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

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Palma de Mallorca

Palma is a stunner. Rising in honey-coloured stone from the broad waters of the Badia de Palma, this enduring city dates back to the 13th-century Christian reconquest of the island, and to the Moors, Romans and Talayotic people before that. A richly studded diadem of historical sites, Palma also shelters a seemingly endless array of galleries, restaurants, craft studios and bars – it's without doubt Mallorca's greatest treasure. Wander in any direction from the awe-inspiring Gothic Catedral at its geographic and historical heart and you'll find bent medieval streets lined with aristocratic townhouses, looming baroque churches, teeming public squares, vibrant bohemian neighbourhoods and markets overflowing with all the bounty of the island. You could spend weeks in this city alone, and still uncover fresh joys every day.

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Must-see attractions for your itinerary.

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

Palau de l'Almudaina

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

Spain, Balearic Islands, Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca, La Seu Cathedral in the evening light

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…

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,…

Spain, Balearic Islands, Palma de Mallorca, View of walls of Es Baluard

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…

Castle, Castell de Bellver, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Castell de Bellver

Straddling a wooded hillside, the Castell de Bellver is a 14th-century circular castle (with a unique round tower), the only one of its kind in Spain…

Basílica de Sant Francesc

Basílica de Sant Francesc

One of Palma’s oldest churches, the Franciscan Basílica de Sant Francesc was begun in 1281 in Gothic style, while the baroque facade, with its carved…

Can Balaguer

Can Balaguer

One of Palma's most emblematic buildings, the permanent exhibition, entitled La Casa Posible, re-creates rooms of this former noble house from 1600–1951…

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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.

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

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

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.

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 .

  • zaranda instagram
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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

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.

  • maui instagram

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.

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 .

La Basílica de San Miguel

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

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 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, 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

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.

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 de 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.

Unlike the other streets on this list, Blanquerna is not located in the Old Town. Rather, it extends from Avenidas in the south to Plaza 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.

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

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

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

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 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

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.


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 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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The Ultimate City Guide to 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. Welcome to Palma de Mallorca, one of the best island city destinations in Europe and well worth a visit.

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, exploding with an exciting food scene and lots to love.

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

What to know before traveling 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.

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.

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.

Where to Eat in Palma de Mallorca

Mercat de l’olivar.

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

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.

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

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

I highly recommend getting a table at La Rosa Vermutería — every dish is wonderful from boquerones in vinegar to their famous Spanish omelet.

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

Mistral Coffee House

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.

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.

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

La Molienda Bisbe

La Molienda Bisbe is good spot to pop in for breakfast and a solid coffee.

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

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!

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

Things to Do in Palma de Mallorca

Shop local in palma.

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 the City

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.

See the Palma Cathedral

The grand dame of the city is the Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral . It houses a 44-meter-tall nave, making it the second-highest nave of all Gothic cathedrals in the world. 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 or Arab Baths.

Stroll Through Via Verí for Good Design

If you’re looking for interior design shops and a quite cute street to stroll, come here.

Visit Fundació Miró Mallorca

Just on the outskirts of the city (taxi needed) is Miró’s workshop where we painted and sculpted. While part of the building is still under construction, if you have time, it’s worth a visit.

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 trust 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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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 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 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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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


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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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

Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca: A Local’s Perspective

luxurious hotels Palma

Palma de Mallorca is the capital city of the island of Mallorca, which is one of the Balearic Islands in Spain. It is a vibrant and historic city that attracts visitors from all over the world. After living on the island for years, some of which are in Palma. I was thinking it was high time I share my city guide to Palma with you. Palma is known for its stunning Gothic architecture, picturesque narrow streets, delicious food, and beautiful beaches .

City guide Palma

History and culture of palma.

  • Best time to visit Palma de Mallorca
  • How to get to Palma de Mallorca

Getting around Palma

Where to eat in palma, best bars and nightlife in palma.

  • Shopping in Palma

Where to stay in Palma

  • Day trips from Palma

Palma de Mallorca has a rich history that dates back to the Roman Empire. The city has been occupied by various groups over the centuries, including the Moors, who left a lasting influence on the culture and architecture of the city. Palma is also known for its art and culture, with several museums and galleries that showcase local artists and artifacts.

» Fancy a deep dive into Mallorcan culinary delights? Don’t miss the flavorsome world of Mallorcan Cuisine & Wine Pairing .

city guide Palma

Best time to visit Palma

The best time to visit Mallorca is between May and September when the weather is warm and sunny. However, the city can be crowded during this time, and prices may be higher. If you’re looking for a quieter and more affordable trip, consider visiting during the offseason between October and April. Read more about why Spain is fantastic to visit in autumn .

How to get to Palma

The easiest way to get to Palma de Mallorca is by flying into the Palma de Mallorca Airport, which is located just a few kilometers from the city center. The airport serves several international destinations, and there are several airlines that offer direct flights to Palma. If you’re traveling from other parts of Spain , you can also take a ferry to Palma from several cities, including Barcelona and Valencia.

Palma de Mallorca is a relatively small city that is easy to explore on foot. However, if you want to explore the outskirts of the city or nearby towns, you can rent a car or take public transportation. The city also has a bike-sharing system called BiciPalma, which is a great way to explore the city’s many bike paths and waterfront areas.

» This is also a great budget option! Curious to know more budget tips in Palma ?

city guide Palma

Top things to do | city guide Palma

There are many things to see and do in Palma de Mallorca. Some of the top attractions include the stunning Gothic Cathedral, which is one of the largest cathedrals in Europe. Another must-see is the historic Almudaina Palace, which was built by the Moors and later became a royal residence. Other popular sights include the picturesque Old Town, the beautiful Bellver Castle, and the lively Passeig des Born.

Palma de Mallorca is known for its delicious food, with a wide range of restaurants that cater to every taste and budget. Some popular local dishes include paella , seafood, and sobrasada, which is a type of cured sausage. Some top restaurants to try in Palma include Forn de Sant Joan, which serves traditional Spanish dishes, and Can Eduardo, which is known for its seafood.

♥ Are you also a fan of paella? I’ve selected the  10 best unknown places  on the island!

Best steak restaurants Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca has a lively nightlife scene , with plenty of bars and clubs that stay open late. Some popular spots to check out include Abaco , a stunning bar with beautiful gardens and elaborate decorations, and Tito’s, a popular nightclub with several different dance floors. Ascend to the top and experience nightlife from the best rooftop bars . Or for a more local experience, find out the best bars in Palma . Curious on where the best places to go and what areas you need to be in in Palma? We’ve made a guide with the best areas about Santa Catalina, Paseo Maritimo and La Lonja.

» Still in need of a hotel? We’ve made a list of the  5 most romantic  on the island

best rooftop bars in Mallorca

Shopping in Palma | city guide Palma

Palma de Mallorca offers an excellent shopping experience, from designer stores to independent boutiques. For designer shopping, head to Passeig des Born and Jaime III, where you will find luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Cartier, and Mulberry. For independent boutiques, head to the narrow streets of the old town, where you will find unique fashion, jewelry, and accessory stores. The famous El Corte Inglés department store can be found in Avinguda Alexandre Rosselló, and it is a one-stop-shop for fashion, cosmetics, and homeware. For local products, head to the markets of Plaça Major and Mercat de l’Olivar, where you can find fresh produce, local delicacies, and souvenirs. In between the traditional boutiques, find sustainable options and make your travel eco-friendly with these sustainable shopping choices .

♥ Want to go to a rooftop after? We’ve made a  list  with the 10 best rooftops in Palma

city guide Palma

Palma de Mallorca has a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. For luxury stays , you can choose from several five-star hotels like the Castillo Hotel Son Vida, Hotel Sant Francesc, and Can Bordoy Grand House & Garden. Mid-range options include boutique hotels like Hotel Cort and Hotel Tres, while budget-friendly options include hostels and guesthouses like Hostal Pons and Hostal Apuntadores. For a unique experience, you can also consider staying in a traditional Spanish manor house known as a “posada” like the Posada Terra Santa. Curious about more eco-friendly options ? Our guide to eco-friendly hotels in Mallorca is a must-read.

♥ Want to know more of my life on the island? Make sure to follow me on  Instagram

best finca hotels in mallorca

Day trips from Palma | city guide Palma

Palma de Mallorca is a great base for exploring the island’s beautiful beaches and charming villages. The picturesque town of Valldemossa is just a short drive away and is famous for its beautiful architecture and stunning mountain views. The coastal town of Sóller is also easily accessible from Palma, and you can take a scenic train ride from the city to the town. Another popular day trip is to the stunning beaches of Es Trenc and Sa Calobra , which are located in the southeast of the island.

For a meticulously curated list of destinations, from the rugged beauty of the Tramuntana mountains to the tranquil waters of Cala Tuent , head over to our detailed guide on The Best Day Trips from Palma .

» Also a sunrise lover? Discover where you can see the  best sunrise  in Mallorca !

beautiful villages of Mallorca


There’s so much to see and do in Palma de Mallorca, and this guide only scratches the surface. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, art, or simply soaking up the Mediterranean sun, Palma has something for everyone. Palma de Mallorca is a vibrant and exciting city that has something to offer everyone . From its rich history and culture to its beautiful beaches , excellent cuisine, and exciting nightlife , there is always something to discover. We hope this travel guide has given you a good idea of what to expect from this beautiful city and has helped you plan your trip. For a comprehensive guide on Mallorca ‘s offerings, check out the Ultimate Mallorca Guide .

Want to know more about Mallorca ? Read our most popular guides here:

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How to spend the perfect weekend in Palma

A 48-hour insider guide to Palma, from the atmospheric old town to its vibrant food and shopping scene

Palma - how to spend a weekend in Palma

With a dramatic and turbulent history harking back to the Bronze Age, Palma has had its fair share of invasions – from the Romans and Vandals to the Moors and Christians. So it’s hardly surprising that this perky, perfectly formed city has such a welcoming and grown-up attitude to international visitors.

