I recently planned a day trip to Santa Cruz Tenerife, thinking I had it all figured out. What a reality check that was. This city caught me off guard with its electric vibe, a kaleidoscope of attractions, and locals who treat you like an old friend.

It’s not just another Canary Island pit stop; it’s a place that grabs your heart the second you step foot in it. Honestly, I didn’t see its allure coming.

After this unexpected revelation, I found myself hungry for everything Santa Cruz offers — from the lively Mercado Nuestra Señora De África to tranquil spots like Plaza del Príncipe de Asturias.

Consider this article your insider’s guide to diving into the heart of this dynamic city without overlooking any treasures along the way. Are you up for some exploration? Let’s go uncover what makes Santa Cruz so irresistibly charming together!

Key Takeaways

  • You can get to Santa Cruz easily by plane, ferry, or bus. There are two airports and ferries from the Spanish mainland.
  • Markets like Cooperativa Mercado Nuestra Señora De África offer fresh food and a taste of local life. Nearby, art spaces like Tenerife Espacio de las Artes TEA show off modern works.
  • Walking around Santa Cruz is a good way to see it. But for longer trips, buses, trams, and taxis work well too.
  • Places to stay range from luxury hotels with ocean views to budget-friendly hostels perfect for meeting other travelers.
  • Eating out in Santa Cruz means trying local dishes at guachinches or enjoying fresh seafood near Calle La Noria.

Revisiting Santa Cruz Tenerife

I came back to Santa Cruz Tenerife, thinking it wouldn’t surprise me. But the city’s buzzing life and warm vibe proved me wrong, showing a side I hadn’t seen before.

Initial Misconception

I thought Santa Cruz de Tenerife was a place not worth visiting. This city seemed too small and quiet to offer anything exciting compared to other spots on the Canary Islands. I made up my mind to stay in Puerto de la Cruz instead, thinking it would be more lively.

My decision was based on stories from others and pictures that didn’t show the real vibe of Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz is full of surprises, waiting around every corner.

Soon, I discovered how wrong I was. Walking through the old town’s streets, with its vibrant colors and buzzing life, changed my view completely. The energy in places like Calle de la Noria showed me a different side of the city – one that’s alive day and night with locals enjoying their time out.

It wasn’t just about being busy; there was a pleasant atmosphere filled with warmth from the people who call this place home.

Lively and Pleasant Atmosphere

Santa Cruz de Tenerife surprised me with its vibe. The streets buzz with energy, but it’s not too much. I walked around, seeing shops full of cool stuff and eating at great restaurants.

Every square had something special — from musicians playing to families enjoying the sun. And the sea promenade? It gives you calm as you look out over the water.

Next up, let’s talk places worth seeing in this sunny city…

Places to Visit in Santa Cruz Tenerife

A vibrant cityscape photo of Santa Cruz Tenerife showcasing diverse architecture and people.

Santa Cruz Tenerife is packed with spots worth checking out. You’ll find everything, from bustling markets to art hubs and green corners right in the city streets.

Plaza del Castillo Negro

I visited Plaza del Castillo Negro, right next to the old fortress called Castillo de San Juan Bautista. This spot is full of history. The plaza itself feels like a step back in time, where battles once took place.

Now, it’s peaceful—a great place for photos and to feel the past of Santa Cruz.

Nearby, there are other cool things to see. You can walk around and find small cafes or look at more historical sights without going far. I found this area perfect for seeing a different side of Tenerife—one that’s not just beaches but rich with stories and culture too.

Cooperativa Mercado Nuestra Señora De África

Cooperativa Mercado Nuestra Señora De África is not just any market. It’s a colorful place full of life, where farmers bring their freshest fruits, vegetables, meats, and local snacks.

The building catches your eye right away. Its neoclassical colonial style stands out in the heart of Santa Cruz Tenerife. Walking through its aisles, I can’t help but stop at every stall, tempted by the variety of food products on offer.

This market isn’t only about shopping; it’s an experience that brings you closer to the Canarian way of life. You find yourself tasting bits and pieces of local delicacies like gofio or enjoying some papas arrugadas with mojo picón sauce on the side.

Every visit here assures me why this spot is a must-see for anyone dropping by Santa Cruz.

Here at Cooperativa Mercado Nuestra Señora De África, you step into a world where every sense comes alive.

Next up is another gem in Santa Cruz – Tenerife Espacio de las Artes TEA.

Tenerife Espacio de las Artes TEA

After a vibrant tour of the Mercado Nuestra Señora De África, I head to Tenerife Espacio de las Artes TEA. This place is amazing! It’s like stepping into a world where art breathes in every corner.

