Palma, a historical Spanish city is situated on the south coast of the island on the Bay of Palma, proudly showing off the historical traces of Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, and the remains of a Talaiotic settlement. Formerly known as Palma de Mallorca, it was the capital city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain and also a famous port. Due to the sunny weather and warm beaches, the city has been a favourite summer holiday destination of the royals as well as international tourists. Today, Palma is a cosmopolitan city, embracing people from Spain and Europe. The island’s population also includes many migrants from South America and Africa.
In addition to the nightlife and lively arts scenes, the Copa del Rey yachting competition attracts large number of tourists to the city.
Cathedral of Santa Maria (Cathedral La Seu):
Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma is more commonly referred to as La Seu. This Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral is built on the site of a pre-existing Arab mosque. King James I of Aragon began the construction of La Seu in 1229 and completed it in 1601. The length of La Seu is 121 metres; the width is 55 metres while its nave is 44 metres tall. Though the cathedral is designed in the Catalan Gothic style, it also shows Northern European influences.
Bellver Castle (Castell de Bellver):
One of the few circular castles in Europe, Bellver Castle is the seat for the city’s History Museum. It depicts Gothic style of architecture and was built in the 14th century for King James II. Under civil control today, the castle was used as a military prison throughout 18th to mid-20th century. Bellver Castle is one of the main tourist attractions on the island.
Arab Baths (Banys Arabs):
Fascinating remains of history, Banys Arabs (Arab Baths) show the influence of Moorish occupation in Palma who called it Medina Mayurqa. A tiny tourist attraction in the city of Palma, the roof and columns of this single small bathing chamber are wisely preserved. Its graceful colonnade and the proportionate architecture have attracted many architects and history lovers. Banys Arabs show to what heights the Arab culture and architecture had reached during middle ages.
Collection of arts in Diocesan Museum highlights some of the masterpieces of Italian art. These collections actually belong to some other churches in town but are exhibited here as they can not be kept at their original places due to safety and security reasons. The museum is spread along three different levels and gives access to a small residence of monks.
Town Hall (Ajuntament de Palma):
Palma’s charming town hall dates back to the 17th century. According to the history of the hall, it was built in 1515 but burned down in 1842. Along with it, the records of centuries of Canarian history and the island’s public archives were also destroyed. Today it is a famous rendezvous spot as outside the hall some pretty stone benches are installed where locals love to sit, chat, and spend a wonderful time.
Passeig des Born:
One can enjoy a beautiful view of the cathedral sitting at any of the cool cafes at this avenue. Bars and cafes at this street are famous for delicious food and drinks. Not only that, stores of brands such as H&M, Massimo Dutti and Zara are here in this avenue to serve your shopping hunger. People get attracted to this marvellous avenue, Passeig des Born, due to its beauty and tranquil atmosphere. This is a great place to relax, spend a day and hang around.
Pueblo Español (C- del Poble Espanyol):
Pueblo Español, also known as C- del Poble Espanyol is an architectural museum that mirrors a village-like design. It unfolds some facsimiles of the classical works of Spanish architecture. This can be a great day-trip spot when you are in Palma as the weekdays here are full of entertainment. Various artisans' shops, restaurants and bars operating within the museum are ideal to stroll through and sip some drinks while enjoying the masterpieces in this museum.
Placa Major (Plaza Mayor):
Now a hub of old town, Placa Major originally housed the offices of inquisition. The cobbled streets, old buildings, and outdoor craft market in the Placa Major are the main attractions. Vast range of good bars and restaurants can be found dotted around the edge of the square. In addition to this, it also has quite a number of art galleries and hence it is also known the “artists’ quarter”.
Plaça Cort :
Plaza Cort, also famous as Placa de Cort is a square in the centre of Palma, where the Town Council of Palma is situated. This old centre of Palma, boasts an eye-catching Baroque styled facade made from numerous elements of the 17th century. The Gothic church Iglesia de Santa Catalina here is also famous as a tourist spot.
Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum:
A modern art gallery and museum, Es Baluard is located on the old Palma’s harbour side fortifications. The museum boasts a large and permanent display of works by Spanish modern artists. Along with them are the exhibitions arranged by various artists from corners of the world. It attracts not only the art lovers but also those who are not keen on modern art, as they can enjoy their sunset drinks in the spectacular views of the Palma harbour.
This bar is famous for its fruit drinks and flowers. It also has a museum of art, music, paintings, sculptures and architecture. The antique furniture and ornaments of great taste at the bar welcome you to a whole new world of colours and fragrances.
