Welcome to Palma, the vibrant capital of Mallorca! Known for its stunning beaches, rich history, and delightful cuisine, Palma is a must-visit destination for travelers looking to experience the best of the Balearic Islands. To make the most of your trip, it’s essential to plan ahead, and this guide is here to help you do just that. From exploring the historic center to relaxing in luxurious spas, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and discover all that Palma has to offer!
Getting to Palma: Organizing Your Trip to Mallorca
Palma is the vibrant capital of Mallorca, located in the beautiful Balearic Islands of Spain. To fully enjoy the city and its surroundings, it’s important to plan your trip well in advance. Here’s how to get to Palma:
The easiest way to reach Palma is by air. Palma’s Son Sant Joan airport is located just a few miles from the city center and is served by many airlines from different parts of the world. You can find direct flights to Palma from most major European cities, including London, Paris, and Frankfurt. Alternatively, you can take a connecting flight through Barcelona or Madrid.
Once you arrive at the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to get to the city center. The taxi ride takes around 15 minutes and costs between €15-€20. If you prefer public transportation, you can take the bus number 1 from the airport to the city center. The bus runs every 15 minutes and the fare is only €5.
If you’re traveling to Palma from other parts of Spain or from nearby countries like Italy or France, you can take a ferry to the island. Palma’s port is well connected to several destinations in the Mediterranean, including Barcelona, Valencia, and Ibiza. There are also regular ferry services from France and Italy.
Once you arrive at the port, you can take a taxi or public transportation to the city center. There are buses and trains that connect the port to the city center and the fare is quite cheap.
If you’re already in Spain, you can also travel to Palma by train. The train station in Palma is located in the city center and is connected to several cities in mainland Spain, including Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia. It’s a great option if you want to enjoy a scenic train ride through the countryside.
Once you arrive at the train station, you can take a taxi or public transportation to get to your hotel. There are several bus lines that stop near the station and the fare is very affordable.
Exploring Palma’s Historic Center: Must-Visit Sights and Landmarks.
Palma’s historic center is a treasure trove of iconic landmarks and attractions worth exploring. Here are some of the must-visit sights you should add to your itinerary:
|Palma Cathedral (La Seu)
|One of the most recognizable landmarks in Palma, this stunning Gothic cathedral was built in the 13th century and overlooks the sea. Don’t miss the chance to visit inside and see the impressive rose window.
|The Royal Palace of La Almudaina
|Located next to the cathedral, this medieval palace was originally built as a fortress in the 10th century. It was later transformed into a palace for the Mallorcan monarchs and provides a fascinating glimpse into the history of the island.
|The Old Town (La Lonja)
|The maze-like streets of the Old Town are filled with charming architecture, quaint shops, and hidden plazas. Wander through the narrow alleys and soak in the atmosphere of Palma’s past.
Palma Cathedral (La Seu)
The Palma Cathedral, also known as La Seu, is one of the most impressive Gothic buildings in Europe. The cathedral’s construction began in the 13th century and continued for over 400 years. It features an enormous rose window that bathes the interior in colorful light, and the central nave is flanked by soaring columns and arches.
“The Palma Cathedral is an architectural marvel, and the view from the top is breathtaking”
The Royal Palace of La Almudaina
The Royal Palace of La Almudaina is a beautiful example of medieval architecture. Originally built as a fortress in the 10th century by the Moors, it was later transformed into a palace for the Mallorcan monarchs. Today, it is one of the most impressive buildings in Palma’s historic center and offers visitors a glimpse into the island’s rich history.
The Old Town (La Lonja)
The Old Town, also known as La Lonja, is a charming and compact area of Palma’s historic center. Narrow streets wind their way between historic buildings, leading to hidden plazas and courtyards. It’s a great place to get lost for an afternoon, exploring local shops and restaurants that exude character and charm.
Enjoying Palma’s Beaches and Waterfront Promenade
When in Palma, taking a break from sightseeing to enjoy the sun and the sea is a must. The city is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Mallorca, and each one offers something unique to visitors.
Palma’s most popular beach is Playa de Palma, which runs 4.6 km along the eastern coast of the city. The beach has crystal clear waters and boasts a range of amenities, including sunbeds, umbrellas, and water sports equipment rentals.
