If Tenerife nightlife conjures up images in your mind of drunken Brits staggering outside nightclubs with their shorts around their knees, then you've either been seduced by tabloid sensationalism and TV fly-on-the-wall documentaries or you've been to Veronica's on a Saturday night. Either way, what you've seen is staggeringly unrepresentative of what Tenerife has to offer when the sun goes down.
Depending on where you're staying, the nightlife culture varies considerably, both in terms of what's on offer and in its opening hours.
Hitting the right note
The bars and clubs of the southern and western resorts are predominantly geared towards the Brits who frequent them, so entertainment includes artists performing British and US material and most bars peak between 10pm and midnight, closing around 1-2am.
By contrast, in Puerto de la Cruz and Santa Cruz (see Santa Cruz de Tenerife nightlife) you'll predominantly hear salsa and Latino music, bars don't liven up until after midnight and stay open until the morning's first bocadillos (crusty rolls) are baked.
Stay away from the resorts altogether and you'll find that in rural Tenerife the liveliest entertainment is the table of old men playing dominoes outside the village's only bar.
Let me entertain you
As you might expect, the range and quality of night life available in any resort area reflects the make-up of audiences you'll find there so as a quick rule of thumb, if you want to see the island's best cabaret acts and lively karaoke bars you should head to Playa de Las Americas which, for the millions of Brits who annually holiday there, is the nightlife epicentre of the island (see Playa de Las Américas nightlife).
Theatre and concert goers should head to the capital city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife where they will find the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, dance, drama and cinema. And those looking for a taste of Canarian and Spanish nightlife will do best in the northern resort of Puerto de la Cruz.
For the student scene, the bars of the university city of La Laguna throng during term times with students from across the Canary Islands and live concerts are not uncommon and frequently have free admission.
Clubbers will find plenty to keep them on the dancefloor all over the island, but you will notice differences in the type of music you're grooving to depending on where you are. Some of the island's most popular clubs are in Puerto de la Cruz and Santa Cruz but you'll find your Ministry of Sound takes second place to Reggaeton and Latin house.