Tito's is a discotheque situated on Paseo Maritimo. It is also addressed as a place of reference in the city of Palma. Its futuristic spaceship shape catches the visitors’ eye while the wide views of Palma bay from two panoramic elevators hypnotize the mind.
Son Amar is located on the Soller road near the town of Palmanyola. Just 15 minutes from Palma, this popular place holds classic dinner shows in Mallorca. Along with a wide choice from superb menus, Son Amar also offers high class international entertainment.
Bierkönig meaning ‘Beer King’ started in 1988. Since then it has been the place where the largest gastronomic installation of the ham route is available. In 2002, it has started an enormous beer garden, and a corporate building, due to which it remains open throughout all the seasons.
La Bodeguita del Medio:
One can enjoy various dance forms such as salsa, Latino and mojito at this bar. The Bodeguita bar shows off its Caribbean atmosphere and offers music and the best Cuban drinks to its customers making itself a great place with full of entertainment.
Cap de Formentor, The Northwest Coast Scenic Drive:
This is the most beautiful drive in Palma de Majorca for bike riders and photographers. Though little busy with traffic, this road is worth a drive. Bestowed with nature’s beauty, stunning views of the Mediterranean beaches from the top of the surrounding mountains, Cap de Formentor carves a niche in mind for sure. A visit as early as possible in the morning is ideal as the beaches get very busy during the day.
Palma City Historical Walking Tour:
This is a half-day tour in and around the city that introduces you to the fascinating, culturally diverse city of Palma. Walks on the cobbled streets take us to the enchanting and hidden courtyards, and visits to the Gothic Quarter, Cathedral de la Seu and Alumdaina Royal Palace, the main attractions of this tour take us by surprise.
Palma de Mallorca City Hop-on Hop-off Tour:
Opting for this tour enables you to hop-on and hop-off as many times as you want while you roam in and around the city in an open-top double-decker bus. The tour ticket is valid for 24 hours from first use and the route covers 15 conveniently located stops around the city. This tour gives you a chance to set your own itinerary and see the city attractions at your own pace.
Join the fiestas:
Spain is well known for its celebrations, festivals and Palma is no exception. The city celebrates the national holidays and fiestas that lay emphasis on traditions, food, and processions. Most of the fiestas have exhibitions, side stalls and attractions such as parades of local dancers dressed up in traditional costumes or fancy dresses. These fiesta days prove to be great opportunities for the family to get together, socialize and maintain the old traditions.
Wine Tasting Tour:
The wine tasting tour includes a walk through the vineyards and cellars. It offers a closer look at the old processes and methods of wine making that are still in practice. In addition, the tour also offers an opportunity to taste the excellent wines such as the Callet, Manto Negro, Prensal Blanc etc. along with a few local tapas and other delicacies.
Palma is a heaven for scuba divers as clear waters and nearby natural underwater caves makes great diving spots. The waters around Palma are home to some beautiful reefs, as well as plenty of marine flora and fauna including starfish, sea urchins, and squid. Diving sites vary from easy to challenging diving. The novices are guided by instructors as to which site to choose. The diving clubs and centres here provide all the necessary equipments.
Calm and crystal clear water surrounding Palma is a reason why kayaking is becoming very popular today. The island is rising to fame for cannoning and climbing as well. The adventure enthusiasts can hire the equipment kits necessary for a range of such adventurous activities. Qualified instructors guide provide the top class guidance to beginners.
Palma has variety of markets including upscale markets, flea markets and organic food markets as well. Avinguda Jaume III and Passeig des Born are the main areas with up-scale boutiques while Placa Major is surrounded with small specialist shops. Shopping malls and hypermarkets such as Centro Comercial Porto Pi are within close vicinity of city centre. For varied fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat you can set out to the huge, colourful indoor Olivar Market. It is a feast for the eyes!
Scenic Train Ride from Palma to Soller:
This is a day excursion that takes about 1 hour 30 minutes to reach Soller from Palma. A short journey though, it takes you back in time 50 years earlier. The trains to Soller leave Palma, run 27 kilometres along its narrow-gauge tracks through beautiful landscapes, villages, country stations and go up into the mountains making you feel you are travelling back in time. The vintage carriages of the trains, mahogany panels and brass fittings in the train add up to the nostalgic feeling and leave you spellbound.
