Santa Cruz, the capital of Tenerife is not the most beautiful city on the island but it does have it’s charm and hidden gems. So, when you are on holiday on the island, do not just dismiss this capital but take a look at what it can offer you.
Location of Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is located on the northeast side of the island, near the ocean. You have a few ways of getting there.
- If your accommodation is located in the south of the island and you want to rent a car, it will take you round about 1 hour to get to the capital via the highway. Try to avoid the peak hours when everybody drives to and from work because then you will go from one traffic jam to another. Once you get there, it is a bit tricky to find free parking. You will almost always find a parking space if you don’t mind paying for it, in underground parking areas.
- If you are located in the southern part of the island you can also take bus number 110 at the main bus station in Los Cristianos or Playa de las Américas. This will take you about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to the capital, but then you don’t have to worry about finding a parking space. Public transportation is safe and fairly reliable but not always very punctual.
- If you are staying on the north side of the island you can take bus number 102 or 103 from Puerto de la Cruz. This will take you about 1 hour. With the car you can get there in about 40 minutes.
One of the main things you can do in Santa Cruz is go shopping. On the Calle del Castillo you can find all the popular brands at Spanish prices. The main Spanish brands are a bit cheaper in Tenerife than the rest of Europe. The Calle del Castillo is a pedestrian street, so you can take a look around at all the beautiful shops without having to worry about passing cars.
When you go a bit more outside the city center towards Avenida 3 de Mayo, you will find the popular El Corte Inglés shopping Center.
If you are looking for a more authentic kind of shopping, you have to go to the local farmer’s market at Nuestra Señora de Africa. Despite its name, it doesn’t have anything to do with Africa, but it is a lively and charming market. You can find all kind of local products like vegetables, meat, cheese, bread or honey. The market is open every day until around 2pm.
Enjoying the local parks
Because of the special climate on Tenerife, you can enjoy all outdoor spaces all year round. Mingle with the locals in one of the fabulous local parks. When you arrive in the capital, the first thing you wil see is the man-made turquoise lake of the Plaza de España. While this is a great place to take some pictures, the true beauty and tranquility lies a bit further inside the city. Plaza Weyler gives you a more relaxed and shaded environment to hang out after your shopping spree. Head over to the beautiful fountain of the Plaza de los Patos before you end the afternoon in the lush green Parque García Sanabria. A wonderful exotic park filled with lush and exotic foliage and very special sculptures. The croaking frogs will be your guiding song throughout the entire park.
Eating or drinking
While the capital of Tenerife has a lot to offer when it comes to eating and drinking, you have got some special places you can visit.
- If you want to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Plaza de España and you don’t want to stray too far from the main shopping street, then you can grab a bite to eat at Compostelana Plaza de España. This restaurant is a well known name with the locals and offers you everything ranging from tapas, to international cuisine and even delicious pizza’s.
- If you are looking for an authentic place to sit and relax, then you can go to one of the many restaurants in the Calle Antonio Domínguez Alfonso. A charming hidden pedestrian street with small local restaurants where you can enjoy your time between the locals and really take in the couleur local.