Santa Cruz Old Town

Must see towns, North Tenerife, top 10

Santa Cruz De Tenerife Old Town


Ever found yourself daydreaming about stepping back in time, wandering around serene streets steeped in history? As a travel enthusiast with an insatiable curiosity, I’ve been utterly charmed by the intriguing allure of Santa Cruz de Tenerife’s Old Town.

With its lively festivals that pulse with vibrancy, stunning architectural gems whispering tales from centuries past, and comforting local cuisine that warms the soul – this district is a sensory feast waiting to be savored.

So come on! Let’s embark on our enchanting journey through one of Spain’s most captivating old towns together!

Overview of Santa Cruz Old Town

Are you planning a trip to Tenerife and looking for a charming, historical destination? Well, look no further! Santa Cruz De Tenerife Old Town is the perfect place to immerse yourself in rich history and experience the vibrant culture of this beautiful island. Having personally explored the narrow streets and picturesque plazas, I can assure you that there’s something for everyone here. From fascinating architecture to delicious local cuisine, this blog post will guide you through the wonders of Santa Cruz De Tenerife Old Town – so get ready to be amazed!

History and origins of the old town of Santa Cruz Tenerife

Santa Cruz de Tenerife has a rich past. It started off as a small fishing town in 1494. Then, it became free from La Laguna and grew into a big port. Later in the 19th century, it got the honor to be called the Capital of the Canary Islands.

Even Capt. Horatio Nelson, a British war hero, is part of its history!

Cultural significance

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town is much more than just a place. Its rich cultural history speaks loudly about its past. This old town tells stories of conquest, trade, and the coming together of cultures.

You can see this story in every brick and stone.

The old town has left marks on the island’s economy too. It boosted growth at a time when it was much needed. Even today, you can see signs of that wealth all over the place! The Plaza de España sits right in the heart of town for everyone to enjoy.

It shares space with grand monuments that make us feel proud and humble at times. So come explore Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town where culture lives and breathes!

Touristic attractions

In old town Santa Cruz, your eyes will meet a blend of history, beauty, and fun. It’s most loved for its fantastic tourist spots.


  1. The Concepción Parish Church is a sight to behold. Founded in 1494, it carries the weight of the city’s roots.
  2. Visitors flock to the Military Museum. It offers an insight into our brave past.
  3. I always find myself lost in the Archaeological Museum. Each artifact tells a unique story.
  4. Our Teide National Park is a gem tucked away from city life. The scenic views are nothing short of breathtaking.
  5. If you love theater like me, you’ll enjoy our local theater performances.
  6. Fancy some beach time? Playa de Las Teresitas is just around the corner in San Andrés village.
  7. And don’t miss out on the Tenerife Old Town shops! They offer unique souvenirs that reflect our vibrant culture.


Exploring the Streets and Plazas

The heart of the old town is Calle Castillo, a vibrant street filled with shops and cafes. The plazas in Santa Cruz De Tenerife Old Town are enchanting, each one offering its own unique charm and atmosphere.

Calle Castillo: The heart of the old town

Calle Castillo is the lively hub of the Old Town in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It’s a bustling street filled with shops, restaurants, and stunning architecture. As you stroll along this vibrant thoroughfare, you’ll find an array of international franchises and fashion retail stores to satisfy your shopping cravings.

The street has a constant buzz of activity, attracting both locals and tourists who enjoy its vibrant ambiance. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs, trendy clothes or delicious local cuisine, Calle Castillo offers it all in one place.

Enchanting plazas and their charm

As I explored the streets and plazas of Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the enchanting plazas and their charm. One of the most remarkable is Plaza de España, located in the heart of Santa Cruz.

This plaza features a large central lake surrounded by beautiful gardens and an imposing monument that pays tribute to the discovery of America. It’s a perfect place to relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the stunning views.

Another delightful plaza is Plaza de la Iglesia in Puerto. Known for its picturesque charm, this square boasts colorful buildings dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The swan fountain adds an extra touch of elegance to this already enchanting plaza.

It’s a great spot to sit down at one of the nearby cafes and indulge in some people-watching while savoring delicious local cuisine.

The plazas in Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town perfectly embody its rich history and cultural significance. They are not just open spaces but vibrant hubs where locals gather for events, festivals, or simply enjoying each other’s company.

These charming squares truly make you feel like you’ve stepped into a different time period as you wander through their ancient cobblestone streets.

Visiting Historic Churches

The historic churches in Santa Cruz De Tenerife Old Town showcase spiritual elegance and architectural beauty.

