20 Things To Do In Palma

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As the gateway to Mallorca, Palma reaches out and offers a helping hand to introduce you to the stunning beauty of the Balearic Islands. The rich cultural roots of Mallorca come through in the city’s most prominent buildings with touches of influences of Roman, Muslim, and Spanish designs intermingled into the architecture of each.

It seems that around every corner you can find something so unique it can’t be found anywhere else in Spain or even Europe. Along the edge of the coast, the domineering Mallorca Catherdral presides over the sea, while tucked up on a hill nearby to the west, the Bellver Castell provides views of the city and port nowhere else seen on the island.

Life slows down in the old town of Palma. You can easily just tuck your city map back into your bag and wander with a smile on your face as you are pleasantly surprised by the next wonderful encounter. Really the question is, how are you going to budget your time to make the most of your visit to this fascinating city? Here are the best things to do in Palma, Spain. 

Palma, Spain

Top Tours

Palma de Mallorca: 5 Hour Catamaran Cruise with Lunch & Swim

Things To Do In Palma

1- Be Astonished By The Cathedral of Mallorca (La Seu)

Mallorca: Skip the Line Palma Cathedral Entry Ticket

When first arriving in Palma, the sheer magnificence of the Cathedral of Mallorca (La Seu) draws your immediate attention as it reigns over the bay of the city.

As one of Europe’s tallest Gothic buildings, the facades and numerous sharply pointed pinnacles give it a very unique and majestic look compared to many other large cathedrals in the country.

Palma’s skyline almost seems to be defined by its presence.


As you approach, the incredible height of the nave, at an astonishing 44 metres, stands out the most.

Also known as Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca, its construction began in 1229 under King James I of Aragon but wasn’t completed until much later in 1601.

The story goes, that when Jaume I first arrived on the island after battling difficult seas, he swore that if he was successful in removing the Moors from the island, he would construct an incredibly massive cathedral as evidence of his conquest.

Many refer to La Seu also as the “Cathedral of Light” because of the impressive 61 stained glass windows.

When you first walk through the doors to the main chapel, it’s clearly very different from many other famous cathedrals because of the abundance of colours in every direction.

The most recognisable feature from the inside and out is the gigantic rose window, which allows the morning sun to brightly fill the room.

Standing in the centre, the particularly thin columns uniquely stand out for a cathedral of that size.

The enormous weight of the ceiling rests instead on the massive buttresses of the exterior facade, allowing the interior to have more of a delicate feel.

One other aspect of La Seu that cannot be missed is the spectacular crown of thorns canopy that hangs directly above the altar.

The intricate design of the piece is often thought of as a piece created by Antoni Gaudí, but it was actually created by one of his students and a colleague.

Make this your first destination while visiting Mallorca and try to go when the sun comes through the spectacular windows in the earlier hours of the day.

The Mallorca Catherdral is at Plaça de la Seu, s/n, 07001 Palma. Skip the line and book your tickets here

Recommended tour: Palma de Mallorca: 24-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour – save money and explore in your own time. 

2- See How The Kings Lived At The Royal Palace Of The Almudaina

Palma de Mallorca: La Almudaina Palace Entry Ticket

Directly across from the cathedral, the Royal Palace Of The Almudaina takes you on a journey of the many cultures that once ruled this island, even before Roman times!

The Talaiots were the first known people to construct a structure on this site before the Romans controlled the island.

Very little remained from this period after the fall of Rome, and in the 10th century when the Moors arrived, they chose this site to build the first fortified Alcazar for the kings.

In the 13th century, the Christians conquered Mallorca, demolishing much of the Moorish architectural designs of the Alcazar, and then later reconstructing the palace in a Levantine Gothic style.

Many rooms of the palace are open to the public.

Inside the grand rooms, you can find Gothic arches that were bricked in, and large tapestries from that period.

To get a better idea of how the royalty once lived, climb the Royal Staircase to see the royal apartments, and then visit the Capilla de Santa Ana.

