23 January 2014

Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Top Things to Do in

Walk the old town and fill your memory card. It's a beautiful city with lots of old and colourful buildings that are begging to be painted, photographed and admired.

Go to the flea market on a Sunday. It's huge. Massive. Me and Rach (my travel buddy for the weekend) commented on how authentic the market was. It isn't there to mug off tourists, it is frequented by the people of Santa Cruz. It sprawls around the core Mercado Municipal Nuestra Senora de Africa market (also known as Market Our Lady of Africa or simply as "La Recova" - see more information below) and sells everything from jewellery, clothes, perfume, underwear, CDs and tapes (!!!), furniture, cables, toys and lordknowswhatelse. I picked up a few (ok, ok four isn't really a few) big bold necklaces. The market runs from 9am til 2pm. Shops in the main square may be open til 3pm. See here.

Eat fresh seafood and drink wine with the locals on the ground floor of Mercado Municipal Nuestra Senora de Africa. In amongst the seafood for sale you can prop against the counter and watch fresh sushi being prepared. This is in the main peach market square and is open 6am til 2pm every day, although we visited on a Sunday when the flea market was on. Also in here is lots of food stalls - fruit, meat, whole bunches of dried herbs, pic n' mix sweets and nuts and a baking shop. I of course had to buy a few bits for my growing collection.

Go spot famous people (painted versions of them anyhow) on the rocks at Auditorio de Tenerife. The building itself has been compared to the Sydney Opera House. Although I can't make a comparison it is a surprisingly striking structure and worth a walk to. As an added extra, if you walk to the bench that wraps the coast here and peer over the edge you will see dozens of famous people painted on the rocks. It is quite unique and fun to see who you recognise, even if the spelling is slightly 'off'.

Enjoy the street art. Here are the locations of some of the yarn bombed trees and graffiti we found.

Take a trip to La Laguna. It takes around 30 mins on the tram. We went up for dinner to see what the town was about. Being 9pm on a Sunday the answer was "not much at this time" but we found a busy looking restaurant and cost us only €6 for the entire meal. That's €3 per person for a mini sandwich (though the way the deal runs we could have had 3 each for no more money) a portion of chips/nachos each and a drink which included beer. The tram is available every day and even runs every 30 minutes until midnight on Sundays and more frequently during the week.
If you're heading up to La Laguna I'd recommended catching some daylight while you're there to fully appreciate the beautiful streets, though by night the have a eerie quality of their own.

Go for a walk or a run. As well as numerous squares, the road along the coast is wide and makes for a safe and pretty run. You can run up to Auditorio de Tenerife for a breathtaking view over the sea. 

Parque Garcia Sanabria

Plaza Weyler

Parque Garcia Sanabria

Go to the Modern Art Museum TEA. I wish I could give you the review I was planning, but the museum is closed on Mondays which I didn't realise until it was too late. Given I had two days notice of going away I have forgiven myself and sworn to go back. Flanked by the market at one end and the Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre at the other, provided you have good mental stamina you could spend a whole day covering this area. For a midday break, I recommend eating at 'La ConcepciĆ³n' which overlooks the Plaza de la Iglesia and is visable from the entrance of Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre. More on where to eat coming soon.
Open 10am til 8pm every day (apart from Monday!!!)
General admission is 5 euros or only 1 euro if you're under 26 or over 65.

Some other places that you can investigate: Plaza Weyler for people watching; Plaza de EspaƱa for yarnbombing and people watching, Plaza de Principe has a cute cafe in a shady location and the trees came all the way from India, Museum of Man and Nature (Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre), Museum of Fine Art (Municipal Museum of Fine Arts) & the Military Museum (Museo Militar Regional de Canarias).
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