For those seeking a quieter and more secluded spot by the sea, Cala Major is an ideal option. The beach is surrounded by cliffs and pine forests, and has a relaxed atmosphere.
When in need of refreshments, head to one of the many bars and restaurants located along the scenic waterfront promenade. The Paseo Marítimo spans over 5km and offers stunning views of the harbor and the city skyline.
For a unique dining experience, try out any of the seafood restaurants on the promenade, where fresh catch of the day is served with a side of stunning views.
A day at the beach is the perfect way to soak up the sun and the sea, and Palma’s beaches and waterfront promenade provide the ideal setting for just that.
Indulging in Palma’s Culinary Delights: The Best Restaurants and Food Markets
Palma is a food lover’s paradise, with a diverse culinary scene that offers something for everyone. From traditional Mallorcan cuisine to international flavors, there are plenty of options to satisfy any craving. Here are some of the best restaurants and food markets to explore during your visit to Palma.
The Best Restaurants in Palma
If you’re looking for a taste of traditional Mallorcan cuisine, head to Celler Sa Premsa, a family-owned restaurant that’s been serving up classic dishes for 50 years. For seafood lovers, C’an Eduardo is a must-visit spot, with fresh fish and seafood prepared in traditional Mediterranean style. If you’re in the mood for international flavors, try the Asian-inspired cuisine at Fera, or the modern Italian dishes at Ritzi Palma.
Food Markets in Palma
Pick up some local delicacies at one of Palma’s many food markets. Mercat de l’Olivar is a large indoor market that offers an extensive selection of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other local products. Mercat de Santa Catalina is another popular market, known for its fresh seafood and baked goods. If you’re looking for a more gourmet experience, check out San Juan Gastronomic Market, which features a variety of food stalls and artisanal products.
Tip: be sure to try the ensaimadas and sobrasada, two traditional Mallorcan dishes that are beloved by locals and visitors alike.
Discovering Palma’s Art and Culture: Museums and Galleries.
Palma is a city rich in history and culture, and visitors can explore this aspect of the city by visiting its museums and galleries. From modern and contemporary art to traditional Mallorcan crafts, there is something for everyone in Palma’s art scene.
Es Baluard Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
Located in the historic center of Palma, the Es Baluard Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art houses a collection of over 500 works of art from the 20th and 21st centuries. The museum is housed in a former military fortress and offers stunning panoramic views of the sea and the city.
The permanent collection includes works by local and international artists, including Picasso, Miró, and Klee. The museum also features temporary exhibitions that showcase contemporary art styles and techniques.
Can Prunera Museum of Modernism
The Can Prunera Museum of Modernism is located in the nearby town of Sóller, a short trip from Palma. The museum exhibits decorative arts and objects from the modernist period of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including furniture, ceramics, and glassware.
The museum is housed in a beautiful modernist building and offers a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of the wealthy during the early 20th century. The museum also features temporary exhibitions that showcase modernist art and design from around the world.
Whether you are a fan of modern and contemporary art or traditional crafts and design, Palma’s museums and galleries are a must-visit destination for any art enthusiast. Be sure to check the opening times and ticket prices before your visit, and don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the beauty of the art and the surroundings.
Shopping in Palma: From Boutiques to Local Markets.
Palma’s shopping scene is a delightful mix of trendy boutiques and traditional markets offering unique local products. Whether you’re looking for clothing, jewelry, or souvenirs, Palma has something for everyone.
Boutiques in Palma
If you’re in the mood for some high-end shopping, head to Passeig del Born, where you’ll find designer boutiques like Louis Vuitton and Hugo Boss. For a more eclectic mix of fashion and accessories, visit the neighborhood of Santa Catalina, known for its trendy shops.
The Mercat de l’Olivar is a must-visit for foodies, offering a wide range of fresh produce, meats, and seafood. For handmade crafts and souvenirs, stroll through the narrow streets of the Old Town and check out the market stalls selling ceramics, jewelry, and leather goods.
Specialty Products in Palma
If you’re looking for unique local products to take home, don’t miss out on trying some of the island’s famous olive oil and ceramics. Visit the Santa Maria del Cami market, held every Sunday, for a wide range of local specialties.
