About Palma de Mallorca

© J. Bennett

About Palma de Mallorca

© seemallorca

About Shopping in Mallorca

© Thousand Wonders

a photo of an old street in palma's evenings

© seemallorca.com

About Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca city guide

Discover the city of Palma de Mallorca

Palma is Mallorca's vibrant capital, stylish and intimate, yet bursting with life. Half of the island's population dwells in this city, lively all year round with luxury hotels , trendy restaurants , cafes , shops and nightlife as well as a thriving art scene. It's often compared to Barcelona and, being within a 15-minute taxi ride from the airport, it makes for the perfect city break.

Located in the south of the island, Palma looks out over the shimmering Mediterranean sea (take a look at our webcam to see it in real time). Whilst there are many enchanting parts of the city, the main attractions and shops are situated around the massive Gothic cathedral down by the seafront. This area, known as Palma’s old town, is full of ancient passages, historic monuments and magnificent architecture. Here you will find no shortage of sights or refreshment stops within its many pedestrianised lanes, quirky cafes , galleries , and boutique shops . Thanks to these attractions all being packed within a square kilometre, the old town is easy to explore.

The city boasts an enormous harbour which begins in front of the cathedral and borders the west. The cyclist and pedestrian-friendly promenade stretches all the way to the ferry port and cruise terminal (which is located about 3.5km from the old town), making it perfect for a stroll.

History & Culture in Palma de Mallorca

As an island, Mallorca has been subject to numerous invasions and conquests throughout its history. Palma was known to the Arabs as Medina Mayurqa (902 to 1229), and to Mallorcans thereafter simply as Ciutat (City). But the city was in fact named after the Roman city of Palmaria (founded around 120 BC), which still exists a metre or two beneath the ground; inhabitants of houses near the cathedral are still discovering Roman remains every once in a while.

Palma's current image owes much to the last two hundred years. The two iconic roads of Passeig des Born and Las Ramblas were built in the 19th century on a dried-up river bed. The defensive city walls which once surrounded the city were pulled down to create the ring road of Las Avingudas and the waterfront highway and promenade Passeig Maritim were only reclaimed from the sea in the 1950s.

a photo of modernism building facade in palma majorca

Sights & Attractions in Palma de Mallorca

Palma's multicultural history is reflected in the variety of architecture on display in the city. Visitors tend to spend most of their time in the old town, just wandering through the streets and absorbing the architecture whilst browsing the plentiful shops . For those who prefer a little more structure to their visit, the tourist office arranges guided tours of the city throughout the year in several languages, most prevalent during the summer. Check out our selection of Tours & Guides for a range of tours on offer, or use one of our City Walks as a guide.

Medieval buildings Palma's most iconic building is its Gothic cathedral , La Seu; built on the site of a mosque which in turn was once a Roman temple, it rises out of the city walls which used to mark the edge of the sea. Next to the cathedral is L'Almudaina , a 13th-century palace with splendid gardens. It’s worth a little walk behind these magnificent buildings, as here you will find the old Arab quarter, with its labyrinth of narrow streets (be careful not to get lost!). To the west of Palma, on top of a hill, sits Bellver Castle , a unique round castle from the 14th century with some of the best views in the city.

The Arab Quarter This Arab quarter contains many of Palma’s hidden treasures, including little museums, charming courtyards and unique architecture. There are numerous exhibitions dedicated to the history of Mallorca , religious artefacts , or antique toys . Behind the Arab quarter is the renowned Plaça Cort which embodies Palma Town Hall and the legendary old olive tree. This ancient tree is a masterpiece in itself, it’s believed to be about 800 years old and is one of the city's most admired landmarks.

Modernist architecture You can’t help but notice the modernist architecture in Palma, this is all thanks to Gaudi's influence when he was on the island to oversee restoration works to the cathedral. The best known is the Fundació La Caixa , designed by the Catalan architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner, it was the building that began the craze for Modernist (Art Nouveau) architecture in the city. There are plenty of other examples in the old town, just take a stroll around, look upwards and absorb the sights.

Contemporary art If it's arts and culture that you're interested in, then Palma will not disappoint. The excellent Es Baluard Museum of Contemporary Art is housed in the old fortress and is well worth a visit, the restaurant on the terrace is critically acclaimed too. The Spanish artist Joan Miró spent the best part of 30 years living on Mallorca and there is a foundation devoted to his works just to the west of Palma. There are also several other art galleries featuring Spanish artists and contemporary art.

A little tip: if you are planning on doing quite a bit of sightseeing, then it is worth buying a 'Palma Pass'. This is a smart card that you can pre-purchase at the tourist offices and provides access to museums and tourist attractions, permits free public transport and even gives you a discount on selected activities, restaurants and shops. You can buy cards for various durations and special family passes are also available.

Palma cathedral with a wonderful beach in front

Beaches in Palma de Mallorca

Palma has its very own urban beach, just follow the cycle path and promenade from the city's port eastbound, once you pass the front of the cathedral, it’s a further 15-minute walk on foot.

East of Palma Those seeking more tranquil beaches, there are a few to name in the surrounding areas of the city. The cute little beach in Portixol, which is about 3km east of the city centre, can be reached by car, bike or even foot and is lined with bars and restaurants. This area is a great lunch spot for those seeking a little bit of quiet away from the city centre. Much further to the east, near the airport, you’ll find Playa de Palma. This should not be confused with the city of Palma! Playa de Palma is a purpose-built beach resort about 10km away. It has a long beach and is a popular resort for package holidays and kite surfers. Of course, there are regular buses between the beach and Palma, so it's easy to explore one whilst staying in the other.

West of Palma On the other side of Palma, the neighbouring Cala Major and Illetas boast some of the most beautiful beaches on the south-west coast of Mallorca. Although there is limited parking in these areas, the beaches are accessible with the bus number 3 from Plaça d’Espanya stopping off at various points in the city before getting to Illetas, or a short 10-minute taxi ride.

Events in Palma de Mallorca

Palma is certainly a city packed full of fun events whatever the time of year. Let’s kick off with the fiestas and fairs because they are some of the most spectacular events you could attend. Palma knows how to celebrate and bring people together, and boy do you get to know the real city when it hosts one of its fiestas!

Traditional fiestas Apart from the usual traditional festivals celebrated in Spain, you really should try to get involved in the city's two main fiestas: Sant Sebastiá which is held in January and Sant Joan that takes place in June. Others to watch are the Three Kings Parade on the eve of the Epiphany (5th of January) and Sa Rua , Mallorca’s very own carnival in February.

Sant Sebastian is Palma's patron saint and the city comes out in force to celebrate. You can expect street parties with BBQs and music concerts, followed by parades, fireworks and a Correfoc (devil fire running) in the lead up to the more formal proceedings taking place on the actual saint's day of the 20th January, a public holiday in Palma.

Sant Joan is celebrated on the 24th June as part of the summer solstice but, again, it's the evening before that sees the biggest party. The infamous ‘ Nit de Foc ', or Night of Fire is held on the night of the 23rd June and sees bonfires lit throughout the city and the crazy ‘fire run' where locals dress as demons and devils and run through the streets bearing torches. Everyone eventually gathers in the Parc de la Mar for concerts, more bonfires, firecrackers and an impressive fireworks display.

Cultural events Art lovers should attend Nit de l'Art in September when the art galleries and restaurants display art to the public with canapes and wine. There are a couple of grand theatres in the city which host annual opera and ballet festivals, their programmes are speckled with musicals, concerts and other ‘spectacles'. Look out for details on the Bellver Castle Music Festival , a popular occasion in the summer months. There are also several jazz clubs in La Llonja, and other live music venues (bars) can be found throughout Palma.

Gastronomic events For the foodies, the Spanish love of food is reflected in gastronomic events throughout the year. Every Tuesday La Ruta Martiana takes place in Palma’s old town. Bars offer their patrons a small tapa or pintxo plus a caña of beer for a modest 2-3€. It's a great way to discover authentic Spanish bars and cuisine away from the touristy areas of the city. On a larger scale, be sure to check out the TaPalma event. These tapas routes at the end of October are great for encouraging people to explore the more hidden bars and restaurants of Palma, each establishment serving unique quality tapas and wines for a reduced fee. Participating bars and restaurants are marked on a handy map of the area which you can pick up in bars and cafes.

Sporting events Much like the rest of the island, Palma has its fair share of sporting events. The city has its own marathon in October, as well as a range of cycling events, and is a renowned hub for numerous sailing regattas in the Mediterranean, not to mention it has its own International Boat Show held on the first May bank holiday weekend. Football fanatics, we promise a Spanish football game atmosphere is worth sampling... there isn’t anything quite like it! Mallorca has its own football team that normally plays in Spain’s top division. Their stadium is on the outskirts of Palma and tickets are relatively easy to come by.

About Shopping in Mallorca

Things to do in Palma de Mallorca

Other than the historical sights and attractions, there are plenty of activities to do in the city.

Shopping Palma's shopping is a must. Top areas include Passeig des Born , Avinguda Jaume III and the pedestrianised streets surrounding Plaça Major. Here you'll find Spanish high-street favourites Zara, Massimo Dutti and Uterqüe alongside international designer labels Hugo Boss, Luis Vuitton and even Mulberry. But the boutique shopping, particularly the shoe shops, are what makes Palma stand out. Make sure you sample a couple of interior design shops dotted around the city too, they are inspiring to say the very least. And, as far as department stores go, El Corte Inglés will provide you with everything you could ever need.

Boat trips & yacht charters With its large marina , Palma is the starting point for a number of boat trips and yacht charters around the island. They are great for large groups or families who want to explore the beautiful beaches and bays of their own accord. The slightly cheaper option is a half day or full day trip around the Bay of Palma, extremely popular among visitors who want to take to the water in the summer months. Try to book in advance rather than just turning up on the day to avoid disappointment.

Sports If sport is your passion, there are several golf courses within a 10-minute drive of Palma and fantastic clay tennis courts in the district of Santa Catalina.

Tours If you are keen to explore Palma but walking isn’t your thing, you can hire bicycles, scooters and Segways to get around the city. Fancy getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre for the day? Then hiring bikes and taking a jaunt along the cycle path from Palma all the way to S’Arenal is an absolute must. This cycle route is doable for even the most novice cyclists, but prepare yourself for it to be busy in peak season. There are numerous cycle hire shops to be found in Palma city centre and along the Paseo Marítimo for a reasonable price. It’s a great way to see the coastline of Palma and there are plenty of opportunities to stop off at some of its seaside restaurants , cafes and even a beach club or two on the way. Portixol and Molinar are great areas for a spot of lunch, so be sure to schedule a meal into your day.

Rainy day activities If for the unlikely reason it's raining when you visit this beautiful island, have no fear there are things to do in and around Palma. If museums and art galleries aren’t your things, then there are also indoor shopping centres within the vicinity of the city centre. Alternatively, head to the east of Palma for the Aquarium . Highly recommended!

Photo of street with restaurants at night

Dining in Palma de Mallorca

Palma has an infinite choice of restaurants, expect a range of international cuisines for all budgets.

Traditional eateries Within the old town, you'll find endless traditional Spanish and Mallorcan eateries, particularly in the area of La Llonja. However, there are places dotted all throughout the centre and it's worth exploring back streets and taking a look at the menus posted outside the restaurants.

Off the beaten track If you want to veer away from the beaten track, there are many top class restaurants located around Plaça d’Espanya. Eating with the locals means you'll find fantastic food at some remarkably reasonable prices. For tapas or a heartier Spanish inspired meal, head to streets like Carrer del 31 de Diciembre and Carrer de Blanquerna, each featuring some top restaurants.

The gastronomic district Alternatively, if you're hungry for some international yet innovative cuisine, then the trendy area of Santa Catalina will certainly hit the spot. Here you'll find anything from modern tapas and homemade Italian to South American and Asian fusion. Due to the number of restaurants popping up in this area, there's a high level of competition which makes both the quality and prices equally good.

The best seafood in town After more traditional seafood and a traditional Spanish paella? Make your way to the seafront by venturing towards Portixol and Molinar, only 3km from the cathedral. These traditional fishing ports offer up some of the best paellas on the island.

Las Terrazas Beach Club, Illetes, Opening Party 2010 Mallorca Majorca

Nightlife in Palma de Mallorca

Palma plays host to the widest range of bars and nightclubs on the island. The beauty of this city is that you'll see visitors and locals partying alongside one another until the early hours of the morning.The areas of La Lonja, Santa Catalina and the Paseo Marítimo are the main places to rendezvous.

La Lonja (The old town) La Lonja is at the heart of the city's nightlife during the evenings. Whether it’s late night restaurants , pubs, cocktail bars or jazz clubs you're after, you'll find something to tickle your taste buds. Be sure to check out hotel bars and sky bars too as they offer some of the best cocktails in the city centre!

Santa Catalina Santa Catalina is swarming with people in the evening whatever the time of the year. A number of watering holes in the form of late night bars that locals, expats and tourists like to frequent reside here. It's also where you'll find the yacht crews hanging out, especially along Carrer de San Magí.

Paseo Marítimo The Paseo Marítimo (the front by the marina) is absolutely buzzing when the warm nights set in from June until September. This area makes for the perfect night out on the tiles thanks to its restaurants , late-night bars and a couple of large-scale nightclubs . For those who like to party until 05:00, the main club to call is Tito's . You won’t miss it!

An insider tip for those who will venture a little further: at the far western end of the seafront promenade, towards the cruise ships port, there is a small marina called Can Barbara, which encompasses some late night bars popular amongst the locals. Speaking of local experiences, try the area to the east of Plaça Major for a host of quirky, independent late-night late-night cafes and bars full of local youngsters. All very Barcelona!

Match made in Mallorca, top Valentine's hotspots 2017

Where to stay in Palma de Mallorca

Luxury boutique hotels A large proportion of people visiting the city centre tend to stay in hotels. Palma has seen an explosion of boutique hotels in recent years which attract visitors all year round. Old historical palaces have been restored with the utmost care, retaining original features and introducing all the modern technology we expect nowadays. Most of these hotels can be found in the tiny streets around the cathedral area.

Stay in the old town of Palma to be bang smack in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city centre, with shops , restaurants and nightlife on your doorstep. There's a great selection of hotels available in this area, suitable for a wide range of budgets. Keep your eyes peeled for those in the districts of La Llonja, Passeig des Born, Avinguda Jaume III, Sant Nicolau, La Calatrava, around which the city's fabulous boutique hotels concentrate.

Hotels with a view In the hotels along the Paseo Marítimo, what you lose in character, you gain with sea views. This area is perfect for those who might feel a bit claustrophobic staying in the city centre but still wants to be within easy walking distance of all the attractions on offer. This stretch offers hotels with larger, more corporate accommodation and modern comfortable hotels for those simply craving a room with a balcony and a sea view. These establishments will certainly quench your thirst for some sunshine and water. Alike to the city centre, here you are perfectly situated for exploring Palma without the need for travelling by transport.

Hotels with wide-ranging facilities There are also plenty of opportunities to stay on the outskirts of Palma. With numerous hotels dotted around with outstanding spa facilities, swimming pools, tennis courts, gyms and even golf courses. These are perfect to experience the best of both worlds, being within close proximity of the city but having access to all the facilities one could ever want for. Many of these hotels also offer a free shuttle service to the city centre.

Villas In these same suburbs, you will find a number of holiday rentals or villas which are more appropriate for those looking for a home away from home style of accommodation. These are great for large groups in need of numerous bedrooms and usually have the luxury of a private swimming pool.

Apartments Whilst the villas tend to be located on the outskirts of the city, there are more and more holiday apartment rentals popping up in the city centre for smaller groups. Due to the variety of sizes and them being slightly less expensive than hotels, these are becoming a favourite choice for a wide range of people from couples to small families and groups.

About Palma de Mallorca

Discovering the different areas of Palma

The striking seafront The first thing you will notice when you arrive in Palma from the airport is the fabulous marina and seafront, perfectly accompanied with a palm tree-lined promenade. Dominating the skyline by the sea is the iconic cathedral (called La Seu) and the Parc de la Mar , a large park in front of it which hosts many concerts, fiestas and open-air cinema throughout the year.

The charming old town After arriving in Palma, the old town is probably the best place to start as a visitor. You can begin at the cathedral and along Passeig des Born as it’s not only picturesque but easy to navigate. At this point, you can’t help but be impressed with the city has to offer. This grand avenue features high-street and designer shops to cater for everybody’s needs. From here there are a few options, follow the road around to the right onto the tree-lined promenade of La Rambla, home to florists and newspaper sellers, or onto Avinguda Jaume III for further shops and stunning architecture.

Alternatively, once you have your bearings and are keen to explore the ancient passages, head slightly west of Passeig des Born. Here you will find the quaint, ancient district of Sa Llotja (or La Lonja), which is home to some of Palma’s finest boutiques, art galleries and Spanish restaurants. If you decide to venture east of Passeig des Born, you'll find gift shops, fashion boutiques, shoe shops and cafes. On this side also lies Plaça Major, which holds markets featuring arts and crafts and other touristy trinkets. This area encompasses Plaça Cort where the handsome Mallorcan Town Hall resides, and another popular shopping street called Sant Miquel. You will also likely stumble upon the Olivar Market , a traditional Spanish undercover market selling all sorts of fresh produce.

Trendy Santa Catalina Santa Catalina, which used to house fishermen and craftsmen in days gone by, has now resurrected itself as the hip and trendy area for all the cool kids. In the daytime , it's home to eclectic shops and boutiques, from interior design to dresses. Here you'll find yet another undercover food market called ‘Mercat de Santa Catalina’ which is worth a little peep inside if you are in the area. However, it's highly recommended you make a visit to Santa Catalina once the sun has gone down since it has become known in recent years for its thriving nightlife due to the number of trendy bars , clubs and contemporary restaurants popping up. Aim to start at Carrer de Argentina, which is easy to find from the seafront, and stroll around the roads between Carrer de San Magí and Carrer de la Fàbrica. This is the place to go for modern, yet relaxed, food and cocktails .

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Brilliant brunch spots in and around Palma 2019

Brilliant brunches in and around Palma

Coolest cafes in Palma 2018

Cafe culture in Palma

Sitting in a warm breeze and sipping a perfectly made café con leche, there’s no better way to spend your morning than on the lively terraces in the early hours of Palma’s beautiful sunshine.

Eat the world in Palma 2018

Eat the world in Palma de Mallorca 2018

Finest boutique hotels in Mallorca for 2018

Finest boutique hotels in Mallorca

From rural to royal, secluded to urban, whether in mountains, coast or city; there is a wide choice of excellent boutique hotels on the island waiting to be discovered. Whatever your preference, a warm welcome undoubtedly awaits.

Mercado Gastronomico San Juan - food outlets, palma

Get your food-fix at Mercado Gastronomico

Jet skiing around Palma Bay

How to Spend 24hrs in Palma de Mallorca

Palma is rich in culture, entertainment and gastronomy. Being relatively compact makes it an attractive and viable option for visitors short on time. Explore the historic streets on foot and excite your senses in this vibrant capital.

A hotel room with a large bed and a desk

Palma is Europe's capital city for boutique hotels

Mallorca's capital has increasingly become a hotspot for luxury boutique hotels, making it the perfect choice for a city-break holiday. Its beautiful historic centre currently boasts 18 boutique hotels, with another 5 set to open in 2017.

Chiliss No 3, Palma de Mallorca drinks

Party in Palma

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The night in Palma is forever young with a huge amount of choice on where to spend your evening, so, where are the best spots to party in the vast city of Palma?

A romantic cycling trip in Mallorca with Mills & Honey

Passion in Palma

For some, the romance will spark as soon as Mallorca's spectacular cliffs come into view from the plane window. For others, it will be the first sip of wine or taste of mouthwatering cuisine that gets the pulse racing.

a view down passeig del born in palma de mallorca

People watching hot spots in Palma

Perfect picnics spots in Palma 2018

Perfect picnics spots in Palma

Prime Palma lunchtime spots in 2019

Prime Palma lunchtime spots

Top 10 Attractions in Palma de Mallorca

Top 10 Attractions in Palma de Mallorca 2017

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Top cocktail bars in Palma

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Top reasons to visit Palma in winter

Top rooftop bars in Palma for 2019

Top rooftop bars in Palma de Mallorca

Palma offers a great variety of rooftop bars,  perfect for enjoying some spectacular scenery with a sundowner in hand.

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Top traditional tapas in Palma

Mallorca’s cosmopolitan capital city takes centre stage when it comes to the island's gastronomical culture.

Trendy tapas in Palma de Mallorca in 2019

Trendy tapas in Palma de Mallorca

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Port de Soller Sunset Boat Trip, Port de Soller

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a view over the roofs of Palma at sunset

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  • City Guides , Palma , Town & Cities

travel guide of palma

The Complete Palma de Mallorca Travel Guide

  • May 11, 2023

With over 2,000 years of history and nearly half the population of the island, Palma is the cultural and economic hub of Mallorca . If you’re visiting Mallorca, you’ll inevitably pass through the city’s airport or port and likely pass some of its impressive sights like the looming La Seu Gothic Cathedral or Bellver Castle. If you want more than just a passing glance, it’s truly a city you could explore for days on end. Use this complete travel guide to plan your trip and experience everything Palma de Mallorca has to offer.

Best Location: Stay Brick

Best dessert: ca’n joan de s’aigo, palma bay boat tour and snorkeling, nadal – nov.-dec., how to get to palma de mallorca.

Palma’s Son Sant Joan airport, PMI, is not too far outside of Palma itself. It’s about a 15-20-minute drive depending on the traffic and your exact destination. There are also public transportation options available, made faster by the new carpool lane . There is even talk of building a tram to the airport.

For a more detailed guide on getting to Palma from the airport, read our article on just that.

If you choose to rent a car at the airport and drive into town, simply follow signs for Palma from the airport and take Ma-19 . As you approach the city, you have two options: continue straight to the port, usually the best choice for the Old Town, or exit right on the Ma-20 beltway to access other parts of the city.

While public transportation is improving, and a tram is supposedly in the works to be finished who knows when, this is still my recommendation. For most accomodation, a car will get you there faster and more directly, and it will give you access to the rest of the island.

The EMT A1 bus is the main public transportation option from the airport into Palma. It runs daily from 4:30 am to 12:20 am and takes about 30 minutes to reach Plaza España in the city center. It then continues to loop around the Old Town. A one-way trip from the airport is €5 . When you exit the airport, cross the large parking lots beneath the skybridge, and you’ll find the bus stop near the entrance to the parking garage.

The Best Hotels in Palma de Mallorca

Best boutique hotel: palacio can marques.

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Palacio Can Marques took the top spot in my roundup of Palma boutique hotels . If you want an authentic experience in the Palma Old Town with easy access to the historical city center as well as the nightlife of Santa Catalina , there’s no better option. In fact, it’s located right on Plaça de la Drassana .

The staff is classically Mallorca, which is to say friendly, hospitable and kind. I also recommend checking out the Merchants bar and grill on site and drinking some Mallorcan wine .

Best Hotel for Beach Access: Nixe Palace

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You’ve probably seen me recommend Nixe Palace a lot. I love this hotel. It’s one of the few in Palma that give you access to the beach, and it certainly has the best view of the sea . (Just be careful not to let the seagulls steal your breakfast.) I highly recommend the spa as well.

As for location, Nixe Palace is a little bit outside the Old Town, but you’re still close to all the nightlife of Santa Catalina .

