Palma de Mallorca has the charm of the Mediterranean sea and a history worth knowing. In its streets you will feel how time goes by without even realising it, inviting you you to discover it secrets.
Palma is the official capital of Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands. The city is crossed by several rivers, such as the Gros and the Riera, and is the most important urban settlement on the island of Mallorca.
The first urban traces date back to the Roman Empire. Due to its location, at the bay, it’s an important tourist area, with many remarkable beaches and coves. You will love to stroll along its shores.
To make the journey comfortable, the first thing you should do is to stay in a central and comfortable hotel, such as Hotel Abelay, in Calle Ramón Muntaner. It is nearby our first point of interest. Once you’re ready, we can start the walk. But first, I recommend you to book this or any other hotel through Booking.com, where you’ll find the best price.
Shall we start with the route around Palma de Mallorca?
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The Juan March Foundation is located at Carrer de San Miguel, 11. This museum houses a collection of some of the most important artists of the Iberian Peninsula.
It was founded in 1955, on the initiative of Juan March Ordinas. Its main focus is on Spanish art from the early avant-garde, mainly works by artists such as Dalí and Pablo Picasso.
In addition to the permanent exhibition, you can also check the gallery’s programme on its website. In the calendar section they also show the dates of the musical concerts.
But don’t stay too long, there’s more to see.
The Plaça de Cort or Court Square is another place to visit. This is where the city’s Town Hall is located. Its name comes from the fact that it used to be the place where the court met.
If you look at the façade of the Town Hall you will see it has baroque elements. Its construction spanned the years from 1649 to 1680. In 1913, it was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.
But let’s move on, you will get to know a fascinating part of the history of the place.
The jews inhabited Mallorca in times of persecution. Within the boundaries of the old jewish quarter it is still possible to see something of this historical period.
Some of the most representative streets are Calle de Montisión, Calle del Sol and Calle del Seminari Vell. This is where many of the “xuetes” of the time, as they were called, lived. Although no artistic representations of this period have been maintained, the urban layout is still preserved.
A curious fact: if you walk along Calle del Viento, you can feel a stronger draught than anywhere else.
The Basilica of San Francisco, our next stop, is just a few metres from the square and is made up of several parts, including the convent, some surrounding buildings and the cloister.
Construction began in 1281 and the vault alone took a hundred years. In the 17th century, Francisco Herrera García rebuilt the main façade, so you should not be surprised to see some herrerian style in its forms.
The church and cloister are gothic in style with parts made of ashlar masonry, which explains the strength of the walls. If you look at the floor you will be able to make out the tombstones of the nobles buried in them. But if anything will capture your attention it is the detail of Saint George and the dragon on the main altarpiece. It’s fascinating.
The Arab Baths are on Carrer de Can Serra, just a few metres away.
It is one of the best-preserved archaeological remains of Muslim rule in the Balearic Islands. Nowadays, only the main room used for the hammam or hot baths, has been preserved. You can also see the remains of pipes from the period, as well as the walls, arches and columns.
It is considered one of the most representative examples of Moorish architecture in the area. On 3 June 1931 it was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, under the category of Historical Heritage.
If you want to admire what the Renaissance meant in terms of architecture on the island, there is one place you must visit. It is Can Oleza, in Calle d’En Morei.
It has Renaissance elements typical of the period, such as the arrangement of the columns and the decorations. Although it is not known who built it, it evokes the artistic style of Joan de Salas.
On the lintel is the figure of a bear with a fleur-de-lis, the Descós family crest, the family that ordered the construction of the building.
The semicircular courtyard is its main attraction. There is also an octagonal well and a cobbled floor, which give the façade an almost magical touch. Take a moment to admire it, it’s worthwhile.
Now we come to the Plaza de la Seo to see an architectural gem.
The Cathedral-Basilica of Santa María de Palma de Mallorca is the most important religious temple in the city and also in Spain. Its construction began in 1221, when James I of Aragon ordered the destruction of the Mayurca mosque.
There is a legend about its patronage: while travelling through the sea to the city, the king was faced with a great storm. That’s why he offered to build a church for Saint Mary, only if she would save his life.
Architecturally, it not only has the largest gothic rose window in the world, it also has a different appearance because it was a German hall instead of the French canon. The building was formally completed in 1601.
The price is €12 per person.
It is considered one of the best cathedrals in Spain.
We will also see a place worthy of royalty. Come with me!
To get to the Royal Palace of the Almudaina you must go to Calle del Palacio Real, a short distance from the Arab baths.
It was built on the remains of a Roman building during the Arab rule. In 1309 King Jaime I ordered it to be rebuilt. Since then, it has been part of the royal residence.
Depending on the floor you are on, you will see that the decoration is different. In the lower part, you can appreciate the medieval style, while in the upper area the furniture comes from other places belonging to royalty.
Some of the most striking places are the Chapel of Santa Ana or the King’s and Queen’s Palaces. And in general, the whole façade is worth getting to know in detail, allowing you to be surprised.
