Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital of the island, is quite different from the typical tourist towns that can be found on the north and south coasts. Santa Cruz still retains its unmistakable charm with its ornate streets, exotic shops and picturesque parks.

You can also see one of the island's greatest architectural masterpieces, the Auditorio de Tenerife, a post-modern building with a concert hall that has become a symbol of the city.

Two weeks before Ash Wednesday, Tenerife's biggest and most beautiful carnival is held here, culminating in Carnival Weekend.

Choose the best hotel by the beach

Sights and attractions

  • Auditorio de Tenerife - Opened in 2003, the modern Concert Hall stands on the seafront and has quickly become one of the city's symbols thanks to the futuristic design of the famous architect Santiago Calatrava.
  • Mercado de Nuestra Seňora de África - In Santa Cruz de Tenerife, don't miss the ever-busy Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África, where there's something for everyone. They have the best local cheeses, salami, fresh fruit, prickly pears, beans, sauces, saffron, wine and much, much more. It is open Monday to Saturday from 7am to about 3pm.
  • PalmetumBotanical Garden - A 12-hectare garden focusing mainly on various species of palm trees is situated on a small peninsula by the sea near the centre. Admission costs 6 eur, see the official website.
  • Basilica of Our Lady - The beautiful five-nave church, the largest in Santa Cruz, dates from the 1500s and is interesting for its clean white and brown interior with wooden ceilings.
  • Castillo de San Juan Bautista - The most important surviving fortress defending the city, dating from 1640, is located on an artificial island connected to the mainland by a 10-meter-long footbridge and stands next to the Auditorium building.

Beaches and swimming

You won't find any nice beaches in Santa Cruz itself, but 9km north of the city is one of Tenerife's best beaches, Playa de las Teresitas, which can be reached by public transport bus 910.

Near Audtiorio, however, you'll find the town's very popular Parque Marítimo César Manrique, with its two large open-air pools and several smaller ones, on the coastal promenade. There are sunbeds, bars, changing rooms, showers and toilets. Entrance costs 5 eur for adults and 1,50 eur for children, see the official website.


Santa Cruz de Tenerife is not a typical beach destination, but it can be a strategic place to stay, especially if you want to explore the island by public transport. This is where most of the bus services leave from. It also accommodates urban tourism enthusiasts and those who enjoy the evening bustle.

You will find all types of accommodation from cheap hostels and apartments from 26 eur per night for 2 to classic hotels with prices between 55 eur and 92 eur per night for 2 to more luxurious resorts.

Tips for good accommodation: Hotel emblemático Hi Suites, AC Hotel by Marriott Tenerife, Hotel Colon Rambla


If you arrive in Santa Cruz by car, we recommend parking in the huge car park near the Auditorium and the main coastal road, see map. This parking lot is very easy to get to and above all free.

For transport around Santa Cruz, you can use the two new tram lines and the many public bus services operated by Titsa, the only carrier on Tenerife that serves the whole island. Tickets around town cost around 1 eur and the cheapest are bought through the Ten+ Móvil mobile app (Google Play / App Store), but you can also use day or multi-day tickets valid for the whole island. For detailed information on tickets and buses, see the Transport chapter.

The main transfer point for most public and long-distance lines is called Intercambiador Santa Cruz and is located at this point.

What to see around

Discover all the places to see in Tenerife.

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