Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The Capital of the Island

Santa Cruz de Tenerife (or simply known in the island as Santa Cruz) is the capital of Tenerife island and the provincial capital of the western islands (La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro). A coastal city and that has come even closer to the sea in recent years with the construction and development of some cultural and sports centers very close to the coast.

Plaza 25 de Julio

Plaza 25 de Julio, locally known as Plaza de los Patos

Being a coastal city, Santa Cruz has a large port receiving many cargo ships and a lot of great ocean liners that make a short stop on their way to Europe, Africa or America.

In terms of climate, the great thing about Santa Cruz is that the city is located midway between north and south of the island, resulting in a very pleasant average temperature and even warm during wintry months with lots of sunny days a year.

As explained elsewhere in this guide, in contrast to the north of the island (where water quality is excellent) the water in the capital is rather heavy, so we recommend you drink bottled water.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Hotels

In Santa Cruz de Tenerife you can find excellent accommodation options to spend a few days on business or pleasure. They tend to be modern and contemporary, but some of them with architectural elements typical of the Canary Islands. For further information and suggestions visit our selection of hotels, more precisely detailed in the sections of accommodation on the left menu bar. In any case we drop below a list of some of the best known hotels and landmarks of the capital:

Iberostar Hotel Gran Mencey - 5-star

Hotel Gran Mencey

It is a prestigious hotel in the island, with canary-colonial architectural style. For sure is one of the best options in Tenerife. The hotel has a tradition of hosting several international politicians, members of various Royal houses of the World and great artists known worldwide. The price for standard double room can be found from 95 €.

Hotel Silken Atlántida Santa Cruz de Tenerife - 4-star

Located in the new commercial area of Santa Cruz and thanks to its glass walls, customers can enjoy spectacular views. The price for double room standard can be as low as 60 €.

Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz - 4-star

In this hotel modernity and traditional Canarian elements are perfectly combined, such as the traditional courtyard which is arranged around the rooms. Its location is perfect and very close to some terraces for the enjoyment of the guests during warm days. The price for a standard double room can be found from 66 €.

Hotel Contemporáneo - 3-star

Located in the heart of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, next to Parque Garcia Sanabria, the hotel has been recently fully remodeled. The price of a standard double room can be found from 60 €.

Santa Cruz Tenerife - Beaches

The capital also boasts wonderful beaches, where the services are excellent and high class for both swimmers and users. The most important Tenerife beaches located in Santa Cruz are the following:

Playa de Las Teresitas

The artificial beach Playa de Las Teresitas

This is a very vivacious beach and the most visited in the capital, especially by the “chicharreros” (the friendly way by which the inhabitants of Santa Cruz de Tenerife are called). Its fine golden sand was brought especially from the Sahara desert and has a mile (1.5km) long. It is one of the few artificial beaches on the island. Bathing in these waters is guaranteed mainly because the temperature is very pleasant throughout the year and because it has a breakwater that ensures almost no waves on the beach. This beach is visited especially during the weekends, but has a vast parking lot.

Playa de Las Gaviotas

This beach is one of the most famous nudist beaches in Tenerife. In summer, finding a parking space is difficult, so it is recommended to arrive early in the morning - best to also find a good spot in the beach. Its fine sand is black. It is very visited by surfers, due to the fact that sometimes the waves are strong – thus extra care is always recommended when bathing here.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Attractions and Activities

Although it is the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is not a much visited city by tourists coming to the island, so we are indicating below some essential and interesting points that you should consider in your next holidays to the island.

Iglesia de la Concepción
  • Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción (XVII-XVIII centuries) created after the Spanish conquest of the islands. The cross at the center of the altar belonged to Alonso Fernández de Lugo and represents the Spanish victory over the Guanches (ancient inhabitants of the islands).
Auditório de Tenerife
  • Auditório de Tenerife (Tenerife Auditorium), designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, it has excellent acoustics, which makes the perfect place for the concerts and performances held here throughout the year.
Plaza España
  • Plaza de España y Plaza de Candelaria, are not far from the sea, and in the center of the first there is a memorial to the victims of the Spanish Civil War. The latter is the connection with the very commercial Calle Castillo;
  • Iglesia Barroca de San Francisco (Baroque Church of San Francisco - XVII-XVIII centuries), it is located in the Calle José Murphy, next to Plaza de España. The church has a beautiful stone façade;
Entrance of Teatro Guimerá and the mask sculpture
  • Teatro Guimerá (XIX century), with a spectacular mask sculpture, just outside the building;
  • There are a variety of museums in the capital; one of the most interesting is the Etnográfico de Canarias.
  • Palmetum of Santa Cruz, a fantastic Botanical Garden of palm trees located in the capital, and that will surely impress you.

The good thing about being in the capital is that the diversity of cultural and sporting events is very broad.

Queen of 2011 Carnival in Santa Cruz
  • The colorful carnivals in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. If you are lucky to have holidays during the winter and decide to coincide with the dates of Carnival, please take a leap into the capital and enjoy like a "chicharrero" one of the best carnivals in the north hemisphere. Lose the shame for a few hours and wear your carnival clothes and masks (remember that almost nobody will realize it is you...). The experience will be unforgettable, you will enjoy as a child, on top of knowing the funny side of the Tinerfeños (inhabitants of Tenerife);
  • Heliodoro Rodriguez Lopez Stadium, if you like football it´s the opportunity to enjoy the most popular game in the world. If you are lucky enough, you will get a chance to watch one match against Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Atletico or another top club in Spain… (Tenerife is in second division now, but we keep the hopes up for a top match here);
  • Feria Internacional de Artesanía (International Crafts Fair). Every December an international handicrafts cultural fair is held here, mainly with the representation of the Canarian crafts and Latin American countries, although little by little European craftsmen mark presence in the event also;
  • Concerts at the Auditorio de Tenerife. The city has a wide range of cultural and social events such as the classical music concerts held annually at the Auditorium and chaired by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife (Tenerife Symphony Orchestra), very prestigious in Europe;
  • The terraces and nightlife venues of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. At night the activity continues especially in the areas of Avenida de Anaga and Calle de La Noria, near the Iglesia de la Concepción, where many traditional old houses have become leisure areas, bars and taverns. You can also have lots of fun or enjoy a relaxing moment with friends in the area of the outdoor terraces close to the Parque Marítimo de César Manrique (Maritime Park) and the Auditorium;

Parque Garcia Sanabria - Floral clock

On the other hand, Santa Cruz de Tenerife offers many different places that are well worth a visit when you are looking for tranquility, nature and shopping in general:

  • Parque García Sanabria, built in 1926, it is the heart of the capital and the largest urban park in the Canary Islands;
  • Calle del Castillo is known for its commercial activities. There you can find computer and accessories stores, as well as clothing at reasonable prices;
  • In addition, walking down Las Ramblas you could enjoy the permanent art exhibitions, with great international sculptures (such as the ones from the Colombian sculptor Botero) that give the constant contrast between the historical architecture, mainly the Canarian style, and the modernity;
  • The area of San Andrés, located about 10 kilometers from the capital, where you can taste fresh seafood;
  • Cliffs and rocks in the area of Anaga, nature in its purest form.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Getting There

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is located very close to Los Rodeos airport (Tenerife North Airport) – just eight miles (13km). The most convenient service for getting around the island from Santa Cruz is by taking the public bus services TITSA, also called Guaguas in the island (if you purchase the bono-bus, the fares tend to be cheaper, and more than one user can use the same bono).

But if you prefer you can also rent a car in any of the rental agencies that are in the capital or at the airport.

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