Check which travel insurance covers COVID-19 (test and treatment abroad). Or buy the Heymondo plan with a 5% discount.
If you’re going to be in Tenerife and want to explore one of the coolest parts of the island, then La Laguna must be on your itinerary.
San Cristóbal de La Laguna, popularly known as La Laguna, is a small city in northern Tenerife, between the Anaga massif and La Esperanza mountain. Here, you’ll find pedestrian-friendly streets lined with lively bars, delicious restaurants, and shops. The town is also full of historic buildings, which led to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Without a doubt, La Laguna is worth a visit. In this guide, I’ll share the 10 best things to in La Laguna, Tenerife. I’ll also tell you where to stay here, as this part of the island has some of the best cheap hotels in Tenerife.
1. Plaza del Adelantado, a must-see in La Laguna, Tenerife
First, the Plaza del Adelantado is one of the most popular squares in La Laguna, and is considered a historical, cultural, and social center. It’s the perfect place to people-watch, so it’s a must-see during your visit to San Cristóbal de La Laguna.
The plaza is surrounded by impressive buildings, including the Town Hall and the historic chapel, Ermita de San Miguel. Up until the 20th century, the square was also a common spot for public parties, processions, and events. That said, the most famous part of the plaza is the central marble fountain, the oldest fountain in San Cristóbal de La Laguna’s old town.
Whether you just pass through or sit here and mingle with the locals, this is one of the best things to do in La Laguna, and one of the top attractions in Tenerife.
2. Cathedral of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, another place to see in La Laguna
The Cathedral of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, also known as The Catedral de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, is another beautiful place to see in La Laguna’s historic center. It was built on top of a 16th-century hermitage, although it wasn’t declared a cathedral until 1818.
The church stands out for its Neo-Gothic architecture, particularly its dome. Its nine chapels and ribbed vaults are also impressive, as is the façade, which was rebuilt in the Neoclassical style in 1825. It’s worth seeing both the inside and outside of the cathedral, and while it’s free to enter, if you want an audio guide, you’ll have to pay a small fee. You can get all the information on the cathedral’s website.
So, if you’re not sure what to see in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, come admire this spectacular structure, which also happens to be one of the best attractions in northern Tenerife.
3. Church of the Immaculate Conception, something to see in San Cristóbal de la Laguna
The Church of the Immaculate Conception (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de La Concepción) is another top landmark in La Laguna, Tenerife, and the first religious temple on the entire island. For this reason, it was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 1948 and a Historic-Artistic Monument in 2012.
While there are several architectural elements that stand out, the church’s bell tower is particularly notable as a symbol of La Laguna since it’s nearly 92 feet tall. There are even more interesting pieces inside the church, such as dozens of sculptures, several pieces of silverware, and the cedar wood pulpit that was carved by French artist Verau.
Moreover, you can’t miss the Sevillian ceramic font, which dates back to the 15th century and marks when the first Christians on the island were baptized. The church is free to visit, so if you want to go, you’ll find it in San Cristóbal de La Laguna’s old town.
4. Santa Catalina Monastery, another place to visit in La Laguna, Tenerife
Another beautiful religious landmark in La Laguna, Tenerife is the Santa Catalina Monastery. It’s one of the oldest cloistered houses of the Order of Santo Domingo in the Canary Islands and was inaugurated in the early 17th century by four Sevillian nuns.
That said, its construction dates back to the first half of the 16th century, and is a lovely example of the Mudejar style that influenced the architecture of the time. Here, you can see all kinds of artistic craftsmanship, including oil paintings and wood-carved altarpieces in the Baroque style. Without a doubt, it’s something you can’t miss in La Laguna, Canary Islands.
5. Museum of the History of Tenerife, one of the best museums in La Laguna
One of the best ways to learn more about the history of this small, beautiful city is to visit the Museum of the History of Tenerife. The La Laguna portion of the museum is located in Casa Lercaro, while the other two buildings are at Casa de Carta in Valle de Guerra and Castillo de San Cristóbal Interpretation Center in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Inside, you’ll find exhibits and artifacts detailing the history of the island, including its economic developments and social advancements. In addition, the museum conducts research and conservation efforts of different historical collections on Tenerife.
While you’re here, check if the museum is hosting any cultural workshops or activities. While they’re mostly geared toward students and local residents, they’re quite interesting and can add an educational element to your visit to San Cristóbal de La Laguna.
6. Calle La Carrera & Calle San Agustín, two streets to visit in San Cristóbal de la Laguna
Another great way to get to know San Cristóbal de La Laguna is by walking along its streets, particularly La Carrera street and San Agustín street.
