Sunshine, food, history, culture. Palma de Mallorca, the ‘pearl of the Mediterranean’, is the capital of the Balearic Islands in Spain. It is so fabulous that it’s even a summer getaway for the Spanish Royal Family! Gorgeous beaches, spectacular mountains, attractive historic center – Palma de Mallorca has something for everyone. If your travels take you to this beautiful place here is what to do when you decide to spend one day in Palma de Mallorca.
There are 300 days of sunshine, so the better question might be when not to visit! Palma has long summers and mild winters, so almost any time is the best time to visit. However, certain months might be better than others, such as March to May or September to October. It is still warm but less crowded, so it is easier to enjoy all the attractions.
Remember that summer is the peak of the tourist season, so if you’re planning on visiting then, book ahead! Most restaurants and hotels are open during the winter, so winter is a good time if you are looking for outdoor fun, such as hiking. The average coastal temperature throughout the year is 21 degrees Celsius.
A Few Facts About Palma de Mallorca
- A snail and a lizard are placed on the facade – next to Palma’s City Hall door
- The tiny creatures were put there in 1675 by disgruntled builders who were upset with the mayor. He refused to acknowledge their work, so they left this as their signature
- Mallorca is the largest island in Spain, and its name comes from ‘insula maior,’ meaning ‘larger island’ in Latin
- Serra de Tramuntana mountain range is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage
- Porto Pí lighthouse is the third oldest working lighthouse in the world
- Half of Mallorca’s population lives in the island’s capital Palma
- Around 80% of Palma’s population works in tourism
- Palma hosts numerous festivals, such as the Three Kings parade, Sant Sebastià, Night of Fire, Sa Rua Carnival, and many more
You can start your 24 hours in Palma by taking a ferry or flying to the island of Mallorca. However, the most convenient way to travel is to fly to Palma de Mallorca Airport, which is one of the busiest airports during the summer. There is private and public transportation available from the airport to the city.
Check in to Protur Naisa Palma Hotel and head to breakfast at Ca’n Joan de s’Aigo to try ensaimadas! The best way to start the day is with something sweet, and this traditional Mallorcan pastry goes well with coffee or hot chocolate.
Try out Santosha and enjoy fresh, homemade ingredients if you prefer a savory or healthy breakfast. After enjoying breakfast, it is time to explore this beautiful city.
Start your adventure by walking over to La Seu, the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca. This spectacular and massive sandstone building is a 14th-century Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral, and it took centuries to build it. Also known as the Cathedral of Light because there are 62 stained glass windows, the most impressive being the central rose window. Close to 120 meters long and 40 meters wide, with slim but extremely sturdy pillars, and 44-meter ceilings, this masterpiece results from a promise that James I of Aragon made during a voyage to the island. He said that if he succeeded in defeating the Moors who had taken Mallorca at the time, he would build a massive cathedral as large as that achievement.
Many years later, in the early 20th century, the famous architect Antoni Gaudí was asked to participate in the cathedral’s renovation. He did but did not complete all his work, as he got into a fight with the contractors, so Gaudi’s pupils and colleagues completed what he started, which was moving the choir stalls closer to the altar and a massive canopy that hangs over the altar.
There are certain days of the year when a light phenomenon occurs, called the “Light game of the Eight.” Some visitors plan their trips around those dates – February 2nd and November 11th to experience this.
The next stop is right across La Seu and is the residence of the King and Queen when they visit Palma and use it as their residence for official ceremonies. The castle has Roman origins but was also a Muslim fortress and represented the Moorish occupation of Mallorca. Later on, in the 14th century, it became the seat of the independent kingdom of Mallorca. The upper floor was built in the 16th century, where today’s festivities or political ceremonies of the Royal Family take place. Visitors experience breathtaking terrace views and gardens, explore a 14th-century chapel and see many beautiful paintings and tapestries throughout the palace. If there is a Spanish flag on the roof, the King is present at the Palace. Get the ticket in advance here.
Have Lunch and Check-Out Es Baluard – The Museum of Modern Art
Palma de Mallorca has a rich history, but it is also a trendy place for modern artists and their art. The King and Queen of Spain opened Es Baluard in 2004, and thousands of visitors have explored the displayed artistic creations of the 20th and 21st centuries. Es Baluard is home to over 700 works of art made by local and international artists.
After an exciting morning filled with history, art and culture, it is time to grab lunch. Head over to one of the visitors’ favorite restaurants Cannibal Cantina Bistro and try out the local cuisine before continuing your adventure.
