Ciutadella is, in my opinion, the most beautiful city of the island. If you visit Menorca, it would be a big mistake to leave without visiting what it had been long time ago the administrative center of the island, and which name comes from the latin (Ciutadella is the diminutive of city).
You can easy notice that Ciutadella was the capital of Menorca. All the city has buildings of historical and cultural interest very well preserved and thanks to that, in 1964 the city was declared historical-artistic ensemble of the Spanish State. Besides the good condition of the city, we have to highlight that Ciutadella was destroyed in 1558 during a turkish looting (that year is remembered as the Any de sa Desgràcia that means the Disaster Year), so it had to be rebuilt.
Port of Ciutadella
The port of Ciutadella is a mandatory visit in the island, you cannot miss it. Along the port there are many bars and restaurants with terrace where you can eat specialties of Menorca apart from pizzas, tapas and sandwitches. There is a very wide offer, but it’s quite difficult to get a table in the most popular places such as the Balear, S’Amarador or Triton. If you are going to the port to have lunch or dinner, you can complement it with an ice cream or a “granizado” (iced drink) in the popular Sa Gelateria.
One of the particularity of the port of Ciutadella is the meteorological phenomena known as Rissaga, that takes place few times per year. When it occurs, the sea level can oscillate up and down 2 meters during short periods of time. Along the history there have been very destructive Rissagas (such as the Rissaga of 2006) that have destroyed practically all the boats of the port of Ciutadella.
Besides all the bars and restaurants, you can also find shops and small markets in both of the access ramps to the port (the ramp from the Es Born square, and the stairs that give access to the port from Can Faustino). Personally I prefer the ones that you can find in the ramp of the Es Born (known as Firac) as they sell unique and handmade products (although more expansive of course).
The Ses Voltes street, also known Josep Maria Quadrado street, is probably the most crowded and visited street of Ciutadella. Ses Voltes starts in the cathedral square and along the street you can find stores and restaurants of all kind. If you are looking for the typcal shoes of Menorca (Avarcas), this is a good place to buy them. You can even get a tattoo or a piercing in Evolution Tattoo!
If you go shopping, I personally like to buy sweets in some of the bakeries that you can find in this street. The chocolate ensaimada (a spiral shaped sweet) is pretty good and you can buy it single or large.
The Santa Maria Cathedral of Ciutadella is a gothic style building constructed between the XIII and XIV century. The cathedral is located in a very touristic and crowded zone, right next to the shopping street of Ses Voltes. You can visit the cathedral for free although you have to avoid the hours of mass.
Market of Ciutadella (Mercat des Peix)
The market of Ciutadella is the place where you can buy great quality fish and meat. All mornings you can go and take a look to the different stands and buy some exemplary to cook in case you have an apartment. During the tourism season, restaurants have the best pieces of fish and seafood. If you ask the vendors what’s the origin of the fish they sell, they won’t have any problem to tell you, don’t be shy!
Sa Farola Lighthouse
The old lighthouse of Sa Farola (150 years old already), is located in the entrance of the port of Ciutadella. The house of the lighthouse is still the residence of the person in charge of the three lighthouses of Ciutadella (Artrutx, Punta Nati and Sa Farola).
If you visit Sa Farola you can also take a walk along the promenade which has two bike lanes that can take you to Cala en Blanes or Cala en Brut
Ancient Historical Buildings Route
If you want something more cultural and guided, you can follow the route of historical buildings of Ciutadella.
Or if you prefer it, you can book a guided visit of 90 minutes, in the morning or in the afternoon, with a specialized guide that will explain you all the interesting details of each corner of Ciutadella that you visit:
- Visit to the Cathedral: you can’t miss it
- Go through the old town streets: with cobblestone pavement
- Take a look at the stately houses and the San Agustín convent