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A local’s guide to Santa Cruz de Tenerife

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In the second of a new series of ‘A local’s guide to…’ blog postsBobbie Jones from Santa Cruz de Tenerife tells us about her favourite places in the city and her top tips.

There is lots to see and do in Tenerife, but you cannot miss Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which is the capital of the island and part of the Spanish Canary Islands (also including Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote).

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hola! Yo soy Bobbie, soy de Nueva Zelanda, pero ahora vivo en Santa Cruz de Tenerife! Los siento.. hey! I’m Bobbie, I’m from New Zealand, but now I live in Santa Cruz de Tenerife!

How long have you lived in Santa Cruz de Tenerife?

7 constantly sunny months!

If a visitor only had one day in Santa Cruz de Tenerife how would you recommend they spend it?

Wandering the streets, there is so much amazing architecture, beautiful pastel buildings and graffiti murals to see! Also if you happen to be here on a Sunday, head to Cooperativa Mercado Nuestra Señora De África and join the hustle and bustle of the locals doing their grocery shopping, grabbing a bite to eat and having a cheeky caña!

A local's guide to Santa Cruz, Tenerife blog post
Left: street mural, right: Cooperativa Mercado Nuestra Señora De África

Where are your favourite places to eat in the city?

If you can head to a guachinche (pronounced wa-chin-che), this is a must do experience for the Island of Tenerife! Think backyard barbeque mixed with copious amounts of your favorite spanish red wines, these small home-based restaurants are only open around 4 months a year (less if they run out of their wine).

They will only serve you a small variety of meals, which are either produced by the owner of the guachinchme, or locally sourced to support local economy. They were born so that local wine producers could sell their wine, and have since taken off all over the island!

What is your favourite local food dish?

Tenerife has a huge Southern American influence so arepas are super popular and even more delicious. Another fave from the islands, is papas arrugadas – salty potatoes covered in the traditional Canarian sauce mojo picón.

Where are your favourite drinking spots?

La Santa! Get yourself a Gin and Tonic (careful, the Spanish are notorious for their free pour), sit back and enjoy the atmosphere.

Local’s guide to Santa Cruz, Tenerife blog post
Santa Cruz Architecture

Do you have any favourite walks?

La Rambla, think Barcelona, but smaller, cruisier and a lot more dogs!

Where is your perfect place to relax?

Parque Marítimo de Santa Cruz! Costing only €5 for entry and a sun lounger, you can spend your day tanning and drinking next to one of its three pools.

Where is your favourite spot for sunset?

Anywhere along the waterfront, or take a 10 minute bus to Playa Las Teresitas and watch the sunset on the beach.

Local’s guide to Santa Cruz, Tenerife blog post

Best coffee shop?

PALMELITA – hands down! Best coffees and tartes (cakes) in Santa Cruz! Cafe cortado por favor!

What is your favourite neighbourhood in Santa Cruz de Tenerife?

El Toscal – full of colourful colonial buildings, hanging plants, and tiny locally owned bars, it has the most authentic feel to Santa Cruz.

A local's guide to Santa Cruz, Tenerife blog post
El Toscal

Are there any festivals in your city you would recommend to visitors?

Carnival, Santa Cruz is the second biggest Carnival festival in the world behind Rio. Just a week long party, of colour, dancing, music and sangria!

What is the best way to get around the city?

Walking, you can get near enough everywhere within 30 minutes, and with the temperature hanging around the 20’s all year around, why not!   

Any other tips for visitors?

Learn the tiniest bit of Spanish, English isn’t very widely spoken and the effort to speak Spanish goes a long way with the locals!

Thanks Bobbie for all your amazing Santa Cruz de Tenerife recommendations!

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