With the glistening Mediterranean Sea at its feet, this effortlessly accessible capital offers a delicious melting pot of cultures and historic influences. Whether in the cobbled streets of the atmospheric old town, or in the heart of the grand plaças, impressive monuments, museums, galleries and churches of Gothic splendour abound. Edgy districts happily rub shoulders with more traditional and exclusive neighbourhoods, while a vibrant food and shopping scene weaves its magic across the city. So much to do, so little time? Head for a seafront café, breathe the air, relax and enjoy that first sip of ruby red Majorcan wine.

For further inspiration, view our guides to the city's best hotels , restaurants , nightlife and things to do .

In this guide

How to spend your weekend, insider tips.

When should I visit Palma?

Where to stay in Palma

What to bring home

Essential information: what to know before you go?

Start the day at gothic landmark La Seu cathedral , which looms above the city walls, and admire the shimmering Parc de Mar Lake below. Don’t miss the quirky, contemporary  re-design of St Peter’s Chapel by artist Miguel Barceló and the upper terraces and belltower, before heading to neighbouring Almudaina Palace . There’s some exploring to be done at this gothic masterpiece, but on a sticky day, take respite in the King’s Orchard, a smaller version of Granada’s Generalife water garden.

Now stroll up the leafy Borne, once a river in the 17th century, popping by visual arts centre, Casal Solleric , to admire its authentic courtyard, along the way. Turn right onto Carrer de la Unió towards Plaça de Weyler. Here, feast your eyes on The Gran Hotel, a modernist masterpiece created by acclaimed Catalan architect, Lluis Domènech i Montaner, in 1903. Refurbished by La Caixa Forum, it is now a vibrant arts and cultural centre. Return to Jaime III and take a right turn onto Carrer de la Concepció for Fera restaurant where you can enjoy a glass of delicious wine and choice of exceptional Mediterranean-Asian tasting menus by renowned chef, Simon Petutschnig. For more suggestions of where to eat in Palma, see our guide .

Almudaina Palace, Palma

Walk off lunch along Jaime III, home of the famed El Corte Inglés department store  and various chic boutiques. From there, cross over to trendy Sant Nicolas, a labyrinth of stylish shops, before continuing to Plaça Santa Eulàlia in the Calatrava historic quarter, with its medieval cobbled streets, exquisite patios, bijoux palaces and renaissance architecture.

Bear left on the far side of Santa Eulàlia Church and take time out at Ca’n Joan de S’Aigo , Palma’s oldest and most cherished café, for a rich hot chocolate and snail-shaped ensaïmada pastry or handmade almond ice-cream. On your departure, pass the magnificent Plaça Sant Francesc, church and cloisters (pop in if the fancy takes you), and cut through the lean streets to quaint Santa Clara Convent , where you’ll need to ring a bell to buy the sisters’ delicious lemon biscuits.

Ca’n Joan de S’Aigo, Palma

Aim for Santa Catalina, a five-minute taxi journey from the centre, or walk through La Lonja old town area towards Santa Catalina, just 15 minutes away on foot. If you're on a budget, stop here at Café Sa Lonja  for good-value tapas on the terrace. Otherwise, head on and enjoy dinner at svelte and urban Vandal , where an Argentinian chef and sommelier duo conjure up a world menu of bold and inventive dishes, expertly matched with local and international wines.

After dinner, take a fun two-minute stroll through this buzzing enclave with its village feel, lively bars, stores and cafés, and enjoy a welcome cocktail or hierbes local liqueur at rooftop  Sky Bar at Hotel Hostal Cuba . Here you can enjoy mesmerising views over the Bay of Palma on the lovely rooftop terrace, while enjoying a relaxing and welcoming ambience.

The city’s bustling Olivar market  is a wonder to behold and it’s a pleasure to browse the halls of seafood, fruit and vegetables and observe locals bargaining with stallholders.

From here, stroll up to majestic Plaça Mayor, surprisingly, for 300 years the seat of the Spanish inquisition, and head for Plaça de Cort with its 600-year-old olive tree and medieval town hall. Stop here for a coffee or fresh orange juice, perhaps at Café Cappuccino before weaving through the pedestrian cut-throughs to El Borne.

Cross over to Calle Sant Feliu and head for Es Baluard museum to view its eclectic collection of neoclassical, abstract and modernist art. Have a snack lunch in the al fresco café on the rear patio surrounded by modern sculptures, and enjoy the spectacular views over the city walls to Palma bay. For more recommendations of things to do in the city, see our separate guide .

palma bay

Jump in a taxi and drive a few kilometres from the city centre to Bellver Castle , which sits aloft a peaceful wooded hill overlooking the Bay of Palma. Dating from the 14th century, it is the only circular castle in Spain and one of few in Europe. Allow for an hour’s visit, as there is a courtyard, museum and historic kitchen worth seeing, and then hop in a taxi and set off for the Joan Miró Foundation  in Cala Major, just a five-minute drive away.

Here you'll find a vast display of the prolific artist’s works, including paintings, sculptures and ceramics.  Meanwhile, the artist’s re-imagined studio and home give an authentic feel to the estate. Enjoy a coffee in the grounds after exploring the fragrant gardens.

Joan Miró studio, Palma

Head to Calle Sant Feliu for dinner at  De Tokio a Lima  on the spectacular, candlelit roof terrace of Boutique Hotel Can Alomar . Offering a fusion of Peruvian, Japanese and Mediterranean gastronomy, this stylish eatery sets a mellow and relaxing tone, and staff members extend a warm welcome to customers.  A good selection of wines and tapas sharing plates are offered so there's no need to break the bank. The location is particularly special with sweeping views of El Borne and the giant plane trees flanking it, as well as the city’s lights.

For a postprandial treat, pop along the same street to enduring local favourite, Café Atlantico , for chilled music and innovative cocktails such as the Smoky Storm, a heady blend of rum, cinnamon and chocolate. For more suggestions of where to drink in the city, see our bar guide . 

A good way to avoid the crowds is to arrive at a historic sight such as Bellver Castle during the lunchtime and siesta period (normally sometime between 1pm and 4pm), or shortly before the attraction closes – and where available, book tickets in advance. The advantage is that you face fewer queues and crowds and have more breathing space to admire the exhibits on show. Just remember to pack a water bottle and your shades.

Surf the Palma bus routes and avoid the capital’s stressful traffic and parking problems with an easy to use prepaid card that costs €15 (£12.90) for 10 rides. You can buy the card at the central bus station off Plaça Espanya or from many newspaper kiosks across the city.

Neighbourhood watch

Don’t miss sea-facing Santa Catalina, the chilled district that was once home to fishermen weaving their nets. Aside from possessing the oldest market in Palma, built in 1920, and Teatre Municipal Mar i Terra, an innovative theatre, it’s a magnet for eclectic international restaurants, businesses and designer boutiques. Drop into La Madeleine de Proust for pastries and coffee.

Can Bordoy Grand House & Garden  has the largest private garden in Palma, perfect for coffee, lunch or dinner. One can sit here and listen to birdsong with a cunningly brewed coffee while tucking into a pastry from Forn de la Gloria, the oldest bakery in Palma that happily supplies the hotel with its goodies.

Can Bordoy, Palma

Did you know?

During the 17th century a dragon nicknamed Drac de na Coca allegedly gobbled up Palma’s citizens by night until Captain Coch, governor of Alcudia at the time, happened upon it and killed the beast. In reality it was an escaped Nile crocodile from a ship in the port and had survived in the labyrinthal sewers. It was later embalmed and is exhibited in the Diocesan museum today.

Palma is temperate most of the year, even in the colder months when the temperature can drop in other parts of the island. As an all-year-round destination, most of the hotels stay open, unlike those in the beach resorts. Off-season, particularly from January to April, and mid October to December, there are hotel bargains to be had. Special city fiestas include the Three Kings parade on January 5, Easter processions, Sant Juan fire fiesta in June and Nit de Art, night of art, in September.

Where to stay

Luxury living.

Sant Francesc Hotel Singular is a skilfully renovated, 19th-century mansion and boutique five-star situated in the capital's atmospheric historic quarter. Designed by well-known architect and designer, Maria José Cabré, the hotel has a warm, relaxing and pleasant ambience. There are 42 elegant and individually styled rooms; a number have balconies and verandas, and dreamy views over Sant Francesc square or the hotel's garden.

Sant Francesc Hotel Singular, Palma

Boutique beauty

With its stylish white façade, deep blue shutters and jaunty, nautical theme, Hotel Portixol has the feel of a beautifully designed yacht. It occupies an exclusive position in the gentrified harbour, directly overlooking the sea, and inside has a relaxed Scandinavian feel. There are 25 comfortable rooms comprising port and sea view doubles and two large suites, one of which, Atico, occupies the top floor and has its own lift and roof terrace.

Budget bolthole

The four-star Brondo Architect boutique hotel is a good-value and comfortable urban getaway right in the heart of Palma. It comprises three buildings in the same street and marries 17th-century Majorcan architecture with modern industrial design (no mean feat). The pièce de résistance on the first floor is the lovely bright dining-room-cum-bar and tranquil, leafy, wood-decked courtyard. See  our complete guide to the best hotels in Palma . 

Brondo Architect, Palma

The two emblematic food heroes visible in Palma, and island-wide, are sobrassada , a cured pork sausage made with paprika and sometimes, honey, and ensaïmada snail-shaped pastries that come in different sizes and are beautifully boxed for visitors. Other hot buys in Palma include Gordiola handmade glassware , traditional avarca leather sandals and siurell clay figure whistles .

Know before you go

Essential information.

