Travel Guide Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca is the capital of the Balearic Island of Mallorca ( Majorca), the city also has long been a favourite for international tourism.
Steeped in history it is home to an exceptional cathedral as well as many remnants from its Moorish and Christian past.
Palma has been transformed into a modern lively city over the last 20 years whilst preserving much of its ancient heritage.
Top 10 Things To Do In Palma de Mallorca
- Visit the impressive Cathedral - Catedral Basilica de Santa Maria de Mallorca.
- Spend a morning in the Bellver Castle & Museum - Castell de Belverr.
- Explore Mediterranean and Tropical seas at the Palma Aquarium.
- Go Snorkelling in one of Mallorca's best beach coves at Calo des Moro.
- Take an evening stroll along the tree lined promenade Passeig Des Born.
- Get up early and visit the renowned food market - Mercat de I'Olivar.
- Ride the 100 year old railway from Palma to Soller.
- Visit the stunning Arab Palace - Palau de L'Almudaina.
- Chill out on the popular beach at Playa de Palma, El Arenal.
- Taste the delights of Palma cooking starting at the Catalina Market.
Exploring Historic Palma de Mallorca
The undeniable main attractions of Palma includes the stunning Santa Maria Cathedral, also known as Le Seu, an imposing Gothic cathedral, built by Jaime I, the first conqueror of the island.
The city hall and the market Placa Mayor and El Pueblo Espanol, is an interesting outdoor museum with beautiful Spanish and Moorish houses.
A good starting spot to exploring the area is the cities main plaza, the Plaça d’Espanya, here, you will find a tourist information centre, an excellent place to pick up free travel leaflets to help you plan your holiday itinerary.
The plaza is also a good place to relax and people watch whilst enjoying a refreshing soft drink or an energising coffee in one of the many cafés.
The Plaça d’Espanya is flanked by medieval walls and is the gateway to Palma’s old quarter. The area is a maze of interesting alleyways and pedestrianised cobbled streets displaying signs of its Arab past.
Perfect for long walks and shopping enthusiasts, head off to the Passeig des Born, which houses plenty of shops belonging to famous designers plus plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes. Walking around the city you will also come across many houses built in the great Italian-style architecture.
Another must place to visit is the sprawling Marina around the port area, full of luxury boats and yachts of every shape and size. The port area is noted for its numerous high-quality fish and seafood restaurants.
The Spanish Royal family are frequent visitors to Mallorca as it is one of their preferred holiday destinations.
The Catalan language is widely spoken, although Castilian Spanish is fully understood by just about everyone.
A must place to visit is the sprawling Palma Marina and Port area, full of luxury boats and yachts of every shape and size.
5 Interesting Facts about Mallorca
- Before mass tourism arrived in Majorca has been doyen of many a celebrity who chose the island as an escape from their hectic lifestyles.
- The stunning mountain range of Serra de Tramuntana was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2011 as being an area of Physical and Cultural significance.
- Nearly half of the permanent residents of Majorca reside in Palma, making it a lively hub of activity whatever time of year you visit.
- Majorca is the training ground of choice for some of the world’s top cyclists including Bradley Wiggins who take advantage of the challenging and varied terrain of the island.
- Palma plays host to the annual Kings Cup - Copa del Rey yachting competition held at the end of July each year.
Nearby places to visit
The Caves of Drach ( Cuevas de Drach )
Listed in tourist guides as the Caves of Drach, this natural phenomenon is found on the islands east coast close to Porto Cristo. A spectacular array of giant stalagmites, stalactites and shimmering lakes await those who visit this wonderful underground world.
For a great family day out head off to Marineland, with water slides, attractions and shows featuring dolphins and sea lions, tropical birds and a private beach just some of the attractions here a fun-packed day is guaranteed.
La Reserva del Puig de Galatzo
A beautiful nature park where you will enjoy an array of animals and plants unique to the area as well as a pool complete with waterfall to cool yourselves down in the summer heat.
Enjoy Majorcan Cuisine
Majorcan cuisine has been influenced by many different cultures, a superb climate and it's geographic location.
The restaurant scene is certainly not lacking when it comes to a variety of choice and budgets, the island is home to well over 2,500 restaurants so you are sure to find one that suits you.
Traditional food to be found in Majorca includes the delicious Ensaimada a light spiral of cake powdered with icing sugar that dates back to the 17th century and mostly eaten for breakfast with coffee or hot chocolate.
Other delicacies well worth trying are the Panadas a local meat pie, Pa Amb Oli, Majorcan bread toasted and topped with tomato, garlic, cured ham and extra virgin olive oil.
Sobrassada is a favorite through Spain and has a texture rather like a creamy chorizo sausage.
For those with a sweet tooth try the delicious Quelitas, a traditional Majorcan biscuit.
Recommended places to eat in Palma de Mallorca
There are two main recommended areas where you will find the best selection of eateries. La Lonja is located around the port area and has a special atmosphere, full of cafeterias, restaurants and tapas bars. It also offers up a vibrant nightlife with some great clubs to spend those long summer nights in.
The other popular dining area in Palma is the trendy area around Santa Catalina market where you will find lots of interesting stalls selling fresh fish, vegetables and other local delights.
» Restaurant Sadrassana located at La Longa, a unique restaurant built-in 19th Century Mallorcan mansion and which was used as a discreet Madrid eatery in the TV thriller ” The Night Manager”. The Sadrassana is open for dinner only with spaces for around 80 diners. Award-winning chef Edgar Jiménez has created a range of unique dishes including tapas, rice and seafood dishes, meats and soups.
» Restaurante Peix Vermell for traditional dishes, the restaurant is located just a few minutes walk from the port and yacht marina. Here you can enjoy a selection of delightfully cooked local dishes including chefs recommended monkfish, hake or cuttlefish Majorcan style, sea bass in a salt crust, lobster stew, rice Marinera or Paella Sense Feina.
» Canela Restaurant is a good choice if you are looking for a really good tasty treat for lunch. Resembling a Parisian Bistro, the Canela is cosy and cool offering a range of unique dishes including Bluefin tuna belly tartar, a crispy Scallop wrapped in Katafi with Wakame salad and soja air and a soft shell crab tempura with a spicy-sweet melon salad.
Tours & Excursions
Recommended accommodation in Palma de Majorca
The Hotel Gran Melia Victoria is a very stylish 5 star hotel located just a short drive from Port of Las Palmas and the Palma Cathedral. It offers multiple facilities including a sauna, a fitness centre and a poolside snack bar. Each bright room at the Hotel Gran Melia Victoria includes a mini bar and bathrobes. The hotel is only a 10-minute walk from Bellver Castle, and an easy drive from Magaluf. The hotel is located within a few minutes from shops, bars and a variety of local and international dining options. Regular Reviewer Rating: 8.9
For a unique experience see the charming Hotel Convent de la Missio located in the Sant Juame district of Palma. Situated within a converted convent the architecture and atmosphere are special. The hotel features a rooftop terrace, an outdoor pool and a sauna and is a short walk nearby restaurants, clubs and bars. Reviewer Rating: 9.3
For excellent value budget accommodation try the 3 star Brick Hotel & B2 Homes which offers 36 rooms with all the essentials to ensure a comfortable stay. Ideally located close to Palma Cathedral and all the cities top attractions. Reviewer Rating: 8.8