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Updated March 2024

Welcome to Palma de Mallorca, one of the best island city destinations in Europe. After living on the Western Mediterranean island for several weeks, I’m sharing my favorite things to do in Palma de Mallorca.

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 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 in the Balearic Islands, exploding with an exciting food scene and lots to love. What’s so great about Palma is that you’re not far from the coast of Mallorca. So you have a bit of all of the island influences.

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:

  1. Hotel Antigua Palma, for the best boutique hotel
  2. Sant Francesc Singular Palma de Mallorcafor 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 Spain


What to Know Before Traveling to Palma de Mallorca

The Ultimate City Guide 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. But to take day trips, it may be worth getting a car.

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

Hotel Antigua Palma

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. Book the best rates here.

Other Hotels to Consider in Palma de Mallorca:


Where to Eat in Palma de Mallorca

Mercat de l’Olivar

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.

Can Joan de s’Aigo

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.

Ombu Tapas

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.

Bar Espanya

The Ultimate City Guide to Palma de Mallorca

For pintxos come to Bar Espanya. I adored this spot for a quick bite and a drink. Reservations are recommended as well.

La Rosa Vermutería & Colmado

I highly recommend getting a table at La Rosa Vermutería — every dish is wonderful from boquerones in vinegar to their famous Spanish omelet. La Rosa Vermutería in Palma de Mallorca is a popular local hangout known for its extensive vermouth selection and traditional tapas. It’s a go-to spot for those looking to enjoy classic Spanish flavors in a more relaxed, authentic setting. The emphasis on quality vermouth and well-prepared small dishes makes it an ideal choice for casual dining or socializing in the heart of the city.

Mistral Coffee House

Of all the third-wave coffee houses, Mistal Coffee was our favorite.

El Aquanauta

For those looking for Mexican food in Mallorca, come to El Aquanauta for street tacos and more.

Spot

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

La Molienda Bisbe is good spot to pop in for breakfast and a solid coffee. The lines are always busy here so keep this in mind for when you’re planning your time.

Emilio Innobar

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 Palma, Spain

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 in the city centre.

There are a few sights to see like the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) for its traditional facade. After, wander through the cobbled streets of the Old Town to marvel at the imposing Gothic Cathedral (La Seu), or stroll along the Paseo Maritimo for breathtaking views of the marina and the Mediterranean Sea.

See the Palma Cathedral

The grand dame of the city is the Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral. The Palma Cathedral, an architectural marvel, is renowned for its imposing structure that masterfully blends Gothic, Baroque, and Modernist elements. Constructed over centuries, starting in the 13th century, this cathedral is not only famous for its awe-inspiring rose window, often referred to as the “Gothic eye,” but also for the work of Antoni Gaudí in the early 20th century, who brought a touch of Modernisme to its interior.

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 (medina mayurqa) or Arab Baths. Continue on to Parc de la Mar to enjoy the green space right in front of the church. You’ll also be close by to the cycle path here if you want to explore by bikes.

Stroll Through Via Verí for Good Design

If you’re looking for interior design shops and a quite cute street to stroll, come here. There are so many wonderful shops to enjoy and pop into. This was one of my favorite areas to explore.

Visit Fundació Miró Mallorca

Just west of Palma (taxi needed) is Joan Miró’s workshop where he painted and sculpted. While part of the building is still under construction, if you have time, it’s worth a visit. Getting to see Joan Miró’s space is super special and highly recommend while there.

Take a Day Trip to Nearby Villages

If you have decided to make Palma de Mallorca your homebase, then you definitely want to consider taking a day trip. I’d pick up a rental car (I always use Discover Cars) and look to go west first. Some of my favorite places are Deiá, Fornalutx, and Valldemossa, both super close by to the city.

If you’re looking for the best beaches in Mallorca, than head east. You could stop by towns like Santanyí while over there as well. There’s a lot to do on either side of the island.

Other Top Things to Do in Palma:

If you’re looking to book a tour in Palma, I like to use Get Your Guide:


Other Helpful Mallorca Guides


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PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Car

Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

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I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


Xx,
Jessica

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