Auditorio de Tenerife

For most people, holidays to Tenerife mean sun-kissed, powder-soft beaches and vibrant nightlife. However, if you’re looking for something that all the family can enjoy, with a healthy dose of culture thrown in as well, be sure to check out the Auditorio de Tenerife.
Made up of a series of white crescents, it’s one of the most iconic buildings in the Canary Islands and bears a passing resemblance to the Sydney Opera House (only a little bit smaller). Showing everything from ballet and opera to a programme of entertaining children’s events, it’s the perfect day out.

History of the Auditorio

Although the building is relatively new, the Auditorio de Tenerife has been in the planning stages since 1970. The site was chosen in 1977, with the first design proposals submitted a year later. However, in 1985, it was decided that the auditorium would be better suited to be built in El Chapata.

Two years later, the final design was submitted, only to be rejected by the Spanish government after a disagreement about how the building should look, and the project stalled.

In 1989, the government appointed leading Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava Valls as the chief designer. After changing the proposed location one more time, construction finally began in 1997. The auditorium took more than five years to build, costing around 72 million Euros, and was finally unveiled in 2003. Since then, it attracts thousands of visitors each year, including ex-president Bill Clinton and other public figures.

What to expect

The Auditorio de Tenerife is an outstanding architectural achievement and well worth a visit. The large metal crescents that give the building its distinctive appearance are embellished with ‘pique assiette’. These are broken pieces of mosaic, which give the auditorium its colourful sparkle.

Inside, there are three main spaces: the Main Hall, the Symphony Hall, and the Chamber Hall. Alongside being used for opera, ballet and theatre productions, the halls are regularly borrowed by Hollywood studios as casting spaces. The auditorium also has three outdoor terraces overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the infamous Black Castle. Head to the contemporary Bistro to enjoy a pre-show drink or a delicious dinner. If you want to explore everything the building has to offer and see behind the scenes, there are daily guided tours on offer. These start at 10am, and there’s one every two hours until 4pm.

Tickets and how to get there

You can buy tickets in person from the box office, which is signposted as the ‘Taquilla’. The ticket desk is open from 10am until 7.30pm and sells tickets until two hours before the show starts. It’s open from Monday until Saturday, and closed on Sundays.

Alternatively, you can book your seat by telephone, or through the website. The halls are wheelchair-friendly, with spaces instead of seats so that those with mobility issues can use their wheelchairs.

Given that you might not have brought your best evening dress or tuxedo with you on your holidays to Tenerife, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s no dress-code to see a show. However, if you want to make a night of it and dress up for the evening then you are more than welcome to. If you’re driving, the auditorium has its own car park, which holds up to 100 cars and closes with the building. Failing that, there are car parks around five minutes’ walk away.

You’ll find the Auditorio de Tenerife right next to the sea in Santa Cruz, on the northwest tip of the island. As there are only two main roads in and out of the city, getting to the auditorium is easy, whether you’re coming from the north or south of the island. If you’re driving and coming from the south, hop on the TF-5. Coming from the north, you’ll need to get onto the TF-1. Both motorways will take you almost to the building’s front door.

Once you’ve parked up, got your tickets and enjoyed a cool cocktail, prepare to enjoy the entertainment at the Auditorio de Tenerife.