If you’re looking for a charming little town with historic buildings, Teguise is a must.
This ancient capital still has some of its noble houses and a beautiful church.
Here’s our guide to all the best things to do in the city and places not to miss.
BEFORE ALL OUR TIPS, OUR favorites
Our favorite car rental platform with great offers: DiscoverCars
This opinion is completely independent, based on our experiences. We visited the area anonymously, making our own choices, and paying all our bills in full.
Visiting the old town of Teguise – practical tips
Is a visit to Teguise worthwhile?
Absolutely. Teguise is the prettiest town to visit on Lanzarote. It gives you a different perspective between beaches and volcanoes. We love the historic buildings, with their white walls, red bricks and wooden doors and shutters.
We highly recommend a visit to Teguise.
What to do in Teguise
The essentials in Teguise:
- The main square with the church
- The surrounding streets with their palatial houses
- Admire the mountain-top fort next to Teguise (Castillo Santa Barbara)
But we’ll tell you more about all the sights to see in the old town in the rest of the article.
The town is famous for its Sunday market, the “Mercadillo de Teguise”, which attracts visitors from all over the island. It creates a lively, picturesque atmosphere that reflects the soul of Teguise, even if the stalls are no longer just traditional products.
For how long? Difficulty?
We recommend that you allow 1 hour for just a tour, and half a day to soak up the atmosphere and visit in greater depth.
The town is easy to visit, with narrow streets and plenty of space. The ground is not too difficult, but we still recommend not wearing heels.
Please note that if you come on Sunday morning for the market between 9am and 2pm, parking and traffic will be difficult.
Where is Teguise?
Teguise lies in the heart of Lanzrote, slightly to the north.
- Playa Blanca to Teguise = 45min drive
- Puerto del Carmen to Teguise = 25 min
- Costa Teguise to Teguise = 20 min
How to get to Teguise – Parking
The easiest way to get there is to rent a car and drive yourself.
We love cruising the roads of Lanzarote, and highly recommend this option.
Access to the city is easy and well signposted.
Parking is available next to Parque La Mareta. The city is easily accessible from this parking lot. If you come early (except Sundays), you’ll find it easy to park.
Alternatively, there are parking lots further from the town center, if you come on market day or during the high season.
OUR ADVICE FOR RENTING A CAR IN Lanzarote
- Compare prices on our preferred platform: DiscoverCars – one of the best rated sites.
- A small car is all you need.
- But you can also choose a larger one if you wish, as the parking spaces are rather large.
- There’s a lot of demand and it’s an island, so book early.
1. Explore the narrow streets of the historic center
If there’s only one thing to do in Teguise, it’s stroll through its historic streets.
Teguise is one of the oldest towns in the Canaries, with a history dating back more than five centuries. It was founded in the 15th century and served as the island’s capital for several centuries, until 1852 (now Arrecife).
Strolling through the streets of Teguise, you can still admire magnificent historic buildings, an ancient church and traditional houses with whitewashed facades.
The town has managed to preserve its authentic charm despite growing tourism in Lanzarote.
During your walk, we recommend you take a good look around:
- whitewashed walls, traditional in the Canaries. It’s ideal for temperature control and sanitary purposes.
- the wooden elements on many houses: solid doors, decorated window frames and shutters with their upward opening for ventilation and protection from the sun and heat
But take a good look around, because you’ll also discover some less historic, but fun and charming, elements of decor. There are quite a few small sculptures, sometimes created from recycled objects.
2. Visit the church: Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
The must-see in Teguise, and surely the most photographed building, is the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Iglesia Matriz de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe).
It was founded in the 15th century, but was just a windowless building at the time.
Unfortunately, the church has suffered over the centuries: looting, fire… the last time was in 1909. But the locals have always rebuilt it.
Start by admiring it from the outside. Its red brick tower and bell tower overlook the town.
The tower is square at the base and topped by a prism added in 1914 to make it the tallest building in the city.
Admire the gateway with its wood carvings and red rocks all around. We think it’s really beautiful.
Inside, you’ll discover a spacious church with three naves and side chapels, and the island’s most precious ecclesiastical heritage.
Take your time to discover the surprising representations, paintings, statues and small stained-glass windows.
