A large outdoor swimming pool in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands
If culture and history are your thing, there's plenty in Santa Cruz-proper to keep you stimulated. Make a stop at the illuminating Natural History Museum or the Basilica de Candelaria shrine, which only dates back to 1959 but manages to feel older in decidedly modern Santa Cruz.
While most of Tenerife's best beaches are far outside the center of Santa Cruz, you have a couple of options a short taxi or bus ride away. The most popular is Las Teresitas, whose golden sands look particularly striking contrasted with the crystalline blue water that laps at them.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife offers a mix of traditional Spanish food and local Canarian food. It's just as easy, for example, to find a restaurant that serves small-plate tapas and sweet sangria as it is to enjoy Sancocho, a bass filet served with boiled potatoes and spicy mojo sauce. Follow up a filling meal with a shot of Cobana, a banana liquor native to the Canary Islands.
If you like bargaining, try your luck at Mercado Municipal Nuestra Senora de Africa, open every day until 2:30 p.m. Here, you'll find local handicrafts like ceramic dishware made from volcanic stone, as well as clothing and shoes at wholesale prices. Sunday afternoons, there's a flea market near Santa Cruz's main station.
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