Spiritual elegance and architectural beauty

The churches in Santa Cruz De Tenerife Old Town are truly breathtaking. The Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion is a must-see architectural treasure. Its elegant design and intricate details will leave you amazed.

Walking through the old town, you’ll be surrounded by stunning churches and historic buildings that add to the charm and beauty of the area. It’s a perfect opportunity to experience spiritual elegance while admiring the impressive architecture.

Don’t forget to visit the Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín, another prominent historic building that adds to the allure of this enchanting district.

Must-see churches in the old town

I highly recommend visiting the following must-see churches in the old town of Santa Cruz de Tenerife:


  1. Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion: This church is an architectural treasure and holds great historical significance. Don’t miss the opportunity to admire its beautiful facade and stunning interior.
  2. Church of the Immaculate Conception: Located in Tenerife’s old town, this church has a rich history and a mesmerizing bell tower. Take a moment to appreciate its spiritual elegance and unique architectural features.
  3. San Francisco Church: Situated in one of the charming plazas of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, this historic church is worth visiting for its cultural significance and picturesque surroundings.
  4. Church of Our Lady of Candelaria: Explore this iconic church, dedicated to the patron saint of Tenerife, in the heart of the old town. It showcases impressive religious artwork and offers a serene atmosphere for reflection.


Restaurants in Santa Cruz De Tenerife

A close-up photo of a colorful and diverse plate of food, highlighting the textures and details, with a Hispanic influence.

Indulge in the vibrant culinary scene of Santa Cruz De Tenerife Old Town, with its wide array of restaurants and local cuisine. Taste traditional dishes like papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) and gofio (toasted grain flour), or savor fresh seafood delicacies from the nearby coast.

Restaurants and local cuisine

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town has a wide variety of restaurants and local cuisine to satisfy your taste buds. Here are some delicious options to try:


  1. Taste flavors from around the world: The food and drink offerings in Santa Cruz represent various parts of the world, so you can indulge in global cuisines without leaving the town.
  2. Experience the historic quarter’s dining scene: The historic quarter of Santa Cruz de Tenerife features a range of restaurants and taverns, where you can enjoy a delightful meal in a charming ambiance.
  3. Discover traditional bars and eateries: Calle de la Noria in Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town is known for its traditional bars and eateries. Stop by and savor authentic local dishes with a glass of wine or beer.
  4. Sample typical Tenerife cuisine: The cuisine in Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town is typical of Tenerife, offering mouthwatering dishes like paella and calamari that showcase the island’s fresh seafood.
  5. Enjoy ocean views while dining: Many restaurants in Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town offer beautiful ocean views, allowing you to savor your meal while gazing at the stunning scenery. These spots are popular among both locals and tourists alike.


Popular dishes to try

In Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town, there are many popular dishes you should try. Here are some of my favorites:


  • Escaldón: This traditional Tenerife recipe combines meat or fish stock with gofio, a local staple food. It’s a unique and flavorful dish.
  • Frangollo: A typical dessert in Tenerife, frangollo is made from gofio, corn flour, lemon, and other ingredients. It’s sweet and delicious.
  • Conejo en salmorejo: If you’re a fan of meat dishes, try conejo en salmorejo. It’s diced rabbit marinated in olive oil, wine, vinegar, paprika, garlic, chili, rosemary, and thyme.
  • Fresh goat cheese (fresco): This pleasant-tasting cheese is popular in the area and worth trying.
  • Local seafood: Being close to the coast, Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town offers a variety of fresh seafood dishes that you won’t want to miss.


Immersing in the Local Culture

Explore the various museums and cultural centers that offer a glimpse into Santa Cruz De Tenerife’s rich heritage, while experiencing traditional events and festivals that immerse you in the vibrant local culture.

Museums and cultural centers

The Old Town of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has fantastic museums and cultural centers that you should visit during your trip. Here are some of the must-see places:


  1. The Museum of Nature and Archaeology: It’s the most important collection in the region, showcasing the island’s natural history and archaeological artifacts.
  2. Art galleries: You’ll find numerous art galleries in the old town, featuring local and international artists. These galleries are a great way to experience Tenerife’s vibrant arts scene.
  3. Photography centers: If you’re interested in photography, make sure to check out the photography centers in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. They often hold exhibitions and workshops for both amateurs and professionals.
  4. Libraries: The old town is home to several libraries where you can delve into books about the island’s history, culture, and literature. It’s a peaceful place to spend some time relaxing and reading.


