Do you want to see Tenerife without a car?
No problem. Exploring Tenerife by bus is easy, comfortable and inexpensive. I did it for a week without any problems!
Here’s all you need to know to ace public transport in Tenerife.
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The Tenerife Bus Service (TITSA Buses Tenerife)
Every corner of the island of Tenerife is covered by the bus service managed by the cheekily named TITSA. This is an abbreviation for Transportes Interurbanos de Tenerife, Sociedad Anónima, which doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.
TITSA operates a modern fleet of shiny, shamrock-green buses. Tenerife buses are clean and equipped with the latest safety technology and air conditioning.
Additionally, much of the TITSA fleet is wheelchair accessible.
In many respects, buses are of a higher standard than those found in the UK.
Tenerife bus services run more or less on time.
Tenerife buses are called guaguas by Canarian people (pronounced ‘wah-wahs’).
Tourist Bus Routes in Tenerife
Take a look at this map from TITSA, summarising the major tourist bus routes in Tenerife.
These are the popular tourist routes:
- TITSA 102 / 103 Puerto de la Cruz – Santa Cruz
- TITSA 108 Santa Cruz – Icod
- TITSA 110 Santa Cruz – Costa Adeje
- TITSA 111 Santa Cruz – Costa Adeje via Tenerife South Airport
- TITSA 325 Puerto de la Cruz – Los Gigantes
- TITSA 342 Costa Adeje – El Teide
- TITSA 343 Puerto de la Cruz – Los Cristianos via Tenerife North and Tenerife South Airports
- TITSA 348 Puerto de la Cruz – Teleférico Del Teide
- TITSA 473 Los Cristianos – Los Gigantes
- TITSA 477 Costa Adeje – Los Gigantes
- TITSA 711 Santa Cruz – Costa Adeje via Tenerife South Airport
Tenerife Bus Tickets
When you buy your ticket from the bus driver, you can pay with cash or a bank card.
1. SINGLE TICKET
This is bought from the driver and the price depends on the route.
The maximum value of notes from which drivers can give change is 10 euros. Contactless payment via bank cards, smartphones and smartwatches is also accepted.
Single tickets can also be bought via the mobile app (ten+ Móvil).
2. ROUND-TRIP TICKET
Again, this is bought from the driver and is available for a same-day return journey covering a distance of at least 20 km. Buying a return ticket gives you a discount of 10%.
GOOD TO KNOW
When asking the driver for a return ticker the Spanish phrase to use is ida y vuelta (pronounced ‘eeda ee vuelta’) –the literal translation is ‘going and returning’
3. PAY-AS-YOU GO RECHARGEABLE PASS (TEN+ CARD)
Easier than buying individual tickets, load credit onto a contactless ten+ card and you’re good to go. This is the easiest way of paying for your bus fares in Tenerife and is also the most affordable option.
Although it’s not crystal clear from the company’s website, using the ten+ card gives you a reduction on the single fare, typically 20 – 30%.
4. FIXED-PERIOD BUS PASSES
Unlike public transport in Gran Canaria, tourist-friendly one-day and one-week bus passes are available, loaded onto a ten+ card or the ten+móvil app.
These cost €10 and €50 respectively (January 2023).
There are also passes available for those with disabilities, senior citizens (65+), children, young people and families.
Buying and Using the Tenmas (ten+) Card
You need to buy your ten+ card at the bus station, tram station or another authorised outlet. You won’t be able to buy this from the bus driver.
If you want to take the bus from Tenerife South Airport to your destination, you can buy a ten+ card from the Lycramobile shop, located just beyond the baggage reclaim area.
The card itself costs €2 which you then load with credit in €5 increments up to €100.
Recharge the ten+ card with credit at the bus/tram, station or at one of the self-service machines. You can also register and top-up yourTenmas card online.
You can use the ten+ card for travelling by bus and tram across Tenerife.
A ten+ card can be used by more than one passenger. You can also change buses.
The balance on your ten+ card is valid for one year from the date it was last topped up. The card itself is good for ten years.
To use the Tenmas card, tap it on the reader near the driver when you enter the bus. If more than one of you is using the card, just tell the driver before you present the card.
When you have reached your destination, tap the card again on the reader next to the exit door at the centre of the bus. The fare will be deducted from your credit balance, which will be displayed on the reader’s screen.
Getting and Using the ten+móvil App
I chose not to use the app because I felt that the ten+ card suited my purposes. Also, the app required the entry of my passport number as part of the registration process, about which I felt a little uncomfortable.
But if this is the right option for you, firstly, download the ten+móvil (Via Móvil) app from Google Play or the Apple Store.
Enter your registration details and add money to your account via a virtual wallet.
