De Tokio a Lima
A short walk from the city centre and promising fantastic views across Palma and the Marina, the uniquely shaped Bellver Castle is a bargain to enter for just a few euros. The rounded interior is rather impressive, and the views from the rooftop are especially special at sunset. 

Palma Cathedral

When to visit and how long to spend in Palma de Mallorca?

Local Flavours: Bodegas of Mallorca
Palma Cathedral
Palma de Mallorca is the main gateway to the Balearic Islands, and I was pretty shocked at just how large the airport is. It is well served by budget and flag-carrying airlines from Europe and will soon start hosting direct flights from the USA. It’s a short drive from the city centre (expect to pay around €20 for a taxi) and connected by the airport bus. 

Where to stay in Palma de Mallorca? 

Castell de Bellver
It wouldn’t be an island city-break without a little beach time, and the Platja de Can Pere Antoni is right on the doorstep of the city. While there are certainly much more tranquil bays further along the coast, you don’t need to go far to have your fit in the sand and a dip in the Med. 
If there is one attraction that stands above the rest, both literally and figuratively, in Palma, it’s the Cathedral. This Gothic Roman architectural feat looks good from all angles, whether admiring it from the outside across the still waters or seeing the stain-glass windows bouncing light around the imposing pillars inside. 

How to get to Palma de Mallorca? 

Hiking: Tramuntana Mountains

What to see in Palma de Mallorca? 

In fact, I’d go as far as saying that Palma is an ideal city-break, which is quite surprising for an island destination – yet, it ticks all the boxes; gastronomy, history, culture, and more than enough places to eat and drink in style. Here’s a quick guide to Palma de Mallorca and what to expect from a long weekend in the city.

Around a thirty-minute drive (also possible on the 200 bus) from Palma is the postcard-perfect village of Valldemossa, a popular spot for tourists and an ideal day trip from the city. Typical stone houses line the flower-drenched streets, set against the background of the dramatic Tramuntana Mountains. Explore the streets, soak up the atmosphere, and admire the impressive Monastery, the main attraction in this quaint village. 
While a lot of the ‘party’ attention in Mallorca, especially in the UK, is focused around Magaluf, you’ll be pleased to hear the nightlife in the capital city is much more enjoyable and, dare I say it, sophisticated. There are terrace cafes and bars on squares and boulevards, late-night cocktail venues with moody lighting, and plenty of trendy and hip spots to sup a craft brew.
Set on a quaint square near the centre, at first glance, this bar looks like a small and narrow spot with a heavy crowd upstairs. But, underground, you’ll find headphones waiting for you to enjoy a night of silent revelry – pick from mainstream pop, techno or indie on the headphones controller and enjoy the night!
One of the biggest joys for me about Spanish cities is just slowly taking in the colourful and historic buildings, the tile work, the plazas, and stopping here and there for a vinho or tapa. There are, however, some impressive attractions in Palma, and it’s well worth adding one or two to your city break agenda.
Here are a few of my favourite places I found myself boozing during my last visit. 
The beautifully round Castle
Late night: Avenida de Gabriel Roca
Mercat 1930
Tapalma Tapas Event
The ceviche was perfectly acidic and spicy, the Tuna Tartar delightfully dressed with Guava, and the meat was perfectly tender. Couple this with great cocktails, wine pairings and professional but not overbearing service, and you’ve got a fantastic lunch or dinner option as a treat. 
For those looking to get a little more active, the surrounding mountains of Valldemossa, the Tramuntana Mountains, which stretch along the whole west coast of the island, has plenty of hiking trails to enjoy for all levels. 

Where to eat in Palma de Mallorca? 

Vintage & Tapas: Moltabarra Bar de Tapas
Quaint villages: Valldemossa

Palma is a much bigger city than most people realised before arriving, which means there is an array of accommodation options for all budgets and group sizes.

Are you looking to discover Spain beyond Barcelona? Check out my favourite Spanish Hidden Gems – from tiny villages known for their wine festivals to hidden mountain caves cultivating cheese! 