With so many shopping options, Palma is the perfect place to discover something new and take home a piece of the island’s unique culture.
Exploring Palma’s Surroundings: Day Trips and Excursions
While Palma has plenty to offer, there are also some exciting destinations nearby waiting to be explored. Here are some great day trips and excursions to consider.
Just a 30-minute drive from Palma is the picturesque village of Valldemossa. This historic town, nestled in the Tramuntana Mountains, is famous for its beautiful 13th-century monastery where renowned composer Frederic Chopin spent a winter. Visitors can stroll through quaint streets, enjoy local cuisine, and explore the monastery grounds.
Serra de Tramuntana
The Serra de Tramuntana mountains offer stunning natural scenery and numerous hiking trails. The rugged terrain boasts picturesque villages and breathtaking views, making it a favorite spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Take a guided tour or rent a car and explore at your own pace.
Port de Sóller
The charming town of Port de Sóller boasts a horseshoe-shaped bay with a sandy beach and crystal-clear waters. Enjoy fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants, or take a boat tour to explore the Mediterranean coastline.
Coves del Drac
On the east coast of Mallorca, the Coves del Drac offer unique underground caves with stunning stalactites and underground lakes. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour and a classical music concert in the caves.
Whether you’re looking for natural beauty, cultural experiences, or just a relaxing day by the beach, Palma’s surroundings have something for everyone. Plan a day trip or excursion to make the most of your visit to this beautiful island.
Relaxation and Wellness in Palma: Spas and Wellness Centers
Palma is the perfect destination to unwind and indulge in some self-care. Whether you’re in need of a massage, facial, or simply a calming space to relax in, Palma has a variety of spas and wellness centers to choose from.
|The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort
|Costa d’en Blanes
|Massages, facials, body treatments, hydrotherapy circuits, yoga classes
|Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa
|Massages, facials, body treatments, hammam, sauna, fitness center
|Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness
|Playa de Palma
|Massages, body treatments, hot tubs, sauna, Turkish bath, fitness center
Other notable spas and wellness centers in Palma include the Arabella Spa at the Castillo Hotel Son Vida and the Kaelo Beach Spa at the Meliá South Beach.
Don’t forget to take advantage of Palma’s beautiful natural surroundings by practicing yoga or meditation outdoors. There are a variety of yoga studios in Palma, such as the Yoga Room Palma and YogaOne. You can also find yoga and meditation classes at some of the city’s wellness centers.
Pro Tip: Book your spa treatments in advance to ensure availability and to take advantage of any special offers.
“The Talise Spa at the Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa is a true oasis of relaxation and wellness. The spa’s stunning location overlooking the Mediterranean Sea enhances the overall experience and the hammam is a must-try!” – Maria, Travel Blogger
Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Palma
Palma is a breathtaking city with so much to offer, but it’s normal to have questions before your visit. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about visiting Palma.
What is the best time to visit Palma?
The best time to visit Palma is during the shoulder seasons, which are from March to May and September to October. These periods have milder weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices compared to the peak summer months.
What is the local currency in Palma?
The local currency in Palma is the Euro. You can exchange your currency at banks, exchange bureaus, and some hotels. Most establishments also accept credit cards, but it’s a good idea to have some cash on hand for smaller transactions.
What should I wear when visiting Palma?
Palma has a relaxed and casual atmosphere, so comfortable clothing and footwear are recommended. During the summer months, lightweight and breathable clothing is best, while spring and fall may require a light jacket or sweater. Keep in mind that some religious sites may require more modest dress.
What are some local customs and etiquette to be aware of in Palma?
In Palma, it’s common to greet people with a handshake or a kiss on the cheek, especially among friends and acquaintances. Tipping is also appreciated, with 10% being the norm in restaurants and cafes. It’s also polite to learn basic Spanish phrases and to address people with their formal titles, such as “senor” for men and “senora” for women.
What are some safety tips for visiting Palma?
Palma is generally a safe city, but it’s always a good idea to take precautions. Keep an eye on your belongings in crowded areas and tourist sites, and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. It’s also recommended to be aware of pickpockets and to avoid walking alone in unfamiliar areas at night.
With these tips in mind, you’re sure to have an enjoyable and memorable visit to Palma.