Traditional events and festivals

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town is a lively place with many traditional events and festivals that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture. Here are some of the exciting events you can experience:


  1. The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife: This popular festival is known for its colorful and lively atmosphere. The festivities begin with an opening parade on the Friday before Carnival. It’s a must-see event that showcases the vibrant spirit of the city.
  2. Dances of the Magos: These traditional dance performances are a part of the local culture in Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town. You can watch talented dancers perform traditional dances that have been passed down through generations.
  3. Religious processions: Witnessing religious processions is another way to experience the rich traditions of Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town. During Corpus Christi celebrations, you can see beautifully decorated floats and participate in religious rituals.


Enjoying the Natural Beauty

Experience the breathtaking natural beauty of Santa Cruz De Tenerife’s old town by exploring nearby parks and gardens, where you’ll be captivated by the scenic views and stunning landscapes.

Nearby parks and gardens

When exploring Santa Cruz De Tenerife Old Town, don’t miss out on the nearby parks and gardens. Here are some of the beautiful natural attractions you can enjoy:


  1. The Santa Cruz Palmetum: This stunning landscape was built on a reclaimed rubbish dump and offers splendid views of diverse palm trees from around the world.
  2. Teide National Park: A must-visit attraction in Tenerife, this park is perfect for hiking and exploring volcanic landscapes. Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak, can also be found here.
  3. Anaga Rural Park: Popular among hikers, this park is known for its lush forests and breathtaking views of the coastline.
  4. The largest urban park in the Canary Islands: Located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, this park offers a large garden area with fountains and architectural groups to relax and enjoy nature.


Scenic views and landscapes

As I explored the Old Town of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, I was captivated by its scenic views and breathtaking landscapes. This charming town is nestled in a privileged setting that offers visitors a feast for the eyes.

From beautiful beaches like Las Teresitas to craters, volcanoes, and rivers, this destination truly has it all. One spot not to be missed is the Mirador Cruz del Carmen, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the island and even catch a glimpse of majestic Teide mountain.

Surrounding the town are national parks that showcase sweeping coastal vistas and stunning volcanic landscapes.


In conclusion, Santa Cruz De Tenerife Old Town is a charming and historic district that offers a delightful blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. With its colorful streets, stunning architecture, and lively atmosphere, it is a must-visit destination for tourists.

Whether you’re exploring the enchanting plazas, visiting the historic churches, indulging in delicious local cuisine or immersing yourself in the vibrant culture and events, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this captivating old town.

Don’t forget to take in the breathtaking views of the ocean while you relax and soak up the sun.


Tenerife old Town

The district of Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town is renowned for its streets and vibrant buildings many of which have been standing since the 17th and 18th centuries.

One of the spots, in the Old Town is the Church of the Immaculate Conception, a stunning structure with an elaborate Baroque frontage constructed back in the 16th century. Another remarkable edifice found in this area is the Palacio de Carta, an 18th century building that now serves as home to the Municipal Museum of Fine Arts.

Besides its treasures and cultural offerings Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town also boasts a plethora of shops, restaurants and cafes. This draws both tourists and locals alike to explore its lanes and alleys on foot while immersing themselves in the ambiance of this historic neighborhood.

Moreover Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town enjoys a reputation for hosting festivals, like the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Taking place annually in February it stands as one of the carnivals globally adding to the vibrancy and excitement of this captivating city.


Restaurants in the Historic Quarter

  1. La Hierbita: This cozy restaurant is known for its traditional Canarian cuisine, such as grilled meats, seafood, and stews. It has a rustic interior with wooden beams and stone walls, adding to its charm.
  2. El Rincon de Juan Carlos: This Michelin-starred restaurant offers contemporary Canarian cuisine with a modern twist. The menu features fresh seafood, meats, and locally-sourced produce, and the dining room has a minimalist and elegant design.
  3. La Papaya: This restaurant offers a fusion of Spanish and Asian cuisine, with dishes like sushi, tempura, and Spanish-style tapas. It has a trendy and colorful interior with a large outdoor terrace.
  4. Tasca Tierras del Sur: This traditional Canarian restaurant serves up hearty dishes like stews, grilled meats, and homemade desserts. It has a cozy atmosphere with wooden tables and chairs and a rustic decor.
  5. El Bodegon: This historic restaurant has been around since the 1950s and offers a variety of Canarian and Spanish dishes. It has a traditional decor with white tablecloths and classic furnishings.