To pay for fares on board the bus or tram, you need to read the QR code to validate the trip. This is usually located near the entry door.
Tenerife Bus Fares
Using buses on the island is very affordable.
To put this into context, exploring Tenerife by bus cost me €35, which included the return fare from Puerto de la Cruz to Tenerife South Airport. Not bad for a week’s travel.
It’s worth noting that although the one-week travel pass wasn’t available when I travelled to Tenerife, at €50 for the week, this would have cost me more money.
Fares for popular tourist routes with Tenmas card
To give you a sense of how much it is likely to cost you to travel around Tenerife by bus, here is a selection of single fares (January 2023) for popular routes on the island:
- Puerto de la Cruz – Santa Cruz: €3.45
- Puerto de la Cruz – Tenerife South Airport: €19.55
- Los Cristianos – Santa Cruz: €5.90
Check current fares for Tenerife buses here.
Essential tips for exploring Tenerife by bus
1. Buy a Tenmas (ten+) Card
In terms of cost and convenience, a Tenmas card is unbeatable.
2. Get hold of a bus map and timetables
A Tenerife bus service map and set of timetables are indispensable in planning your routes around the island.
I was given these when I purchased my Tenmas card. Alternatively, download Tenerife bus schedules and map from the TITSA website or pick them up from one of the island’s Tourist Information Offices.
3. Check your destination carefully
TITSA buses display their three-digit number on the front, back and sides of the bus. The destination is displayed on the front of the bus.
If you want to double-check that you’re heading in the right direction, ask the driver. In my experience, most drivers are happy to help out visitors. And if your Spanish isn’t up to scratch, they are able to speak some English.
GOOD TO KNOW
If you are unsure, write down the destination name to show to the driver. Sometimes, the Spanish pronunciation of place names can be tricky for those not familiar with the language.
Once on the bus, the stops are not announced. However, you should be able to see them on a screen at the front of the bus (and sometimes on an additional screen near the exit doors).
If you need to get off at the next stop – la próxima parada in Spanish – you should let the driver know by pressing the red button.
4. Watch out for the express buses
There are some bus services that do not make any stops en route. Whilst these express buses are great if you want a speedy journey from A to B, they are not so great if you don’t want to travel all the way to the terminus.
I was caught out on day 1 when I intended to travel to La Laguna from Puerto de la Cruz but ended up in Santa Cruz sooner than I had wished. Don’t repeat my mistake.
NEED TO KNOW
To identify an express bus, look out for the words sin paradas in addition to the name of the destination displayed at the front of the bus
5. If you are paying with cash or card, keep hold of your ticket
Don’t risk a fine. Keep hold of your ticket until you leave the bus.
Supervisors board the buses to check tickets (I came across them twice during my week in Tenerife).
6. On popular routes, board the bus at its starting point and get there early.
On more than one occasion, I witnessed queues of people trying to board popular buses at the bus station, and full buses driving past a sea of disappointed faces at bus stops further along the route.
Buses in Tenerife are also used heavily by residents and can get very busy. To avoid disappointment, catch your bus at its starting point if possible (usually the bus station) and arrive a good 15 minutes before its scheduled departure time.
Recommended Tenerife Guidebook
Getting your hands on a good guidebook to help you to plan your trip to Tenerife and to explore the country whilst you are there, is a smart move. I highly recommend this excellent Marco Polo guide, which was my constant companion I visited Tenerife.
Tenerife by Bus: Final Thoughts
Whilst hiring a car gives you greater freedom, getting around by bus in Tenerife is an easy and very affordable way of seeing the island.
Exploring Tenerife without a car frees you from the stress of driving and parking. In not adding to the traffic congestion on the island, in your own small way you are doing your bit towards preventing climate change.
Apart from the lack of flexibility, the only other disadvantages of exploring Tenerife by bus are the infrequency of some schedules and a lack of direct routes to some destinations, necessitating a change of bus. However, with a little forward planning, you can overcome these disadvantages.
Finally, we all like a friendly and polite traveller and bus drivers are no different. Greeting them with a smile and a cheery hola / buenos días / buenas tardes will go a long way to easing your journey.
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7 thoughts on “Exploring Tenerife by Bus: TITSA Buses Made Easy in 2023”
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as of january 2021 you cant pay nor with cash neither card. you have to buy a ten+ card, god knows where from.
Hi! Thanks for this info. I’ll review info accordingly (the TITSA website suggest that you can still purchase tickets from the driver but this isn’t supported by recent passenger reviews!)
Where can i top up my card near los cristianos bus station when the kiosk is closed
Sorry. I can’t help you as I didn’t visit Los Cristianos. Hope that you manage to top up your card.
Thanks you so much for your article. It’s help me so much!
Great! So glad that you found it helpful 🙂
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