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City Guide To Palma De Mallorca: Things To Do, See, Eat & Drink


by Dorey Hurd



Welcome to Palma de Mallorca, the vibrant capital city of the stunning Balearic island of Mallorca. Nestled on the Mediterranean coastline, Palma de Mallorca is a city that combines rich history, cultural heritage, and breathtaking natural landscapes. With its golden sandy beaches, charming old town, and bustling nightlife, Palma de Mallorca offers something for everyone.


Getting to Palma de Mallorca is easy, as the city is well-connected by air, with a modern international airport serving numerous destinations. Once you arrive, you’ll immediately be captivated by the city’s beauty, with its picturesque harbor and impressive architecture.


Start your exploration of Palma de Mallorca by wandering through the enchanting streets of the Old Town. Lose yourself in the maze of narrow alleys and discover hidden squares adorned with beautiful fountains and quaint cafes. The Gothic-style Palma Cathedral, also known as La Seu, is a must-visit attraction. Marvel at its breathtaking architecture and stunning interior.


A visit to Bellver Castle is another highlight of Palma de Mallorca. Perched atop a hill, this 14th-century castle offers panoramic views of the city and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. Explore its fascinating history and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.


No trip to Palma de Mallorca is complete without spending time on its beautiful beaches. Playa de Palma is a popular spot, with its white sand and crystal-clear waters. For a more secluded escape, head to Cala Major or Illetas Beach.


When it comes to food, Palma de Mallorca will delight your taste buds. Indulge in traditional Spanish cuisine, with local specialties such as tapas, paella, and suckling pig. Don’t forget to try the famous ensaimada, a delicious pastry-like treat.


As the sun sets, Palma de Mallorca comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. The city boasts a wide range of bars, clubs, and live music venues where you can dance the night away.


If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, Palma de Mallorca has you covered. From high-end designer stores to local boutiques and markets, there are plenty of opportunities to shop till you drop.


Lastly, don’t miss the chance to explore the surrounding areas of Palma de Mallorca. Take a day trip to the picturesque villages of Valldemossa or Soller, or venture further afield to the stunning natural landscapes of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range.


Palma de Mallorca truly offers a perfect blend of history, culture, relaxation, and excitement. Whether you’re seeking a beach getaway, a city break, or a combination of both, Palma de Mallorca is a destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories.


Getting to Palma de Mallorca

Getting to Palma de Mallorca is easy, thanks to its excellent transportation connections. The city is primarily accessible by air, with Palma de Mallorca Airport serving as the gateway to the island. The airport offers direct flights from numerous cities across Europe and is well-served by both full-service and low-cost airlines.


Once you arrive at Palma de Mallorca Airport, you can easily reach the city center by various transportation options. The most convenient way is to take a taxi, with a journey time of around 15-20 minutes. There are also airport bus services that operate regularly, offering an affordable and convenient way to reach the city center.


If you prefer to travel by sea, you can take a ferry to Palma de Mallorca from Barcelona, Valencia, or Ibiza. This option is ideal for those who wish to combine their visit to the city with a scenic journey along the Mediterranean coastline.


For those already on the island, getting to Palma de Mallorca by car is straightforward. The city is well-connected by major roads, and driving allows for the flexibility to explore other areas of Mallorca at your own pace. Keep in mind that parking within the city center can be limited, so it’s advisable to use public parking facilities or opt for accommodation that offers parking facilities.


Once you’re in Palma de Mallorca, the city is relatively compact and easy to navigate. The public transportation system includes buses that connect various parts of the city, making it convenient to explore different neighborhoods and attractions. Additionally, taxis are readily available and can be hailed on the street or found at designated taxi stands.


If you prefer a more eco-friendly option, Palma de Mallorca also offers a bike-sharing system, allowing you to explore the city on two wheels. There are numerous bicycle lanes throughout the city, making it a safe and enjoyable experience.


Overall, getting to Palma de Mallorca is a breeze, whether you choose to fly, sail, or drive. Once you arrive in the city, you’ll find a range of transportation options to help you navigate and explore all that Palma de Mallorca has to offer.


Exploring the Old Town

One of the highlights of a visit to Palma de Mallorca is exploring its charming Old Town. Known as “La Ciutat” in Catalan, the Old Town is a maze of narrow streets, picturesque squares, and historic buildings that date back centuries.