  • Tourist board: 00 34 971 17 39 90;
  • Emergency fire and ambulance: 112
  • Emergency police: 092
  • British Consulate: Carrer dels Caputxins, 4, Palma. 0034 933 66 62 00;
  • Flight time: (from UK) Two hours
  • Currency: Euros €
  • Internationals dialling code: 00 34
  • Time difference: GMT + 1

Local laws and etiquette

  • Anti-social behaviour, such as drinking in public, and wearing inappropriate attire, such as beachwear, is unacceptable in Palma city and local police can issue heavy on-the-spot fines. Drunken and aggressive behaviour is not tolerated in local beach resorts either, and fines may be issued.
  • Although Majorcans speak Castilian Spanish, they are proud of their own language, Mallorquin, a dialect of Catalan. Road signs and public notices will often be written in the local language.
  • An excellent bus network serves Palma ( ) and there is also island-wide transport, including metro, train and bus, which run from Plaça de Espanya ( ). Taxis charge an initial €4.20 (£3.60) and the cost per km is approximately €2.50 (£2.15) (00 34 971 40 14 14). Bike hire is popular in Palma with many cycle lanes ( ).
  • Tipping is at a client’s discretion but 10 per cent is considered acceptable.
  • Mainly due to the warm weather, Majorcans tend to dine later so 2pm at lunchtime, and in the evening, the majority of locals won’t arrive at restaurants before 9pm and often later.
  • Normally Majorcans – male and female – will shake hands at a first meeting but some might offer women kisses on both cheeks. Men often hug male friends in public.

Anna Nicholas is Telegraph’s Palma expert. Since settling on the island 23 years ago, she has written ten Majorca titles, offering a brilliant excuse to explore the city and island. You’ll find her sipping espressos in a café on El Borne.

The best hotels in Palma De Mallorca

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Palacio can Marques

9 Telegraph expert rating

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El Llorenç Parc de la Mar

travel guide of palma

Can Bordoy Grand House & Garden

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Anna Nicholas | 30 October 2020

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 

Palma is great for exploring by bike (Danuez911)

Palma is great for exploring by bike (Danuez911)

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.

If you only do three things in Palma...

La Seu Cathedral (Ernest Llofriu Palou)

La Seu Cathedral (Ernest Llofriu Palou)

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.

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.

Es Baluard Museum (Shutterstock)

Es Baluard Museum (Shutterstock)

Walk the narrow streets of Calatrava (Shutterstock)

Walk the narrow streets of Calatrava (Shutterstock)

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.

Where to stay in Palma

Hotel Can Alexandre

Hotel Can Alexandre

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. 

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

Where to eat in Palma (JuanIglesias)

Where to eat in Palma (JuanIglesias)

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

La Seu Cathedral (Shutterstock)

La Seu Cathedral (Shutterstock)

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. 

The castle of Bellver (Julio de Castro Sánchez)

The castle of Bellver (Julio de Castro Sánchez)

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 . 

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Visit Palma de Mallorca: Top 23 Things To Do and Must-See Attractions

Things to do in palma de mallorca: the 23 best places to visit.

You’re planning to visit Palma de Mallorca during your next trip? You’re looking for the best things to do in Palma de Mallorca?

You’re at the right place!

In order to help you plan your stay , I have prepared for you this guide of the 23 best places to visit in Palma de Mallorca , with all points of interest and must-see attractions.

In addition to this list of things to do and activities, I will also give you itineraries to visit Palma de Mallorca in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 days or even a week as well as my selection of the best accommodations depending on your budget.

And as always, this travel guide contains all my best tips to make the most of your stay.

So, what to do in Palma de Mallorca? Where to stay?

Let’s start with the best places to visit!

1. Palma de Mallorca Cathedral – La Seu

2. royal palace of la almudaina, 3. parc de la mar, 4. the mercat de l’olivar, 5. best boat excursions in palma de mallorca, 6. the plaça mayor, 7. shopping in palma de mallorca, 8. the palau march – bartolomé march foundation, 9. the arab baths (banys arabs), 10. must-visit museums in palma de mallorca, 11. basilica de sant francesc, 12. other plazas to discover in palma, 13. bellver castle – castell de bellver, 14. fundació pilar i joan miró, 15. palma de mallorca aquarium, 16. more activities in palma de mallorca, 17. beaches near palma de mallorca, 18. soller train – tren de sóller, 19. the serra de tramontana, 20. day trips around palma, visiting palma de mallorca with kids, how many days to visit palma de mallorca, visit palma de mallorca in 1 day – walking itinerary, visiting palma de mallorca in 2 days, visiting palma de mallorca in 3 days, visiting palma de mallorca in 4, 5 days or a week, where to stay in palma de mallorca, where to eat in palma de mallorca, rent a boat in mallorca, tourist map of palma de mallorca, you’re traveling to mallorca these articles will help you , visiting palma de mallorca: 23 must-see attractions.

Let’s start this top 20 of the must-see places to visit in Palma de Mallorca with its iconic monument: the Palma Cathedral .

Also called “La Seu” in Spanish, it’s the main tourist attraction of Palma de Mallorca . And it’s easy to see why when you know that it is the largest religious building in Spain , just after the famous Seville Cathedral in Andalusia .

Its construction began in 1300 and was completed three centuries later, in 1601. Damaged by an earthquake in the 19th century and later restored, the result is an impressive facade blending the original Renaissance style with neo-Gothic elements .

Inside the cathedral , you can discover:

  • A small museum housing a relic believed to contain thorns from Christ’s crown
  • Magnificent stained glass windows , including the world’s largest Gothic rose window, the Oculus Maior, made up of 1,115 panes
  • The baldachin designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudí , notably known for designing and starting the construction of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
  • The 18th-century grand organ
  • The ceramic fresco by Mallorcan artist Miquel Barcelo, located in the Chapel of San Pedro.

The cathedral is open every day except Sunday .

If you plan to explore Palma Cathedral , the island’s most popular tourist attraction, you should purchase your skip-the-line ticket ahead of time to save time and avoid the queues.

And since it’s the same price as tickets sold on-site , it’s definitely worth it! You simply need to present your ticket directly on your phone at the reserved entrance.

Book your ticket with priority access to visit Palma Cathedral by clicking the green button below:

Palma de Mallorca Cathedral interior

The other must-see visit in Palma de Mallorca is the Royal Palace of La Almudaina . Located right next to the cathedral, you won’t have any difficulty in finding it, especially because it is equally awe-inspiring.

Originally a muslim fortress , the building was converted in the 13th century to serve as the residence of the King of Mallorca . Nowadays, it is only very rarely used by the Spanish royal family for some official ceremonies.

During your visit, you’ll get to explore the Queen’s Room , the Great Hall , the courtyard, the Royal Apartments , and the small chapel of Santa Anna . Although the palace is impeccably maintained , I personally found the interior a bit bare (some rooms are quite empty).

It is open every day except Monday .

As everyone who visits the cathedral then goes to the palace (or vice versa), I also recommend buying your skip-the-line ticket in advance to avoid waiting in line. Just click on the button below:

Please be cautious with your belongings while walking around the Cathedral, Palace, or Parc de la Mar, as these areas are known to be frequented by pickpockets . During our visit, we witnessed two theft attempts within just 15 minutes (one of which we were able to prevent because we noticed the thief approaching).

Watch out for another common scam: a group of 3 or 4 people will surround you, take photos like regular tourists, and suddenly pull out a large city map that blocks your view and disturbs you, supposedly asking for directions. Meanwhile, their accomplices pick your pockets and search your purse/backpack.

Royal Palace of La Almudaina

Another must-see attraction in Palma de Mallorca is the Parc de la Mar .

It’s simply the best place to go for a walk in Palma de Mallorca to enjoy a splendid view of the cathedral and the royal palace . All the photos you see of these two monuments are taken from there.

The park runs along the edge of Palma’s old town and the seafront , and features a stunning artificial lake that adds to its charm.

To visit Palma de Mallorca and benefit from historical explanations about various monuments, you have the option of joining one of the several guided tours available. They all pass through the Parc de la Mar to enjoy the stunning view.

To book the Palma guided tour that interests you, simply click on the orange links:

  • Walking tour of the old town + guided tour of the cathedral – Led by an official English-speaking guide – Duration: 90 minutes
  • Private guided tour of Palma’s old town 
  • Private night guided tour
  • 1-hour guided Segway tour (English-speaking guide) or 2-hour guided Segway tour
  • Bike tour of the old town with a guide , in a small group – Duration: 3 hours

Palma de Mallorca

The Mercat de l’Olivar is the main market to visit in Palma de Mallorca if you want to stock up on great local products . A sign of quality: I noticed that many locals come here to shop.

You’ll find plenty of fruit and vegetable stalls, fish , cured meats , and all kinds of cheeses.

It’s colorful, well-presented, and makes you want to taste everything! I particularly recommend the sobrasada , a spicy pork sausage typical of the Balearic Islands, which you must try during your trip to Palma de Mallorca.

Practical info: the market is open every day from 7 am to 3 pm but closed on Sundays . Go in the morning for more choices.

The Mercat de l'Olivar

If there’s only one activity you absolutely must go for during your stay in Palma de Mallorca , it’s a boat excursion.

Whether you choose a catamaran, sailboat, or speedboat , with swimming stops or without, lunch included or not, there’s no shortage of options for having an amazing day at sea . To help you make a decision, I’ve selected the best boat excursions in Palma .

And I’ll start with my favorite: a cruise on a beautiful modern catamaran with buffet included .

Pick either the morning trip with a swimming stop at Cala Vella or the late afternoon trip (featuring a swimming stop too) that comes with a DJ on board and lets you take in the sunset over Palma Bay .

This sea trip is also GetYourGuide Originals certified , which means that the services are really top-notch : friendly crew, delicious and plentiful buffet, enough space for everyone.

Book this catamaran cruise in Palma by clicking on the green button right here:

Here are other boat trips from Palma that are also really cool (click on the orange links to book):

  • Wooden sailboat cruise with included barbecue + snorkeling gear, kayaks, and paddleboards provided
  • Boat trip around marine caves and cliffs + 2 stops to swim in secluded coves – Duration: 3 hours
  • 2-hour boat tour in Palma Bay + swimming stop in crystal-clear turquoise water
  • 1-hour boat trip in Palma Marina to admire the view of the Cathedral and Bellver Castle
  • Adrenaline-packed speedboat excursion for a thrilling experience – Duration: 1 hour

If you’re looking for an unforgettable night in Palma de Mallorca, let me recommend boat parties complete with drinks, meals, and DJ ! Perfect for young adventure-seekers eager to let loose and connect with new friends:

  • Morning or afternoon boat parties
  • 2h30 boat party at sunset
  • Boat party at night – Departure from Palma at 22h

Catamaran Mallorca

The Plaça Mayor is an absolute must-visit spot in Palma de Mallorca.

