Santa Cruz Tenerife

Santa Cruz De Tenerife : The City That Has It All

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital of Tenerife, located in the north-eastern part of the island. Santa Cruz is hardly suitable as a traditional resort, there are better places for that in Tenerife. But Santa Cruz is the perfect place to discover the cultural life of the island.

The capital of Tenerife is located away from all the main resorts on the island, so if you decide to visit Santa Cruz, you’ll have to go here separately. By the way, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is considered one of the largest cities in the Canary Archipelago, so it is really always lively here.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a truly remarkable place with so much to see and do. The city is home to some truly stunning architectural sites, which are sure to leave you in awe. Additionally, there are plenty of fantastic shopping malls where you can find everything you need and more. Plus, there are all sorts of entertainment options available, from concerts and festivals to sporting events and more. So no matter what you’re in the mood for, Santa Cruz de Tenerife has something for everyone!

Find out in this article what Santa Cruz de Tenerife has in store for you.

Understand Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The area of the modern metropolis of Santa Cruz de Tenerife was settled by the Guanches about 2000 years ago.

In 1494, Castilian troops under the command of Alonso Fernández de Lugo landed on the coast of the present town, set up a cross and established a military camp, which later became a town. The cross gave the town its name, Santa Cruz, which means Holy Cross in Spanish.

From this place began the conquest of the island of Tenerife. Santa Cruz received the status of a city in 1496. From 1833 to 1927 it was the only capital of the Canary Islands.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife: My Opinion

Auditorium in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Is Santa Cruz Tenerife worth visiting?

I fell in love with Santa Cruz de Tenerife for its cosmopolitan feel, its unusual futuristic buildings, wide streets, beautiful squares, tropical parks and numerous attractions. 

When I come to Santa Cruz Tenerife, I can enjoy all the delights that a big city can offer. 

And of course, I adore Santa Cruz Tenerife for its annual traditional colourful Carnival, the second most popular after Rio de Janeiro Carnival. 

So, yes, I definitely recommend Santa Cruz De Tenerife to visit, at least for one day. There are plenty of attractions, good shopping and romantic places waiting for you. 

Should you choose Santa Cruz de Tenerife as your base?

Most tourists choose to rent a hotel or apartment in the south of the island and only visit Santa Cruz de Tenerife as part of a day trip. 

If you are going to Tenerife for the first time and just want a quiet beach holiday, then Santa Cruz is not the right holiday base for you.

Santa Cruz is usually chosen as the main holiday accommodation by travellers who have already been to Tenerife and who want to visit interesting places, go on excursions, discover the north of the island and not just relax on the beach.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the ideal place to rent a hotel for a week if you want to see the sights of the capital, go to La Laguna, go hiking in the forests of Anaga, visit the Pyramids of Guimar, Puerto de la Cruz and travel to the most beautiful places of the north. If you still want to combine excursions and beach holidays, a 20 minute drive from the centre of Santa Cruz will take you to one of the most beautiful beaches in Tenerife – Las Teresitas.

So, in my opinion, Santa Cruz would suit you as a holiday base if you like a predominantly active holiday. Also a bonus of staying in Santa Cruz is the very affordable accommodation, compared to the resorts in the south of the island.

How to get to Santa Cruz de Tenerife

By bus:

You can get to Santa Cruz de Tenerife by public transport. Transport around the island is provided by the local company Titsa. You should take buses 110 or 111. The first one leaves from the famous resorts in the south of the island Playa de las Americas – Costa Adeje – Los Cristianos, the second one – from the South Airport.

If you are holidaying in Puerto de la Cruz, take buses 101 or 102. In terms of cost it will be approximately €10 one way from the southern resorts, €9 from the airport, €5 from Puerto de la Cruz.

By rented car:

For independent travellers it is easy to get to the capital of Tenerife by rented car. Take the TF-1 motorway from the airport or the resorts of Playa de las Americas – Costa Adeje – Los Cristianos or the TF-5 motorway from Puerto de la Cruz. Renting a car in Tenerife is a popular option as public transport is quite slow. You can read more about renting a car in Tenerife here.

As part of a day tour

If you have chosen a resort in the south of the island as your holiday base, you can visit the capital city of Tenerife as part of a tour.

There are several regular tours from the south of Tenerife to Santa Cruz and other fascinating places in the north of the island.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Beach 

In the immediate vicinity of the city, there is the magnificent beach of Las Teresitas.

It is the only yellow sand beach on the island and one of the most beautiful beaches in Tenerife.

It is a one and a half kilometre long artificial beach. In the 1970’s barges brought yellow sand from the African Sahara to replace the local black sand of volcanic origin. Now all locals and travellers can enjoy the soft golden sand of the beach, which is much pleasant than the black volcanic sand.

