Set onto a stunning bay, Palma is the city that never lets you down. Happy to compete with many major European tourist cities, this smaller city is oozing with history, culture and life. Palma is at the heart of all things cosmopolitan which is why this city makes for the ideal weekend break destination. With cosy cafes, excellent restaurants and shopping that can take on Milan or Barcelona, there is plenty to see and do and with accommodation to suit all taste and budgets this is the ideal base to sample a slice of Majorcan life.
Top 10 Palma Landmarks
For those visitors to Majorca who have never ventured beyond Palma Nova or Magaluf, a visit to Palma will be a real eye opener, and will hopefully demonstrate that there is more to the island than neon lit all night bars, and all day British breakfasts.
Cathedral of Santa Maria (Cathedral La Seu):
Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma is more commonly referred to as La Seu. This Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral is built on the site of a pre-existing Arab mosque. King James I of Aragon began the construction of La Seu in 1229 and completed it in 1601. The length of La Seu is 121 metres; the width is 55 metres while its nave is 44 metres tall. Though the cathedral is designed in the Catalan Gothic style, it also shows Northern European influences.
Bellver Castle (Castell de Bellver):
One of the few circular castles in Europe, Bellver Castle is the seat for the city’s History Museum. It depicts Gothic style of architecture and was built in the 14th century for King James II. Under civil control today, the castle was used as a military prison throughout 18th to mid-20th century. Bellver Castle is one of the main tourist attractions on the island.
Arab Baths (Banys Arabs):
Fascinating remains of history, Banys Arabs (Arab Baths) show the influence of Moorish occupation in Palma who called it Medina Mayurqa. A tiny tourist attraction in the city of Palma, the roof and columns of this single small bathing chamber are wisely preserved. Its graceful colonnade and the proportionate architecture have attracted many architects and history lovers. Banys Arabs show to what heights the Arab culture and architecture had reached during middle ages.
Collection of arts in Diocesan Museum highlights some of the masterpieces of Italian art. These collections actually belong to some other churches in town but are exhibited here as they can not be kept at their original places due to safety and security reasons. The museum is spread along three different levels and gives access to a small residence of monks.
Town Hall (Ajuntament de Palma):
Palma’s charming town hall dates back to the 17th century. According to the history of the hall, it was built in 1515 but burned down in 1842. Along with it, the records of centuries of Canarian history and the island’s public archives were also destroyed. Today it is a famous rendezvous spot as outside the hall some pretty stone benches are installed where locals love to sit, chat, and spend a wonderful time.
Passeig des Born:
One can enjoy a beautiful view of the cathedral sitting at any of the cool cafes at this avenue. Bars and cafes at this street are famous for delicious food and drinks. Not only that, stores of brands such as H&M, Massimo Dutti and Zara are here in this avenue to serve your shopping hunger. People get attracted to this marvellous avenue, Passeig des Born, due to its beauty and tranquil atmosphere. This is a great place to relax, spend a day and hang around.
Pueblo Español (C- del Poble Espanyol):
Pueblo Español, also known as C- del Poble Espanyol is an architectural museum that mirrors a village-like design. It unfolds some facsimiles of the classical works of Spanish architecture. This can be a great day-trip spot when you are in Palma as the weekdays here are full of entertainment. Various artisans' shops, restaurants and bars operating within the museum are ideal to stroll through and sip some drinks while enjoying the masterpieces in this museum.
Placa Major (Plaza Mayor):
Now a hub of old town, Placa Major originally housed the offices of inquisition. The cobbled streets, old buildings, and outdoor craft market in the Placa Major are the main attractions. Vast range of good bars and restaurants can be found dotted around the edge of the square. In addition to this, it also has quite a number of art galleries and hence it is also known the “artists’ quarter”.
Plaça Cort :
Plaza Cort, also famous as Placa de Cort is a square in the centre of Palma, where the Town Council of Palma is situated. This old centre of Palma, boasts an eye-catching Baroque styled facade made from numerous elements of the 17th century. The Gothic church Iglesia de Santa Catalina here is also famous as a tourist spot.
Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum:
A modern art gallery and museum, Es Baluard is located on the old Palma’s harbour side fortifications. The museum boasts a large and permanent display of works by Spanish modern artists. Along with them are the exhibitions arranged by various artists from corners of the world. It attracts not only the art lovers but also those who are not keen on modern art, as they can enjoy their sunset drinks in the spectacular views of the Palma harbour.