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Resort guide for Ibiza Town (Eivissa)

Ibiza Town is the biggest city of the island and its main hub. World-class bars, clubs, restaurants, great shopping, galleries and great colourful life on the streets – everything is here…

Ibiza Town is a grand, cosmopolitan and ancient Mediterranean city located on the southeast coast of the island. There's great shopping, nightlife, world-beating restaurants, a hugely varied selection of bars and cafes and beautiful historic buildings from the ancient old town, Dalt Vila with its Renaissance defensive wall, to the sublime boulevard of Vara de Rey. This cool city is also hotbed of culture and art with a mix of galleries and museums, plus there are all kinds of cultural events throughout the year. The name for Ibiza in Catalan is "Eivissa", which you will see on signposts all over the island.

Old Town

The city is divided into three distinct parts; the first being the Old Town which is the area of the fortified citadel Dalt Vila and the old fishing area just below it around the main drawbridge called Portal de Ses Taules. Dalt Vila is a treasure trove of history; it was founded by the Phoenicians over 2500 years ago and has people living within its walls today. You still find some traces of the Moors, and museums display artefacts from various periods of the island's history, including Phoenician, Carthaginian and Roman.

Around the old port area you will find lanes with cobbled streets and pretty white-painted houses and buildings. In summer there's lots of people strolling around during the day; and at night the area comes alive for the nightly hippy market where you can pick up souvenirs of all types.

If it's pre-club drinks you're after, you must check out the many buzzing music bars next to the harbour: it's a great way to start your night. The harbour promenade was remodelled in 2015 giving it not just a fresh feel, but lots of space to walk around and take a peek at the majestic yachts moored up there. A port stage holds several free DJ events in summer; and it is the end point for the annual Ibiza Gay Pride parade.

Ibiza port at night in September

New Town

The second part is the New Town that includes everything else on the flat plain on which the newer part of the city sits. There are graceful plazas like the central boulevard of Vara de Rey with its beautiful town houses from the beginning of the last century and the neighbouring Plaza del Parque, great for people watching with its collection of bars on one side and quality restaurants on the other.

Between Vara de Rey and the parallel main road Avenida Bartolomé Rosselló you'll find a sparkling selection of shops: big chains like Zara and Mango and lots of fashion boutiques. Walking around here you will come across many restaurants and bars, like the modern Barcelona-inspired tapas venues with fresh little plates that are hugely popular with the locals. There's something of a pintxo trail (tasty food on skewers) happening in Ibiza Town too. Can Terra on Avenida Ignacio Wallis does some of the best and is buzzing from 20:00 onwards most days of the year, so get there early, or try nearby Pintxos on Paseo Bartolomé Escandell.

The Marina

Across from the Old Town, on the other side of the harbour, lies the trendy and hip Marina Botafoch. This area has developed hugely in the past few years with colourful buildings and a big sweeping walkway on Paseo Juan Carlos I, where you'll see skateboarders and a mix of tourists and locals strolling by.

It is home to the fabulous Japanese/Mediterranean fusion restaurant Zela, where Ricardo Sanz, who has collected four Michelin stars, works his culinary magic. Many bars like the long-established Keeper or the distinctly cool Veto Social Club are great pre-club venues.

Stylish boutiques from international fashion designers give this area a unique feel as do the mega yachts of the super-rich moored here. All this makes it a great area to do a bit of celebrity spotting: don't be surprised if you bump into Leonardo di Caprio or George Clooney stopping by for the summer.

Restaurants

You really will be spoiled for choice with the array of restaurant options available in Ibiza Town.

In Marina Botafoch there are high-end restaurants like the glamorous and luxury STK Ibiza which combines fine dining, design and entertainment for a very special experience; or Zela, offering 'Meppon' cuisine, where traditional Mediterranean products are prepared with Japanese cooking techniques.

Inside the town walls of Dalt Vila, in the small cobbled streets, you'll find a great strip of restaurants including the beautiful La Dispensa, which serves Italian cuisine with touches of the Mediterranean.

Outside the city walls, in the area around Vara de Rey and for a delicious twist try fine dining restaurant La Imprenta, where in summer you can catch its nightly Cabaret show, featuring a touch of the Burlesque and Prohibition-era glamour. La Cava nearby serves tasty tapas with a modern take - the leek croquetas are a delight. Wasa.b offers tasty sushi and Japanese dishes in an intimate setting and Hana Restaurant & Café Concert serves an exciting fusion of Japanese and Mediterranean cuisine, combined with touches of Hawaii.

If you are a fan of really authentic Mexican food, you should venture into the new town to discover Gave Mx.

Cafés and bars

The Rock Bar is possibly the most famous of the many pre-club bars on the harbour prom that line the old fishing quarter. Since the early clubbing days of the island, this area has been a traditional warm-up spot before hitting one of the super-clubs. With a buzzing, cosmopolitan vibe - you owe it to yourself to go and experience it.

