The Majorcan capital. Home to some of the island’s richest culture and history. A hub of activity throughout the entire year. A city that represents 46% of the island’s population. There are hundreds of treasures to be discovered on the charming cobbled streets in the historical centre of Palma de Mallorca. Here at Gran Isla Hotels, we want to show you why Palma is the perfect place to spend a day trip with the family in Majorca, and give you the best tips on what to see, where to eat and what you can do in this prospering city.
The 5 must-see places in Palma
The Old Town of Palma provides the perfect setting to enjoy a delightful stroll with its charming cobbled and narrow streets that exude history at every corner. Here we will take you on a quick tour of the best places to see in Palma starting at the island’s most prestigious building…
This 14th-century majestic cathedral stands in pride of place on the seafront of the city and can be seen throughout due to its pure grandeur. Designed with a gothic style, it stands at 44 metres in height and also boasts a glamorous inside with stained glass windows. Twice a year you can also find the amazing light spectacle at the Cathedral, where hundreds of people gather to see the reflections of the Cathedral’s house the rose windows.
- Plaza Mayor
Once leaving the Cathedral doors, exit to the left-hand side and continue straight. You will pass the delightful town hall on your way to Plaza Mayor. It truly is an exquisite square located in the centre of the Old Town. A great meeting place for locals, where you can enjoy a coffee in the heart of the city. It is also a hub for cultural events with galleries, live music and bonfires taking place throughout the year.
- La Rambla
By walking down the stairs to the west of Plaza Mayor you will find the lovely La Rambla. Possibly the most charming cobbled passage in the city, that is embellished by rows of trees and features a delightful array of florist stands which add a wealth of colour to the setting.
Passeig des Born
From La Rambla turn back on yourself and continue on the street past Plaza Mayor, that leads to the top of the Passeig des Born. Another grand, picturesque walkway surrounded by trees that is also synonymous with shopping in the city. You can find a mixture of exclusive designer brands and high street favourites such as Zara and H&M and much more. The street also often hosts a range of cultural events in the city including the Sant Sebastià celebrations and the carnival parades.
- The Port
To complete this short tour of the city, continue to the end of Born and you will find yourself back at the cathedral. Take a right turn and there you can discover an incredible myriad of charming sailboats and luxury yachts that span all the way down the Paseo Maritimo. The port is a great place to enjoy a lovely stroll along the waterfront whilst admiring the collection of vessels that moor in the city, and you can find a collection of places to stop for a drink or a bite to eat along the way.
5 Places to Eat in Palma
- The Markets
There are two main markets in Palma. The first is Mercat de l’Olivar, found in the heart of the Old Town, which is a historic venue which features a wealth of gourmet foods and fresh and local produce. To the west of the city, you can find Santa Catalina Market, which is also a charming venue bustling with flavours and smells around every corner.
- Santa Catalina
Whilst it is home to the Market of the same name, this district of the city is home to a wealth of the capital’s restaurants. Whichever type of cuisine you desire, it’s almost impossible not to find a restaurant for it in Santa Catalina. Calle de la Fàbrica is a street that runs through the heart of the district that is filled with restaurants from beginning to end.
If you are wanting to stay closer to Plaza de España or around the centre of the city for dinner, the street Calle de Blanquerna is an optimal spot to find somewhere to eat. Similarly to Calle de la Fàbrica, this charming street features a wealth of restaurants including local and international cuisines.
- San Juan Gastronomic Market
Also known as L’Escorxador, this venue can be found a few minutes north of the Historical Centre of Palma and an exquisite range of international dishes. We’re talking about Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean, Majorcan, Thai, Indian and more, all within a few steps of each other. Perfect to enjoy a selection of various cuisines in a relaxed setting, that often provides live music at the weekend.
An alternative destination to go to eat after a beautiful stroll along the beach. Portixol is the beach which can be found just after the main beach in Palma and is home to Es Vaixell which serves the best Llonguets (the food most synonymous with the city and a nickname used for its people) There are a number of great cafés here including Enco and Yam. Whilst the Cocco restaurant serves a range of top-quality Italian food.
Best places to grab a drink in Palma
- La Lonja
A grand place which is also a must-see of the city and boasts a historical presence in a delightful setting. La Lonja, a trade centre of the 15th century, features small square outside of the main building that looks over the port. You can also explore a network of alleyways behind the square, which feature a number of hidden yet diverse and alternative bars.
