Things to know and ideas for your own excursion in Tenerife
- Regular berth: Muelle Sur
- Regular berth: Muelle Ribera
- Harbour shuttle: Free of charge to the harbour terminal
- Taxis: Usually available at the quay (white with a blue stripe)
- Public transport: Well-developed public transport network with bus and 2 tram lines
- Rental car*: Cicar, at the Muelle Ribera cruise terminal
- Rental car*: Cicar, Rambla del General Franco, 20
- Rental car*: Avis, Calle Lepanto, 3
- Rental car*: Hertz, La Marina No 21
- Post Office: Plaza de Espana
- Tourist info: Palacio Insular, close to Plaza de Espana
- Banks and ATMs: well distributed in the city centre
- Cruise Ship Berths
Cruise ships dock in Santa Cruz de Tenerife at the long Muelle Sur pier. This offers space for four to five ocean liners and is quite close to the city. Nevertheless, free shuttle buses run between the berths and the cruise terminal in the city, which opened in 2016. There are also signposted footpaths in the harbour area. Depending on the berth, it takes about 10 to 20 minutes to walk to the port shuttle stop. After the arrival of a cruise ship, a tourist information stand is usually open, which can be found in the covered area at the beginning of the pier. As an alternative berth, the Muelle Ribera with a cruise terminal has been available on the opposite side of the Muelle Sur since 2016.
- Tramway and Bus
Public Transport on Tenerife is well developed and is operated by Titsa (Transportes Interurbanos de Tenerife SA). The numerous lines are mainly served by modern, green-painted buses, which are called "guaguas" by the locals and are mostly air-conditioned. In the island's capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, there are also trams that run on two lines and go to La Laguna, among other places. From the modern Intercambiador bus station, buses depart on various routes to the towns and villages on the island. Tickets can be bought from the driver on the bus.
- Bonobus Advantage Card
If you want to use the public buses intensively, you should consider buying a Bonobus Ticket. This is available at bus stations and in some marked shops for 15 or 25 euros, and works according to the prepaid system. The readers at the bus driver's desk then deduct the fare from the card's credit balance. As with "normal" tickets, it is necessary to tell the driver the desired destination so that the correct price can be calculated. The advantage of the Bonobus cards is now that a 30% discount is granted for journeys of up to 20 kilometres and a 50% discount for journeys of more than 20 kilometres. If the credit is no longer sufficient, the difference can be made up with cash. In addition, the card can also be used for the tram in Santa Cruz and also with several people.
There are usually plenty of taxis available after the arrival of a cruise ship. The official vehicles are painted white and have an additional sign under the number plates with the inscription "SP". When using the available taximeter, the service costs 3.15 euros plus the kilometres driven at 0.55 euros each. On Sundays and public holidays and for night journeys after 10 p.m., a surcharge is levied. It is also possible to agree a fixed price with the driver for longer journeys. For example, for a day trip lasting 8 to 9 hours, you can expect to pay around 140-150 euros.
- Plaza de España
From the cruise and ferry terminal, the city's central and beautifully designed square, the Plaza de España, is only a few minutes' walk away. In addition to the large, circular water basin with water fountain, there are shade trees, statues, a restaurant, a small museum and tourist information.
- Castle Museum and Ruins
The museum of the Plaza de España extends below the square and is accessible through an almost inconspicuous entrance. The Centro de Interpretación "Castillo de San Cristóbal" was built in the course of the extensive redesign of the Plaza de España. During the construction work, the forgotten ruins of the Castillo San Cristóbal, which had been removed in 1928, were discovered. The finds were reprocessed and are now part of an exhibition well worth seeing. It provides interesting insights into the significance and history of the former defensive fortress and the square that now lies above it. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10:00-18:00 and admission is free.
- Centre and Shopping
The main shopping street of Santa Cruz de Tenerife begins east of the Plaza de España. It takes about 10 minutes to get there from the berth on the Muelle Ribera or from the ferry terminal. The Calle del Castillo is a pedestrian zone with numerous cafés, restaurants, shops and boutiques. This also applies to the many adjacent side streets. If you follow the Calle del Castillo to the upper end, you will inevitably come across the park-like Plaza Weyler, in the middle of which the white marble fountain Fuente del Amor plays with water. The military administration has its headquarters in the square.
South of the berths, the view falls on the Auditorio de Tenerife "Adán Martín", located directly on the sea. The modern building of the concert and opera house resembles the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia, and at the same time reminds one a little of the famous opera house in Sydney, Australia. Opened in 2003, the building offers space for a total of 2086 visitors, divided between two halls. A nice café invites you to take a break and is usually open outside of events. The large, wave-breaking concrete cubes on the shore behind the building are artfully decorated with portraits of famous personalities. From the moorings, it takes about 30 to 35 minutes each way on foot, along the shore road, covering a distance of around two kilometres. Of course, it's quicker by rental car* or taxi.
