Category: Palma

Category: Palma

Bellver Castle

Bellver Castle, Palma

Bellver Castle – updated 27 September 2022

Bellver Castle is a well-preserved 14th century circular castle straddling a wooded hillside to the west of Palma with spectacular views of the Bay of Palma and the Tramuntana mountains in the distance.

Bellver Castle Palma

Round Castle

Surrounded by fragrant pine woods, the castle is unique in design and is Spain’s only round castle. Now a renowned Palma landmark located at the top of the hill Puig de Sa Mesquida, the former grand fortress and Catalan Gothic masterpiece attracts visitors by the hundreds who come to admire the architecture, the views and visit the interesting ground-floor museum.

King Jaume II gave the order for Bellver Castle to be built back in 1300 and the job was given to Pere Salva, the architect who designed the Almudaina Palace (The Royal Palace).

Bellver Castle Mallorca

Three towers

Bellver has three large towers surrounding a two-level central courtyard and a moat. You’ll see a contrast of architectural design as you explore the castle ranging from Gothic arches to rib-vaulting to semi-circular arches. The best way to see these contrasts is to look down at the courtyard from the roof.

Royal Residence

The castle was built to serve as a royal residence; however, with the exception of residencies by King Sanç and Joan I of Aragon, the building has spent more time as a prison than a home. Bellver Castle has hosted many prisoners over the years including King Jaume IV & King Jaume III's widow and sons and has been used as a penal institution during both the Napoleonic and Spanish Civil wars and World War II. If you visit the roof of the castle, you can see prisoners’ graffiti, carved into the stonework.

Museum

On the ground floor is Palma's museum of municipal history (Museu d’Història de la Ciutat) which follows the development of the city from the prehistoric Talayotic civilisation to the present day via its artefacts including pottery from Talaiotic, Roman, Arab and Spanish periods and classical statues from the Despuig Collection.

The central courtyard is the stage for a series of classical music concerts performed by the Balearic Symphony Orchestra each July. These open-air evening concerts are very popular.

The best way to get to Bellver Castle is via car, there is parking available, alternatively combine your visit with the Palma City Sightseeing open-top bus, which stops at the castle as part of its circuit. If you use public transport, then the closest you will get is Plaça de Gomila, from there it is a 15 minute, 1km walk up a steep hill.

Book Tickets

Palma Electric Car Tour & Castle Bellver

Palma Electric Car Tour & Castle Bellver

On this Palma tour with a twist, you won't be walking around the city. Instead, you'll have the fun experience of driving a 100% electric car to the top spots and standout photo stops. You'll get behind the wheel and follow your guide on a two-hour route that includes entry to the San Carlos Military History Museum, Bellver Castle and the Caves of Genova. – Book now

The Castle of Bellver Audio Tour: A History of Resistance

Visit one of the most unique architectural gems of Mallorca as never before. You will relive battles and understand the importance of the military features of Bellver Castle. When you get to the main tower, you will hear the horrific stories of those who were held in the “Olla” in the past as a form of torture. This unique audio experience will move you as you hear the sad stories of those who were imprisoned in Bellver, such as Alexander Jaume during the Franco regime. The tour ends with the story of Gaspar Jovellanos (who was responsible for inspiring the current Spanish Constitution) and the reasons why he was locked up in Bellver for years. – Book now

Palma Arab Baths

Arab Baths

Palma Arab Baths – updated 22 October 2022

Palma Arab Baths (Banys Arabs) is a 10th century ancient bathhouse and some of the last remnants of the Arab City known as Medina Mayurqa, the capital of Muslim Mallorca for 300 years.

Palma Arab Baths

Hammams

The Arab bathhouse or ‘hammams’ is located in the gardens of a former nobleman’s manor on the quiet street of Can Serra within the narrow streets of the medieval quarter of Palma and amazingly, the building is still intact.

Tepidarium

Palma Arab Baths are similar to those found in other Islamic cities. The steam room has a preserved tepidarium with a cupola (dome) in the shape of a half orange, which is supported by 12 columns believed to have been recycled from a number of Roman buildings as each column is different.

Cupola

The cupola has various round apertures to allow steam to escape the room and there is a double floor through which the hot water and steam travelled, proof that this room was used for hot baths. The cupola also has five oculi which let in light.

Walled garden

The bathhouse has a walled garden with cactus, palm and orange trees and is where the residents of the manor would have cooled off after their bath. Many locals come here to enjoy a refreshment during the day.