Best Budget Hotel: JS Palma Plaza Hotel

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The JS Palma Plaza Hotel is the best choice if you want something authentic without going over budget. Even during peak season , you can often find rooms under €200 . This is mostly due to its location on Plaza Madrid. A mostly residential area, it might not have the fame of Santa Catalina, but it’s a quiet place to experience what life is really like in Mallorca. In fact, I lived nearby when I first moved to Mallorca and enjoyed the area quite a bit.

That said, Palma Plaza Hotel is still within walking distance of Santa Catalina and El Forti park. You can also entertain yourself with the rooftop pool featuring amazing views of the city and sea beyond, not to mention the gym and spa.

Stay Brick is frankly a… weird hotel. Though it’s a full hotel, it draws on a youth hostel vibe, and I’d primarily recommend it for young travelers or backpackers . Aside from the artistic and chique interior design, it’s also one of the best hotels for accessing the historic Old Town. Right in Sindicat , you’re a few steps away from the coolest Bohemian cafes, and you also have Sant Miquel and Plaza Mayor right around the corner.

The Best Restaurants in Palma de Mallorca

Best fine dining: zaranda.

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Zaranda is actually homed right inside the Es Princep hotel, one of my favorite boutique hotels in Palma , though it was originally located in Es Capdellà, a small village in the Tramuntana mountains, where it became a Michelin Two-Star establishment.

Fernando P. Arellano heads the restaurant and creates dynamic tasting menus based on his experiences in restaurants around the world, having slowly worked his way up to chef from a dishwasher in Dublin. Neverthless, he’s always sure to draw on his Mallorcan roots , giving the unique dishes an authentic base .

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Best Mallorcan Food: Celler de sa Premsa

Obviously you can’t come to Mallorca without eating Mallorcan food . The best place to get that in Palma is Sa Premsa. Located right off Plaza España , it’s easy to get to and serves classic Mallorcan fare like tumbet, frit and paella paired with Mallorcan wine . Be sure to check out the daily menus as well.

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Best Brunch Cafe: Maui Café & Brunch

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This may seem like an odd choice given how far away it is from central tourist areas, located on the northern edge of Parc de la Riera, but that’s honestly why I like it. It’s a real cafe dedicated to providing good food for Palma residents.

More importantly, they make the best cup of coffee I’ve had on the island. I ride in regularly from Santa Maria just to have a flat white and get some work done.

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Founded in 1700, Ca’n Joan de s’Aigo is a Palma institution . It’s the best place to get Mallorcan desserts in the city, from ensaïmada to ice cream. The biggest and most popular location is on Sindicat , caddy-corner to Corte Ingles, and you’ll find it full of Mallorcans in the summer. However, there are two other smaller locations, one on Carrer del Baró just of Jaume III and another tucked inside the Old Town on Carrer de Can Sanç.

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What to Do in Palma de Mallorca

See The Sights

La Seu Cathedral

la seu cathedral

Officially La Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca, La Seu is a breathtaking Gothic cathedral dating from the 13th Century and the Crown of Aragón. Because people come from around the world to admire the architecture that includes the highest central nave of all Gothic cathedrals, you have to reserve tickets online ahead of time. Basic tickets are €9 for adults, but you can also join guided tours and visit the onsite museum.

Bellver Castle

Matching the Gothic style of La Seu and dating to the 14th Century, Bellver Castle sits on a hill overlooking the city. Once the residence for the Kings of Mallorca as well as a military prison, a  €4  entry—which is waived on Sundays—gives you an educational glimpse into Mallorcan history. Even if you don’t visit the museum inside, it’s worth going to the surrounding park to appreciate the design of one of Europe’s few round castles as well as the moving view of Palma Bay.

Es Baluard Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

Opened in 2004, the Es Baluard Museu has a collection of over 700 pieces, many of which are associated with local Mallorcan and Balearic artists. The museum itself is built into the remnants of the old wall of the city. Most of this wall was removed to build the  avenidas  that wrap around the Old Town, but a small part remains on the southwest side. Entrace to the museum is  €6 .

Església de Sant Miquel

Although it’s a smaller church, San Miguel predates the La Seu cathedral, consecrated as a Christian church on New Year’s Eve 1229. Prior to this the site was home to a Moorish mosque. The architecture matches Palma’s overall Gothic style and features a number of renowned sculptures including one of Ramon Llull, a Franciscan monk, poet and philosopher considered one of the first Catalan writers.

Royal Palace of La Almudaina

la almudaina

A fortress located right next to La Seu cathedral, La Almudaina is the official summer residence of the Spanish royal family when they visit Mallorca, which is relatively frequently since Pricess Sofía hosts an annual regatta in Palma. In fact, if you time it right, you can join the crowds of admirers—and protesters—who watch as the family enter and exit the building. Even if the royal family doesn’t interest, the architecture of the building itself is worth checking out and dates back to the Romans.

Parc de la Mar

parc de la mar palma

Parc de la Mar is a large park below the La Seu cathedral and royal palace that includes a large artificial salt lake and fountain that was once the personal bay the Almohad Sultan prior to the conquest of the island by the Crown of Aragon. It extends up to the seaside highway and is a popular meeting place and location for events like outdoor movies, markets and festivals. There are also several cafes where you can enjoy views of the fountain and cathedral.

Plaça Major

plaça major palma

Plaça Major, or Plaza Mayor in Spanish, is a large square located in the Old Town above La Rambla and at the end of the Sant Miquel shopping street. Filled with cafes and restaurants, it’s the perfect place to have lunch while exploring the city. There is a parking garage and shopping center beneath the square, and it often hosts markets and performances.

Plaça d’Espanya

travel guide of palma

Also called Plaza de España in Spanish, Plaça d’Espanya is a large and important square in Palma due to its proximity to the train station. Aside from getting a look at the prominent statues, the square has a number of shops and restaurants as well as easy access to Sant Miquel, La Rambla and Mercat de l’Olivar. Plus, if you’re staying in Palma for an extended time, you’ll inevitably end up using it as a common meeting point.

Walk The High Streets

Carrer Sant Miquel

Sant Miquel is the most popular shopping street in Palma with local shops, major establishments like the Disney Store, and street vendors and performers. Running from Plaza España to Plaza Mayor, it’s a central artery of the city and an enjoyable way to get from transportation to sights such as La Seu.

travel guide of palma

Although considerably shorter than its Barcelona counterpart, La Rambla in Palma, also known as Via Roma, is a wide avenue with a central pedestrian promenade filled with flower shops and other vendors. Along the avenue’s edge you’ll find some of Palma’s finest bars and restaurants leading to the stairs up to Plaça Major.

Passeig des Born

Another wide avenue with a central promenade, Passeig des Born, bookended by fountains, is one of the best places in the city to have a drink on a cafe terrace in the typical Spanish style. Of course, there’s plenty of upscale shopping as well. The avenue is particularly beauitful at Christmastime and a prime place to view Palma’s many parades and public performances.

Avinguda Jaume III

Commonly called  Jaime III , the Spanish translation, this high street includes marbled side walks passing some of Palma’s most upscale shops including the Corte Inglés department store. From its intersection with Passeig des Born it runs a few blocks to Passeig de Mallorca where you can find fine dining.

Passeig Marítim

Also called  Paseo Marítimo  in Spanish, this section of Avinguda Gabriel Roca follows the coast from the cathedral to Porto Pi. It’s already a magnificent place to stroll the seaside and visit some of Palma’s most famous nightlife establishments like Shamrock, but current construction aims to create more pedestrian access and a proper boardwalk.

blanquerna in palma

Unlike the other streets on this list, Blanquerna is not located in the Old Town. Rather, it extends from Avenidas in the south to Plaça de Paris in the north. As a completely pedestrian street, it’s home to cafes and restaurants with large terraces as well as shops selling local Mallorcan goods. It’s an excellent high street for a more authentic Palma experience.

Visit The Markets

Mercat de l’Olivar

mercat de l'olivar palma

If you want fresh fruit and vegetables and speciality products, not to mention recently caught seafood, there’s no better place than Mercat de l’Olivar. Open Monday through Saturday from 7 am to 3 pm, it’s conveniently located right off Plaza España and includes a supermarket and restaurants upstairs in case there’s anything you can’t find at the stalls.

Mercat Pere Garau

mercat pere garau palma

Though not as accessible from the Old Town, the market in Pere Garau is a prime destination for native Palmasanos looking for locally sourced products. The market is closed on Sundays but otherwise open from 6 am to 2:30 or 3 pm depending on the day and is normally surrounded by local vendors overflowing into the Chinese neighborhood.

Mercat de Santa Catalina

mercat de santa catalina palma

Santa Catalina is the hottest neighborhood in Palma, so it’s no surprise that it has an excellent market for sourcing local products. It also has longer hours than most other markets, open from 7 am till 4 pm Monday through Saturday. Just a block west of Par de Sa Feixina, it’s a must-visit from the Old Town as well.

Mercat de Llevant

market in palma de mallorca

A local market similar to the one in Santa Catalina, this one is located on the east side of town. Though less likely to be accessible to visitors, it offers the same access to local food and fresh produce. It’s open 7 am to 3 pm Monday through Saturday.

Go To The Beach

To be blunt, Palma is not the best place in Mallorca if you’re looking to enjoy some sand and surf. However, there are a few places accessible by walking or public transportation.

Platja de Can Pere Antoni

You’ll more often heard this referred to as the “Palma City Beach” as it’s located right on the bay in front of the Old Town. Bookended by restaurants and adorned with volleyball courts, it’s an easy place to go relax or meet friends from town, even if the water isn’t the prettiest on the island.


If you continue east from the city beach, you’ll reach a small inlet and marina known as Portixol, which is filled with cafes and restaurants and its own small sand beach. It’s an excellent place for enjoying the beach in the winter because you can have a cafe or bocadillo away from the noise of the city.

Cala Major Mallorca

Cala Major is just on the other side of Porto Pi from the bay, and this isolation from the ships makes the water much clearer and more torquoise. You can drive there from downtown on the beltway pretty quickly, or EMT city buses 1, 4, 46 and 47 will all get you there. You can even take TIB bus 108 from Plaza España.

Ciudad Jardín

ciudad jardin mallorca

If you continue walking along the coast east from the city beach and Portitxol, you’ll simply continue to find more  arenales , or sandy strips of beach. The next one is Ciudad Jardín, a popular place for casual strolls even in the off-season. There is a wide area for walking as well as numerous restaurants and outdoor gyms.


s'arenal mallorca

Continuing east you’ll come to S’Arenal, a large, wide sandy strip often synonymously called Platja de Palma, though this technically refers to the longer length of beaches including Ciudad Jardín. Due its proximity to the airport, it’s full of hotels, restaurants and some of the biggest nightlife establishments. Enjoy the beach during the day and then hit the strip at night.

Ses Illetes

ses illetes

Ses Illets, which translates to “the little islands” in English, is a small resort town just to the east of Palma. It’s a popular beach for Palmasanos because it’s the closest one you can get to with public transportation that lets you escape the city and experience a bit more of a natural cala. To get there, take the EMT city bus 4, appropriately named the Illetes route.

Enjoy the Nightlife in Santa Catalina

The best nightlife in Palma is located in Santa Catalina , the neighborhood just west of the Old Town running along the coast . Because of its proximity to the port, it’s the go to for yachties and boat workers when they come to town, so tons of bars and clubs and sprouted up in the area.

While the list of great establishments covering everything from gritty dive bars to upscale cocktail joints is nearly neverending, there are a few cornerstone locales to start with:

  • Three Lions

Go to the Aquarium

travel guide of palma

If you’re visiting Mallorca and don’t have time to get in some serious scuba diving or snorkeling, I recommend hitting up the Palma Aquarium , especially if you have kids. There’s something magical about the blue glow of the tanks and the glints of light off the fish’s scales as the swim. You can view over 700 species from the Mediterranean and other parts of the world.

The main attraction of the aquarium, however, is the shark tank . Known as “Big Blue,” the tank is 8.5 meters or 28 feet deep, making it the deepest shark tank in all of Europe . It holds six large and formidable sand tiger sharks , five sandbar sharks and over 1,000 fish.

In addition to walking the exhibits and watching the animals, the aquarium participates in numerous research and conservation efforts and provides workshops and training as well as unique activities for adults and children:

  • Dive With the Sharks
  • Underwater : Adults and children over age eight can swim in the stingray tank.
  • Shark Sleepover: Children from age six to 16 can spend the night in front of the Big Blue shark tank, an eerie but exhilerating experience.

There are also guided tours , a 3D cinema and a shark vision boat. Plus, the aquarium is a popular place for children’s birthday parties due to the outdoor cafe and extensive play area.

I recommend reserving your tickets online becuase it comes with a discount resulting in €25.70 for adults or €16.20 for kids aged three to 12. Children under three enter for free. There are also discounts for Balearics residents.

The Palma Aquarium is located near the airport just a few blocks off s’Arenal . You can easily get there with public transportation . You can take the EMT city buses 23, 25, 31 and 35. It’s about 30 minutes from Plaza España. You can also arrange a shuttle when you reserve your tickets.

Take a Tour

24-hour hop-on hop-off bus tour.

There’s a lot to see in Palma, so a hop-on hop-off bus tour gives you the flexibility to spend more time where you like and still see the whole city in a day. Plus, you get an audio guide with plenty of language options. Choose the “essential experience,” and you even get ice cream, a drink and entry to Bellver Castle.

City Walking Tour With the Cathedral

I recommend this tour if you’re especially interested in the La Seu cathedral, which is certainly one of the most beautiful and mesmerizing Gothic cathedrals in all of Europe. The tour comes with a guide who gives you the local history while exploring the city as well as entrance and a guided visit to La Seu.

Old Town Guided Bike Tour

Palma is the perfect size for exploring by bike, so this tour is a great way to do that with an experienced guide who can show you the best sights. You get the bicycle and helmet and travel in a small group that makes everything easy and comfortable.

Market Visit and Traditional Cooking Workshop

Forn de la Llotgeta is a famous bakery and culinary school in Palma. With their traditional cooking workshop, you’ll learn the ins and outs of Mallorcan cuisine and produce. In fact, you’ll visit Mercat de l’Olivar to source local ingredients and then create a full four-course Mallorcan lunch that comes with two glasses of wine .

This boat tour of Palma Bay is the ideal way to experience the beauty of the Mediterranean without having to leave Palma. Along with cruising the bay, the tour provides you with a snorkel and expert biologist , or you can pick the sunset option that comes with a drink.

travel guide of palma

Fires i Festes

Reis magos – jan. 5.

All of Spain celebrates the Three Kings, who bring presents to the children the night of January 5th. However, Palma brings int he holiday with particular style, involving an enormous parade the night of the 5th that involves the Kings themselves coming into the city by boat.

Sant Sebastià – Jan. 20

While most of Mallorca celebrates Saint Anthony , Palma has its own patron saint: Sebastian. To honor him, the city parties for a week cultimating on the night of January 19th. Live music and bonfires are set up in several of Palma’s many squares, and the people bring their own meat to barbecue. They then sleep in because the 20th is a holiday.

Carnaval – End of Feb.

In Mallorca, the people primarily celebrate Carnaval with parades featuring floats and groups of matching costumes. This is called Sa Rua, and it usually runs down La Rambla and through the Old Town to Passeig Mallorca on a Sunday evening in late February.

Fira del Ram – Feb.-April

Fira del Ram is Palma’s fair, set up in the large fair grounds in Son Fusteret. While you can easily see the ferris wheel light up above the city’s skylines, there are plenty of other attractions as well as food stalls and entertainment.

Fira del Llonguet – April

Like oranges in Sóller and cuttlefish in Alcudia , fairs devoted to a municipality’s signature product have become the rage on Mallorca. In the case of Palma, this means the Llonguet, a bread roll often turned into a sandwich. The food is so popular with Palmasanos that other Mallorcans sometimes jokingly refer to them as such. Event takes place throughout April and involve specialty sandwiches and sales at local bakeries.

Semana Santa – April

Palma is arguably the best place in Mallorca to view the famous Spanish Easter processions. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday fill the city with the typical parades where you can witness traditional Spanish Catholic dress and Easter customs.

Sant Jordi – April 23

Sant Jordi is an important holiday on Mallorca because it is known as El Dia del Llibre , or the day of the book. On this day, Mallorcans celebrate the legend of Saint George, in which a town plagued by a hungry dragon is forced to use a lottery to sacrifice townspeople to the beast. When the local princess’s name is drawn, the saint puts on his shining armor and rides off to save her. He slays the dragon with is lance, and its blood transforms into a rose bush. Therefore, it’s traditional on this holiday for a man to give the woman in his life a rose, after which she will give him a book in return. Throughout Palma on the day of the 23rd, you’ll find book stands also selling single roses A particularly fun place to enjoy this is Plaça Major.

International Boat Show – End of April

As a major destination for yachts from around the world, Palma hosts a boat show at the end of every April featuring over 200 exhibitors. These professionals show off new designs and techniques in the industry through a dazzling collections of yachts.

Palma Vela – Early May

Palma Vela is another boat show hosted by Palma’s Real Club Náutico. It’s specifically devoted to classic and vintage boats of the sail variety, hence vela .

Palma Beer Festival – Early May

Independent microbreweries from around the Balearic Islands and even other regions of Spain come to Palma in early May to sell their craft beer. Located in front of the La Seu Cathedral, the festival also includes food and music.

La Nit de Vi – End of May

As one of the premier wine regions in the world, Mallorca’s activities devoted to the drink have become increasingly popular. One of the most extensive is wine night, or La Nit de Vi, at the end of May or beginning of June. There are often more than 200 local wines to taste.

Sant Joan – June 24

Sant Joan represents the ringing in of summer coinciding with the summer solstice, opposite Christmas in the winter. In Palma, it’s one of the best places to experience correfocs , the night of 23rd known as La Nit de Foc , or the night of fire. This means drums, demons and fireworks in the Parc de la Mar below the cathedral as well as other celebrations around the city.

Copa del Rey Regatta – Early Aug.

The King’s Cup Regatta is hosted by Palma’s Real Club Náutico and is one of the most important and prestigous boat races in the Mediterranean if not the entire world. It’s attended by the Spanish royal family who often participate in the competition.

Mare de Déu de la Salut – Sept. 8

While not as elaborate as Semana Santa, Palma celebrates the Virgin Mary’s mass on September 8th with processions and celebrations on the night of the 7th.

La Nit de l’Art – Late Sept.

The night of art takes place across the entire city as museums and art galleries stay open until midnight. Many host special exhibits for the event as well.

Palma Marathon – Early Oct.

As the weather finally begins to cool off, you can run—or watch—the 42 km or 26 miles drawn through Palma’s Old Town.

Palma International Film Festival – End of Oct.

Palma’s film festival is one of the fastest growing in Europe and often attended by famous filmmakers and cinematographers from around the world. Activities and films take place around town.

Festivities in Palma ramp up for Christmas starting at the end of November with the turning on of the decorative lights. The entire city becomes illuminated as well as large buildings like the Corte Inglés on Avenidas. Businesses stay open later as people hit the shops to get gifts.

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Popular categories, magic of mallorca: a complete guide for first-timers + detailed map.

By: Charlotte · Last updated 2. July 2024 · In: Spain , Travel

travel guide of palma

Mallorca , also known as Majorca, is one of my all-time favorite summer destinations. But I’m not alone, with tens of millions of people visiting Mallorca every year, I recommend planning your trip well in advance.

To make sure you get the most well-rounded Mallorca guide possible, I have teamed up with Mallorca expert Linda from “She Knows Islands”. Together we have visited Mallorca more than 25 times.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know before visiting Mallorca, including how to get around, the top things to do, the best calas, as well as hidden gems and photo spots.

So let’s get to it!

Mallorca - Old stone fisherman's house with dark blue doors down by the turquoise ocean at Cala S'Amarador, one of my favorite beaches in Mallorca

Article overview

What is the best time to visit Mallorca?

How many days do you need for mallorca, quick mallorca tips & facts, how to get to mallorca, 1. rent a car, 2. take the bus, 3. ride the trains and metro, 4. rent a vespa or motorbike, 5. take a taxi, 6. book a rideshare, 7. ride a bike, 8. join a guided tour, mallorca highlights map, 1. bellver castle, 2. palma cathedral & old town, 3. valldemossa & deia, 4. sóller and port de sóller, 5. fornalutx, 6. torrente de pareis, 7. mortitx canyon, 8. pollenca, port de pollenca & cap formentor, 10. mondragó natural park, 11. hiking in mallorca, 12. rent a boat, what is mallorca known for, best beaches mallorca tour, 10-day mallorca itinerary for first-timers, palma de mallorca – south, cala d’or – east, port de pollença – north, sóller – west, diferent restaurant cala do’r, cassai gran café, ca’n joan de s’aigo, café ca’n toni, how much for 1 week in mallorca, like this please help me share 🤗.

The best time to visit Mallorca is between May and October , with the main season beginning in June and ending in September

Spring (April to June): Spring is an excellent time to visit Mallorca with mild weather, fewer crowds and flowers in bloom. It’s the perfect time for hiking and cycling, especially in the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range.

Summer (July to August): Summer is the peak tourist season in Mallorca, with HOT, sunny weather and big crowds.

Autumn (September to October): This is my favorite time to visit, as the high-season crowds have thinned out, but the weather remains sunny and the water is still warm enough for swimming.

Winter (November to March): Winter in Mallorca is the low season, with cooler temperatures and few crowds. It does rain quite a bit in winter and some hotels and restaurants close down.

Three white sailboats and a yacht with people swimming around in the turquoise ocean of Cala Mondrago Mallorca.

10 days is the perfect amount of time to visit Mallorca. If you can’t dedicate 10 days to one destination, a week will get you a long way.

Mallorca is an island, but distances are longer than they appear. There are more than 200 beaches (some say 262) scattered along the coast, as well as nature hikes, charming old villages and historical sights.

While a one-hour drive to reach an attraction might not sound too bad, it is draining to do this every day. With 10 days on the island, you can base yourself in two/three different places so you don’t spend all your time on the road.

What is a Cala?  In the context of the Spanish Balearic Islands, including Mallorca, a “cala” refers to a small, cove-like beach or inlet that is typically surrounded by rocky cliffs or headlands.

Mallorca or Majorca? Mallorca is the Spanish spelling, pronounced with a soft ‘ll’. When the name was anglicized, it was adapted to “Majorca” with a ‘j’ to represent the same sound, which is more familiar to English speakers.

Currency: The local currency in Mallorca is the Euro. These days, most places take credit cards – restaurants, shops, gelaterias, petrol stations, etc. However, I still like to have some cash on hand for the markets and roadside vendors.

Tipping: Tipping is not obligatory in Mallorca, but in the most touristy areas, I felt it was expected and everywhere else appreciated. Leaving around 5-10% of the bill in restaurants and rounding up taxi fares is common practice.

Siesta time: Many shops and businesses close for a few hours in the afternoon for siesta, usually from around 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Plan your shopping and activities accordingly.

Activities and tours:  Book in advance if you’re interested in popular activities like boat trips, winery tours or hot air balloon rides during the high season.

Girl with long hair, wearing green pants and a white top, sitting along the river in Palma de Mallorca looking over at the beige Palma Cathedral on the other side.

Mallorca is the largest of Spain ‘s Balearic Islands which also include Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera and the smaller islets Cabrera and Dragonera.

Getting to Mallorca from Europe is super easy thanks to budget airlines such as Ryanair, Wizzair and EasyJet. Flights usually start around €50 (+ luggage fee), but sometimes they run sales starting at €12.

I know that United Airlines runs a direct route from New York to Palma, which is great. However, it might be more affordable to get a connecting flight through a bigger European city.

