What to visit in Ciutadella, Menorca?
“The island of Menorca hosts one of the most beautiful cities in the entire Mediterranean, Ciutadella de Menorca, whose visit is a must if you plan to spend a few days in Menorca. Located on the western side of the island, this city offers a unique charm based on its British-style architecture, Spanish cuisine, shops, and Balearic way of life. Furthermore, it hosts one of the most popular festivals in all of Spain: the Sant Joan festivities in Ciutadella. Here we tell you what to visit in Ciutadella, Menorca.
How to get to Ciutadella, Menorca
Ciutadella is located on the western side of the island, at the far left end of the Me-1 road that connects Mahón, the capital of Menorca where the airport is located, with Ciutadella in a 45-minute drive.
For this reason, despite being two different cities, the distance and time to travel from Mahón to Ciutadella are not much, and you can choose accommodation anywhere on the island.
Another way to access Ciutadella, Menorca is through the port, which can be reached from Barcelona, the port of Alcudia (Mallorca), or the French city of Toulon.
However, without a doubt, the best way to get to know Ciutadella is through a tour, which you can book with Runaway Experiences, and enjoy the experience without any stress.
What to visit in Ciutadella, Menorca?
Whether it’s for its heritage, location, or atmosphere, Ciutadella stands as one of the most beautiful cities on the island. Therefore, it’s well worth visiting at a leisurely pace. To do so, you’ll need to park in the free parking area located at the end of the Ciutadella port. Similarly, if you wish to try parking in the surrounding areas, it shouldn’t be too difficult.
The Port of Ciutadella
Perhaps it’s because coastal locations are always the most beautiful, or due to its magnificent views of the city? The Port of Ciutadella is the place you want to be if you want to enjoy a drink on a pleasant terrace or go out for dinner with friends.
Indeed, the medieval port, built during the reign of the Crown of Aragon, has transformed from a 19th-century fishing port to a space open for maritime traffic.
The port of Ciutadella today
Today, in the port, you can enjoy the restaurants and bars along its route, which offer magnificent views that will leave you in awe.
From the port of Ciutadella, you can access a staircase where a series of textile shops are located. You can also reach the upper part of the city, on the walls, and enjoy the best views of the port of Ciutadella.
The Born Square
What else to visit in Ciutadella, Menorca? The Born Square is a special place for the city of Ciutadella. For most of the year, it hosts a large number of stalls for the artisan market, but it’s also the place where “es caragol” is celebrated during the popular Sant Joan festivities, one of the highlights of the celebration.
The monument that stands in this square is dedicated to the Menorcan victims of the Turkish invasions of the 16th century. In the square, you will also find the Town Hall.
The Esplanade of Ciutadella
The esplanade of the port of Ciutadella is a space specially created for the safety of the port and the city. Its purpose is to absorb the rise of water in case of “Rissagas,” which can cause a lot of damage, and even some accidents.
Likewise, during the celebration of the Sant Joan festivities, “Els Jocs des Pla” are held in this location. Throughout the rest of the year, the esplanade is the meeting place for both young and not-so-young individuals when it comes to enjoying a drink in the evening.
The Ciutadella Cathedral
The Menorcan city of Ciutadella is home to the most famous religious temple on the island, the Cathedral of Santa María.
The Gothic style of the façade is the most notable feature of the entire monument. However, the construction of the cathedral began in the 13th century and took five centuries to complete, in the 18th century.
The highest views of the entire city can be found at the top of the Ciutadella Cathedral.
The Convent of Sant Agustí
The second most important religious building to see in Ciutadella is the Convent of Sant Agustí. Inside, you can find the Diocesan Museum of Ciutadella and a religious congregation in its surroundings.
Molí des Comte
Imagine having dinner in an old 18th-century mill that was used to store food, especially wheat, for the entire city of Ciutadella. Es Molí des Comte is now a grill restaurant where you can delight in Menorcan cuisine.
The Castle of San Nicolás
Despite being a small castle, its beauty is spectacular, making it one of the most beautiful places in Ciutadella. To reach it, you have to take the Camí Baix, going around the port of Ciutadella until you reach the castle, where you can enjoy magnificent views of the Mediterranean.
Strolling through Ciutadella, Menorca
Among the things to visit in Ciutadella, Menorca, you must not forget to wander through this stately city. Visiting the cobblestone streets, sitting in lively terraces or squares are some of the best experiences to have in Ciutadella.
Walking through the Main Street, we will reach the Ciutadella Cathedral, and from there we can get to the city’s main street, Josep Maria Quadrado Street, where the shops and terraces are located. This place is called Ses Voltes and it ends at Plaça Nova.
