Hi my lovely readers!
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, also known as just Santa Cruz, is the capital of Tenerife and the Canary Islands. It’s a popular port stop for cruise lines offering Canary Island and Azores cruise itineraries.
Perhaps Santa Cruz isn’t as popular with tourist as the many beach resorts along the Costa Adeje, still if you are looking for some sightseeing and city life Santa Cruz is definitely for you and it has lots to offer to tourists.
Here are some ideas what to do during your visit, what to do in port: Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
STROLLING ALONG THE PLAZA DE ESPANA
A good starting point for the exploration of Santa Cruz is only a short walk away from the cruise terminal, the Plaze de Espana.
This is the main and largest square in Santa Cruz with an artificial pond in the middle, several pavilions around it, the visitor centre and the Monumento a los Caídos, a memorial to the victors in the Spanish Civil War.
Additionally, there are a few interesting looking buildings around the square in terms of architecture and the touristy sign Santa Cruz, which is of course popular with many tourist and makes for a great picture opportunity.
MERCADO MUNICIPAL NUESTRA SENORA DE AFRICA
Next I would recommend heading to the Market of Our Senora of Africa, the main market of the city located in a salmon coloured building that can’t be missed.
The market is located about a 15 min walk away from the cruise terminal and on the way to many other attractions and local landmarks.
Here you can find a variety of goods and products ranging from fruits and veggie stalls, to shops that sell freshly baked and cooked foods and meals as well as jewellery stalls selling handmade earrings and bracelets made from lava rocks.
It’s a lovely market to stock up on local foods and of course some souvenirs to remember the trip. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere in the market and well worth a stop.
AUDITORIO DE TENERIFE, CASTILLO DE SAN JUAN BAUTISTA AND ONE HUNDRED FACES
From the Market of Our Senora of Africa, you can venture to the Auditorio de Tenerife, which has become one of the most recognised architectural landmarks associated with Santa Cruz and Tenerife in general.
It was completed back in 2003 and is deemed as the finest contemporary building in the Canary Islands and a symbol of Spanish architecture.
The shape of the roof supposedly resembles a crashing wave. When I first saw it, it reminded me of a roman hat. What do you think?
You can enter the Auditorium to visit the onsite restaurant with great views of the ocean, use the toilets if you need to and of course book tickets for performances.
Adjacent to the Auditorium you will come across painted rocks, the one hundred faces of the Auditorium de Tenerife. These rocks normally shield the Auditorium and the coastal path from the sea, but in Santa Cruz these unimpressive and rather dull looking rocks were turned into an artistic display by Bulgarian artist Stoyko Gagamov.
He painted famous musicians on these rocks such as Madonna, Amy Winehouse and many more. You can spend some time looking for your favourite musician.
Another attraction located there is the Castillo de San Juan Bautista or better known as Castillo Negro. Unfortunately, it was closed during my visit so I was unable to explore it.
This fortress was built in the 17th century to defend the Island and spot any intruders wanting to attack the island.
For more information please visit: Auditorio de Tenerife
The Palmetum is located very close to the Auditorio, just a few minutes away from it. It’s a rather new attraction, it opened in 2014 when it was transformed from a rubbish dump to the now 12-hectare botanical garden specialising in palm trees as the name suggests.
It’s thought to be the largest tropical island palms collection in the world with around 3000 plant species from tropical and subtropical climates, 600 alone being from the palm family.
The park is more or less divided into geographical regions. The majority of the Palmetum though is dedicated to island territories for example Madagascar, the Caribbean and Polynesia and so called island palms are well represented in the park.
It was lovely and relaxing to walk through the park and see many different palm trees that vary in size, territory and most fascinating for me in form and shape. When we think of palm trees we think of the King Palm, the most common and popular palm.
However, there are so many different types that we have never seen before or even heard of. They can be seen in the Palmetum though.
The admission for the Palmetum on its own is currently 6,00€ for adults, so a visit is a no brainer in my opinion.
For more information please visit: Palmetum Santa Cruz de Tenerife
PARQUE MARITIMO CESAR MANRIQUE
After your visit to the Palmetum, I would recommend heading over to the Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique, which is more or less next to the Palmetum.
This park is a basically a giant lido that was designed by architect César Manrique who also designed the famous Jameos del Agua in Lanzarote.
The setting is just beautiful with the palm trees around the pool, the blue water and of course the lava rocks, which the Canaries are well known for.
Onsite you have changing facilities, a few bars and sort of bistro eateries where you can by ice cream, pizza and most importantly cocktails from. There is nothing better than to go for a swim in this amazing setting and then dry of on a sun lounger while sipping a mojito if you ask me.
The admission fee for the Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique is only 5,00€ for adults. When I went back in 2018, visitors could actually buy a combo ticket for the Palmetum and Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique. I’m not sure if they still offer this, but either way 11,00€ for both attractions is nothing if you ask me. They are both such good value for money.
For more information please visit: Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique