What to see in Ciutadella: fill your suitcase with unforgettable memories
Everyone who comes to Ciutadella falls in love with its buildings, narrow streets, pleasant climate and gastronomy. Ciutadella is still enveloped in the type of elegance that only the most magical cities possess and, without knowing exactly why, all your concerns will fade away when you explore it on foot. It is well worth taking a stroll through the historic quarter to discover its secrets, history and daily life.
What to see and do in Ciutadella
You can begin your walk from different points, however, we propose starting from the port of Ciutadella. If you’re arriving at this part of the island by car, you will find a public car park where you can leave your vehicle.
Although it dates from Medieval times, the port underwent a large-scale transformation as part of an expansion project that was carried out several years ago so that more vessels could access it. These days, a stroll along the quay is a must, as is stopping at one of its wonderful terraces, cafés or restaurants.
Plaça des Born
From the port, a stairway full of shops selling crafts and souvenirs from the island ascends up to this square, one of the most visited places in Ciutadella. There you will find a delightful labyrinth of streets that remind us of the city’s stately atmosphere.
Situated on the former parade ground, the monument is one of the city’s symbols. Reaching a height of 22 metres, the obelisk commemorates Ciutadella’s resistance and defeat by the Turks in 1558, when they plundered the city and kidnapped over 3,000 inhabitants who they used as slaves. The city does not wish to forget the episode and, therefore, a commemorative ceremony takes place every year on 9 July.
Ciutadella City Hall
Years ago, the building was the Royal Alcázar, built on the site of a Muslim castle. To this day, you can still see various well-preserved examples of its original decorative style, as well as visit various rooms within the building.
Plaça de s’Esplanada
A lovely place to have a break and enjoy a cold drink on one of its terraces.
Sant Nicolau Castle
Built in the eighteenth century to defend the city from possible sieges.
Santa María Cathedral
The cathedral, probably the most important Gothic-style monument in Ciutadella, deserves a special mention. This impressive place of worship was built by order of King Alfonso III in honour of the Virgin Mary. Remains of the ancient mosque upon which it was built can still be seen today in the form of a minaret that now serves as the base of the bell tower. The structure, comprising a single nave and several lateral chapels, is situated on Carrer de Ca’l Bisbe, right in the heart of the historic quarter.
One of the best things to do in Ciutadella, after exploring the historic quarter, is to take a dip at one of its incredible beaches: turquoise waters, fine sand and hardly any people are their biggest merits. Don’t miss the following:
Although it is difficult to access, this unspoilt beach is well worth the effort. Surrounded by a natural landscape with dunes and an amazing forest, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a calm and quiet day out. However, don’t forget to bring food and water as the beach doesn’t have any beach bars or services.
Close to Cala Turqueta, both beaches boast the kind of turquoise blue colour that makes people fall in love with Minorcan waters. Although it is on the small side, it is full of charm and is reached via a natural trail.
Cala en Forcat
Small and welcoming, the rocky landscape on which it lies particularly stands out. Considered one of Minorca’s best quality beaches, it is a great place for snorkelling and scuba diving. (link interno: Scuba diving in Minorca)
Situated on the northern coast and surrounded by an incredibly beautiful natural landscape, it is made up of two beaches: the large Es Tancats Beach, and the smaller and quieter of the two, Es Bot Beach. Both, however, are great if visiting Minorca with children.
The best restaurants to eat at in Ciutadella
Allowing yourself to be seduced by Minorcan cuisine is one of the biggest pleasures for anyone visiting the island. Read on for some tips on sampling the best delicacies in the area:
- Café Balear: A port tavern that boasts its own terrace serving fish and seafood dishes, as well as tapas.
- Es Tast de na Sílvia: What sets this establishment apart is the fact that it is the only restaurant in the Balearic Islands that possesses the Slow Food certificate recognising that the ingredients used are 100% local. The chef, Silvia, gives the most traditional Minorcan recipes her own personal touch.
- Cas Ferrer: An environmentally friendly restaurant serving elaborate dishes: creamy rice with prawns and duck magret are some of the most highly recommended. The restaurant is situated on Carrer Portal de Sa Font and it’s advisable to book in advance.
- S’Amarador: If you’re looking for somewhere to sample Minorca’s typical lobster stew, this restaurant is a great option. Other highly recommended dishes include baked grouper and seafood paella, all served in an exclusive and relaxing atmosphere. A real safe bet when in Minorca.