What to see in Santa Cruz

  1. Church of the Immaculate Conception: This historic church was built in the 16th century and features a beautiful Baroque façade. It is located in the Plaza de la Candelaria, which is the heart of the city.
  2. Palacio de Carta: This 18th-century palace is located on Calle San Jose and houses the Municipal Museum of Fine Arts. It features beautiful architectural details and hosts temporary art exhibitions throughout the year.
  3. Plaza del Principe: This historic square is located in the heart of the city and features a beautiful fountain and statue of King Alfonso XIII. It is surrounded by colonial-era buildings and is a great place to relax and people-watch.
  4. Calle Castillo: This pedestrian street is one of the main shopping areas in the city and features a mix of traditional Canarian architecture and modern buildings. It is lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, making it a popular destination for visitors.
  5. Parque Garcia Sanabria: This beautiful park is located just outside the historic quarter and features a variety of trees, plants, and flowers from around the world. It also hosts sculptures, fountains, and a large pond.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town is truly captivating offering a glimpse into the history of Tenerife and the Canary Islands. As the capital of Tenerife this city has a past that has greatly influenced its architecture, culture and way of life. Founded in 1494 by Alonso Fernández de Lugo, Santa Cruz quickly became a port along the trade route connecting Europe and the Americas.

At the heart of Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town lies its preserved colonial architecture, which gives the area a unique charm and character. Take a stroll through its winding streets and alleys to discover buildings and historical landmarks at every turn. One notable example is Concepción Church, which showcases both the citys heritage and architectural grandeur.

In addition to its wonders Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town thrives as a vibrant cultural center with museums, galleries and cultural events happening throughout the year. Whether you’re interested, in delving into history or immersing yourself in art or simply experiencing the atmosphere of urban life Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town guarantees an enchanting and inspiring adventure.
Tracing the History of Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town
Exploring the Time before Colonization

Embarking on a journey through the history of Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town I delve into the period when the Guanches, who were native to the Canary Islands inhabited this land. The Guanches were skilled in farming and fishing. Lived in caves and simple homes. They had their language, culture and spiritual beliefs rooted in nature. Despite their resistance against Spanish conquest they were eventually defeated in 1496.

A Peek into the Colonial Era

Moving forward to the era I discover that Santa Cruz de Tenerife was established on May 3 1494 under the guidance of Castilian explorer Alonso Fernández de Lugo. He was sent by the Crown to conquer Tenerife. The city quickly grew into a port along the Europe Americas trade route. Its strategic location made it vulnerable to attacks from pirates and privateers who targeted it times over several centuries.

The 18th and 19th centuries brought about a period of prosperity and cultural revival, for Santa Cruz de Tenerife. During this time the historic quarter of the city began to take shape with its colonial architecture, narrow streets and picturesque squares.
The port of the city played a role in the transatlantic slave trade, which facilitated the transportation of African slaves to the Americas.

Exploring the Modern Era

Santa Cruz de Tenerifes period has witnessed its transformation into a vibrant city while preserving its rich history and cultural heritage. Urban development efforts have reshaped the cityscape introducing buildings, roads and public spaces. Amidst these changes the city maintains a connection to its heritage. This commitment to preserving its cultural significance resulted in Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.

The story of Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town represents a tale of conquest, trade and cultural fusion. From its beginnings in the colonial era to becoming a modern urban center the city bears traces of diverse historical and cultural influences. As I wander through its streets and squares I am captivated by how tradition and innovation coexist blending antiquity with modernity.

Embracing the Enchanting Old Town

As I leisurely walk along the cobblestone streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife Old Town I am transported back in time to an era filled with history. This UNESCO listed treasure is home, to an array of buildings, churches and plazas.
Lets explore some of the attractions in the Old Town.

Calle Castillo; The Heartbeat of the Old Town

Calle Castillo, which serves as the main street in the Old Town is vibrant and full of life. It is lined with shops, restaurants and impressive architectural marvels creating a bustling atmosphere. One prominent landmark along this street is the Palacio de Carta. Originally a private residence it now houses the government and adds to the areas charm.

Plazas; Tranquil Retreats

The Old Town boasts plazas, each with its own distinct charm. Plaza de España stands out as the most iconic square. It features a fountain set against a backdrop of ocean views. Another noteworthy plaza is Plaza de la Candelaria, which houses the Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria church adding to its historical and spiritual significance.

Churches; Elegant Spiritual Centers

The Old Towns churches are truly awe inspiring. One must not miss visiting Iglesia de la Concepción, a church dating back to the 16th century that showcases remarkable historical grandeur. Equally captivating is Nuestra Señora de África, with its white facade and exquisite stained glass windows.