Above here and in and around the small pedestrianised Calle de la Virgen you'll find the majority of Ibiza's gay bars as well as more mixed bars like Sunrise with its swings for bar seats. Glitzy gay bars like Mona Lisa and Dôme are further away towards Dalt Vila.

The street of the Virgin is anything but. It collects some of the most colourful people from all over the world: expect a big number of people sporting glitter, feathers, outrageous piercings and sequins traversing the cobbled lane - and not just the transvestites. Regular tourists mingle with the melee amidst music, laughter and one of the coolest cosmopolitan vibes to be had in Europe on one long narrow street.

There's hidden fetish shops selling tough-looking leatherwear and sexy underwear shops for men. How very democratic! Head there for around midnight and you'll see the nightly parades advertising big clubs like Amnesia and the nearby and gay only Anfora.

Wandering around you'll find plenty of bars and cafés next to the Mercat Vell covered market in Plaza de la Constitución at the foot of the big stone rampart leading to Dalt Vila. A must visit in the square is the legendary Le Croissant Show run by its splendidly moustached owner or across this square there's Tomato Café with its deep house tunes pumping out as people drink their coffees and sip on cool glasses of white wine.

Clubbing

When the bars close their doors, the Ibiza night is just getting started: this is when people start to head to super-clubs like Pacha or other nearby clubs. Read more in our detailed Clubber's guide to Ibiza town.

Shopping

A shopper's paradise awaits you in Ibiza Town. On and in between the boulevard of Avenida Bartolomé Roselló and Vara de Rey, you'll find chain shops like Zara, Pull & Bear, Springfield and Mango. Natura in Plaza del Parque is very popular with a selection of clothes, all kinds of cool kitchen items and home decorations; for shoes Vara de Rey is the place to go where you'll get a good number of dedicated shops including Angels with its wide selection of cool and surprisingly inexpensive footwear, with many models ‘Made in Ibiza'. There are lots of boutiques large and small with everything from high fashion pieces to hand made items using fabrics from Indonesia.

Around the old port area you'll find more boutiques and souvenir shops, which in the summer months are open till 22:00 or even midnight, with many staying open through the winter now too. Summer hosts a daily hippy market in the narrow streets around the port harbour from late afternoon till midnight as well. The market is perfect for browsing and picking up gifts with finely carved silver jewellery and clothing from India and Indonesia using fine fabrics and often made to a local designer's cut. It's also a great spot to pick up the latest Ibiza DJ CD selections for reasonable money, including ones which you'll be hard pressed to find at home.

Across the water is the stylish and trendy Marina Botafoch. As well as the clothing boutiques nestled among the restaurants there is a new exclusive shopping area dubbed “Marina Ibiza”. Stella McCartney recently moved in with her summer-only boutique. She joins big European brands like Philipp Plein and Ermanno Scervino and the news is there is more of that to come. This area is transforming nicely after a flurry of development, seeing it become one of the premier destinations for the super rich.

Things to do

There are also plenty of activities in Ibiza Town and the neighbouring resorts, fun things like escape rooms and food tours, sports like diving, excursions on land and water and - highly recommended for a fantastic day trip - ferries to the beautiful sister island of Formentera.

Culture

Thanks to its rich history, Ibiza Town is a great place for any culture vulture. The Archaeological Museum is a place to walk into Ibiza's past with many historical treasures from the various necropolis sites across the island. The Baluard de Sant Jaume at Ronda Calvi in the western part of the city wall of Dalt Vila, also known as the “Bulwark of Jakobus”, contains original Sixteenth and Eighteenth Century military technology with replica weapons and armoury; you can even try on the armour to see how heavy it is.

For an island of its size, you'll be surprised at how many public museums and privately run art galleries there are on Ibiza, though when you look back on its past as a haven for dissidents and artists in the Twentieth Century, it makes pure sense. The brilliantly curated Contemporary Art Museum features local and international talent and the historic Puget Museum displays photographs and paintings from Ibiza's past. The art gallery Lune Rouge created by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté brings works from some of the leading modern artists in the world.

Beaches

Beaches are a mere 15-minute walk away in the suburb of Figueretas, plus a short ferry ride away is the pretty bay of Talamanca with its long stretch of sand. And it is only a short taxi or bus ride to Playa d'en Bossa for its clubs like Ushuaia and Hi Ibiza and the many cool beach clubs and bars that line its famous beach, the longest on the island.

Accommodation

You can stay right in the middle of town or in Marina Botafoch, just a 15 minute walk or ferry ride from the town centre, there is a good choice of hotels and apartments on offer. In the neighbouring resorts of Figueretas and Talamanca you have the best of both worlds: staying near a beach but within walking-distance of the buzzing town.

Whatever you want to do, Ibiza Town really does have the lot and is a must-visit during your Ibiza holiday.

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