Palma’s Arab Baths are located on Carrer de Can Serra, just behind the Museum of Mallorca. It’s easy to reach the Baths on foot from downtown; they are about five minutes’ walk from Palma Cathedral.

The Cathedral occupies the site of what once was the central mosque of Medina Mayurka.

Cathedral

The story behind the cathedral is long and full of interesting twists but began with the young King Jaume 1 who vowed to build a grand cathedral if he was successful in surviving a storm and also ridding the island of Moors.

Opening times

The Arab Baths are open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm and the entrance fee is €2.50.

Things to do in Palma

RCD Mallorca

Real Mallorca

RCD Mallorca – updated 09 October 2022

RCD Mallorca, commonly known as Real Mallorca or just Mallorca is a football club based in Palma. Founded on 5 March 1916 they currently play in the Segunda División, holding home games at the Visit Mallorca Stadium with a 23,142-seat capacity.

RCD Mallorca

La Liga

The club had its peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s, reaching a best-ever 3rd place in La Liga in 1999 and 2001 and winning the Copa del Rey in 2003 following final defeats in 1991 and 1998. RCD Mallorca also won the 1998 Supercopa de España and reached the 1999 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Final.

RCD Mallorca traditionally play in red shirts with black shorts and socks.

Visit Mallorca Estadi

If you’re just visiting the island but enjoy football and if the club are playing at home when you are there, we recommend that you try out the hospitality at Visit Mallorca Estadi. There’s a choice of the VIP corner, the luxurious PayPal Presidential Lounge or premium private boxes.

The VIP Corner is an exclusive fully-catered seating area and when the final whistle blows the behind-the-scenes access begins with attendance for the manager’s post-match press conference in addition to two players’ reaction to the match. You’ll get to eat, drink and meet the players.

The PayPal Presidential Lounge package is an incredible matchday experience. At half-time you are provided with a personal escort to a private bar and seating area, where you will be served food and drinks with the principal figureheads of the football club.

Besides the players’ changing rooms, the VIP boxes are the only private place suited to hosting groups of up to 12 people at the Visit Mallorca Estadi. A space you can call your own on a matchday, you and your party will be seated in comfortable balcony surroundings, receive attentive personal service and have access to the Presidential Lounge before and after the game.

For information about the history of the club, the first team, ticketing and event and much more, please visit the RCD Mallorca website.

Nightlife in Palma

Palma nightlife

Nightlife in Palma – updated 10 October 2022

If you fancy painting the town red, then the nightlife in Palma will not let you down, there’s plenty of great venues to choose from. Whatever your ‘cup of tea’ is, you’ll find everything within easy walking distance.

The capital city has a year-round, vibrant buzz fuelled by tourists during the summer and kept sizzling by locals and expat residents throughout the winter.

Paseo Marítimo

The liveliest places are Santa Catalina, La Llonja and around the Old Town where you will find lots of busy bars and restaurants. During the summer, a popular area of Palma is the Paseo Marítimo, the wonderful promenade that runs parallel to Palma’s seafront. There you will find many bars and many people of all different nationalities. In addition to the locals and tourists, the city has many expat residents from the UK, Germany and Sweden and also a lot of ‘yachties’ or yacht crew from the various marinas.

Nightlife Palma

Santa Catalina

One of the most popular areas in Palma for nightlife is Santa Catalina, it has many restaurants and international bars and is usually very busy with locals and expats alike. There are a few venues that are always busy such as Hostal Cuba Bar with its rooftop terrace Sky Bar, La Havana Club and LAB Cocktail Bar. If you enjoy Indian food, then we highly recommend Basmati Indian Restaurant, the Basmati menu changes every day, so anyone who goes two days in a row will be able to taste a different selection.

Nightlife Palma

Brassclub

Located in Passeig Mallorca de Palma, one of the most central and cosmopolitan areas of the city, you will find Brassclub, one of the best cocktail bars on the island.

Other bars of note are Chakra Bar & Ginbo, the latter being the best Gin bar in Palma at the top of Avinguda Jaume III.

Craft beer lovers will find many ‘cervecerias’ in the back streets of the Old Town or around Mercat de l’Olivar. The biggest selection of beers can be found at Cerveceria Tramuntana in Santa Catalina which has over 200 different beers to try.

Nightclubs

When it comes to nightclubs, then Tito’s is the hottest club in town (some would say, on the island), you can expect all styles of music across three dance rooms and performances from international DJ’s and artists.