- The black Castle
Right next to the auditorium are the walls of the Castillo de San Juan. The former defensive fortress is also known as the Castillo Negro, black castle, because of its dark stone. It was built between 1640 and 1644 and, together with two other buildings, protected the port of Santa Cruz from enemy attacks. The well-preserved Castillo de San Juan can unfortunately only be visited from the outside today.
- Water Park
An indoor visit, on the other hand, is possible and wanted in the neighbouring Parque Marítimo César Manrique. The inviting complex with several swimming pools, a large leisure area and a small section of beach with black sand covers an area of around 22,000 square metres and offers changing rooms, showers and sun loungers, as well as a good gastronomic offer. The pools are filled with clear sea water and the numerous palm trees were sensibly placed by César Manrique. It is open daily from 10:00-19:00 and admission costs a slim 2.50 euros per person from the age of 13. Children aged 3 to 12 pay 1.50 euros each for admission. In the winter months, the pool closes one hour earlier. Soft sunbed pads cost 2.50 euros and parasols cost 3 euros each, for the entire stay.
- Botanical Garden with a View
On the adjacent hill, a very beautiful botanical garden has been created, which invites you to take relaxing walks and repeatedly reveals magnificent views of the city, the country and the sea. The beautiful Palmetum was created after a long planning and construction phase on an inhospitable mountain of rubbish and opened its doors to interested visitors for the first time in 2014. It is open daily from 10:00-18:00 and admission costs 6.00 euros per person from the age of 13. Children from 3 to 12 years pay 2.80 euros each.
- Oldest Church Building
The most important and oldest church in the town was constructed on the site of a former chapel. For many years, the Iglesia del Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, together with its church square, Plaza de la Iglesia, formed the centre of Santa Cruz de Tenerife from the 16th century onwards. Thus, the church with its distinctive tower is considered the town's landmark today. The entrance is on the west side of the building, which is about one kilometre south of the Cruise Terminal. This distance can be covered on foot in about 15 minutes.
- Museum for Nature and Human Beings
In the immediate vicinity of the church is the mighty building of a former hospital. It houses the Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre. In the exhibitions of the Museum of Nature and Humankind, visitors learn interesting facts about the origin and development of the Canary Islands. The exhibitions can be visited Tuesday to Saturday from 09:00-20:00. In addition, the museum is open on Sundays, Mondays and public holidays from 10:00-17:00. The entrance fee is 5 euros per person. On Fridays and Saturdays, admission is free from 16:00.
- Military Museum
From the Cruise Terminal in a northerly direction, a military museum can be visited after a ten-minute walk. The Historical Military Museum of the Canary Islands gives interested visitors an understanding of Tenerife's military past. Numerous different exhibits are presented within the walls of the old fortress Chuartel de Almeida, both indoors and outdoors. A small restaurant also offers its services during visiting hours. The explanations on the information boards of the exhibits are mostly written in Spanish and English. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 09:00-17:00 and on weekends and public holidays from 10:00-14:00. It is closed on Mondays and admission is free for all visitors.
- Beach with Desert Sand
The Sahara Sand Beach Playa de las Teresitas, located north of Santa Cruz, is very popular. It stretches over a length of about two kilometres, is located at the small village of San Andrés and is about 8 kilometres away from the moorings. The beach's original black sand was covered with white sand from the Sahara desert in 1973. To prevent this from being washed away again so quickly, an extensive breakwater was also installed in front of the site. This calms the Atlantic and you can enjoy the shallow water. The large beach section has palm trees, showers, toilets, changing rooms and is also popular with the locals at weekends. It can get a bit crowded, but the people are well distributed. There are several snack bars on site and sun loungers can also be rented. Those arriving by rental car* will find a large selection of parking spaces. Playa de las Teresitas is also easy to reach by public bus (line 910). The one-way trip takes about 20 minutes each way, costs 1.25 euros per person and you can get on near the harbour at the bus stops Plaza Espana 9315 or Av.Anaga 9316. An attractive viewpoint, easily accessible by car, is located to the east, above the beach.
- Water Park in Puerto de la Cruz
An excursion to Puerto de la Cruz, about 40 kilometres away, is quickest by rental car* and takes about 35 to 40 minutes each way. The tourist-oriented city on the north coast of Tenerife has beautiful black sand beaches such as Playa Jardin or Playa Martiánez. In addition, the Costa/Lago Martiánez bathing complex designed by César Manrique can be found near the latter. There are seven artificial seawater pools, a large artificial lake, terraces, islands, viewpoints, bars and restaurants in a huge area. The area is accessible daily from 10:00-18:00, in summer until 19:00. Children up to the age of 10 pay an entrance fee of 2.50 euros each. If you are older, you pay 5.50 euros per person.
- Zoological Park
Puerto de la Cruz is inevitably associated with Loro Parque, which in turn has also become well known outside Tenerife. The animal park, which is now quite large, is located in the west of the town and is home to numerous animals from a wide variety of species. It was opened in 1972 as a parrot park with around 150 specimens. Since then, it has been constantly expanded and today has, among other things, the largest parrot collection in the world, including its own extensive breeding station. The park is open 365 days a year from 08:30 to 18:45. Between Loro Parque and Plaza de los Reyes Católicos on Lago Martiánez, there is a free connection in the form of a typical tourist train. In this case, it is the yellow Loro Parque Express, which runs from 09:00-18:45 and approximately every 20 minutes. Admission prices vary depending on the options you want, such as a guided tour, food or transport, and start at 34 euros per person for adults.
