Mallorca’s only city holds something for everyone.
It may be small by normal city standards but Palma packs a lot into its compact size. Founded by the Romans in 124BC on the site of a former Bronze Age settlement, all the way through Byzantine and Moorish rule before being reconquered by the Spanish, there’s plenty of history to go around in the capital of Mallorca.
Top sights in Palma, Mallorca
If you want to take in the sights then Palma has plenty to offer. Taking pride of place overlooking the harbour is the Le Seu cathedral – a Gothic masterpiece that dominates the city.
It’s worth seeing both inside and out as even though it was built between the 12th and 17th centuries, parts of the interior were redesigned by Gaudi in the 20th century. As a special treat, try to time your visit when the grand old organ is being played.
From the cathedral you can take a wander to the old town where its maze of narrow streets, lined with boutiques and street vendors selling handmade crafts, hint at the city’s Arabic past. This is also a great place to take shelter as the shade from the buildings gives a bit of respite from the sun.
Banys Àrabs – the Arab Baths – is the only surviving building that dates back to the Arab settlement. Visitors can take a wander round the sauna-style baths, dating from the 10th century, for just a few Euros.
Museums in Palma
The Castell de Bellver contains a museum of sculptures and archaeological finds. It also offers the best view of both the bay and the city itself.
The Pueblo Español is an architectural museum that offers a chance to see some of the major works in Spanish architecture. Designed like a small village, it also contains numerous artisan shops, bars and eateries.
Palma also boasts two museums of contemporary Spanish art. Es Baluard is closest to the old town and costs €6 to see their collection by artists such as Picasso. A little further out, the Museo de Arte Español Contemporáneo boasts a great collection and entry is free.
Things to do
Once you’ve had enough of sights and museums, there are still plenty of things to do in the Majorcan capital.
Aqualand is a water park with a huge range of slides and pools to help you keep cool in the summer months. For a more sedate experience, Marineland is alarge marine zoo with everything from sharks to penguins and is a great place to take the kids.
Shopping in Palma
If shopping is more your style then Palma certainly has plenty to offer. As well as the boutiques and stalls lining the streets of the old town, the city has two El Corte Inglés department stores – think of a Spanish Debenhams. No matter your taste of budget, you’ll be sure to find something to spend those Euros on.
Food and drink
Whether you’re after a night of clubbing or a few tapas and a glass of wine, Palma has plenty to choose from, as you’d expect from any Spanish city. Be sure to try the local delicacies – Pamboli, Ensaimada, Sobrasada and Bunyols for that authentic Balearic experience.