The building itself is a masterpiece, designed by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. Inside, it houses galleries filled with captivating artworks, lecture halls that invite learning, a vast municipal library for book lovers, and a cozy movie theater for film enthusiasts.

Walking through TEA is an experience unlike any other in Santa Cruz. Each gallery tells its own story with pieces that challenge the mind and stir the soul. The lecture halls host talks and seminars that make you think deeper about art and culture.

Then there’s the library—a haven for quiet reflection amidst books on countless subjects—and finally, ending my visit with a film at the theater feels just right. It truly brings together all forms of art under one roof!

Plaza de la Iglesia

Plaza de la Iglesia holds a special place in my heart. I still remember the first time I saw the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, standing tall since the 15th century.

Its history wraps around you as you step closer. Right behind it, there’s the Museum of Nature and Archaeology—an unexpected find that added depth to my visit.

Exploring this area gives you a unique peek into Santa Cruz Tenerife’s past and culture. The church itself is majestic, with detailed architecture that tells stories of centuries gone by.

And then, finding historical treasures in the museum nearby just completes your journey through time. Next on my list was Alameda, promising even more discoveries from this charming city.


Leaving Plaza de la Iglesia behind, I soon found myself wandering in Alameda. It’s a peaceful area, making it perfect for taking a break from the bustling city life. Trees offer shade and there are benches where you can sit and watch people go by.

This place didn’t have specific attractions listed, but its charm was undeniable.

I saw families laughing together and friends sharing stories—which reminded me of why traveling is so magical. It’s not just about the places; it’s also about the moments of simple joy you find along the way.

In Alameda, I felt like part of Santa Cruz even if just for a short time.

Travel isn’t always about ticking off famous landmarks—it’s also about those quiet moments that fill your heart without trying.

Murals Below Puente Serrador

I stumbled upon the murals under Puente Serrador, a spot easy to miss if you’re not looking. Diego Mena, a talented local artist and tattooist known as ZEZ608, painted these vibrant pieces.

His work brings life to this hidden corner of Santa Cruz Tenerife, showcasing legends and icons from the area with bold colors and expressive lines. It’s like stepping into a gallery without walls, where art breathes in the open air.

Next up on my list is Casa del Carnaval. This place is all about celebrating Tenerife’s famous Carnival with exhibits and costumes that tell the story of this annual festival’s evolution over the years.

Casa del Carnaval

After admiring the vibrant murals below Puente Serrador, I made my way to Casa del Carnaval. This place is a treasure chest of Santa Cruz Tenerife’s carnival history that goes back to the 16th century.

It’s open every day from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and guess what? Getting in won’t cost you a dime—admission is free.

Walking through its doors, I felt like stepping into another era where the streets buzz with music, colors swirl around dancers, and masks hide smiling faces. The artifacts and costumes on display tell tales of celebration, identity, and artistry spanning hundreds of years.

Each room unveils a new chapter of how these festivities have shaped not just the city but also influenced global perceptions of carnival culture. It’s incredible how much you can learn about a place through its traditions—and Casa del Carnaval showcases this beautifully.

Plaza Weyler

Plaza Weyler is a must-see in Santa Cruz. It came to life in the late 19th century and has this amazing fountain, all made from Genovese marble. I always tell friends, “You can’t miss it.” The plaza itself is a piece of art.

The heart of the city beats strongest at Plaza Weyler.

This spot mixes history with beauty. Walking around, you feel like part of something bigger. Each visit reveals new details—whether it’s the way light dances on the marble or kids playing near the fountain.

For sure, Plaza Weyler holds a special place in Santa Cruz and my own memories.

Plaza 25 de Julio

I visited Plaza 25 de Julio, commonly known as Plaza de los Patos. This place caught my attention with its unique benches. They’re covered in ceramic tile ads, which add a splash of color and history to the setting.

Walking through the plaza feels like stepping into a storybook where each bench tells a different tale.

As I strolled around, I noticed how the tiles on the benches shine under Santa Cruz’s bright sun, creating a vibrant atmosphere that’s both welcoming and intriguing. This spot isn’t just for resting; it’s a hidden gem that showcases creativity in urban spaces.

Parque García Sanabria

Parque García Sanabria is a must-visit spot. This park has manicured flower beds and wild patches that make it stand out. You’ll see a lotus flower pond filled with goldfish too, which adds to its charm.

It’s known as a notable park in Santa Cruz, offering peace and nature right in the city’s heart.

Walking through it, I found spaces filled with sculptures and fountains that catch your eye at every turn. The mix of cultivated gardens and natural beauty makes this place special for everyone who visits.

Whether you’re here for a calm stroll or to admire the art, Parque García Sanabria never disappoints.

