I recently returned from a few days in Palma de Mallorca and can say Palma was like a breath of fresh air and the dose of sunshine I need. There are many things to do in Palma de Mallorca in Spain.
The beautiful resort city is filled with historic buildings, contemporary galleries, and many beaches, coves, and vineyards to explore. It offers visitors a rich experience of art, culture, and top-tier gastronomy.
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I now see why Palma Mallorca, Spain, has attracted the rich and famous for the longest time. Celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor have made the island their playground. Prolific writers nestle up on the island to draw inspiration from its fantastic scenery and natural surroundings.
Palma de Mallorca gives its guests a luxurious experience like no other. You’ll be kicking yourself as to why you hadn’t visited sooner.
The city is best known for its luxury hotels, charming boutiques and sandy beaches. You’ll be able to visit this destination throughout the year because of its fantastic climate, and tourists are always entertained by the array of restaurants, bars, and art galleries.
Palma is the capital city of Mallorca and the Balearic archipelago, which sits in the Balearic Sea in the Mediterranean region. The Balearic Islands form part of the Autonomous Communities, established in 1983.
As the capital of the Balearic Islands, Palma is one of Spain’s top tourist destinations. From the historic square in the Old Town to the three large bays, flourishing pine forests, and buzzing fresh food markets, it’s no wonder the island attracts more than four million visitors annually.
With so much on offer, you might want to know what to do in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Below is a list of sights and activities that will allow you to explore the best of the city.
The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, commonly known as La Seu, is a must-see for those who love historical buildings and ancient architecture. The Cathedral has a Gothic Roman Catholic theme and is designed with a Catalan Gothic style that began in 1229 under King James I of Aragon.
The magnificent golden sandstone building is one of Europe’s tallest Gothic structures. You can find the beautiful monument in Plaza de la Seu, the heart of Palma.
Time-travel to the beginning times of Mallorca by going on a self-guided or guided tour of the Palma Cathedral.
The Cathedral is open from 10:00 to 17:15 from Monday to Friday. Then, between 10:00 and 14:15 on Saturdays and on Sundays, the Cathedral is closed.
The price to enter the Cathedral costs 20 Euros for non-residents.
The Cathedral is one of the top tourist destinations of Palma. You can book a guided walking tour in advance to avoid missing out on seeing this masterpiece of architecture.
An exciting bus tour through Palma is the best way to see the capital city of Mallorca if you are short on time. Your journey starts at Puerto Marina and takes you to several attractions where you can hop off and explore for up to 48-hours.
Your first stop will be at Antoni Maura, and then you will make 18 stops along the way.
Some of the stops include the Bellver Castle, Porta des Camp and Plaza Gomila, and even a boat tour, depending on whether you choose the 24-hour or 48-hour tickets.
The tour is ideal for visitors who would like to explore some of the best sights Palma offers in a day or two. You get to admire the integrated historical architecture of Poble Espanyol or the mesmerising scenery of Plaza de Espana.
A quick wine and tapas tour across Mallorca is the best way to learn everything you need to know about traditional tastes.
Try to link up with a local guide as I did, so that you can have the inside scoop on Spain’s proudest delicacies, soft drinks, tapas, wines and olive oils.
A food tour will provide you with mouth-watering eateries and an opportunity to embrace Mallorcan culture and history through its food.
Traditional Mallorcan dishes are diverse and have a flavoursome history that draws from Moorish, North-African, and Roman influences. You’re in for a treat for those who’d like to get their hands dirty and experience first-hand how to prepare and cook Mallorcan dishes.
The Palma Spanish cooking experience invites you to observe a local chef in their element. The three-hour class will teach you how to cook a full menu of traditional Mallorcan and Spanish dishes.
Palma’s historical square has much to offer the wandering tourist on foot. A walking tour is a fantastic way to start your day in Palma Mallorca.
You will find yourself in awe as you’re surrounded by many historical structures such as the Sant Nicolau or the Santa Catalina de Sena and the Royal Palace of La Almudaina.
Unlike a bus tour that takes you to set locations, a walk-through Palma allows you to explore the city’s hidden gems. Classic coffee shops, quirky boutiques, and everything you might have missed, and it is not overcrowded with tourists.
If you’re hoping to soak up as many interesting facts about this city as possible, you’ll want to try a guided walking tour.
It’ll only take an hour of your time while you dash around the top historical attractions – but after the Cathedral and a visit to Valldemossa village, you’ll never want to leave.
The cafe offers you a taste of Mallorcan history with various hot beverages, snacks, and cakes. So, you cannot leave Palma without a visit to Ca’n Joan de S’Aigo.
The first cafe was established in the 1700s in Palma and became known as one of the oldest chocolatiers in Europe and one of the first ice cream makers of Mallorca.
Why not grab a steaming cup of coffee in the mornings or perhaps homemade ice cream on a warm afternoon? The interior and atmosphere are unmatched by most modern cafes because when you step inside, you’ll feel like you’re in a different era.