As I’m sure the walk will have left you hungry, we’ll go for lunch.
If you are a buffet breakfast lover, you cannot miss the opportunity to go to the Can Brondo restaurant, where you can choose from a wide variety of dishes.
The staff recommends the huevos rotos (scrambled eggs), but you can also choose from a wide selection of sausages. There is service until 1pm, so make sure you get there before then.
Now, after lunch, what do you say we head back for a walk?
Beautiful views abound here. If you want to see a really great one, then nothing like going to Bellver Castle, on Calle Camilo José Cela.
It’s on a hill 112 metres above sea level and is surrounded by a forest. Its name in Catalan means “beautiful view”, as its privileged position allows you to see the Tramonta mountain range, the city and the port.
Architecturally, it is a defensive fortress with a special feature: unlike other castles, this one is circular. Access to the central courtyard is through gothic arches.
Inside the castle is the city museum. Its history spans from the Stone Age to medieval times, so be sure to visit it!
The entrance fee is €4.
And if you want to enjoy a green space, full of flowers and plants, come with me to Avinguda de Joan Miró, 229, to see the Marivent Gardens.
They were built in 1925 by Joan de Saridakis. They are located in the palace that gives them their name. Furthermore, they measure 9,155 m² and house more than 40 varieties of plants, each one identified according to its botanical family.
Since 1965 they have been part of the official residence of the Royal Family, so they are not open to the public during the season from 15 July to 15 September, which coincides with the royal visit.
By the way, did you know that you will be able to admire 12 unique sculptures by Joan Miró when you visit? This is because the artist’s family has donated them permanently, as a contribution. Isn’t it great?
We’re almost finished, but first there are two places I want to show you.
Es Baluard Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is in the Plaza de la Porta de Santa Catalina. It’s one of the most important cultural sites related to the artistic movements of the Balearic Islands in the area.
It was founded in 2004 and since that time it has offered one of the best proposals including performance, poetry recitals and circus arts, as well as a space for pictorial creation.
Es Baluard also organizes temporary exhibitions of renowned international artists. These include Andy Warhol, Anselm Kiefer and Eduardo Arroyo.
If you pay attention, as you leave the museum you can see the remains of the great wall that once surrounded the area. It’s easy to imagine its past splendour and wonder how many other people must have seen it, centuries before us.
Finally, how about a walk to the rhythm of the waves? If you like the idea, come with me to the Paseo Marítimo, the last place on the route.
Gabriel Roca Avenue is the point where more than 5,500 metres of walkways stretch out. On this balcony, overlooking the Mediterranean you will be able to contemplate the view from a privileged point on the coast. In addition, there are many places of interest in the surrounding area, such as trendy cafés.
They say that if you watch the sunset from here you will want to come back not just once, but many times.
There are more interesting places to visit during your stay in this fantastic city. If you want to know a little more or plan to stay another couple of days, here is a small route:
There is only one way to get to Cabrera: by boat. When the sea is calm, the view is marvellous. The trip takes one hour and is available from April to October.
Traditionally, Mallorca’s patios have been spaces where the private and the public are linked. If you include this visit in your itinerary, it will be like stepping into some of the most beautiful spaces in the city’s houses.
This is the architectural example in the greatest degree of catalan gothic architecture. Its exterior façade is decorated with helicoidal columns and gargoyles. Inside, its ribbed vault and the use of stained-glass stand out. It will leave you speechless
This marine park is home to more than 8,000 specimens of 700 different species. They come from three different oceans, the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific. They also carry out awareness campaigns.
Also known as “Mirador de las Almas”, this tower was used as a watchtower in the Tramontana mountain range. It offers a beautiful panoramic view from the top.
Undoubtedly, one of the visits you have to make if you are an art lover. If you would like more information, I recommend you to visit their official website.
Guided tours last one hour and ten minutes. If you’re up for it, you’ll venture along a 1,200-metre route. At the end of the stretch of lakes and stalactites there is a light show.
If there is one thing that stands out about this Mallorcan place, it is its incredible coves and beaches, ideal for enjoying alone or with the family. These are some of the most popular among tourists:
Playa Alcudia, ideal to visit with children.
Cala D’Or, with a family atmosphere and very quiet.
Cala Varques, 100 metres of fine sand and crystalline waters, practically virgin.
Cala Mitjana, secluded and difficult to access. An option for those seeking solitude.
This corner of the island of Majorca is one of the most important of the whole island, as well as of the Balearic Islands. I recommend you to visit the nearby islands. This way, you will get to know the Balearic Islands much better. You can see Menorca, Formentera and Ibiza, which are also well worth a visit.
If you want to save time, I recommend that whenever you need to visit Palma, remember to look for me as ilutravel in Palma de Mallorca. This way, you will enter here, and you will be able to see the maps I have embedded for you.
Have you found this content useful? If you still don’t have accommodation, I recommend you to make your reservation through Booking.com, it is the most reliable reservation centre with the widest range of prices.
Here is a final map with the tourist attractions of Palma de Mallorca.
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