Start your adventure in the heart of the Old Town at the bustling Plaça de Cort. This lively square is home to the Ajuntament (Town Hall) and is surrounded by beautiful architecture and outdoor cafes. Take a leisurely stroll through the surrounding streets, where you’ll find a mix of boutique shops, art galleries, and traditional markets.


One of the must-visit landmarks in the Old Town is the Palau de l’Almudaina. This stunning royal palace showcases the city’s rich history and architectural beauty. It was originally built as an Arabic fort and later converted into a residence for Spanish monarchs. Explore the palace’s impressive rooms, beautiful gardens, and enjoy the panoramic views of the city from its terraces.


Another architectural gem in the Old Town is Can Corbella, a beautiful 17th-century mansion that now houses the Diocesan Museum. Inside, you’ll find a collection of religious art and artifacts, offering a glimpse into Mallorca’s spiritual and cultural heritage.


Make sure to visit the charming neighborhood of La Lonja, known for its medieval merchants’ exchange. This Gothic-style building is now home to the Esbaluard Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, where you can admire works by local and international artists.


As you wander through the Old Town, you’ll likely stumble upon the Plaça Major, a bustling square filled with street performers, cafes, and shops. Grab a seat at one of the outdoor terraces and soak in the lively atmosphere.


For a touch of tranquility, continue your exploration to the Parc de la Mar, located just outside the city walls. This scenic park offers stunning views of the sea and is a perfect spot to relax and unwind.


Throughout the Old Town, you’ll find an abundance of charming cafes and restaurants, where you can take a break and indulge in a tasty snack or meal. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the local delicacies, such as sobrasada, a cured sausage, or coca de patata, a sweet pastry.


Exploring the Old Town of Palma de Mallorca is like stepping back in time. Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the city as you wander its enchanting streets and discover its hidden gems.


Visiting Palma Cathedral

Palma Cathedral, also known as La Seu, is one of the most iconic landmarks in Palma de Mallorca. Located in the heart of the city’s Old Town, this magnificent Gothic-style cathedral is a must-visit attraction for architecture enthusiasts and history buffs.


The construction of Palma Cathedral began in the 13th century and took several centuries to complete. Its grandeur and unique architectural features make it a true masterpiece. The exterior of the cathedral is adorned with intricate stonework, including flying buttresses, gargoyles, and rose windows.


As you enter the cathedral, you’ll be instantly captivated by its vast interior. The cathedral boasts a stunning nave, soaring ceilings, and impressive stained glass windows that allow natural light to create a mesmerizing play of colors. Take your time to admire the intricate details of the altarpiece, sculptures, and chapels that line the walls.


One of the most famous features of Palma Cathedral is the “Levant” rose window, located above the main entrance. This breathtaking stained glass window measures 12 meters in diameter and depicts scenes from the Bible. When sunlight filters through the window, it fills the nave with a kaleidoscope of colors, creating a truly magical atmosphere.


For a unique experience, consider attending a concert or a choral performance at Palma Cathedral. The acoustics in the cathedral are exceptional, and listening to beautiful music surrounded by its grandeur is an unforgettable experience.


As you explore the cathedral, make sure to visit the Capella del Santíssim, a side chapel that houses the famous “Gaudí Crucifix.” This crucifix was designed by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudí and is a masterpiece of intricate woodwork.


To fully appreciate the beauty of Palma Cathedral, consider climbing up to the rooftop terraces. From here, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the city, the sea, and the surrounding mountains. The terraces are also home to a small museum where you can learn more about the cathedral’s history and architecture.


Visiting Palma Cathedral is a journey into the past and an opportunity to marvel at the architectural wonders of this centuries-old masterpiece. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply seeking a tranquil and awe-inspiring place, Palma Cathedral is a must-visit destination in Palma de Mallorca.


Discovering Bellver Castle

Sitting atop a hill overlooking Palma de Mallorca is Bellver Castle, a stunning 14th-century fortress that offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding countryside. This circular castle is a unique architectural marvel and a must-visit attraction for history buffs and those seeking breathtaking vistas.