Additionally, ferries connect Mallorca to several destinations in Spain including Ibiza, Menorca, Barcelona and Valencia.

View from above of the light turquoise narrow Cala Pi with white fisherman's houses along the rock, one of the most beautiful beaches in Mallorca.

8 best ways to get around Mallorca

Spanning almost 80 kilometers from north to south and 100 kilometers from east to west, getting around Mallorca takes a bit of planning. Here’s a quick overview of all transportation options:

A car is a must to get the most out of Mallorca. Some of the most beautiful attractions are not connected to public transport. I usually don’t like driving in unknown places, but it was totally fine in Mallorca.

Pro tip >> You can rent a car through offUgo , it is the best car rental experience I’ve ever had. Pick-up and drop-off is 100% contactless and the price includes full insurance without excess fee, in addition to 24/7 pick-up.

How long does it take to drive around Mallorca?

To get an idea of how big the island is, it takes around one hour and 30 minutes to drive from Port de Sóller on the west coast to Cala d’Or on the east coast. And you can add another half hour during the high season in July and August.

The longest route running in a loop around the island is just over 300 kilometers long, which means it takes around 6 hours if you drive non-stop.

For those not driving, there are two main bus services in Mallorca. The blue and white EMT buses run throughout the greater Palama area, and the yellow and red TIB buses link the capital with smaller towns and villages.

You can buy single tickets or a 10-ticket bono pass from centrally located tobacco shops and kiosks for the EMT buses.

The TIB buses leave from Palma’s main Intermodal station which is at Plaza de España (follow the yellow line underground).

Tickets can be bought beforehand at the ticket office, on the bus or online. You can also buy 20 or 40 ticket passes for a slightly cheaper price.

Pro tip >> Outside of Palma, paying your bus fare with a card instead of cash can save you up to 40%. Just tap your card when you get on and off the bus, or transfer to another line.

TIB also runs trains from Palma to Manacor and Sa Pobla, stopping at lesser-known villages, such as Santa Maria, Lloseta and Binissalem. On most trains, you can take your bicycle with you for free.

Mallorca’s small metro service consists of two lines (M1 and M2) that operate in Palma. The M1 line connects the center of Palma with the University of the Balearic Islands, while the M2 line runs between Palma and the town of Marratxí.

Also, consider taking the historic train from Palma to Sóller, known as Ferrocarril de Sóller, which has been operating since 1912.

Many of the older towns and villages have very narrow streets, so getting around on two wheels can be a great option. There are many rental places in and around Palma, and you can also book online.

Make sure to take pictures of the scooter or motorbike at the rental place before you leave, and that your travel insurance covers it.

For the adventurous, cycling is a popular option, with well-marked routes showcasing the island’s natural beauty.

Sometimes hailing a taxi is just more convenient than relying on public transport. Especially if you’re limited on time. Taxis are readily available in Palma, but also in other tourist hubs such as Cala d’Or or Magaluf.

To hail a taxi on the street, look for white cars with blue license plates and a green rooftop light. If you’re staying in Palma, download the Palma Taxi app to order in advance.

Is Uber available in Mallorca? Yes, Uber is now operating in Mallorca. You can choose between standard Uber , vans for larger groups, comfort reserve for higher-end cars and order a local taxi through the Uber app.

However, from my experience, a standard Ubur costs a lot more than taking a local taxi running on a meter.

Mallorca’s varied terrain of flat plains, rolling hills and challenging mountain routes in the Serra de Tramuntana, makes it a haven for cyclists. Take advantage of the numerous well-maintained cycling paths and quiet country roads.

Additionally, the capital has a scenic almost 16-kilometer-long bike lane along the Bay of Palma.

Bike rental shops are abundant, with options ranging from basic models to high-end road bikes and many also offer guided tours and support services. 

Are you docking in Mallorca during your cruise? Or maybe you only have a few days on the island? The best way to maximize your time is by joining a private tour!

On this half-day private tour of Mallorca , Miguel will take you to charming villages such as Deia and Valldemossa. You will also stop by Port de Sóller and the capital, and along the way, you can enjoy the views of olive groves, mountains and the sea. It is great for groups as the price is the same for up to 8 people.

🌟 Click here to check price and availability >>

Red and white swimwear hanging on a tree in front of turquoise water of Cala Gran, one of the best beaches in Cala d'Or Mallorca.

Below you can access my Mallorca highlights map, with pins for all the best restaurants, photo spots, calas and things to see. Click on the rectangle in the upper right corner to access it in full size, or on the star to add it to your maps.

Top 12 things to see and do in Mallorca

There are so many amazing experiences to be had in Mallorca, so we can’t cover them all, but here are some of our favorites:

Bellver Castle is a gem that is often overlooked, even though it is located just 3 kilometers southwest of Palma city center.

Built in the 14th century, Castell de Bellver is one of the few circular castles in Europe. You can explore the central courtyard, the Gothic-style chapel and a small museum that chronicles the history of Palma. But let’s face it, the main reason to visit is the gorgeous panoramic views.

To get there from Palma, you can drive or take the EMT bus to “Plaça Gomila”, from where it’s about a 15-minute walk uphill to the castle. Alternatively, you can walk all the way along the seafront promenade and then uphill.

Palma Cathedral, also known as La Seu, dominates the capital’s skyline and is the most iconic landmark in Mallorca. Built from sandstone in a Gothic style, it boasts one of the world’s largest stained glass windows and a stunning interior that includes work by the famous modernist architect Antoni Gaudí.

Adjacent to the cathedral, the Old Town of Palma awaits with its labyrinthine streets, historic buildings and hidden courtyards. I love to wander around exploring a variety of shops, cafes, museums and photo ops such as the Roman arch below.

Stone arch and a narrow cobbled lane in Palma de Mallorca's Old Town

Deià and Valldemossa are two beautiful villages on the northwest coast, in the heart of the Tramuntana Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Popular with tourists, you should arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid large crowds.

Deià attracts visitors with its traditional stone houses, winding streets and the main sight, a charming church boasting panoramic views. It’s easy to see why the beauty of Deià has inspired artists and writers for centuries.

Just south of Deià, you’ll find Valldemossa , famous for its former Carthusian monastery, the Real Cartuja. I love strolling through the narrow, streets, exploring the local craft shops and admiring the traditional Mallorcan architecture.

The villages are linked by one stage of the GR221 long-distance trail , also known as the “Ruta de Pedra en Sec” (Dry Stone Wall Route) which I highly recommend for everyone who wants to explore Mallorca’s beautiful nature. 

Pro tip >> On the road from Deia to Valldemossa, I suggest stopping at a spectacular viewpoint called Mirador de Valldemossa II. You’ll find it in the map above.

Sóller, a picturesque town nestled in a lush valley of orange groves between the mountains and the sea, is a gem of Mallorca’s west coast.

Known for its historic charm, Sóller is connected to Palma by a vintage wooden train that winds through the scenic Tramuntana range. The town’s main square, Plaça Constitució, is surrounded by cafes and is home to the beautiful Church of Sant Bartomeu.

A short tram ride away from Sóller town lies Port de Sóller, a tranquil harbor with a curved bay, sandy beach and a promenade lined with shops and restaurants. This coastal village is a haven for water sports, relaxation and enjoying the Mediterranean lifestyle.

Pro tip >> Stop by Ecovinyassa, a stunning orange and lemon farm, on the way from Sóller to Fornalutx.

Mallorca - White sailboats in a row in the turquoise water in Port de Sóller with beige buildings in the background.

If you couldn’t tell by now, I love a charming old village and Fornalutx in the Tramuntana mountains is no exception. Surrounded by lush orange and lemon groves, the village offers breathtaking views of the mountains and the serene countryside. You should stop by on your way to Sa Calobra.

You have to see this place, it is truly spectacular. Torrent de Pareis , a dramatic limestone gorge, is one of the island’s most spectacular natural wonders. Carved over millennia, the 200-meter-tall cliffs descend dramatically into the sea, culminating at the stunning pebble beach of Sa Calobra.

Get there early to find a parking spot clearly marked on Google Maps, and from there, it is a short walk (400 meters) towards the outlet of Torrent de Pareis. Read more about hiking the area further down.

View from above of Torrente de Pareis in Mallorca, a large gorge with a pebbled beach and turquoise water.

Are you up for a thrilling canyoning experience? Then you have to see Mortitx Canyon, also located in the rugged and dramatic landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains.

Known for its challenging terrain, the area is a hotspot for canyoning, an outdoor activity that involves descending through narrow gorges, rappelling down waterfalls and swimming through natural pools.

The canyon is also in close proximity to the Mortitx vineyard, allowing you to combine your outdoor adventure with a taste of local Mallorcan wines.

Pollença, Port de Pollença and Cap Formentor are three highlights in Mallorca’s northwest that you can easily combine and visit in one day.

Pollença is located inland and is a historic village with beautiful narrow streets around the main square, Plaça Major. My personal highlight is the impressive staircase that leads to the El Calvari chapel. After 365 steps (one for each day), you are rewarded with a great view over the village.

Just on the other side of Pollença, I can recommend the walk up to Puig de Maria . After a steep 30-45 minute climb, you will have a great view of the north coast and of course Pollenca from the former monastery.

Port de Pollença , a popular coastal town with a beautiful beach promenade. Perfect for a lunch break and stroll along the coastline. The harbor, where traditional llauts lie alongside modern yachts, gives the town a special flair. From here you can go sailing, windsurfing and diving.

Cap Formentor , the spectacular peninsula, forms the northernmost point of Mallorca and is known for its striking lighthouse and breathtaking views. From June to September, the road is now closed for private vehicles (I was once stuck in a jam here for 2 hours) so take the bus departing from Port de Sóller instead.

View of Cap Formentor, a rugged cliff protruding into the blue ocean in Mallorca.

The old town of Alcudia is another gem in Mallorca most people seem to miss, instead many are drawn to the all-inclusive resorts next to Port de Alcudia.

But I highly recommend you set aside a few hours to explore this charming town renowned for its beautifully preserved medieval walls, Bougainvillea-covered houses and cobbled streets. Twice a week you can browse local produce, crafts and souvenirs at the local market.

Alcudia also serves as a gateway to the stunning landscapes of the northern part of the island, including the nearby S’Albufera Natural Park.

Narrow tiled street with beige and yellow stone houses on both sides with flower pots in Alcudia Mallorca.

This is where I stayed during my last visit to Mallorca, and I love it! Mondragó Natural Park, situated on the southeastern coast of Mallorca, is a haven for nature and beach lovers.

Declared a natural park in 1992, this protected area spans over 700 hectares, showcasing a diverse landscape of sandy beaches, crystal-clear lagoons, rocky coves and a network of trails winding through wild olive and pine forests.

You’ll find two of my favorite beaches in Mallorca, S’Amarador and Cala Mondragó, within one minute of each other. More on those further down.

Woman in a white dress, carrying a burgundy bag, walking along a path next to turquoise water in Cala Mondrago Mallorca.

One of my favorite pastimes in Mallorca is hiking. Due to the summer heat, it is best to explore the island by foot only during the shoulder and off-season, from approx. October to May.

The east and south coasts are not only famous for their beautiful beaches but there are also some great coastal hikes and walks to explore.

I recommend the lovely half-day walk that connects Cala Agulla , at the northern end of Cala Rajada , with the beautiful bay of Mesquida , a large sandy beach. Halfway, you’ll have to make a small climb to reach a mountain with a watchtower ruin. It offers an incredible 360-degree view of both beaches. 

My second suggestion is the fantastic cliff walk from the Cap Blanc lighthouse to Cala Pi . The cliff views all along the way are simply spectacular.

Mallorca’s west coast is a different story. The Serra de Tramuntana spans from north to south with peaks reaching nearly 1500 meters.

If you have time, you should hike the famous GR221 , which connects Port Andratx with Port de Pollenca, 140 km further north. Alternatively, you can do what I did and hike several sections as day hikes.

🌟 If you want to hike the GR221 as part of a group, I highly recommend this 4-day guided hiking experience .

My absolute favorite trek in Mallorca is the challenging route through Mallorca’s Grand Canyon. Only in summer, you can hike along the dry riverbed of the Torrent de Pareis with rock walls up to 300 meters high to reach the beautiful beach of Sa Calobra.

Woman wearing dark hiking gear and a backpack hiking on a stone path surrounded by greenery with the Tramuntana Mountains of Mallorca in the background.

One of the best things you can do in Mallorca is to get out on the water. Guided boat tours are available in most port cities, but you can also rent your own boat.

You do not need to have a license to rent a small day cruiser as we did in Santa Ponsa. And at €160 it was surprisingly affordable for our group of 4.

Two sailboats and two smaller boats with people swimming around in the turquoise ocean of Cala Gran with rocks on each side, one of the best beaches in Mallorca.

Mallorca is first and foremost known for its varied coastline with many stunning calas and beaches. Some are hidden away and only reached through steep inclines, and some you can drive right up to, all lined by crystal-clear turquoise water.

In addition, Mallorca is known for its Mediterranean lifestyle, with an abundance of fresh produce including seafood, citrus fruits and local grapes turned into wine, and a slow way of life.

Girl in a black swimsuit in the green water at Cala Gran with white houses and trees in the background, one of the most beautiful beaches in Mallorca.

Best Calas in Mallorca

Most of my favorite calas and beaches are located on the east and south coasts.

Cala Varques: This remote and unspoiled beach is only accessible by foot via a dirt track from the main road. The cove itself is a haven of fine white sand flanked by rugged cliffs and turquoise waters, making it ideal for swimming and snorkeling. There are no facilities such as sunbeds and umbrellas, so bring everything you might need.

Cala Mondrago & S’Aramador: I love these beaches surrounded by the forest of Mondrago Natural Park. You can walk back and forth between the two in just a few minutes along a path running along the water’s edge. It is so fun to jump from the cliffs at S’Aramador, and in Cala Mondrago you’ll find a little shop, restaurant and sunbeds.

Cala Santanyí: One of the most beautiful beaches in Mallorca, located about 10 kilometers from the charming town of Santanyi. The cove is over 100 meters long and made up of fine, white sand and clear and calm water. Perfect for swimming and snorkeling. It is a Blue Flag beach , meaning it is clean and has high environmental standards.

Cala Llombards: Located in a town with the same name, this is one of the most popular calas in Mallorca. The water here is some of the clearest I’ve ever seen. You need to arrive before 8:30 am to secure a spot on the sand. There are some picturesque fishermen’s houses on the left of the beach, perfect for a little photo shoot.

Calo des Moro: Just down the coast, Caló des Moro was long one of Mallorca’s best-kept secrets. While the secret is out, it is still very worth a visit. Take in the breathtaking views from the top, and then it’s a short hike down to the water. The beach itself is surprisingly small, on high tide it disappears altogether. So find yourself a bolder to lie down on and enjoy.

Es Trenc: If you get tired of the narrow rocky calas (is that even possible?), spend a day at Es Trenc, a 2-kilometer-long sandy beach further down the coast. Still wild and undeveloped, this vast cove of powdery white sand and Caribbean blue water is a must on any Mallorcan bucket list.

Cala Pi: This little cove is an Instagrammer’s dream. There are several popular viewpoints at the top. The beach is accessed via a steep set of stairs that descend between two high cliffs, leading to a beautiful stretch of fine, white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters.

Cala Mesquida: Cala Mesquida is a stunning beach on the northeastern coast, known for its wide expanse of fine, white sand and crystal-clear azure waters. It is part of a protected natural area and a favorite among surfers when the conditions are right.

Cala Deia: This is a stone beach, but I just had to include it, Cala Deia is stunning. The water sparkles in deep shades of turquoise, it’s the ideal setting for sunbathing, swimming, cliff jumping and snorkeling. Get there early to secure the best spot on a cement block at the base of the Ca’s Patro March staircase (see map). 

Walking along a sandstone path at one of the best calas on Mallorca during a guided tour.

Don’t have a car? Or maybe you’re limited on time? Then I highly recommend this guided tour to three of the most beautiful beaches and coves on the island.

🐚 Click here to check price and availability

Woman with long hair, wearing a black and white pattern dress and beige hat, standing in a cliff looking down on the turquoise water of Cala Pi in Mallorca.

If I were to go back for the first time, this suggested Mallorca itinerary outlines exactly how I would spend my time.

Day 1: Sóller and Port de Sóller

  •   Afternoon:  Arrive in Palma (Son Sant Joan Airport) and collect your car. Drive to Sóller, where you will be based on the West Coast. If you’re a lover of old-world architecture and gardens as I am, stop by Jardins d’Alfàbia on the way.
  • Evening: Explore the town of Sóller and take the vintage tram to Port de Sóller for a seafood dinner at Kingfisher Restaurant.

Day 2: Cala Deià and Valldemossa

  • Morning:  Visit Cala Deià, a small, scenic beach perfect for a morning swim.
  • Afternoon:  Enjoy lunch on the beach in Ca’s Patró March, or head into the little village of Deià. If you want to get moving, walk along the coast from Cala Deià to Cala Llucalcari.
  • Evening:  Drive to Valldemossa, visit the Royal Charterhouse and explore the quaint village. Make sure to get a photo of the town from “Mirador de Valldemossa II” viewpoint.

Day 3: Fornalutx and hiking

  • Morning: Start your day in Fornalutx, often called one of the most beautiful villages in Spain, and explore its picturesque streets. This area also boasts so many gorgeous hikes , I recommend Sóller – Binibassí – Fornalutx – Biniaraix.
  • Afternoon:  Stop by Ecovinyassa Citrus Farm on your way back, whether you choose to hike or not.
  • Evening:  Spend the rest of your day exploring Sóller, if you didn’t have the time on day 1. Have dinner at La Romaguera, my favorite restaurant in Sóller serving everything from tacos to dumplings.

Day 4: Sa Calobra and Port de Pollença

  • Morning:  Drive to Sa Calobra, enjoy the dramatic drive and visit the Torrent de Pareis gorge. As mentioned above, this is one of the best hikes in Mallorca, though challenging. You can also visit without hiking.
  • Afternoon:  Check into your hotel in Port de Pollença and go for a walk along the waterfront.
  • Evening:  Have dinner at Voramar 57 Pizzería right on the water, one of the best pizza places in Mallorca.

Day 5: Cap de Formentor and Pollença

  • Morning:  Drive to Cap de Formentor, the northernmost point of Mallorca, and take in the breathtaking views from the lighthouse. Stop at one of the viewpoints on the way back, such as Es Colomer, and marvel at the view.
  • Afternoon:  Head to the charming town of Pollença, explore the historic center and climb the 365 Calvari Steps for stunning views.
  • Evening:  Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in Pollença.

Day 6: Alcúdia and Playa de Muro

  • Morning:  Visit the medieval town of Alcúdia, walk along its ancient walls, enjoy the city and explore the local market (every Tuesday and Sunday).
  • Afternoon:  Spend the afternoon relaxing on the sandy shores of Playa de Muro, known for its clear waters and family-friendly atmosphere. If you’d rather escape people, go for a walk in Parc Natural de s’Albufera de Mallorca.
  • Evening:  If you’re a seafood lover I highly recommend stopping by Restaurant Celler Ca’n Costa Alcúdia on your way back.

Day 7: Caves and beaches of the East Coast

  • Morning:  Drive to the east coast and visit the Cuevas del Drach (Dragon Caves) in Porto Cristo, famous for their underground lake and stunning formations.
  • Afternoon:  Head to Cala Varques or Cala Romantica for a relaxing beach afternoon.
  • Evening:  Stay overnight in a coastal town somewhere between Cala d’Or and Santanyí. In Cala d’Or, there are lots of restaurants and bars. If you prefer somewhere more quiet, the area around Santanyí is a great choice.

Day 8: S’Aramador , Santanyí and Cala Figuera

  • Morning:  Head to the beach. My favorites are S’Aramador in Mondrago Natural Park and Cala Llomards.
  • Afternoon:  Visit the town of Santanyí, known for its charming market and artisanal shops.
  • Evening:  Continue to Cala Figuera, a picturesque fishing village and enjoy dinner overlooking the harbor.

Day 9: Cala Pi and Palma

  • Morning:  On your way back to Palma, stop by Cala Pi. Remember to get some photos from the viewpoint I have marked on the map.
  • Afternoon:  Explore Palma’s historic center, visit the stunning Palma Cathedral (La Seu) and explore Almudaina Palace. Stop by Can Joan de s’Aigo for an ice cream and pastry.
  • Evening:  Go for a stroll through the Santa Catalina neighborhood, my favorite area of Palma. Have dinner at La nueva burguesa.

Day 10: Enjoy Palma

  • Morning:  Head to Bellver Castle for panoramic views of Palma and the bay.
  • Afternoon: It’s time to head home after an incredible 10 days.

Two large black and white boats with a vintage beige car in the background surrounded by palms in Cala d'Or Mallorca.

Best areas to stay in Mallorca

Choosing where to stay in Mallorca depends on your travel interests, style and length of stay. Here are some of the best areas, each with its own unique character and attractions:

The vibrant capital, Palma de Mallorca, is perfect if you love a mix of history, culture, and nightlife. If you only have a weekend or very little time, the capital is also a great base as it is close to the airport and quite central.

If you have more time but decide to explore Mallorca without a car , consider Palma as well, as almost all buses and trains start and end in Palma.

🌟 My favorite hotel in Palma de Mallorca is Hotel Basílica overlooking the beautiful Basílica de Sant Francesc.

Cala d’Or is ideal if you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation. This area is known for its stunning coves, crystal clear waters and family-friendly atmosphere. There are also some great restaurants and fun bars up and running during the summer months.

The marina area is dotted with lovely cafes and restaurants, making it a nice spot for evening strolls. It’s perfect for water sports, rent a boat or jet ski and cruise around to the five different calas in town.

🌟 For accommodation in Cala d’Or, I love Eques Petit Resort , the pool area and grounds are stunning.

Port de Pollença offers a mix of beautiful beaches and mountainous landscapes, making it a great area for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The town has a lovely promenade lined with cafes and shops, and it’s a gateway to the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, ideal for hiking and cycling. 

🌟 MarSenses Puerto Pollensa Hotel & Spa is my favorite place to stay in this area.

Located in the Tramuntana mountain range, Sóller is perfect for those who enjoy a mix of mountain and coastal scenery. The port of Sóller, just a short tram ride away, offers beautiful beaches and delicious fresh seafood.

I highly recommend this area for hikers, cyclists, and anyone who wants to be in the mountains and close to the sea with lots of natural highlights around and easy access to the rest of the island.

🌟 I love love love L’Avenida , a manor house in the middle of Sóller that feels very exclusive and old-worldly.

White Inturotel Hotel with rounded verandas looking out over the turquoise ocean of Cala Esmeralda surrounded with pine trees in Mallorca.

Best restaurants in Mallorca

This one is for my fellow foodies. You might already know that I usually plan my trips around the restaurants I want to try. I did not do that in Mallorca this time, but I still had one of the best food experiences I’ve had in years.

Below I have included some of my favorites, and you’ll find many more in the highlights map.

OMG, I don’t know how to describe this, my mouth is literally watering. We had dinner at Diferent Restaurant several nights in a row, and all the dishes I tried were delicious.

I recommend treating this restaurant as a tapas place and ordering 3-4 of the starters/raw bar for each person. The pulled pork tacos and tuna cornettos are my absolute favorites. One day I ordered two of each haha. The truffle croquettes, crispy rice and fried zucchini blossoms also have to be mentioned.

