6 mins

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...

Travel guide to Palma, Mallorca (Anthony Mark Borrell)

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 20th 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

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. 

Mid-range

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.

Budget

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. 

El Camino

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.

Aromata

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

Day one

La Seu Cathedral (Shutterstock)

La Seu Cathedral (Shutterstock)

Morning

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.

 Afternoon

A few minutes’ walk from La Rambla, on Calle Unió, pop by 18th 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.

 

Evening

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. 

Day two 

The castle of Bellver (Julio de Castro Sánchez)

The castle of Bellver (Julio de Castro Sánchez)

Morning

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 

Afternoon

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. 

Evening

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

Explore more of Palma 

Feeling inspired? 

For more inspiration and information on travel to Palma, go to: visitpalma.com/en

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