As you fly over the Tramuntana Mountains and descend over the countryside of Mallorca, The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma stands out in the distance. Welcome to Palma de Mallorca, one of the best island city destinations in Europe and well worth a visit.
It was my first time in Palma but not in Mallorca. In fact, I had completely skipped it on a previous trip, more allured by coastal towns and calas. This time I was certain we would return and spend a few nights in the bustling city. What I found was a stunning city, exploding with an exciting food scene and lots to love.
Palma de Mallorca is full of art, markets, and artisan shops. The time there blew by and I’m already itching to return to a few spots that I didn’t quite make it to. For those looking for what to do or better yet, where to eat, check out my ultimate guide to Palma de Mallorca.
Short on Time? Here Are My Top Picks for the Best Hotels in Palma de Mallorca:
- Hotel Antigua Palma, for the best boutique hotel
- Sant Francesc Singular Palma de Mallorca, for the best luxury hotel
If you’re exploring more of the island, read my in-depth guide to the best hotels in Mallorca.
Guide to Palma de Mallorca
What to Know Before Traveling to Palma de Mallorca
When is the best time of year to visit Palma de Mallorca?
My suggestion for Palma de Mallorca is to try to visit during the off-season. Summer months mean crowded cruise ports and lots of heat, so the city can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Because it is a city, you could ideally visit year-round if you wanted to. The best weather would be April through late May and September through October.
How many nights in Palma de Mallorca?
You could easily see the city in two nights for a full three days. It would give you ample time to eat at a few restaurants, visit the cathedral, and stroll the city. That said, I’m always a fan of a slower-paced travel experience so three nights could be great too.
Do I need a car to visit Palma de Mallorca?
No! I would suggest not bringing a car into the city if you do not have to. If you do, there are parking garages and very little street parking.
How do I get from Palma Airport to Palma?
There are two options available, either by taxi or bus. It is a 20-minute drive, so a taxi may suit you best if you want the fastest route in an air-conditioned vehicle that goes door to door. Typical taxi fares are around 25-30 euros. For bus service routes, see here.
Where to Stay in Palma de Mallorca
Right in the heart of the city is Hotel Antigua Palma, a boutique design hotel with a chic rooftop terrace. I checked in with Kiwi Collection (collaboration) to stay at the hotel with my husband and daughter. Booking with Kiwi Collection has its perks that were available at this hotel, like an automatic upgrade, daily breakfast, and resort credit for dining.
When we checked in, the top suite was available for an upgrade. What a room! The grand ceilings, cool tones, and draped linens gave it a very chic feeling. I adored the free-standing tub for a soak after spending all day out exploring. The Hotel Antigua was close to everything we did in Palma, the furthest we had to walk was 20 minutes.
We enjoyed the rooftop terrace and restaurant with views overlooking the city at night. It was quiet, and intimate, and the entire team was helpful in planning our time in the bustling city.
Where to Eat in Palma de Mallorca
A highlight of our time in Palma was heading to Mercat de l’Olivar and into the back where the small tapas bar hideout. Head to the fish section and grab a seat at the Ostras bar — anything fresh from squid to boquerones is perfection.
Famous for ensaimadas that are made with lard and their sipping chocolate, Can Joan de s’Aigo is a fan favorite in the city. I find the pastries a bit on the greasier side but nonetheless great.
I came across Ombu Tapas when doing research for the city, it’s a modern take on tapas. Overall I would say the food is good (it was packed, reservation needed). It was very innovative and had good flavors, though I found the prices on the steeper side.
For pintxos come to Bar Espanya. I adored this spot for a quick bite and a drink. Reservations are recommended as well.
I highly recommend getting a table at La Rosa Vermutería — every dish is wonderful from boquerones in vinegar to their famous Spanish omelet.
Of all the third-wave coffee houses, Mistal Coffee was our favorite.
For those looking for Mexican food in Mallorca, come to El Aquanauta for street tacos and more.
Spot was one of those places I wish we could have made it to. The food looks delicious and friends gave it a thumbs up.
La Molienda Bisbe is good spot to pop in for breakfast and a solid coffee.
Emilio is another one that came highly recommended. Unfortunately, it wasn’t open on the days we were there. Including it, in case you’d like to visit!
Things to Do in Palma de Mallorca
Shop Local in Palma
There are so many wonderful artisan shops in the city center that I highly recommend popping into. The first is Arquinesia Perfumes for their artisan perfumes hosted in a beautiful century-old home. Second is GORDIOLA for all things made of glass, truly a beautiful store. And for all things woven or rattan, Mimbrería Vidal is where it’s at.
Stroll the City
Honestly, one of the best parts of our visit to Palma was going for a stroll through the city. It’s beautiful, the roads are narrow, and each leads to another view. I recommend going in the morning before the crowds to have it to yourself.
See the Palma Cathedral
The grand dame of the city is the Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral. It houses a 44-meter-tall nave, making it the second-highest nave of all Gothic cathedrals in the world. After you take a tour (recommend booking tickets online in advance), go for a stroll around the cathedral into the Bishop’s Garden or even the Banys Arab or Arab Baths.
Stroll Through Via Verí for Good Design
If you’re looking for interior design shops and a quite cute street to stroll, come here.
Visit Fundació Miró Mallorca
Just on the outskirts of the city (taxi needed) is Miró’s workshop where we painted and sculpted. While part of the building is still under construction, if you have time, it’s worth a visit.
Other Top Things to Do in Palma:
- Spend a day at a local beach club like Anima or PuroBeach
- Go to the Bellver Castle
- Visit Es Baluard Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art
- Go on a Tuesday tapas trail through the city
- Eat at the Mercat de Santa Catalina food market
If you’re looking to book a tour in Palma, I trust Get Your Guide:
Other Helpful Mallorca Guides
- A Slow Travel Guide To Deiá, Mallorca
- 7 Places Not To Miss On Mallorca
- The Alternative Guide To Mallorca: Getting Out Of Palma
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