Plaza del Príncipe de Asturias

Leaving the lush scenes of Parque García Sanabria, I headed to Plaza del Príncipe de Asturias. It’s a place that caught my eye instantly. This square, unlike others in Santa Cruz Tenerife, houses an incredible artwork named _COURAGE_ by Hanneke Beaumont.

Standing there, it felt like the figures were speaking to me about strength and resilience – themes we all can resonate with.

I learned that this square is not just another stop on the map but a spot where I truly felt connected to the art and its message. Its openness invites visitors for a moment of reflection amidst their explorations.

And yes, _COURAGE_ made such an impression on me; it was one of those rare moments when art transcends its physical form to strike something deep within you.

The beauty of public art is that it shares its story with anyone willing to listen.

Plaza Isla de la Madera

After exploring Plaza del Príncipe de Asturias, my next stop was Plaza Isla de la Madera. This spot is unique in its own right. Surrounded by vibrant life, the plaza serves as a gathering point for locals and tourists alike.

Plaza Isla de la Madera has a charm that captures your attention immediately. With trees lining the area, it offers a pleasant shade on sunny days. Here, I found quaint cafes where I enjoyed delicious Canarian cuisine—savoring dishes like grilled squid and papas arrugadas with mojo sauce.

The square’s atmosphere is inviting, making it easy to relax and observe daily life in Santa Cruz Tenerife unfold before you.

Practical Information for Visitors

Getting to Santa Cruz is easy — planes, ships, and buses all come here. Once you’re in the city, walking or using public transport makes exploring simple.

How to get to Santa Cruz

Getting to Santa Cruz is easier than you think. The city welcomes visitors with open arms, offering various travel options.

  1. Fly into Tenerife. Choose between Tenerife Norte or Tenerife Sur Reina Sofia airports. Both serve international and domestic flights, connecting you directly to Santa Cruz.
  2. Take a ferry from nearby islands or the Spanish mainland. Regular services run from Huelva and Cádiz, bringing you straight to the heart of Tenerife.
  3. Rent a car at the airport for flexibility. Drive across scenic routes to reach Santa Cruz in comfort.
  4. Use public buses for an economical choice. Frequent lines from both airports to Santa Cruz make it convenient.
  5. Book a taxi for direct service. Find taxis outside the airport terminals, ready to take you to your destination.

Each option offers its unique advantages, catering to different preferences and budgets. Flying directly into Tenerife gets you there fastest. Ferries provide a scenic approach from the sea, while renting a car offers freedom to explore at your own pace. Public buses present an affordable way to travel, and taxis give direct, hassle-free access to the city center.

Enhance your trip by combining these options based on your travel itinerary and what you plan on doing in Santa Cruz. No matter how you choose to get there, Santa Cruz de Tenerife awaits with its vibrant life and countless attractions.

Getting around the city

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is simple to explore, and I found several ways to move around. The city’s layout supports walking, but for longer distances, other options are available too.

  1. Walking allows me to see Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town up close. It’s free and healthy. I encounter charming streets like Calle del Castillo and Plaza de España.
  2. City buses reach all corners of the island. The main bus hub, Intercambiador, connects me to various places swiftly.
  3. The Tranvia de Tenerife tram lines offer a scenic route. They link important spots such as La Laguna with downtown Santa Cruz.
  4. For specific sights outside walking range, I use taxis. They are reliable and provide direct access to locations like Garcia Sanabria Park or Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín.
  5. Renting a bike gives me flexibility plus a bit of exercise. It’s an ideal choice for navigating Rambla de Santa Cruz and exploring more areas at my own pace.
  6. Organized tours simplify visits to major attractions including Mount Teide and historical sites like the Church of the Immaculate Conception or San Francisco Church.

Each method has its perks depending on what I plan for the day – whether it’s leisurely exploring the old town’s history or adventuring out into nature and parks surrounding the city.

Organized trips

I always go for organized trips to visit all the cool spots in Tenerife, like García Sanabria Park and Plaza del Príncipe. These trips make everything easy. They plan where we go and how we get there.

I just show up and enjoy. No need to figure out buses or maps. The best part? They know all the secret places that most people miss.

Next, finding a cozy place to stay is key after a day of adventures

Accommodation options

Santa Cruz de Tenerife has lots to offer when you’re looking for a place to stay. This city serves as a fantastic base, with easy access to public transportation for island exploration. Here’s where I found the best places:

Hotels and apartments abound, giving travelers plenty of choices. From luxury suites with ocean views to budget-friendly rooms, everyone finds something right.