It’s currently recognized as the official residence of the King and Queen of Spain, and also functions as the Balearics military command.

In one of the grand rooms, the King still holds some of his formal receptions.

Royal Palace Of The Almudaina is located at Carrer del Palau Reial, s/n, 07001 Palma. Skip the line and book your tickets here. You may also like to visit the March Palace

3- Relax In The Gardens Of S’Hort del Rei

Just below the Almudaina, be sure to spend a moment relaxing in the gardens of S’Hort del Rei before you venture on.

This lovely area was once enclosed as part of the palace during the 14th century.

Flowers, fruit trees, and vegetables were grown here for the royal family.

The current design, inspired by traditional Andalusian gardens, features cypress trees, fountains, and ponds offering a pleasant atmosphere to relax in after touring La Seu and Almudaina.

Don’t miss seeing Joan Miró’s Egg sculpture, or the Arc de la Drassana where you will find swans swimming below.

Several notable statues such as the Balearic Slinger, and the Foner are featured here as well.

S’Hort del Rei is at Av. d’Antoni Maura, 18, 07001 Palma. Skip the line and book your tickets here

4- Take In The Incredible Views Of Palma At Castell De Bellver

Palma de Mallorca: 24 Hour Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour

Perched high above the city and bay, to the west of Palma, the Castell de Bellver boasts the most incredible 360° panoramic views of the city and the Tramuntana Mountains anywhere on the island.

Built during the 14th century as a grand castle for King James II of Mallorca, it’s one of the finest examples of Catalan Gothic architecture anywhere in the country.

In Catalan, Bellver means ‘lovely view’, and once you reach the top of the castle you will see why.

The captivating views of the sea and mountains are unprecedented.

The Castell de Bellver has served many functions since its construction.

For a short period, it was the royal summer residence of the Kings of Mallorca before becoming a prison for six centuries beginning in the late 14th century.

As the only circular castle in the country, its unique architectural design stands out throughout the structure.

Once crossing the large drawbridge over the moat far below, you enter the inner circular courtyard named the ‘Patio de Armes’ which is comprised of two tiers.

The lower level with Romanesque arches was initially designed for the use of the servants and soldiers of the castle, while the upper level with Gothic arches housed the royal family in grandeur.

Three semi-circular defensive towers are attached to the outer walls, and one large free-standing circular tower called the “Torre del Homenaje” is linked to the castle by a very small bridge.

From each point, the views of the island are spectacular, as well as looking down into the courtyard.

Currently, Castell del Bellver houses the island’s history museum where you will find artefacts from Roman, Arab, and Spanish times.

Six of the eight rooms in the museum display how the Mallorca has evolved since its early beginnings.

Take time to see the original kitchen castle and chapel as well.

One of the easiest ways to get here is by taking the hop-on hop-off tour bus that stops at the castle during its 16-stop tour.

The city bus from the city centre only brings you to below the castle so you will have to hike up if you choose that option.

If you arrive by car, there is ample parking provided at the top of the hill.

During the summer nights, be sure to come for one of the many concerts held in the courtyard under the stars.

It’s an incredible experience, and the view of Palma lit up at night adds another dimension to the enjoyment.

The Castell De Bellver is located at Carrer Camilo José Cela, s/n, 07014 Palma.

Recommended tour: Palma de Mallorca: 24-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

5- Go For A Stroll On Paseo del Born

Palma’s most luxurious pedestrian walkway, lined with designer brand stores like Louis Vitton, Carolina Herrara, and Rolex, invites visitors to take a pleasant stroll under the cool shade of trees.

Its central location in the city and close proximity to Almudaina Palace and the Cathedral, make it one of the more popular boulevards for window shopping, or taking a break at one of many quaint cafes.

To visit this attractive area of Palma, look between Plaça de la Reina and Plaça de la Reina squares.

