There is no city like Palma de Mallorca. Excellent restaurants and cosy cafés, world-renowned hotels next to small but glamorous boutique hotels, art galleries and museums, infinite shopping possibilities, a beautiful castle, fabulous beach and harbour make Mallorca‘s capital the place to be.
The Romans were the first settlers in Palma de Mallorca. They started building on early Talayotic remains from the bronze epoch. Later Byzantines and Moors took over the city and left beautiful monuments such as the baños árabes (Arabian baths). In 1229 the city was conquered by James I of Aragon, renamed Palma and became Mallorca’s capital. During the reign of his son James II some of Palma’s most emblematic buildings were completed such as the Bellver Castle. The Crown of Aragon also began the construction of the famous La Seu cathedral.
The crown’s reign lasted until 1741 when the city was separated from the goverment. About a hundred years later, in 1833, Palma became the Balearic Islands’ capital. During the 19th century the city began growing economically thanks to its involvement in the shipping business and grew larger in population too. The economic growth was increased during the 50s when Palma became a popular destination for mass tourism in Spain.
The historic and traditional yet modern and vibrant city now attracts millions of tourists every year. Popular among both visitors and locals, Palma offers lots of things to do and see all year long. In 2015 the island’s capital was named ‘best place to live in the world’ by The Times. Thanks to its picturesque old town, lively city centre, expansive harbour, great connections to the rest of the island and many more characteristics Palma has become a sought-after destination.
Best Palma Shopping Guide
There is an abundance of shopping possibilities in Palma de Mallorca, from beautiful concept stores like Rialto Living to glamorous fashion brands like Louis Vuitton and unique shops like Maricastaña.
You can not miss the Paseo del Borne when you’re into luxury shopping. Head to the city centre to find more commercial stores on Calle San Miguel.
Palma also counts with excellent shopping malls a bit farther away from the centre such as Mallorca Fashion Outlet, Porto Pi Centre or Fan Mallorca Shopping.
What to do in Palma de Mallorca
We help you find the best things to do, places to go and give you an idea of how to spend one day in Palma.
In the Morning
Start your exciting day in the capital with a rich breakfast. There are many hip cafés that offer delicious coffee, croissants, the typical pa amb oli, avocado toast and much more. Just to name a few, there are La Molienda, Mama Carmen’s, Mise En Place, Fibonacci and Santina Palma.
There is a never-ending list of fantastic places in Palma to enjoy a coffee. Lluis Pérez serves outstanding pastries while Ca’n Joan de S’aigo is a must go for every ensaimada lover. The romantic Mariola’s Bakery and Rosevelvet Bakery also offer delicacies for those with a sweet tooth. The Cappuccino Grand Cafés serve the best classic coffee and other cosy cafés like L’Antiquari will enchant you with their charm. Not a coffee fan? There are numerous places in Palma that offer healthy juices, smoothies and vegan snacks like Ziva To Go, Rambla 28 or Simple Smart Food Bar.
It’s impossible to see all the city’s most iconic attractions in one day. If you love architecture and history spend some time at the dreamy Castell de Bellver at the end of the bay or at the magnificent Cathedral La Seu with its beautiful Parc de la Mar. Or visit the ancient royal palace Palau Almudaina and the characteristic Pueblo Español. Walk the narrow streets of Palma’s old town, the lively quarter La Lonja or hip Santa Catalina. Boat fans can enjoy the sea breeze in the huge harbour and take a walk along the Paseo Marítimo.
Get a real taste of Mallorca’s culture visiting some museums such as the Es Baluard Museum with its beautiful terrace, the Fundación Pilar y Joan Miró, Casal Solleric and Palau March Museum. One of the most popular activities in Palma Gallery hopping, There are numerous galleries in Palma de Mallorca too, for example Gallery Red or Gerhardt Braun Gallery, where you can admire contemporary art.
The choice of the perfect lunch spot really depends on what you feel like having. For contemporary asian cuisine lunch at The Kitchen. Try yummy fish tacos with frozen margaritas at the taquería Aquanauta. Head to La Parada at the Plaza España for an exciting lunch menu. Spot and Simply Delicious by Ronen in Santa Catalina serve healthy meals made with fresh local products. At Duke Restaurant you will taste euro-asian fusion cuisine surrounded by surf boards and listening to chill-out music. Vegans will love the lunch menu at Bon Lloc. You still can’t decide? At the Mercado Gastronómico San Juan, located in a 1905 building, you will find a heavenly food market. Craving some refreshing ice cream after lunch? Bo Bom Gelato is your place!
The bay of Palma is famous for its lively harbour and boardwalk by the sea but is also home to two beautiful city beaches. Relax at the small stretches of golden sand near Portixol and Ciutat Jardí.
In the Evening
To choose between so many unique and outstanding restaurants can be quite a difficult task. For grilled delicacies head to Koa in La Lonja. Catalina La Fina, Ombu and Gaudeix serve excellent gourmet tapas while Balagan by Etoh is specialized in mediterranean, middle-eastern creations. Thai food lovers will adore the unique meals at Restaurante Koh and ‘Mediterrasian’ cuisine at Fera Restaurant. Try heavenly raw food at Tast Club or the best burgers at Badal Burger. Don’t miss their deluxe fries topped with parmesan and truffle mayonnaise. Indulge in authentic Mallorcan cuisine by the Michelin-awarded chef Andreu Genestra at Aromata. For more Michelin-star meals head to Marc Fosh or Adrián Quetglas.
Want to escape the city? Have a tasty cocktail mixed with the smell of the sea at Purobeach, Anima Beach or The Boat House.
For highly unique drinks in town head to Brassclub and try their exquisite María Antonieta cocktail. La Rosa Vermutería is famous for their delicious vermouth while Bar Abaco will fascinate you not only with great cocktails but also its dreamlike interior.
Sip champagne or a glass of wine at the Hotel Hostal Cuba’s Sky Bar or Nakar Hotel’s rooftop bar for stunning views or dance until sunrise at Garito Café.
You love a luxurious sea view room? Then stay at Meliá Palma Bay or Hotel Es Príncep. Also check Mallorca´s Luxury Hotels.
You prefer a more intimate hotel in the centre of Palma de Mallorca? Then choose between the hip Purohotel, the elegant Hotel Sant Francesc and the glamorous boutique hotels Summum, Can Alomar, Glòria de Sant Jaume or the newly opened Hotel Mamá by Grupo Cappuccino.