The Best Areas to Stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
The Best Areas to Stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

Best Areas to Stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

Where to Stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife – A Guide to Tenerife’s Big City

Santa Cruz is the capital and largest city on the island of Tenerife and the second-most populated city in the Canary archipelago. Located on the northeastern coast of the island, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is one of the capitals of the Canary Islands autonomous community (a title shared with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) and an important economic, logistical and cultural centre. The capital of Tenerife is famous for its historic quarter, museums, promenade and its lively cultural and restaurant scene. In this post, we will explore the best areas to stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.


Why You Should Visit Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Like other Canarian towns, Santa Cruz de Tenerife has a fascinating history. Although the territory occupied by the city was continuously inhabited since time immemorial by the Guanche civilization under the name of Añazo, its official foundation dates from 1494.

The area in which Santa Cruz is located belonged to the Menceyato (Guanche kingdom) of Anaga, one of the nine kingdoms into which the island was divided. The Museum of Nature and Archeology (MUNA) houses a large collection of remains, objects and mummies from the Guanche period, including the famous Mummy of San Andrés. Additionally, several caves in the region contain remains of mummified animals and rock carvings accounting for Tenerife’s ancestral people.

Most of the tourist attractions in Santa Cruz de Tenerife are located in its Historic City Centre. Some of the most visited cultural and historical sights include the Municipal Museum of Fine Arts, the Circulo de Bellas Artes de Tenerife, the Museum of Nature and Archeology, the Tenerife Espacio de las Artes, the churches of the Immaculate Conception and San Francisco de Asís, the Carta Palace, the Masonic Temple and the Our Lady of Africa Market. Find accommodation in Santa Cruz de Tenerife’s Old Town.

That said, the most iconic tourist attraction in Santa Cruz is the modern Tenerife Auditorium. This avant-garde concert hall is the work of the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and is located in front of the Atlantic Ocean. Not far away, you’ll find other sites of interest such as the 17th-century castle of San Juan Bautista and the César Manrique Maritime Park. Find accommodation around Auditorio de Tenerife.

Despite its seaside location on one of the most visited sun and sand destinations in the world, Santa Cruz de Tenerife cannot be considered a proper beach destination. Most of the Santa Cruz coast is occupied by the port and the promenade. However, the capital of Tenerife is close to some popular beaches such as Las Teresitas and those in the town of Añaza. In addition, thanks to its excellent transport connections, you can reach Puerto de la Cruz or Playa de las Américas in a short time.

The historic town of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Canary Islands, is located just 10 kilometres from Santa Cruz de Tenerife. La Laguna is renowned for its historic city centre full of colonial architecture and its grid layout, which served as a pattern for the founding of Spanish colonial cities in America. Find accommodation in San Cristóbal de La Laguna.

Santa Cruz is definitely the perfect starting point to discover Tenerife and see its most cosmopolitan and urban side firsthand. Here you can read more about the best areas to stay in Tenerife.


When to visit Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is famous in Spain and the world for its traditional festivals, especially the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. This massive celebration takes place every year in February (or March). Considered the second-most important carnival on the planet, only after Rio de Janeiro, this carnival is known for its parades, concerts, street parties, costumes, band contests and beauty pageants like Reina del Carnaval.

Please keep in mind that, although Carnival is the best time to visit Santa Cruz de Tenerife if you are looking for fun, this event attracts thousands of visitors and finding where to stay in Santa Cruz becomes a big challenge. If you’re wanting to travel to Santa Cruz de Tenerife during the Carnivals, we recommend you book your accommodation well in advance. Find accommodation in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Thanks to its geographical position and its benevolent climate regardless of the season, Tenerife is a perfect holiday destination 365 days a year. Like the other islands in the Canaries, Tenerife has a subtropical climate with very mild winters and warm summers moderated by the sea breeze.

Due to its pleasant winter temperatures, and unlike mainland Spain, the high season in Tenerife runs from November to March. During the winter, thousands of tourists from the mainland travel to the Canary Islands to escape the cold and flight tickets and hotels rates increase considerably. The other high season in the islands runs from June to September, coinciding with the summer holidays in Spain and Europe.

In order to avoid the crowds and save some money, the best times of the year to visit Tenerife are autumn (September – November) and spring (March-May). During these seasons you can find the best deals on transport and accommodation and the temperatures are warm enough to enjoy the beaches and outdoor activities.


Getting there and around

To fly into Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital of Tenerife has two options; Tenerife North – Ciudad de La Laguna Airport, located about 10 kilometres west of the city centre is a major airport offering a wide range of inter-island and mainland Spain connections, a handful of European flights, and some long-haul destinations (in North Africa and Venezuela). For a wider range of European destinations, including dozens of daily flights to the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Scandinavia, Tenerife South – Reina Sofía Airport is located 60 km south of Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is also very well-connected by ferry. This city has ferry connections with all the islands in the Canary archipelago (with the exception of La Graciosa) and mainland Spain (Huelva). There is also a ferry route linking the port of Santa Cruz with the tourist town of Los Cristianos, in the south of the island. Check ferry routes, schedules and fares in the Canary Islands.

To move between Santa Cruz de Tenerife and other destinations on the island, the easiest way is by rental car. If you prefer to use public transport, there are many bus routes (guaguas) connecting the island capital with the main towns and tourist centres around Tenerife.

When it comes to moving around the city, Santa Cruz de Tenerife has an extensive and efficient public transport network consisting of a two-line tram system and dozens of urban bus routes. In addition, Santa Cruz de Tenerife has taxis and mobile applications (such as Uber and Cabify).