Restaurants

Palma has many good restaurants and a few that are incredible such as Marc Fosh (Palma Old Town) and Adrian Quetglas (Passeig de Mallorca).

Tours & Experiences

Royal Palace of La Almudaina

La Almudaina

Royal Palace of La Almudaina – updated 28 September 2022

The Royal Palace was a 10th century Muslim fortress (alcázar ) prior to being converted into a residence for the Mallorca Royal Family at the end of the 13th century.

Roman Fort

A long time before the Moors arrived in the 10th century, the site had been utilised by both the Talaiots and the Romans and the area was once home to a Roman fort.

Royal Palace La Almudaina

King of Spain

Symbolically, the King of Spain still resides here; however, it is unlikely that you will see him there with the exception of an occasional important ceremony, the Royals prefer to spend summer in the Palau Marivent (in Cala Major) instead. In fact, since King Jaume III died in 1349, no king has lived in La Almudaina on a permanent basis.

Balearics military command

Remodelled in the Levantine Gothic style by the Christians, The Royal Palace of La Almudaina is located opposite the magnificent Palma Cathedral, La Seu. Its elevated position has provided the palace with protection and strategic importance over the years and the building still serves as the Balearics military command.

Scenic views

Today, the palace is one of the capital's main attractions and tourists can enjoy incredible, scenic views overlooking the Bay of Palma in addition to exploring the inside of the palace and its numerous rooms.

Interior

Whilst exploring the interior of the palace, you will find three grand rooms with bricked-in-Gothic arches that have been cut off in the middle, they were once double their height and would have formed a vast hall. These rooms have been luxuriously decorated and furnished with period pieces and tapestries.

Courtyard

Within the main courtyard, you will find the 11th century lion fountain and the entrance to St Anne’s Chapel. This Chapel was built for the Queen at the beginning of the 14th century, as was St. James’s Chapel, which was for the use of the King.

Royal apartments

The grand staircase takes you up to the royal apartments with beautiful timber ceilings and lavishly appointed rooms, which are worth seeing as many of the palace rooms are completely bare.

Joan Miro

Beneath the palace are the S'Hort del Rei gardens which are a great place to sit, relax and watch the world go by. Look out for Joan Miro's Egg sculpture and the Arc de la Drassana, once the gateway to the royal docks.

Getting there

If you are staying in Palma, it's a short walk or public bus ride to the Royal Palace. There are also plenty parking spaces in front of the Cathedral along the Paseo Marítimo.

The palace is open from 10am – 4pm Tuesday to Friday (closed on Monday) and 10am – 6pm on weekends and public holidays.

Visitors can explore the grand rooms and apartments, and the chapel, at their leisure. See the opulent art, tapestries and furniture, then wander through the tranquil gardens.

BOOK TICKETS NOW

Free entrance: Wednesday all day and Sunday from 3pm to 6pm.

Further information can be found on the official website – patrimonionacional.es

La Almudaina tours

Palma Electric Scooter Tour

What to expect

Explore parts of Palma you never knew existed with an electric scooter tour. Save on tired legs and still see the sights as you zoom around the city with ease. Learn about Majorca's historic capital as you follow a guide by must-sees like La Seu cathedral, Almudaina Palace, Passeig des Born and through the trendy La Lonja district.

Joan Miro Foundation

Joan Miro Foundation

Joan Miro – updated 17 October 2022

Joan Miro (Joan Miró) was a Catalan painter and sculptor who combined abstract art with Surrealist fantasy who worked extensively in lithography and produced numerous murals, tapestries, and sculptures for public spaces.

Joan Miro

Mallorca

Joan spent most of his life in Barcelona but had a passion for Mallorca; where he spent his childhood holidays, also his wife and mother were Mallorcan and at the age of 63, he purchased a house with a studio in Cala Major, the location of Marivent Palace which is a holiday home for the Spanish royal family.

On Christmas Day in 1983, Joan passed away and the house and studio were extended and renovated to house a permanent exhibition of his art.

Art gallery & museum

The Joan Miro Foundation is an art gallery and museum in Palma devoted to the famous artist and includes a collection of over 100 paintings, 25 sculptures and a few thousand studio pieces. You will not see all of this on your visit because only a small amount of the collection is displayed at any time.

