Things to do in Palma: a perfect day out
There’s more to Mallorca than fine sandy beaches and sunshine. The capital Palma is a popular city break destination in its own right, easily reachable by car from all of our Mallorca villas. Here’s our guide to doing Palma in a day, though you’ll probably be tempted to come back for more…
A good start point is to approach the city from the west, stopping off at the fourteenth century Bellver Castle on the way. The views are wonderful, and you can begin to orientate yourself for the day ahead.
From the castle you can either walk (30 minutes) or drive into town, perhaps making a little detour into the market at Santa Catalina. Cut through the Parque de la Feixina to get onto the palm tree-lined Avenida Gabriel Roca. Soon you’ll see Sa Llotja, an impressive fifteenth century Gothic building which looks like a cross between a castle and a church. Sa Llotja is the old merchant stock exchange and it’s well worth a look at the dramatic lofty interior which regularly hosts art exhibitions.
Soak up the atmosphere of contemporary Palma and wander towards the famous Passeig d’es Born. This elegant boulevard is one of the most stylish streets in Palma, lined with smart boutiques and back lit by the bright blue of the Med at one end. Turn down one of the many quieter cobbled side streets for tapas or a seafood lunch.
If you’re travelling with young children, this might be a good point to head back out of the city and take in Palma Aquarium which has plenty of marine-themed activities and play space for little ones. Alternatively, older children often love the weird and wonderful works by Salvador Dalí displayed at the nearby Museo Can Morey de Santi Martí. If the sun is still high and you are in need of some shade, it’s worth a quick visit to the Arabic Baths.
For adults and teens, you could take another shot at the shops after lunch, or head towards the city’s main architectural sites. Palma’s huge Gothic cathedral dominates the waterfront skyline. Known as La Seu, the cathedral was built on the site of a pre-existing Arabic mosque, within the former Roman city walls. This is a vibrant area popular with both visitors and locals, and the Parque del Mar, which stretches between La Seu and the sea, is a great place to have a drink or an ice cream and watch the world go by.
There are dozens of places for dinner in the city, but we recommend making the short drive to the former fishing village of Portixol. This is Palma’s coolest beach suburb, and the seafront bars and restaurants are the perfect place to enjoy the sunset.