Palma de Mallorca logo for Palma.co.uk
logo

Guide to Palma

see also | City Tours | Shopping | Eating Out | City Map |

Palma is a modern, cosmopolitan, sophisticated, vibrant and above all beautiful city overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Capital of the island of Majorca (Mallorca) Palma is home to over 400,000 people, nearly half the population of the island. The city boasts castles, an immense cathedral, multiple museums, world class art galleries and Michelin star restaurants. Meanduring down the delightful narrow streets you can find all the designer brands, boutiques, different markets plus all the high street options - hence Palma has become a hotspot for shoppers. Put this all together with 300 days of sunshine, 5 blue flag beaches, sailing, diving, cycling - you can see why Palma is very popular for holidays and city breaks.

Palma comes from the Roman 'Palmeria' who first came to the Island in 123 BC. Following a long Byzantine and then Muslim periods Palma's real expansion started in 1229 with the arrival of James I of Aragon. His son, James II, was responsible for many of today’s major sites, such as Bellver Castle, Palace of Almudia and the Cathedral. Today Palma's beauty, climate, location and culture make tourism its largest industry.

Getting to Palma couldn't be easier - from the UK the flight time is approximately 2 hours. Twenty Eight different UK airports offer multiple flights to Palma from all the major low cost carriers plus the likes of Iberia and British Airways - making city breaks and short stays a very viable option.

Top things to see and do during your stay in Palma  

Cathedral
see on map

The cathedral of Palma is called La Seu and it is considered one of the most beautiful churches in the world. The famous Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí said it was “the greatest and most perfect achievement of gothic style in terms of harmony, construction and mechanics”.
After his victory against the Muslims in 1229 King Jaume I wrote in his diary that his wish was to build a church in gratitude. The construction site was chosen as the place where the biggest mosque in the island had been built and the King ordered the placing of the first stone of the Christian cathedral in 1230.

 

Bellver Castle
see on map
Bellver Castle is undoubtedly one of the major sights in Palma. It was built between 1300 and 1311 on the instructions of King James II of Mallorca and is three kilometres from the city centre of Palma, on top of a hill 112 metres above sea level.
It has a very specific original design, made up of a Gothic building that forms a perfect circle around a courtyard of the same shape, with four big towers facing the four points of the compass.
Although attempts have been made to find earlier circular castles that may have inspired Bellver’s construction, everything seems to indicate that it is an innovative, genuinely new work of architecture.
more information ..

 

Es Baluard - Modern Art
see on map
Es Baluard is a museum of modern and contemporary art. This opened in 2004 and has a collection of over 500 works from modern and contemporary artists from the Balearic Islands and some of the most famous artists around the globe. There are exhibitions, activities and training cycles, as well as a living laboratory for current creative practices.
more information ..

 

Pilar & Joan Miro Gallery
see on map
The Fundació Pilar & Joan Miró gallery in Palma,Mallorca is unique to the world. In this museum you can view what were the artist’s creative surroundings, i.e. the studios in which Joan Miró worked from 1956 until his death in 1983. In these studios, you can gain an insight into the atmosphere that formed the backdrop to his work and it can help you imagine and reconstruct Miró’s creative process through his paintings, objects and the tools he used.
more information ..

 

The Almudaina Palace
see on map
The Almudaina Palace was built as an Arabian Fort but was claimed as official royal residence in the14th century.
The main entrance to the Almudaina Palace leads to the King's Courtyard or Courtyard of Honour. This is where we find the Saint Anna Chapel that dates back to the beginning of the 14th century.
The royal family still use this as state ceremonies and reception although has a private residence at the Palace of Mairivent on the outskirts of Palma.

 

Mallorca Museum / Arab Baths
see on map
Mallorca Museum
Found in the old town the 'Museu de Mallorca' has exhibits which help you get an understanding of the history and art of Mallorca.

Arab Baths
Just round the corner from the museum are the Arab Baths they are one of the few remaining examples of Muslim architecture in Palma and date back to a period between the 10th and 12th centuries.

 

Train to Soller
see on map
Ever since 1912 the Sóller railway has been running a daily train service along the 27.3 km route between Palma de Mallorca and Sóller, without interruption. From 1913 it has also run the tram service along the 4.9 kilometres from Sóller and the Port of Sóller.
The railway is characterized, amongst other things, by the fact that it is narrow gauge, the track width being 914 mm (an English yard), which is rarely used nowadays; moreover its rolling stock is extremely varied and meticulously finished, and maintained using traditional methods.
more information ..