Though locals speak with a thicker accent than residents of mainland Spain, the mother tongue in Tenerife is Castilian Spanish. English is widely spoken, particularly so at the resorts.
Spain uses the euro; no other currencies are accepted. Money changers (cambio) can be found in resorts and at the airports, but it is more convenient to draw euros from an ATM (cajeros automático). VISA, MasterCard, and Amex credit cards (tarjetas de crédito) are all recognized and use the new chip and PIN system.
Tenerife is a fair way to the west of the Spanish mainland and is on GMT time, or UTC, an hour before Central European Summer Time. Daylight saving sees the clock move forward an hour in spring.
Tenerife’s power supply is 220V/50Hz, which is the same as Spain proper and most of the rest of Europe. Mostly round, two-pin sockets are used, meaning US travelers will need both an adapter and a converter to run devices from home here. These accessories are available at the airports and resorts.
The Canary Islands, as with the rest of Spain, has +34 as its dialing code, followed by 922 for Tenerife. You can roam with your cell phone on local networks though calls from other countries are typically pricey. Many visitors decide to buy a cheap pay-as-you-go SIM card or pre-paid telephone card (tarjeta telefonica) that can be used with public phones. There are also numerous call shops (locutorios) and most hotels have Wi-Fi and internet cafés.
Tenerife is a duty-free island, so there’s no need to stock up on cheap alcohol and tobacco before arrival, plus items are cheaper in supermarkets here than at the airports’ duty-free shops. VAT here is also low, at 4.5 percent.
Promotur Turismo Canarias Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife: +34-922-229-466, or http://www.turismodecanarias.com/canary-islands-spain/#
Consulates in Tenerife
US Consulate: +34-922-222-553 UK Consulate: +34-922-286-863 Irish Consulate: +34-922-245-671 French Consulate: +34-922-232-710 German Consulate: +34-922-284-812 Netherlands Consulate: +34-922-243-575
Emergency services: 091, 112