- La Ruta Martiana
Also known as Tapas Tuesdays, is a small route that takes place Sindicat area of the city, you guessed it, every Tuesday. You can enjoy a selection of ‘Pintxos’ and a small glass of wine or beer for an excellent price. This area is only a few metres from Plaza Mayor, and some of the best places to enjoy La Ruta are Moltabarra, Lemon Tree, Sa Jugueteria, Quina Creu, Sa Corbata, La Cuadra del Maño, to name a few!
- Calle de Sant Magí
A street at the beginning of the Santa Catalina district where you can find a good relaxed atmosphere every night of the week and a thriving nightlife at the weekend. It’s home to a wide range of bars. If you are looking for cocktails, some great options include the rooftop of Bar Cuba, Chakra and Lab. On Saturday afternoon’s this area of the city is taken over by a middle-aged crowd who drink throughout the day, in a tradition known as Tardeo.
A place where the true party addicts can end their night or just continue until the morning. The Paseo Maritimo, or promenade as you could call it in English, features a range of clubs with mainly house, techno and reggaeton music. There are also a few Irish pubs which host live music late into the night. If you are looking for a bite to eat in the early hours of the morning, there are also a number of fast-food places along the way.
- Rooftop bars
If you would like a more sophisticated place to enjoy a refreshment with incredible panoramic views of the city, then get ready. There are a number of rooftop bars in Palma which are also one of the best ways to see the Palma Old Town from above. Scattered throughout the city, Brick hotel and Hotel Almudaina are two of the best options, whilst Hotel Saratoga features a jazz club and an exclusive bar.
Activities you can enjoy in Palma
Walk up to Bellver Castle
This 14th-century gothic castle was created for King Jaume I and is one of the only circular castles in Europe. You can also find a museum inside, about the history of the city. The walk itself takes you through a number of the city’s charming neighbourhoods, a picturesque little park with a lot of steps, and finally provides you with absolutely iconic views of the entire city.
- Es Baluard Museum
Although it is a fantastic art museum in Palma with an ever-changing array of exhibitions, Es Baluard also features a delightful bar and restaurant with a stunning terrace which overlooks the port.
Palma is well prepared for cyclists and features a wide network of cycling lanes pass throughout the city so that you can discover the city on two wheels. The cycling lanes also continue from the end of the port all the way along the beachfront to Palma Aquarium and is a very enjoyable and easy route to enjoy the city’s gorgeous coastline.
- Relax on the Beach
There are a few beaches in Palma, at which you can enjoy the best of the Mediterranean sun and sea. The city’s biggest beach is the Playa de Can Pere Antoni, a long sandy beach located at the East of Palma. It is home to two beach clubs, Anima Beach and Assaona Gastrobeach Club where you can enjoy a drink on the seafront in an exclusive setting. If you continue walking at the end of the Assaona, you can discover the beautiful pebbled beach in Portixol, which is also renowned for its cafés and restaurants.
Palma de Mallorca Hidden Gems
- C’an Joan de Saigo
A chain of incredible Majorcan cafés, scattered throughout the Old Town, which serve the best local delicacies such as ensaimadas (a sweet thin pastry sometimes containing chocolate or cream) and empanadas (a typical pie often containing meat).
- C’an Angel
A very hidden bar which welcomes you with a cave-like atmosphere with a giant tree stump in the entrance. Very popular amongst locals for its bottles of pomade, which is a mixture of Gin Xoriguer from Menorca and lemon. A cheap and alternative place to enjoy a drink.
- Café Antiquari
A charming café which can be found in the heart of the Old Town. Hidden on the street Costa de la Pols behind the Sant Miquel Cathedral, a place at which you can enjoy a delicious drink in a charming setting after some shopping or exploring in the centre.
The undisputed best ice-cream in Palma. the Italian gelato experts have two establishments in the city, one hidden behind Palma cathedral and the other located opposite La Lonja.
A true treasure on the island of Majorca. Whether you are looking for a day trip from Palmanova or a day trip from Santa Ponsa, Palma de Mallorca is the perfect place to enjoy a wealth of culture, history, gastronomy and entertainment throughout the year.
Discover the very best of Majorca with Gran Isla Hotels.