SPAIN: Palma de Mallorca, one of Spain’s brilliant cities, is the most overlooked city in Europe for vacation. When we think of city breaks, Palma is not the first city that springs to our mind; instead, we typically make a beeline for the significant hitters like Rome, Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, or Vienna.
But there are many reasons why a trip to Palma City should be at the top of your bucket list. The city’s maze of vibrantly coloured walls enclosing narrow alleyways, shaded squares alive with birdsong and gushing fountains, the magnificence of a Gothic cathedral towering above the city, and a plethora of delicious restaurants and nightlife embrace you in the Balearic Islands’ capital, Palma de Mallorca.
Here is a quick guide to help you explore every corner of Palma de Mallorca, one of Europe’s most underestimated cities.
How to get to Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca serves as a gateway to the Balearic Islands, with a never-ending airport. It also dwarfs the Naples airport, which handles a population four times larger. Keep this in mind and give yourself extra time to get to and from your gate.
Budget and flag-carrying airlines from Europe provide good service and will soon welcome direct flights from the USA. The EMT A1 bus costs 4.50 euros to take you to the city centre, and a 15-minute taxi trip will also get you there (25 euros, contingent on traffic).
How long to stay
Palma might be a two-day visit or a two-week vacation, depending on how you want to spend your time on the island of Mallorca. Two nights would be great for a city break, with some extra time to see the nearby beaches.
The long weekend will offer you a chance to experience the best Palma attractions and gain a feel for the island’s capital city. Suppose you consider Palma as a base for a more extended period of time. In that case, it is an excellent starting point (especially if you have a car) for day trips to other areas of the island, whether they be the picturesque hinterland villages or the stunning cove beaches with crystalline waters.
When to Visit
Picking a visitation day is also relatively easy, as the weather is usually pleasant throughout the year. Of course, if your main objective is to visit Palma de Mallorca to enjoy the island’s beaches and sunbathe, most travel guides recommend doing so in the summer.
The best seasons to visit the famous seaside cities in Europe are spring and autumn, and Palma de Mallorca is no exception. The city is one of Europe’s top winter vacation destinations, even if it isn’t as hot as the Canary Islands, and it stays open all year.
Where to stay
Palma is a much bigger city than most tourists think it will be, so there are many places to stay for all budgets and sizes of groups.
For many people, a trip to an island entails renting a white-washed luxury villa, especially if you are going with lots of friends or family. Although many of the attractive options in Mallorca are clustered around the smaller seaside resorts, there are still lots to select from.
But Vida Villa has a number of grand villas that are close to Mallorca—close enough that you can take a bus or taxi in and out of the city—or you could stay near a beach resort and take day trips to Palma.
Larger resorts with sea views and a little more luxury, like the Melia or the stunning and adult-only El Llorenç Parc de la Mar, might be better options for a romantic city break.
Things to do in the city
One of the greatest joys of visiting Spanish cities is simply strolling through the plazas, admiring the tile work and colorful, old buildings, and occasionally stopping for a vinho or tapa. However, Palma is home to many great sights, so it’s worthwhile to include one or more of these top things to do in Palma de Mallorca on your itinerary.
The Palma Cathedral is the best attraction in Palma de Mallorca, along with other attractions like the Castell de Bellver, Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum, Fundació Miró Mallorca, heading to the beach, and so on.
Where to eat
The amazing dining scene in Palma should be your next stop once you’ve experienced all the city’s top attractions. You have a wide range of options, ranging from restaurants with two Michelin stars to little tapas bars.
I recommend going to Palma de Mallorca’s Mercat 1930, De Tokio a Lima, and the Tapalma Tapas Event, among other places to eat.
Nightlife in Mallorca
While Magaluf receives most of the “party” attention in Mallorca, particularly in the UK, you’ll be happy to learn that the nightlife in the island’s capital is considerably more pleasurable and, dare I say, sophisticated. There are terrace cafes and bars, late-night cocktail bars with dark lighting, and many stylish and hip places to enjoy a craft beer on squares and boulevards.
Here is a list of the best spots to booze up in Palma de Mallorca: SKYBAR at Hotel Almudaina with rooftop views, BigFoot with good vibes, Moltabarra Bar de Tapas for vintage and tapas, and La Casa de Cookie with a silent disco are some of my favourites.
Local Flavors: Mallorcan Bodegas
Mallorca’s wine history dates back to the Roman era. There are a variety of wine-tasting tour options that depart Palma. Whether it’s to a historic windmill surrounded by grapes or to participate in the island’s traditional harvest in September, it’s an essential aspect of the island’s culture that you shouldn’t miss.
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