Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote is a diverse and interesting place to visit during your holiday, here’s our guide as to what to do and where to go.
The Castillo de San Gabriel is situated in the centre, inside is the history museum for the capital. The impressive drawbridge is called the Puente de las bolas and was constructed in 1599 by engineer Leonardo Torriani as part of the city’s defense against pirate attacks. The name refers to the balls resting on top of the pillars.
Castillo de San José is the International Museum of Contemporary Art (MIAC) and situated overlooking the port, there is a bar and restaurant which you can visit separately as well as the art exhibitions. This 18th century castle is also often used for entertainment as a concert hall.
The beautiful little La Recova market is hidden away in the centre, accessed by small passageways. There is a selection of artisan craft shops together with a fresh food market on the weekdays and a second hand market on a Saturday.
The Saturday morning market is stretched out along the pedestrian streets between Leon y Castillo and Charco San Ginés. Here you can find traditional crafts, fresh produce and handmade goods.
Charco San Ginés
The sea water lagoon known as El Charco de San Ginés is a beautiful open space just off the city centre. Here you will find small boats moored and tapas bars. In the summer there are entertaining jolatero races and the men playing with their model sailing boats. Look out for the alley way back to the San Ginés church called El Aguaresío.
The Quiosco de la Música (music kiosk) is a bandstand on the seafront in Arrecife. The one standing today is a replica built in the 1960’s. Currently home to a tourist information office.
The Parque Temático is situated at the far end of the beach, directly opposite the bus stop and Cabildo. This is a large area with skateboard ramp, children’s play park, excercise equipment , sculptures and gardens. Check out the green grass!
Shopping in Arrecife is best on a Saturday morning when the market is on or in an evening, there’s a lovely atmosphere with pavement cafés, a mixture of shops from surf, designer, fashion, household, shoes and more.
The Centro Comercial Arrecife shopping centre is opposite the bus station and football ground. There is a market place with fresh produce, Eurospar supermarket as well as a good range of shops and cafeterias
More information: Shopping in Arrecife
The Arrecife buses connect the resorts to the capital, it’s easier to access the centre of Arrecife from the Intercambiador.
More information: Lanzarote Buses
The high rise building!
For a bird’s eye view, head for the top floor of the Gran Hotel, the Skybar makes a fabulous coffee stop during a visit to the capital.
Arrecife has lots of sculptures dotted throughout the parks and on roundabouts, this one is Barlovento a creation of César Manrique.
There are some great tapas bars and restaurants around the capital, we particularly like the ones situated in the historic area of San Ginés.
For a capital city, Arrecife has a stunning beach! Playa el Reducto has beautiful golden sand and sheltered by the reef. A good selection of bars and restaurants are just across the street making it a great place to relax after a shopping expedition. The beach is complete with sunbeds, umbrellas, lifeguards and some watersports such as kayak, and stand up paddle available.
There is a “train” that runs regularly along the seafront connecting the Intercambiador bus stop to Charco San Ginés and The Marina.
Marina Lanzarote is a full-on yacht marina in the capital, with loads of shops, bars and restaurants, as well as a late night bar and music scene and member’s gym.
Parque Islas Canarias is the one situated between the Gran Hotel and Casino Club Náutico, this open space has planted beds with sculptures and wooden decking including stone steps down to the sea. Opposite is the Islote de Fermina, the open air swimming pool which is currently closed to the public.Parque José Ramirez Cerdá is situated where the music kiosk is, overlooking the Castillo de San Gabriel. This park has lots of seating shaded with beautiful bougainvillea growing up the sides. There is a children’s play area and bar at either end.
Lots of visitors enjoy watching a U.D. Lanzarote home game, they play every other Sunday through the season at the Ciudad Deportiva which is conveniently next to the bus station.
Puerto Naos is Lanzarote’s main port for goods coming in the island, but it’s also an extremely busy cruise port, and the world’s largest ships regularly dock there.
We hope you enjoy discovering the capital of Lanzarote! Please let us know what you like about Arrecife and if we should include anything else to our guide.