Pro tip >> Right across the street, you’ll see a colorful boho bar called Lola. You can sit down at one of their tables closest to Diferent and order food from there and drinks from Lola.

Green and brown plate with pulled pork tacos with pink sauce, strawberry mojito and tuna tartar on a colorful table at Diferent Restaurant in Cala d'Or Mallorca.

If you’re looking for the cutest cafe in Mallorca, you have to visit Cassai Gran Café in Ses Salines. Think sushi, paella, burgers and pizza under hanging flowers and fairy lights. They make their own iced tea and even have a pink cotton candy machine, need I say more?!

The town itself is also super charming, with boutiques and a botanical garden called Botanicactus, focusing on cacti.

Ca’n Joan de s’Aigo , established in the 18th century, is a beloved institution in Mallorca’s capital. Steeped in history, this charming café exudes an old-world atmosphere, inviting locals and tourists alike to step back in time as they cross its threshold.

Renowned for their rich and creamy hot chocolate, famous ensaimadas (flaky spiral pastries) and an array of homemade ice cream flavors, Ca’n Joan de s’Aigo is a testament to traditional Mallorcan confectionery.

Café Ca’n Toni , nestled in the heart of Palma’ de Mallorca’s Old Town, is an authentic tapas restaurant, known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere. Reservations are recommended at night, and I highly recommend getting a table on the patio.

Frequented by tourists and locals alike, the restaurant offers a delightful array of traditional tapas, from succulent jamón ibérico and patatas bravas to freshly prepared seafood dishes.

El Olivo , located in the picturesque village of Deià, is a renowned fine dining restaurant set within the luxurious Belmond La Residencia hotel. During the summer months, a reservation is a must.

Housed in a beautifully restored 16th-century olive press, the restaurant offers an enchanting atmosphere with its rustic stone walls, candlelit tables and stunning views of the Tramuntana Mountains.

Kingfisher is another one of my favorite restaurants in Mallorca. Set on the water’s edge in Port de Sóller, overlooking yachts and sailboats, it is the perfect place to feast on fresh seafood.

People in shallow green water with rocks and greenery in the background, Cala D'Or Mallorca.

Is Mallorca expensive?

Yes and no. What is expensive is relative, but I would say that Mallorca falls somewhere in the middle of travel prices globally, with a daily average travel cost of $150. It is cheaper than Scandinavia and the US, but more expensive than let’s say Murcia Spain or Albania.

During peak tourist season, which typically runs from late spring to early autumn, prices for accommodation, car rentals and activities often double from the low season.

How to travel Mallorca on a budget:

  • Travel during the shoulder season
  • Stay in lesser-known areas
  • Eat where locals dine, buy fruit to eat on the beach
  • Enjoy the many natural attractions
  • Use public transportation
  • Book your accommodation as soon as possible. I booked a week in a hotel in Cala d’Or for my sister for €1300, and a month later that same room cost €2200 for the same time period.

I spent €800 during my last trip to Mallorca in July , including accommodation and traveling with a friend. I got a great deal on Hotel Playa Mondragó in Mondrago Natural Park, set right on the beach. Breakfast was included in the room price, and we had two meals in restaurants every day.

Other than that, we took the bus back and forth to Cala d’Or most days, we got a taxi to and from the airport for €100 each way and bought a few souvenirs.

This is the only guide to Mallorca you'll ever need.  Best beaches in Mallorca, top things to do in Mallorca + a detailed map with all the best photo spots and cafés. Spain aesthetics.

About Charlotte

Charlotte is the passionate traveler and online business coach behind Sunshine Seeker. She started working as a content creator on Instagram in 2014, before social media was even a thing, and as a travel blogger in 2015. Over the past 14 years she has explored 45+ countries and lived in Oslo, Kraków, Bali and Lombok. Every month she helps more than 50,000 people plan their adventures and learn how to create more freedom by working online.

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A quick guide to Palma de Mallorca: Spain’s best island city break?

Home » Destinations » Europe » Spain » A quick guide to Palma de Mallorca: Spain’s best island city break?

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Updated: 23rd January 2023

The grandeur of a Gothic Cathedral towering above the city, a labyrinth of brightly coloured walls enclosing tiny streets, shaded squares sound-tracked by birdsong and free-flowing fountains, and a plethora of delicious restaurants and nightlife. Welcome to Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Balearics.

The first time I visited the island, I hadn’t consulted a guide to Palma city, and my only plan was to avoid Magaluf and explore some of the other reasons to visit Mallorca island . Sadly, while doing so, I ended up accidentally avoiding Palma altogether. Having recently returned to spend a week in the city itself, I’ve managed to correct my mistake and discover many of the best things to do in Palma.

In fact, I’d go as far as saying that Palma is an ideal city break, which is quite surprising for an island destination – yet, it ticks all the boxes; gastronomy, history, culture, and more than enough places to eat and drink in style.

Here’s a quick city guide to Palma de Mallorca and what to expect from a long weekend in one of the most underrated cities in Europe .

Palma Cathedral at blue hour

When to visit and how long to spend in Palma de Mallorca?

Depending on how you wish to spend your time on the island of Mallorca, you could make Palma a two-day visit or a two-week holiday.

Thanks to the regular flight schedules, even in the winter months, coming for a weekend or a long weekend will give you a chance to explore the top things to do in Palma and get a flavour of the island’s capital city. If you opt to use Palma as a base for longer, then it’s an ideal base (especially with a car) to take day trips out to other parts of the island – whether the story-book style inland villages or the breathtaking cove beaches of crystal clear waters. 

Deciding when to visit is also relatively easy, as the weather is pretty kind all year round. Unfortunately, I experienced the rainiest week the island had seen in twenty years, yet we still had a great time. Of course, if you are looking to visit the island more for sunbathing and beaches , most guides to Palma de Mallorca will suggest that summer is the best time to visit. However, with higher prices and more crowds, you may want to think again.

The shoulder seasons in Spring and Autumn are always the best, in my opinion, for visiting Europe’s popular coastal destinations, and the same applies to this city guide to Palma de Mallorca. Given the city doesn’t close down outside of summer, it’s also one of the best winter destinations in Europe , albeit not as hot as the Canary Islands.

Guide to Palma de Mallorca's pretty pastel-hued streets

Where to stay in Palma de Mallorca? 

Palma is a much bigger city than most people realised before arriving, which means there is an array of accommodation options for all budgets and group sizes.

For many, an island getaway means booking a white-washed luxury villa, especially if you are travelling with a big group of friends or family members. Mallorca certainly has plenty of delightful options to choose from, although many are more concentrated around the smaller coastal resorts.

There are, however, some good villa options very close to Mallorca hosted by Vida Villas , certainly close enough to take a bus or taxi in and out of the city, or you could opt to stay closer to a beach resort and drive into Palma for day-trips. 

On my recent visit, as I was travelling solo, I found the accommodation options to be pretty affordable in late November. I secured private rooms at both the New Art Hostel and another hotel (now closed) for under €30 a night and would happily recommend both.

For sea views and a bit more luxury, the larger resorts like the Melia (which hosted the conference I attended) or the charming and adult-only El Llorenç Parc de la Mar might be better choices for a romantic city break.

A view of the cathedral from the ferry

How to get to Palma de Mallorca? 

Palma de Mallorca is the main gateway to the Balearic Islands , and I was pretty shocked at just how large the airport is – this island is certainly no Spanish hidden gem . It is well served by budget and flag-carrying airlines from Europe and will soon start hosting direct flights from the USA. It’s a short drive from the city centre (expect to pay around €20 for a taxi) and is connected by the airport bus. 

An alternative is to arrive by ferry from Barcelona or Valencia . Various operators cover these routes to and from the mainland, both with day and night sailings. I paid €19 for an overnight sailing with GNV from Valencia and napped on a couch with my sleeping bag. Waking up to the views of Palma Cathedral through the window at blue hour was particularly special.

The ferries are also great for island hopping, allowing a quick and easy way to experience the more laid-back things to do in Menorca , Mallorca’s chilled and pristine neighbour, or to go party crazy in Ibiza. The port of Alcúdia (Mallorca) provides the quickest sailings to Menorca, while Palma is best for ferries to Ibiza.

Things to do in Palma de Mallorca

One of the biggest joys for me about Spanish cities is just slowly taking in the colourful and historic buildings, the tile work, the plazas, and stopping here and there for a vinho or tapa . There are, however, some impressive attractions in Palma, and it’s well worth adding one or two of these best things to do in Palma de Mallorca into your schedule.

Palma Cathedral – the top thing to do in Palma de Mallorca

If there is one attraction that stands above the rest, both literally and figuratively, it’s Palma Cathedral. This Gothic Roman architectural feat looks good from all angles, whether admiring it from the outside across the still waters or seeing the stain-glass windows bouncing light around the imposing pillars inside. 

Royal Palace of La Almudaina

Just next door to the Cathedral is the Royal Palace, also well worth visiting inside for the elaborately decorated carpeted rooms and idyllic setting in the courtyard. Dating back to the 14th century, there is plenty of history to discover within the Palace’s walls. 

Castell de Bellver

A short walk from the city centre and promising fantastic views across Palma and the Marina, the uniquely shaped Bellver Castle is a bargain to enter for just a few euros. The rounded interior is rather impressive, and the views from the rooftop are especially special at sunset. 

The round castle of Palma

Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum

With mainly modern art collections from artists of the Balearic islands and international artists, this modern museum is ideal for a rainy day visit.

Fundació Miró Mallorca

Housing an extensive collection of paintings by the artist Joan Miró, who, while born in Barcelona, made his home later in Palma, the vast display includes sculptures, gardens and some of his most famous works. 

Head to the Beach

It wouldn’t be an island city break without a bit of beach time, and the Platja de Can Pere Antoni is right on the city’s doorstep. While there are certainly much more tranquil bays further along the coast, you don’t need to go far to have your fit in the sand and a dip in the Med. 

Sandy stretches along the city

Guide to Palma’s best places to eat

After exploring all the best things to do in Palma, it’s time for Palma’s impressive food scene. From two Michelin Star restaurants down to tiny tapas houses, you are very much spoilt for choice. I did seem to find myself drinking more than eating during my last visit, but this is my guide to Palma de Mallorca’s foodie spots that I really would recommend. 

Mercat 1930

A fantastic concept for some food and drinks, Mercat 1930 is essentially a big vintage bar area with tiled floors and an occasional DJ, where food stalls surround the tables in the middle with traditional Spanish and international cuisine.

Find a seat, grab a drink from the bar, and then hit up the stands for as many small or large plates as you can manage. The owner and staff will go out of their way to ensure you have a good night that goes far beyond just grabbing a bite to eat in this very social atmosphere. 

De Tokio a Lima

By far, the best meal I ate during my time in Palma was at De Tokio a Lima. With soothing music, dipped lighting, and impressive art, this swanky joint serves up a fusion menu of Peruvian and Japanese dishes with a Mediterranean twist. 

The ceviche was perfectly acidic and spicy, the Tuna Tartar delightfully dressed with Guava, and the meat was perfectly tender. Couple this with great cocktails, wine pairings and professional but not overbearing service, and you’ve got a fantastic lunch or dinner option as a treat. 

De Tokio a Lima

Tapalma Tapas Event

If you find yourself in Palma during late November, then be sure to grab yourself some coupons for the Tapalma festival. These little coins can be exchanged for small plates at plenty of restaurants around the city, each highlighting their signature tapas dishes.

One of my favourite little spots we ended up going to as part of Tapalma was La Trastienda Mallorca off the main boulevard; great food, service and an excellent shady location under a tree.

Guide to Palma’s best places to drink and party

While a lot of the ‘party’ attention in Mallorca, especially in the UK, is focused around Magaluf, you’ll be pleased to hear the nightlife in the capital city is much more enjoyable and, dare I say it, sophisticated. There are terrace cafes and bars on squares and boulevards, late-night cocktail venues with moody lighting, and plenty of trendy and hip spots to sip a craft brew.

Here is my guide to Palma de Mallorca’s best spots to drink, including my favourite places I found myself boozing during my last visit. 

Rooftop views: SKYBAR at Hotel Almudaina

You can never go wrong with a rooftop bar, and the offering of Hotel Almudaina is a great place to enjoy a cocktail or glass of local wine while admiring the Cathedral and the Mediterranean Sea beyond.

Castell Bellver

Good Vibes: BigFoot

This small and laid-back bar not far from the Cathedral serves up great beers and a mean margarita in a relaxed yet fun atmosphere until the early hours. 

Vintage & Tapas: Moltabarra Bar de Tapas

Perhaps my favourite drinking spot in Palma, Moltabarra, is a trendy and vintage joint in the city centre. With a cassette rack to pick from instead of a duke-box, old magazines, records and typewriters decorating the shelves, and a delicious set of Pintxos decorating the bar, it’s a great place for both early and late drinks. 

Silent Disco: La Casa de Cookie

Set on a quaint square near the centre, at first glance, this bar looks like a small and narrow spot with a heavy crowd upstairs. But, underground, you’ll find headphones waiting for you to enjoy a night of silent revelry – pick from mainstream pop, techno or indie on the headphones controller and enjoy the night!

Late night: Avenida de Gabriel Roca

Sadly, due to COVID, I didn’t make it to any nightclubs in Palma. However, many of the late-night bars we did end up in were along the waterfront at Avenida de Gabriel Roca. I can’t say any of them were particularly great or memorable, but if you don’t want the night to end, this is where you should be heading!

Pick your tunes at Moltabarra

Day trip ideas from Palma de Mallorca

Mallorca has a lot to offer for every kind of traveller, whether it’s getting out on the water on a boat tour, scuba diving , hitting up some historic villages or heading into the mountains and thankfully, getting around Palma de Mallorca is pretty straightforward. Here are a few of my favourite day trips from Palma to consider if you stay longer than a weekend. 

Memorable: Port de Sóller

One of my absolute favourite places to visit in Mallorca is Port de Sóller, a small bay and village on the island’s west coast. A big part of the magic is taking the vintage wooden train from Palma to reach here.

The rickety wooden carriages slowly work their way through the verdant mountains, lemon trees hanging outside the carriage windows before you arrive in the town, where a small tram takes you to the coastline. 

Soller Mallorca Spain

Beach: Caló del Moro

If you have a car, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to breathtaking bays and beaches around the island. To me, one of the most beautiful was Caló del Moro and the surrounding stretches, where rock formations, caves and cerulean waters dance around still bays perfect for swimming and relaxing.

If you are without a car, you can still make it here by changing buses in Campos, although you may want to pick a closer bay to enjoy as a day trip. 

Quaint villages: Valldemossa

Around a thirty-minute drive (also possible on the 200 bus) from Palma is the postcard-perfect village of Valldemossa, a popular spot for tourists and an ideal day trip from the city.

Typical stone houses line the flower-drenched streets, set against the background of the dramatic Tramuntana Mountains. Explore the streets, soak up the atmosphere, and admire the impressive Monastery, the main attraction in this quaint village. 

Hiking: Tramuntana Mountains

For those looking to get a little more active, the surrounding mountains of Valldemossa, the Tramuntana Mountains, which stretch along the whole west coast of the island, have plenty of hiking trails to enjoy for all levels. Or you could extend your city break into a one week Spanish trip hopping between all the idyllic hilltop towns.

Local Flavours: Bodegas of Mallorca

The wine history of Mallorca dates back to the Roman Period. There are many options for wine-tasting tours which depart Palma – whether it is to a historic windmill surrounded by vines or to take part in the traditional harvest around September, it’s an integral part of the island’s culture that you should not miss. 

Where to eat, drink, visit and stay in the capital city of the Balearic Islands: Palma de Mallorca - with day trip suggestions.

Are you looking to discover Spain beyond Barcelona? Check out my favourite Spanish Hidden Gems – from tiny villages known for their wine festivals to hidden mountain caves cultivating cheese! 

Related Posts:

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  • 9 Blissful Beach Destinations for Sun, Sand, and Serenity
  • A Guide to Gijón, Spain: Asturias’ Beloved Beach Escape
  • Best Hidden Gems in Spain: 21 Unique Places To Visit in Spain

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travel guide of palma

Best Things to Do in Palma de Mallorca: City Guide

The Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca

Updated March 2024

Welcome to Palma de Mallorca, one of the best island city destinations in Europe. After living on the Western Mediterranean island for several weeks, I’m sharing my favorite things to do in Palma de Mallorca.

The Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca

As you fly over the Tramuntana Mountains and descend over the countryside of Mallorca, The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma stands out in the distance It was my first time in Palma but not in Mallorca. In fact, I had completely skipped it on a previous trip , more allured by coastal towns and calas .

This time I was certain we would return and spend a few nights in the bustling city. What I found was a stunning city in the Balearic Islands, exploding with an exciting food scene and lots to love. What’s so great about Palma is that you’re not far from the coast of Mallorca. So you have a bit of all of the island influences.

The Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca is full of art, markets, and artisan shops. The time there blew by and I’m already itching to return to a few spots that I didn’t quite make it to. For those looking for what to do or better yet, where to eat, check out my ultimate guide to Palma de Mallorca.

Short on Time? Here Are My Top Picks for the Best Hotels in Palma de Mallorca:

  • Hotel Antigua Palma , for the best boutique hotel
  • Sant Francesc Singular Palma de Mallorca ,  for the best luxury hotel

If you’re exploring more of the island, read my in-depth guide to the best hotels in Mallorca .

Guide to Palma de Mallorca Spain

What to know before traveling to palma de mallorca.

The Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca

When is the best time of year to visit Palma de Mallorca?

My suggestion for Palma de Mallorca is to try to visit during the off-season. Summer months mean crowded cruise ports and lots of heat, so the city can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Because it is a city, you could ideally visit year-round if you wanted to. The best weather would be April through late May and September through October.

How many nights in Palma de Mallorca?

You could easily see the city in two nights for a full three days. It would give you ample time to eat at a few restaurants, visit the cathedral, and stroll the city. That said, I’m always a fan of a slower-paced travel experience so three nights could be great too.

Do I need a car to visit Palma de Mallorca?

No! I would suggest not bringing a car into the city if you do not have to. If you do, there are parking garages and very little street parking. But to take day trips, it may be worth getting a car.

How do I get from Palma Airport to Palma?

There are two options available, either by taxi or bus. It is a 20-minute drive, so a taxi may suit you best if you want the fastest route in an air-conditioned vehicle that goes door to door. Typical taxi fares are around 25-30 euros. For bus service routes, see here .

Where to Stay in Palma de Mallorca

Hotel antigua palma.

The Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca

Right in the heart of the city is Hotel Antigua Palma , a boutique design hotel with a chic rooftop terrace. I checked in with Kiwi Collection (collaboration) to stay at the hotel with my husband and daughter. Booking with Kiwi Collection has its perks that were available at this hotel, like an automatic upgrade, daily breakfast, and resort credit for dining.

When we checked in, the top suite was available for an upgrade. What a room! The grand ceilings, cool tones, and draped linens gave it a very chic feeling. I adored the free-standing tub for a soak after spending all day out exploring. The Hotel Antigua was close to everything we did in Palma, the furthest we had to walk was 20 minutes.

We enjoyed the rooftop terrace and restaurant with views overlooking the city at night. It was quiet, and intimate, and the entire team was helpful in planning our time in the bustling city. Book the best rates here .

Other Hotels to Consider in Palma de Mallorca:

  • Hotel Portixol
  • Concepciô by Nobis

Where to Eat in Palma de Mallorca

Mercat de l’olivar.

The Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca

A highlight of our time in Palma was heading to Mercat de l’Olivar and into the back where the small tapas bar hideout. Head to the fish section and grab a seat at the Ostras bar — anything fresh from squid to boquerones is perfection.

Can Joan de s’Aigo

The Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca

Famous for ensaimadas that are made with lard and their sipping chocolate, Can Joan de s’Aigo is a fan favorite in the city. I find the pastries a bit on the greasier side but nonetheless great.

The Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca

I came across Ombu Tapas when doing research for the city, it’s a modern take on tapas. Overall I would say the food is good (it was packed, reservation needed). It was very innovative and had good flavors, though I found the prices on the steeper side.

Bar Espanya

The Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca

For pintxos come to Bar Espanya . I adored this spot for a quick bite and a drink. Reservations are recommended as well.

La Rosa Vermutería & Colmado

View this post on Instagram A post shared by La Rosa Vermutería & Colmado (@larosa_vermuteria_colmado)

I highly recommend getting a table at La Rosa Vermutería — every dish is wonderful from boquerones in vinegar to their famous Spanish omelet. La Rosa Vermutería in Palma de Mallorca is a popular local hangout known for its extensive vermouth selection and traditional tapas. It’s a go-to spot for those looking to enjoy classic Spanish flavors in a more relaxed, authentic setting. The emphasis on quality vermouth and well-prepared small dishes makes it an ideal choice for casual dining or socializing in the heart of the city.

Mistral Coffee House

The Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca

Of all the third-wave coffee houses, Mistal Coffee was our favorite.

El Aquanauta

For those looking for Mexican food in Mallorca, come to El Aquanauta for street tacos and more.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Grupo Tragaluz (@grupotragaluz)

Spot was one of those places I wish we could have made it to. The food looks delicious and friends gave it a thumbs up.

La Molienda Bisbe

View this post on Instagram A post shared by La Molienda (@lamoliendapalma)

La Molienda Bisbe is good spot to pop in for breakfast and a solid coffee. The lines are always busy here so keep this in mind for when you’re planning your time.

Emilio Innobar

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Emilio Innobar (@emilio_innobar)

Emilio is another one that came highly recommended. Unfortunately, it wasn’t open on the days we were there. Including it, in case you’d like to visit!

Things to Do in Palma de Mallorca

Shop local in palma.

The Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca

There are so many wonderful artisan shops in the city center that I highly recommend popping into. The first is Arquinesia Perfumes for their artisan perfumes hosted in a beautiful century-old home. Second is GORDIOLA for all things made of glass, truly a beautiful store. And for all things woven or rattan, Mimbrería Vidal is where it’s at.

Stroll Palma, Spain

The Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca

Honestly, one of the best parts of our visit to Palma was going for a stroll through the city. It’s beautiful, the roads are narrow, and each leads to another view. I recommend going in the morning before the crowds to have it to yourself in the city centre.

There are a few sights to see like the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) for its traditional facade. After, wander through the cobbled streets of the Old Town to marvel at the imposing Gothic Cathedral (La Seu), or stroll along the Paseo Maritimo for breathtaking views of the marina and the Mediterranean Sea.

See the Palma Cathedral

The Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca

The grand dame of the city is the Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral . The Palma Cathedral, an architectural marvel, is renowned for its imposing structure that masterfully blends Gothic, Baroque, and Modernist elements. Constructed over centuries, starting in the 13th century, this cathedral is not only famous for its awe-inspiring rose window, often referred to as the “Gothic eye,” but also for the work of Antoni Gaudí in the early 20th century, who brought a touch of Modernisme to its interior.

After you take a tour (recommend booking tickets online in advance), go for a stroll around the cathedral into the Bishop’s Garden or even the Banys Arab (medina mayurqa) or Arab Baths. Continue on to Parc de la Mar to enjoy the green space right in front of the church. You’ll also be close by to the cycle path here if you want to explore by bikes.

Stroll Through Via Verí for Good Design

If you’re looking for interior design shops and a quite cute street to stroll, come here. There are so many wonderful shops to enjoy and pop into. This was one of my favorite areas to explore.

Visit Fundació Miró Mallorca

The Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca

Just west of Palma (taxi needed) is Joan Miró’s workshop where he painted and sculpted. While part of the building is still under construction, if you have time, it’s worth a visit. Getting to see Joan Miró’s space is super special and highly recommend while there.