Located in the heart of the old town, this large rectangular plaza steeped in history and tradition is full of outdoor cafes and restaurants . A quintessentially Spanish part of Palma that captures the essence of this vibrant country. It is reminiscent of Madrid ‘s Plaza Mayor , with its charming arcades topped by yellow houses with green shutters. While it may not be as grandiose as its Madrid counterpart, the Plaça Mayor is still a lovely sight to behold.

The Plaça Mayor also houses an underground shopping center.

You’ll definitely pass through this square at least once during your visit to Palma. And if by some weird chance you didn’t, do so.

You’re going to Palma?

You probably know it: the hardest part of planning your trip is to find an hotel offering a good value for money!

The closer you get to your travel dates, the harder it will be to get a good deal. Lots of people will be visiting Palma on the same dates as you , so you can be sure that the best deals are booked extremely quickly!

Hopefully, there is a pretty simple solution to this problem: do like me and book your hotel as early as possible!

So, my best advice is to take 5 minutes (now) to have a look at the list of travelers’ favorite hotels in Palma.

And if you see a good offer, book it!

Most hotels offer free cancellation, so it’s quick, easy, and you will avoid the the inconvenience of finding nothing but mediocre rooms at exorbitant prices.

To check the current best deals for your hotel in Palma, simply click on the green button below 😎:

Once you’ve booked your hotel, it will be time to continue reading this guide and find out more about the best things to do in Palma!

The Plaça Mayor in Palma de Mallorca

Where to go in Palma de Mallorca for a bit of shopping?

It’s in the narrow streets surrounding the Plaça Mayor that you’ll find numerous small shops and classic major brands such as Sephora, Stradivarius, Foot Locker…

Make sure you don’t miss the chance to explore some of the charming streets in Palma de Mallorca, such as Carrer de Sant Miquel , Carrer del Sindicat , and Carrer del Colom .

You can also splurge in the Passeig del Born , a shaded pedestrian avenue lined with beautiful typical buildings housing some luxury shops on the ground floor. H&M and Zara are also located at the end of the avenue.

You’ll also find El Corte Inglés shopping centers near the Passeig del Born, on Avenida de Jaume III , towards Plaza Espana .

Shopping - Palma de Mallorca

Continuing with this Palma de Mallorca guide , let’s visit the Palau March located next to the cathedral and the Royal Palace of La Almudaina.

This one-time residence of one of Mallorca’s wealthiest families now showcases an array of sculptures , featuring works by Rodin, art pieces by Salvador Dali , a collection of 14th and 15th-century maps , and an 18th-century nativity scene with over 1000 figurines .

The museum is closed on Sundays.

The Palma de Mallorca tourist office is a 2-minute walk from the Palau March, on Plaça de la Reina

Be sure to swing by and pick up a map of Palma along with a sheet listing the hours and days when various sites and museums are open during your visit to Palma.

The Palau March - Mallorca

Another must-see in Palma de Mallorca is the Arab Baths or “banys arabs” in Spanish.

Originating from the 11th century , the Arab Baths now stand as one of the scarce remnants of the Muslim occupation on the island of Mallorca.

I should let you know that the tour is rather brief , but considering the entrance fee is just €3 , it’s not much of an issue. You’ll primarily encounter a beautifully preserved room featuring a dome held up by arches and columns. The place is quite photogenic .

You’ll also get to learn about the functioning of the Arab baths through a brief video presentation and informative panels in English, which explain the process of heating and distributing water throughout the rooms.

For a more modern take on Arab baths , I recommend heading to Hammam Al Andalus . You can enjoy baths, hammam and even a massage for the duration of your choice.

To book this relaxing experience during your visit to Palma de Mallorca, click here:

Arab baths - A must-see in Palma

Here’s a list of museums to check out in Palma de Mallorca :

  • The Juan March Foundation Museum exhibits a superb collection of 20th-century Spanish art. No need to pay a dime for the entrance, and the museum is nestled within a gorgeous 17th-century building.
  • The Museum of Mallorca to discover the island’s history through a collection of objects from prehistory to the 19th century
  • The Diocese Museum of Mallorca focuses on religious art
  • Es Baluard , Palma’s modern and contemporary art museum, features works by international and local artists such as Miro and Picasso
  • Pelaires contemporary cultural center with contemporary art exhibitions, located in the art galleries district.

Juan March Foundation - Museums in Palma de Mallorca

The St. Francis Basilica or Basilica de Sant Francesc is another popular tourist attraction in Palma .

Dating back to 1281 , the basilica stands as one of Palma’s most ancient treasures. It’s a beautiful church with lovely stained-glass windows and an impressive organ , but it also has 2 unique features :

  • A stunning multi-level Gothic cloister with elegant columns
  • The chapel housing the tomb of Ramon Llull , a very famous writer, philosopher, and poet born in Palma. He is considered the initiator of Catalan literature.

The basilica is closed on Sundays.

In addition, there are more churches worth exploring in Palma de Mallorca :

  • Santa Eulalia Church , Palma’s oldest church. You can climb to the top of the bell tower, 50 meters high, for a great view of Palma and the cathedral.
  • The church of Monti-Sion , or Església de Monti Sion, worth seeing for its facade.
  • The Church of Sant Miquel
  • The Church of Sant Jaume
  • The Church of Santa Magdalena.

St. Francis Basilica - Churches in Palma

If you’re wondering what else to visit in Palma de Mallorca , you can stroll around the city’s various squares .

In addition to Plaça Mayor, which I already mentioned, you’ll likely come across:

  • Plaça de Cort , dominated by the Ajuntament (City Hall in English). Definitely don’t miss: the iconic olive tree, more than 800 years old , standing as the square’s symbol.
  • Plaza de Santa Eulalia , where you’ll find the charming Santa Eulalia Church
  • Plaza de España , marking the junction between the old town and modern Palma. Boasting numerous restaurants, it’s also the central hub for public transportation, with buses, trains, and the metro arriving and departing from this lively square.

If you’ve decided to rent a car for a Mallorca road trip before your walking tour of Palma , I recommend parking in the underground car park at Plaça d’Espanya .

Plaça de Cort - Ajuntament de Palma

In the list of places to see in Palma de Mallorca , I suggest you head to Bellver Castle .

Located on the hills to the west of the city , it’s reachable by car (free parking), by bus (though the bus drops you off at the bottom of the hill, so you’ll have to walk up for about 15 minutes) or the Hop-On Hop-Off bus that stops at several points of interest in Palma, including the castle.

To book your ticket for the Palma Hop-On Hop-Off bus , you can click the button below:

Bellver Castle features very unusual architecture, unique in Spain, as it is round in shape . Built in the 14th century , what was originally supposed to be a royal residence was actually used as a prison .

Nowadays, the castle houses a fascinating museum that tells the entire history of Palma de Mallorca in detail.

You can also access the ramparts to enjoy the panoramic view of the city and the bay. Practical info : the castle is open every day, and admission is free on Sundays.

Bellver Castle

Continuing our cultural sightseeing in Palma de Mallorca, let’s visit the Pilar & Joan Miro foundation .

Just like the castle, the foundation is located a few kilometers west of the old town, in the seaside resort of Cala Major .

The museum is housed in the very buildings where famous painter and sculptor Joan Miro lived and worked . You’ll find numerous paintings and even some of his sculptures displayed in the garden .

You’ll also have the chance to visit his workshop , preserved almost as it was, with some of his unfinished works still there.

The foundation is closed on Mondays.

Tickets are available online by clicking here:

Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró

If you’re visiting Palma de Mallorca with your kids , take them to the aquarium, located east of the city , right next to the airport.

Kids can marvel at rays, sharks, and jellyfish , as well as various fish from the Mediterranean Sea and tropical waters . The visit also features entry to the mediterranean garden and the “Jungle” , an awesome area that recreates the ambience of the Amazon rainforest , complete with a waterfall.

They’ll also be able to watch a short 3D film about whales in the Aqua Dome Cinema.

To avoid waiting in line, you should buy your tickets for Palma Aquarium by clicking on this link here !

From Palma, you can also book a transfer to the aquarium (+ entrance tickets) by clicking here !

Palma Aquarium

If you’re still wondering what activities to enjoy in Palma de Mallorca, I’ve prepared my selection for you right here (click the orange links for details and to book in advance to ensure availability):

  • Off-road quad biking excursion – Definitely my favorite activity on this list! The route is really great, taking you along dirt trails; the guide is fantastic, and you’ll finish with a cliff jump 8 meters above the water (optional).
  • Buggy excursion with an English-speaking instructor . You’ll get to enjoy amazing panoramas, and the guide is very friendly.
  • 2.5-hour sports car excursion in the afternoon or 4.5-hour morning excursion – English-speaking guide.

If you’re up for some water or aquatic activities in Palma de Mallorca , here are some recommendations:

  • A one-hour jet ski tour in the protected Los Deltas area 
  • Jet ski ride in Palma Bay – Duration: 1/2 hour
  • Snorkeling in a nature reserve – All equipment is provided (wetsuit, mask, snorkel, and fins)
  • Introductory scuba diving in a nature reserve – English-speaking instructor and limited to small groups
  • A kayak excursion to visit the local sea caves 
  • Coasteering – A great activity for thrill-seekers, combining rappelling, cliff jumping, and climbing.
  • Marine caving to explore underground lakes
  • Canyoning (activity available only from October to the end of March because there’s no water otherwise)
  • Parasailing in Palma bay
  • A towed buoy session
  • Sunset stand-up paddleboarding – You can also rent a paddleboard or take beginner lessons if you’re a first-timer.

Jet ski

Best things to do around Palma de Mallorca

If you’re spending some time in Palma de Mallorca and have already explored the city, you should visit the surrounding areas next. You’ll find numerous sites, villages, and beaches in close proximity .

To get around, renting a car is a must, as it’s the most convenient way to visit all the different places. If you want to do a road trip in Mallorca, you can compare car rental prices and book on (click here) .

You can also rent scooters for the day . Find all the information by clicking here !

