Arrecife has been the political and economic capital of Lanzarote since 1852. Around half of the entire Lanzarote population (approx. 60,000) live here.
There is now a beautiful promenade along the beach, passing the Grandhotel and continuing quite a bit further. A market takes place at the far end of the promenade every Wednesday. Walking along the promenade, you will pass the "Castillo San Gabriel" which accommodates the Archaeological Museum of Lanzarote. The castle’s draw bridge "Puente de las Bolas" is one of Arrecife’s landmarks.
Continuing along the promenade, you will then reach "Charco San Ginés" - a small lagoon at the sea. This area has become very, very popular in the last few years and the nicest bars and restaurant, where the majority visitors are local people, can be find here. The Castillo de San José is situated a little further away. César Manrique converted the castle into the Museum for Contemporary Art in 1974. There is restaurant in the basement where you can enjoy some of the finest culinary specialities. The restaurant was designed by Manrique and offers a beautiful view to the harbour. "Puerto de los Mármoles" – the harbour of Arrecife handles most of the island’s cargo. Many ships leave from here to the other Canary Islands and the Spanish mainland, and numerous cruise ships arrive here as well.
The pedestrian area in the Calle León y Castillo invites to an extensive shopping spree. Your male companion can while the time away in one of the many inviting small cafes and tapas bars. Lanzarote’s highest building - the "Grand Hotel" - was built in the 70’s but closed for economic reasons in 1991 and was completely gutted by a fire in 1994. It reopened in its present form in 2004.
Visiting the bar on the top floor of the hotel is worthwhile for the beautiful view alone.