The Best Things to do in Palma de Mallorca in One Day

The Spanish island of Mallorca is one of the most popular holiday spots for Brits.…

The Spanish island of Mallorca is one of the most popular holiday spots for Brits. But the capital city of Palma de Mallorca is often overlooked, with sun-seekers flocking to the beautiful beaches in the south and cyclists heading to the mountainous north. We spent one day exploring the historic city, and these are our best things to do in Palma de Mallorca…

See Palma past & present at Castell de Bellver

Castell de Bellver is a 1300’s circular castle on the edge of Mallorca, and this is where we start our day.

The Castle is on a hilltop and gives great views over the city and sea, and is home to the city’s history museum where you can learn all about Palma through the ages.

You only need about an hour here to have a look around. The castle itself is pretty cool, the circular columned interior gives it a very different feel from the castles we usually visit in the UK and Northern Europe, and the views from the top are great.

The museum has some interesting exhibits but most of the information is only in Spanish so we struggle to follow the timeline a little. But still good to see.

Visit the stunning Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca

Our next visit is to Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca.

We could see the huge Cathedral towering over the rest of the Old Town when we were on top of Castell de Bellver, and it looks even more impressive up close!

The outside is classic Gothic architecture, but still looks different from Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe. Maybe it’s just the colour of the stones, maybe it’s not as weather beaten by winds and rains over the centuries, but something about it is very unique.

And inside is pretty spectacular too. The ceiling is one of the highest cathedrals in Europe, and as you’d expect, the chapels, organ, and windows are all immaculate! 

Paul’s favourite part though is something very unusual for a Gothic cathedral… a modern art display! In one corner is a modern take on a New Testament verse. The corner is like a cave, with the walls peeling off, the stained-glass windows covered over, and sculptures all around including the shape of someone trying to burst through the wall! It’s very different, and very cool!

TrovenTrippers Tip… buy tickets online to the best things to do in Palma de Mallorca

There is an entrance to the cathedral on the seafront side which is only for online tickets, and these can be bought instantly via a QR code next to the entrance. There was no queue here and we got straight in. The ticket office on the other side had a huge queue, so we recommend booking tickets online.

Tickets cost €10, and can be purchased here… Mallorca Cathedral Website

Feel like Royalty at the Royal Palace of La Almudaina

Next door to the Cathedral is the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, an old Arabian fort which is now used by the Spanish Royal family for events.

We can see the Moorish influences in the Palace, with open courtyards, high arches, fountains and palm trees. It almost feels like we’re in Dorne in Game of Thrones!

But the main thing Sneha notes is the number of tapestries… they are everywhere.

“Why did everyone like tapestries so much, they’re everywhere we go!” she questions as we’re looking around. So, if you’re a fan of tapestries, the Palace is definitely worth a visit!

See 1000 years of history at Banys Arabs

Continuing with the Moorish feel of the city we head to Banys Arabs, or the Arabian Bathhouse.

The baths date back to the 10th century and give a glimpse into the old Islamic city of Medina Mayurqa, which is now Palma de Mallorca.

They’re quite small so you don’t need much time to look around, but it’s a really nice place with a small tranquil garden so you can sit and relax for a while too in the peace and quiet.

TrovenTrippers Tip… carry cash to pay for the best things to do in Palma de Mallorca!

You need cash to pay entry at the baths, and the nearest cash machine is close to a 10-minute walk. So be prepared!

Shop at Passeig del Born & Explore the Old Town Streets

Passeig del Born is one of the main streets on the edge of the Old Town, a tree lined boulevard where most of the luxury and expensive shops are.

It’s well worth a walk to see, and there are loads of bars and restaurants all along it so makes finding somewhere to get some food or drink very easy!

The narrow winding streets of the Old Town are great to explore too... every corner we walk around there seems to be another photo stop!

The 17th century Town Hall between the Old Town and Passeig del Born needs to seen. We go inside and see some giant puppets from previous festivals held in Palma, and outside there is a real buzz in the square with the restaurants and cafes full, the souvenir shops are busy, and horse and carts pass by.

Where to eat & drink in Palma

Palma has a really good food and drinks scene, these are some of our picks!

Eat Tapas at Restaurante El Túnel

Restaurante El Túnel is a traditional taverna just off Plaça la Reina. We stop for a drink and to have some tapas, but after looking at the menu, we go for “A Caballo con Foie… Eggs on Horseback with Foie” which has been served at El Tunel for over 70 years!

It's basically fried egg on chips with a couple of slices of duck liver, but it's really tasty!

Eat Paella at Tinto Palma

We can't come to Spain and not have a paella, so Sneha has been on her search for the best Paella in Palma. 

Tinto Palma comes up as highly recommended, and it doesn't disappoint… the seafood paella is delicious!

The restaurant is pretty small and we go down some stairs underground, but it’s really nice inside and there’s a good atmosphere with live music on.

It’s also reasonably priced, €57/£48 for a paella for 2 plus drinks.

Drink Cocktails at Bar Abaco

Bar Abaco is one of the coolest bars we've ever been to! 

The bar is in an old mansion house. We go in through a huge wooden door more like something from a castle, and inside there are fruits, flowers, candles and statues. It feels like we've stepped into a medieval banquet!

Upstairs is like a museum, with lounges and dining rooms and a fully stocked kitchen. And a balcony where you can look down on the courtyard outside.

We sit out in the courtyard with sounds of opera music playing, the tweeting of the birds in the corner, and everyone there is in a good mood and enjoying the night. Such a cool atmosphere! 

Dance with the Devil at Nit de Foc Festival

If you’re lucky enough to be in Mallorca on 23rd June then you have to visit the crazy Nit de Foc festival! The Night of Fire is a celebration of John the Baptist, and Parc de la Mar is taken over by dancing devils and demons, fire and fireworks, and drumming so deep it will shake your insides!

Read our full blog... Nit de Foc Festival in Mallorca… One Crazy Night Dancing with the Devil!

Hire a Car & Explore Mallorca

Palma also makes the perfect base for exploring the rest of Mallorca, and hiring a car is the best way to do so.

Read our blog... Should You Hire an Electric Car in Mallorca?

Stay on the beach at Saulo by Puro… Where to stay in Palma de Mallorca

Just outside of Palma and next to the airport is Platja de Can Pastilla, a long sandy beach lined with restaurants and hotels.

We stayed at Saulo by Puro. The room was nice, modern and clean, and we were overlooking the beach with a large balcony so we had great views. The breakfast was excellent too… in fact we enjoyed our stay so much, we booked in for an extra night!

We visited Palma as part of a road-trip around Mallorca. Check out our other blog...

The Best Villages & Viewpoints in the Serra de Tramuntana Northern Mallorca

Here are the locations of our best things to do Palma de Mallorca...

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