Tourist Guide to Palma de Mallorca
Many people visiting the island of Majorca will see little more than the pool, the beach and of course the hotel bar. If you are visiting the island with sight-seeing plans, the capital city of Majorca is definitely one of the island's first "ports of call". Spanish travel expert Molly Sears-Piccavey has some suggestions of places to see in Palma.
La Seu, the Roman Catholic cathedral dominates the bay of Palma. Built in 1229, it has been renovated several times over the past five hundred years. Head over at sunset or after dark. See the beautiful water fountain next to the cathedral is worth a photo or two. Lit up to emphasize the beauty of the cathedrals silhouette.
On summer evenings, an outside cinema is set up to attract the tourists. The cathedral is open to the public Monday to Saturday, with shorter opening hours on Saturdays and in winter. Entry is €3.50 for adults and free for children. There is a dress code so don't wear your beach clothes.
Palma to Soller Train
The train which runs from Palma to the pretty town of Soller dates back to the early 20th century, and the authentic period carriages are a popular attraction for Majorcan visitors. The journey offers passengers a glimpse of some of the picturesque inland scenery. The 27kms of track built in 1912, travels through the Majorcan hills. Much of the landscape has changed little in the last 100 years. Spot colourful orange and lemon trees as you chug along the Sierra de Tramutana. This natural landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tickets are priced at €17 return, 10 for a single. (Closed December and January)
Palma is a city rich in fashion and consequently designer ranges sell at premium prices. Fashion outlets in Palma include the reasonably priced Zara and El Corte Ingles. El Corte Ingles is a department store in Palma. Stocking clothes, cosmetics and perfumes. There are five floors, including a supermarket in the basement. Other floors include children/babies clothes, household items and a whole floor for sports equipment.
Festival Park located on the road from Palma to Inca is a small retail park with around 30 outlet stores.
Over the years Mallorca has produced many talented shoe makers, look out for local well-known brands including:
- Carmina Shoemaker,
- Cosa Nostra,
- Som mits.
In Palma you will find an abundance of jewellers selling local pearls. Majorica is the most well-known brand but Orquidea is also producing imitation pearls. These high quality handmade pearls are created from marine and natural elements. They are long lasting and also have a natural appearance. The formula was created over 100 years ago by a German called Hugo Heusch.
Popular sports in Mallorca include cycling, golf, sailing and other water sports and of course football. Cyclists love the natural spaces and flat terrain that characterises most of the island.
For football fans, Real Mallorca is based in Palma, at the Iberostar Stadium. Visible from the motorway between Palma and Palma Nova or Magaluf. The team currently play in the Spanish Second division.
If you are looking for a bar with Sky Sports or Football. Try the Corner Bar in the old town which is popular with the yachting and boating community.
Magaluf is the prime destination on the island for night time entertainment. The city of Palma is more traditionally Spanish. Palma has plenty of clubs, cafes and bars which are busiest during the tourist season and out of season on Thursday to Saturday nights. Sunday nights are generally very quiet.
On the 23rd June Palma de Mallorca celebrates the night of Sant Joan with bonfires and parties to welcome the summertime. The other festivity in the city is each January when they have the traditional Correfoc (fire dragon) parading through the streets.
Palma Aquarium is a great option for the kids, especially if the weather isn't the usual wall to wall blue sky. The aquarium has sharks, many types of fish, octopus, sea horses and sea turtles. The visit gives an insight into sea life of the Balearics. The aquarium is a centre for marine research and conservation, and aims to recreate the natural habitat of the Mediterranean.
There is also a garden and a jungle area which the kids will love. Read reviews Entry is around €24 for adults, and 14 for children, but look out for promotional offers. The online family pack includes a discount, or ask a holiday rep if you are on a package break.
The ancient Arab Baths are one of the few remaining examples of Moorish architecture in Palma. Worth visiting for the tranquillity of the gardens and to step back in time for an hour or so. The baths are located in the area behind the Cathedral on C/ de Can Serra, 7. Open from 9.30am daily. Entry costs €2.50
For art lovers, the Museo de Arte Espanol Contemporaneo is home to some great modern art. If you're interested in sculpture, visit the Palau March Museu. This archive includes manuscripts and books. Open all year with entry at around €4.
The Miro Museum in Palma contains paintings, drawings and sculptures by international artist Joan Miro. Miro lived in Mallorca from 1956 until his death in 1983. Find the museum on Calle de Saridakis, 29.
For the nostalgic, try the small toy museum Sa Jugueta. Open from 9.30h-17h (closed Sunday and Mondays) This space has rocking horses and vintage toys. Find the museum on Calle de la Campana, 7.
You can fly to Palma Airport from most airports in the UK and Europe. There are also ferry routes from Mainland Spain (Valencia & Barcelona across to the Balearics Islands)