On either end of the passageway, you will find stone sphinxes to help guide you on your way.

As you walk along, look for the Zara store inside a gorgeous building which once contained a famous cinema.

Nearby you can find the tourist centre, and the Casal Solleric, an old mansion from the 1700s that now hosts art exhibitions.

Interestingly, the name ‘Born’ comes from the middle ages, meaning an area designated for knights to have competitions such as jousting.

Long ago this section of the city functioned as a estuary where rainwater from the island could flow out to the sea.

Unfortunately in 1403, a massive flood destroyed part of the streets nearby, which later led to the reconstruction of the area producing a canal which you can still see today.

Throughout the year several celebrations are held on the paseo and during the winter, the tree trunks are covered in Christmas lights adding a touch of warmth to the cosy atmosphere.

6- Learn About The Moorish History Of Mallorca At Els Banys Àrabs (Arab Baths)

Palma de Mallorca: Guided Tour of the Old Town

Dating back to somewhere between the 10th and 12th centuries, the Arab Baths are the remnants of the Arab city of Medina Mayurqa (which is now Palma).

Inside, you will see thin columns and arches typical of Muslim architecture.

The Moors reused the capitals of columns from Byzantine and Roman times to create a peaceful place to relax.

Many of the columns and designs are actually different from each other, something rarely seen in other Arab baths.

The baths were thought to be built as part of a nobleman’s house, something that was traditional during that time and found in many Islamic cities.

Inside you can see both the well-preserved caldarium (cool water pool) and tepidarium (a slightly warm water pool between hot and cold water) along with the dome above featuring 25 round shafts supplying light to baths.

Hammams or Arab baths provided a comfortable place to get clean as well as a way for the more affluent members of the city to socialize.

The act of cleaning is not only for hygienic purposes but in accordance with the writings of the Quran, a way to clean impure thoughts as well.

It’s quite easy to imagine that the courtyard, filled with cactuses, and palm and orange trees, provided a wonderful quiet and calm area to cool off after a hot bath.

Els Banys Àrabs is located at Carrer de Can Serra, 7, 07001 Palma.

Recommended tour:

7- Discover The Works Of Joan Miró at Fundació Miró

With over 7,000 works created by Joan Miró and his contemporaries from 1956 to 1983, any art lover will find their experience visiting the Fundació Miró exhilarating.

This museum, located near Cala Major, offers the unique option of being able to see where the artist lived and worked.

Being able to see his studio allows visitors a first-hand look into his life, techniques, and inspirations.

Designed by Josep Lluís Sert, the Sert studio is spacious and well-lit, providing Miró with a way to work hop back and forth working on different paintings at the same time.

The Son Boter studio, which is housed inside an 18th-century rural home, still bears Miró’s charcoal graffiti drawings.

Take a pleasant walk around the Sculpture Garden afterwards to reminisce about the incredible experience.

Fundació Miró is located at C/ de Saridakis, 29, 07015 Palma. Skip the line and book your tickets online now

8- Wander The Old Town Of Palma In ‘El Casco Antiguo’

Palma de Mallorca: Old Town Tour and Tapas Bar by Night

Palma’s most attractive feature, the ‘El Casco Antiguo’ or old town gives you the opportunity to just roam freely without a designated route.

Most of the major sites are within walking distance of each other so you can simply start at La Seu or The Almudaina and go and explore the charming streets as you go.

Around each corner, more surprises await as your eyes wander looking at the old buildings painted in vibrant colors.

Everything from quaint little bookstores and antique shops to cafes with people enjoying a coffee or tea, encourage you to take it a little slower for the day.

While you are there, stop and try the ‘ensaimada’.

It’s a pastry that Mallorca is famous for and many small bakeries offer them in boxes to take with you.

Often on your trip back will notice people taking them on board planes to enjoy once they get home.