Bellver Castle, which translates to “beautiful view” in Catalan, lives up to its name. Its strategic location provides visitors with a sweeping panorama of Palma de Mallorca, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Tramuntana Mountains in the distance. The castle’s circular design is a rare feature among European fortresses, making it a fascinating sight to behold.


As you explore the castle’s interior, discover its rich history and architectural details. The castle was built in the 14th century by King James II of Mallorca and served as a residence for Mallorcan monarchs over the years. Marvel at the Gothic-style architecture, the well-preserved walls, and the central courtyard, which is surrounded by a series of interconnected rooms.


One of the highlights of a visit to Bellver Castle is the chance to walk along its fortified walls. Take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the breathtaking views from various vantage points, capturing picturesque scenes of Palma de Mallorca, the Mediterranean Sea, and the lush green landscape.


Inside the castle, you’ll also find the Museum of History of the City of Palma, which displays a collection of artifacts and exhibits that trace the history of the city and the castle itself. Explore the museum and learn about the castle’s role in the island’s history, including its use as a prison during different periods.


Make sure to climb up to the rooftop terrace, where you’ll be rewarded with unforgettable panoramic views. Take in the Mediterranean breeze and admire the beauty of Palma de Mallorca from this elevated vantage point. On clear days, you may even spot the neighboring island of Cabrera on the horizon.


Exploring Bellver Castle is like stepping back in time and immersing yourself in the rich history of Mallorca. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an architectural admirer, or simply seeking unparalleled views, Bellver Castle is a destination that should not be missed during your visit to Palma de Mallorca.


Enjoying the Beaches

Palm de Mallorca is blessed with numerous beautiful beaches, making it a perfect destination for beach lovers. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, water sports, or simply basking in the sun, the beaches in and around Palma de Mallorca offer something for everyone.


Playa de Palma, located just a short distance from the city center, is one of the most popular and largest beaches on the island. With its long stretch of soft golden sand, crystal-clear waters, and a wide range of amenities, it’s an ideal spot for families and sun-seekers. Take a dip in the refreshing Mediterranean Sea, sunbathe on a lounger, or indulge in various water activities such as jet skiing or paddleboarding.


If you prefer a quieter atmosphere, head to Cala Major, a picturesque beach located west of the city. Surrounded by steep cliffs and pine trees, this intimate beach offers tranquility and natural beauty. Take a leisurely swim, explore the rocky coves, or simply relax on the sandy shore with a good book.


For those looking to escape the crowds, Illetas Beach is a hidden gem. Located just a short drive from Palma de Mallorca, this small secluded beach boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters and panoramic views of the coastline. The beach is nestled in a picturesque cove, surrounded by lush greenery, creating a postcard-perfect setting.


Palma Nova and Magaluf, both located a short drive from the city, are lively resort areas known for their vibrant beach scenes. These beaches are popular choices for those seeking a lively and buzzing atmosphere, with a plethora of water sports activities, beach bars, and restaurants.


When visiting the beaches in Palma de Mallorca, don’t forget to pack your sunscreen, beach towel, and a good book to enjoy a relaxing day under the sun. Most of the beaches offer beach chair and umbrella rentals for added comfort. Additionally, there are beachfront cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a refreshing drink or try freshly caught seafood.


Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly beach, a tranquil cove, or an energetic resort vibe, Palma de Mallorca has it all. Take some time to explore the different beaches in the area, and you’ll soon find your perfect spot to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea.


Trying Local Cuisine

One of the highlights of visiting Palma de Mallorca is indulging in the delicious local cuisine. Mallorcan cuisine is a blend of Spanish, Mediterranean, and Catalan influences, resulting in a unique and flavorful gastronomic experience. From traditional dishes to delectable sweets, there are plenty of culinary delights to savor during your stay.


Start your culinary adventure by sampling some traditional tapas. These small plates of flavorful bites are perfect for sharing and experiencing a variety of flavors. Try local favorites such as sobrasada, a spreadable cured pork sausage, or pa amb oli, which is rustic bread topped with olive oil, tomatoes, and cured meats.


No visit to Palma de Mallorca is complete without trying a plate of authentic Mallorcan paella. Made with local ingredients such as saffron, rice, and a variety of seafood or meat, this rice dish is a true delight to the taste buds. Head to one of the waterfront restaurants and savor this classic dish while enjoying breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.


If you’re a seafood lover, don’t miss out on the opportunity to try the freshest catch of the day. From grilled squid to succulent prawns, the seafood in Palma de Mallorca is a true culinary delight. Visit the local fish markets or dine at one of the seafood restaurants along the coast for an unforgettable seafood feast.


For those with a sweet tooth, Mallorca offers a variety of sweet treats to satisfy your cravings. The most famous is the ensaimada, a spiral-shaped pastry dusted with powdered sugar. These light and fluffy pastries can be filled with various ingredients, such as cream, chocolate, or apricot jam. Pair your ensaimada with a cup of rich local coffee for a delightful morning treat.


Don’t forget to quench your thirst with some refreshing local beverages. Try a glass of hierbas, a traditional Mallorcan herbal liqueur made from a blend of herbs and spices. It’s often enjoyed as a digestif or aperitif. For a non-alcoholic option, indulge in a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, made from the island’s famous juicy oranges.


While exploring the streets of Palma de Mallorca, you’ll find numerous cafes, bars, and restaurants offering a wide range of culinary delights. Whether you prefer a casual dining experience or a fine dining affair, there’s something for every palate and budget.


Immerse yourself in the flavors of Palma de Mallorca and let the local cuisine tantalize your taste buds. From savory tapas to sweet pastries, the food in Palma de Mallorca is a true reflection of the island’s culture and culinary heritage.


Exploring the Nightlife

Palma de Mallorca is not only a beautiful destination for sun, sea, and culture, but also offers a vibrant and exciting nightlife scene. From cozy bars to trendy clubs, the city comes alive after dark, offering a wide range of options for those seeking entertainment and fun.


Start your evening by taking a leisurely stroll through the pedestrianized streets of the city center, where you’ll find a variety of bars and pubs offering a lively atmosphere. Enjoy a refreshing cocktail or a glass of local wine while soaking in the vibrant ambiance and socializing with locals and fellow travelers.


For a more sophisticated evening out, head to the trendy Santa Catalina neighborhood, known for its hip bars and stylish cocktail lounges. Sip on expertly crafted cocktails and enjoy the trendy atmosphere as you mingle with the city’s stylish crowd.


Palma de Mallorca is also home to a thriving live music scene, with numerous venues hosting local and international bands. From jazz clubs to rock bars, you’re sure to find a venue that suits your musical taste. Many bars also offer live flamenco performances, allowing you to experience the passion and energy of this traditional Spanish art form.


When it’s time to hit the dance floor, Palma de Mallorca offers a variety of nightclubs where you can dance the night away to the beats of local and international DJs. Pacha, one of the most iconic nightclub chains in the world, has a location in Palma de Mallorca and is known for its energetic atmosphere and top-notch music.


If you prefer a more laid-back evening, head to one of the beach clubs along the coast. These trendy venues offer a perfect combination of music, beachfront views, and refreshing drinks. Immerse yourself in the chill vibe, dance in the sand, and enjoy a memorable evening under the starry skies.


It’s important to note that the nightlife in Palma de Mallorca starts late, with most establishments getting busy well after midnight and staying open until the early hours of the morning. Embrace the Spanish tradition of “paseo,” where locals enjoy a leisurely walk before heading out for the night, and pace yourself as you explore the city’s vibrant nightlife scene.


Whether you’re in the mood for a cozy evening at a cocktail bar, a night of live music, or an energetic night of dancing, Palma de Mallorca has something to offer everyone. Experience the city’s lively ambiance, make new friends, and create unforgettable memories as you immerse yourself in Palma’s thriving nightlife.


Shopping in Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca offers a vibrant shopping scene, with a range of options to satisfy every shopper’s desires. From designer boutiques to local markets, the city provides ample opportunities to indulge in retail therapy and find unique treasures to take home.


One of the shopping highlights in Palma de Mallorca is the Passeig des Born, a picturesque boulevard lined with upscale shops and luxury brands. Wander through the elegant streets and explore high-end boutiques, fashion-forward stores, and renowned international labels. From designer clothing to accessories and jewelry, you’ll find a wide range of luxurious items to choose from.