Calle Obispo Rey Redondo, popularly known as La Carrera, is one of the liveliest streets in La Laguna that perfectly captures the essence of the city. It’s also one of the town’s first streets, so it’s a great place to see historic buildings, old homes, shops, and restaurants.
You should also check out Calle de San Agustín, which has some of the most exquisite mansions and estates in La Laguna, Tenerife. Some of these houses have even been converted into museums and cultural institutions that you can visit.
7. Palacio de Nava, one of the best places to see in La Laguna
Next, the Palacio de Nava is a lovely attraction in San Cristóbal, Tenerife with lots of history. It was built at the end of the 16th century by the order of the mayor of Tenerife, Tomás Grimón. Since then, it has undergone some renovations, so it now features several architectural styles such as Baroque, Mannerist, and Neoclassical.
As a result of its rich history and architectural wealth, the Palacio de Nava was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1976. Not only is it a gorgeous place to visit, but it’s also a good reflection of the wealthy and upper classes of Tenerife and San Cristóbal de La Laguna’s old town.
8. Plaza del Cristo, a lively square in San Cristóbal de la Laguna
Another central plaza that you should visit in La Laguna is the Plaza del Cristo. It’s another famous square in the city, especially since it’s where the Royal Sanctuary of Cristo de la Laguna is located.
In addition, the plaza is a meeting point for local festivities and celebrations, including the mass for the Virgen de la Candelaria, the patron saint of the Canary Islands. This is also where you can go shopping at the municipal market, one of the best things to do in San Cristóbal de La Laguna.
There’s no doubt that this is an interesting place to visit in La Laguna, and the site is even a Plaza of Insular Interest, a title bestowed by the Cabildo de Tenerife in the 1990s.
9. Casa Salazar, another attraction you can’t miss in San Cristóbal de la Laguna
Casa Salazar, also known as Palacio Salazar, is another top attraction to see in San Cristóbal, Tenerife. The palace was built in the mid-17th century in the Canarian Baroque style, although you can also see Mannerist and Neoclassical elements, particularly in the gargoyles.
To this day, the fortress has one of the best-preserved facades in the Canary Islands, so it’s one of the most impressive places to visit in La Laguna, Spain. Unfortunately, the interior part of the palace burned down in 2006, and all the treasures inside perished with it. Despite this, it’s still a popular landmark in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, so I recommend checking it out.
10. Museum of Science and the Cosmos, another museum to visit in La Laguna, Tenerife
Finally, the Museum of Science and the Cosmos is another museum in San Cristóbal de La Laguna that you should visit. This interactive museum is full of games, experiments, and hands-on exhibits to teach you about scientific concepts like space.
The museum also has a planetarium and hosts various workshops, projection shows, and science-themed activities. It even organizes camping and astronomy nights, so if you want to admire the dark, starry skies of Tenerife, this is an amazing thing to do in San Cristóbal de La Laguna. Before you go, I recommend checking the events and activities calendar here.
Where to stay in La Laguna, Tenerife
If you want to extend your time in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, there are several great accommodation options to choose from.
One of my favorites is La Laguna Gran Hotel, which has spacious rooms with lots of natural light. There is also a pool, a garden, a gym, and a restaurant, making it one of the best hotels in Tenerife.
Another lovely place to stay is the Laguna Nivaria Hotel & Spa, which is in a historic building in San Cristóbal de La Laguna’s old town. This elegant hotel is ideal if you’re looking for a luxurious accommodation, and you’ll love the resort’s gym, spa, and buffet-style restaurant.
Finally, if you prefer a cheaper hotel in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, check out the Apartamentos La Concepción. The rooms here have a fully-equipped kitchen, so they’re perfect if you want to save money on meals.
Where to eat in San Cristóbal de la Laguna
You’ll find awesome restaurants in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, so it’s worth eating at one or two of these places.
First, Gulagú offers hearty dishes for a great price, so I recommend it if you’re looking for a good value. Plus, it has vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
Another restaurant that we really liked is El Guachinche De Argelio, which serves a wide variety of options at a decent price point. We ordered several dishes to share and enjoyed everything, although I highly recommend the croquettes. The customer service is also excellent, so you won’t be disappointed.
Lastly, La Hormiga is one of San Cristóbal de La Laguna’s best restaurants, offering delicious Canarian-style dishes and excellent service. It’s more expensive, but worth it if you want to eat well during your trip.
Map of La Laguna
To finish up, here is a map of La Laguna, Tenerife so you can find all the tourist attractions, hotels, and restaurants I mentioned.
I hope this guide on what to see in San Cristóbal de La Laguna helps you organize your trip. Of course, if you have any questions or you’d like to share your experience, leave me a comment below. Have an amazing time in La Laguna!