The historic cafe is most famous for its delicious hot chocolate paired with sponge cake– try to dip the cake into the hot chocolate for a sweet indulgence like no other.
The Royal Palace of La Almudaina is a 14th century Palace that became the home to the King and Queen of Spain during summer months. Visitors can gush at the beautiful palace and witness the extraordinary living conditions of the Royals.
The castle looks as though it is straight out of a fairytale and contains a courtyard, living quarters for the King and Queen, the Royal Chapel, and a rectangular tower.
The general public can purchase up to eight tickets from the Royal Palace of La Almudaina’s official site. Entry times range from Tuesdays to Sundays, depending on the season.
It’s best to also look at the official site to see the different seasonal hours and the closing dates for 2022 for a smooth visit.
Alternatively, the skip-the-line tickets allow you to walk into the Royal palace on your own time and explore the halls at your own pace.
You can get a peek at three of the grand rooms and stroll through the peaceful gardens. And if you’re not marvelling at the ancient architecture, artefacts, and centuries-old furnishings, then you will be graced with stunning views of the Bay of Palma.
Also known by its Spanish name ‘El Casco Antiguo,’ Old Town Palma is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. The Old Town of Palma is brimming with history and tourists too.
You can expect to see many historical buildings and monuments, from the Cathedral to Palau De Almudaina.
There are few things that can compete with Palma’s ability to draw from ancient and modern times. Explore buildings from various centuries by day and wind up in a luxury hotel or modern restaurant by night.
The Old Town may not be so old anymore as it has become the hub for shopping and cafe culture with a buzzing nightlife.
You can either explore the Old Town solo and weave your way through the narrow streets with places to see and things to do around every corner. Or, if you are time-conscious, book a guided tour through Old Town instead.
The guided tour will take you on an exciting venture complete with stories and cultural sites.
Admire palaces and architecture of the many sandy-coloured structures, then find yourself intrigued by Antoni Gaudí’s Catalan Modernism artwork.
S’Hort del Rei is an enchanting garden located beside the Almudaina Palace. The garden is also referred to by its Catalan meaning ‘The King’s Orchard’ or just ‘Rey Park.’
Visitors can get a sense of how the garden has once served fruits and vegetables for a 14th-century palace. Today Rey Park is a public space for locals and tourists to enjoy.
The Andalusian gardens inspired the design of the garden, and architect Gabriel Alomar curated it in the 1960s. Upon entering, you’ll be graced with charming scenery of ancient Moorish arches, bronze sculptures, and swan-filled ponds.
You can start your day on a peaceful note, encouraged by the sounds of chirping birds, subtle moving water, and rustling leaves. Or come for a lazy afternoon stroll through lush greenery, cypress trees, and magical Arabian-style fountains to calm down and refresh.
Passeig del Born or otherwise referred to by its nickname the Golden Mile is a boulevard in the historic centre dripping in luxury. The Golden Mile boulevard was made for those who indulge in a lavish lifestyle, and it’s a haven for shopaholics.
You’ll be faced with some of the top designer brands of our time, including Rolex and Louis Vuitton. The elegant street is humming with life and offers guests a lavish shopping excursion like no other.
As you stroll down the famous boulevard, you will learn how the modern designer shops and restaurants have been integrated into the historical buildings. The Spanish apparel retailer Zara has taken the place of an old cinema, and an 18th-century mansion now serves as a tourist office.
You’ll find restaurants and cafeterias scattered about, ideal for people watching if your intention in Palma de Mallorca is not to break the bank further.
Mercat de l’Olivar is a traditional market that has been operating since 1951. Locals and visitors can dive into the array of quality fresh produce to cook delicious meals, or if you don’t have time to cook, you can choose from the prepared dishes.
Here you’ll find a buzzing atmosphere filled with fellow foodies. Treat your senses to a diverse gastronomical affair– indulge in oysters, sparkling wine, sushi, champagne, and more.
Visitors can purchase treats and dishes from the Mercadona supermarket or the several stalls, bars, cafeterias, and restaurants available to the public.
The Bellver Castle is a well-preserved piece of Mallorcan History that stands tall today. You’ll get to know the enchanting castle and its extensive backstory while doing the bus tour. Like other landmarks, the Bellver Castle also goes by its Catalan name Castell de Bellver which means “lovely view.”
The name does not disappoint as you are afforded breath-taking views of pine woods, the Bay of Palma, and the Tramuntana mountain range.
Visitors can ogle at the Catalan Gothic masterpiece from Tuesday to Saturday between 10:00 and 19:00 and on Sundays between 10:00 and 15:00.
Once you’ve ventured throughout the entire Palma city, you might want to try something a bit more adventurous. Catch a break from manufactured features and set course to discovering one of nature’s beautiful inventions and popular tourist attractions, the Drach Caves.