Enjoy The Lovely View From The Castle of Bellver
Bellver is undoubtedly a unique castle, as it is completely round. It consists of two levels and has a round, central courtyard surrounded by three towers. Bellver means ‘lovely view,’ and it is one of the best views in Palma. Due to its shape, you get to experience a 360-degree panorama.
You can visit the rooms and the old castle kitchen, but there is also a City History Museum. In the summer, the courtyard is a venue for cultural events. Even though this castle was built in 1300, it is perfectly preserved and a must-see place when visiting Palma.
In Palma de Mallorca, there is a lot to explore, but don’t forget to relax on a beach while visiting! Playa de Cala Major is a white sandy beach with clear blue water, therefore the perfect place to unwind. You can enjoy the sunset either on the beach or during dinner in one of the nearby restaurants, such as The Crow’s Nest Restaurant.
Extremely diverse and popular, Palma has district areas famous for its nightlife. Restaurants, bars and enjoying live music are all part of the city’s vibrant social scene. There is something for everyone! If you want to experience Palma’s nightlife and enjoy cocktails, head over to Cafe Atlantico Cocktail Bar . If you wish to dance, you can do so at Pacha Mallorca or Kaelum Club. Be prepared to party all night, as Spain is famous for the nightlife that lasts until the early morning hours!
Where To Stay in Palma de Mallorca
Protur Naisa Palma Hotel
Carrer de Simó Ballester, 07011 Palma de Mallorca
This beautiful hotel has a great location and offers an airport shuttle service. Enjoy a buffet breakfast that includes vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. They have free wifi, and their rooms are air-conditioned and equipped with flatscreen TVs. There are two swimming pools and a spa center with a sauna. You can go to the 24-hour front desk if you have any questions.
Paseo Mallorca, 6, 07012 Palma de Mallorca
Located in the heart of Palma, Hotel Saratoga is near all the main attractions and a 20-minute walk from the beach. Their rooms are clean, airconditioned and spacious, and equipped with flatscreen TVs with satellite channels. Most of them even have private balconies. They offer free wifi and have a spa and fitness center. Hotel Saratoga has two swimming pools; one is a rooftop pool, and the other has a poolside bar.
MLL Blue Bay
Camino Vecinal Génova-San Agustin, 30, 07015 Palma de Mallorca
MLL Blue Bay is located near Cala Major Beach. They offer a continental buffet breakfast that includes vegetarian options. The rooms are airconditioned, have satellite TV and private balconies with lovely views. MLL Blue Bay is a family-friendly hotel with a children’s play area. There is a 24-hour front desk and a tour desk if you need assistance.
Day Trips from Palma de Mallorca
Take a boat over to the famous party island Ibiza. Ibiza is the world-famous party central. So if you’re looking where to party in Ibiza, you won’t have any problems finding a place that fits your budget and preferences. Aside from partying, Ibiza is also a trendy destination for yoga enthusiasts. There are many cultural, historical, and natural beauties to see, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ibiza City. You can check our one-day in Ibiza guide here.
Boats to the Cabrera archipelago depart daily from the port of Colonia Sant Jordi in the summer (except during storms) and less frequently in the winter. Cabrera and the nearby group of 16 small islands were designated as a national park in 1991, with rigorous laws in place to protect the natural habitat. On the way back, you can stop at the Blue Grotto. Check out Pirate’s Bay. You can meet a species of lizards that are native only to Cabrera island!
One of Mallorca’s natural beauties is the caves. The best and most safe way to explore the caves is with a professional and knowledgeable guide. You will explore Drach caves, which are considered the 8th Wonder of the World. You will also see one of the largest underground lakes in the world and stalactites in the Hams Caves. Suppose that isn’t enough, a stop at a pearl factory. Be prepared to be amazed.
- If you try and like “Sobrassada” (raw, cured sausage) visit “Colmado Santo Domingo” it is a very small and narrow shop that sells local products, they package Sobrassada and Menorquin cheese
- Rent a bike, and bike around the bay of Palma, it takes about 45 minutes from Palma to Arenal and there is a proper bike line and beautiful views
- Keep in mind the Spanish siesta – small shops close for siesta usually between 13.00 and 16.00, and on Sunday all stores are closed
- Castilian (Spanish) and Catalan are the official languages of the island, however, locals prefer to speak their Mallorquin dialect. Still, most locals speak English, German, and French
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.