- Siam Park
Another popular attraction is the Siam Park in the southwest of Tenerife. The popular water park was opened in 2008, is built in Thai style and offers its visitors a variety of water slides, a wave pool, restaurants and numerous sunbathing areas to enjoy the sun of the Canary Islands. Thai and local dishes are available in the restaurants. Siam Park is open from May until the end of October, daily from 10:00-18:00. In winter, from November to April, it closes one hour earlier. Bringing food is not allowed for hygienic reasons and will be checked at the park entrance. However, there is usually no objection to a bottle of water. Entrance fees start at 34 euros per person, as in Loro Park, and children up to the age of 11 are charged 23 euros each. Siam Park is about 78 kilometres from the cruise ships' berths. By rental car*, it takes about 60 minutes in each direction.
- Mighty Volcano
A dominant landmark of Tenerife is the Pico del Teide. At 3718 metres, it is the third highest island volcano in the world and also the highest elevation in Spain. The surrounding area of around 19,000 hectares was declared El Teide National Park in 1954. When walking along the marked paths, please note that it is strictly forbidden to move away from them. Various hiking trails criss-cross the Teide area, some of which lead to the summit. Halfway there is the possibility of spending the night in the Refugio Altavista, by prior arrangement.
- Pico del Teide Cable Car
The Teleférico del Teide Cable Car is a quicker and easier way to get to the top. The bottom station is on the TF-21 road and is about 65 kilometres from the moorings. By rental car*, you should plan on a 90-minute drive in each direction. There are plenty of parking spaces. Buses 342 and 348 also stop nearby. The top station of the cable car is at an altitude of 3,555 metres, can be reached in about 8 minutes by car and offers not only low temperatures, but above all great views over Tenerife. However, the actual summit may only be climbed in the form of a guided tour and a special permit from the national park administration is required for this. On some days it is difficult or impossible to get tickets for the popular cable car at short notice. Due to the very limited capacities, it is therefore extremely sensible to book the desired tickets or tours in advance.
A good 90 kilometres from the cruise ship moorings, the Observatorio del Teide is located on Mount Izaña at an altitude of 2400 metres. The Teide Observatory is considered the largest solar observatory in the world and has several high-quality, modern telescopes. The entire site covers an area of around 50 hectares. Parts of the interesting site are open to the public and can be visited on guided tours. As these are only conducted in small groups, it is advisable to make reservations and bookings in good time. It takes about an hour to get there by rental car* from the Cruise Terminal.
- Excursion Portals and Excursion Providers
Via the tour and excursion providers GetYourGuide*, Meine Landausflüge* and Viator*, you can book various excursions, activities, tours, tickets and entry passes on Tenerife, which are often offered at much lower prices than comparable excursions by the shipping companies. This way, if you book in good time, you can realise a large number of excursions on your own.
A small pre-selection of shipping company-independent excursion offers
for, in and around Santa Cruz de Tenerife, we have put together for you here.
- Cruises and Special Offers
If you haven't booked a Canary Islands Cruise yet, but would like to get to know Tenerife personally and go on excursions on your own, you will find great offers with the major cruise operators in the German-speaking region. Aida*, Costa* and Tui Cruises - Mein Schiff* offer charming itineraries with their modern cruise ships, along with other interesting destinations. Book your next dream holiday directly with your favourite cruise line at fair conditions.
All ocean and river cruises can also be booked conveniently and inexpensively online with the cruise specialist Kreuzfahrten-Zentrale Astoria*. You can choose from a wide range of daily offers from various shipping companies. These include AIDA Cruises, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and TUI Cruises. The popular special offers are also attractive, with which you can travel particularly cheaply and possibly also get a great bargain.
- Post office opening hours: Monday to Friday from 08:30-20:30, Saturday from 09:00-14:00
- Opening hours of the banks: Monday to Friday from 09:00-14:00, Saturday from 09:00-13:00
- Opening hours of the tourist information: Monday to Friday from 08:00-18:00, Saturday from 09:00-13:00
- Shop opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 10:00-21:00. Larger shops often close later.
- Country code: +34
- General emergency call: Tel. 112
- Police: Tel. 091/092
- Emergency doctor: Tel. 061
- Fire brigade: Tel. 080
- Vaccination recommendation: Tropical Institute Tenerife
- Safety advice: Foreign Office Spain
- Buses: Titsa
- City map: Santa Cruz de Tenerife Map
- Climate chart: Santa Cruz de Tenerife Climate
- Port occupancy: Cruise ships in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
- Official language: Spanish
- National currency: Euro, 1 Euro = 100 Cent
More port information of popular cruise destinations in the Canary Islands