Take a Day Trip to Nearby Villages

If you have decided to make Palma de Mallorca your homebase, then you definitely want to consider taking a day trip. I’d pick up a rental car (I always use Discover Cars ) and look to go west first. Some of my favorite places are Deiá , Fornalutx , and Valldemossa , both super close by to the city.

If you’re looking for the best beaches in Mallorca , than head east. You could stop by towns like Santanyí while over there as well. There’s a lot to do on either side of the island.

Other Top Things to Do in Palma:

  • Spend a day at a local beach club like Anima or PuroBeach
  • Go to the Bellver Castle
  • Visit Es Baluard Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art
  • Go on a Tuesday tapas trail through the city
  • Eat at the Mercat de Santa Catalina food market

If you’re looking to book a tour in Palma, I like to use Get Your Guide:

Other helpful mallorca guides.

  • A Slow Travel Guide To Deiá, Mallorca
  • 7 Places Not To Miss On Mallorca
  • The Alternative Guide To Mallorca: Getting Out Of Palma

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The Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca

PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you . If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here .

1. Book Your Flights

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Car

Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:

  • World Nomads (best for all-around)
  • Safety Wing (best for frequent travelers)

Xx, Jessica

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Full city break guide to Palma, Mallorca

With its rich culture, incredible architecture and a history you can get lost in, Palma offers adventures for all kind of travellers. Find your perfect trip now with our full travel guide…

How to get to Palma and getting around Palma 

travel guide of palma

Getting there:  Regular flights from the UK to Palma de Mallorca by easyJet, British Airways and Ryanair take approximately two hours.

Getting around by bus:  The A1 bus runs every 15 minutes during the daytime from Palma Airport to Plaça España where the metro and main bus station are located. It takes about 30 minutes and costs €5 (£4.50) one way.

There is an excellent bus network in Palma and the average fare is about €2 (£1.80). Travellers can buy a short-term bus pass known as T20 or T40 which is eligible for use around Palma and out of town.

Getting around by foot:  Palma is a fantastic city to explore by foot. It is compact, and it’s cobbled streets make it a joy to wander. 

Getting around by bike:  There is an efficient public bike service operating from Plaça España. The cost is just a few euros per day. For those buying a T20 or T40 metro or bus pass, bikes are free of charge but users must pre-register at the main underground bus station in Plaça España.

travel guide of palma

If you only do three things in Palma…

travel guide of palma

1. Visit a gothic masterpiece

Striking a pose above Parc de Mar is La Seu Cathedral , the jewel in the crown of Palma. This colossal Gothic masterpiece that began life at the time of the Catalan conquest, endured eight centuries of reformation under the direction of master architects such as Antoni Gaudí in the 20 th century. Once a Moorish settlement, the cathedral is now home to precious Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque works of art. Highlights include the play of light from the ancient rosette window, the decorative canopy above the altar and the re-design of St Peter’s chapel, fashioned from terracotta by contemporary Mallorcan artist, Miquel Barceló.

travel guide of palma

2. Enjoy contemporary art overlooking Palma Bay

With its concrete and glass façade and warren of walkways, balconies and ramparts, Es Baluard museum of modern art is an architectural wonder. Hugging an eyrie close to the city walls, the former medieval fortification includes contemporary sculptures and a café in its grounds. The gallery contains permanent and temporary collections from the 19th-century and is also a venue for lively cultural events. Browse the 700 works of artists from the Baleares and oeuvres by luminaries, Picasso, Miró and Tàpies and Dalí.

travel guide of palma

3. Get lost in history

To wander the streets of Palma is a voyage of discovery, so make for Plaça Cort where you’ll find the picturesque Medieval town hall and Olivera de Cort, an ancient gnarled olive tree, purported to be more than 600 years old. Make a pit stop here and enjoy coffee and almond cake at Cappuccino Grand Café. A few steps away is the towering Santa Eulalia church, in historic Calatrava, which in the 13th-century was assigned by King Jaume I to the city’s Jewish population. Walk around the narrow, shady lanes and wonder at the ancient convents and chapels, grand townhouses with their Romeo and Juliet style balconies, and pretty public gardens. Here, you’ll discover the Arab baths and ancient Covent de Santa Clara where you can ring a bell to purchase the holy sisters’ homemade biscuits. Do pop by the Museum of Mallorca, as it offers a fascinating insight into the island’s history.

travel guide of palma

Where to stay in Palma

travel guide of palma

Luxury five-star Hotel Sant Francesc Singular is situated directly in front of the historic church of Sant Francesc in the capital’s historic quarter. Designed by leading architect, Maria José Cabré, the property has 42 chic, individually decorated rooms. It has a roof terrace with bar and pool, spa and celebrated restaurant. 

travel guide of palma

Four-star deluxe Hotel Nakar is located on Avenue Jaume III, one of the city’s most emblematic streets, close to all major sights. Its 57 luxurious rooms offer state of the art technology. It has a rooftop pool, thermal spa and destination restaurant run by leading Mallorcan chef, Miguel Calent.

Newly-opened Hotel Can Alexandre offers exceptional value. Hidden away in the old town, yet close to Plaça Major, it was the home of leading liberal politician, Jaume Alexandre, during the 1930s. Today, the 23-room hotel is run by Alexandre’s descendants and uniquely decorated with authentic Mallorcan handicrafts.

Where to eat in Palma

De tokio a lima.

This sophisticated yet welcoming restaurant sits on the expansive rooftop terrace of five-star Boutique Hotel Can Alomar , and enjoys mesmeric views of El Borne with its towering plane trees, and the city’s lights. The innovative sharing plates fuse Peruvian, Japanese and Mediterranean gastronomy with dishes such as Iberian pork tacos, roasted guacamole and apple, or grilled scallops and artichokes, that burst with flavour. 

Slick and savvy, recent arrival, El Camino , is still deservedly the talk of the town with its menu of tapas and punchy wine list. It’s not the cheapest of eateries but the quality is top-notch and dishes such as spicy ceviche, fluffy potato omelette and cuts of rich jamón Iberico , tease the palate. With its vintage style speakeasy bar, cherry red bar stools, tiled floor and mirrored walls, it’s buzzy and fun, especially for lunch.

Housed in an historic building, with ancient stone walls, Aromata is one of Palma’s go-to restaurants. Despite being run by Andreu Genestra, a Michelin-starred local chef, the three course menu del día (lunchtime set menu) using locally-sourced ingredients, represents excellent value. By night, the candlelit space offers a more formal degustación (tasting) menu with a modern twist on Mallorcan classics.

How to spend 48 hours in Palma

Kick off the day by visiting Gothic landmark, La Seu Cathedral, and its nearest historic neighbour, Almudaina Palace , once an ancient Moorish stronghold. Take a break for a coffee and ensaïmada pastry at cosy Ca’n Joan de S’Aigo , the city’s most famous historic café, before strolling up leafy El Borne onto La Rambla for a walk around Caixa Forum cultural centre which occupies the former ‘Gran Hotel,’ built in 1903. Here, browse the exhibition halls, before enjoying a superb value menú del día (lunchtime menu) in the relaxing restaurant at the entrance.

A few minutes’ walk from La Rambla, on Calle Unió, pop by 18 th century Can Balaguer , erstwhile home of Mallorcan musician and benefactor, Josep Balagueur. From here, cross into pedestrianised Sant Nicolas and walk up to Plaça Cort, home to the Medieval town hall and also the capital’s most ancient olive tree. Put up your feet at Cappuccino Grand Café and enjoy a coffee or freshly-squeezed orange juice and watch the world go by. Crossing into Calatrava district, drop by Santa Eulalia church, which dates back to the 10th-century, and afterwards wend your way to the Basilica of Sant Francesc with its pretty gothic cloisters and tomb of revered 13th-century mystic, Ramon Llull.

After a full day’s sightseeing, have a well-deserved rest before heading out for an aperitif, maybe a Vermouth or cava, at bustling Bar Bosch on Plaça Rei Joan Carles I, followed by dinner at La Paloma in the heart of La Lonja, where you can enjoy mouthwatering steaks and plates of tasty tapas. 

Take a morning stroll around the cobbled streets of former fishing zone of El Jonquet that borders Santa Catalina district, and wonder at the city’s historic windmills. Head into Santa Catalina and enjoy the bustle of the indoor market before stopping for a coffee and delicious croissant or tart at La Madeleine de Proust , directly opposite. Walk through Sa Feixina park to Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum and admire the views of Palma Bay from the lofty walls of this former medieval fortification. Make your way to Calle San Feliu in La Lonja old town and take lunch at the namesake tapas bar Cafe La Lonja 

Either enjoy the three-kilometre cycle ride westwards along the seafront to the14th-century circular castle of Bellver , or take a five-minute taxi ride instead. From here, you can either cycle or take a taxi to Cala Major, just a few kilometres’ distance away, to the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation , to view the former home and 6,000 art works of Catalan painter, Joan Miró.  

Return to central Palma and put your feet up before heading off for dinner to feast on authentic food at Celler Pagés . 

Explore more of Palma 

Feeling inspired , for more inspiration and information on travel to palma, go to: visitpalma.com/en.

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Spain Guides

Palma de Mallorca Spain

Travel and Holiday Guide

Palma de Mallorca Spain

Palma de Mallorca Spain 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.

The undeniable main attraction in Palma is 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 is well worth visiting as ell as   El Pueblo Espanol , an interesting outdoor museum with beautiful Spanish and Moorish houses.

A good starting spot to exploring the area is the city's 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.

For perfect long walks and shopping treats, head off to the Passeig des Born , which houses plenty of designer shops plus plenty of upmarket restaurants, bars and cafes.

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.

 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 Belver.
  • Explore the 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 .

Palma Cathedral ( Le Seu )

Palma de Mallorca Cathedral

Palma de Mallorca Cathedral, also known as La Seu, is a magnificent 14th-century cathedral and is one of Europe's tallest Gothic. It is impossible to miss this imposing golden sandstone building.

The cathedral is built on the on a mosque which once stood opposite the Royal Palace of La Almudaina during the Moorish occupation of Mallorca.

The story of La Seu began while Jaume I was on his voyage to the island: battling rough seas, his fleet of ships and men faced great danger, and the young king swore that he if succeeded in his mission to rid the island of the Moors, he would build a massive cathedral.

This impressive cathedral has 61 stained-glass windows, with the most spectacular being the central rose window, which harnesses the morning sun, flooding the building with beams of coloured light.

The slender pillars supporting the roof are some of the slimmest load-bearing pillars in the world. The fact that the place remains standing is down to the sturdy external ornate buttresses - through the western wall of the cathedral was badly damaged during an earthquake in 1851.

In the early 20th century, La Seu underwent some changes at the hands of one of the students of the famed architect Antoni Gaudí.  The dramatic additions included the enormous crown-of-thorns illuminated canopy that hangs over the altar.

You can visit the Cathedral Mondays to Fridays from 10:00 hrs (closing times depend on the time of year). Saturdays from 10:00h to 14:15 hrs.

 5 Interesting Facts about Mallorca

  • Before mass tourism arrived in Mallorca has been the 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 Mallorca reside in Palma, making it a lively hub of activity whatever time of year you visit.
  • Mallorca 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 Attractions

The caves of drach  ( cuevas de drach ).

Drach Caves

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.

website:   http://www.cuevasdeldrach.com/en/

La Reserva del Puig de Galatzo

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 a waterfall to cool yourselves down in the summer heat. Website:  http://lareservamallorca.com/

Family attractions, water and leisure parks in Mallorca

»  Jungle Parc -  Santa Ponsa. » The Wave House - Magaluf »  Tirolinas Park   - Palma de Mallorca »  Katmandu Park - Magaluf »  Marineland  - Calvia »  Hidropark - Por D'Alcudia » Aqualand - El Arenal

The gastronomy of Mallorca


Palma de Mallorca's gastronomy is heavily influenced by its Mediterranean location and its history of being a trading hub.

Its cuisine features fresh seafood, meats, vegetables, and fruits, which are used to create flavourful dishes. Local specialties include sobrasada, ensaimada, tumbet, and pa amb oli.

A great place to visit to find out all about the local produce is at the famed Santa Catalina Food Market ( Mercat de Santa Catalina ), where you can browse and purchase fresh produce, meats, and seafood.

The use of olive oil, and garlic, are used in Mallorcan dishes.

Overall, Palma de Mallorca's cuisine is a mix of traditional Spanish and Mediterranean flavours, with an emphasis on fresh and locally sourced ingredients.

Popular dishes from Palma de Mallorca


- Sobrasada: A soft, spicy cured pork sausage spread on bread or cooked with honey.

- Coca Mallorquina: A flatbread topped with roasted peppers, onions, tomatoes and parsley. Similar to pizza without cheese.

- Ensaimada: A spiral-shaped pastry dusted with sugar. Made with flour, eggs, water, sugar and pork lard.

- Pica Pica: A dish of fried squid rings, potatoes and peppers in a spicy tomato sauce. Served as a tapa or a main course.

- Tumbet: A vegetable casserole of red peppers, eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes and garlic. Sometimes accompanied by fried eggs, fish or meat.

- Cocarrois: A crescent-shaped pastry filled with vegetables and meat, such as spinach, raisins, pine nuts and lamb. Baked until golden and crispy.

Recommended areas 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.

Getting to Palma and the transport options

Palma Airport

Palma de Mallorca is well connected by various modes of transport, both within and outside the island. Here are some of the main transport options to Palma de Mallorca:

- Flights: Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI) is the main airport of the island, located about 8 km east of the city centre. It serves domestic and international flights from various airlines, including low-cost carriers. The airport has four terminals and offers various facilities and services for travellers and is one of the busiest airports in Spain.

- Trains: Palma de Mallorca has two railway lines that start from Plaça d'Espanya in the city centre. One line goes to Sóller, a picturesque town in the northwest of the island, passing through the scenic Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. The other line goes to Inca, a town in the central plain of the island, known for its leather industry.

- Buses: There is an extensive bus network that covers the city and its surroundings. The buses are operated by EMT (Empresa Municipal de Transports) and TIB (Transport de Les Illes Balears). The EMT buses are blue, white and green and connect the airport with the city centre and other urban areas. The TIB buses are red and yellow and connect the airport with other towns and resorts across the island.

- Taxis: The city has plenty of taxis available. The taxis here are white with a red stripe and show a green light on the roof when available. The fare for taxis is displayed on a metre and is determined by the distance, time, and zone. For other places, like the airport, there are also set fares.

- Bike: Palma is a bike-friendly city that has many bike lanes and paths along its streets and waterfront. The city also has a public bike-sharing system called BiciPalma, which allows users to rent bikes from various stations around the city. The bikes are electric and have a GPS system that shows the nearest station.

- Others: Palma also offers other transport options, such as car rental,  scooter rental, ferry service and metro service.

Download FREE official travel and tourism board brochures

Recommended Hotels In Majorca

Luxury high-end.

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 minibar 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.

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.

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travel guide of palma

Palma: The Complete Guide


Palma stands as the vibrant capital of Mallorca, exuding a blend of sophistication and intimacy while brimming with vitality. This city houses half of the island’s residents and maintains a lively atmosphere throughout the year. It offers an array of upscale hotels, trendy dining establishments, charming cafes, boutiques, and a thriving art scene. Frequently likened to Barcelona, Palma’s proximity to the airport, just a 15-minute taxi ride away, renders it an ideal destination for a quick urban getaway.

Positioned in the southern part of the island, Palma graces its residents and visitors with captivating vistas of the glistening Mediterranean sea, viewable in real time via our webcam. While the city boasts numerous enchanting neighbourhoods, the primary attractions and shopping hubs are clustered around the grand Gothic cathedral along the waterfront. This region, known as Palma’s historic old town, abounds in ancient alleyways, historical landmarks, and splendid architectural wonders. Here, you’ll discover an abundance of sightseeing opportunities and opportunities to savour refreshments at its numerous pedestrianized lanes, charming cafes, art galleries, and boutique stores. Thanks to the concentration of these attractions within a square kilometre, exploring the old town is a breeze.

Palma flaunts an expansive harbour that commences just in front of the cathedral and extends along its western border. A cyclist and pedestrian-friendly promenade stretches all the way to the ferry port and cruise terminal, situated approximately 3.5 kilometres from the old town, providing an idyllic setting for a leisurely stroll.

Visiting Palma for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Palma on the first visit. To help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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35 Best places to See in Palma

This complete guide to Palma not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Palma and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Plaza de España, Palma

Plaza De Espana, Palma

We recommend to rent a car in Spain through Discover Cars , they compare prices and review multiple car rental agencies. Book your rental car here .

Mercat Olivar

Mercat De L’Olivar

Explore Palma yourself with our self-guided walking tour!

Esglesia de Santa Catalina de Siena (Church of Santa Catalina de Siena)

Església De Santa Catalina De Siena, Palma

Juan March Foundation Museum

Majorque Palma Vers Placa Major Museu Fundación Juan March

Plaza Mayor, Palma

Plaza Mayor, Palma

Can Casasayas

Can Casasayas, Palma

Church of Santa Magdalena

Church Of Santa Magdalena Palma

Plaza de Cort

Plaza Cort Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) Palma De Mallorca

Convent of San Francisco, Palma

Convent Of San Francisco, Palma

Església de Santa Eulàlia (Church of Santa Eulalia), Palma de Mallorca

Església De Santa Eulàlia, Palma

Centre Maimó ben Faraig

Centre Maimó Ben Faraig, Palma

Puerta de los Judios

Puerta De Los Judios, Palma

Statue of Jehuda Cresques

Jafuda Cresques

Museo de Mallorca

Museo De Mallorca

Iglesia de Montesión (Mount Zion), Palma

Església De Monti-sion De Palma

Palma's Secret Synagogue

Jardí del bisbe (bishop’s garden), palma.

Jardí Del Bisbe Bishop’s Garden, Palma

Palau March Museum

Palau Marche Palma

Passeig del Born

Passeig Del Born

La Seu: the Cathedral of Palma

Palma Cathedral

Royal Palace of La Almudaina

Royal Palace Of La Almudaina, Palma

Banys Arabs (Arab Baths), Palma

Arab Baths Palma-de-mallorca

Museu Diocesa de Mallorca

Museu Diocesa De Mallorca

Teatre Municipal Xesc Forteza

Teatre Municipal Xesc Forteza

S'Hort del Rei (Royal Garden), Palma

S’Hort Del Rei Royal Garden, Palma

La Llotja (The Market), Palma

Lonja, Palma De Mallorca, España

Es Baluard Centre

Es Baluard, Palma

Pueblo Español - Spanish Village, Palma de Mallorca

Pueblo Español, Palma De Mallorca

Castell de Bellver (Bellver Castle)

Mallorca - Palma De Mallorca - Castell De Bellver

Joan Miró Museum

Joan Miró Museum

Palma Aquarium

Palma Aquarium

Royal Carthusian Monastery (Real Cartuja), Valldemossa

Cartoixa, Valldemossa

Cuevas del Drach

Cuevas Del Drach

Capdepera Lighthouse

Far De Capdepera

Best Time to Visit Palma

The most favourable time to visit Mallorca is during the shoulder seasons, particularly in May, early June, late September, and October. These months offer a perfect harmony of pleasant weather and fewer crowds, with the advantage of either avoiding or post-summer crowds while still enjoying warm and sunny conditions.

Palma in the Spring

During spring, which includes the end of April, May, and the beginning of June, Mallorca experiences warm temperatures ranging from 20 to 27 degrees Celsius. This season is conducive to outdoor activities, making it an excellent time for activities like hiking. It’s worth noting that if you plan to visit the beaches, timing your trip for June or September may be more suitable, as May can vary in terms of warmth.

Palma in the Autumn or Fall

Autumn, spanning the end of September, October, and the beginning of November, is another appealing time to explore Mallorca. With reduced crowds, warm temperatures persist, and the water remains inviting enough for a swim. Additionally, fall brings lower prices, offering better deals on flights and accommodations. The grape harvest season from August to October adds to the attractions, providing an opportunity to explore vineyards and indulge in the local wines.

Palma in the Summer

Conversely, July and August mark the peak of the summer season, attracting a significant influx of tourists. While the atmosphere is lively, these months come with downsides such as long lines, crowded streets, and elevated prices. Visitors who prefer a more relaxed experience may find it beneficial to avoid Mallorca during this period.

Palma in the Winter

Finally, winter, from December to February, is the quietest time on the island. However, this tranquillity is accompanied by potential closures of tourist attractions and restaurants, particularly in beach towns. While winter offers a peaceful and budget-friendly visit, it may not be suitable for those seeking vibrant nightlife or cultural events due to possible closures.

Average Temperatures in Palma

  • January 17°C 62°F 5
  • February 17°C 62°F 4
  • March 19°C 66°F 4
  • April 21°C 70°F 5
  • May 26°C 79°F 3
  • June 32°C 89°F 2
  • July 35°C 95°F 1
  • August 34°C 93°F 2
  • September 30°C 86°F 6
  • October 27°C 80°F 6
  • November 21°C 69°F 7
  • December 18°C 64°F 4

How to get to Palma

Travelling to palma by plane.

Palma Airport, also known as Son Sant Joan Airport, is located 8 kilometres east of Palma. As a major international airport, it stands as the third largest in Spain, following Madrid and Barcelona. Particularly during the summer, it ranks among the busiest airports in Europe, well-equipped to handle the millions of tourists passing through annually. The airport is efficiently connected with excellent bus services linking Palma and various destinations across the island.

While certain international flights are seasonal, operating between May and October, there is a growing trend of airlines extending their services throughout the year. Mallorca is evolving into a year-round destination, with increasing international routes available even during the winter months. Notably, major airports in the UK, Germany, and Scandinavia are seeing more frequent connections. Additionally, domestic travel to mainland Spain remains accessible year-round, with destinations including Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Ibiza, Menorca, and Seville.

Upon arriving at the airport, various transportation options are available to reach your accommodation:

  • Bus: Exit the airport from the “Arrivals” area, where you’ll find the bus stop (blue buses). Line A1 of the EMT connects to the city for 5€, and line A2 connects to the El Arenal area. In the summer, Aerotib (yellow buses) provides connections to other parts of the island (lines A11, A32, A42, and A51). Additional information can be found [here](link to information).
  • Taxi: The taxi rank is also located in the “Arrivals” area. The approximate cost of a ride from the airport to Palma is €20. If you’re heading to another part of the island, be sure to confirm the price with the taxi driver before departing.
  • Private Transfer: For a comfortable and fast option, you can book a shuttle from Mallorca Airport to your accommodation. This service eliminates concerns, picking you up at the airport and transporting you directly to your hotel. It’s a recommended alternative, especially if you don’t plan to travel around the island extensively or if you intend to use alternative means of transportation, such as a bicycle, later on.
  • Car Rental: Renting a car is the optimal choice to ensure you don’t miss anything in Mallorca. Public transport on the island is limited, making a car essential for discovering all the island’s secrets and beautiful corners, away from purely touristy areas.

Travelling to Palma by Ferry

For those considering travel to Mallorca by car, coach, or train, ferry transportation to the island is often a part of the journey. The primary ferry companies serving Mallorca include Baleària, Trasmediterranea, and Corsica Ferries. The main departure points in Spain are Barcelona (with a sailing time of 7.5 hours), Valencia (8 hours sailing time), Dénia (near Alicante, with an 8-hour sailing time), as well as the nearby Balearic islands of Ibiza (4 hours sailing time) and Menorca (1.5 hours sailing time). Express services are available to reduce travel time.