The streets surrounding Plaça Major are also a shopper’s paradise, with a mix of international chains and local stores. Explore the narrow lanes and discover independent shops selling fashion, accessories, and unique artisanal items. You’ll also find a variety of Spanish brands and high-street fashion options, offering something for every budget.


For a taste of local culture, head to the traditional markets in Palma de Mallorca. The Mercat de l’Olivar is a vibrant market filled with stalls selling fresh produce, local delicacies, and traditional Mallorcan products. It’s the perfect place to pick up authentic ingredients, such as olives, almonds, and local cheeses, to bring a taste of Mallorca home with you.


Another popular market is the Mercat de Santa Catalina, known for its fresh seafood, fruits, and vegetables. Explore the lively stalls and be sure to sample some of the local specialties, such as sobrasada, a delicious Mallorcan sausage.


If you’re looking for unique souvenirs or handmade crafts, head to the old town streets and alleyways. Here, you’ll find charming artisan workshops and boutiques selling locally crafted items, including ceramics, leather goods, and jewelry. Pick up a one-of-a-kind piece that embodies the essence of Mallorca’s artistic heritage.


If you prefer a more modern shopping experience, visit one of the city’s shopping centers. Centro Comercial Porto Pi is the largest mall in Palma de Mallorca, offering a wide selection of national and international brands. It’s a convenient place to shop, grab a bite to eat, or catch a movie.


As you explore the shops and boutiques in Palma de Mallorca, take breaks at the city’s charming cafes and enjoy a cup of Spanish coffee or a refreshing glass of local wine. Shopping in Palma de Mallorca is not just about purchasing items, but also about immersing yourself in the city’s vibrant culture and unique shopping experience.


Whether you’re in search of high-end fashion, local crafts, or fresh produce, Palma de Mallorca’s shopping scene is sure to delight. Indulge in some retail therapy, find the perfect souvenir, and take home a piece of Mallorca’s charm with you.


Day Trips from Palma de Mallorca

While Palma de Mallorca offers a plethora of attractions and experiences, the surrounding areas of the island are also worth exploring. From picturesque villages to stunning natural landscapes, there are plenty of day trip opportunities that will add to your Mallorca adventure.


One popular day trip destination is Valldemossa, a charming village located in the Tramuntana Mountains. Known for its narrow cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and lush gardens, Valldemossa offers a peaceful escape from the city. Visit the famous Carthusian Monastery, where composer Frédéric Chopin once resided, and stroll through the quaint streets lined with boutiques and cafes.


If you’re a nature enthusiast, a visit to the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range is a must. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers breathtaking landscapes, from rugged cliffs to lush valleys. Hike along the well-marked trails, rent a bike to explore the winding roads, or simply enjoy a scenic drive through the picturesque villages that dot the mountains.


Another popular day trip option is the town of Sóller, located on the northwest coast of Mallorca. Reachable by a vintage wooden tram or a historic train, Sóller is known for its charming town square, Art Nouveau buildings, and orange groves. Take a leisurely stroll through the town’s streets, visit the beautiful Sóller Cathedral, and savor the famous Sóller oranges and local delicacies.


For a taste of Mallorca’s coastal beauty, head to the picturesque village of Port de Sóller. Nestled in a horseshoe-shaped bay, this coastal gem offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea, sandy beaches, and a scenic promenade lined with charming cafes and restaurants. Take a boat trip along the dramatic coastline or simply relax on the beach and soak in the natural beauty.


If you’re looking for a more adventurous day trip, consider visiting the Cuevas del Drach (Dragon Caves) in the town of Porto Cristo. Explore the underground chambers, marvel at the impressive stalactite formations, and witness a musical performance on Europe’s largest underground lake.


Alternatively, you can hop on a boat and explore the stunning coastline of Mallorca. From Palma de Mallorca, you can embark on boat tours that will take you to hidden coves, secluded beaches, and crystal-clear waters. Discover the beauty of places like Cala Figuera, Cala Varques, and Cala Mesquida.


No matter which day trip you choose, the surrounding areas of Palma de Mallorca are sure to leave a lasting impression. Embrace the natural beauty, immerse yourself in the local culture, and create unforgettable memories as you explore the diverse landscapes and charming towns.