Join in the Nightlife:
Palma has a great number of lively, friendly bars and pubs. Usually small in size, most of the bars and pubs are located in the area called "Paseo Maritimo". They cater for every class of tourist, may it be young or adult. Nightclubs, discos, pubs and cafes in other urban centres such as Pollença, Llucmajor, Magaluff and Alcudia all have their own style. In addition, there are more lively and fun hangouts along the island's northern belt as well. Submerge yourself in Palma’s night life and your trip to the city will be an experience of a lifetime.
Q.1) Where is Palma located?
Ans: Palma is the capital city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain. A major city and port on the island of Majorca, it is situated on the south coast of the island on the Bay of Palma.
Q.2) What is Palma famous for?
Ans: Set in the beautiful bay of Palma, Palma (i.e. Palma de Majorca) is famous for its stunning sunsets, and heritage. The city’s huge 13th century cathedral, the 10th century Arab baths and old quarter of narrow winding streets and ornate squares enhance the beauty of the city.
Q.3) What is Palma’s climate like?
Ans: The climate in Palma de Mallorca is typically Mediterranean. Warm average temperatures and seasonal rains are commonly observed. In the summer, weather is hot and dry as the temperatures averages between 29ºC and 31ºC. During winter, the temperature at night falls down to 5ºC or remains in between 5ºC and 9ºC. The rainfall patterns are very irregular. Months in autumn, between September and November are the rainiest while droughts are common as well.
Q.4) Which is the main airport in Palma?
Ans: Son Sant Joan, the main airport of Palma serves over 22 million passengers each year.
Q.5) Do I need a visa to visit Palma as a tourist?
Ans: Citizens of the USA, the EU, Norway, Iceland, Japan, Canada, Australia or New Zealand do not need a visa to enter Spain and are entitled for a visit and stay for 90 days. For a stay longer than that, ‘Permiso de Residencia’ (residency permit) is needed. This can be obtained at a police station and you must be able to prove that you can support yourself financially. If you get employed within this time period, the employers often provide help with the certificate. Nationals of all the countries other than mentioned above should contact Spanish consulate in their locality or country.
Q.6) What are the important but basic phrases in Spanish that a tourist should know when conversing with locals?
Ans: Here are Spanish equivalent phrases and phonetics of some useful English phrases.
Q.7) What is the official language of Palma?
Ans: The official languages of Palma are Spanish and Catalan. The local dialect of Catalan is called Mallorquin which is widely spoken in Palma along with Spanish and English to some extent as well.
Q.8) Which is the best season to visit Palma?
Ans: The best season to visit Palma is during summer, from the months of June to September. The temperatures between the month of June and September usually rise to around 25ºC. During the rainy season, one should avoid visiting Palma as the rain patterns are very irregular.
Q.9) Which currency is used in Palma? Are there any ATMs?
Ans: Euro is the local currency of Palma, Spain. EUR is the official currency code for the Euro. The airport and the city have many conveniently located ATMs for cash withdrawal. The banks in Palma also have their own Cash Machines (ATMs) and foreign currency facilities as well.
Q.10) Which is the cheapest mode of transport to explore Palma?
Ans: The cheapest option to explore and roam in-and-around Palma is travelling by bus. All the towns as well as the remote areas in Palma are well-connected by bus transport system.
Q.11) I am in Palma for a week. Which area has the best budget hotels?
Ans: The best budget hotels in Palma are situated either in close vicinity of tourist attractions or city centre. To know more about budget hotels in Palma, please visit Palma Hotels.
Q.12) Please provide the emergency numbers in Palma
Ans: Here are some useful emergency contact numbers that are used across the whole island of Palma.
Q.13) Please suggest the best hospital in Palma.
Ans: Palma has number of best hospitals. Here are the details of some of them.
Q.14) Do I need to have medical insurance during my stay in Palma?
Ans: It has been observed that minimum 3 out of every 100 tourists experience some or other kind of unexpected illness, injury, accident or surgery when travelling abroad. It is necessary for tourists to note that in most of the cases, local insurance does not cover health problems while being abroad. Hence, it is advised that all tourists be covered with a good travel health insurance prior to their travel and arrival in Palma.
Q.15) Which are the most famous beaches in Palma?
Ans: Palma de Mallorca is bestowed with sun-kissed beaches. Cala Major is one of the famous beaches situated to the west of Palma de Mallorca. Other famous beaches include Formentor beach also known as Cala Pi de sa Posada, Pollenca, Alcúdia Beach (Platja de Muro), Cala Agulla Beach, Cala Millor Beach and Sa Coma Beach.