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Europe > Iberia > Spain > Canary Islands > Tenerife > Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

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Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital and largest city of Tenerife. It's also the capital city of the Canary Islands, together with Las Palmas.

Plaza de España


Santa Cruz de Tenerife is at the eastern tip of the island of Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Island chain. The municipal borough covers an area of 150.56 square kilometres and it is divided into two differentiated areas: the Anaga Massif and the southern ramp formed by the lava flows that run down from the Acentejo peak to the coast. The maximum altitude in the borough is 750 metres above sea level. Over half the municipal perimeter is shoreline. Population is 223,347 (2005).


From the beginning, the economic nucleus of the city centred on the port. The first wharf, constructed in 1548, was by the beach of Añazo, later destroyed in a storm. The bay of Santa Cruz was appreciated by navigators due to its natural advantages and that turned it into a food supply centre for the ships that sailed for the New World.

At the end of the 15th century a heterogeneous society began to form. The first settlements were near the castle of San Cristóbal, a fortification that protected the small town. New defensive castles were constructed along the coastal areas because the people of Santa Cruz had to defend themselves from frequent attacks by privateers and berberiscos pirates, Gallic and English. It fell to the British Navy, commanded by Admiral Nelson, on 25 July 1797.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Tenerife Norte Terminal Building
Map of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

There are two different airports in Tenerife.

The 1 Tenerife Sur Airport (TFS IATA) (Aeropuerto de Tenerife Sur) is about 60 km away from Santa Cruz, in the south of Tenerife. It's open 24 hours a day with almost 9 million passengers every year.

The other airport is 2 Tenerife North Airport (TFN IATA) (Aeropuerto de Tenerife Norte), closer to the capital, was limited only to island and national flights, but the recent opening of the new airport terminal has allowed the advent of international flights.

Getting there:

  • Taxi fare from Tenerife North Airport to Santa Cruz is €15, from Tenerife South Airport - €60.
  • Bus lines 102, 108, and 109 go from Tenerife North Airport to Santa Cruz (€2.65 as of Jan 2018). Line 341 goes from Tenerife South Airport to Santa Cruz (€9.35 as of Jan 2018). Company operating these routes is Titsa, times and fares can be checked on its website.

By bus[edit]

There are lots of buses coming from other cities of Tenerife island. Routes and times can be checked on Titsa's website or Google.Maps.

By boat[edit]

The Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has become one of the main ports of the country. You can arrive at the city on a ferry that connects Santa Cruz de Tenerife with Cadiz, on the mainland, but the trip takes two days, the company that operates this route is Acciona Transmediterranea.

Another possible destination is nearby island of Gran Canaria. Transmediterranea company runs ferries to Las Palmas (3 times a day, €35, 3 hours). Fred Olsen has ferries to Agaete - small town on the western coast of Gran Canaria (almost every 2 hours, €31, 50 minutes).

3 Ferry terminal (Estación Marítima). It has a few cafes and bars, car rental agencies, ticket sales office.

Get around[edit]

By bus. Fairly cheap (especially if you have a Bono card purchased at the bus station or from a tobacco shop) and fairly regular. Driving is very fast or very slow with little in-between. Streets can be very narrow. Parking is a problem in the centre.


Playa de Las Teresitas

The beaches are less crowded than in the south. The largest is Las Teresitas, made of imported yellow sand, and a short 20 minute bus ride (Bus 910).

The quieter Las Gaviotas is the next bay over and features black sand and plenty of nudists. The infrequent Bus 254 there gives impressive views of Las Teresitas.

  • 1 Auditorio de Tenerife. Auditorio de Tenerife (Q28964) on Wikidata Auditorio de Tenerife on Wikipedia
  • 2 Santa Cruz Towers (Torres de Santa Cruz). Torres de Santa Cruz (Q734657) on Wikidata Torres de Santa Cruz on Wikipedia
  • 3 Church of the Immaculate Conception (Iglesia de la Concepción). Iglesia de la Concepción (Q599116) on Wikidata Iglesia de la Concepción (Santa Cruz de Tenerife) on Wikipedia
Castillo Negro
  • 4 Castle of St John the Baptist (Castillo de San Juan Bautista). Castillo de San Juan Bautista (Q2073408) on Wikidata Castle of St John the Baptist on Wikipedia


There are a number of museums. A good history museum is five minutes' walk from the bus station, where Bus 14 stops. An art gallery in town and a small planetarium/science centre on the way to La Laguna (Bus 14 passes it). A Bono bus card not only entitles you to cheap travel on TITSA buses, but also cut-rate museum entrance. Large Sunday market near the bus station.


There are two El Corte Ingles department stores selling pretty much everything, as well as various shopping complexes on the outskirts. The main market is well worth a visit, although it is not aimed at the tourists - great fruit, veg, flowers, etc. There is a flea market on a Sunday near the bus station, if you're short of fleas. Some electrical tourist tat near the main square, which are probably best avoided.

If you're on holiday though, there's more to life than shopping. Why not stroll around the beautiful park up by the Rambla instead?


Canaries food, Spanish food and inevitably, fast food. Most places are good value, but one or two tourist traps near the port. Plenty of good fish, although a dictionary may be helpful.

  • Los Menceyes, Doctor José Naveiras 38 (Grand Hotel Mencey), +34 922 609900. Local cuisine, try Puchero canario (stew Canaria style) or pork with cabbage and red Mojo
  • Restaurante La Hierbita, Calle Clavet 19, +34 922 244617. typical Casa de comida, try Ropa Vieha (monced steak in tomato sauce) ot Polines (bananas in moho)


Castillo de San Juan Bautista

There are only a few bars, with a few local people in them.


  • Best Semiramis, C/ Leopoldo Cologan Zulueta, 12 38400, Puerto de la Cruz Tenerife, +34 922 373 200.
  • Best Tenerife, C/ Antonio Domínguez Alfonso, 6 38660, Arona Tenerife, +34 922 792 751.
  • Best Jacaranda, Avda. Bruselas, 4 38660, Costa Adeje 38660, Tenerife, +34 922 712 227.
  • Hotel Principe Paz. Parking can be a nightmare, so it's best to use one of the underground car parks at around €12 a day.
  • NH Tenerife, Candelaria Esquina Doctor Allart (In the centre of the historical and business areas of the city. It is very close to the Auditorio, the shopping area, the harbour, and the theatres), +34 922 534 422.
  • Résidence Maeva Marazul del Sur (8 km from Playa San Juan, 10 km from Fañabe beaches, 13 km from Los Cristianos, and 30 km from the surfers paradise in Medano). This 11-floor residence with lifts has a heated freshwater swimming pool and a seawater pool. This beautiful complex overlooks the sea and is set in 8 hectares of exotic greenery.

Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.