Palma de Mallorca is the capital of the Balearic Islands and is the largest city in Mallorca with population of the Palma municipality of more or less of 400,000. Half the population of Mallorca lives in the city of Palma. The city occupies the north western end of a bay in the south west of the island of Mallorca.
The name Palma dates back to the Roman settlement on the site of the present city, although the area was originally settled during the Bronze Age. In the early middle ages it was conquered by Arabs, who named the place Madina Mayurqa. In 1229 it was conquered by King Jaime I, ruler of Valencia and Aragon, and became an important trade city. 16th century was very difficult for Palma, when a significant decline was caused by attacks from Turkish and Berber Pirates and through plague. The city became a tourist destination in the 1950s, and tourist numbers have continually increased in the subsequent half century. Palma is a busy commercial and cultural center of Mallorca. Today, Mallorca is one of Europe’s major holiday destinations, with many tourists coming from everywhere, every year. Palma is a city of modern, hotel chains, and good shops. But most of the island is dated and kept much of the old architecture.
How to get there
Palma’s city airport is the major airport in Mallorca, and has daily flights from many European cities. You can catch a train and travel between Mallorcan towns. But, there is no train service to the airport. The main Train, Bus, and Metro station (‘Estacio Intermodal’) is underground, at Placa Espanya in Palma. If you will take bus, EMT runs the local bus service in Palma. Regional buses to destinations around the island are operated mainly by TIB (Transport de les Iles Balears). All EMT buses are equipped with on board screens and loudspeakers that state the current and next stop, in both Spanish and Catalán. You can get to Mallorca by boat because most world cruise ships stop at Palma.
Nearby places to see
Castell de Bellver is built on the ruins of a Muslim site. Here you can see museum of archaeological finds and classical sculptures, and have the best view of the bay. This is one of the most distinct castles in Spain, it dates from the 14th century. Known for its uniquely circular form, Castell de Bellver has three large towers, a central courtyard, and other features shown throughout the architecture of the interior and exterior. The greatest way to tour this castle starts with a walk around the moat. Castell de Bellver is open for visitors daily all year long. It is open on weekdays 8:30 AM to 6 PM, and Sundays and bank holidays 10AM to 5:30 pm. The entrance costs a small fee.
Pueblo Español is an architectural museum designed like a small village containing facsimiles of the major classical works of Spanish architecture. During the week there are numerous artisans’ shops, restaurants and bars operating within the museum.
Paseo Maritimo is for those who enjoy nightlife. Paseo Maritimo refers to area all along the port, where all the yachts and boats are chartered. It is where the majority of the discotecas and bars are located and offers a wonderful view of the cathedral at night. Mallorca’s discotecas and Tito’s is one of the most famous. In the 1950’s Frank Sinatra used to go, but even today it still works as good as then. Clubs stay going until about 6.00 a.m. and the clubs here do not get extremely busy until at least midnight on most days.
Catedral de Mallorca is located close to the sea-side. The museum, located in the chapter room and vestry, has exhibits of religious paintings and silverware.
Things to do
Aqualand, Palma is a water park that has slides and pools of varying degrees of adventurousness. Open from early May to early October each year.
Palma is famous for its beaches. Even though there are no signs posted in the town centre but just follow the ones to the Parc de la Mar (the park by the sea). When you get there face the sea and walk left along the main coast road for 5-10 minutes. This part of the beach is not the best for resting due to the traffic so go to the other end where the road veers away. Ciudad Jardín is very a white sandy beach, 450m long and 45m wide and protected from bad weather by a series of jetties. This beach has moderate waves and is located in Ciudad Jardín residential area, a pleasant neighborhood that is surrounded by the La Torre d’en Pau Park, where all buildings are low-rise and are flourished with many outside, beautiful gardens. Cala Major (Cala Mayor) is positioned only a few kilometers West of Palma de Mallorca. The beach is 200 meters long and 80 meters wide and the water is crystal clear. The beach is surrounded by hotels and is pretty crowded during in July and August.
Can Pere Antoni is 735 meters long and 25 meters wide. This beach right in front front of the cathedral of La Seu, beside the promenade. This is one of the most pleasant locations in Palma for cycling.
The Mallorca high season is between July and September. Don’t be surprised to see that many hotels close in winter so that booking is also advised then (if you plan to go when summer is over). You can find decent hostels and midrange hotels all over the island, but it is suggested to book your stay previously.
Best season to visit
The holiday season lasts from the end of April until October, and from November to April, with temperatures ranges from 20-28 degrees Celsius (don’t forget to get a jacket because the evenings can be chilly). Summer is the best season and the island is extremely crowded between July and September, but the weather is pleasant in May, June and October so you can schedule your holiday then.