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Shopping

Tenerife is well prepared for shoppers, with plenty of supermarkets in the larger towns providing all basics and foodstuffs for self-catering tourists, and plenty of markets and smaller shops all around the island for gifts and bargains.

The best shopping is in Santa Cruz, particularly on Calle Castillo, where all the fashion stores are. There is also a mega-mall, Meridiano on Avenida La Salle, and the enormous department store of El Corte Ingles. Just outside of town is the enormous Carrefour hypermarket.

Most of the resorts and small towns have weekly markets. The huge Sunday market in Los Cristianos is a fleamarket extravaganza selling everything under the sun. In Santa Cruz, the African market is well worth exploring, with 300 stores selling fresh produce and interesting curios. On Sundays the area around the market becomes the El Rastro Flea Market, a good place to pick-up quality handicrafts and bargain souvenirs. Golf del Sur has a good market near the marina on Friday mornings; Los Abrigos puts on a decent night market every Tuesday evening; while Guaza has recently begun hosting a Sunday fleamarket.

Best buys in Tenerife, apart from booze and cigarettes, are the award-winning local cheeses and honey, leather goods such as shoes and belts, and turrón, the almonds and honey confection available around the festive season. Travellers should avoid shopping at the airport where prices tend to be significantly inflated, and note that if they pay via debit or credit card, they will need to show their passport. Many shops still observe the very sensible custom of closing over siesta (1.30 to 4.30pm) and will close all day Sunday.

Nightlife

Tenerife is famous for its raucous and varied nightlife, ranging from Ibiza-style nightclubs and boozy karaoke joints, to authentic Spanish tapas venues and bars playing great live music or hosting traditional dance performances. Venues tend to stay open as late the clientele wish, and the prices of drinks and dinner compare extremely well against mainland Europe.

The best nightlife on Tenerife is concentrated in the south of the island around Playa de las Americas. There are three main areas to explore in this resort: Veronicas, the Patch, and Starco Commercial Centre, each of which are densely packed with clubs (many of which are open 24 hours), bars, and English-style pubs. Most bars are child friendly and serve decent food.

The most famous club in Playa de las Americas is Tramps, in the Starco complex, regularly attracting top DJs for epic parties. Nearby Los Cristianos is a better bet for quieter bars and restaurants, and is consequently more popular with families with young children. In the north of the island Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz have a good variety of nightlife venues but lack the concentration of clubs in the south.

Casinos are another popular way to enjoy a night out in Tenerife. There are three to choose from: Casino de Taoro in Puerto de la Cruz, Casino Santa Cruz in Hotel Mencey in Santa Cruz, and the Playa de las Americas Casino in the Gran Tenerife Hotel.

A popular family night out is the Medieval dinner show at Castillo San Miguel, which has jousting, horse and sword feats, and bawdy serving wenches. For some more traditional Spanish entertainment, travellers shouldn't miss the Flamenco performances at the Pyramid de Arona Auditorium at Playa de las Americas, and the cabaret and dancing on display at the Palace Show in Playa de las Americas.

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