Once an old fishing town, Los Cristianos has grown to become one of the busiest holiday hotspots in the Canary Islands. Blessed with two stunning beaches, a promenade that’s home to some outstanding restaurants and a vibrant nightlife, this is the only resort that offers any serious competition to the nearby Playa de las Americas. The other ace that Los Cristianos has up its colourful sleeve is the Los Cristianos shopping experience. With a fabulous choice of high end stores and chic boutiques, there’s plenty on offer for dedicated retail therapy addicts. Whether you’re looking for high-end good, authentic Canarian craftsmanship or brilliant bargains, shopping in Los Cristianos is almost an attraction in itself!
Away from the main strip
The main tourist shops are located along the seafront promenade, and are fine if you’re looking for the usual trinkets to take to the folks back home. However, if you’re looking for something a bit more upmarket or out of the ordinary, you’ll find a warren of shops and boutique stores tucked away just behind the main strip. It’s pedestrianised too, allowing you to stroll and get some Los Cristianos shopping in without having to worry about getting run over by taxis or buses!
Markets in Los Cristianos
For authentic knick-knacks, head over to the Gran Arona Hotel. Next door, you’ll find the bustling Los Cristianos Market, held every Sunday and Tuesday. Along with the regular influx of tourists, Los Cristianos houses a resident population of Canarians so the markets tend to be where you find items that you won’t find anywhere else, including some made and sold by the locals.
The Los Cristianos Market is the biggest of its kind in southern Tenerife and the place to go if your Los Cristianos shopping expedition takes you on the hunt for leather goods, jewellery, artwork, and clothing. It’s open from nine in the morning until two in the afternoon, and to grab the best bargains it’s worth getting there as soon as the doors open! While haggling is almost expected of you, the rule of thumb is not to get involved unless you’re seriously thinking of buying. However, if the trader won’t meet you at the price you’re hoping for, it’s perfectly acceptable to give a polite no and be on your way.
If you find that you’ve missed the daytime markets, don’t panic: Los Cristianos is a mere 20-minute drive from the Los Abrigos Market. Although it’s on the small side, this is one of the few night-time markets in the area, open from six in the evening until around ten at night. It’s well worth a visit, and a very different experience from the usual day-time affairs. It’s smaller, friendly, and decidedly quirky.
Shopping centres by the beach
Shopping in Los Cristianos markets can get a bit hot and sweaty, especially in the mid-day sun! You’ll find the Vista Sur Shopping Centre close to the beach and although it might be small, it’s got a good selection of ice-cream parlours, snack shops, clothes stores and jewellery and shoe shops. There are also a few restaurants in the centre; ideal if you need to refuel between purchases. It also has onsite toilets, which are an essential if you’re shopping with children!
Minding your money while shopping in Los Cristianos
Whether your Los Cristianos shopping is in the markets, malls, or street-side shops, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your money, how much you’re spending and where it is! To minimise the risks, the Thomas Cook Cash Passport offers flexibility and security. Looking like an ordinary debit or credit card, you can preload it with a set amount before you head off on holiday, and then use it in ATMs to withdraw cash, or as a debit card.
Bagging a bargain
There’s nothing better than coming back from a Los Cristianos shopping trip with a good, old-fashioned bargain or two. The Centro Commercial Safari and shopping centre is located on the outskirts of the resort and offers shops, shops, and… more shops! This is the place to go to hunt out designer brands at affordable prices and is frequented by the locals looking for a good deal or two. You’ll also find a good selection of restaurants in which to relax, and a charming water fountain in the centre’s main square. It’s well worth visiting the shopping centre in the evening just to see the superb light display that sees the fountain dancing with colour.
The main square attracts street performers and entertainers, so if your feet are a bit sore from trudging around the shops, pull up a pew, grab a drink and watch the exciting variety of street acts and shows.
Shopping with the family
If you’re shopping in Los Cristianos with the family, be sure to check out the Pasarela Oasis Shopping Centre. Built into a hillside, it’s easy to spend a few hours in this impressive shopping mall. Alongside a bounty of boutiques, shops and designer stores, the centre also houses an extensive array of restaurants serving food from virtually every corner of the globe. If you really need to unwind, there’s a chill-out zone serving drinks and snacks and offering superb views across the resort. For children, there’s an excellent play area, with inflatables, slides and climbing-frames. The Pasarela Oasis Shopping Centre is open from ten in the morning, until ten at night.