living in Tenerife

The Cost of Living in Tenerife, Santa Cruz | Moving to Tenerife

This post was most recently updated on May 17th, 2021

If you’ve ever considered living in Tenerife, it’s a lot more affordable than you might think. It’s already a popular vacation spot for people from Great Britain. But also fast becoming known by the expat crowd.

Tenerife touches the hearts of all who visit. Nestled amongst the Canary Islands in Spain, Tenerife showcases breath-taking views of the North Atlantic Ocean and majestic mountains. The small but jammed packed island will leave you feeling relaxed and oblivious to the rest of the world. 

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the Capital City of the Island and exudes a vibrant, mañana culture. Tenerife spoils its residents with a guaranteed six to eight month-long, warm summer. The excellent weather makes the island perfect to blissfully pass the day away by taking a walk along the white sand and checking out some of the best beaches in Tenerife.

So what’s the price tag attached to this beautiful island? Keep reading to find out all you need to know about the local prices and cost of living in Tenerife. From eating out expenses to how much the taxi will cost you, we’ve laid it all out in this article on costs. 

Cost of Living in Tenerife

Santa Cruz, Canary Island has much to offer. But these activities and products vary on different ends of the price spectrum. Depending on how you choose to spend your money, it will significantly affect the cost of living in Tenerife.

But don’t worry, Tenerife is amongst the more affordable places to live in the world. For one person, the estimated living cost stands at $1548 per month and decreases to just under $1000 for two people sharing. Living in Santa Cruz is more than two times cheaper than living in New York and similar to Croatia’s living costs. 

Tenerife Prices of Living Breakdown for 2 Sharing

  • Rent: $500-$700
  • Groceries: $400-$500
  • Restaurant meals: $20-$50
  • Bus pass: $90
  • Internet: $60
  • Entertainment: $60-$100

This breakdown can give you an idea of the living cost when making a move to Tenerife for retirement or just an extended stay. While this isn’t every cost you’ll encounter, it does cover the basics. 

Locals and property owners spend an average of $720 per month, and this is due to sharing family homes and shopping the markets for daily discounts. 

It’s important to note that food and entertainment costs will rise with the increased number of tourists visiting, as it does in most highly desired tourist destinations. Therefore, some months are cheaper than others. 

Tenerife Food Costs: Drinks, Supermarkets and Restaurants

Food is plentiful in Tenerife. Imagine colourful, Spanish cuisine centred around local meats and fish. The locals spend more than 30% of their monthly income on groceries. 

Some local dishes to try when you’re out include, potaje de berros (watercress soup) and carne de cabra (goat). Local dishes can be bought all over Tenerife. If you travel just outside the city center, away from all the tourists, you can get these native dishes for around $10. Alternatively, you can make the meals using ingredients bought at the local market.

So, depending on whether you dive for deals at the local markets, shop at one of the supermarkets or eat out at restaurants, the cost of food will vary. 

Food Prices in Tenerife: Buying to Cook vs Eating Out

Restaurants in Santa Cruz, Tenerife vary in price. You can eat out on a budget from $5-$14 per person at an inexpensive restaurant and up to $55 for a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant. More exclusive and upper-market restaurants will cost $40+ per person, including a bottle of wine.

A local full English breakfast in tourist areas will cost about $3. After some excursions, you can head for some fast-food or local dishes for roughly $4-$8. For a budget dinner, you can try one of the local Chinese buffets for $7 each.

Shopping at Tenerife supermarkets is an excellent place to buy your standard groceries. For 1kg of beef, with a starch side and some veggies you can expect to pay around $18 for two people and you might even have some leftovers.

The cheapest way to eat in Tenerife is by shopping at the local fresh produce markets. New daily deals and discounts are often available. Shoppers can experience a range of tropical, giddy-inducing fruits and vegetables. Also available is an extensive variety of fresh seafood from fishmongers.

Alcohol Prices in Tenerife:

Tenerife drink prices vary based on the time of year as well as the time of day. You can find happy hours throughout the day at restaurants and bars. You can get a pint of local beer for a steal of $1.20 during these deals, similar to the grocery store price of beer. 

