Mallorca is the biggest out of the Balearic Islands. The Balearic Islands are one of two island groups of Spain, of which the other is called the Canarias. Spain does offer vibrant metropoles but Palma de Mallorca is special. It just offers the full package: a 6-km long, sandy beach, various leisure activities, a pulsating nightlife and exciting shopping possibilities. The fantastic historical and cultural side of Palma cannot be missed as well.
History all over the place
Palma indeed offers an attention-grabbing history. Many different cultures owned the island throughout history, amongst them you can find Romans, Byzantines, Moorish and, of course, Catalan people all over the place. To completely dive into the historical awesomeness of Plama you should start at Almudaina Palace. This building is a former Arab fortification. It offers an architecture that is truly unique and you will not be able to put down your camera.
Nearby it won’t be possible for you to not pass the city’s massive Cathedral, which the locals call “La Seu”. You do not want to miss out on entering and admiring one of the biggest stained-glass windows that you have ever seen. Besides, La Seu has statues, artefacts and ancient crypts to offer.
If you are interested in more historic spots, be sure to check out Castell de Bellver. It dates back to 14th century and was not only used as a fortification, but as a prison as well. You will be able to smell the historic spirit there whilst taking a glimpse at different relicts and monuments because nowadays, Castell de Bellver also houses Palma Municipal Museum.
And as a third and last spot for Mallorca history, you could enter Palau d l’Almudaina, which is very close to the Cathedral of Palma. This majestic palace is the former residence of the king. You can wander through the rooms and have an exceptional view to the harbour from the terrace. Unfortunately, the entrance fee is rather overpriced (about 22 Euro for two adults and two children) but if you want to do the complete historic trio, it is a must for you.
The island`s centrepiece of art
If you are more into the cultural side of Plama de Mallorca, you can enter various art museums. You can really put Palma on an equal footing with cities like Barcelona or Madrid when it comes to museums. Have you ever heard of the Catalan artist Joan Miró? In the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation in Cala Major, you can admire different objects, paintings, etc. of him and other artists. It was the living and workplace of Miró. If this is not enough modern art for you, you can go on and visit Museum Es Baluard. There you can find modern and contemporary pieces of artists of the Balearic Islands. Wow, what an architectural masterpiece which was put right into an ancient building, a former bastion.
Our secret recommendation: By the way, we really enjoyed visiting Museu de Sa Jugueta, a museum dedicated to toys. It is a small restaurant as well and if you buy a set menu, the entrance fee for the museum will already be included. The museum shows you what our parents and grand-parents used to play with. The toys needed to be examined in detail because it was so interesting. We had a big learning effect and found it truly mesmerizing. What a pity that Museu de Sa Jugueta does not attract more people; the displays are fascinating and bursting with all kinds of toys going back into the past.
It’s an island, so let’s learn about the sea and have fun in the water!
Its historic and cultural side is a big part of what makes Palma de Mallorca so charming. You can learn a lot there and dive into different epochs of time. But Palma is so much more. Did you know the city offered action for the whole family? There is Palma Aquarium, for example. A trip to this extraordinary action museum is recommended to children, teens and also adults. You will find perfect ecosystem recreations as well as countless species of marine animals. Our favorite activity was feeding the rays. Rays are equally funny and elegant, don’t you think? Ok, petting the turtles is an amazing experience as well, like exploring Palma Aquarium’s rooftop rainforest. Oh, and did we mention the massive shark tank? I guess we do not need to say that a whole afternoon is the minimum of time you should consider when going there.
Besides from that, there is also the waterpark Aqualand, a little bit outside of Palma. We weren’t there on our own, but locals told us that it can be quite fun for all family members during summer.
Get addicted to fashion in Palma!
Even if you came to the island for some shopping, you won’t be disappointed here. Just go to Passeig des Born, a big avenue not only filled with restaurants, cafés, tapas bars but with exclusive shopping opportunities as well. On Passeig des Born you will meet your good friends Hugo Boss, Carolina Herrera, Louis Vuitton and Mulberry. It is the so-called “golden mile” of Palma de Mallorca. Another recommendation for shopaholics is Rialto Living. It is a distinctive mixture between art, fashion, interior design, presents, books and a café. You will surely find the perfect souvenir there. A last stop at Avinguda Jaime III with all its fashion stores and your shopping experience is perfect and you will forget about Milan, Paris & Co.
Nights to remember
Various restaurants, bars and nightclubs, that is what Palma is well-known for. The little brother Ibiza might be even more famous, but Mallorca has a very interesting party scene as well. Palma is an ideal location for an entertaining evening. Germans might know the German party mile “Ballermann” a little outside of the city, but Palma can offer a lot more. The Atlantico Café is located on the main promenade. There you can have an equally chilled and vibrant night whilst taking advantage of outstanding food and drink deals. For some more intense nightclubbing, you should visit Pacha, Tito’s or Black Cat – all very famous party venues. Just dance the night away and listen to some club sounds of well-known DJs. Attention, entrance fee and drinks in those discos might be very overpriced. You should weigh up beforehand, if it is worth it for you or not.
Do you understand now, why Palma de Mallorca is so much more than the capital of Mallorca? It is a vibrant metropolis with opportunities for everyone, be it culture, art, party or other leisure activities.