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Palma…The Pearl of the Mediterranean

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.

palma views

The whole city in the Palma your hand!

While the Roman Empire was collapsing in the West, the Vandals, who occupied much of Spain, frequently raided Palma. It was reconquered by the Byzantine Empire in the early Middle Ages but then changed hands to the Moors as these Muslims invaded the Iberian peninsula. In the 13th century, James I of Aragon arrived by ship to retake control of the territory. He expressed gratitude for his safe arrival by laying the first stone of the Cathedral Basilica. This gorgeous cathedral still stands proudly amongst a plethora of other ancient architectural masterpieces. The blending of cultures has given the people and their surroundings a multi-cultural feel like nowhere else. Whether you are looking to enjoy time in a city full of cultural treasures or enjoy the leisure of relaxing on the beach, you will find what you are looking for in this exciting locale!

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 a unparalleled characteristics.
what to do in palma

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.
Joan Miro-palma

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, traveling 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 combines 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.

Vermutería La Rosa is another great tapas bar with fabulous wines to pair. Isaan Thai Cuisine is one of my favourite places for  authentic Thai food and trendy chic decor. Duke is another one of my favourite Asian inspired restaurants in the area. It offers a relaxing yet spirited environment. Buscando el Norte is a local favourite and a great place to stop for a varied menu while exploring the Old Town.

seafood

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!

palma de mallorca- nightlife

Negroni-ng if you skip the Vermouth!

There are many popular nightlife districts in Palma. One of the most notable is La Lonja. One of my all-time favourites places to party in La Lonja is Abaco. This cocktail bar and restaurant is located in a 16th century palace and on Friday nights, they shower the venue with flower pedals and classical music. Also in La Lonja is the Jazz Voyer Club and Blue Jazz, two of my favourites for live music. Gibson Bar is a great place to start off the evening and as the night goes on and your dancing shoes become lighter, make your way to the Brooklyn Club and Kaelum to show off your moves! If you happen to be in Palma around a full moon, Check out Puro beach club for full moon parties and yoga workshops!

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!

 

Love,

 

Isabella

 

Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Old Town, Le Seu, Port de Mallorca (http://www.visitpalma.com/en/)

Where to stay: Nakar Hotel, Palau Sa Font (https://nakarhotel.com/, https://palausafont.com/en/)

Where to eat: Marc Fosh, Isaan Thai Cuisine, Buscando el Norte  (http://www.marcfosh.com/, http://www.isaanthaicuisine.com/, https://restaurantebuscandoelnorte.com/)

Where to party: Abaco, Jazz Voyer Club (https://bar-abaco.es/contacto/, https://www.jazzvoyeurclub.com/)

What to buy: Explore Paso del Borne, Jamie III Street and the Markets!

Palma good time in Mallorca!
Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Old Town, Le Seu, Port de Mallorca (http://www.visitpalma.com/en/)

Where to stay: Nakar Hotel, Palau Sa Font (https://nakarhotel.com/, https://palausafont.com/en/)

Where to eat: Marc Fosh, Isaan Thai Cuisine, Buscando el Norte  (http://www.marcfosh.com/, http://www.isaanthaicuisine.com/, https://restaurantebuscandoelnorte.com/)

Where to party: Abaco, Jazz Voyer Club (https://bar-abaco.es/contacto/, https://www.jazzvoyeurclub.com/)

What to buy: Explore Paso del Borne, Jamie III Street and the Markets!

Palma good time in Mallorca!

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