Miró Mallorca Foundation

Miro Mallorca Foundation is made up of three remarkable buildings that form one of Mallorca’s most important architectural ensembles: the Sert Studio where Miró started working in 1956, designed by Miró’s friend, the architect Josep Lluís Sert; Son Boter, a late 18th century Mallorcan house which the artist used as a second painting and sculpture studio; and the Moneo Building, the Fundació’s headquarters, designed by Rafael Moneo and opened in 1992. The first two buildings have been declared Items of Cultural Heritage (BIC according to the Spanish acronym).

On March 7th 1981, Miró and his wife, Pilar Juncosa, donated the artist’s studios – the Sert Studio and Son Boter – to the Fundació Miró Mallorca, together with the works of art, documents and objects that were inside them. This generous legacy was made up of paintings, sculptures, drawings, objects and prints, together with a rich collection of documents and part of the contents of his personal library.

Across four unique spaces, enjoy the process of Joan Miró's artistic endeavors during his time in Mallorca. Step inside Sert Studio and the preserved rural house, Son Boter – creative spaces where time has stood still – plus, see the fluid blending of art and architecture at the Moneo Building.

Fundacio Miro Entrance Ticket

What you will see

Famous Spanish painter Joan Miro was born in Barcelona but spent his later years on the island of Majorca, where the Miró Foundation was established in his adoptive city of Palma. See where the great modern artist lived and had his studio with this ticket to the Miró Mallorca Foundation Museum and exhibition space – Buy Tickets

Things to do in Palma

Paseo Maritimo

Paseo Maritimo

Paseo Maritimo – updated 22 October 2022

The Paseo Maritimo is the wide sea promenade connecting the area of Porto Pi with the Parc de la Mar in front of the Cathedral. It is very popular with walkers, joggers and cyclists.

Paseo Maritimo

Avinguda Gabriel Roca

Also known as Avinguda Gabriel Roca, this 4 km stretch of promenade is the most popular walk in the city. There is so much to see along the way such as the wonderful harbour with row after row of yachts, Palma Cathedral, Bellver Castle and the stunning Mediterranean Sea framed by pink sunrises or golden sunsets.

What to see

The recommended starting point for a walk along Paseo Maritimo is Porto Pi.  You’ll pass a number of attractions such as Tito’s; which is the hottest club in town (some would say, on the island) and Palma’s Auditorium; where you can watch shows and concerts and towards the end of your walk, you’ll pass the 16th century wall around Es Baluard Museum. The final part of the 4km walk includes the Royal Palace of La Almudaina and the magnificent ‘La Seu’.

Parc de la Mar

Forty plus years ago, the sea came right up to the walls of the Cathedral until the sea was pushed back in the 1970’s due to construction. City planners created an artificial lake called Parc de la Mar at the foot of La Seu, which today provides a great area for concerts and fairs plus a superb photograph opportunity.

The beach

Just beyond the cathedral at Ca’n Pere Antoni, is Palma City Beach. It is a golden, sandy beach that is very popular with the locals and visitors who are staying in Palma and fancy a quick dip in the sea.

Playa de Palma

From Palma City Beach, the wide pedestrian promenade joins the popular resorts of C’an Pastilla to El Arenal, this part of the seafront is known collectively as Playa de Palma. Look out for the ‘Balnearios’; which are a series of open-air huts serving drinks and snacks.

Each year the Paseo Maritimo becomes alive due to the Palma International Boat Show; which takes place at Moll Vell, close to La Lonja and central Palma.

Things to do in Palma

San Juan Mercado Gastronomico

San Juan Mercado Gastronomico

San Juan – updated 17 October 2022

San Juan Mercado Gastronomico (The San Juan Gastronomic Market) opened in June 2015 and has established itself as a favourite haunt for local foodies in Palma.

San Juan Mercado Gastronomico

Renovation

The market is located within the S’Escorxador cultural centre in a space which was once the city’s abattoir. The coral pink Modernista building has been renovated at a cost of £2m and is now an impressive home for this gastronomic social and cultural hub.

365 days per year

Within the market, which is open 365 days per year, you’ll find around 20 food stalls, a bar, café, terrace and bistro tables providing the space to sit down and eat what you have purchased.

Gourmand's dream

The main attraction at San Juan Mercado Gastronomico is the food. The market is an assault course of smells and temptations with some stalls serving dishes worthy of top-notch restaurants. The market is a gourmand's dream selling Mallorcan and Spanish delights such as fideuá, acorn-fed jamón, silky croquetas and sobrassada in addition to many international products.

The concept for the market was copied from similar models in other European cities, such as Madrid, Barcelona, London, Berlin and Rotterdam.