Additionally, Corsica Ferries offers a route from Toulon, located in southern France near Marseille, to Port d’Alcudia in approximately 10 hours. These ferry options provide alternative and scenic travel choices to reach the picturesque island of Mallorca.

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travel guide of palma

Palma de Mallorca travel guide

Palma de mallorca tourism | palma de mallorca guide, you're going to love palma de mallorca.

Imagine a city where beautiful Mediterranean beaches are surrounded by romantic Moorish landmarks and spectacular historical buildings - that's Palma de Mallorca.

travel guide of palma

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Palma de Mallorca

1. those beaches.

Ca'n Pere Antoni is one of Palma de Mallorca's finest beaches - and one of its most popular. Those who prefer bigger beaches can walk to nearby Cala Major.

The Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma is the city's most famous landmark. Commonly called 'La Seu', the huge Cathedral was partially renovated by Gaudi.

3. La Almudaina Royal Palace

La Almudaina Royal Palace was once the city's Alcazar and, although it was rebuilt in the Gothic style by Jaime II, it retains elements of its Moorish past.

4. Seaside Events and Festivals

Parc de la Mar hosts an eclectic program of events throughout the year. Catch open-air movie screenings, concerts, and fiestas in a delightful setting.

5. The Nightlife

Palma de Mallorca rivals Ibiza when it comes to Balearic Island nightlife. Head for Passeig Maritim for clubs and bars that stay open till 6 am.

What to do in Palma de Mallorca

1. cathedral of santa maria of palma: reaching to the heavens.

Palma's glorious cathedral is also known as "La Seu". Building was started by King James I of Aragon in 1229 AD but the construction was not finished until 1601. This huge Gothic edifice towers above the old Roman citadel in the center of Palma, with commanding views over the city and out to the Mediterranean Sea. Inside, you might be surprised at the sheer scale of the cathedral, with the central nave rising to 144 feet, dwarfing that of Notre Dame in Paris. It provides a cool and calming contrast to the bustle and heat of the city and the interior boasts some fantastic finishings including one of the world's largest stained-glass windows, the Rose Window.

2. Palma Beach: People Platja

Platja de Palma is the city's beach and a pretty wonderful one too. It stretches for some four miles and the fine white sand is particularly beautiful. The beach is backed by lots of good hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants, so there are plenty of places to enjoy a refreshment and a bit of people watching. There are lots of watersports available for the more active and a stroll along the promenade is a great way to work up an appetite or walk off your meal.

3. Castell de Bellver: History in the Round

The Castell de Bellver is a unique round castle dating from the 14th century. It is set in beautiful grounds within scented pine woods and contains a fascinating museum of Palma's history. It is one of the best-preserved medieval castles you'll find and it really is like stepping back in time when you walk through the courtyards and cloisters. Bellver is Catalan for "lovely view" and from the upper levels you can enjoy some of the best views of the city and harbor.

4. Es Baluard: Modern Art on the Ancient Walls

Es Baluard is Palma's museum of modern and contemporary art. The museum occupies a 16th century bastion but the collections are modern and focused on 20th and 21st century artists that have a connection to the Balearic Islands. The interior is also modern and bright and an ideal space to show some impressive exhibits. This is where to come for a cultural fix when in Palma.

5. Palau de l'Almudaina: A Palace Fit for the Kings

The Palau de l'Almudaina dates from at least Roman times and was possibly the site of a prehistoric settlement long before that. It was then rebuilt as an Islamic fort before being converted to house the island's Christian monarchs in the 13th century. It is still the official summer residence of the Spanish royal family, although they do tend to vacation over at Cala Major. Inside you'll find huge stone-walled rooms hung with tapestries and furnished with period pieces. The beautiful artesonado-timbered ceilings are simply stunning and the Gothic chapel of Capella de Sant'Anna will transport you to where great kings and queens once prayed.

Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma

Activities & attractions in Palma de Mallorca

travel guide of palma

Other activities

travel guide of palma

Where to Eat in Palma de Mallorca

Try contemporary Spanish cuisine at Arrocería Sa Cranca in Passeig de Maritim or Italian at Ottimo in Passeig de Mallorca. A basic lunch in the city center costs EUR12, while dinner for two with wine starts at EUR53.

When to visit Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters so it's the ideal choice at any time. Visit in summer if you're planning a beach vacation or come in January for winter sun and the Three Kings fiesta.


How to Get to Palma de Mallorca

Palma Airport (PMI) is 5.5 miles from the city center. Take the EMT Line 1 bus service for EUR3 or hop in a taxi for EUR35.

TIB runs trains from towns on the island such as Inca and Manacor. Trains stop at the Estació Intermodal de Palma in the center of the city.

Unless you're taking the ferry from Dénia or Valencia, it's not possible to drive from the mainland.

Mallorcan regional buses from towns like Andratx, Cala d'Or, and Valldemossa are operated by TIB and they terminate at the Estació Intermodal de Palma.

Airports near Palma de Mallorca

Airlines serving palma de mallorca, where to stay in palma de mallorca.

Mallorca is known for high-end boutique hotels such as the Castillo Hotel Son Vida and Boutique Hotel Can Cera. However, you'll also find lots of budget-friendly hotels like Hotel Isla Mallorca and Spa and BQ Apolo Hotel.

Popular Neighborhoods in Palma de Mallorca

Port de Palma - one of Palma de Mallorca's most stylish districts. As well as the marina, you'll find La Seu and Parc de la Mar here.

Old Town - this popular neighborhood is known for shopping streets like Passeig des Born and the elegant tree-lined La Rambla.

Sa Llotja - one of the oldest parts of Palma, this area is home to some of the city's best galleries, designer boutiques, and restaurants.

Where to stay in popular areas of Palma de Mallorca

Most booked hotels in palma de mallorca, how to get around palma de mallorca, public transportation.

EMT runs buses throughout the city. The number 50 sightseeing is a good option for visitors. Fares are EUR15 for adults and EUR6,50 for children. Tickets are valid for 24 hours, and you can hop on and off as many times as you wish.

Taxis can be found close to tourist attractions and you'll pay EUR15 for a 5-mile trip.

Rent a car from Avis or Enterprise and you'll be able to see more of the island. Prices start at just EUR20 per day for compact cars.

Best car rental deals in Palma de Mallorca

4 Adults, 2 Bags

The Cost of Living in Palma de Mallorca

Shopping streets.

Shop for designer brands and high street favorites in Passeig des Born. Or, look for arts and crafts and souvenirs in nearby Plaça Major.

Groceries and Other

You'll find branches of Carrefour, BIP BIP Supermarket, and Veritas in the city, and it will cost you EUR1.04 for a quart of milk and EUR2.42 for a dozen large eggs.

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Mallorca Travel Guide

Mallorca is quite possibly the ultimate holiday island! Fantastic for families and with a welcoming, laid back vibe that encapsulates everything that’s great about Spain (and with a few surprises of its own) there’s loads to see, do and eat. Want to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the best stuff? We’ve put together this ultimate guide to help you get the very best from your holiday on the heart of the Balearic Islands .

Geographically, Mallorca consists of a fertile plain sandwiched between two mountain ranges: the spectacular Serra de Tramuntana to the north and the Serres de Llevant to the south. The lowlands are bookended by the Bay of Palma – home to the island’s historic capital city – and the Bay of Alcudia . Both are characterised by long sandy beaches and shallow, warm seas; all around them you’ll find great places for watersports and safe swimming. On rockier parts of the coast you’ll see adventure operators taking groups of thrill-seekers ‘coasteering’ – a mix of rock-climbing, abseiling, scrambling and cliff-jumping that offers a whole new way to enjoy Mallorca’s coastline.

Best time to visit Mallorca?


Summer temperatures are hot, averaging the high twenties with negligible rainfall in the lowlands – it’s the best and the most popular time for beach breaks and traditional family getaways. If you’re planning a holiday around land activities, it’s also worth considering the cooler spring or autumn months , which are ideal for exploring the island on foot or by bike. It’s a paradise for hikers and cyclists, with the heights of Serra de Tramuntana offering challenging ascents and spectacular views with some excellent timeshare options for those who plan on coming back in the future. If you sign a contract but unfortunately have to cancel then make sure you call Timeshare contract Cancellation services for some assistance .

Alcudia's Old Town

Alcudia’s Old Town

  • Palma de Mallora:  The capital of the Balearic Islands is lively, full of history and a great place to enjoy local bars and restaurants.
  • And in the city itself, Palma Cathedral  (also known as La Seu ) is an architectural wonder that’s bound to impress all ages.
  • Almudaina Palace is also found in Palma – it’s a fairytale castle and residence of the Spanish royal family.
  • Alcudia’s Old Town on the island’s north side boasts a 14th Century wall and colourful markets on Tuesdays and Sundays throughout the year.

Mallorca travel: How to get there and around

Public transport: Thanks to decades of tourism, Mallorca is easy to get around, with a well-developed road and bus network, three train lines and a Metro service operating within Palma, if you like taking trains then consider checking out these Old West Trains . With so much to see, we highly recommend hiring a vehicle – check out our activities section for some original ideas on that front. If you prefer public transport, your first stop will be Palma’s Intermodal Station , reached by the 1 and 21 buses from the airport. From there, local EMT buses and Metro services will get you around the city, TIB (Transport de les Illes Balears) buses will take you to destinations further afield, and trains will take you to the towns of Inca, Pobla and Manacor.

By bike:  Touring Mallorca by bike is a fantastic way to see the island (Bradley Wiggins is a big fan) and there are loads of places to hire cycles from – your luxury villas might even include them as part of your rental.

Taxis:  There’s an abundance of taxi companies on Mallorca to help get you to where you need to go – though as with many destinations, it’s worth booking in advance (if possible) and agreeing on a price with the driver before heading out.

Hiring a car or other private transportation:  If you’re staying inland or in one of the more remote coastal areas, hiring a car or a  bus rental will probably be necessary. There are several local firms as well as multinational staples, but once you’ve got your own set of the wheels the entirety of the island is yours to explore! Companies like Europcar ,  Hertz and Avis all provide services direct from the airport.

Hidden Gems


  • The truly adventurous – or anyone after the quietest beaches they can find – should explore the northern coast. Here you’ll find fantastic spots only accessible on foot, such as Es Canyaret , a beach just outside the village of Llucalari that is renowned for its waterfall and refreshing mud pools; Port des Canonge , a secluded spot east of the ancient, terraced village of Banyalbufar ; and Coll Baix , a stunning, cliff-fringed bay with turquoise waters.
  • While you’re in the region, take time out to visit Deia , a small coastal village popular with the creative set. It has been attracting writers and musicians for decades, and when you see it you’ll understand why – it’s a charming jigsaw of traditional flat-roofed buildings and lush gardens, and also boasts a superb Michelin-starred restaurant in the shape of Es Racó d’Es Teix. For another food treat from northern Mallorca, track down fresh prawns from Port de Soller ; they’re exceptionally good, and 2015 saw the town launch a festival dedicated to them (held in early March).
  • Over on the other side of the island, enjoy an underground adventure at the jaw-dropping Caves del Drach . The tour winds past clear pools and intricate rock formations for just over a kilometre, leading you to Lake Martel, a 170 metre-long underground lake – your guide will take you on a boat ride across it, accompanied by live classical music. With good paths and lighting and a temperature of over 20C, you don’t need to be a hardened caver to enjoy it!
  • Make sure you take the breathtakingly beautiful tram journey from the town of Soller to the port! If you’re into your scenic drives, try going from Valdemossa to Sa Calobra (via the village of Deia), or visit and the charming town of Estellencs and hunt down its stunning hidden cala – don’t forget to bring a picnic!
  • One more thing – if you find yourself on the long road through the Tramuntana mountains that runs east to west, stop for lunch in Es Grau for some tasty treats and breath-taking views.

Did you know…?

  • Famed architect Gaudi was meant to design new changes to Palma Cathedral, but he dropped out after a spat with a contractor.
  • The English poet and novelist Robert Graves spent a large portion of his life on Mallorca – he eventually died there in 1985.
  • Es Tranc beach apparently loses about 25 tons of sand each year due to it being taken away by holidaymakers in their towels, bags and sandals.
  • The delicious local pastries known as Ensaimada are notoriously difficult to make off the island – it’s said that the sea air helps the dough to rise!

Mallorca makes a superb choice for a family holiday. It’s not too far away (so travelling with little ones isn’t too taxing) and you can enjoy the tourism infrastructure of the island while staying in the beautiful countryside in one of our luxurious villas in Mallorca . Better yet, there’s loads of things to do to keep everyone entertained and tons of soft, sandy beaches to while your days away.

Things to do in Mallorca

  • There are plenty of new ways to take on the Mallorcan landscape, like scuba diving adventures that’ll take you to places that’ll leave you wanting to hire an underwater photography professional.  Jungeparc take you up into the treetops, using ziplines, ropes and bridges to navigate a pine forest.
  • Or you could take in the whole island with a guiding tour, enjoying everything from the heights of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains to a boat trip around the coast.  No Frills Excursions  are your go-to guys for a tour you’ll never forget.
  • Surprisingly, Mallorca has some fantastic golf courses – whatever level you’re at, a day or an afternoon on the Mallorcan links is the ideal tonic. You can find out more through our friends at where2golf.com .
  • And if you like heights but think Jungleparc sounds like a bit too much effort, you can appreciate Mallorca from above with a hot air balloon flight. We recommend Mallorca Balloons if you feel like taking to the sky.
  • One of the nicest tours of the island you can take is the perfect pairing of walking and wine – you’ll really feel like you’ve earned that drink! You can find out more about some great itineraries at  Mallorca Hiking .

What to do in Mallorca with kids

travel guide of palma

  • There are loads of great museums and art galleries on Mallorca, and the local artists often feature their own work in smaller exhibitions. Something that’s bound to enrapture kids of any age is the Toy Museum in Palma, which features toys from all over the world.
  • There are some great water parks across all of the Balearics, and all of them make for an exciting family day out.  Aqualand is worth a try if you’re heading to Mallorca!
  • There’s plenty of nature on the island kids will love to explore, with wild new creatures to find and see – try a nature walk and see where it takes you! If the kids love their animals, La Reserva is a private reserve full of beautiful beasts – and there’s even adventure activities too.  Katmandu is a huge adventure playground chock full of rides and things to do, with the highlight being the unforgettable upside-down house.
  • Getting on your bike is a great way to see the island too – there’s loads of great trails suitable for all ages too.  Nano Bicycles in Palma offer a cycling tour of the old town or bike rentals to suit you and your family.

Nothing here your cup of tea? There’s loads more suggestions over at our blog on the best family activities in Mallorca .

Recommended experiences

  • Why not try some cooking classes courtesy of mymuybueno ? Better yet, they can tailor their lessons to suit you!
  • You could mix a bit of exercise with fine wines with Bicillevant’s tour through the foothills of the Tramuntana mountains, stopping at wineries on the way fir tastings.
  • Beer tastings in the comfort of your villa rental with  Beer Lovers Mallorca ! This would work best followed by a bbq!
  • Macia Batle is one of Mallorca’s longest established wineries, and the tours will give you a fascinating insight into wine on the island – along with a few samples!

We’ve even spoken to the locals to find out what their favourite suggestions are! Have a read of our insider’s guide to Mallorca to find out more.

If you need more ideas, just check out our blog on the best family activities in Mallorca .

Best restaurants in Mallorca

  • By far the best vegetarian restaurant on the island is Bon Lloc , which serves great lunches in the day and meat-free haute cuisine in the evenings.
  • Mare Nostrum is the perfect combination of amazing food that comes at a reasonable price – you can find it in Sa Poblo towards the north of the island.
  • If you feel like introducing the kids to something a little bit different, Las Olas Bistro in Palma is family friendly and offers a neat take on tapas.
  • And if you are looking for traditional Mallorcan dishes with a twist, Santi Taura is the place to go! The restaurant is named after the young, ambitious chef, Santi Taura, that weekly creates new tasting menus for its diners. Fine dining at its best!
  • Flanigan has spent the best part of the last thirty years delighting the tastebuds of visitors and locals alike, specialising in fresh seafood and eclectic Mallorcan cuisine.

You can find more inspiring delicacies by checking out our blog on the best foodie experiences in Mallorca .

Dishes to try


  • Tumbet is more of a side dish than a main event, but this Balearic take on ratatouille makes any meal better.
  • Sobrassada is a local spicy sausage cooked in a huge number of ways – it’s even eaten on bread with honey!
  • And any trip to Mallorca wouldn’t be complete without trying some seafood – the lobster stew known as calderata is one of nicest ways to get a taste of the ocean.

Tempted by a stay in wonderful Mallorca? We’ve got a huge selection of beautiful luxury villas in Mallorca ideal for any kind of holiday – whether you’re going with the kids, want to totally relax with a few friends or challenge yourself with some exciting activities. If you need a hand with anything, feel free to contact our friendly concierge team !  


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The Smooth Escape

The perfect Mallorca itinerary: An unforgettable week in Mallorca

travel guide of palma

Lying in the western Mediterranean Sea, Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful destinations in Spain. 

Also known as Majorca, the island is often associated with beach resorts and a vibrant party scene. However, Mallorca has so much more to offer if you make the effort to venture out of the main tourist zones. From coastal mountain ranges and dramatic gorges to fairytale-like villages and beaches with crystalline water, there’s no shortage of amazing places to include in your Mallorca itinerary!

With one week in Mallorca, you won’t be able to see everything this idyllic island has to offer – there are simply too many exciting spots to visit. But with a proper plan, you can still tick off many of the highlights.

Tall cliffs rising out of the sea at Sa Calobra, a must-visit spot on every Mallorca itinerary

This 7-day Mallorca itinerary will take you from the scenic Serra de Tramuntana mountains in the north all the way to the breathtaking beaches in the south, stopping at the most beautiful destinations along the way. 

At the end of this post, you’ll also find a map with the exact locations of all the stops in this travel itinerary and my tips on what to do if you have more than 7 days in Mallorca.

Ready to start planning your trip?

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links from which I may make a commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase.

How to get around Mallorca

The most common ways to get around Mallorca are by car, bus or train.

I only used buses during my Mallorca trip and it worked out really well. In fact, I was surprised by how convenient and easy to understand the public bus system was, especially because most articles I read about Mallorca before my trip advised against it. 

With that said, I still think the best way to explore the island is to rent a car and take a Mallorca road trip. Having a car will allow you to get around the island faster and give you the freedom to also visit some more remote and off-the-beaten-path destinations. In general, driving in Spain is safe and easy, and Mallorca is no exception.

But if you can’t or don’t want to rent a car, you definitely shouldn’t let this hold you back from taking a trip to Mallorca!

7-day Mallorca itinerary: How to spend one week in Mallorca

Day 1: soller & port de soller.

On your first full day in Mallorca, head to the charming town of Soller. 

Regardless of whether you’re driving or taking the bus, it’s a scenic journey as you’ll be crossing the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, these mountains are known as the backbone of Mallorca and stretch over 90 kilometers along the island’s northwest coast.

You can also get from Palma to Soller on a 100-year-old wooden train . If I ever return to Mallorca, I’d love to try it out!

Serra de Tramuntana mountains on the north coast of Mallorca

Soller is located in a lush valley and is known for its citrus orchards, Art Nouveau-style architecture and beautiful natural setting.

Take your time to stroll through the town’s historic center, sip some fresh Soller orange juice in one of the cafes on its main square and enjoy the view of the wonderful Church of Sant Bartomeu. If you’d like to visit a working citrus farm, you can do so at Ecovinyassa . 

a narrow cobbled street lined with stone houses in Soller

As Soller is surrounded by mountains, it is also an excellent base for cyclists and hikers and offers a variety of exciting trails like Barranc de Biniaraix or the trek to Mirador ses Barques.

For more tips on what to do in this wonderful town, including the best day trips to take from here, read my detailed post on the best things to do in Soller .

sandy palm-tree-lined beach at Port de Soller, an excellent destination to add to your Mallorca itinerary

Just 5 kilometers from Soller lies the picturesque coastal town of Port de Soller. With its palm tree-lined promenade, numerous hotels and a long sandy beach, it is a quintessential Mediterranean beach holiday town.

To get from Soller to Port de Soller or vice versa, you can take the famous vintage electric tram, which is one of the top attractions in the area. It’s a fun experience and the journey takes around 15 minutes.

I chose to hike from Soller to Port de Soller along the GR221 trail (see the exact route here ) and return to Soller by the tram.

Where to stay

Spend the next two nights in Soller or Port de Soller. If you like the idea of having the beach at your doorstep, stay in Port. But if you prefer a more authentic vibe, stay in Soller.

BUDGET: Hostel Soller Located in a beautifully restored historical building in Soller, this is one of the prettiest (and cleanest) hostels I’ve ever seen. They offer both private rooms and shared rooms.

MID-RANGE: Bikini Island & Mountain Hotel This 4-star hotel is just a 10-minute walk from Port de Soller beach and has stunning bohemian style decor, a heated outdoor pool and daily yoga classes.

LUXURY: Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa Situated on a hill overlooking the Port de Soller Bay, this 5-star hotel offers an unforgettable level of luxury, complete with an amazing infinity pool and a world-class spa.

tourists walking along the Port de Soller promenade lined with palm trees, hotels and cafes

Day 2: Sa Calobra & Torrent de Pareis

On day 2 of your Mallorca itinerary, take a boat trip to Sa Calobra and Torrent de Pareis canyon. 

The Sa Calobra boat departs from the marina at Port de Soller. I recommend taking the earliest boat, so you could get there before the crowds arrive. See the prices and book your tickets here . 

The 1-hour boat ride takes you along the spectacular northwest coast of Mallorca, past towering cliffs, sea caves and magnificent views of the Tramuntana mountains. 

If you prefer to have more privacy and the flexibility to explore the coast at your own pace, consider taking this full-day or half-day private sailboat tour instead.

travel guide of palma

As an alternative to taking the boat, you can also drive to Sa Calobra. The road leading there is apparently very scenic and offers amazing panoramic views. Just be prepared for lots of narrow steep hairpin turns.

A small pebbly cove with clear turquoise water surrounded by mountains at Sa Calobra beach

If you choose to go by boat, you’ll be dropped off at a gorgeous turquoise cove from where it’s a short walk through breathtaking scenery to Torrent de Pareis canyon. In about 10 minutes, you’ll arrive at a tiny beach hidden between tall cliffs at the mouth of the canyon. It’s definitely one of the highlights of this Mallorca itinerary and truly a sight to remember!  

White sailboats floating in azure water in Sa Calobra bay

Be sure to also hike into the canyon for more incredible views of the majestic scenery around you. You might even meet some wild goats! Once you’re done admiring the beauty of Sa Calobra and Torrent de Pareis, catch the boat back to Port de Soller.

Spend another night in Soller or Port de Soller. See my hotel recommendations under Day 1.

Day 3: Valldemossa & Deia

Kick off the third day of your Mallorca itinerary by exploring Valldemossa. This small mountain town is characterized by traditional stone houses and quaint cobblestone streets lined with cute shops, cafes and restaurants.

Spend a few hours strolling around the town’s historic center to take in its old-world charm and enjoy the views of the surrounding green hills. Visit the Gardens of Rei Joan Carles and the centuries-old Carthusian Monastery, which the famous composer Frederic Chopin used as his winter residence.

Traditional stone houses surrounded by green mountains at Valldemossa

Valldemossa is also known for its pastries and one of the best places to try them is the famous Pastisseria Ca’n Molinas bakery. Here you can sample the most beloved local specialties like coca de patata (a sweet fluffy potato bun) and ensaimada (sweet spiral pastry made with lard). 

