|Ciutadella - a place for you?|
Ciutadella is located on the west coast. Approximately 40-50 mins., from the Airport. Ciutadella, pronounced "thwi-te-della"
A superb contrast to the beach and holiday resort - a place very different to anywhere else on the island. Considered as one of Spains' most attractive city squares. The original capital of Menorca lies at the western edge of the island. Great clothes and footwear shopping and a place to just wander the pedestrianised old city with its many narrow streets with hidden sights, shops and cafe treats. The scene for the spectacular Sant Joan festival in June. Also competes with Mahon for the title of the best music bars and dance venues on the island. A taste of elegant former times with fine old 17-18th century palaces and a charming little harbour. Which is better to visit Mahon or Ciutadella? - simple, both!
Please note it is NOT allowed or respectfull to enter Ciutadella in swimwear tops or without a shirt - you may be stopped by police!
Provide free local and island maps, other tourist literatures and advice. Some island attraction tickets can only be purchased form tourist offices. Will have a printed sheet with what's on this week in several languages.
Opening Times - generally mornings only
|Plaza de La Catedral 5. 07760 Ciutadella
( opposite Cathedral in old city pedestrian area. Follow pedestrian road from Plaça Born-main square)
Telephone: + 34 971 38 26 93
|Plaza des Born (Plaça Born)
(in formal buildings in corner of square nearest the harbour)
Telephone: + 34 971 48 14 12
The pretty old harbour ( Port Antigua on signposts ) lies below the fortified walls of the old city and offers a mixture of boutiques, shops, Bars and Restaurants of varying styles, prices and quality. Start here for a pleasant evening walk along the harbour quay, past the nautical club, up the steps to Cami de Baix and on down to Castell de Sant Nicolau at the waters edge. Every morning at around 10:00 there are a variety of day long boat trips along the west and south coast where you can experience the real beauty of this island coast complete with midday and bathing stops taken in some of the island's famous virgin beaches.
It is a working harbour with small fishing boats and smaller yachts which means there's always something to see as you chill with a drink, Tapas or enjoy a meal in the restaurants that line oneside.
Ciutadella gets its name from 'Citadel' -a fortified city. Allthough most the defensive walls were knocked down to expand the city you can still see remnents of them today- most notabley the walls above the harbour under Placa des Born. Walk up the Carrer Major from Placa Born , through Placa de Catedral and into the city's famous Ses Voltes arcades. If your curious you'll also discover beautifull inner courtyards with fountains and flowers.
Placa des Born, particularly in spring when the leaves on the square's trees don't obscure, can compete with any of the squares in Europe's great cities. The town hall was formally a royal palace and the square is lined with elegant buildings built by weathly landowners. A 16th century spanish city seemingly 'frozen' in time. The Square is the centre piece of current day Ciutadella. From here you can enter the pedestrian area of charming old city through Calle Major d'es Born, which leads to Placa del la Catedral - Cathedral area. Take coffee at Es Quiosc on the square to soak up this square. Tourist Office is located by the town hall. Lots of charming cafes and clothing shops in the old cellars.
If you like to sit and watch the world Ciutadella has some great spots where the world walks by. Around Placa D'artrutx are local's favourite Cafe Bars, The squares at Place des Pins, Placa Des Ses Palmes and of course along the harbour - check maps below.
Ciutadella has a wide variety of simple souvenir through to very stylish boutique clothes , shoes and hand made jewellry shops. Plus there are lots of Cafes for those little stops. Don't forget that Siesta applies here so from 13:00 to 17:00 nothing will be open. Evenings are the best time for shopping, with a lovely atmosphere, taking in some Tapas aswell. The main market for summer clothes and shoes is on Friday and Saturday mornings during summer (see below).
Just before the city begins entering from the ME-1 are a range of factory outlets for leather and ceramic goods. There are also large supermarkets ( Lidl,Diskont,Mercadona) on the Poligno ( industrial park ) offering very competitive prices for self caterers. Bus no. 60 will take you there.
A travelling market ( circa 40 stalls ) offering good value leatherwares,shoes and summer clothing along with costume jewellery sets up Fridays and Saturdays 09:00 - 14:00 on Ciutadella's main square ( Placa des Born )
In peak season, mid June to mid September there is a nightly handcrafts, jewellry market along the steps to the old port Evening Markets in Summer. 22:00-24:00
A wonderful sight is to watch over 100 immaculately prepared horses and riders in their pristine costumes parade through Ciutadella's old city streets. The Menorcans love their festivals and especially the chance to show off their stunning native horses. The most eagerly awaited moments are the cargols, when riders circle specific points along the route and especially the "jaleos", where riders bring their horse onto their rear legs - "Jaleo"- The young brave hope for good luck by touching the horses heart as the horse dances above them. Much Pomada ( Gin and Bitter Lemon ) is drunk during the festival, but is very good natured. Note: The riders care too much about their horses for this to be stressing for the horses.