Recommended tour: Palma de Mallorca: Guided Tour of the Old Town

9- Contemplate The Unique Collection Of Art At The Es Baluard Museu d’Art Contemporani

Back in 2004, after over 30 years of work and planning by the King of Spain and Pedro Serra, the Es Baluard Museum came to life, opening its doors to the public for the first time.

In what was an abandoned part of the city for 50 years, the museum now displays over 800 pieces of work in one of the most historic areas of Palma, adjacent to and above the ancient city wall.

Pedro Serra, a successful businessman, used his importance to acquire a vast number of contemporary pieces from some of the more prominent artists in Spain.

The donated works were dedicated to the Serra Art Foundation.

On the main floor of the museum, discover a superb collection of sculptures and paintings created by Picasso, Joan Miró, and Magritte.

In the basement, which once held water reservoirs for the city, you can find temporary exhibits on a rotating schedule.

The passion of many people’s dreams to make Mallorca a city of cultural importance has come to fruition.

Take a moment to appreciate some of Spain’s most interesting contemporary art in a historic part of the city.

Es Baluard Museu d’Art Contemporani is located at Plaça de la Porta de Santa Catalina, 10, 07012 Palma.

10- Walk Along The Paseo Marítimo

Palma: Walking Tour with Mediterranean Delicacies

Stretching for over four kilometres from Porto Pi to the former fishing village of Portixol, the Paseo Marítimo brings you through some of the best scenic views of the Meditterean in Palma.

Throughout the day, hundreds of people use this great seafront promenade to get some exercise by taking a run, riding a bike, or simply a leisurely stroll.

On a large section of the walkway, you can admire the boats and luxury yachts docked inside the port.

At the far end, you reach unobstructed views of the sea near the La Seu and Parc de la Mar.

For hundreds of years, the waves of the sea actually collided with a rock protection wall just below the cathedral.

Reconstruction in the 1970s formed a new road along the coast with the palm trees lined promenade you can explore today.

A number of restaurants, bars and nightclubs are located along the way.

At night, many people venture back and forth looking for the next place for fun times.

Check out the famous nightclub Tito’s that opened back in the 1920s closer to Porto Pi.

Walk up the street where the buildings end and La Seu to find a good selection of restaurants for dinner.

People tend to wander this area into the late hours of the night.

Recommended tour: Palma: Walking Tour with Mediterranean Delicacies

11- Shop At The Market At Plaza Mayor

Located next to the San Felipe Nerí Convent, this large square hosts an artisanal market on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm each week.

In addition to the market, many popular city events are held here as well, such as the celebration of the feast of Sant Sebastià, which brings a fiery display with devils dancing to the heavy beat of the drummers.

12- Have A Picnic At The Parc de la Mar

During the day and especially at sunset you will see locals and visitors alike sitting on the grass enjoying the fresh air and views of the sea, with the Cathedral of Mallorca as a backdrop.

Positioned between the Paseo Marítimo and the cathedral, this area welcomes passersby to stop for a minute and enjoy the sunshine.

Many families and friends bring a large blanket and sit in the grass for a picnic in the afternoon.

13- Learn About Aquatic Life At Palma Aquarium

Mallorca: Palma Aquarium Ticket w/optional 3D Cinema

People of all ages can have a bit of fun and learn about aquatic life from the Mediterranean, Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans.

The kids love the Big Blue shark tank, which is the deepest in Europe, 8.5 metres below the surface.

After exploring the depths, enter the jungle, one of the largest rooftop gardens in Europe to see exotic vegetation and imagine what life is like in the waters of the Amazon River.

Palma Aquarium is located at Carrer de Manuela de los Herreros, 21, 07610 Palma. Skip the line and book your tickets here

14- Buy Fresh Local Food At The Mercat de Santa Catalina

Palma de Mallorca: Foodie Tour Old Town

The Santa Catalina area, with colourful old houses with small terraces, warms guests as they walk down the street to the oldest food market in Palma.

