Castillo San Jose in Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canary Islands; Shutterstock ID 177666716; Your name (First / Last): Tom Stainer; GL account no.: 65050 ; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Best in Travel 2018

Shutterstock / Joanna Zaleska

Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo

Top choice in Arrecife

Converted into an art gallery in 1976, on César Manrique's wish, the well-preserved 18th-century Castillo de San José houses one of the Canaries' major contemporary art collections. Aside from a couple of early works by Manrique himself, its thoughtfully presented rooms spanning the 1950s to 1970s star works by such greats as Miró, Millares, Tàpies and Lanzarote-born Pancho Lasso. It's a walkable 2km northwest of central Arrecife.

The castle was built to deal with pirates and provide unemployed locals with a public-works job scheme, and today also hosts a smart restaurant.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Arrecife attractions

1. Charco de San Ginés

1.08 MILES

Fringed by homes and restaurants in a beguiling combination of mildly down at heel and freshly whitewashed (with blue trim), the attractive natural San…

2. Iglesia de San Ginés

1.16 MILES

Dating from 1665 and featuring Tuscan-style columns, a neoclassical tower and a 17th-century statue of the island’s patron saint, this triple-nave church…

3. Casa Amarilla

1.23 MILES

This handsome mustard-yellow, tile-walled 1920s building was once the headquarters of Lanzarote's Cabildo; it now hosts rotating exhibitions.

4. Museo Arqueológico de Lanzarote

1.26 MILES

Tucked into the repurposed mansion of 20th-century lanzaroteño doctor and architect Fermín Rodríguez Bethencourt and his wife Manuela García Parrilla,…

5. Castillo de San Gabriel

1.33 MILES

On a little islet just off the seafront promenade, reached via the 18th-century Puente de las Bolas or a more recent Franco-era bridge, the 16th-century…

7. Biblioteca Universitaria Municipal

1.43 MILES

In the green-shuttered former Parador building, right on the seafront, this university library conceals four wonderful early César Manrique murals,…

8. Playa del Reducto

1.73 MILES

If you fancy a dip, the city’s main beach is lovely: an arc of pristine pale-gold sand fringed with lofty palm trees and a promenade. It's safe for…