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Lanzarote's capital is a small, agreeable, south-coast city with a pleasant Mediterranean-style promenade, an inviting sandy beach washed by the sparkling Atlantic, and a disarming backstreet hotchpotch of sun-bleached buildings, unpretentious bars, buzzy shopping streets and restaurants of all kinds. Though a little thin on the ground for a Canarian capital, Arrecife's sights are well worth exploring, including a couple of castles, a pretty saltwater lagoon, an important art gallery and several César Manrique creations; you'll find the most historical charm in the narrow backstreets around the church and lagoon. All that said, Arrecife’s most notable quality is that it’s a no-nonsense working town that earns its living from something other than tourism.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Arrecife.