There is much more to Palma de Mallorca than sunny days, sandy beaches and lazy lunches. Between the intricate history, art and culture, this Capital city holds a fascinating story.
The Balearics are strategically located islands in the Mediterranean Sea south of Spain. They have been important to the control of the Western Mediterranean since the time of the Phoenicians. The historically rich capital of Palma was founded by Romans after the defeat of their rivals during the Punic Wars.
The whole city in the Palma your hand!
Here are my top recommendations for visiting Palma de Mallorca:
- Castell de Bellver – One of the few circular castles in Europe, this 13th century Gothic-style castle was built upon a hill surrounded by lush forest for King James II of Majorca. You can hike to the top for unique panoramic views.
- Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca (La Seu) – Although the first stone was placed in 1229 by James I of Aragon, it wasn’t until the 14th century that the construction truly began. It is influenced by many different architecture styles due to its multi-century development giving it an unparalleled characteristic.
This Beautiful Cathedral is one of the most visited attractions in Palma!
- Palau de l’Almundaina – Next door to the Cathedral, this magnificent Palace is still in use as a summer residence by the Royal Family. You can tour the Palace and walk amongst elegant furnishings and artefacts from the 15th to 20th centuries.
Here’s a Pro-Tip: While in the area, check out the 10th century Arab Baths built during the Moorish period. The Baths were built from materials salvaged from earlier periods making it a beautiful time capsule of architectural gems.
- Explore Nature – There are many natural wonders including caves, beaches and hiking trails around Palma and throughout the Island of Mallorca just waiting for you to explore. Some of my favourites include Cuevas dels Hams, Caves d’Arta, and Cap de Formentor.
Is that Joan Miró or two?
- Fundació Pilar I Joan Miró – Joan Miró, the Barcelona-born artist, loved Palma . He donated nearly 6000 pieces of sculpture, paintings and ceramics which can be seen in this brilliant museum which includes additional spaces such as a sculpture garden and library.
- Port de Mallorca – Located in the centre of Palma de Mallorca, this marina has numerous environmentally-friendly restaurants, bars, and boutiques designed to be earth-friendly and sustainable!
Here’s another Pro-Tip: A great way to see more of Mallorca is a trip on the historic Tren Sóller, an electric train that runs across the islands plains and through its mountains, travelling from Palma to Sóller while making multiple stops along the way.
Palma de Mallorca Airport, also known as Son Sant Joan Airport, is 8km east of Palma. You can take a bus or a taxi to reach the city. Tickets for the 30-minute ride are available for purchase from the driver upon boarding. There is no fixed price for taxi rides to the city. So, be sure to negotiate the price to your destination before departing. A taxi ride is about 10 minutes shorter than the bus ride, depending on your destination. Once you’ve dropped your luggage, exploring the city is best done by bicycle.
Palma has a Medieval charm that is seamlessly combined with modern beach glamour creating an exciting yet relaxing environment. If you want to stay close to the city centre, I recommend Nakar Hotel, located in Palma Port. It has a modern vibe and attractive rooftop amenities. The new Hotel Cort’s rooftop has some of the best beach views and a fun bar to match. In the Old Town, Palau Sa Font has a lovely terrace and colourful rooms in a prime nightlife location. Puro Hotel is another great place to stay for a party atmosphere. Hotel Convent de La Missió, is a beautiful 17th century former convent with contemporary décor and one of the best restaurants on the Island, Marc Fosh.
Foodies, prepare yourselves! Palma has some incredible Mediterranean inspired seafood. M House Café Bistro is one of my favourites. You can’t go wrong with their modern-Mediterranean menu. For fabulous tapas, La Vieja is one of the best stops. With it’s fun and colourful atmosphere, it is always inviting.
I’m on a seafood diet. I see food, I eat it!
Here’s a final Pro-Tip: While in Vermutería La Rosa be sure to try their Vermouth in a Negroni or Martini with your tapas – it is sure to go down smoothly!
Negroni-ng if you skip the Vermouth!
Known as “the Golden Mile of Palma”, Paseo del Borne is one of the most notable places for shopping along with Jamie III, one of the island’s main shopping streets. The Santa Catalina Market is another great shopping spot with plenty of bars and restaurants for refueling!
Whether you are looking for a city break, an exciting cultural exploration or a beach break, Palma de Mallorca delivers!