Arrecife is the capital of Lanzarote and has been since the 15th century a small fishing harbour. It only became the capital at the end of the 18th century, taking over from inland Teguise. It is bustling, and unpretentious, with a weekly street market every Wedneday and Thursday. About half of the Island's population live in Arrecife, which has grown to 55,000 in recent years. When you arrive at Arrecife airport it is a good 20 minutes journey by taxi.
Businesses and shops generally close between 1-4pm. However, since the cruise ships began sailing more regularly to Arrecife many of the bigger stores, cafe bars and restaurants stay open all day.
"Places to see"
El Charco de San Gines is a salt-water lagoon surrounded by fishermen's houses and cafe bars. It is the location of the weekly markets (10-3) . It is also the focal point for many activities in August during Fiesta de San Gines. The Charco also has an art gallery open to the public
La Casa de Los Arroyo, a typical old residence with courtyard, which houses the "Blas Cabrera" Scientific centre.
Castillo de San Jose, is an old castle which has had the Ceser Manrique interior design magic wand waved over it and is home to the international Museum of Modern Art, with pucker restaurant in the basement.
Castillo de San Gabriel, is the castle right on the beach, which houses the Archaeological Museum.
Casa de la Cultura Agustin de la Hoz.
Iglesia de San Gines, a 17th century church in the centre of Arrecife. Named after the patron Saint of the City. It was originally a hermitage, becoming a church in 1778. Every June at Corpus Christi and on the 15th of august, it is a focal point of festivities.
Puerto de Los Marmoles, where the ferry to Las Palmas (Gran Canaria) and cruise liners sail.
The main shopping street, Castillo y Leon with a variety of shops and cafes.
El Reducto, the main sandy beach