  1. Luxury hotels – They come with all the perks. Think pools, spas, and gourmet restaurants. Last year, I stayed in one near Plaza de España and woke up to breathtaking views every morning.
  2. Apartments – Perfect for longer stays or if you’re traveling in groups. They often have kitchens, so I save on meals by cooking with local ingredients from Mercado Nuestra Señora De África.
  3. Boutique hotels are scattered around historic neighborhoods like La Noria street. They blend charm with modern amenities—ideal for travelers seeking unique experiences.
  4. Hostels cater well to solo travelers or those on a tight budget. Clean and welcoming, these spots are great for meeting fellow wanderers.
  5. Holiday rentals offer a homey feel away from home; think beachside bungalows or cozy hillside cottages.

For me, trying different types of accommodation each visit adds flavor to my travel experience in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Whether it’s waking up in an upscale hotel or making breakfast in a sunlit apartment kitchen, each stay shapes unforgettable memories on this vibrant island.

Dining choices

I eat out a lot in Santa Cruz Tenerife. This place offers everything from tapas to the full menú del día. Now, let me share my top picks for dining.

  1. Guachinches serve wine and simple local dishes. They are cozy spots found all around Santa Cruz. Each has its own charm, offering foods like grilled meats and fresh salads.
  2. Tapas bars line the streets, especially near Plaza de la Candelaria. I love hopping from one to another, trying different small dishes. Favorites include potatoes with spicy mojo sauce and fried calamari.
  3. For a menú del día, many restaurants in central areas offer this daily special. It usually includes three courses: a starter, main dish, and dessert or coffee. The price is good for what you get.
  4. Seafood lovers rejoice at places like Calle La Noria. Here, restaurants prepare fresh fish and seafood dishes—think paella filled with shellfish or grilled octopus with paprika.
  5. Vegetarian and vegan options are more available now than ever before. Spots around Parque García Sanabria serve dishes made from fresh local veggies.
  6. Street food stalls become busy around lunchtime near the market Mercado Nuestra Señora De África. They sell sandwiches, empanadas, and other quick bites perfect for eating on the go.
  7. Fine dining exists here too! Restaurants with views over the harbor offer gourmet experiences—often mixing local ingredients into international cuisines.
  8. , Bakeries tempt with sweet pastries early in the morning until late at night., I can’t walk past without grabbing a slice of almond cake or some toasted bread drizzled with tomato and olive oil.,
  9. , Lastly,, don’t miss out on trying some Canary Island wines,, available at most eating places., They pair wonderfully with both cheese platters and hearty meals.,

Language and communication

In Santa Cruz Tenerife, everyone speaks Spanish. I learned some basic phrases to help me get by. Many people also speak a bit of English and German because of tourists. This made it easier for me to ask for directions and order food.

I found out there are no extra charges for using my mobile phone within the EU since June 2017. That was a big relief! It meant I could call local places or use online maps without worrying about high costs.

Sharing photos with friends back home was easy too.


After figuring out how to talk and get around, it’s time to look at the map. I always carry a map with me on my trips. It shows all the places I want to see in Santa Cruz Tenerife.

The map points out spots like Plaza del Castillo Negro and Cooperativa Mercado Nuestra Señora De África clearly. Each place has a small dot or icon so you can find them easily.

I found this especially useful for finding art spaces like Tenerife Espacio de las Artes TEA and hidden gems such as murals below Puente Serrador. These maps are not just about directions; they tell stories of the city’s history, from Alonso Fernández de Lugo’s times to today’s vibrant streets filled with respect for animals and waste management efforts seen around Parque García Sanabria.

Having a map made me feel more sure of where I was going. It gave numbers for emergencies like 112 if needed, which added peace of mind while exploring places outside my comfort zone such as La Palma or Teide National Park by myself.


1. What can I see in Santa Cruz de Tenerife?

In Santa Cruz, you’ll find the Palacio de Carta, Castillo de San Cristóbal, and Plaza del Principe… Oh, and don’t miss “Alice in 7 Wonderlands” for a unique experience!

2. Is there any local food I should try?

Absolutely! Taste the cuisine of the Canary Islands—think pork with parsley, peppers, zucchini, onion… Fusion at its best. Soups and boiled potatoes are staples here.

3. What’s the history behind Santa Cruz de Tenerife?

It’s rich; from Guanche people to Spanish conquests. The city tells tales of battles like that near Castillo de San Cristóbal and life before Seville took over.

4. How’s the weather? Will I need a jacket?

The climate of the Canary Islands is mild—warm most times but bring a jacket just in case; evenings might get chilly.

5. In case of an emergency, what do I do?

Dial 112—the emergency number here in Tenerife. Quick tip: always good to have it saved on your phone.