However, the prices rise in the evening and densely populated tourist areas to around $4. You can also purchase mid-range wine for about $6 with prices increasing in restaurants and bars.  

Cost of Entertainment and Excursions in Tenerife

Tenerife is perfect for those who enjoy outdoor sports. While staying here you can enjoy incredible hikes, fishing adventures and water sports like surfing and open-water swimming. These activities come in at a very low price or in some cases, at no price at all. Perfect for savvy spenders.

For more cultural, relaxing activities, you can watch a live show at Las Piramide Resort or visit the Museum of Nature and Man.

Must-Sees in Santa Cruz, Canary Islands

Tenerife is full of culture and rich history. If you want to become immersed in Santa Cruz’s heritage, we suggest that you visit The Pyramids of Güímar. Lay your eyes on Six spectacular, freestanding pyramids, built in the 19th century. Or take a guided tour to Teide Mountain and North Tenerife.

It’s also worth checking out Mount Teide. You can ride on the cable car to the top of the mountain and explore the largest national park of the Canary Islands.

Another must-do is a hike through Masca Mountain and Valley, for some adventure. This hike is the most popular on the island. It starts in the town and takes you through the valley to the rocky beach below. 

In addition to hiking, a South Coast Jetski experience is a must. Explore the island from its coast and discover troves you’d typically not be able to reach. Don’t be afraid to try some adventurous activities. Professional guides will make sure everything runs smoothly.

Transportation in Santa Cruz, Tenerife

Public transport on the island is a lot more affordable than driving around and paying the gasoline prices. Tenerife is the largest of the canary islands, but the main attractions are very close together, making it suitable to walk to most places.

You can make use of one-way bus tickets on occasion. These tickets will cost around $1.70. If you’re planning to use the transport more regularly, the monthly bus pass will cost approximately $50. 

If you plan to use your own car, you’re in for hefty gas prices. One litre of gasoline will cost about $1.20, almost double the USA’s price.

Crime In Santa Cruz de Tenerife

It’s always a good idea to make sure you’re aware of the crime rates in cities you’re planning on visiting. Some cities have very high crime rates, making you think twice before walking alone at night. Luckily, Tenerife is very safe.

The city stands with an average crime index of 27. This bracket is considered ‘very low risk’ when compared to other cities. But even though the crime rate is low, statistics show that crime has increased in the past three years. So it’s best always to be aware of your surroundings and take extra precautions.

Tenerife Weather Yearly

Santa Cruz’s climate is balmy and sunny, perfect for exploring the coastline of the island. The summer months are from May to October. Summer here is warm, humid and arid. August is the hottest summer month, averaging 75°F (24°C) and giving 10 hours of daylight. Winter runs from November to April and January is the coldest winter month with an average temperature of 62°F (17°C)

The wettest month is December with 56mm of rainfall. Thus, making it the best time to explore some of the island’s spectacular indoor excursions. The best time to take a dip in the ocean is September when the ocean temperatures average 75°F.(24°C)

Work in Tenerife

The Canary Islands and, specifically Tenerife, have a lack of business urgency. When it comes to being self-employed, you might have to jump through hoops to be successful. Credit is already tricky to get, but in Tenerife, it’s even more difficult. 

Since the locals have a slow-paced and relaxed culture, a reply to an urgent work email might take some time. Waiting to receive communication from others is like waiting for the first snowfall. However, you’ll find that the locals prefer to communicate face-to-face rather than over technology. 

The locals tend to do more traditional work. They help around the island and work in restaurants, bars, transport, or small retail businesses. In Tenerife, everyone is on their feet and out and about pretty much all day.

Final Thoughts: Is Tenerife Expensive?

Tenerife is wondrous and the most picturesque of all the Canary Islands. Tenerife is not expensive. In fact, it’s twice as affordable as living in the USA. Whether you’re becoming an expat or just merely visiting, Tenerife won’t disappoint. This very affordable city will ensure a good quality standard of living for you and your companion. 

Now that you know the cost of living in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, you can start organising your trip. Get ready for long summer days, refreshing ocean swims and enough activities to keep you on your toes.