Everything from fresh meat and fish to fruits and vegetables can be found here and it’s a favourite place for locals to get some ingredients for their favorite meal.

If you are just in the area to take a look around, stop by to try some tapas at one of the vendor’s already-prepared food stalls before heading on your way.

This vibrant and trendy scene is a great way to escape the mid-day sun.

The Mercat de Santa Catalina is located at Plaça de la Navegació, s/n, 07013 Palma.

Recommended tour: Palma de Mallorca: Foodie Tour Old Town

15- Find More Famous Spanish Artists At The Museo Fundación Juan March

Housed inside a 17th-century townhouse, you can see a permanent collection of works from famous Spanish artists from the 20th century such as Picasso, Miró, and Dalí.

On display, see over 70 works from 52 different contemporary artists in this free gallery.

Museo Fundación Juan March is located at Calle San Miguel, 11, 07002, Palma.

16- Taste Some Fresh Seafood From The Mercat De l’Oliver

Right in the centre of Palma, near both Plaza España and Calle de Sant Miquel, the Mercat De l’Oliver is one of the city’s most popular fresh food markets, and for good reason!

Opened in 1952, it provides locals and tourists with a great way to pick up the best vegetables, fish and meat, seafood, cheese the island has to offer.

Also, a small number of restaurants and bars may entice you to try some quick tapas before you get on your way.

The Mercat De l’Oliver is located at Plaça de l’Oliver, s/n/ 07002 Palma.

Recommended tour: Palma de Mallorca: Foodie Tour Old Town

17- Admire The Ancient Olive Tree And Town Hall At Plaça De Cort

In this charming little plaza of Palma, you can take a look at the beauty of the famous 600-year-old olive tree that was grown on an estate in Pollença and moved to the heart of the city in 1989.

In the same spot, take a minute to admire the 17th-century town hall, with its ornate three-story facade and clock that people come to see strike 12 on New Year’s Eve.

Recommended tour: Palma: Guided Sightseeing Segway Tour

18- Soak Up The Sun At Platja De Can Pere Antoni

Palma de Mallorca: Sunset Boat Tour with DJ and Dance Floor

For those just simply looking for a day at the beach, follow the promenade past the Mallorca Cathedral until you reach the Platja De Can Pere Antoni.

You can’t go wrong with taking a day away from the city and soaking up the sun.

When it’s time for lunch or dinner, several good restaurants are located just across the walkway, ready to invite you in.

Recommended tours:

19- Discover The Military History Of Mallorca 

Old Cannon Cannon Overhang The Marine Reserve
Learning about war history at Museu Militar I Història De Les Balears is one of the things to do in Palma.

Housed inside a former military hospital, the Museum of Military History offers insight into the evolution and progression of the militaries of both Spain and the Balearic Islands.

See displays of uniforms and weapons and other memorabilia, as well as a pharmacy from the 19th century donated by Queen Isabel II with cabinets showcasing the medicines used during that time period.

The Military Museum is located at C/ Sant Miquel, 69, Palma.

20- Do Some Shopping On Avenida Jaime III

If you’re looking for an alternative to the Borne shopping area, the Avenida Jaime III features designer brands, and some large department stores as well.

Keep your eye out for some fashionable boutique stores too! 

Recommended tour: Mallorca: Palma de Mallorca all inclusive pass

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Grant Doremus
Grant Doremus is a freelance writer from the United States, eager to share his travel experiences and knowledge about some of the best destinations in the world. He grew up in a small town in New Hampshire, and after a successful career in finance, he decided to chase his dreams of becoming a digital nomad. As an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast he went on a road trip across the U.S. visiting 26 states, exploring most of the country's national parks, and climbing some of the highest peaks in the country. After a year on the road, he headed to Europe where he backpacked through 10 countries before finally settling in Spain. Grant loves to write about Spanish culture, its rich history, and traditions. His favourite destination so far is Mallorca, but he hasn’t finished his travels just yet!