Palma offers the convenience of organized excursions with transportation included . I’ll mention some options below:

Palma being a seaside town, you’ll find several beaches in its surroundings.

The closest ones to Palma aren’t necessarily the prettiest in my opinion, as they are often surrounded by buildings and not wild at all , but if you just want to cool off, they’ll do the trick.

In that case, Can Pere Antoni beach is located just past Parc de la Mar, in the Bay of Palma. To the west of Palma, you also have the beaches of: Cala Major, Illetes, Cala Illetes, and the beaches of Magaluf.

There are also 2 small, cute coves : Cala Cap Falco and Cala des Mago .

To the east of Palma , the closest beach you can find is S’Arenal beach , located past the airport. It’s lined with hotels, bars, and restaurants.

For a truly untamed experience, head to Colonia de Sant Jordi and Ses Salines, where you’ll discover gorgeous white sandy beaches nestled within pine forests, including Es Trenc, Platja Estanys, Dolç Beach, Platja Es Carbo, Platja de Ses Roquetes, and El Caragol .

If you don’t have a car, you can take advantage of a shuttle service from Palma to Es Trenc beach . Click on this link to book it !

El Caragol Beach - Around Palma de Mallorca

The Soller train is a great idea for an excursion to do around Palma de Mallorca .

And it’s not just any train, as this one consists of authentic vintage wooden carriages .

The departure is from Plaza de Espana , where Palma’s train station is located.

Once you’re on board, the train will whisk you away to the charming village of Soller in approximately one hour . As you journey through the picturesque Mallorcan countryside, take in breathtaking views of the Serra de Tramontana mountains .

Once you arrive in Soller, you’ll find the church square surrounded by restaurants and quaint streets with shops . Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the seaside by hopping on the historic tram that travels down to the port of Soller . It’s a great way to take in the stunning coastal scenery .

The train schedule to go to Soller from Palma can be found on the official website .

To make your day even more unforgettable, consider combining the Soller train and streetcar ride with a boat excursion . The sea walk will take you to Sa Calobra and the torrent of Pareis , a rather atypical place that you should absolutely check out.

If you’re interested in this organized tour that offers pick-up service from hotels located in the south of Mallorca, simply click the button below to book your spot :


Let’s keep the ball rolling with the must-see spots near Palma de Mallorca, with a day devoted to a road trip through the Serra de Tramontana.

This breathtaking mountain region spans from Andratx to Pollença in the northwest of the island and has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its many quaint, picturesque villages dotted with traditional stone houses .

By driving along the long, narrow, and winding route that covers 140 km in total, you can stop and see:

  • Banyalbufar
  • Soller (if you haven’t already taken the train to get there)
  • Torrent de Pareis
  • Lluc Monastery.

Since this road trip isn’t feasible by public transport , if you don’t have a car , the best option is to choose an organized tour . The tour includes roundtrip transportation, a traditional lunch, and visits to some of the villages .

You can check the itinerary by clicking on this button:


If you’re in the vicinity of Palma de Mallorca , there are plenty of exciting day trip options to choose from :

  • The Drach Caves to discover the most famous caves on the island .

Not only can you explore the awe-inspiring chambers filled with a multitude of stalactites and stalagmites , but you can also indulge in a unique classical music concert held in an underground lake and cap it off with a boat tour to round out the experience.

This excursion lasts half a day , but you can also choose the full-day option, which includes a visit to the dels Hams caves , the second most famous caves on the island.

In both cases, the price includes round-trip transportation by minibus from your hotel, an English-speaking guide , and entrance tickets to the caves .

To book this organized excursion departing from Palma , click on the button below:

  • In Mallorca’s vineyards

On this day trip, you’ll have the chance to explore three distinct vineyards accompanied by an expert guide and savor a wine tasting session at each stop.

And since it’s never a good idea to drink without eating, snacks and lunch are included .

Pick-up is provided from hotels around Palma and you’ll be in a small group (maximum of 8 people).

To book, click here:

  • North of Mallorca

Amazing excursion, which takes you on a journey through the historic old town of Alcudia and its bustling market, Cap de Formentor , Formentor Beach (where you can take a refreshing swim), and a boat ride from Formentor to the picturesque port of Pollença .

For information and reservations, click on this green button:

The Drach Caves

If you’re looking to plan a fun-filled family vacation to Palma de Mallorca , check out my list of must-do activities to enjoy with your kids /

  • A walking tour of the old town of Palma . Very lively and full of colorful shops, they’ll love it.
  • Hop-on-hop-off bus tour 
  • Taking the Soller train
  • The Palma Aquarium , a classic for a family visit to Palma
  • A day at Aqualand El Arenal , the largest water park in Mallorca
  • The Forestal Park (tickets here!) , a tree-top adventure park with zip lines, monkey bridges, and climbing walls. Several courses of varying difficulties. For children aged 5 – 6 years and above (over 1.10m tall)

Despite being the biggest city of Mallorca, Palma is pretty small compared to European megalopolis such as London or Rome . The majority of Palma’s top attractions and activities are located in the Old Town , making it easily accessible by foot.

Therefore, it’s possible to explore Palma de Mallorca on foot within a single day .

If you’re planning to stay at the same hotel in Palma for the duration of your trip to Mallorca, you can spend the rest of your time exploring the surrounding areas and, of course, enjoy the island’s stunning beaches and coves .

Best things to do in Palma in 1 day? Here’s the program you should follow:

  • If you’re driving, consider parking at the underground parking lot located at Plaça d’Espanya .
  • Stop at the Olivar Market
  • Head down Carrer de Sant Miquel and make sure to stop by the church of the same name. While you’re there, take a quick tour of the Joan March Foundation museum (admission is free).
  • You will then reach Plaça Major
  • Follow Carrer del Colom until you reach Plaça Cort , then head to Plaça de Santa Eulalia and its stunning church .
  • Art enthusiasts may also want to consider visiting the Palau March
  • Visit the Palma cathedral
  • Visit the Almudaina Royal Palace
  • Stop at Parc de la Mar for that must-have photo opportunity.
  • Depending on your personal interests, you may also want to check out the Diocesan Museum, Mallorca Museum, or the Arab Baths
  • Make a stop at Monti-Sion church for another great photo opportunity
  • Visit St. Francis Basilica

For the remainder of the day, you have several options : Option 1 : Take some time to go shopping in Palma and then head over to the contemporary art museum, Es Baluard . Option 2 : Travel west of Palma and visit Bellver Castle or the Pilar & Joan Miró Foundation . Option 3: Cap off your day with a beautiful sunset by embarking on a catamaran sunset cruise! Book in advance by clicking here !

If you’re staying in Palma de Mallorca for more than one day , I recommend following the itinerary suggested above on your first day .

On Day 2 , you should take the small train to Soller and spend some time there.

In the afternoon, you can head to the beach or opt for one of the other activities I suggested in the “Visiting Palma in 1 day” section (shopping, boat trip, Bellver Castle, etc.).

If you have a car, I highly recommend exploring the charming traditional villages nestled in the Serra de Tramontana. This includes visiting Soller , so you won’t need to take the train there.

Palma de Mallorca - Cathedral and Royal Palace

If you have three days in Palma de Mallorca , in addition to following the itineraries for the previous two days, you can visit the stunning Drach Caves and then spend the rest of the third day at the beach.

If you’re looking to spice up your visit to Palma with some fun-filled activities, you should consider the quad bike tour , the buggy tour , and the jet ski tour .

For a family vacation, you can take your kids to the aquarium , Aqualand , or the adventure park . They’re all located next to each other in the El Arenal area, next to Palma airport.

Whether you’re planning to spend four or five days in Palma de Mallorca, or even a full week , there’s no shortage of exciting activities and attractions to keep you busy. You can soak up the sun on one of the many beautiful beaches in the area, or explore the island in greater depth to discover all it has to offer .

You can go to Alcudia (1 hour drive from Palma) and to Cap de Formentor .

You will find even more ideas on the best things to see on the island in my article: Best things to do and see in Mallorca .

I also prepared some recommended itineraries here :

  • 4 to 5 days in Mallorca – A guide to help you plan your short stay on this beautiful island.
  • One week in Mallorca – The perfect itinerary to visit the island in 7 days!
  • 10 days in Mallorca – My recommended itinerary to visit Mallorca in 9-10 days

If you have more time to spare and are looking for an adventure, why not consider visiting one of the neighboring Balearic Islands, such as Menorca ? I talk about it in my dedicated article: Best things to do in Menorca.

Here is my selection of the best places to stay in Palma de Mallorca , tailored to suit your budget.

You need to click on the orange name of the hotels for more information and to make your booking.

And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to ask for advice in the comments, indicating your travel dates and preferences. I would be more than happy to assist you in finding the perfect hotel!

  • The Boc Hostels – City Albergue Juvenil : Hostel located 400 meters from the historic center of Palma and C’an Pere Antoni beach. Dormitory bed from €40 per night. Strong points: the rooftop pool, the cleanliness of the place and the kitchen area. An excellent choice for budget accommodation in Palma de Mallorca .
  • Nou Baleares : located a 10-minute walk from Plaça Major. Tastefully decorated double room from €110, breakfast included. Strong points: the location, the comfortable beds and the rooftop’s pool. It’s my favorite for its excellent value for money in Palma !
  • Isla Mallorca & Spa : located in the bay of Palma. Spacious double room with balcony from €150, breakfast included. Strong points: the spa and wellness center, the lovely pool area and the varied breakfast.
  • Hotel Saratoga : located next to the Es Baluard museum. Modern and spacious double room from €180 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the rooftop pool with an amazing view of the cathedral, the perfect location for exploring Palma de Mallorca on foot, and the hearty breakfast buffet.
  • Protur Naisa Palma Hotel : located a 5-minute walk from the old town. Stylish, contemporary room from €220, breakfast included. Strong points: the facilities (rooftop, pool, spa), the design of the hotel and the excellent breakfast.