Then explore the narrow streets to find more buildings. The old center isn’t large, so you won’t get lost, especially with that protruding bell tower.
3. Casa Francisco Torres
In Calle Nueva, you’ll find Casa Torres, well worth a visit.
It’s an 18th-century seigneurial residence. It’s typical, with lime walls, dark stones at the ends, windows with carved wooden shutters, and a beautiful wooden door.
The top of the house is decorated with typical plant pots.
Admire the building as a whole, with all its contrasts. It’s a two-storey building with a central courtyard and a tiled roof.
But don’t forget to approach the old gate to admire the ironwork.
4. Palacio del Marques
The full name is Casa Palacio Marques de Herrera.
It’s a historic palace and one of Teguise’s most emblematic monuments, bearing witness to the island’s history and architecture. It was built in the 16th and rebuilt in the 17th century by order of Martín de Herrera y Rojas, who was Marquis of Teguise at the time. It is an outstanding example of Canary architecture from the colonial era. The palace features volcanic stone walls and an inner courtyard surrounded by galleries with wooden balustrades.
It was once the seat of Lanzarote’s government. It was burnt down in 1618 during Morato Arraez’s invasion.
Since its reconstruction, it has remained unchanged, making it one of the oldest buildings on the Canary Islands.
Take time to admire the magnificent wooden door.
Today it’s a restaurant. A short break at the Palacio del Marqués de Teguise allows you to step back in time and appreciate Lanzarote’s cultural heritage.
5. Palacio Ico
Situated in the cobbled streets of historic Teguise, the Palacio Ico is a small 9-room hotel with lots of charm.
The building, which dates back to 1690, has been restored and adapted. Elements of traditional Canarian architecture have been preserved.
It’s a real trip back in time, but with all the modern comforts!
We love the interior patio, all the wooden elements, the stone walls…
Admire the exterior façade. Here you can see one of the last remaining wooden balconies in Teguise.
The building’s name is Casa de los Corneles de Fuerteventura. And it has had a rich history.
In the 18th century, it was the residence of Agustin de Carera et Bethencourt Sumpierrezz, 5th Governor of the Provence of Fuerteventura.
It was used as barracks by the Guardia Civil from 1923 to 1961.
And it has served as a studio and art gallery for artists such as Marcila de Leon Santisteban and Heidi Bucher Muller.
WHERE TO STAY IN Lanzarote
Option 1: Playa Blanca
To the south, the resort is charming with beautiful beaches. We recommend..:
Option 2: Puerto del Carmen
Main seaside resort with large beaches. We recommend..:
6. Museo del Timple / Palacio Spinola
The Casa Museo Palacio Spínola is another not-to-be-missed 18th-century mansion on the main square.
It is one of Lanzarote’s most important buildings, due to its size and original architectural features.
It was renovated in the 1970s by architect Fernando Higueras and artist César Manrique.
Note the whitewashed walls, the black stones at the corners and the typical windows.
Right in front of Plaza de la Constitucion you will see a beautiful building called Palacio Spinola. It now houses the Timple Museum, as well as sometimes hosts concerts and exhibitions. The Timple is a typical musical instrument of Lanzarote. It is a kind of guitar with four or five strings which was introduced to the island by the Spaniards.
Today, the building houses the Timple Museum. It’s a stringed instrument similar to the guitar, traditionally with 4 or 5 strings (the 5th string was added at the end of the 19th century). It originates from the Canary Islands and has been manufactured since the 19th century.
You can visit the museum Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 3 or 4 pm, or Sundays and public holidays from 9 am to 2 or 3 pm. See official website here.
7. Museum of Sacred Art and San Francisco Convent
A little outside the narrow streets of Teguise, you’ll find another church converted into a museum.
This is the San Francisco convent. It was the first convent on Lanzarote, built in the late 16th century. Unfortunately, following a fire, only the church remains. And despite the attacks, it has retained its traditional elements.
Today it houses the Museum of Religious Art, where you can see (with explanations in Spanish and English):
- Mudejar tiles
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday at least from 10am to 2pm, with some days longer. Closed on Monday.
Subscribe to our Newsletter
- Get away from it all with Region Lovers’ beautiful destinations!
