The top ten things to do in Palma, Mallorca

Mallorca is a great vacation spot that offers the best of Spanish life and culture, along with the unique flavor of the island. It’s well worth it to explore as much of the island as possible, but don’t miss out on Mallorca’s capital city, Palma. Here are the top ten things to do in Palma, Mallorca.

1.) The food in Palma is delicious and eclectic. You’ll find absolutely everything from worldwide cuisines to local Mallorcan dishes. Tapas and paella are two musts while in Mallorca. Make sure you enjoy a waterfront meal for great food and a view of the port; Pesquero is a great choice for delectable seafood and tasty seafood paella.

Waterfront Palma dining at the Pesquero restaurant

2.) Stroll around the historic center of charming Palma. The city is full of great eateries, tapas bars, shops, markets, gelato shops, bars and winding streets with colorful buildings and facades. Not to mention the cathedral, the street art and other noteworthy sites. One of the loveliest squares is the Plaza del Cort:

Historic center Palma Mallorca

3.) Palma is full of bike paths so take advantage and cycle all over town and the outlying areas. Drivers are low key so when you find yourself without a bike path Palma is a very safe place for bike riding.


Bike paths Palma Mallorca

There are bike rental locations all over Palma. Here are a few you can try:
Port Bike, Go & Ride Rent a Bike, and Palma Bike and Go.

Bike paths, bike rental, cycling, Palma Mallorca

4.) The weather in Mallorca is fabulous and beaches are aplenty. You can head north to the Playa Major area to one of the trendy beaches in the area. It’s walking distance from the center of Palma, albeit a long walk, so allow yourself a good hour. Otherwise jump on a bus: cost per ride €1.50 payable in exact change. If you’re wondering what bus to take just download the Moovit app for Palma which will help you to easily plan out your route and transportation.

My beach area preference, and recommendation, is the Portixol area, south of Palma city center. It’s an easy 20 to 30 minutes walk, or an even faster bike ride along the waterfront bike path. Beaches are spacious, daily beach chair and umbrella rentals are affordable (€19 per day) and there are plenty of places to eat along the beach. Best of all the water holds a Blue Flag award for cleanliness.  Try the Gesa beach, Paseo de Portixol:


Gesa beach, Paseo de Portixol, Palma Mallorca

5.) Of all the sites in Palma the cathedral is the most spectacular and dominates the cityscape. The Cathedral Santa Maria of Palma, most commonly referred to as La Seu, is seen here from the main road leading into Palma from the airport, Avenida de Adólfo Suarez.

Cathedral Santa Maria of Palma, Le Seu, seen from Avenida de Adólfo Suarez, La Seu, Palma Mallorca

The cathedral interior, with its stained glass windows, is not to be missed.

Stained glass windows in Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, Calle del Mirador, Palma

6.) The windmills are probably the first thing you notice when you fly into the Palma airport. Not surprising: there are about 3,000 of them on the Balearic Islands and quite a few of these are located in Palma. The windmills, a number of which date back to the 1600’s, were originally used to pump water and grind grain. Nowadays they remain an important element of Mallorcan history and as such initiatives are in place to restore the windmills.

Most of the windmills are made of concrete, and about 600 are wooden structures. The majority have a conical top, but you’ll also see flat topped windmills. These are water extraction windmills.

Windmills in the Santa Catalina area of Palma:

Windmills in the Santa Catalina area of Palma

7.) Joan Miró spent most of his later life in Palma painting, and working at print-making. Miró’s mother, grandparents and wife Pilar were all from Palma. Before his death in 1983 Miró and his wife Pilar established a foundation whereby his studios and some of his works were bequeathed to the city of Palma. As a result it’s possible to visit the Pilar / Joan Miró foundation and see not only the artist’s studios but also some of his works that belong to the Foundation. One such work is Femme devant la Lune II:

Joan Miró, Femme devant la Lune II, Joan Miró Foundation

The Pilar / Joan Miró Foundation is perched on a hill above Palma and the view from here is fabulous and panoramic.

View from the Pilar / Joan Miró Foundation, Palma Mallorca

8.) If you’d like another panoramic view of Palma and the port area a great one is from atop the hill where the Castell de Bellver is located. It’s a steep walk up towards the castle, and then there are an additional 500 steps to climb. If you can’t face the 500 step climb there is a way around (off to the right of the stairs) but it’s a 30 minute walk, albeit an easy and reasonably shady walk. The view is worth it and so is the castle.

500 steps leading up to the Bellver Castle, Palma Mallorca

9.) Mallorca is well known for its street art, and especially Palma. Everywhere you go in the city you’ll see it. SOMA and Joan Aguiló are two of the better know street artists among the many represented in Palma.
This is one of SOMA’s works:

SOMA street artIst, Palma Mallorca

10. A walk around the port area is a must. Early morning is a great time as you’ll encounter boat owners readying up their boats for the day, food deliveries taking place, fisherman heading in and out of the port.

Palma Mallorca port area

Bread deliveries to the boats come by bike:

Palma Mallorca port area bread delivery

 

 

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