Tenerife Information for tourists, Canary Islands, Spain General guide to drinking water, transport, tourist offices, learning spanish, language, shops and shopping, timeshare touts, weather and climate, currency, banks, holidays, beach safety.

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Tenerife General Information

bank information,bank,beach safety,climate in Tenerife,currency,tourist offices

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Emergency telephone number

The new Emergency telephone number for emergency services fire, ambulance or police is a freephone number 112

Emergency telephone operators speak, English, German, French and of course Spanish.

Bank information

Bank opening hours

Mon Fri 09:00 14:00
Sat 09:00 13:00 (No Sat opening Jun Oct)

General bank information

Outside these times you can usually change money at your hotel or apartment, or at Cambio de Change. Note: The exchange rates may not be as good as the banks.

You will require your passport to change Traveler's cheques. More Traveler cheque information

Major credit cards are accepted at most shops, hotels and restaurants.

Beach Safety

Always supervise children when near water and obey the beach warning flags

Red      Strong currents do not swim

Yellow Strong winds and turbulent sea conditions take care.

Green  Safe to swim

Prevent sun burn

  • use sun screen on your skin
  • Stay in shade
  • Wear clothes & sun hat

Hotels in Tenerife

Climate in Tenerife and Tenerife weather forecast

More information has been added abour the climate in Tenerife and Tenerife weather forecast and moved to its own page

Currency Information

The Island uses the single European currency, the euro €.  For a rough and ready conversion reduce the euro € price by a third to convert to sterling £.

Money Cash

The denominations for the Euro bank notes are 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 euros. Coins are 2 and 1 euros. Smaller coins are 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 centimes.  There are 100 centimes in 1 euro.

Bank notes are designed to help any body with visual impairment, with large numbers, different sizes and touch differences.

The notes are universal for all the counties using the euro. Coins are the same on 1 side for all countries but are different on the other side and bear the counties name. They are accepted in all euro counties.

Travellers Cheques

Travellers Cheques are safer than carrying large amounts of cash, and are easily changed in Banks, Cambios (Money change offices) and hotels. Banks give the best exchange rate but may not be as convenient.  If comparing prices take into consideration both exchange rate and commission charged. You may need you passport to change travellers cheques.

Credit Cards / Debit Cards / Bank Cards

A very popular way of handling you money. Usually you get the best exchange rate using these cards.

Please note that if a charge is made for using an ATM it is usually a fixed charge per transaction, therefore small and often withdrawals can be expensive.

Health Information

Medical attention whether free at hospitals or paid for at medical centres are at a very high standard.  Fees at medical centres are payable immediatly. Obtain a receipt to forward to your medical insurance company. See Form 111 below.

Insurance Information

Ensure you have adequate insurance to cover Medical Expenses and dental treatment. To claim you may need to show that you requested treatment under the E111 scheme. Check your policy for this important detail.

Form E111

Ensure you take Form 111, obtainable from UK post offices. This should give you free emergency treatment. The system can be complicated and bureaucratic.

Does not cover dental treatment

Medication Information

Take your prescription medication with you.

Popular over the counter medication is available from pharmacies.

Any medicines prescribed by a local Doctor have to be paid for.

Hospital Information

Playa de las Americas

Centros Medicos del Sur Carreterra Gen

Tel: 922 79 10 00

Puerto de la Cruz

Medical Centre: 24 Hour English speaking doctors: Tel: 900 100 090 (free call)

Santa Cruz

Hospital General de Tenerife

Tel: 922 65 21 52

Sun Burn

Tenerife is at the same latitude as the Sahara desert and 700 miles nearer the equator than the UK. The sun is powerful even in mid winter. Beware a cooling wind can lead you into a false sense of security the suns rays are still there.

Prevention is better than a cure

  • Keep covered up and use wide brimmed hats
  • Sit in the shade
  • Use high factor sun screen lotion
  • Limit your sunbathing sessions, especially on the first few days.
  • Don't sun bathe mid day,especially for children.


Remove the heat by applying cold water to the effected part. a long cold shower is ideal if sun burnt all over.

Asprin or Paracetomol can ease the pain. Do not give Asprin to children under 12. Follow the doses provided.

Calamine lotion or after sun may help.

Consult a doctor if severe.

Language Information

The local language is Spanish, but English is widely spoken in the resorts.