The infamous caves are located in Porto Cristo, east coast of Mallorca. The Drach Caves extend to about 1,200 metres in length and have a depth of 25 metres; even more impressive is that the caves sit upon Lake Martel, one of the largest underground lakes globally.
You can book full or half-day tickets, depending on your schedule. A full-day excursion would be the better option if you want to see both the Caves of Hams and Porto Cristo for the day.
Regardless, the Drach Caves is a must-do adventure for any trip to Mallorca, as you’ll marvel at the beauty of the rock formations and underground lake.
The Art and Contemporary Museum of Palma is a must-visit for anyone who loves art. Better known by its Catalan name ‘Es Baluard,’ the museum boasts a stunning collection of paintings.
The museum exists due to the combined effort of the King of Spain and businessman Mr Pedro Serra to develop Mallorca’s cultural attractions further.
The pieces represent the love and admiration Pedro Serra has had for art throughout his life. His collection comprises contemporary works created by notable artists such as Picasso and Joan Miró. Visitors can admire the art collection from Tuesday to Saturday between 10:00 and 20:00 and on Sundays between 10:00 and 15:00.
You can find out more about the visiting hours, the exhibitions lined up, and ticket rates on the official page of Es Baluard museum.
Explore the city of Palma with an exciting e-bike ride through the Old Town. You can discover hidden parts of the city and learn more about its history as you traverse the charming streets.
Alternatively, you can take a regular guided bike tour. You’ll get to see many magnificent sites on the three-hour excursion, from monuments to historical sites, such as the Royal Palace of La Almudaina and La Lonja, famous for its nightlife.
After all the bike riding, you’ll be treated to delicious tapas from a Spanish-themed restaurant, and a refreshing drink at a café – all of this will be included in your guided bike tour ticket.
Plaza del Mercat is a small historical square that sits in the heart of Palma. Here you can bask in the beauty of your surroundings.
Your eyes will wander from one architectural masterpiece to another – from the 18th-century bell tower of San Nicolás Church to the Pensión Menorquina and Casasayas buildings.
Many visitors come here to draw inspiration from the beautiful centenarian ficus tree, as it takes its place proudly among ancient buildings.
Visitors can stroll through the square and be lured in by an array of bold boutiques. Or find yourself browsing through many fascinating art galleries.
The best time to visit Plaza de Mercat would be on the 19th of January as Palma residents will celebrate to honour the life of Sant Sebastià (a Christain saint and martyr).
If you join in on the celebration, you’ll be dancing with the locals, enjoying live music and feasting on a delicious Mallorcan barbeque.
Palma might be the capital of Mallorca, but the island has much more to offer. Here are two nearby places that are definitely worth a visit:
Diea is regarded as one of the most beautiful villages on the island. The quaint village sits peacefully at the base of the Teix mountain and overlooks the Mediterranean, which provides visitors with stunning natural scenery for adventurous hikes.
Apart from the village’s rich cultural heritage and artistic charm, the Belmond Hotel Residencia remains its main attraction with an impressive list of guests featuring Princess Diana and Robbie Williams.
Alcúdia is a small town of Mallorca best known for its amazing Mediterranean beaches and a wide variety of cultural activities.
Visitors can partake in local festivities and concerts, and the September Jazz festival is an absolute must for all jazz lovers. Alcúdia is the perfect beach holiday getaway with high-end resorts and gastronomy intertwined with rich Mallorcan culture.
A visit to unknown terrain and circumstances can be daunting, but you will find the trip much more relaxing if you prepare yourself well enough.
And for those who travel on a budget, you can learn how to save money while touring Europe. Below are some tips for when you find yourself in Palma de Mallorca.
I suggest renting a car if you are looking to explore the narrow streets of Palma in solitude and in your own time or if you plan on seeing more of the island. Renting a car is the most reliable and time-conscious way of travelling around the island.
If you plan to take the more budget-friendly route, you’ll have access to public buses, trains, and bicycle rentals.
It’s always best to prepare for your trip and book your activities in advance. Now you can avoid waiting in long lines or not booking a tour in time.
Mallorca has a Mediterranean climate which means the island experiences mild winters and hot summers. The temperature remains warm throughout the year, with sultry summer weather that will have you gasping for a swim.
So, to prepare for the warm weather, you want to pack appropriate clothing, sun protection, and polarised sunglasses to protect yourself from UV rays.
Palma, Spain, is an idyllic escape like no other. The island is perfect for both couples and families as there are many activities for any age to enjoy. If you’re not soaking up the sun at one of the beaches, you’re exploring a picturesque village or enjoying a night out.
The luxurious accommodation, designer shopping stores, and historical settings create an atmosphere of lavish living. So, for a few days, you’ll be living like a king or queen; what could be better?
If you need more help planning your trip to Spain, check out these wonderful Palma hotels with pools.