Where to stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The best area to stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the Historic City Center. Santa Cruz Old Town is home to the main museums, historical and cultural attractions, excellent nightlife, restaurants and some of the best boutique accommodations in the archipelago. The city centre is also very well-connected to the rest of the city and La Laguna. Find accommodation in central Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Other excellent areas to consider when choosing the best location for tourists in Santa Cruz de Tenerife include the area around the Tenerife Auditorium and the historic town of San Cristóbal de La Laguna.

Keep reading to learn more about the best areas to stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands.

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The Best Areas to Stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

Santa Cruz de Tenerife’s City Centre occupies the triangle between Calle La Noria, Plaza de España and Plaza de Weyler.

Officially founded at the end of the 15th century, the Santa Cruz de Tenerife’s Old Town is home to historical buildings, colonial architecture, beautiful squares, vibrant shopping streets and the main cultural institutions of the Tenerife capital.

The central Calle del Castillo, the city’s main commercial thoroughfare, runs through the old town and, in addition to shops and restaurants, offers a large number of buildings from different periods and styles.

Some of the main historical and cultural attractions of Santa Cruz include the churches of the Immaculate Conception and San Francisco de Asís, the Carta Palace, the Masonic Temple, the Nuestra Señora de Africa Market and its several museums like the Municipal Museum of Fine Arts, the Círculo de Bellas Artes de Tenerife, the Museum of Nature and Archeology (MUNA) and the Tenerife Espacio de las Artes.

Very close to the Plaza de España lies the Santa Cruz De Tenerife Port. This important cruise and ferry terminal offers maritime connections to Los Cristianos (in the south of Tenerife), the islands of Gran Canaria, La Gomera, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, El Hierro and La Palma, and the Andalusian city of Huelva.

Thanks to the combination of trams, buses, taxis, mobile apps and ferries, the centre of Santa Cruz is the best-connected area on the island of Tenerife.

From here it is very easy to travel to other parts of the island by public transport.

Best areas to stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Historic City Centre
Best areas to stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife – Historic City Centre
Where to stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Centro
Where to stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife – Centro
Accommodation in Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Centre – Click on the map to see all the available accommodation in this area
Accommodation in Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Centre – Click on the map to see all the available accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands:

  • Historical attractions
  • Ferry and cruise port
  • Museums and cultural attractions
  • Wide variety of accommodation
  • Connected by public transport

2. Paseo Marítimo & Tenerife Auditorium

Santa Cruz’s Paseo Marítimo (seaside promenade) stretches along the coast in front of the city’s port.

In recent years, this entire area, which had an eminently industrial feel, has been rehabilitated and conditioned as a leisure walkway.

This urban regeneration project’s main feature is undoubtedly the Tenerife Adán Martín Auditorium. This avant-garde style concert hall is the work of the famous Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava and was inaugurated in 2003 to become the city’s most recognizable icon.

The nearby Castillo de San Juan Bautista dates back to the 17th century and offers a curious contrast between the history and modernity of the area.

Other attractions near the Tenerife Auditorium include the Parque Marítimo César Manrique, an extensive aquatic centre with 3 saltwater pools, the Palmetum, a 12-hectare botanical garden with hundreds of palm tree species, and the modern Tenerife Fairgrounds.

The neighbourhoods of Los Llanos and Cuatro Torres are home to the main office buildings in the city, making it a recommended area to stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife for business travellers.

The Intercambiador station of the Santa Cruz tram system and several bus lines connect this area to the rest of the city.

Where to stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Near the Auditorium
Where to stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife – Near the Auditorium
Accommodation near Auditorio de Tenerife – Click on the map to see all the available accommodation in this area
Accommodation near Auditorio de Tenerife – Click on the map to see all the available accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain:

  • Tenerife Auditorium
  • Tenerife Fairground
  • Best area for business travellers
  • Palmetum
  • Connected by public transport

3. San Cristóbal de La Laguna

San Cristóbal de La Laguna, known simply as La Laguna, is a city located in the metropolitan area of ​​Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Located about 10 kilometres west of the centre of Santa Cruz, La Laguna is considered the historic capital of Tenerife.

Founded in 1496, San Cristóbal de La Laguna is the only cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Canary Islands, making it the best area to stay in Tenerife for a cultural trip.

The historic centre of La Laguna stands out for its Baroque, Neoclassical and Mudejar architecture.

Its urban grid layout served as a model for the founding of the first Spanish colonial cities in America.

The main cultural attractions in La Laguna include the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, the Iglesia de la Concepción, the Museo de Historia de Tenerife, the Santa Catalina de Siena Monastery, the Salazar and Nava palaces and the House of the General Captains.

The Museum of Science and the Cosmos is considered the main astronomy and science museum in the Canary Islands.

San Cristóbal de La Laguna has excellent public transport connections. The city is served by line L1 of the Santa Cruz tram system, connecting San Cristóbal and the centre of the island capital in 20 minutes.

San Cristóbal also has good bus connections, and Tenerife North Airport is a five-minute drive away.

Best towns to find accommodation in Tenerife - La Laguna
Best towns to find accommodation in Tenerife – La Laguna
Where to stay in Tenerife for culture - San Cristóbal de La Laguna
Where to stay in Tenerife for culture – San Cristóbal de La Laguna
Accommodation in San Cristóbal de La Laguna – Click on the map to see all the available accommodation in this area
Accommodation in San Cristóbal de La Laguna – Click on the map to see all the available accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Tenerife, Spain:

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Charming historic centre
  • Best area for a cultural trip
  • Near Tenerife North airport
  • Museums and cultural attractions
  • Wide variety of accommodation
  • Connected by public transport

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|ES| Las mejores zonas donde alojarse en Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Islas Canarias.

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