The swimming season at Las Teresitas lasts from about mid-April until the end of December. Since the golden beach of Las Teresitas is sheltered from the winds in the bay, the water warms up quite quickly. Already in April you can meet the first tourists swimming here. In May the weather becomes even warmer and the thermometer often reaches +28 degrees. The summer months are the hottest of the year, but thanks to the temperate climate, Tenerife is never too hot or too cold. Even in the summer months, temperatures rarely rise above +30 degrees Celsius.

Las Teresitas beach offers a variety of activities for relaxation and recreation. Here, you can unwind, take a refreshing swim, bask in the sun, and partake in water sports. Among the enjoyable options available, riding a stand-up paddleboard stands out as a fantastic choice.

Learning to ride a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) can be a cool experience, especially in such a beautiful location as Las Teresitas beach in Santa Cruz.

Before getting into the water, your instructor will teach you the basic techniques on land: How to properly hold the paddle; How to adjust your stance on the board for stability; How to get onto the board from a kneeling position.

Following the lesson, you’ll have approximately one hour to independently relish stand-up paddling in the crystal-clear azure waters of Las Teresitas beach. For further details regarding the Stand Up Paddle course at Las Teresitas beach, kindly click here.

Hotels in Santa Cruz Tenerife

Santa Cruz de Tenerife offers a range of accommodation options to suit various preferences and budgets, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

The best vacation rentals in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Vacation rentals in Santa Cruz stand out as the preferred choice for many travelers. This option provides more space and the opportunity to experience the city like a local. Lavaderos Suites presents a lovely rental apartment option in Santa Cruz. Situated in the heart of the city, this central location facilitates exploring on foot. Notably, the property has garnered exclusively positive reviews. For further details and a glimpse of the place through photos, please click here.

The best budget hostel in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

For those seeking a budget-friendly choice, Tenerife Art Hostel is a cool option.

This hostel boasts a distinct ambiance with captivating decor, exuding vibrancy and creativity. Its prime location allows easy access to dining options and the city center of Santa Cruz by foot, as well as convenient proximity to a magnificent park right next door. Beyond its artistic charm, it’s a fantastic place to connect with fellow solo travelers and create memorable interactions.

The best unique place to stay In Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The best romantic hotel in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Things to do in Santa Cruz Tenerife

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a captivating destination with a plethora of unique experiences awaiting your discovery. Here are some intriguing activities to inspire your exploration:

  1. Las Teresitas Beach: Enjoy the golden sands and clear waters of Las Teresitas Beach, a picturesque spot with a backdrop of palm trees and the Anaga Mountains. Relax, swim, and take in the stunning surroundings.
  2. Auditorio de Tenerife: Marvel at the modern architectural masterpiece that is the Auditorio de Tenerife. This iconic venue hosts a variety of cultural events and performances, making it a must-visit for art and architecture enthusiasts.
  3. Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Considered one of the largest carnivals in the world, the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a vibrant explosion of color, music, and dance. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere during this annual celebration.
  4. Museums and Galleries: Explore Tenerife’s history and culture through its museums. The Museum of Nature and Man showcases the island’s natural and archaeological heritage, while the Museum of Fine Arts displays a collection of Canarian artwork.
  5. Botanical Gardens: Visit the Palmetum of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, a botanical garden specializing in palm trees from around the world. It’s a tranquil oasis perfect for a leisurely stroll. For reserving your Palmetum ticket, please click here.
  6. Local Cuisine: Indulge in Tenerife’s culinary delights. Sample traditional Canarian dishes like “papas arrugadas” (wrinkled potatoes) with mojo sauce, fresh seafood, and local cheeses.
  7. Diving: If you’ve never experienced diving but have always been eager to give it a try, Santa Cruz de Tenerife provides the perfect opportunity for you to take the plunge. In Santa Cruz, an introductory diving course awaits you. Here, you’ll become acquainted with the components of scuba diving gear, their functions, and their underwater usage. Following this, you’ll embark on a dive to a depth of 6 meters, guided by an experienced dive instructor. Click here for more information about the diving course for beginners in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
  8. Go on day trips: Venture into the lush forests and dramatic landscapes of Anaga Rural Park. Hike along its trails to discover ancient laurel forests, breathtaking viewpoints, and a sense of tranquility away from the city’s hustle and bustle.
  9. La Laguna: Discover the historic city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stroll through its charming streets, admire colonial architecture, and visit the University of La Laguna, one of the oldest universities in the Canary Islands.
  10. Shopping: Shopping in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a truly enriching experience. Santa Cruz offers a wide range of shopping options, catering to various tastes and preferences. From local markets and boutique stores to modern shopping centers, there’s something for everyone. The city is a hub for Canarian craftsmanship. You’ll find unique handcrafted items such as pottery, textiles, jewelry, and artwork that beautifully capture the essence of the island’s culture.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a treasure trove of unique experiences that cater to various interests. Whether you’re drawn to nature, culture, architecture, or simply relaxing by the beach, this city offers a rich tapestry of activities to explore and enjoy.

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