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This post is also available in: Dutch

Latest update: 17 July 2023

During a beach holiday in Mallorca, definitely pay a visit to the capital city: Palma de Mallorca. Did you know that Palma de Mallorca is also a perfect city trip destination? It is a really cool Spanish city that offers lots of entertainment. So let’s explore what you can do in Palma de Mallorca. ¡Vamos!

Palma de Mallorca: lively island city

More than 400,000 people live in Palma de Mallorca. So it is definitely not a small, sleepy island town – it’s a proper urban city. It has a very different vibe from the rest of Mallorca: faster, hipper, and more modern. There are museums, churches and plenty of other places of interest. So be sure to put these 12 tips on your to-do list in Palma de Mallorca. Oh, and I’ve also got some bonus tips for parking and hotels!

A city trip to Palma de Mallorca is always a good idea, even in autumn or winter, as there are plenty of things to do. The climate is warmer than in the Netherlands, although it can also rain quite a bit. I’m there in November and the rain and sunshine alternate. Meanwhile, the Christmas spirit is slowly coming into town: Christmas lights, Christmas market, Christmas tree – all the trimmings.

Tip 1 – Discover the old center of Palma de Mallorca

You can easily spend a day strolling, shopping, and grabbing drinks and bites in Palma de Mallorca. There is a huge range of restaurants: simple to chic tapas and Japanese to Danish cuisines. Of course, interspersed with trendy coffee bars.

You will find the major retail chains in Palma de Mallorca, such as Zara and Bershka, and local entrepreneurs. You can alternate the large shopping streets and wide pedestrian boulevards with charming alleys in the old center. The shops are open until late. Here and there, you will find a small gallery where you can just walk in. You get the picture: so much to do, so little time.

Tip 2 – Walk the boulevard along the sea

Palma de Mallorca is located directly on the seaside, so you can enjoy a breath of fresh air or drink sangria by the water. A wide pedestrian boulevard has been constructed along the sea – a great spot to stretch your legs. With your back to the cathedral, walk to the left towards Platja de Can Pere Antoni beach. This is certainly not the most beautiful beach you will encounter in Mallorca, but it is pleasant enough and close to the city. There are also some beach bars to have a drink.

If you walk in the other direction, you walk along the harbor. It is a lot busier here, and you will find many more cafés and restaurants.

Tip 3 – Admire the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca

The cathedral of Palma: you can’t really miss it because it is enormous. The La Seu Cathedral is centuries old, and in the 20th century, the famous architect Gaudí even helped restore the church. I find the entrance fee to the cathedral quite steep (8 euros), but it is awe-inspiring. So big! And the stained glass windows are beautiful. It can get quite busy in the cathedral, so maybe you have an extra euro to spare for a skip-the-line ticket? You can buy it here.

In the Barceló chapel in the cathedral, you unexpectedly come face to face with a colossal work of art. It feels like it doesn’t quite belong here, which makes it special. It was placed in 2007 and was created by a Majorcan artist: Miquel Barceló. It depicts the Biblical story of the multiplication of bread and fish. So you see fish and bread, and the blue-grey windows symbolize the sea. A modern and controversial interpretation, especially since Barcélo is quite critical of religion.

Would you like to go up to the roof and terraces of the church for a view over Palma de Mallorca? This is possible from May to October. It is best to book in advance in high season because only a limited number of people are allowed to enter the church simultaneously. View the ticket options.

Be sure to walk around the cathedral because it is also so beautiful from the outside.

Google Maps locatie

cathedral Palma de Mallorca fountain

Get more tips for a perfect Mallorca holiday!

Tip 4 – Visit Banys Àrabs in Palma the Mallorca

Not far from the cathedral, but well hidden, you can visit the Banys Àrabs: Arab baths. From the cathedral, follow the blue signposts to the baths. I pay 3 euros for the entrance and end up in a beautiful green garden. The garden is small but a welcome change from all the stone and concrete in the city. There are some benches under the orange trees to catch your breath, and you can use the toilet.

The Banys Àrabs themselves are remnants from the 10th century. A short film about the history of the Arab baths is shown in one of the two rooms. Unfortunately, not much remains of the baths, but the space with the domed roof and pillars is nice to look at. So it’s fine to go see in Palma de Mallorca for a few euros.

Google Maps location

Tip 5 – Church upside down

On Plaça de la Porta is an upside-down church. And it’s meant like that. It is a work of art by the American artist Dennis Oppenheim, who liked to visit Mallorca. The artwork is called Device to Root Out Evil and is actually a replica. It is not an attraction to detour for, but if you are near the Es Baluard museum, you might as well take a look.

Google Maps location

Device to Root Out Evil artwork Palma

Tip 6 – The Franco monument in Palma de Mallorca

In the park on Plaça de la Feixina is a huge monument: the Franco monument. It is a somewhat controversial monument. In 1948 it was revealed by the dictator himself. It was intended as a tribute to the general. Victim organizations have tried to have the monument demolished, but the government in Mallorca decided not to but to rename the monument as a monument against war. All decoration referring to Franco has been removed, and a new text has been placed at the water basin: “This monument was erected in 1948, in memory of the victims of the sinking of the cruiser Baleares during the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. Today it exemplifies the democratic will of the city, to never allow the horrors of war and dictatorships to be forgotten. Palma 2010.”

The monument is now actually no longer called the Franco monument but Monumento al Crucero Baleares. Right next to the park, between the park and the Es Baluard Museum, the Torrent de Sa Riera flows. A beautiful river with man-made waterfalls. It makes for a good photo both during the day and in the evening.

