The most visited city on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca is certainly its capital, Palma. It is located in a beautiful bay on the southwest coast of the Balearic Island and is a magnet for cruise guests as well as individual tourists. Due to the compact size, the city center can easily be explored on foot in one day and on your own. In this article we show you which sights and photo spots the city of Palma scores with.
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Palma – Interesting facts about the capital of Mallorca
Palma is considered the supply heart of the Balearic Islands, because the seat of the Balearic government, the largest port, the largest airport, the university and other important infrastructure facilities are located here. About 420,000 people live in the city, which accounts for a little less than half of the island’s inhabitants. The city is located on the bay of the same name, Palma, in the southwest of the island. In the north, the city is framed by the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range and a few other smaller ranges of hills. To the east runs the 4.5 km long stretch of beach Platja de Palma, which flows into the well-known seaside resort of S’Arenal.
The most famous sights of Palma
We parked our rental car in the Parking Saba Sa Gerreria underground car park in the center of the city and walked around Palma from there.
The old town of Palma
The narrow, often car-free streets of the old town stretch around the centrally located 3,000 square meter Plaza Mayor, forming the center of Palma’s cultural and social life. There are plenty of bars, cafes, restaurants and cultural institutions that attract tourists and locals alike. In addition, in the area known as “Casco Antiguo” one can discover some of the main sights of Palma, such as the great Cathedral and the Royal Palace.
On our tour through the small streets we also saw many, partially restored mansions from the 17. and 18th century, which are probably very characteristic of the old town. We particularly liked the cobbled Plaza de Cort, which is where the im The town hall (Ayuntamiento de Palma) built in the 17th century and a 600-year-old, specially protected olive tree are located.
The historic Ferrocarril de Sóller – The “Red Lightning”
One of the most popular rail routes in Mallorca for visitors to the island is the 27 kilometer journey between Palma and Sóller. For trips with these special wooden trains, there is even a small train station at Plaza Espanya in Palma, which is right next to another train station. For a price of EUR 25 per person return, you can enjoy a beautiful, nostalgic ride, crossing the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range through 13 tunnels, a 52-metre viaduct and numerous curves and bends.
Simultaneously with the construction of the Palma-Sóller railway line, a second line was built and later opened, which is served by a tram and runs from Sóller to the coastal town of Port de Sóller. For the 5 km long route you pay 7 EUR per person one-way. We would have loved to have driven this route, but unfortunately we didn’t make it due to time constraints.
The Cathedral of Palma
The Gothic La Seu Cathedral in the south of the old town is the main attraction and most popular photo motif in Palma. It was built from 1306 and is the episcopal church of the Diocese of Mallorca. Unfortunately we could only look at the church from the outside because it was closed. But even from the outside, with its golden sandstone, it is a real feast for the eyes. The cathedral is designed in a Catalan Gothic style with northern European influences.
Below the cathedral towards the sea, the “Parc de la Mar” was designed in the 1970s. It includes an artificial saltwater lake and a small, picturesque park from which you have a wonderful view of the cathedral. Here you can also take a nice break from time to time, rest your feet from a lot of running and just let your soul dangle.
The Royal Palace of La Almudaina
Directly opposite the main entrance to the Cathedral is the Royal Palace of La Almudaina. The 14th-century building is the official residence of the king and queen during their stays in Mallorca.
Walking around the palace, one can discover different styles of art: on the ground floor there are works from the 15th to 20th centuries in a more medieval style. The upper floor, used for royal family celebrations, is decorated with objects and furniture from other royal sites from the 17th, 18th and 19th century decorated and furnished.
The foundation building “Fundación Bartolomé March”
The imposing building of the Fundación Bartolomé March was built in the mid-20th century in a typical local architecture and houses a museum with exhibits from different eras and artistic styles, as well as a library specializing in Balearic themes, consisting of more than 2,000 manuscripts and 60,000 volumes.
Near the foundation building is the royal garden Jardines de S’Hort del Rei with some water features and shady resting places as well as a beautiful fountain right on the Placa de la Reina.
Around the marina
We particularly enjoyed the walk at the exclusive marina of Palma, because with over 2,000 berths for sailing and motor yachts, it is the largest marina in Mallorca. There are many beautiful, expensive boats and yachts to admire here, which can be up to 50 meters long. There are also a few restaurants and bars, as well as the historic Llotja de Palma building and the beautiful “PALMA” lettering , which makes for a great photo opportunity.
The view from Bellver Castle
Southwest of the old town, the medieval Castle of Bellver rises above the port of Palma. The circular fortress was completed in 1309 and served as a protective castle and residence for the then King James II of Mallorca. Since 1936 the complex has housed a museum about the history of the city of Palma, which is open to the public. We drove up the mountain with our rental car and were able to park it in the parking lot at the top. Unfortunately, we were only there in the late afternoon, so everything was already closed. However, the drive up was still worth it, because the view of Palma is simply fantastic.
Other sights in Palma
On our sightseeing day in Palma we were able to see the most important sights, but of course there are many more points of interest in the city. We would have liked to have visited the Mercat de l’Olivar , the largest market hall in the city. Unfortunately it was closed on the day we visited. The former fishing district of Santa Catalina is also said to be well worth seeing. Over time, the urban area has developed into a hip trendy district with many bars, restaurants and boutiques. The colorful, traditional houses and the windmills that are located on the old city wall are definitely great photo opportunities here. There is also a beautiful open-air museum. The Nuevo Pueblo Espanol in Palma houses a total of 23 replicas of historical and famous monuments, squares and buildings that represent the architectural heritage of Spain on 26,000 m².
A map with all the sights of Mallorca
On the following map on Google MyMaps we have marked the most famous sights and the most beautiful photo spots on Mallorca, which we found during our research. Certainly there are many more beautiful places, squares, sights or photo spots that would be worth entering here. If a special place or an important sight is missing from your point of view, just let us know in the comments below and we will be happy to add it to the map.