And if you’re looking for the best 5-star hotels in Palma de Mallorca , you should have a look at the following hotels:

  • Hotel Victoria Gran Meliá : located right in front of Palma’s harbor. Double room starting at €270, breakfast for €29. Strong points: the great location, the sea view, and the amazing staff.
  • Nixe Palace: : located right next to Cala Major beach, this 5* hotel offers cozy double rooms with a balcony and sea view from €300 per night, breakfast for €24. Strong points: the setting with the stunning sea view, the excellent breakfast and the direct access to the beach. My recommendation for a high-end stay in Palma !
  • Hotel Antigua Palma – Casa Noble : this superb luxury hotel is located in the heart of the old town, just 100 meters from the cathedral. Stay in sumptuous, elegantly decorated rooms, from €450 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: The amazing spa with hammam and indoor pool, the tranquility, the particularly attentive staff and the rooftop. The best hotel in Palma for a luxury stay !
  • Tapas Palma Santa Catalina : as its name suggests, this restaurant is one of the best places to go in Palma if you want to taste excellent tapas. Away from most tourist traps in the old town, the tapas are fresh, hearty and delicious.
  • Sa Cuina de Mercat : This unpretentious restaurant located in Plaça de l’Olivar (next to the market) offers excellent cuisine made with fresh products. The dishes are well crafted, refined, and very tasty. I’m confident that you’ll have a great time!
  • Asador Bolixe Cocina Esencial : Located near Plaza Espanya, this Argentinian restaurant is a must-try for meat lovers. The quality of all the meats is exceptional, and they are cooked to perfection.

It’s worth noting that most tourist guides in Palma recommend eating at the San Juan Gastronomic Market, but they haven’t been updated as the market has been permanently closed since the Covid crisis.

If you want to discover traditional Spanish cuisine recipes such as a delicious paella , tortillas , or even Catalan cream , then taking a cooking class with a local chef is an absolute must. Learn how to cook like a pro and impress your friends and family back home !

You’ll assist in the preparation of the menu and finish with a tasting accompanied by a good wine.

Book your cooking class in Palma now by clicking the button below:

If you want to rent a boat for a nice day at sea during your stay in Mallorca, you should book it with Samboat.

Motorboats, sailboats, yachts, small boats without a license, with or without a skipper: they simply have the most complete offer for boat rental!

So, what are you waiting for to book your boat trip in Mallorca? 😊

To help you get a better idea of the island, I’ve created a tourist map of Mallorca featuring the places to visit mentioned in this top 20 list of the best things to do in Palma de Mallorca and its surroundings. You can display the map legend by clicking the button with a small arrow at the top left corner.

And you? What sights do you have in mind for your Palma de Mallorca trip?

Discover all my articles about Mallorca and the Balearic islands : All my articles to help you plan your trip to Mallorca are listed there.

  • The 23 best things to do in Mallorca
  • Palma de Mallorca: the 20 best places to visit
  • Itinerary: 4 or 5 days in Mallorca – Itinerary to prepare a short stay in Mallorca
  • Itinerary: One week in Mallorca – The perfect itinerary to visit the island in 7 days!
  • Itinerary: 10 days in Mallorca – Our recommended itinerary for visiting Mallorca in 9-10 days
  • Mallorca road trip: The best itineraries for 4, 5, 7 and 10 days
  • The 17 Best things to do  in Menorca
  • Itinerary: One week in Menorca  – The ideal itinerary to visit the island in 7 days

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Best places to visit in Palma de Mallorca

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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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! 

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Lighthouse of Cap de Formentor Mallorca

Mallorca travel guide

Where to stay, food and drink.

travel guide of palma

Sarah Gordon

Destination Expert

Friday January 12 2024, 17:07pm

Why you’ll love it

This article contains links from which we may earn revenue. More information  here .

A seductive blend of coast and mountain, village, vineyard and vibrant capital Palma , Mallorca combines summer idyll with a proudly distinctive culture. Head north and you’ll find long stretches of golden sand, while to the west, the Serra de Tramuntana mountains plunge down to sapphire seas and hidden coves. You can while away your days exploring the hill villages that have inspired poets and artists, discover the Roman ruins of Pollentia or head to buzzing, bijou Palma for an exciting restaurant scene, cobbled old town and cathedral with impressive Mediterranean views.

Mallorca has long been admired for its dazzling coastline, but its interior is also enjoying a moment in the sun, with boutique hotels set in country estates among olive and almond trees, farms inviting visitors to try local produce, and wineries offering tastings.

The summer calendar is liberally sprinkled with local “festes” (festivals), from the fires on the beach to celebrate Sant Joan in June to the Battle of the Moors and Christians in Pollensa in August. Mallorca may be a favourite holiday spot for tourists, but its customs and traditions live on.

Main photo: Lighthouse of Cap de Formentor (Getty Images)

Get planning

travel guide of palma

The largest of the Balearic islands, Mallorca is also the most diverse. Avid cyclists come in spring to tackle the winding routes that climb the Serra de Tramuntana and Sierra de Llevant mountain ranges, while walkers can take their pick from scenic coastal routes and countryside trails, and sunseekers set their towels on the sands of pine-backed coves and sweeping bays.

Rent a car and enjoy scenic drives across the island, from capital to golden sands

Rent a car and enjoy scenic drives across the island, from the capital to the golden sands of the Bay of Alcudia, or from well-heeled Port de Sóller on the west coast to the Cap de Formentor lighthouse, perched among the dramatic peaks of the island’s northernmost tip.

Then there are the villages. Mountain retreat Valldemossa, where Chopin stayed at the Carthusian monastery in 1839, the smart, green-shuttered stone houses of Deià, where the poet Robert Graves’s home is now a museum, and pretty, golden-hued Pollensa with its Knights Templar church.

From rustic farmhouses to ultra-luxurious retreats, historic country estates to hotels with commanding sea views, you won’t be short of places to stay in Mallorca.

Palma is bursting with boutique hotels, converted palaces and mansions with rooftop pools, while around the Bay of Palma, looking back towards the city, is luxurious Cap Rocat, a 19th-century fortress where rooms and private infinity pools seem to have been hewn from the very rock.

The hinterland is wrapped in the scent of almond blossom

To the north of the island, a mix of all-inclusive resorts and smart hotels fringe the bays of Pollensa and Alcudia, while the hinterland is wrapped in the scent of almond blossom and peppered with golden-hued farmhouses-turned-holiday villas , country estates and mountain monasteries that are now luxurious rural retreats.

To the west, the fishing village of Port de Sóller is set among the folds of the Tramuntana mountains and dominated by celebrity favourite Jumeirah Port Sóller Hotel , while along the coast, the ivy-draped Belmond La Residencia adds a touch of luxury to genteel Deià.

Cured sobrassada sausage made with Mallorcan porc negre (black pig), Port de Sóller red prawns . . . Mallorca’s cuisine is a veritable mix of mar y montaña — mountain and sea.

The island isn’t short of local ingredients, from cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil to sea salt hand-harvested from the salt flats in Es Trenc. Then there are the citrus fruit, almonds and apricots, the artisan cheeses and the supremely palatable red and white wines. Take a tour of Bodega Ribas, dating back 300 years and the oldest winery on the island, or visit beautiful Finca Biniagual, which has been making waves with its acclaimed wines.

Fresh catch is served up in fishing villages and at rustic chiringuito beach bars

Buy fresh ingredients at Palma’s Mercat de l’Olivar, or head to the trendy San Joan and 1930 markets to try tapas dishes and local wines. Fresh catch of the day is served up in fishing villages and at rustic chiringuito beach bars, while the island’s nine glittering Michelin stars are proof of an exciting culinary renaissance. Head to Maca de Castro in Port Alcudia for a modern twist on traditional Mallorcan cuisine, while Andreu Genestra also celebrates island produce at his self-named restaurant in the countryside, near Capdepera.

It may be tempting to dash straight to Mallorca’s beaches , but stick around in Palma for a while and discover a thriving city packed with trendy eateries and rooftop cocktail bars, galleries, boutiques and the impressive Es Baluard contemporary art museum set in a 16th-century fortress. Then head just outside the city and visit the Miró Mallorca Foundation, where Joan Miró’s old workshops are filled with his art.

On the vintage train from Palma, wooden carriages rattle along a 100-year-old railway, offering sensational views

For a journey with a difference, why not hop on the vintage train from Palma to Sóller? Wooden carriages rattle along a 100-year-old narrow-gauge railway, offering sensational views as it climbs through the mountains, across bridges and through tunnels to the picturesque mountain village.

With about 300 beaches to choose from, it will take a lot of trips to discover them all. But the gleaming waters and tiny strand of Cala Sa Calobra, wedged between two soaring cliffs on the north coast, make the drive along snaking roads well worth it. Cyclists love the route for its sheer beauty, or you can opt to take the boat from Port Sóller.

Know before you go

As with the rest of Spain , Mallorca uses the euro. Visit in the summer months and expect busy beaches and difficulty parking near certain coves and smaller coastal villages. But if you visit in spring or September and October, you can enjoy gloriously sunny days without the crowds. Mallorca is generally safe, but as a tourist keep an eye on your belongings as opportunist thefts do occur. The island has suffered from a party reputation in the past, but this is restricted to certain enclaves such as Magaluf and Playa de Palma, so is easily avoided — unless that’s your scene.

Inspired to visit Mallorca but yet to book your trip? Here are the best Tui holidays   and  British Airways breaks to the largest Balearic Island, as well as the best Mallorca tours from trusted operators.  And if you’re still unsure of where you want to go or what type of holiday to book, get in touch with the  Designer Travel experts  here  and one of the team will be in contact to help you arrange your perfect tailor-made break

Palma: The Complete Guide

Palma Cathedral

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. Top help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

This website uses affiliate links which earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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

Mercat olivar.

Mercat De L’Olivar

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

Juan march foundation museum.

Majorque Palma Vers Placa Major Museu Fundación Juan March

Plaza Mayor, Palma

Plaza Mayor, Palma

Can Casasayas

Church of santa magdalena, plaza de cort, 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

Royal palace of la almudaina, banys arabs (arab baths), palma, 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)

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.

Tours and Activities from Palma

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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 .
  • 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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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.