- Once a month
All around the town, you can also see a number of statues: figures, animals…
We particularly liked it:
- The majestic lions in the main square, donated by the Spinola family
- “Elegua” in front of the San Francisco convent, one of the most popular traditions in the Canary Islands.
- “El Tela” (photo below) by José Aradas Garcia, a bronze sculpture of a small boat on a huge wave, with a relief bust. This sculpture is a tribute to all the sailors who were killed, wounded or kidnapped on the African coast.
9. Other buildings to see
As you stroll through the narrow streets, you’ll come across other historic buildings. Here are some of their stories.
In Villa Teguise, where the administrative center of Lanzarote was located in the 15th century, the first barn for collecting tithes and offerings was erected. Pope Eugene IV decreed that “all residents of the diocese should pay tithes and offerings to the Church, in accordance with the well-established practice in other Christian communities”.
Later, under the supervision of artist Cesar Manrique, the barn underwent renovations while preserving the integrity of its exterior structure.
Today there’s a bank inside.
Casa Jimenes was the home of famous musician José Perdomo Vega. It was built in the 18th century.
With its 2 levels and 2 rows of wooden windows, it’s a bit of a surprise compared with the other buildings. Note also the wrought-iron balcony.
Antonio Diaz Rocha’s house was bought by a priest in 1903 and became the parish house.
The façade features neoclassical elements such as the door and windows.
The Acatife restaurant is housed in an early 19th-century nobleman’s house. It was built by an important figure Antonio Cabrera de Ayala, who had many different roles, including that of lawyer.
This restaurant opened in 1961, making it one of Teguise’s must-visit restaurants.
And before you set off again, don’t miss the remains of the windmill above the town center parking lot.
It no longer turns, but you can see the propellers and the mechanism.
11. Teguise market
Every Sunday morning (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), one of the main attractions of Teguise and Lanzarote is the market.
The market is full of color and cheerful vendors. It brings a different atmosphere to the old town.
You’ll find ceramic objects, souvenirs, handicrafts, food trucks…
However, it’s become a very touristy market, so it’s now much less packed with traditional and local produce stalls.
12. Castillo Santa Barbara and piracy museum
Above the town of Teguise stands a fort. You can’t miss it!
This is Santa Barbara Castle, a 15th-century fortress. It lies on the edge of a volcano caldera, with a strategic view to prevent pirate attacks.
Today, the fortress houses a museum on history and piracy.
It has been closed and under restoration for several years. We have no information about its reopening.
What to do around Teguise
You can combine your visit to Teguise with other places nearby.
Famara beach and its cliffs
It’s well known that one of the best places to see the sunset in Lanzarote is on Famara beach, and we weren’t disappointed.
The wet sand reflects Famara’s impressive cliffs, struck by the setting sun.
Driving time from Teguise: 15 min
LagOmar is one of Lanzarote’s most spectacular private properties.
Conceived by César Manrique and designed by Jesus Soto, it was built in a quarry with natural tunnels and caves. It’s a whole labyrinth to explore!
In the 70s, Oman Sharif came to Lanzarote to film “The Mysterious Island” and bought it. In the 90s, it was enhanced by German and Uruguayan architects with flora, reclaimed wood beams and many other materials.
Today, it can be visited as a museum.
Check opening hours and prices here.
Driving time from Teguise: 5 min
Casa Museo del Campesino
Al Campesino was designed by César Manrique as a tribute to the people who work in the fields and the hard work they put into growing crops in these difficult conditions.
The buildings resemble traditional houses with white walls and green borders. Inside is a museum where you can find local craftsmen doing traditional work.
But the place is visually iconic thanks to the 15 m-high sculpture, also by César Manrique (1968). It’s called Monumento a la Fecundidad (Monument to Fecundity) and seems to be the center of Lanzarote.
Check opening hours here.
Driving time from Teguise: 10 min
Bodegas El Grifo
Our favorite Lanzaorte vineyard is El Grifo.
Here you’ll find beautiful vineyards and a museum on Lanzarote viticulture.
El Grifo is the oldest winery in the Canary Islands and one of the 10 oldest in Spain.
Discover their wine tasting!
Driving time from Teguise: 12 min