Palma de Mallorca city is the capital of Mallorca and the Balearic Islands. It’s located in the south west corner of the Island and sits at the center of the Bay of Palma.
Palma is a busy modern city today, although its culture goes back to the Romans. It still has a medieval old quarter which has been shaped by a mix of cultures, principally Moorish and Spanish.
The city is lined with trees, palms and has a similar look and feel to Barcelona or even the narrow streets of Rome. It is one of Europe’s cultural treasures.
Palma is full of shops, cafes and bars. Adding to this, the city overlooks the glassy bay of Palma, a mix of boats and light reflections among the blue of the sea.
The city has a little beach to the east of the cathedral within walking distance but this isn’t a strong point on an island full of beaches or what people come to Palma for.
In the city center and on the waterfront there are a wide variety of food places to choose from, especially Spanish cuisine or one of the amazing sea food restaurants.
When visiting Palma city there are a few must see places. The city is famous for its castle, palace, cathedral, Arab quarter, many museums, general architecture and a lively atmosphere. Below are the main attractions tourists initially want to see.
The Santa Maria cathedral dating from the 13th-century is a prominent feature of the city, especially if you are arriving via sea into the port. It sits on the waterfront and is an imposing Gothic style building.
There was originally a Roman temple on the site, which was replaced with a mosque from the Moorish empire, before being replaced with the cathedral. After the Spanish conquest, construction began around 1229 on the cathedral. Later modifications were made by Gaudí at the turn of the 20th century.
Next to the Cathedral you will find another imposing structure. The Almudaina Palace which was once a Moorish fort but was later turned into a royal palace.
The palace with delightful gardens is still home to the royal family and has remained since the overthrow of the Moors.
Near to the palace and cathedral are the many tiny streets of what is known as the old Arab quarter. You can find early Arab baths still intact and behind this Arab quarter is Palma Town Hall, another gothic building.
Bellver castle sits up to the west of the city on a hill with good views of the bay and surrounding area. It’s a bulky round structure and dates from the thirteen hundreds.
The Es Baluard is a contemporary art museum. It is inside an old fortress and the building is a mixture of old and new styles. It is situated next to the old town near to the waterfront and has fantastic views of the harbor and cathedral. It has Miro and lots of modern art exhibitions.