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:

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 accommodation in Palma de 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 mini bar and bathrobes. The hotel is only a 10-minute walk from Bellver Castle, and an easy drive from Magaluf. The hotel is located within a few minutes from shops, bars and a variety of local and international dining options.  Regular Reviewer Rating: 8.9

For a unique experience see the charming Hotel Convent de la Missio located in the Sant Juame district of Palma. Situated within a converted convent the architecture and atmosphere are special. The hotel features a rooftop terrace, an outdoor pool and a sauna and is a short walk nearby restaurants, clubs and bars.  Reviewer  Rating: 9.3

Budget Accommodation

For excellent value budget accommodation try the 3 star  Brick Hotel & B2 Homes which offers 36 rooms with all the essentials to ensure a comfortable stay. Ideally located close to Palma Cathedral and all the cities top attractions.  Reviewer Rating:  8.8

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links included in the above content may be affiliate links. We may earn a commission if you make a purchase at no extra cost to you. Rest assured, we only recommend products and services that we personally use or have used and are happy to recommend. Any commission we earn helps toward the site's running costs. 

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A long weekend in… Palma, Mallorca

By Millicia West

Image may contain Marina Water Waterfront Dock Port and Pier

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

Image may contain Pool Water Building Hotel Resort Outdoors Swimming Pool Plant and Tree

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. 
** **

Image may contain Patio Porch Outdoors Pergola and Garden

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.

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. 
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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. 
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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. 
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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.

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. 
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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.

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.

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.

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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 . 
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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. 
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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; ). 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; ). 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; ). Excellent small hotel, a converted palacio in the old town. £


(00 34 971 727240; ). 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; ). £


Carrer de Miramar 8 (00 34 971 715 400; ). 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; ). 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 ( ) 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; ) 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; ). 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; ) 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.

Visit Mallorca Island

Discovering Palma Centre: A City Break Guide

Things to do in palma city:.

Discovering Palma Centre A City Break Guide Header

Palma Cathedral (La Seu)

Plaça major: exploring palma’s historic old town.

Joan Miró Foundation

Experience the Joan Miró Foundation:

Visit the museum and workshop dedicated to the famous Catalan artist, displaying his unique works and personal items.

Shop at Mercat de l’Olivar:

Must-see attractions in palma.

travel guide of palma

Palma Aquarium

Bellver castle.

Bellver Castle

Palau de l’Almudaina

Palau de l'Almudaina

Arab Baths (Banys Arabs)

Arab Baths (Banys Arabs)

Art and Culture in Palma: Museums, Galleries, and Exhibitions

Es baluard museum of modern and contemporary art.

Es Baluard Museum

Palma Museum

Luxury boutique hotels, best mid-range hotels:.

Hotel Almudaina: Located in the heart of Palma, this hotel offers modern amenities, comfortable rooms, and a rooftop terrace with stunning views. Hotel Tres: A chic boutique hotel in the Old Town, featuring a rooftop pool, stylish rooms, and personalized service. Hotel Isla Mallorca & Spa: Enjoy a relaxing stay in this modern hotel, complete with a spa, outdoor pool, and easy access to the city center.

Budget Accommodations:

Brick Palma – Turismo de Interior: A charming guesthouse with a cozy atmosphere, offering comfortable rooms and a central location. Hostal Pons: Located in the Old Town, this family-run hostel offers clean rooms and a warm, welcoming environment. Urban Hostel Palma: A modern, well-equipped hostel with a range of private and shared rooms, perfect for budget-conscious travelers looking for a social atmosphere.

Airbnb in Palma:

Shopping and dining in palma, palma nightlife: the best bars, discos, and entertainment venues, enjoying palma’s waterfront and city beaches:, parc de la mar.

Parc de la Mar

City Beaches in Palma Mallorca’s capital

Charming towns and villages in palma de mallorca, santa catalina: palma’s trendy neighborhood, transport recommendations in palma, walking palma city:.

Palma is a compact city, and many of the main attractions are located within walking distance of each other. Walking is a great way to explore the narrow streets and historic buildings of the old town and get a feel for the city’s culture and atmosphere.

Biking in the Centre of Palma:

Renting a bike is a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the city of palma and the surrounding areas. There are several bike rental companies in Palma, and many hotels also offer bike rental services. The city has several dedicated bike lanes and bike-friendly routes, making it easy to get around by bike.

Public Transportation in Palma:

Palma has an extensive public transportation system, including buses and a metro line, which connects the city center to the suburbs and surrounding areas. The bus system is affordable and convenient, with several routes running through the city center and to popular tourist destinations.

Taxis in Palma:

Taxis are widely available in Palma and are a convenient way to get around, particularly if you’re traveling in a group or with luggage. You can hail a taxi on the street, or there are several taxi ranks located throughout the city center.

Car Rental on Palma City

Frequently asked questions about palma city in mallorca, what is at palma city centre, what is the main street in palma, is palma a walkable city, does palma city have a beach, is it worth visiting palma, is palma a good holiday destination, get in touch with us.

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Cathedral La Seu, Palma de Mallorca

A local’s guide to Palma de Mallorca: 10 top tips

The Spanish island’s seaside capital punches above its weight when it comes to restaurants, art and culture – perfect for a late-spring or early-summer getaway

Wander the old city

I love the maze of Moorish-feeling little streets in the historic district between Plaça de Cort and the seafront. If you just wander towards La Seu, the cathedral, you always come across something surprising. A lot of the old mansions have been done up and are now hotels, cafes and restaurants, which is great to see. You only need to walk for 10 minutes or so to see all sorts of architectural styles and you get a sense of the history of Palma going back over 1,000 years. You emerge from this labyrinth of lanes and suddenly the bay opens up before you. I still find it magical.

Backstreet comes good

Biblioteca de Babel exterior

Carrer de la Missió was a pretty dodgy little backstreet when I opened the restaurant there a decade ago – it was not the sort of area the well-heeled citizens of Palma would go to for dinner. It has gradually improved over the years, and now all sorts of galleries and boutiques are opening. There’s a wonderful bookshop just around the corner on Carrer Arabí, La Biblioteca de Babel (pictured), which has a cafe with tables on a terrace outside. We’re really lucky to have the tiny Rosevelvet Bakery (15 Carrer de la Missió) right by the restaurant. I have my breakfast there before starting work. It’s run by a lovely couple who bake wonderful cakes and pastries, and make really good coffee – the smell wafting down the street is irresistible.

Lively lane

Rialto Living shop,

Carrer de Sant Feliu leads off Passeig des Born – the short, tree-lined promenade that has been at the heart of city life for more than a century – and is lined with galleries, little shops and bars. Rialto Living (no 3, pictured) occupies an elegant old palace and is a treasure trove of books, clothes and beautiful things for the home – and it has a lovely cafe, too. A friend took me recently to a little place called 13% (no 13a), which I must have walked past loads of times. It’s nothing fancy to look at, but does great tapas and an amazing range of unusual wines at good prices. You just sit down and they talk you through what they’ve got that day and suggest wines you might find interesting.

Waterfront cycling

Cycling lane, Paseo Maritimo, Palma,

You can cycle for miles along the coast. The Paseo Marítimo , the promenade that runs right around the Bay of Palma, has bike lanes so it’s really safe and easy, with wonderful views of the city and the golden-stone Gothic cathedral as well as the sea. I stop off in Portixol, a short way east, where there is a marina with bars and cafes with attractive terraces. For lunch, I like Sa Roqueta and usually order one of the rich rice dishes, such as fideuá mulata (seafood and squid paella), or a whole fish. It’s not cheap (two courses €50) but the quality is excellent. There are loads of places to hire bikes, such as Palma on Bike (from €14 a day).

Market forces

sausage stall at Mercat de l´Olivar

To get an idea of how good the food is in Mallorca, wander around Palma’s amazing market, the Mercat de L’Olivar , to see the glorious stalls piled with fabulous fresh produce from the island and from mainland Spain. The tomatoes are sensational. The best thing is that you can buy some prawns or a bit of fish, and they will cook it for your lunch in one of the bars upstairs. It’s also a good place to get some Mallorcan charcuterie and wine to take home, or some flavoured salt from Es Trenc down on the south coast. 7am-2.30pm Mon-Thurs, some stalls until 8pm Fri, 3pm Sat, ,

Peruse a Picasso

Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum

Es Baluard is Palma’s contemporary art museum and is worth a look as it always has a few interesting temporary exhibitions. It’s a fantastic space in a revamped 16th-century fortress that was originally part of the town walls. The permanent collection has works from the end of the 19th century until the present day, with paintings and sculptures by Picasso, Miró and Barceló. €6, Plaça Porta de Santa Catalina 10, , closed Monday

Lunch at Vida Meva

rice with asparagus dish at Vida Meva

One of my former chefs, Toni Martorell, is now running the brilliant Vida Meva restaurant with his wife. It’s astoundingly good value. He only opens for lunch and only Monday to Friday – you need to book – and does a set three-course menu for €13.90, or a quick workers’ lunch for €11.90. It’s near the parliament building and they get a lot of lawyers in too. The dishes change every week, but a couple of favourites are always available, such as his famous roast chicken. Carrer del Socors 23, on Facebook

Buzzy tapas

Vermuteria La Rosa interior

I like traditional but slightly modern tapas bars, where you can have a bite to eat and a glass of wine at the counter if you don’t want to sit at a table and make an evening of it. Vermuter ía La Rosa , south of La Rambla, is always packed and has a buzz about it. The atmosphere is a big part of the experience, although everything is really tasty here, such as octopus (€15.90) and made-to-order tortilla (€7.60). Order a vermouth while you are deciding. Carrer de la Rosa 5, on Facebook

Michelin-starred menu

dessert with hydrogen a at Adrian Quetglas restaurant

Adrián Quetglas now has a Michelin star at his restaurant Quetglas by the river. But it is really good value for money (set menus from €33 feature, say, smoked avocado with shrimp mousse and spicy coconut, and salmon with beetroot tartare). He’s got a terrific wine cellar which you are welcome to have a look at. I like to drop by for a glass of wine at the bar as he’s always got something interesting to try, with a simple tapa such as a superb piece of cheese or ibérico ham. Paseo de Mallorca 20,

Rooftop cocktails

The view from Hostal Cuba Sky Bar

Palma has some spectacular rooftop bars for before or after dinner. My favourite is the Sky Bar at Hostal Cuba on the edge of the fashionable Santa Catalina neighbourhood by the port. You can relax and gaze at the Mediterranean and the skyline of the old town with a mojito or two (€14). There’s a rooftop pool bar at the Saratoga Hotel , which is also home to the Blue Jazz Club . I often go there at weekends to hear some live music: it has a great laid-back vibe.

