10 Best Things to Do in Palma de Mallorca

What is Palma de Mallorca Most Famous For?

    Palma de Mallorca is a major vacation destination that has a rich cultural heritage inherited from the communities of Romans, Moors and Catholics who lived here successively since 123 BC. From its massive cathedral to its soft sand beaches to its delicious food specialties, there’s no wonder why Palma is so popular today.

    The capital – and only – city of the Balearic Islands, Palma is settled in a large bay on the southwest coast of Mallorca, the largest island of the group. Featuring agreeable temperatures from April to October, it offers a close hideaway from Europe.

    What are the best things to do in Palma de Mallorca?

    1

    Start the day at Mayor Plaza

    Shop and dine in the heart of Palma’s Old Town

    The centrally located Mayor Plaza is Palma’s main social and cultural hub. Established at the end of the 19th century, this 3,000 sq m rectangular open space is surrounded by 4- and 5-storey buildings. Filled with bars, restaurants, shops and street artists, it’s the perfect place to start the exploration of El Casco Antiguo, the Old Town of Palma de Mallorca. Mayor Plaza is also famous for the craft market it hosts all year round.

    Location: In the center of Palma’s Old Town

    • Shoppers
    • Food

    photo by José Luis Filpo Cabana (CC BY 3.0) modified

    2

    Explore Palma's Old Town

    Palma’s Old Town is a very pleasant and compact area to stroll around. It hosts a lively scene of quaint cafés and restaurants, as well as art galleries and boutiques. The Old Town’s cobblestoned alleyways take you around the many historical landmarks left by the Romans, Moors and Christians, who successively occupied Mallorca. These include the Royal Palace of Almudaina, La Seu Cathedral, and La Lonja (the maritime trade exchange building).

    Location: Northeast of the Port of Palma

    • Shoppers
    • History
    • Photo
    • Food
    3

    Must-see: Bellver Castle

    Visit a rare circular castle and enjoy a great view of Palma

    Built early 14th century at the top of a hill covered with pine trees, Bellver Castle is one of the few circular Gothic-style castles erected in Europe. Its elevated position offers splendid views of the port and the city. Bellver castle hosts the city history museum and can be visited for a modest entrance fee – take the audio guide to get detailed info during your visit. The ticket desk is in a cool café.

    Location: At the top of a forested hill, 3 km west of the Old Town

    Open: Tuesday – Sunday from 10am to 6pm, closed on Mondays

    • History
    • Photo

    photo by Qwertz1894 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    4

    Get a Tan at Palma City Beach

    Go to the closest beach to the city

    Locally known as Playa C'an Pere Antoni, Palma City Beach is the closest strip of sand to the Old Town. Stretching on almost 800 meters, it features a restaurant at each end, and it’s equipped with sun loungers and straw umbrellas as well as toilets, showers and a lifeguard tower. Offering stunning views of the cathedral 900 meters away, the excellent location of Palma City Beach makes it a pretty busy spot during summer.

    Location: At the southeastern corner of Palma’s Old Town

    • Families
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    5

    Sample Balearic Cuisine at Mercat de Santa Catalina

    Lunch like a local at this popular market

    Mercat de Santa Catalina is the place you should go to experience a genuine local feel in Palma de Mallorca. Sit down at the table of one of the many stalls at hand, grab a cerveza (beer), a few plates of tapas, and watch the world go by. Besides the fresh products available here, you’ll find a few stalls selling Balearic specialties such as arros brut (rice dish with vegetables and meat), bunyols (local donut) and pa amb oli (bread, olive oil and tomato).

    Location: 250 meters north of the Port of Palma, just west of the Old Town

    Open: Monday – Saturday from 7am to 5pm, closed on Sundays

    • Food
    6

    Shop on Passeig del Born

    Take a stroll along this lively commercial street

    This 200-meter-long tree-lined avenue is the perfect place for a stroll under refreshing shade. The center of the street is pedestrianized and has a few benches. Filled with cool bars and restaurants that set up their terraces under the trees, Passeig del Born is the main commercial street in Palma. It’s lined with shops and boutiques including a non-exhaustive list of international brands such as H&M, Zara, and MaxMara.

    • Shoppers

    photo by Николай Максимович (CC BY 3.0) modified

    7

    Visit Palma's La Seu Cathedral

    Must-see landmark in Palma de Mallorca

    Locally called La Seu, the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma sits in the south of the Old Town, a stroll away from the port. It’s built in golden sandstone and is designed in a stunning Catalan Gothic style with a Northern European twist. From its tall nave of 44 meters to its 12-meter large rose window, most people are in awe of this monumental religious edifice. Don't miss the modern ornaments and décor respectively added by Antoni Gaudí and Miquel Barcelo.

    Location: In the southern part of the Old Town, just north to the Port of Palma

    • History
    • Photo
    8

    Stroll on Palma's seafront promenade

    Walk or cycle along the sea

    Known as the Paseo Marítimo in Spanish or Passeig Marítim in Catalan, Palma’s seafront promenade runs for 3 km along Avenida Gabriel Roca. Shared between walkers and cyclists, the best times to enjoy a stroll are early morning and late afternoon. Passing right next to the heart of the city, you’ll find many pause opportunities during your walk. Bars, restaurants and shops are plentiful along the way.

    Location: Between the Port of Palma and the Ferry Terminal on Palma’s seafront

    • Couples
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    9

    Dine at San Juan Mercado Gastronomico

    Sample a wide range of dishes at this great food court

    San Juan Mercado Gastronomico is a large food court located 1 km north of Palma’s Old Town. Featuring around 20 food outlets, you’ll find here a broad range of types of cuisine from Spanish tapas to Italian pasta to Balearic specialties. The fact it’s mostly frequented by locals is usually a good sign as for the quality of the dishes served. With live music played in the evening, the atmosphere of the place is convivial. Prices are a bit steep for a food court but offer value for money.

    Location: 1 km north of the Old Town on Carrer de l'Emperadriu Eugènia

    Open: Thursday – Saturday from 12.30pm to 2am; Sunday – Wednesday from 12.30pm to 12am

    • Food
    10

    End the day lounging at Santa Catalina

    Skip from bar to bar and enjoy the warm evening breeze

    Santa Catalina neighborhood is located just west of the Old Town from which it’s separated by the Parc de la Feixina. This area hosts a lively nightlife scene. We’ve selected 3 recommended venues for you to enjoy an entertaining night in Palma de Mallorca. Located on Carrer de Pou, Wine Industry is a cozy wine bar with nice selection of tapas. Further south, on Carrer de Sant Magí, you’ll find Chakra, a glitzy and warm cocktail bar. On the same street, you can also head to LAB Cocktail Bar Food & Bartending Solutions. It’s praised as much for its mixed drinks as it is for its friendly ambience.

    Location: Just west of the Old Town

    • Nightlife
    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveler

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