowers. Another incredibly beautiful park is the Palmetum botanical garden, which claims to have Europe’s largest collection of palm varieties.

Karneval Santa Cruz Tenerife
Carneval Santa Cruz

Perhaps surprising to many, Santa Cruz hosts the world’s second largest carnival. Only the carnival in Rio de Janeiro is bigger. Two weeks in February with samba, parades, concerts and fireworks – an absolutely fantastic experience.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife map
The Opera House, Parque Marítimo César Manrique and the Palmetum are located at the bottom right of the map. Plaza de España and the park García Sanabria City is a little further north.

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