Ciutadella, the second largest city in Menorca, is fascinating and undiscovered, a must-visit place during your holiday on the island.
From capital to ecclesiastical see: the history of Ciutadella de Menorca
Ciutadella was the capital of Menorca during the Arab occupation of the island and has a vast historical heritage that you can see not only in its museums and palaces, but also when you walk through the narrow streets of the old town. It will be like taking a trip to the past!
The port of Ciutadella, on the other hand, with its clubs and restaurants will bring you back to the present. You will breathe in a cheerful, young and lively atmosphere every day of the year.
Would you like to discover Ciutadella? Come with me and I will tell you everything you shouldn’t miss!
TOP 5: What to see in Ciutadella
There are so many things to see and do in Ciutadella, but my advice is to let yourself go and follow your instincts, discovering hidden corners, alleys, little shops, stopping for a coffee or an aperitif sitting on a terrace, and watching people go about their daily business. Only in this way can you discover the true essence of Ciutadella.
However, there are some places you absolutely cannot miss on your visit to the city. They are these:
1. Es Born Square
In the square of Es Born you will find most of the historical buildings of Ciutadella: the beautiful Town Hall, the theatre, Salort Palace, and Torresaura Palace. Also, in the centre of the square, you can see a 22-metre high obelisk erected in honour of the victory in the battle against the Turkish army in 1558.
Take the full tour of the square and don’t miss the beautiful details of these buildings.
This is where the weekly market is held and the centre of Ciutadella’s patron saint festivities: the feast of St John.
2. Port of Ciutadella
The port of Ciutadella, although not as large as that of Mahón, has a unique charm and is an essential destination if you are passing through the town.
It is also the main hub of the evenings in Ciutadella: here, you will find a series of restaurants where you can enjoy excellent fresh fish with an incomparable view and clubs where you can listen to music and dance.
3. Streets in the historic centre
As I said before, walking through the narrow streets of Ciutadella’s historic centre is in itself one of the best things to do in the city.
Walk down Ses Voltes, a street characterised by its arcades where you will find beautiful little shops and cafés, until you reach Plaza Nova where you can sit on one of its terraces and enjoy a refreshing pomada (gin with lemonade), a typical Menorcan drink.
4. St Mary’s Cathedral
Ciutadella is, still today, the ecclesiastical capital and seat of the bishopric of Menorca. For this reason, its cathedral, St Mary’s Cathedral, is the largest religious temple on the island.
It was built in the 13th century at the request of King Alfonso III of Aragon, right over the remains of an ancient mosque.
Its architectural style, known as Catalan Gothic, is typical of the period and the area.
5. Can Saura: Municipal Museum of Ciutadella
Whether you are a history lover or just want to learn more about the origins and traditions of Ciutadella, I recommend a visit to Can Saura, home to the city’s Municipal Museum.
Here, in addition to the history of the city in particular and Menorca in general, you can learn about the customs and traditions of Ciutadella.
The palace itself is worth a visit.
Where to eat in Ciutadella
In Ciutadella you can find an infinite number of restaurants to suit every taste and need. In this post, however, I have selected four of the best in the city:
You will find it in every guidebook and blog about restaurants on the island. It is, in fact, one of the best seafood restaurants in Menorca, I am talking about Café Balear, located at the port of Ciutadella.
One of its specialities is lobster, which you can enjoy either in the classic caldereta de langosta, one of the typical dishes of Menorcan gastronomy, or fried, with onions, grilled… There is something for everyone!
All the fish and seafood you will eat at Café Balear are fresh and caught the same day directly from the fishermen’s boats.
Maramao- tapas bar
Dinner or lunch at Maramao is an experience you simply cannot miss! Located in a small street in the centre of Ciutadella, Maramao offers signature tapas combining local and Italian products and flavours.
Moreover, its value for money is simply outstanding.
S’Amarador is another excellent seafood restaurant in Menorca, with a beautiful terrace overlooking the port of Ciutadella.
The fish in this restaurant is caught in the waters of Menorca using traditional techniques, while the lobster comes from the restaurant’s own fishponds.
If you are looking for a restaurant to celebrate a special occasion, Smoix is just what you need.
In this restaurant, recommended not only by me, but also by the Michelin Guide, you can enjoy signature Mediterranean cuisine made from the highest quality products.
What to do in Ciutadella by night
Menorca is a quiet island, suitable for people who want to spend their holidays relaxing and in contact with nature and for families with children.
However, if you want to spend a different evening, you can find clubs in Ciutadella where you can listen to music and, in some cases, even dance!
The most famous are Jazzbah, located at the port of Ciutadella where independent music concerts are held, with disco and chill-out area, the Sa Kova disco, specialising in DJ concerts and events, and Kopas Club, with several dance floors, which caters for all musical tastes.
The best beaches near Ciutadella
Ciutadella is located in the west of the island of Menorca. From here you can easily and quickly reach some of the island’s most beautiful beaches.
If you go north, you can reach the charming and well-equipped Cala Morell in just over 10 minutes by car. If, on the other hand, you are looking for something wilder, I highly recommend visiting the Algaiarens, a set of three beaches, each one more beautiful than the last. They are less than 20 minutes by car from Ciutadella.
Towards the south you can reach jewels such as Cala Turqueta, slightly over 22 minutes by car, or Cala Macarella, which during the summer months can only be reached by bus from the centre of Ciutadella.
If you prefer an equipped beach, I recommend going to Cala Galdana, a 22-minute drive from Ciutadella.
How to get to Ciutadella
If you arrive in Menorca by plane, you will land at the airport near the city of Mahón. From there, you can reach Ciutadella in a private vehicle along the Me1 in about 45 minutes.
If you do not have a private vehicle, you can take a shuttle bus from the airport to the centre of Mahón and, from there, take the L01 bus to Ciutadella. These buses run about one per hour.
However, if you travel by ship, some ferries arrive directly at the port of Ciutadella from Barcelona and Alcudia (Majorca).
Ciutadella is a fascinating city waiting to be discovered. When are you coming?