Next, head to Deia, a little hilltop village that looks like something straight out of a fairytale. It is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Mallorca and it’s easy to see why. The best way to experience Deia is to simply wander around its idyllic streets and marvel at the adorable houses with green shutters – a characteristic feature of Mallorcan architecture. 

traditional stone house with green shutters and a purple bougeanvillea tree growing along its facade

For an amazing view of the village, visit the viewpoint (‘Mirador’) on the main road – see the map at the end of the article for the exact location. And in case you get hungry, there are many nice cafes and restaurants to choose from, including the enchanting El Olivo restaurant .

a blooming tree with a backdrop of the village of Deia, a must-visit spot if you have one week in Mallorca

To the north of the village, lies Cala Deia, a small rocky cove with crystal-blue water perfect for swimming. Although I didn’t get to visit Cala Deia myself, I’ve heard it’s gorgeous and totally worth the steep walk or drive to get there.

Head back to Valldemossa and spend the night there. 

BUDGET: Cosy private room   Basically the only budget accommodation in Valldemossa. Located in the heart of the town, it’s a simple room with a private bathroom and access to a kitchen.

MID-RANGE: Hotel Sa Vall Set in a former manor house, this stunning hotel offers rustic yet elegant rooms, an outdoor swimming pool and large gardens full of orange and lemon trees.

LUXURY: Hotel Valldemossa This upscale boutique hotel is set in two beautifully restored 19th-century stone houses with views over the mountains. Featuring a spa, two pools and a gourmet restaurant, it’s the perfect place to pamper yourself.

Day 4: Archduke’s Trail & Cala d’Or

On the morning of Day 4, before leaving the north coast of Mallorca, I recommend hiking the Archduke’s Trail (Camí de s’Arxiduc) near Valldemossa. This moderately challenging trail is known as one of the best hikes in Mallorca and takes around 4-5 hours to complete.

Starting just north of Valldemossa, the rocky trail ascends through an oak forest to the top of a panoramic ridge, where you can enjoy jaw-dropping vistas of the coast and the Tramuntana mountains. Along the way, you might also bump into some cute mountain goats.

A woman hiking along the rocky Archduke's Trail, one of the best hikes in Mallorca

You can hike the Archduke’s Trail as a loop (starting and ending in Valldemossa) or as a point-to-point hike from Valldemossa to Deia, and you can also add optional extensions.

I hiked it from Valldemossa to Deia following this route . Note that you need to request a free permit to hike this route as it passes through a private estate. It’s super easy – you just need to message them your name and the date you want to hike. Find the contact details here .

Since there’s no internet connection up in the mountains, it’s essential that you have a mobile offline map of the trail or a GPS to avoid getting lost.

panoramic view of the north coast of Mallorca from Archduke's Trail, a beautiful hike to add to your Mallorca itinerary

After the hike, it’s time to say goodbye to the north coast of Mallorca and head south to Cala d’Or. If you’re driving, it will take a little over an hour and by bus, it’s two hours.

Cala d’Or is a small beach holiday town known for its magnificent sandy coves (or calas) with vivid turquoise water.

There are several beautiful beaches to explore here, such as Cala Gran, Cala Esmeralda, Cala d’Or Beach (also known as Cala Petita) and Cala Ferrera – all within a short walking distance from each other. I visited Cala Gran and Cala Esmeralda and both were equally stunning, although crowded.

Cala d’Or also has a lovely marina lined with restaurants and filled with yachts. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or an evening stroll.

Be sure to also read my post on the top things to do in Cala d’Or for more details on the best activities and day trips to take from here.

people bathing in the turquoise waters of Cala d'Or, a lovely beach town to include in your Mallorca road trip

Spend the next three nights in Cala d’Or.

BUDGET: Hotel Antares This budget hotel is located in the center of the town, near all the beaches, restaurants and shops. The rooms are simple but modern and comfortable and come with an AC.

MID-RANGE: Casa Ceiba Maria A cute family-run guest house just 300 meters from the beach. With their spacious rooms, an outdoor pool and wonderful breakfast, this place offers great value for money.

LUXURY: Inturotel Cala Esmeralda This stylish seafront hotel is the perfect option for those looking for a bit of luxury. It is ‘adults only’ and has an on-site spa, beautiful gardens, 3 outdoor pools and direct access to Cala Esmeralda beach.

Day 5: Calo des Moro, Cala S’Almunia & other beaches

Wake up early and get ready to explore some more fabulous beaches on the southeast coast.

The first one I recommend that you visit is Calo des Moro. This little slice of paradise is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Mallorca. And I have to agree. The color of the water in this narrow bay is the most unbelievable shade of blue. This together with the cliffs around the beach make it such a scenic place. It’s a must-visit spot in every Mallorca itinerary.

vivid blue water and rugged cliffs at Calo des Moro, one of the best beaches in Mallorca

Because of its popularity and small size, the beach tends to get packed very quickly, which is the reason I recommend coming here early. I’ve heard that in July and August, you sometimes have to wait for an hour to get to the beach since the authorities regulate the number of people they let there.

Just a few minutes’ walk from Calo des Moro lies Cala S’Almunia beach, which I found equally beautiful. This tiny cove is sheltered by rocks and surrounded by old boat houses. It’s an incredibly picturesque place with calm, crystal clear water – it almost felt like being in a swimming pool.

White boathouse next to a natural pool at Cala S'Almunia beach, a place that should be on every Mallorca itinerary

If you’re in the mood to see more beaches, consider visiting Cala Llombards or Cala Santanyi. I visited Cala Llombards and while it’s definitely a lovely beach, it wasn’t among my favorites in Mallorca. Due to the currents, the water was a bit dirty when I was there and it was also very crowded.

Alternatively, you could visit the small fishing village Cala Figuera. Although there’s no beach here, I’ve heard it’s a very charming place and worth a quick visit.

Spend another night in Cala d’Or. See my hotel recommendations under Day 4.

Day 6: Mondrago Natural Park

Today will be all about exploring Mondrago Natural Park. Situated just 6 kilometers from Cala d’Or, this coastal nature reserve is home to pine forests, wetlands, various bird species and several beaches with white sand.

Depending on your interests, you can make it a relaxing beach day or you can explore the different coves, walking trails and viewpoints the park has to offer. The three main beaches here are S’Amarador Beach (the largest), Cala Mondrago and Calo des Borgit (the smallest). 

People swimming on a beach in Mondrago Natural Park on the south coast of Mallorca

If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, you can visit the park on a guided jetski tour departing from Cala d’Or.

On the day I visited Mondrago Natural Park the sea was really rough. This unfortunately meant that the water was cloudy and full of debris, and the beaches didn’t look very inviting. 

travel guide of palma

From what I’ve read though, this is rather unusual, so you’ll probably have better luck than me. Based on the photos I’ve seen, the beaches here look heavenly when the sea is calm. Plus you’ll also be able to go snorkeling. Apparently, there are lots of fish to see around the rocks.

Day 7: Palma de Mallorca

Spend the final day of this Mallorca itinerary by discovering Palma, the capital city of Mallorca. The best way to explore this beautiful seaside city is on foot since the main sights are all within walking distance from each other.

One of the most iconic attractions here is Palma Cathedral, better known as La Seu. Visiting this impressive gothic masterpiece is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Palma de Mallorca . The cathedral, which took almost 400 years to build, overlooks the Bay of Palma and features magnificent stained-glass windows.

the intricate facade of the gothic La Seu Cathedral in Palma de Mallorca

Right next to the cathedral lies the 14th-century Royal Palace of La Almudaina, which is one of the official residences of the royal family of Spain and is open to visitors.

In the charming old town of Palma, you’ll find lots of cozy cafes, tapas bars and shops lining the narrow cobblestone streets. Visit the bustling Placa Major, the main square of the city and sample some local delicacies at Mercat de l’Olivar, Palma’s oldest food market.

Historical yellow buildings surrounding Placa Major, the main square of Palma de Mallorca

If you have time, you could also visit some of Palma’s fantastic beaches like Cala Major or Playa de Palma and stroll along the seafront promenade.

Mallorca itinerary map

On this map, you can find the locations of all the stops included in this one week Mallorca itinerary. The destinations of each of the days are marked with a different color so you can have an easy overview. Click on the top left corner of the map for more details.

Other destinations to include in your Mallorca itinerary

If you have more than a week in Mallorca, you’re lucky because there are lots of exciting places left to see on this mesmerizing island. 

If I had more time, I would have loved to visit the following spots: 

  • Cap de Formentor – a narrow peninsula with dramatic scenery and spectacular beaches like Cala Figuera and Platja de Formentor
  • Puig de Massanella – a mountain peak with panoramic views; accessible only by hiking
  • Ses Salines – a small village surrounded by several postcard-perfect white-sand beaches like Es Trenc, Cala Màrmols and Es Caragol
  • Fornalutx & Biniaraix – picturesque villages in the Tramuntana mountains
  • Cuevas del Drach (Drach Caves) – a cave system with one of the largest underground lakes in the world. Book your tour to the caves here .

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Travel Guide To Palma

Free travel guide to Palma Spain

Most visitors to Mallorca head for the fashionable areas of its north coast, simply ignoring the island's capital city. But Palma is a charming and civilised place, an ideal weekend destination with the best of both worlds: the vitality of a capital and the relaxed pace of a island town. It resembles a gracious mini-Barcelona, a chilled-out, street-safe city with a cosmopolitan population, notable architecture and a buzzy nightlife. Its Old Town, with its narrow cobbled streets, Renaissance palaces and hidden squares, is a jewel. The capital also makes a fine winter base from which to explore the rest of the island.

Where to stay in Palma


(00 34 971 227 347; www.conventdelamission.com ). For monastic minimalism and effortless style, check into Palma's hippest new hotel, Convent de la Missio, the sister property to Finca Son Gener on the north-east of the island. Tucked away in a former monastery in the back streets of the city, the hotel is now a shrine to purity, with 14 all-white bedrooms and an exacting attention to detail. Despite having the same colour scheme, each of the bedrooms is different: some have balconies, others four-posters and muslin drapes. The Japanese-style roof garden is ideal for sunbathing. ££

Calle Sant Jaume 3 (00 34 971 712 942). Two-star hotel in the converted 18th-century palace of the Marques de Ferrandell, complete with classic Mallorquin patio. If you can take the odd bit of kitsch, this is a bargain.


(00 34 971 271800; www.portixol.com ). This is a boutique hotel that would make a great place to stay in autumn or spring because of its sea views and large swimming pool, but is a long walk out of the city centre. £


Calle San Lorenzo 14 (00 34 971 728 200; www.hotelsanlorenzo.com ). Excellent small hotel, a converted palacio in the old town. £


(00 34 971 727240; www.hotelsaratoga.es ). Many locals book visiting friends into the hotel. Recently refurbished, its rooms and junior suites offer a reliable, pre-Philippe Starck style of modern hotel comfort, with individual balconies that have bay and cathedral views. It's centrally located on the Paseo Mallorca and close to the best restaurants, shops and cultural sites. £

(00 34 971 717333; www.hoteltres.com ). £


Carrer de Miramar 8 (00 34 971 715 400; www.palaciocasagalesa.com ). Undoubtedly Palma's finest hotel, a 12-room mansion dating from 1571, which is luxuriously restored, with views of the bay and cathedral from the roof terrace. ££

(00 34 971 425450; www.purohotel.com ). Puro's design is an intoxicating cocktail of modern Marrakech meets Miami meets South-east Asia. Located in the heart of Palma's charming Old Town, the Puro's palatial stone façade hasn't changed much since it was built several centuries ago; but the sparkling, all-white entrance lobby is a different story. Young international staff, dressed in a casual uniform of T-shirts and drawstring trousers, hand out keys and local tips, or escort guests to the adjoining two-room restaurant and lounge, Opio. Although it is also painted white, it fizzes with bright, exotic details: coloured-silk pillows, silver engraved candlesticks and mirrors from Rajasthan. The bedrooms are equipped with Bose Wave sound systems, elaborately carved teak doors from Burma, and parrot-feathered tribal hats from Cameroon. Tasselled day beds are arranged around the rooftop plunge pool. ££

Where to eat out in Palma

CAN CARLOS Calle del Agua, 5 (00 34 971 713869). The classic Mallorquin cooking at Can Carlos is both seasonal and of a high standard. Winter is the best time to sample robust specialities such as sopas mallorquinas (a dish made with bread and vegetables), stuffed courgettes and roast sucking pig.

CA'N EDUARDO C/ Contramuelle Mollet, 4 (00 34 971 721 182). Classic seafood restaurant above the fish market from which, logically enough, it gets most of its raw material proceeds.

ES BALUARD Placa Porta Santa Catalina, 10 (00 34 971 719 609). Mallorquin specialities given a modernist makeover in this contemporary art museum. The restaurant serves a good selection of local wines, too.

FABRICA 23 Carrer Cotoner, 42-44 (00 34 971 453 125). Experience creative modern cooking at British-owned Fabrica 23.

HANAITA Plaza de Navegacio, 8 (00 34 971 452 013). The sushi here is fresher than in many of London's far more expensive Japanese restaurants.

KOLDO ROYO Avienida de Gabriel Roca 3 (00 34 971 732 435). A nouvelle-Basque treasure whose friendly owner-chef of the same name is a Spanish television celebrity. The excellent tapas restaurant occupies a unique place at the top of the culinary ladder in Palma and has an upstairs area which can cater for larger parties.

LA BOVEDA Calle Boteria, 3 (00 34 971 720 026). This has two crowded branches just off the waterfront in the La Lonja district and offers the best Mallorquin and Spanish tapas in the city. Everything is exceptionally fresh, but of particular interest is the pa amb boli (the island's version of bruschetta) with a side plate of the tavern's own cured ham, and the variada La Bóveda , a selection of expertly-fried shellfish, squid and croquettes. The house Rioja is good and inexpensive.

MANGIAFUOCO Plaza Vapor, 4 (00 34 971 451 072). Earthy Tuscan cooking, using fresh truffles flown in weekly. The restaurant can be found at Mangiafuoco, in a small square near Santa Catalina's southern boundary.

RESTAURANTE SANTA EULALIA Plaza Santa Eulàlia (00 34 971 726 499). Book a table in the vaulted cellar at Restaurante Santa Eulalia, whose chef seems to be under the creative influence of the celebrated El Bulli restaurant outside Barcelona. Try the fruit-laden soups, slow-cooked lamb and suckling pig and some unusual desert concoctions including a pudding sculpted to resemble sushi. It also offers a great-value, fixed-price lunch every weekday, upstairs in the bar.

SA ROQUETA Carre Sirena, 11 (00 34 971 244 658). If you are in the mood for a great paella or grilled fish or lobster, take a taxi to the nearby suburb of Portixol - a now-fashionable fishing port - and eat at the little, wood-panelled restaurant Sa Roqueta. Its arroz marinera has masses of ultra-fresh shellfish submerged in a saffron-laced, rice-filled broth.

TXAKOLI Carrer Fàbrica, 14 (00 34 971 282 126). This offers some of the best steak and grilled meat in the city.

VIET NAM Plaza Progreso, 14 (00 34 971 285 023). The pho soups and specialities served at stylish newcomer Viet Nam are authentic and complemented by a good wine list.

The best nightlife in Palma

AGUA BAR & LOUNGE Calle Jaume Ferrer, 6 ( www.aguabar.com ) If you fancy an authentic New York-style cocktail in a narrow, dark saloon tended by two ex-natives of the Big Apple, then try this bar situated in La Lonja district.

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BAR BOSCH Plaza Juan Carlos 1. For people-watching, nothing can match the Bar Bosch at the top of the Passeig d'es Born, the city's most popular meeting place with dozens of outdoor tables and good pa amb boli .

CAFÉ GARITO Dàrsena Can Barbarà (00 34 971 736 912; www.garitocafe.com ) For the coolest DJs in the city, you'll need to take the trip to café Garito, which faces an insular yacht harbour called Can Barbara, just off the Paseo Maritimo.

GIBSON BAR Plaça Mercat, 18 (00 34 971 716 404) If you want to mix with the town's most sophisticated locals, head to Gibson Bar which is tiny but will keep you entertained until the early hours.

MADE IN BRASIL Paseig Maritimo, 27 (00 34 670 372 390) For late-night dance action, Made in Brasil serves great caipirinhas .

What to see in Palma

BANYS ARABS All that remains of the Arab baths are two small underground chambers, one of which has a domed ceiling supported by columns. The baths are open daily.

ES BALUARD Plaça Porta de Santa Catalina, 10 (00 34 971 908200; www.esbaluard.org ). Just a few yards from the Sarotoga is Es Baluard contemporary-art museum. Opened in 2004, it is one of the most architecturally exciting new museums in Europe, its superb modern design set within a magnificent medieval fortress ( es baluard means 'the bastion') overlooking the Bay of Palma. The museum's 20th-century collection includes works by Picasso, Miró, Magritte, Calder, Klee, Picabia and Francisco Clemente. It also features a glass-enclosed modern restaurant (see Where to eat ) and a sculpture-laden terrace.

FUNDACIO PILAR I JOAN MIRO C. Saridakis, 29 (00 34 971 701 420). Housed in the artist's original Palma studios, a solid old farmhouse and a superb modernist building, it exhibits a permanent collection of his works. The studio is left as it was at the moment of his death, with ranks of unfinished canvases propped about on easels. Call for opening hours.

LA SEU CATHEDRAL Plaza de Almoina (00 34 971 723 130; www.catedraldemallorca.info ) The recently restored La Seu cathedral is one of the most important Gothic buildings in Spain, whose foundations were laid in the 12th century.

MUSEU D'ART ESPANYOL CONTEMPORANI Calle de San Miguel, 11. See works by the surrealist artist, who lived for many years on the island.

MUSEU DE MALLORCA Calle de Portella, 5 (00 34 971 717540). This converted 15th-century-palace holds an impressive collection of archaeological artefacts, religious art, antiques and ceramics. Call for opening hours.

PALMA'S OLD TOWN Above all, Palma's Old Town, with its narrow cobbled streets, Renaissance palaces and hidden squares, is both elegant and very much alive, a charming mixture of historic architecture and modern street life. The government has invested in restoration projects that aim to bring this district alive again with an intelligent fusion of commercial and residential zones: an 18th-century baker's shop is located alongside a 21st-century art gallery, craftsmen's workshops flank yoga centres and organic groceries. The shopping is eclectic, be it for fashion, artefacts or food. There are gracious old cafes and bookshops. Spend at least half an hour exploring the colourful central food market, Mercat d'Olivar, to see what really fresh fruit, vegetables and fish look like.

The best way to get around Palma

The city is compact enough to be negotiable almost entirely on foot. But for those who are lazier, most of the island is accessible by bus. Most buses depart from the main estacion de autobuses , Placa d'Espanya.

BY BUS Palma and the major resorts and beaches around the island are also connected by numerous boat tours and water-taxi services.

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A long weekend in… Palma, Mallorca

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Scandalously seen as a mere stopping point between the airport and the island’s coveted coastal resorts of Andratx and Pollensa, Palma is proving that it’s a destination worth lingering over in its own right. With historic sights, world-leading galleries and a food scene to put its European counterparts to shame, here’s how to make the most of a short sojourn to Mallorca’s capital city...

Where to stay in Palma

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Following a seriously slick refurb, this former 16th-century mansion first opened its doors to guests earlier this year and has fast become one of the city’s hottest hotels . Can Bordoy is a design-lover’s dream; period features have been lovingly retained (or artfully restored by the hand of OHLAB architects) and jostle for space with the owner’s personal antique collection. 
Suites are designed with the decadent traveller in mind, featuring free-standing baths, velvet divider curtains and jazz-playing minibars kitted out with DIY cocktail kits. A courtyard garden shaded by aged orange trees is the hotel’s centrepiece and there are two pools – a seriously impressive accolade in space-short Palma – including a secluded garden sanctuary and a rooftop glass plunge bath offering views across the city spires and streets. Not convinced? There’s even a shaggy house dog named Mr B, who’ll keep you company in the book-lined library, should you so wish. 
** canbordoy.com **

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Palacio Can Marques

Tucked away in the historic La Lonja district – just minutes from the sleek yachts that line Palma’s waterfront – sits Palacio Can Marques. A marvel of excess (think soaring alabaster columns and sweeping stone staircases), this 18th-century palacio makes for an ultra-exclusive hideaway. Period features add to the charm, while the old cisterns are now home to the hotel’s impressive wine collection – a break from tradition GQ can definitely get on board with. Come nightfall, head to the rooftop bar for a PCM Negroni and watch as the sky turns inky blue over the terracotta rooftops. palaciocanmarques.com

Where to eat in Palma

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Set in Santa Catalina – Palma’s undisputed culinary centre – Vandal is the brainchild of ex-Noma chef Bernabé Caravotta and sommelier Sebastián Pérez. Following traditional Spanish suit, dishes at Vandal are designed to share (yet almost too good to). GQ recommends the Patagonian hake with Jerusalem artichoke and sea urchin puree, Thai-style squid on squid ink sand, and the evasively named “when suckling pig met curry” – just trust us on that one. 
** vandalpalma.com **

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Forn de Sant Joan

Occupying a 19th-century bakery, this family-owned restaurant may have its roots in the past, but it’s far from traditional. Here, new-wave tapas wear their global influences with pride, from playful langoustine ceviche cornets topped with coconut foam to red mullet tempura drizzled with Iberian chorizo oil. Word to the wise: save room for dessert, the olive oil sponge cake, burrata, lemon ice cream and sweet basil pesto tastes like it stepped straight out of a Tuscan garden.

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A busy terrace does not a good restaurant make, but this laid-back lunchtime spot – overlooking the Plaza de la Reina waterfall and Hort del Rei gardens – deserves its devoted crowds. At Ombu, traditional tapas take on intriguing pan-Asian flavours; GQ recommends beginning with Mallorcan oysters topped with ponzu sauce, wakame and salmon roe, before tucking into the Andalusian-style squid croquettes, served alongside a kaffir lime and lemongrass aioli. Double portions are strongly encouraged. 
** ombupalma.com **

A stalwart of Spanish food in London, Eddy Hart (of Barrafina fame) has since upped sticks and brought his award-winning formula to the heart of Palma. We know what you’re thinking: an Englishman moves to Spain to show the Spanish how tapas are done – sounds like the start of a bad joke, right? Wrong. Secure a stool at El Camino’s coveted kitchen counter, order a bottle of Vinya des Moré and a selection of daily specials. Beating the Spanish at their own game? Quite possibly. 
** elcaminopalma.es **

Where to drink in Palma

La Rosa Vermuteria

The atmosphere at this retro-tiled joint is all part of the charm; jostle with locals for a spot at the bar , before ordering a selection of pintxos –  GQ recommends the San Sebastian txistorra, Galician mussels, and authentically vinegared boquerones – alongside a selection of vermouths. If you’re looking to observe the time-honoured tradition of la hora del vermut, La Rosa Vermuteria is the best place in Palma to do so. larosavermuteria.com

A homage to the cool kids of the Beat Generation, this back-alley bar is the place to head for late-night drinks and live DJs. Food-wise, you’ll find NYC -style sharing plates, including lobster tacos, salmon ceviche and sliders. There’s even a rooftop restaurant with views across the old town – prime real estate in this part of Palma. 
** beatnikpalma.com **

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UM Beach House Portals

Palma isn’t the place to spend lazy days sunbathing – and that’s no bad thing – but should you fancy a taste of island time, then UM Beach House Portals (just 20 minutes’ drive from Palma) is the ultimate beachside escape. It’s all swaying palms, raffia umbrellas and linen-clad waiters here, so sit back, relax and order the rosé on ice. In fact, make it a bottle. umbeachhouse.com

What to do in Palma

Housed in the city’s 14th-century bastions, Es Baluard is now home to Mallorca’s largest collection of modern and contemporary art. Here, you’ll find classics by Picasso and Léger jostling for space with lesser-known Balearic artists too. After perusing the paintings, ceramics and designs, head to the terrace bar to drink in the views across the harbour. esbaluard.org

Mercat de l’Olivar

Come lunchtime, locals descend on Mercat de l’Olivar, where Palma’s finest produce from land and sea is laid out for the taking. The seafood stalls prove particularly popular – and with good reason too. Head here for authentic raciones or take your pick of the daily catch and they’ll grill it fresh for you to enjoy there and then. For a picnic par excellence, we recommend stocking up on an array of salty Jamón Ibérico, manchego and a bottle of local Rioja, before heading to the harbour to enjoy. mercatolivar.com

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Palma Boats

The best way to explore this unspoilt coastal stretch? By boat, of course. GQ recommends swerving the cookie-cutter catamarans heaving with braying tourists and opt for a trip with Palma Boats instead. The company offers everything from exclusive private charters to sunset cruises and go resolutely off the tourist trail to take you to the island’s most secluded coves and serene lunch spots . 
** palma-boats.com **

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Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma

Known locally as La Seu, this iconic honey-stoned cathedral is a must-see for first-timers – although it would be near-impossible to miss it, as it’s one of the highest gothic cathedrals in Europe. 
** catedraldemallorca.org **

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travel guide of palma

The ever-popular star of the Mediterranean, Mallorca has a sunny personality thanks to its ravishing beaches, azure views, remote mountains and soulful hill towns.


