La Laguna

La Laguna

San Cristóbal de La Laguna, or La Laguna as the city is normally called, is in north Tenerife, right next to the capital Santa Cruz. La Laguna is a UNESCO world heritage site, and Tenerife’s university city. Most visitors are familiar with La Laguna because of the shopping mall Alcampo and the sports shop Decathlon. But La Laguna has much more to offer than shopping.

This former capital of Tenerife has a variety of museums. Including the museum of science and the cosmos, Museo de la Ciencia y El Cosmos, and the history museum, Museo de Historia.

Landmark buildings

A small, old yellow chapel with two small bell towers and a carved wooden door

Some of the buildings you see in La Laguna are dated back to the 15th century. It is a lovely Spanish city with colourful buildings and countless side streets to explore. The photo shows the Ermita de San Miguel Arcángel chapel on Adelantado square. San Miguel Arcángel is the patron saint of Tenerife.

In the old town you’ll find colourful Spanish style houses, with the traditional balconies. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafés where you can relax with a café Americano, churros, or tapas and a glass of chardonnay.

The tower

Among other places of interest is the Plaza del Adelantado, and Convento de Santa Clara de Asis monastery. Also Iglesia de la Concepción, and Palacio de Nava, a mansion from the early 18th century. It belonged to Marquis de Villanueva del Prado. He was responsible for the establishment and development of the Botanical Gardens, Jardín Botánico, in Puerto de la Cruz.

Construction of the Iglesia de la Concepción tower was completed in 1511, and it boasts of the island’s largest church bell. Next to the city hall, Ayuntamiento, you will find an information centre that offers a guided stroll around the old town.

An old church tower in Tenerife north

A historical city

In 1496, when the Spanish conquered the island, their leader Alonso de Lugo announced that La Laguna should be the capital of Tenerife. The city is named after a lake (laguna in Spanish) that is now long disappeared.
Today, La Laguna is the second largest city of Tenerife and third largest city of the Canary Islands. The population is approximately 160,000. In addition, there are around 30,000 students at the University of La Laguna.

A black and white photo of the city of La Laguna in the year 1880
La Laguna in 1880

From the Mirador de San Roque is an amazing view over the city. Outdoors enthusiasts should look up the Macizo de Anaga hiking trail.