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The best areas for lively nightlife on Tenerife

Everyone knows that Playa de las Américas is the place to go on Tenerife if you want to party the night away. Everyone knows it, even though it isn't strictly true.

If you're British, Playa de las Américas is party central if you want to be amongst people who speak the same lingo as you and where the music blasting out of bars is sing-along familiar. But it's not the nightlife capital for the Canarian population. In fact, depending on what rings your nocturnal bell, you have to visit different locations on Tenerife to find the after-dark action that would suit you best.

This is our guide to finding what really are the best nightlife hotspots on Tenerife.

Young, free and single Brits

In this instance it is Playa de las Américas and the area around the infamous C.C. Veronica's. The bars around here aren't quite as seedy as some people make out. Most of the detractors who roll their eyes and tut tut at the so-called dens of iniquity that make up the strip of bars and clubs known as Veronica's are not exactly what you'd call in the target age group. Bars are modern, lively and loads of wild fun, especially if you're under 25. It's only a short stagger from Veronica´s to clubs like Tramps which regularly has top international DJs sharing their favourite playlists.

British baby boomers

Again it's Playa de las Américas for the best of the familiar live music action. Fortysomethings and above can easily roll back the years, listening to sound-alikes from their formative years along the strip of bars that make up 'The Patch' and Parque de la Paz. There are tons of bouncing live music bars where Tina Turner, Neil Diamond, Billy Idol and Rod Stewart will never, ever go out of fashion. Thankfully there are enough joints where decent musicians bring the tourist music scene more up to date with perfect holiday anthems from the likes of the Black Eyed Peas and the Kings of Leon. Favourite haunts are Shenanigans, where the resident duo mix music with acerbic wit; the Bulls Head for a bit of head-banging rock and Soul Suite for a slice of smooth Motown classics. The recent opening of a Hard Rock Café in Playa de las Américas has strengthened its position as the tourist nightlife centre of Tenerife.

Student scene

La Laguna rarely gets mentioned in the same sentence as Tenerife and nightlife, yet it's the location of the island's university and part of the metropolis area where the greatest majority of the Canarian population lives. Everyone knows that where you've got students you're guaranteed a mix of eclectic bars and La Laguna is no different than anywhere else with a thirsty student population. There's a triangle of streets in the centre of Tenerife's former capital that is full of great bars that most tourists will never set foot in, yet which would be right up any visiting student's calle. There's even one bar where customers with beards are particularly welcome, appropriately called Barbas. Unsurprisingly there's a decent live music scene as well. I saw Echo and the Bunnymen play live in La Laguna and it didn't even cost a centimo.

Early doors

Outside of Tenerife's southern resorts, the best of the bar action doesn't get going till after midnight which doesn't suit the pattern of every visitor who's interested in drinking up the atmosphere surrounded by locals. The Noria district in Santa Cruz is the perfect halfway house. Early evening the pavement cafés buzz with the never-pausing-for-breath chatter of stylish city dwellers chilling out at the end of the working day. As the evening progresses, the action moves onto rooftop terraces and inside chic venues like Mojos y Mojitos and Los Reunidos as the volume is turned up and the Santa Cruz fashionistas move in.

South American beat

The South American influence in Tenerife is massive with many families having relatives on the other side of the Atlantic. Some of the population are known as 'Indianos' – emigrants who made their fortune in Venezuela or Cuba and returned to their Canary Island homeland to invest their riches. As a result, the soundtrack of every fiesta is generally dominated by a sizzling Latino beat. This beat extends into bars and clubland where the music is often reggaeton and the moves on the dance floor are more likely to be salsa and merengue than anything else. Puerto de la Cruz has a steamy Latino club scene that many Northern European visitors don't know exists as the hip-thrusting doesn't get going until after most have returned to their hotels. In some parts of the town it can be busier at 3am than 3pm. Steamiest venue is Azucar, located in an atmospheric colonial building. It's a dark and sexy Cuban bar with an electric atmosphere and isn't for the faint hearted.

Gay bars and clubs

Avenida Familia Betencourt y Molina in Puerto de la Cruz is the closest thing to an LGBT district as you'll find on Tenerife. There are a few bars and clubs along the avenue displaying the unmistakeable rainbow colours. The pick of these is Vampis, one of the best clubs on Tenerife whatever your sexual persuasion.

Simply sophisticated

Sometimes just chilling out in a sleek and sexy looking bar hits the right spot, irrespective of what music is being played or who the other clientèle are. As a rule of thumb, wherever there is a decent nocturnal scene on Tenerife, there is at least one chic bar for night owls who like their drinks to be served in stylish surroundings. One of the easiest to spot is Faro Chill Art in Costa Adeje. It's a beautiful looking bar/club on various levels overlooking the south coast of Tenerife. How do you find it? Well, there's this big neon coloured lighthouse...

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