Google Maps location

Tip 7 – See the bull of Palma de Mallorca

When the Es Baluard museum was open for three years, it was celebrated with the Bou (the bull) from Santiago Calatrava. The King and Queen of Spain even came to see the unveiling. The artist is also Spanish; some even dare to claim that he is Gaudí’s successor. Take a look and judge for yourself. The artwork is about 15 meters high and weighs 30 tons.

Google Maps location

bou Palma de Mallorca

Tip 8 – Marvel at the royal palace

Opposite the cathedral is the royal palace La Almudaina. You can admire all the royal splendor. Think of wall hangings, paintings, and furniture. For just under 9 euros, you can enter and receive a digital guide. Book a ticket in advance. Or go on Sunday, Wednesday or Thursday between 3 and 5 pm: then it’s free for EU residents.

Tip 9 – Es Baluard museum

In the Es Baluard museum, you can admire modern art. The collection is constantly changing, so be sure to check out the website to see if there’s anything you like. I am not really impressed with the collection during my visit. I find it rather limited for what is Palma de Mallorca’s largest museum. The graffiti is nice, and the mannequins in Hawaiian shirts are creative, but otherwise… meh. From the roof, you have a view over the city.

If you would like to visit a modern art museum in Mallorca, I recommend the Museo Sa Bassa Blanca (read more about it in my Alcúdia blog) – also great for non-art lovers and children.

Tip 10 – Santa Catalina: the foodie district

Santa Catalina is the hip area of ​​Palma de Mallorca bursting with eateries. Not so long ago, this was a neighborhood you didn’t want to visit, but it is now entirely up and coming. Many old houses have been renovated, and you will find delicatessen and beautiful boutiques. And so many places to eat and drink. Learn more about bars and restaurants in Palma de Mallorca here.

Tip 11 – Visit Castell de Bellver

A bit outside the center is Castell de Bellver: an old fortress. In theory, you can walk to it, but I’d still take the car if I were you (or the hop-on-hop-off bus). You can visit a museum in the castle, and the building itself is worth a photo. It is a round castle, and that makes it unique. Kings of Mallorca stayed here, and later it became a prison. But you come here mainly for the view. You can enter for free on Sundays.

Google Maps location Castell de Bellver

Tip 12 – Watch a football match

Real Club Deportivo Mallorca is the football team of Mallorca. In the season 21/’22, they play football at the highest level in Spain. If they play during your stay in Mallorca, it is nice to catch a match. Count on a traffic jam towards the stadium, but to my great surprise, I can park right next to the stadium for free 15 minutes before the start! View the match schedule on the RCD Mallorca site.

Parking in Palma de Mallorca

Parking in Palma Mallorca is terrible. Or actually, driving in circles in the city is awful. So if you just come for a few hours, I would opt ​​for a paid parking garage. The parking garage on La Rambla (Google Maps location) is fine and right in the center.

However, I am staying in Palma de Mallorca for a few days, and such a parking garage becomes a bit expensive. This is the best free public parking option I’ve found near Santa Catalina: Google Maps location.

Accommodations in Palma de Mallorca

I choose an Airbnb in the Santa Catalina neighborhood. It is cozy and nicely decorated. Upstairs there is even a small roof terrace. The glass windows and doors of the bedroom give the apartment a lovely spacious feeling. Unfortunately, some essential things are missing in the kitchen, such as a decent knife and a few coffee cups for the first day. View the apartment here.

I have also considered these hotels in Palma de Mallorca, maybe they’re right for you!

More Mallorca inspiration?

  • Accommodation. All-time favorite: Booking.com. Rather stay in a hostel? Try HostelWorld.
  • Activities. You book the best tours and activities with GetYourGuide and Viator. You could also check out WithLocals. Book ‘free’ walking tours at Freetour.com or GuruWalk, and for bike tours, try Baja Bikes.
  • Attractions and museums. Get a 5% discount on museums and attractions with the coupon code KIMOPREIS22 at Tiqets.
  • Boat. You can get to Mallorca by boat from Barcelona and other places on the Spanish mainland. Book your boat trip at Balearia. Balearia also sails between the other Balearic islands. But be sure to compare prices at Direct Ferries!
  • Car rental. My go-to car rental companies are EasyTerra and Sunny Cars as they have all-inclusive / worry-free offers. If you want to compare more prices, you can do so at Discover Cars.
  • Flights. Be sure to check out Transavia and Vueling, but do compare all your options! Definitely check out Momondo, Skyscanner, and Kiwi.
  • Money. Your debit and credit cards may not get accepted everywhere. You could opt for a Revolut card as an additional card when you travel. 
  • Package deals. Rather go on a catered trip? You have plenty of options. For the Dutch: ANWB vakanties or Tui, Sunweb, D-reizen, or maybe Corendon or Vakantie Discounter?
  • SIM card. Beware of unexpectedly high calling and internet costs. Buy a local SIM card when you arrive, or arrange one online via Airalo.
  • Travel gear. Buy your gear at Bever or Decathlon, or simply at Bol.com.
  • Travel guides. I love the practical travel guides from Lonely Planet, buy them at Bol.com. And I love this guidebook: 111 Places in Mallorca that you shouldn’t miss. Buy it at Bol.com or Amazon.
  • Yoga retreat. Or, what about a yoga retreat on the island?

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. If you buy something through these links, I might receive a small commission.

First published: June 2022. Updated since!

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