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.
Efforts are being made to improve the wheelchair accessibility of Palma City. To this end, two different routes through the city have been created, which are easily accessible to wheelchair users and which offer both sightseeing and shopping opportunities. The brochure “Palma for everyone” describes these routes in detail and offers additional useful information for wheelchair users.
Furthermore, there are plans to provide easier wheelchair access to Plaza Mayor. Wheelchair users approaching from the lower part of town currently have to rely on a lift. Should this be out of order, there is no alternative wheelchair friendly option. To improve this situation, Palma Council is planning to build a travellator that will link the Ramblas to Plaza Mayor.
If you require a wheelchair taxi to get around the city, contact Taxi Palma on tel (0034) 971 703529. The company recommend that you call them around half an hour prior to the desired journey time.
The City of Palma operates a bicycle hire scheme called BiciPalma, that has docking stations dotted all across the city.
Visitors to Palma can make use of this scheme once they have registered online. In order to do this, visit https://clubbicipalma.palmademallorca.es/bicicasual/NouUsuari.htm and follow the instructions. Once registered, you will have a BiciPalma account, which allows you to subscribe to the service for either 3 or 5 days from a chosen start date, at a cost of € 9 or € 12 respectively.
When logged into your account, you can also view a map of Palma, which indicates all the docking stations across the city. By clicking on one of the docking stations, you will be able to find out the number of bikes available at that station (bicicletes lliures) and the number of free docking spaces (anchoratges).
If you are visiting the city by car or intending to use public transport during your stay, this app might prove useful to you. It is available free of charge on Apple and Android and can provide you with the following information: