Arrecife’s town centre is one of the most emblematic spots in Lanzarote. It has been the island’s capital since the 19th Century, the seat of political power and the home of a large proportion of the island’s population.
The capital of the island is a great example of Lanzarote’s traditional architecture. Characterised by tall white buildings, the use of masonry, and contrasting wooden elements. It is a small and humble city, which was developed due to its proximity to the sea and the economic growth led by maritime transport, which is clear nowadays in the way that the city is structured.
Arrecife is guarded by imposing castles, which show that the city was once the island’s fortress. The city is vast, and its parks give a good account of this, like the Parque Islas Canarias or the Parque Temático, which are places full of life ideal for a walk or to relax. Not to be forgotten either is the popular Parque José Ramírez Cerdá and its emblematic Quiosco de la Música.
The main shopping street in Arrecife is Calle León y Castillo, also known as Calle Real, where you’ll find most of the capital’s shops. From family shops to large chains, as well as banks and pharmacies.
Places of interest in Arrecife
- Charco de San Ginés. A symbol of Arrecife, the centre of the old centre of the city, and living evidence of the area’s fishing legacy.
- Iglesia de San Ginés (Church of Saint Genesius). Catholic church originating from the late 16th Century. The most important church in Arrecife. Found in the capital’s most popular neighbourhood – San Ginés.
- Castillo de San José (Castle of Saint Joseph). Castle from the late 18th Century which is proof of the many pirate attacks Arrecife has suffered. Today, it holds the Arrecife Contemporary Art Museum.
- Castillo de San Gabriel (Castle of Saint Gabriel). Built on an islet in the 16th Century. The oldest castle in the city. Today, it holds the Arrecife History Museum.
- Calle León y Castillo – Calle Real (León y Castillo Street – Real Street). The busiest Street in Arrecife. Found in the old part of the city and ideal for shopping and food.
- CIC El Almacén (El Almacén Cultural Innovation Centre). El Almacén is the capital’s cultural centre, specialising in modern and avant-garde art.
- Lanzarote Marina. The marina is on a small peninsula on Arrecife’s coast. It is used as a marina and a shopping and restaurant area.
- Recova Municipal. Found next to the Iglesia de San Ginés, in the old part of the city. Home to several outlets.
- Casa Amarilla. Rises above the centre of Arrecife and was the seat of the island’s government for many years. Today it is a cultural establishment on the island.
- Parque Islas Canarias.
- Parque José Ramírez Cerdá – Quiosco de la Música.