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La Laguna in 1 day

We are going to discover La Laguna in 1 day, on a journey through the pedestrian streets of its old town, combining the visit of its historical treasures with stops in its tapas bars. You will discover that this colonial city oozes history and charm, enchants with its architecture and captivates with its gastronomy.

Though the people of Tenerife affectionately call it La Laguna, as the place was once home to a lagoon, its full name is San Cristóbal de La Laguna, founded near the festivity of San Cristóbal de Licia. The indigenous Guanches called it Aguere in their language, which also means lagoon. No wonder, then, that in some places you will find it referred to as such.

Whether by one name or another, to begin to get to know La Laguna, it is worth noting that it was the first city founded in the Canary Islands, in the 15th century, and also the first capital of the island of Tenerife. Since 1999 it has also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the only city in the archipelago to hold this title.

Its town planning model and its architecture of the unwalled city was exported beyond the Atlantic to the coasts of Latin America. This is the reason why La Laguna nowadays has other sister cities, such as Cartagena de Indias or old San Juan in Puerto Rico.

The best place to start our tour of La Laguna in 1 day is the Plaza del Cristo and the Market of La Laguna. The best way to start the day is browsing the stalls, where you can find organic and km0 products, chat with the locals and learn first-hand about the work done by the farmers of this municipality and taste the typical products. If your visit coincides on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays, you can also visit the Farmer’s Market.

From there we can head for the Plaza del Adelantado, which is surrounded by some important heritage buildings, like the Palace of Nava and Grimón, which dates back to the 16th century and was built with volcanic stone, the monastery of Santa Catalina de Siena, the Town Hall of La Laguna and a small chapel, the chapel of San Miguel Arcángel, which is the oldest in the city.

From the Adelantado, we set out to walk along one of the most popular and significant streets of La Laguna, Calle Obispo Rey Redondo, known by the locals as Calle La Carrera, which is its former name that came from the ring races, a medieval equestrian game.

This walking tour up the street is all about history, and here’s a tip: take a good look at the façades, especially the balconies and doors. What not to miss? La Casa del Corregidorbuilt in red stone in the 16th century, the old Alhóndiga (corn exchange)with its peculiar blue façade, was the place where wheat was supplied and was even used as a prison, and the Casa Alvarado Bracamonte, also known as Casa de los Capitanes, which houses the city’s tourist office. Step inside to see the typical Canarian patio style. Do not miss the 18th century Casa Riquel, the Cathedral of La Laguna, with its neoclassical façade, located in the Plaza de los Remedios, the Teatro Leal and the Church of La Concepción, with its 28-metre high tower, declared a Site of Cultural Interest. There is always a lively vibe in this square. Thus, it is a good place and time for another stop as well as a bit of ‘terraceo’.

After the tapas, we continue along Calle San Agustín, with its impressive mansions and manor houses. Stop here to admire the Casa Salazar, with its wooden balconies and Canarian courtyard, as well as the Casa Lercaro, which houses the Museum of History and Anthropology, and the Casa Saavedra.

On this tour to discover La Laguna in 1 day, let yourself be surprised by the ambience of the most trendy city in Tenerife, with its always vibrant university vibe that can be felt in most of its corners.

Another lively street with plenty of tapas and shopping options is Calle Herradores. A pedestrian walkway running parallel to Calle La Carrera. The ideal thing to do here is to wander around aimlessly and without much planning to let the city surprise you.

Since the cultural agenda of La Laguna is always full of very interesting events, we suggest you visit the Aguere, which is a good starting point, a must-see in the city. This cultural space, occupying what used to be the Aguere cinemas, hosts a succession of exhibitions and events in different disciplines: performing arts, gastronomy, sports, commerce, etc.

As night falls, and after this relentless day of culture, history and gastronomy, La Laguna still has several surprises waiting for you. The city transforms at night offering an infinite number of plans. Enjoy its bars and terraces, always full of the best ambience, to sip a cocktail or have a drink.

One last piece of information, to discover La Laguna in 1 day start the slow travel mode and enjoy the city without rushing. There is nothing like interacting with the locals and discovering that in addition to history, there are also many stories, customs and lifestyles that deserve to be known and celebrated. A city that still manages to escape gentrification and maintains a unique vibe that allows tourists and locals to live side by side. Then you will realise that some places deserve to be enjoyed from another point of view.