The first time I visited the island, my only plan was to avoid Magaluf and explore some of the other things to do in Mallorca – sadly, while doing so, I ended up avoiding Palma also. Having recently returned to spend a week in the city itself for the Traverse21 conference, I can see why that was such a big mistake.
Soller Mallorca

Where to drink and party in Palma de Mallorca?

On my recent visit, as I was travelling solo, I found the accommodation options to be pretty affordable in late November. I secured private rooms at both the New Art Hostel and Hostal Pinnar for under €30 a night and would happily recommend both. For sea-views and a bit more luxury, the larger resorts like Melia or charming El Llorenç Parc de la Mar might be better picks for a romantic city break.

Perhaps my favourite place in Palma, Moltabarra, is a trendy and vintage joint in the city centre. With a cassette rack to pick from instead of a duke-box, old magazines, records and typewriters decorating the shelves, and a delicious set of Pintxos decorating the bar, it’s a great place for both early and late drinks. 
A fantastic concept for some food and drinks, Mercat 1930 is essentially a big vintage bar area with tiled floors and an occasional DJ, where food stalls surround the tables in the middle with both traditional Spanish and international cuisine. Find a seat, grab a drink from the bar, and then hit up the stands for as many small or large plates as you can manage. The owner and staff will go out of their way to ensure you have a good night that goes far beyond just grabbing a bite to eat in this very social atmosphere. 
Admiring the views from Castell Bellver
The wine history of Mallorca dates back to the Roman Period. There are quite an array of options for wine-tasting tours which depart Palma – whether it is to a historic windmill surrounded by vines or to take part in the traditional harvest around September, it’s an integral part of the island’s culture that you should not miss. 
The Beach
With mainly modern art collections from artists of the Balearic islands and international artists, this modern museum is ideal for a rainy day visit.
Mallorca has a lot to offer for every kind of traveller, whether it’s getting out on the water on a boat tour, scuba diving, hitting up some historic villages or heading into the mountains. Here are a few of my favourite day trips from Palma to consider if you stay more than a weekend. 
Memorable: Port de Sóller
If you have a car, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to breathtaking bays and beaches around the island. To me, one of the most beautiful was Caló del Moro and the surrounding stretches, where rock formations, caves and cerulean waters dance around still bays perfect for swimming and relaxing. If you are without a car, you can still make it here by changing buses in Campos, although you may want to pick a closer bay to enjoy as a day trip. 

Beach: Caló del Moro

Day trip ideas from Palma de Mallorca

By far, the best meal I ate during my time in Palma was at De Tokio a Lima. With soothing music, dipped lighting, and impressive art, this swanky joint serves up a fusion menu of Peruvian and Japanese dishes with a Mediterranean twist. 
An alternative, especially if you are coming from another island like Menorca or Ibiza, Barcelona or Valencia, is to do like me and take the ferry. The island hopping routes are shorter, but to and from the mainland, you can choose from various operators, some with day and some with night sailings. I paid €19 for an overnight sailing with GNV from Valencia and ended up napping on a couch with my sleeping bag. Waking up to the views of Palma Cathedral through the window at blue hour was particularly nice. 
For many, an island getaway means booking a white-washed Casa or luxury villa, especially if you are travelling with a big group of friends or family members. Mallorca certainly has plenty of delightful options to choose from, although many are more concentrated around the smaller coastal resorts. There are, however, some good villa options very close to Mallorca hosted by Vida Villas, certainly close enough to take a bus or taxi in and out of the city, or, you could opt to stay closer to a beach resort and drive into Palma for day-trips. 
Thanks to the very regular flight schedules, even in the winter months, coming for a weekend or a long weekend will give you the chance to explore the highlights of Palma and get a flavour of the island’s capital city. If you opt to use Palma as a base for longer, then it’s an ideal base (especially with a car) to take day trips out to other parts of the island – whether the story-book style inland villages or the breathtaking cove beaches of crystal clear waters. 
Housing an extensive collection of paintings by the artist Joan Miró, who, while born in Barcelona, made his home later in Palma, the vast display includes sculptures, gardens and some of his most famous works. 
Good Vibes: BigFoot

Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum

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