Getting there There are lots of flights to Palma from UK airports, with airlines including BA, easyJet and Ryanair. Non-fly options include the train to Barcelona , then the ferry to Palma; full details at .

Stay The Marc Fosh restaurant is in the refectory of a 17th-century convent, which is now Hotel Convent del la Missió (doubles from €180 room-only). For a cheaper stay, former textile factory Fil Suites (doubles from €104 room-only) in the Sa Gerreria neighbourhood has stylish rooms and apartments.

When to go Late spring is a great time to visit Palma – less crowded and cooler than summer.

Marc Fosh is chef at Michelin-starred Marc Fosh restaurant . Interview by Annie Bennett

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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.

Palma Mobile site Navigation

Welcome to Palma de Mallorca ..

Palma is the capital of Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands... it is a vibrant and intoxicating mix of Art, Architecture and Culture alongside the ocean ... Sailing and Cycling all around the bay framed by swathes of palm trees...A gorgeous old town with Boutique Hotels, Designer shops, lively markets, delicious food, stylish restaurants, trendy bars and chilled cafes...with the Catalan buzz of nightlife... A great vibe of a city, a 15 minutes taxi ride from the Airport, a mini Barcelona... a perfect city break... hope to offer you the knowledge of this great city..

Pittsburgh, a city of multitudes

There is more here than meets the eye

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The Pittsburgh skyline at dusk

It has the moniker of City of Steel, but there is much more to Pittsburgh than industry. It is also a rousing city of museums, great food and beloved sports teams.

Play ball! (Or hockey)

The Pittsburgh Pirates call PNC Park home

Depending on when you visit, you can catch a football, baseball or hockey game. The Pittsburgh Steelers play at the Acrisure Stadium, while the Pittsburgh Pirates' home base is PNC Park. And the Pittsburgh Penguins can be found at PPG Paints Arena. If it happens to not be a game day, you can still swing by PNC Park for a stadium tour .

Soak in the culture

The Andy Warhol Museum has the world's largest collection of his work

You should definitely consider a pop by the Andy Warhol Museum . Warhol was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and the museum has the world's largest collection of his work and archival materials. His art is on display alongside pieces by contemporary artists "that resonate with Warhol's life and work," and the museum promises that "you'll always see something different" during each visit.

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A giant dinosaur greets visitors at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

The Andy Warhol Museum is one of the four Carnegie Museums , along with the Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Science Center. The Museum of Art was founded by Andrew Carnegie to showcase the "old masters of tomorrow," and today it has more than 100,000 objects in its collections, from paintings to sculptures to digital media. The Museum of Natural History has its own vast collection of flora, fauna and artifacts gathered by botanists, anthropologists, entomologists and zoologists during research expeditions.

The Mattress Factory is known for its eclectic contemporary exhibitions

The Mattress Factory is all about the avant-garde. There is "always something surprising" going on at this contemporary museum, Lonely Planet said , "from pitch-black sensory deprivation rooms to surreal caricature galleries to oddly angled experiments in room layout." It is a welcoming space, and often visitors can meet with the installing artists. 

Original set pieces from "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" can be found at the Heinz History Center

The Heinz History Center focuses on the accomplishments of Western Pennsylvanians, and that is why it is known as Pittsburgh's "people museum." It covers six floors, with such artifacts as original set pieces from "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" and the world's oldest Jeep. Of course, there is also an exhibition dedicated to Heinz ketchup.

See the sights

The Strip District has a global flair

Take a trip around the world in The Strip District, home to international markets, delis, sidewalk vendors and all kinds of restaurants and food carts. If you want pizza, Thai, sushi, tacos or a burger, you will find it here. This was once an industrial hub, and it is fun to walk through the old buildings that have been converted for modern use.

The Duquesne Incline has gorgeous views of the city

Pittsburgh has two funiculars, the Duquesne Incline and the Monongahela Incline , which both take riders up steep slopes. The views are great from each, and with round-trip fares only $5 for the Duquesne and $3.50 for the Monongahela, the ride is a breathtaking steal. 

The Carrie Blast Furnaces became a national landmark in 2006

Go back in time and see Pittsburgh during its industrial days. Rivers of Steel offers several guided tours at the Carrie Blast Furnaces, with visitors hearing stories about what it was like to work there and how iron was made at the site.

Eat like a local

Pierogies are a Pittsburgh staple, and everyone has their favorite place for these Polish dumplings. The Pittsburgh City Paper polled its readers on the best pierogies, and Pierogies Plus took the top spot, followed by Apteka and Cop Out Pierogies . Pierogies Plus is in McKees Rocks, just a few minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, and their website says if you "want more authentic pierogies, you'll have to fly to Warsaw or Krakow." They serve a few types of pierogies, including plain potato, sauerkraut and potato and hot sausage, as well as other Eastern European faves like stuffed cabbage and noodle haluski.

The most famous sandwich place in Pittsburgh is Primanti Bros. , which tops its grilled meat sandwiches with fries and sweet-and-sour coleslaw. There are multiple locations, including one at PNC Park. These are not the only sandwich spots in town, though. Pittsburgh Magazine praised Food for Thought's traditional Reuben as well as its Pittsburgh Reuben , which swaps the corned beef for kielbasa. There's also Stoke's Grill , where you can get a pretzel sandwich. Try the Hitch, with roasted turkey, Swiss cheese and honey mustard.

Bar Marco opened more than a decade ago but remains "one of the hottest spots in Pittsburgh — and not just because it's located in an old firehouse," Pittsburgh Magazine said. Diners enjoy coming here for homemade pasta and bread and cocktails like the Persimmon to Speak, made with dark rum, persimmon and cinnamon. Call ahead to secure a reservation in the wine cellar. 

On the sweeter side, there's Prantl's Bakery , known for its burnt almond torte. The sweet treat is a yellow cake with custard between the layers and buttercream and toasted almonds on top. It has several spin-offs as well, including cheesecake, chocolate and raspberry versions.

A historic stay

The Kimpton Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh feels historic, and that is because it is. The downtown hotel is located inside a 1903 Beaux-Arts style building that offers a grand first impression. The interior is thoroughly modern, with "whimsical, colorful design as well as original art and sculpture decorating the space," Travel + Leisure said. Amenities include yoga mats in every room, an evening wine hour, coffee and tea service in the morning and use of Micro Kickboard scooters and bicycles. There is also an on-site restaurant, The Commoner, and the rooftop Biergarten that is open during warm weather.

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Catherine Garcia is night editor for . Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and , The New York Times , The Book of Jezebel , and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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Nighttime view of Broadway in Music Row Nashville from middle of road

In the Neighborhood: Your ultimate guide to Nashville’s Music Row

Whether you’re a fan of country tunes or prefer the latest pop hits, visiting nashville’s music row — and its historic recording studios — is a must for music lovers..

By Kitty Bean Yancey | February 15, 2024

Anchored by 16th and 17th avenues, this cradle of the music business is where hit songs in multiple genres have been written and recorded. Today, Music Row also boasts chart-topping attractions, restaurants and watering holes, plus plenty of shops.

Whether it’s signature Music City fare, cocktails or cutting-edge, chef-driven creations, you’ll find restaurants in all price ranges, here. Try:

- Patterson House and The Catbird Seat: To craft curated cocktails in this speakeasy-like setting, the bartenders here use house-made tinctures and syrups. Order light bites or head upstairs to perch at the U-shaped counter of The Catbird Seat to sample a seasonal tasting menu.

- TailGate Brewery: Tap into dozens of homemade lagers, ales and stouts as well as TailGate’s hard cider in a lively, informal setting. Devour a Nashville hot chicken pizza topped with coleslaw while listening to live music .

- Sadie’s: Once anointed the best new restaurant in Nashville, Sadie’s showcases Mediterranean favorites served in an industrial-chic setting. Drop in for daily happy hour specials, including the especially popular Frosé Friday’s.

Image courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

Walk in the footsteps of music legends like Elvis Presley while hit songs play 24/7 from speakers that line the sidewalks. Don’t miss:

- The Musica statue: This 40-foot-tall bronze sculpture in a 16th Avenue traffic circle depicts nine nude figures who appear to be dancing. It’s a popular Instagram background, especially when the figures sport costumes for holidays, celebrations and record releases.

- RCA Studio B: Hallowed ground for music fans! Tour the small, unpretentious recording venue where the signature “Nashville Sound” was born. It’s also where Elvis Presley made gospel and pop hits followed by many other musical greats.

- Owen Bradley Park: Dedicated to the late legendary music producer who worked with Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, this mini patch of green features a statue of Bradley at his grand piano.

Music Row’s retail offerings showcase homegrown creativity and locally sourced wares. Browse:

- Any Old Iron: Get your music star threads where big-name acts score theirs. Named for the olden street call of a scrap metal collector, this shop (founded by a celebrity stylist and designer!) sells sassy T-shirts, punk leather jackets and glittery sequined suits.

- The Bubblery: Pick up a scented bath bomb, artisanal soap (lemon and lavender is popular) or all-natural potions and lotions — handcrafted in Nashville, of course.

- The Moose Men’s Grooming Lounge: Billed as a vintage barber shop with a modern edge, this spot offers everything from a straight-razor shave to scalp massages and multi-treatment packages that come with a cigar. Buy homemade products including beard balm, mustache wax and after-shave splash.

Whether you’re into the inner workings of the music business or seeking eclectic dining and shopping options away from the party-hearty honky-tonk downtown, Music Row hits all the right notes.

Kitty Bean Yancey is an award-winning former USA TODAY travel writer who freelances for AARP Magazine and AAA publications, among others.

Sunset from the river looking into downtown Nashville


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