Beaches near Ciutadella
It is well known that the beaches of Menorca are spectacular, among the best in the Mediterranean. So, if you want to go to the beach near Ciutadella, here are some of the most popular ones we recommend.
The small natural bay of Cala Morell is located in the north of Menorca, near Ciutadella. This beach has sand and platforms for relaxation and sunbathing.
A shallow beach with a lot of trees providing shade. Enjoy this natural cove in Menorca with the whole family!
One of Menorca’s favorite coves worldwide, Cala Turqueta is an unspoiled beach with turquoise waters located south of Ciutadella.
The favorite photo on Menorca’s postcards is of this beach. Its wonderful crystal-clear waters and the sailboats that dot its surface make this beach one of the most beautiful on the island.
Located a 10-minute walk from Cala Macarella, you can reach a smaller cove situated to the right. It tends to get crowded, so we recommend arriving early in the morning.
Certainly one of the best places to visit in Ciutadella, Menorca.
The Sant Joan Festivals in Ciutadella
Coinciding with the arrival of summer, the Menorcan city of Ciutadella celebrates the Sant Joan festivals. The streets are taken over by riders, music, and horses, truly a spectacle worth seeing at least once in a lifetime.
The celebration of Sant Joan in Ciutadella is the most popular festival in Menorca and all the Balearic Islands. The core of the celebration takes place between June 23rd and 24th, although it starts a week earlier.
Its tradition and the hierarchy of the festivities are felt at all times. The main strata of the old society of the time are reflected: the church (caixer capellà), the nobility (caixer senyor), the craftsmen (caixer casat i caixer fadrí), and the farmers (caixers pagesos).
The highlight of the Sant Joan festivities in Ciutadella is the “Caragol del Born,” when the riders enter Plaça del Born, passing through the crowd and performing jumps.
Additionally, on the day of Sant Joan, June 24th, the festivities culminate with “els Jocs des Pla,” games starring horses and riders, showcasing impressive skills such as breaking masks (ses carotes) or hitting a ring with a lance.
Finally, on June 24th, the festivities come to a close with a spectacular fireworks display at the Ciutadella castle.
Where to eat in Ciutadella
Ranking the best restaurants in Ciutadella is no easy task, as their wide variety and gastronomic quality make each restaurant uniquely appealing, best assessed through the diners’ own experiences. However, we have compiled a list of the best places to eat in Ciutadella based on the experiences of other diners:
Sa Gelateria de Menorca
A highly recommended place where vegetarians, vegans, or individuals with gluten intolerance can feel right at home. They provide fantastic and very attentive service. They have an extensive and diverse menu where everyone can find something to suit their taste and be pleasantly surprised by their wonderful cuisine.
Mon Restaurant en Ciutadella
A restaurant that combines local produce and cuisine with a touch of modernity. Very pleasant atmosphere with a small patio and modern decoration. During high season, it’s advisable to make a reservation. You can choose between a tasting menu for €60 or à la carte dining for around €40-50. The lobster formatjada, suckling pig, and bull’s tail croquettes are excellent.
Bar Imperi at Ciutadella
A classic in Ciutadella. It’s well worth dedicating a morning to have breakfast like a king. The sandwiches or toasts with sobrasada and honey (with or without cheese) are a spectacle!
Puspaayu – Burger in Menorca
The most special restaurant on the island without a doubt. The food is spectacular, but the staff is on another level A good restaurant for eating hamburgers. The nachos with Bolognese sauce are delicious, and the sweet potatoes are excellent.
Es Tast de na Silvia in Ciutadella
Certainly one of the best restaurants on the island. Top-quality ingredients cooked in a spectacular manner. Incredible presentation and flavors very well executed. For lovers of fine cuisine, it’s definitely a must-visit.
Sa Bona Birra in Ciutadella
A spectacular place to enjoy good craft beers and have a snack, excellent service and great recommendations. Absolutely a must-visit spot in Ciutadella, Menorca.
Recommendation for shopping in Ciutadella
Ciutadella, and Menorca in general, has two products that you must buy, no matter what. For this, we recommend you take a stroll down Ciutadella’s main street and find shops that carry the famous menorquinas: Handmade leather sandals available for both men and women.
The drink introduced by British officers during the period of English domination is called “pomada.” It is a mixture of gin with lemonade. This gin is the most common in Menorca.
Indeed, visiting Ciutadella is a unique and enjoyable experience that can be done in a maximum of 2 days. Menorca is an affordable island, and Ciutadella is a city worth visiting more than once.
Discover Ciutadella by booking a tour through this link: Free Tour Ciudadela de Menorca.