Eating Out and Restaurants

There is a wide variety of restaurants in the resorts, including English, European, International and of course Local Canarian styles of cooking and meals.

Local dishes & specialities

Papas arugadasPotatoes, boiled in salt, served with a fiery paprika sauce and gofio – a kind of toasted wholemeal flour, which is stirred into soups and stews

Local drinks

Liqueur made from the home grown bananas


Shop Opening Times

Most shops open Mon Sat 09:00 13:00 then 16:00 20:00
Some shops may open only for the morning on Sat
Sun and Bank Holidays Closed

Souvenir shops tend to open 7 days a week


Similar to shops. Usually closed Saturday afternoon.

Check the window for sign re Emergency supplies.

Commercial centres (Centro Commercial)

Commercial centres are generally areas of concentrated shops, bars, restaurants supermarkets and nightclubs. Commercial centres are usually have CC after there name on maps. The ones near the town centre are very tourist oriented, towards the towns outskirts they are oriented towards the Spanish population, and usually goods are cheaper . This cheaper price difference which is very noticeable in supermarkets catering mainly to the locals, but Spanish brands will be less known and labeled in Spanish so a little harder to find what you want if a United Kingdom tourists.

Duty Free

Unlike mainland Spain Tenerife and the Canary islands are duty free. To generalise duty free goods are alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco and perfumes. It is cheaper to buy these goods from supermarkets than in the airport duty free shops.

On returning to the United Kingdom you are restricted in the amount of duty free products that you bring back.

The Island has a sales tax (VAT) of 4.5% making it one of the cheapest destinations in Western Europe.


Post takes around 10 days to reach the UK (United Kingdom) and mainland Europe. Stamps are available from Post Offices and most shops selling post cards.  A normal letter or card is 52cents

Size of Tenerife

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary islands, being 130km across at the widest point and 90km North to South and just a little over 2000 square kilometres .

Spanish National Tourist Offices


22 23 Manchester Square
London WIM SAP

Tel 0171 486 8077


On the Island

Reina Sofia Airport

One of the best is the Reina Sofia Airport tourist office, pick up your maps and leaflets etc on arrival.

Tel: 922 77 30 67

Playa de las Americas

Playa de Troya, Avenida Literol. For the Costa Adeje Area

Tel: 922 79 76 68

Los Cristianos Tourist Office

Centro Cultural


The Island has a sales tax of 4.5% making it one of the cheapest destinations in Western Europe.


See the transport page


Tenerife probably the Timeshare capitol of the world. This of course means touts. The first question will always be "do you speak English?". After that you may be asked to help them with a holiday questionnaire on behalf of the Spanish tourist board, or the more common scratch card. These scratch cards are all winners. Prizes may be 3 days car hire, water park tickets, duty free packs or the star prize of £1,000. Unless you want to sacrifice 1/2 day of your holiday to a relentless hard sell, do not go with them to collect your prize! Remember, only the foolish or greedy will really believe that they are getting something for nothing


It is normal to leave a tip of around 10% of the total bill in Tenerife.

Visas, Passports and Requirements

Visitors from the UK

  • Require a British Passport for up to 90 days visit. Longer visits require a "permiso de residence" (EU residence permit) valid for a year, extendable. Apply at the nearest police station to your intended residence.
  • Require a Return or onward Ticket
  • Driving Licence if you wish to drive.
  • Travel insurance is strongly recommended.

Check latest information with the Spanish Embassy.
20 Draycott Place,
London SW3 2RZ

Tel 020 7581 5921


The tap water in Tenerife is drinkable but has a strong salty taste due to high mineral content. Therefore most tourist prefer bought bottled water the supermarkets. The cost of a 5 litre bottle is around 60p.

  • "Agua con gas" is sparkling mineral water
  • "Agua sin gas" still water.
  • Water is far cheaper in the larger size containers.


Try a glass of Ronmiel a Canarian blend of spirit and palm sap.

A large beer may be a pint or half a litre depending on the bar. Many but not all, British bars use pint glasses rather than the slightly smaller half litre glass. Most bars don't appear to know where the top of the glass is.

A large beer is usually in the price range €1 to €3.50. Local beers are good and cheaper than inported beer.

Duty Free

You are restricted in the amount of duty free goods that you can bring back to the UK. Buy your duty free goods in local shops or supermarkets which are usually cheaper than either the airport or airline.




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