Fiesta de Sant Joan in Ciutadella is held annually 23-24 th June.
Caution: Small children should stay clear of the inner city areas where there will be large boysterous crowds and horses rearing in tight spaces. Placa Des Ses Palmes is a safer place to watch the horses parade. There is a big increase in vistors to Ciutadella during this period so accomodation is difficult to find.
Buses are available to most parts of the island with changes, so is also a good way to see something of the other parts of the island. You will be surprised how different the landscape is to the area around Ciutadella. Direct buses to Mahon ( 45 min ) and also with stops ( 80 min ) at Ferreries, Es Mercadal and Alaior. There is a local city bus linea 60 that travels the circuit from ferry terminal, through city out to Poligno ( industrial/commercial area for leather outlet shops,Supermarkets etc ) and to Placa del Pins ( city centre ) see below for all connections
The main taxi stand is at Placa des Born. Airport to Ciutadella city is about 55 Euro. ( Taxis and Fares )
A good way to explore Ciutadella as it is small and you can reach other beaches and swimming coves easily - daily hire start at 10 Euro. Note the historic centre is pedestrianised but there are plenty of low traffic sidestreets . Cycle hire Shops in Ciutadella
Ciutadella has a wide range of Cafes, Bars, Clubs and Restaurants to suite all tastes and budgets. The bigger chill out and dance clubs are located together down in the harbour area ( Pla de Sant Joan ) and some have open air roof terraces where you can relax under the stars.
Favourite Clubs Asere ( Cuban bar with live Music ) , Jazzbah ( can you guess?, with impromtu sessions ) , Lateral. Space ( of Ibiza fame ) See also Under Madison ( Sant Joan Baptista 8 ) Bistro bar cuban salsa and Spanish guitar.
TIP Want to visit a Club or Music bar? Don't forget you are on Menorcan time, nothing starts to happen until after 11 pm as people will have eaten 'late'. Go much later and then it will be buzzing.
There are several paid parking places as well as roadside parking meters ( blue bays ) Charges are very reasonable - see parking in Ciutadella and interactive maps
Boatrips along coastline south and north of Ciutadella , including some sunset trips to Pont Gill (scenic sea landmark ). Note departures are from old City harbour.
Ciutadella has some small beaches beloved of the locals, so weekends they will be a lot fuller. On the southern border of Ciutadella city is Playa Gran and just further south the sandy beaches at Sa Caleta and Playa Santandria.
There are larger resort beaches north at Cala en Blanes ( bus 61 ) and south at Cala Blanca,Cala en Bosch both of which can be reached on bus 65.
There are some beautiful virgin beaches within reach of Ciutadella. North is the dreamy double bays of Algariens. To the south are Son Saura ( Bus no. 66 from Ciutadella ) , Cala en Turqueta and Cala Macarella.
Note that boat trips drop off passengers for 1-2 hours at these beaches, and that there is also a bus service and car parking all of which means these south west beaches can be the most crowded virgin beaches on the island. For car drivers there are helpful signs on the approach road roundabouts in Ciutadella so you can see if the car parks are already full.
Tip Choosing your time early or later in the day will make all the difference.
Many Ciutadella Bars will offer free WiFi ( passwords on request ) Sim cards and dongles for Spanish networks( Vodafone es /Movistar ) can be bought in nearby towns and topped up via supermarket cashiers. More and more towns have free WiFi in their squares. WiFi on Menorca
Mahon will mostly be written on timetables, front of buses and signposts as Maó, it's local name. If you are staying longer than a week take a trip on this good network and see some of the other sights, resorts/towns and attractions.
Bus, Taxi and Hire Car - Detailed getting about info.
Ciutadella has a mediterranean climate characterised by warm to hot, dry summers with a pleasant cooling breeze and milder winters. The sea in Ciutadella will be around 22-26 degrees in summer. In October the sea is still warm. Spring time ( early March to April ) will have sunny days and air temperatures around 20 and above , ideal for sightseeing, walking, cycling and horseriding activities.Weather & forecast through the year