Happy October, guys! I had promised you a travel guide on some of the Spanish cities we visited last month, and here’s the first one – Palma, Mallorca! Although half of our time there was spent attending friends’ wedding, we still had a ton of fun roaming around the vibrant capital of Mallorca. I can’t wait to return again to explore the rest of this gorgeous Mediterranean island. In the meantime, here are some highlights from our Palma experience. I hope these will be helpful to those planning a visit there!
Known for its turquoise-blue water, secret sparkling coves and a rich history with Moorish influence, Mallorca is the largest Balearic island south of Spain. It has long been a popular holiday destination for the rich and the creative. The King of Spain, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Raphael Nadal have all lived there at one point in time. In addition to its 200+ beaches, many backed by luxurious holiday resorts and rental houses, Mallorca is also home to stunning castles, art galleries & museums, shopping, restaurants and amazing nightlife.
Palma, the largest city in Mallorca, is often compared to Barcelona for its architecture but I personally enjoyed its thriving arts scene, tiny lanes and quirky cafes & shops. It is extremely walkable – all of the places we visited were within a 45 min walk. From Old City to the sea front, narrow cobbled streets were by far my favorite part about the city.
WHERE TO STAY
We were late to booking our accommodation but ended up having a wonderful stay at Brondo Architect Hotel. It’s a 4-star boutique hotel nestled right in the center of Palma. The location could not have been any more perfect, as we were just short walks away from EVERYTHING.
Some of the other hotels we considered:
Breakfast / dining area at Brondo Architect Hotel
WHAT TO DO / SIGHTSEE
The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, or commonly known as La Seu, is a grand Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral situated in the heart of Old City Palma. Its magnificent and unique structure was the first thing that caught my eyes as we entered the city. Built by the Crown of Aragon on the site of a Moorish-era mosque, La Seu overlooks the south sea front and is a must see in Palma.
Art Galleries / Interior Decors
Downtown Palma is filled with contemporary art galleries and museums. Highly recommend visiting at least a few of them – every space is unique in its own way and full of character. It’s a fun experience even if you don’t purchase any art work (and if you do that’s even better!). Also check out the Es Baluard contemporary art museum housed in a revamped 16th-century fortress. This is where our friends had their pre-wedding welcome drinks and the view is just magnificent! Lastly, for those of you who are interior design aficionados, be sure to stop by Rialto Living and Viveca.
Some of the best shopping, restaurants and nightlife can be found in Portals Nous, where plenty private yachts and boats are chartered. If you have time to spare, dine at one of the restaurants listed under WHERE TO EAT below and just people watch or enjoy the quiet sea view.
Interested in dancing the day away at some of the island’s hippest spots? I had a few beach clubs on my list but we unfortunately never got to go (between the catamaran ride and Sebas Ramis, somebody had to make a painful decision!). If you’re in the mood, check out Puro Beach Club, Nassau Beach, and Mood Beach Club and let me know which is your favorite.
More about what to do in Palma, visit Lonely Planet.
WHERE TO EAT
- Duke – Hip, surfer theme restaurant that serves amazing, fresh pan-Pacific Asian dishes
- Bunker’s – Tiny space (only serves dinner so get there early!) known for its modern take on Mallorcan dishes
- Tast – Mallorca’s most popular spot for authentic pinxtos
- Simply Fosh – One Michelin star restaurant by the renowned British chef Marc Fosh. Dinner can be expensive but their lunch prix fixe is a steal at €25!
- Celler Sa Prema – Known for traditional Mallorcan specialties – roast suckling pig or sobrassada (cured pork sausage), tumbet (slices of aubergine, potato and red pepper) or conill amb ceba (roast rabbit with onions).
- Spoon – Asian fushion in Puerto Portals
- Flanigan – One of the best for steak and fresh seafood
- Diablito – Great, fun atmosphere for pizza, pasta & cocktails
- Las Terrazas del Bendinat – Beautiful setting and great Mediterranean food.