Palma de Mallorca is the capital of Mallorca and it is home to more than half of the islands population. It is situated on the south coast of the island in the Bay of Palma.
Palma is a city that has something to offer to everyone. It is a lively city that attracts both locals and visitors all year around. You can fill your day with culture; visiting museums, churches and other historic sites; enjoy fabulous shopping from exclusive brands to vintage shops with local brands. You can choose from high-class restaurants to intimate tapas bars and end the night at one of the cities vibrant bars and dance till dawn in one of the clubs.
When you enter the city you will be greeted by the majestic cathedral “La Seu”. This is the city’s landmark and it is an architectonic masterpiece located in the old part of the town, the heart of the city. This area is a tranquil historical centre with narrow and cobbled streets and tall traditional Mallorcan buildings. In the city centre you can find everything from museums, palaces and beautiful patios to a huge selection of restaurants, cafes and bars and great shopping.
Passeig Born is one of Palmas many avenues and it is the city’s main promenade. There are several shops, restaurants and cafes alongside the avenue and it is a place for people to meet and enjoy a vibrant atmosphere.
The city offers culinary experiences and there is great selection of restaurants to choose from and within all budgets. The more popular place to find a nice restaurant or a pulsating bar is “La Lonja”. The area is located around the old town, southwest of downtown. Here you will find several restaurants with outdoor seating. During the summer time the area is very popular and the atmosphere is lively.
If you want to see a different side of Palma, a visit to Santa Catalina is a must. It is a charming area full of vibrant life. Here you can stroll down the streets and meet locals and foreigners having drinks or dinner in one of the areas many restaurants. You will find vintage shops and in the centre of the area, there is a large indoor food market where you can buy local products. Santa Catalina has a perfect location being close to the city center and the promenade Passeig Maritimo.
Passeig Maritimo is the area along the harbour. Here you can find several nightclubs, bars, restaurants and hotels. The area is very popular for both locals and visitors to stroll along the harbour.
There is much to see in Palma and some of the more famous landmarks are:
The cathedral La Seu is a Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral. King James I of Aragon began the construction of La Seu in 1229 and it was completed in 1601. The cathedral is impressive in size with a length of 121 metres and width is 55 metres. Though the cathedral is designed in the Catalan Gothic style, it shows off Northern European influences as well. Read more about the Cathedral.
The Bellver castle is located on a hill overlooking Palma. It is one of the few circular castles in Europe. The castle was built in the 14th century for King James II. This Gothic style castle was used as a military prison throughout the 18th to mid-20th centuries but today it is a major tourist attraction and the seat for the city’s History Museum. Read more about the Bellver Castle
Placa Major is located in the old town Mallorca. It has cobbled streets and old buildings and it is known as the “artists” quarter having several art galleries.
Plaza Cort is a square in the centre of Palma, where the Town Council of Palma is situated. This old centre of Palma, has an impressive Baroque styled facade made from numerous elements of 17th century architecture. The Gothic church Iglesia de Santa Catalina can also be found here.
The town hall in Palma is very charming and it dates back to the 17th century. According to the history of the hall, it was built in 1515 but burned down in 1842. Today, it is a famous meeting spot and outside of the hall, some pretty stone benches have been installed where locals and tourists can sit, chat and just enjoy the pulsating life around this area.
Palma has incredibly good shopping and it has become a mecca for those seeking both luxury items and more typical local products. You can easily spend a day visiting all kinds of shops, from the small boutiques in the Santa Catalina area to the luxury brands found on Passeig Born, moving on the major streets around Plaza España where you can find everything from international brands, local souvenir shops to interesting food stores. If you prefer to shop under one roof, there is a large shopping centre at the outskirts of the city; Porto Pi. The shopping centre offers a wide range of shops, restaurants and entertainment areas. There are also two department stores in Palma; el Corte Ingles. This is a large Spanish department store available in all major cities of the country. For those who would rather go on the market, there are two indoor markets; one in Santa Catalina and one close to Plaça d’Espanya, as well as flea markets.
To learn more about the city and to get a guided tour, you can hop on one of the Palma Sightseeing tours which are availably all year around. This tour does not just let you know about the history of the city but it is an excellent way to get around the city to visit the most popular spots.
As it is the capital of the island it is well connected and it very easy to reach both by car and local transportation such as bus and train. There is well developed transportation network with buses reaching the capital from all major cities on the island. The Plaça d’Espanya is the transport hub of Palma and from here you can get on a bus taking you to any of the places offered within the transportation network. Once you are in the city it is not bigger than you can explore it by foot. An alternative popular way to explore the city is by Segway.