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Spain, Balearic Islands, Majorca, Palma de Mallorca, Parc de Mar, Almudaina Palace, Cathedral La Seu

Palau de l'Almudaina

Palma de Mallorca

Originally an Islamic fort, this mighty construction opposite the cathedral was converted into a residence for the Mallorcan monarchs at the end of the…

Lluc Sanctuary on Majorca

Monestir de Lluc

Serra de Tramuntana

Entered via a cloistered garden, the monastery is a huge complex, dating mostly from the 17th to 18th centuries. Off the imposing central courtyard rises…

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Catedral de Mallorca

Palma’s vast cathedral ('La Seu' in Catalan) is the city's major architectural landmark. Aside from its sheer scale, treasures and undoubted beauty, its…

Water field natural park of Albufera

Parc Natural de S’Albufera

Northern Mallorca

The 688-hectare Parc Natural de S’Albufera, west of the Ma12 between Port d’Alcúdia and Ca’n Picafort, is prime birdwatching territory, with 303 recorded…

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Santuari de la Mare de Déu des Puig

South of Pollença, off the Ma2200, one of Mallorca's most tortuous roads bucks and weaves up 1.5km of gasp-out-loud hairpin bends to this 14th-century…

Palau March, a private palace now used as a modern art gallery, with palm trees in foreground.

Palau March

This house, palatial by any definition, was one of several residences of the phenomenally wealthy March family. Sculptures by 20th-century greats,…

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Built with flair and innovation into the shell of the Renaissance-era seaward walls, this contemporary art gallery is one of the finest on the island. Its…

Grand staircase at the Museum Fundacion Juan March.

Museu Fundación Juan March

The 17th-century Can Gallard del Canya, a 17th-century mansion overlaid with minor Modernist touches, now houses a small but significant collection of…

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Few Mediterranean holiday spots are as often and as unfairly maligned as MALLORCA. The island is commonly perceived as little more than sun, sex, booze and high-rise. It’s an image spawned by the helter-skelter development of the 1960s, yet it takes no account of Mallorca’s beguiling diversity. In fact, the spread of development, even after fifty years, is essentially confined to the Badia de Palma (Bay of Palma), a thirty-kilometre strip flanking the island capital, and a handful of mega-resorts notching the east coast.

Northern Mallorca

Elsewhere, things are very different. Palma itself, the Balearics’ one real city, is a bustling, historic place whose grand mansions and magnificent Gothic cathedral defy the expectations of many visitors. And so does the northwest coast, where visitors delight in the rearing peaks of the rugged Serra de Tramuntana, beautiful cove beaches, monasteries at Valldemossa and Lluc, and a string of delightful old towns and villages – such as Deià, Sóller and Pollença. There’s a startling variety and physical beauty to the land, which has drawn tourists to visit and well-heeled expatriates to settle here since the nineteenth century, including artists and writers of many descriptions, from Robert Graves to Roger McGough.

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In 1983, PALMA became the capital of the newly established Balearic Islands autonomous region, since when it has developed into a go-ahead and cosmopolitan commercial hub of almost 400,000 people. The new self-confidence is plain to see in the city centre, a vibrant place – and a world away from the heaving tourist enclaves of the surrounding bay.

Finding your way around Palma is fairly straightforward once you’re in the city centre. The obvious landmark is the Catedral, which dominates the waterfront and backs onto the oldest part of the city, a cluster of alleys and narrow lanes whose northern and eastern limits are marked by the zigzag of avenues built beside – or in place of – the city walls. On the west side of the Catedral, Avgda. d’Antoni Maura/Passeig d’es Born cuts up from the seafront to intersect with Avgda. Jaume III/Unio at Plaça Rei Joan Carles I. These busy thoroughfares form the core of the modern town.

Mallorca is at its scenic best in the gnarled ridge of the Serra de Tramuntana, the imposing mountain range that stretches the length of the island’s western shore, its soaring peaks and plunging sea cliffs intermittently intercepted by valleys of olive and citrus groves and dotted with some of the island’s most attractive towns and villages. An enjoyable way to admire this spectacular scenery at a leisurely pace is to drive or cycle along the coastal road Ma-10, which runs from Andratx to Pollença – though be aware that some of the twists and turns are quite precarious. If you’re reliant on public transport, the easiest way to explore the north is to travel up from Palma to Sóller and use this town as a base, making selected forays along the coastal road. Sóller is within easy striking distance of the mountain village of Deià and the monastery of Valldemossa to the southwest, or it’s a short haul northeast to the monastery of Lluc, the quaint town of Pollença and the resort of Port de Pollença.

As far as beaches are concerned, most of the region’s coastal villages have a tiny, shingly strip, and only around the bays of Pollença and Alcúdia are there more substantial offerings. The resorts edging these bays have the greatest number of hotel and hostal rooms, but elsewhere accommodation requires some forethought.

Hiking in northern Mallorca

The Serra de Tramuntana provides the best walking on Mallorca, with scores of hiking trails latticing the mountains. Generally speaking, paths are well marked, though apt to be clogged with thorn bushes. There are trails to suit all levels of fitness, from the easiest of strolls to the most gruelling of long-distance treks, but in all cases you should come properly equipped – certainly with an appropriate hiking map (available in Palma and at the Sóller turisme), and, for the more difficult routes, a compass. Spring and autumn are the best times to embark on the longer trails; in midsummer, the heat can be enervating and water is scarce. Bear in mind also that the mountains are prone to mists, though they usually lift at some point in the day.

It’s a dramatic, ten-kilometre journey southwest from Sóller along the Ma-10 to the beautiful village of DEIÀ, where the mighty Puig des Teix mountain ramps down to the coast. At times, this thoroughfare is too congested to be much fun, but the tiny heart of the village, tumbling over a high and narrow ridge on the seaward side of the road, still preserves a surprising tranquillity. Here, labyrinthine alleys of old peasant houses curl up to a pretty country in the precincts of which stands the grave of Robert Graves (1895–1985), the village’s most famous resident – marked simply “Robert Graves: Poeta, E.P.D.” (En Paz Descanse: “Rest In Peace”). From the graveyard, the views out over the coast are truly memorable.

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This European Country Is Set to Become the Most Visited Place in the World by 2040

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France —with its patchwork landscape of quaint rural villages, glamorous seaside towns, and historical cities—is an easily accessible, year-round destination, drawing visitors from around the world to its smorgasbord of culture, history, and charm. So it's hardly surprising then that a 2023 report from GlobalData , announced it was on track to become the most visited country by 2025, when 93.7 million international travelers are set to visit the country annually.

However, its position in that top spot may be short-lived. According to a report entitled NextGen Travelers and Destinations , jointly conducted by Google and Deloitte, there is another country that is set to attract even more visitors by 2040: Spain .

Currently in the second spot, this European destination—already well-known for its family-friendly hotels, honey-hued sandy beaches , and myriad eating opportunities for foodies in-the-know —has been forecasted to welcome 110 million tourists annually to its shores, followed by France (105 million) and the United States (100 million).

Park Guell Barcelona Spain

Park Guell in Barcelona

And it's not hard to understand why. With an average of 300 sunny days per year, the European destination is particularly popular with anyone who is able to snap up affordable airfare deals and take off for some European sun. During the summer months, temperatures can rise to the high 90s, and even winters here come with a healthy dose of Vitamin D.

The 110-million-visitor prediction would mark an increase of over 24%, with around 84 million people heading to Spain in 2023, already a record-breaking number for the region, sparking a swathe of new restaurants, bars, and hotel openings in order to accommodate the ever-growing masses.

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The 110-million-visitor prediction would mark an increase of over 24%, with around 84 million people heading to Spain in 2023.

This year, Spain was visited by 6.3 million international tourists in March alone, 21% more than in the same period of 2023, according to data published by the National Statistics Institute ( INE ). The country once again also broke its record for tourist spending during the same month, with foreign visitors bringing in almost €8.65 billion ($9.26 billion), an increase of 29.7% on March last year.

For now, though, France remains in poll position as the most-visited country in the world. As Hannah Free, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, says, “Alongside Italy and Spain, France represents a significant segment of the growth in Western Europe. The country is not only popular with travelers from Europe itself—especially the UK, Germany, and Belgium—but it is also popular with visitors from further afield, including China and the United States. In fact, France is one of the top Western European destinations for US travelers.”

A version of this article originally appeared in Condé Nast Traveller UK .


Hotel Valldemossa, Mallorca

Hotel Valldemossa, Mallorca

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Hotel Corazón

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My First Trip to Norway, With A.I. as a Guide

Can artificial intelligence devise a bucket-list vacation that checks all the boxes: culture, nature, hotels and transportation? Our reporter put three virtual assistants to the test.

A train rolls past a small, quaint red wooden building with a quiet road in front of it. In the distance are trees and snow-capped mountains.

By Ceylan Yeğinsu

The assignment was clear: Test how well artificial intelligence could plan a trip to Norway, a place I’d never been. So I did none of my usual obsessive online research and instead asked three A.I. planners to create a four-day itinerary. None of them, alas, mentioned the saunas or the salmon.

Two assistants were, however, eager to learn more about me in order to tailor their initially generic recommendations, which they had spewed out within seconds. Vacay , a personalized travel planning tool, presented me with a list of questions, while Mindtrip , a new A.I. travel assistant, invited me to take a quiz. (ChatGPT, the third assistant, asked nothing.)

Vacay’s and Mindtrip’s questions were similar: Are you traveling solo? What’s your budget? Do you prefer hotels or Airbnbs? Would you rather explore the great outdoors or pursue a cultural experience?

Eventually, my chat sessions yielded what seemed like well-rounded itineraries, starting with one day in Oslo and moving on to the fjord region. Eventually, I locked down a trip that would combine the assistants’ information and go beyond a predictable list of sites.

This time around, my virtual planners were far more sophisticated than the simple ChatGPT interface I used last year on a trip to Milan. Though it offered more detailed suggestions for Norway, I ended up ditching ChatGPT in the travel-planning stage after it repeatedly crashed.

Vacay’s premium service, which starts at $9.99 per month, included in-depth suggestions and booking links, while Mindtrip, which is currently free, provided photos, Google reviews and maps. During the trip itself, each delivered instantaneous information by text and always asked if more specific details were needed. Sadly, only ChatGPT offered a phone app, whose information I found to be outdated (the $20-per-month premium version is more current).

I’m not alone when it comes to turning to A.I. for help: Around 70 percent of Americans are either using or planning to use A.I. for travel planning, according to a recent survey conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of the personal finance app Moneylion, while 71 percent said using A.I. would most likely be easier than planning trips on one’s own.

I decided to find out for myself in Norway.

A whirlwind day in Oslo

After I landed at Oslo Airport, all three assistants directed me to the Flytoget Airport Express Train , which got me to town in 20 minutes. I was delighted to find my hotel adjacent to the central railway station.

Choosing accommodations had not been easy. I was looking for a midrange boutique hotel, and the A.I. assistants generated many options with little overlap. I went with Hotel Amerikalinjen , Vacay’s recommendation, which it described as “a vibrant and unique boutique hotel in the heart of Oslo.” Its location was the main draw, but overall the hotel exceeded my expectations, blending comfort and style with the 20th-century charm of its building, which once housed the headquarters of the Norwegian America Line shipping company.

For the one-day Oslo itinerary, the assistants were in agreement, packing in the city’s top sights, including the Vigeland Sculpture Park, the Royal Palace , the Nobel Peace Center, Akershus Fortress and the Munch Museum. I shared my location and asked each assistant to restructure the itineraries to start from my hotel. But when I gave in to my own research instincts and pulled up Google Maps, I saw that the order they suggested didn’t make sense, so I plotted my own path.

By the time I got to Frogner Park at midday, I had already covered half of the sights, and after walking past more than 200 sculptures by the Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland, I was happy to sit down and admire his granite monolith of entwined humans.

For lunch, the assistants recommended high-end restaurants in the bustling waterfront neighborhood of Aker Brygge . But I wanted a quick bite in a more relaxed atmosphere, so I ditched A.I. and walked to the end of the promenade, where I stumbled upon the Salmon , a cozy establishment where I started with salmon sashimi that melted in my mouth and finished with a perfectly grilled fillet. How had my assistants not mentioned this place?

Next on my list was the Nobel Peace Center, the Opera House and the Munch Museum. The assistants had not recommended prebooking tickets, but fortunately, I had done so, learning, in the process, that the Peace Center was closed, a crucial bit of information that A.I. did not relay.

It was chilly for mid-June, and as I walked along the harbor promenade toward the Munch Museum, I spotted small floating saunas, which my assistants had not included. I went back to the ChatGPT phone app for recommendations. Even though I was eager to try a floating sauna, where people warmed themselves and then plunged straight into the frigid waters of the Oslofjord, I took ChatGPT’s suggestion and booked the Salt sauna, which is where I headed after spending a few hours at the Munch Museum, with its extensive works by the Norwegian artist and its sweeping views of Oslo’s harbor.

At the Salt cultural complex , a large pyramidal structure on the water, I was relieved that swimsuits were a requirement. In Scandinavia, saunas are usually taken naked , and earlier, I had asked ChatGPT for the etiquette at Salt, but it failed to give me a definitive answer. After sweating it out with around 30 strangers in Salt’s main sauna, I dipped into a cold-water barrel tub and then tried the smaller sauna options, which were hotter and quieter. It was the perfect ending to a long day.

Waterfalls, lush valleys, raging waters

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Each of my assistants had different ideas on how to reach the fjord region. ChatGPT suggested taking a seven-hour train ride and then immediately embarking on a two-hour fjord cruise, which sounded exhausting. Mindtrip suggested taking a short flight to Bergen, known as the “gateway to the fjords,” and setting out on a cruise the next day, which was perhaps more efficient, but would also mean missing one of the most scenic train rides in the world. Vacay also recommended a train ride.

After conversing with the assistants, I decided on a shorter train journey (six hours) that would deliver me to Naeroyfjord , a UNESCO World Heritage site with lush valleys and thundering waterfalls. But to figure out the logistics for transport and accommodation, I needed live train timetables, which I found on my own, and information on hotel availability that none of the assistants had.

At this point, I was desperate for human guidance to navigate the region’s expensive and limited accommodations. This is where the pictures and reviews on Mindtrip were useful, helping me to understand that I would be paying premium prices for the spectacular setting of a mediocre hotel.

The train ride from Oslo to Myrdal was breathtaking: rolling hills, mountain villages, fjords, waterfalls. But nothing prepared me for the majestic one-hour Flam railway ride that followed. Vacay had described it as an “engineering marvel” with a breathtakingly steep descent as it passes picturesque villages, dramatic mountains, raging rivers and pounding waterfalls, complete with a dance performance featuring a mythological spirit known as a huldra.

The next morning I boarded a Naeroyfjord cruise, recommended by Vacay, on an electric, 400-person vessel. I was surprised by the serenity of the fjord. Later I learned from a tour guide that I had been lucky to visit when there were no large cruise ships. It was hard to imagine an ocean liner maneuvering through the narrow, windy fjord, but when I asked ChatGPT, it told me 150 to 220 cruise ships squeezed through the fjord each year, a detail that I felt the travel assistants should warn travelers about.

The cruise ended in the village of Gudvangen, where rain made me cancel a hike to a waterfall and instead try my hand at ax-throwing in the Viking Village Njardarheim. The assistants had told me that there were buses that left town every four hours, a time frame that had worked with my original hiking plan, but now I was stuck. Thankfully, I took note of the A.I. disclaimers to check all information and found an alternative shuttle bus.

On my way to Bergen, I decided to stop in the town of Voss, famous for extreme sports like skydiving and spectacular nature. All the A.I.-suggested hotels were booked, but a Google search led me to the lakeside Elva hotel , which had delicious farm-to-table food. I suspect it didn’t make the A.I. shortlist because it was new.

I ended my trip in Bergen, which, despite being Norway’s second-largest city, maintains a small-town charm with its colorful wooden houses and cobblestone streets. With only half a day to explore, I followed Mindtrip’s short itinerary, starting with a hearty lunch of fish and chips at the bustling waterfront fish market and ending with a funicular ride up Mount Floyen for panoramic views of the city and fjords. The A.I. dinner suggestion at the Colonialen was perfect: cozy vibe, live jazz and locally sourced dishes.

The bottom line

None of the A.I. programs were perfect, but they did complement one another, allowing me to streamline my travel decisions.

Overall, Mindtrip — with its polished, dynamic interface that allowed me to cross-check details with maps, links and reviews — was my favorite. While it gave some good recommendations, Mindtrip needed more prompting than Vacay, which offered a wider variety of suggestions in more detail. Unfortunately, Vacay doesn’t save chat history, which I discovered halfway into my planning after closing the website’s tab on my browser.

The biggest drawback was the absence of phone apps for Mindtrip and Vacay, which led me to rely on ChatGPT’s basic A.I. assistant when I needed on-the-spot guidance. Mindtrip, I’ve since learned, is planning to debut an app in September.

Still, there were times when I desperately craved the human touch. Before setting out on a trip, I always contact friends and colleagues for recommendations. This time, as part of the A.I. experiment, I refrained from reaching out to a Norwegian friend until after my trip, only to find out that we had both been in Oslo at the same time.

That’s one element of travel that I doubt A.I. will ever master: serendipity.

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .

Ceylan Yeginsu is a travel reporter for The Times who frequently writes about the cruise industry and Europe, where she is based. More about Ceylan Yeğinsu

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More From Forbes

Your guide to cusco, a peruvian city of historic significance.

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Cusco invites travelers to explore its ancient streets.

At their highest peak of 22,838 feet, the Andes wrap along South America's western side and are among the world's longest and most majestic mountain ranges. The landscape is a medley of terrain that encompasses icy glaciers, powerful volcanoes, lush grassland, arid desert, scenic lakes and dense forest. The mountains shelter historic pre-Columbian archaeological sites and wildlife including chinchillas and condors. From Venezuela in the north, the range passes through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile.

In the center of the Andes lies Cusco, a Peruvian city where ancient history intertwines with vibrant modern culture. Once the capital of the famed Inca Empire, Cusco invites travelers to explore its ancient streets, eclectic markets and fabled ruins. From the lively main square of Plaza de Armas to the ancient Incan temple of Qorikancha, Cusco promises an unforgettable adventure.

This storied place embodies Peruvian heritage with its captivating design.

Whether you’re visiting Cusco for its historical marvels, cultural richness or breathtaking landscapes, Palacio del Inka, A Luxury Collection Hotel , provides an exquisite stay. Housed in a 500-year-old mansion originally built for the conqueror and first governor of Peru, Palacio del Inka offers travelers a rare opportunity to stay at a property that is a living piece of history. With classic stone archways, vast courtyards and ornate decor including original colonial artifacts, this storied place embodies Peruvian heritage with its captivating design. Situated just steps away from Cusco’s main attractions, including the storied Koricancha Temple and the Plaza de Armas, the hotel is an ideal base for exploring the wondrous city.

The buffet features fresh breads and local delicacies.

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Ranked: the 30 most walkable cities in the world, according to a new report, aew forbidden door 2024 results, winners and grades as swerve retains.

Breakfast at Palacio del Inka

Fuel up for the big day with a delicious breakfast spread at Palacio del Inka. Served daily and accompanied by a live harp player, the buffet features a variety of fresh breads and local delicacies, such as elderberry jam, Creole salad and cooked ham.

Admire the treasures before leaving the hotel.

A Stroll Through Palacio del Inka’s Art Museum

Palacio del Inka doubles as an art gallery as home to 195 pieces of artwork from the pre-Inca, Inca, colonial and republican period, of which 60 are original paintings. Take a stroll through the halls and admire the treasures before leaving the hotel. Explore the Historic Center with a walk to Plaza de Armas, the heart of the city, which offers beautiful architecture and a glimpse into Cusco’s past. Each June travelers can take part in the ancient Inca celebration, Inti Raymi, meaning "Festival of the Sun" in Quechua. Celebrations begin at Plaza de Armas with a lively and colorful procession, allowing spectators to witness various traditional performances and rituals along the route. Head to Qorikancha, (Temple of the Sun), a short walk from the Plaza de Armas. This Inca temple was once the richest in the empire, and its foundations now support the Santo Domingo Convent. The site offers a fascinating mix of Inca and Spanish architecture.

The bustling San Pedro Market features numerous souvenirs.

San Pedro Market Stroll

Stroll through the bustling San Pedro Market and grab some souvenirs. San Pedro Market is not just a place to shop but an experience that offers a glimpse into the rich culinary and cultural heritage of the Andes. Head back to Palacio del Inka and make sure to say hello to the little alpaca that resides in the Cuatro Bustos patio.

The spa offers a variety of service treatments and massages.

The Andes Spirit Spa at Palacio del Inka

The perfect place to unwind after a long day spent adventuring, Palacio del Inka’s onsite Andes Spirit Spa offers a therapeutic indoor pool and a wide range of service treatments and massages inspired by ancient Peruvian culture.

Each course enhances the romantic atmosphere.

Dinner at Inti Raymi Restaurant

Savor the intriguing local flavors of Peru at the hotel's exquisite onsite restaurant, Inti Raymi . As a tribute to the regional produce and fusion of cultures, Inti Raymi’s iconic chef has put together an ancient gourmet experience with a sumptuous five-course menu, offering delectable cuisine with a real touch of Novo-Andean flavors. From appetizers to desserts, each course is thoughtfully selected to enhance the romantic atmosphere and leave a lasting impression.

A talented mixologist works at his craft.

Pisco Masterclass at Palacio del Inka

End the day with a night cap and learn how to prepare the perfect Pisco Sour (Peru’s national drink) at a masterclass guided by the professionals at Palacio del Inka’s Rumi Bar.

Roger Sands

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travel guide of palma


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