The market is open every day of the week from 12 noon until midnight (weekdays) or from 12 noon to 4 pm (weekends).

Lounge Bar

San Juan Mercado Gastronomico has its own Lounge bar with a central cocktail area named ‘The One’ complete with direct access to the terrace area.

On the top floor of the market, you will find a multipurpose space called ‘Cooking4People’ which is used for many different culinary and gastronomical experiences such as show cooking, cooking classes and private events.

Another market of note is Mercat de Santa Catalina, Palma’s oldest food market located in Santa Catalina, one of Palma’s most appealing areas and an uber-chic enclave with painted cottages, art nouveau town houses, designer boutiques, bars and music cafes.

Things to do in Palma

Seafront Promenade

Seafront Promenade

Seafront Promenade – updated 18 October 2022

The seafront promenade in Palma actually starts from the military port near Port Pi and stretches all the way to Palma Airport. A 4 km section of this is the Paseo Maritimo. This article looks at the part of the promenade that is not on the Paseo Maritimo.

The promenade with its fantastic sea views is extremely popular for walkers, joggers, roller-skaters, skateboarders and cyclists. There are lots of bars, restaurants, cafes and shops to stop at when you need a break, there is also a mini train that chugs along the promenade for those that are feeling less active.

Cathedral

Just beyond the cathedral at Ca’n Pere Antoni, is Palma City Beach. It is a golden, sandy beach that is very popular with the locals and visitors who are staying in Palma and fancy a quick dip in the sea.

Seafront promenade

With Palma Cathedral as a backdrop, Palma City Beach has incredible views, it also has a Blue Flag award for cleanliness.

Seafront promenade

Beach

Being located in Palma, the 750m long and 15m wide beach can get very busy during the summer season so the advice is to get there early to claim your piece of sand. If it is too busy, don’t worry, there is another beach just 1/2km further along at Portixol.

Playa de Palma

From Palma City Beach, the wide pedestrian promenade joins the popular resorts of C'an Pastilla to El Arenal, this part of the seafront is known collectively as Playa de Palma. Look out for the ‘Balnearios’; which are a series of open-air huts serving drinks and snacks.

C'an Pastilla is a purpose-built tourist resort and is ideal for family holidays.

El Arenal

El Arenal is located on the eastern end of the 6 km long Playa de Palma about 15 km away from Palma and around 7km from the airport. It is a very popular resort particularly for the 18 to 30 crowd and is predominantly German.

Tourist attractions

Playa de Palma has a few attractions including Aqualand El Arenal, a waterpark with wave pools, artificial rivers and water slides a plenty and Palma Aquarium; which is one of the finest in Europe and has an excellent reputation for its marine research, conservation and preservation programs. The aquarium has a very impressive display of live coral and many of the corals that you will see have been breed within the premises.

Nightlife

Nightlife in Playa De Palma revolves around two main areas, the Mega Park near El Arenal and a party street named Carrer Padre Bartolome Salva (known as ‘Bar Street’) in the resort area of Les Meravelles.

Oktoberfest

Nightlife in Playa De Palma steps up at the end of summer when Mega Park hosts it’s classic Oktoberfest celebrations where visitors can get a taste of German food and drink while dancing away to all the classic Oktoberfest tunes. It is a fun celebration that tries hard to match Oktoberfest in Munich.

Things to do in Palma

Passeig Des Born

Passeig Des Born

Passeig Des Born – updated 22 October 2022

Passeig des Born, also known as Paseo del Borne is an iconic tree lined boulevard and one of the most elegant shopping areas in Palma hosting luxury designer brands such as Carolina Herrera, Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Hugo Boss & Mulberry.

Passeig Des Born

The Golden Mile

Nicknamed ‘The Golden Mile’ but often just called ‘the Borne’, the street with wide promenade and pedestrianised section is busy with both people and traffic; however, it is still a great place to sit down in one of the many cafes and restaurant terraces and watch the world go by.

The location and style of the Borne have made it the most sought-after retail location on the island despite it having a lower footfall than other shopping areas.

Long history

Passeig des Born has a long history and has been host to countless fiestas and also many demonstrations. It is particularly pretty at Christmas when the trees are decorated with lights. A walk along the boulevard is very pleasant during the summertime when it is completed shaded by the trees. There are also plenty of public benches so you can sit down and take a break.

Plaça de la Reina

Bookending Passeig des Born are two small squares, one of these, Plaça de la Reina is located just a short walk away from the Royal Palace Of La Almudaina and Palma Cathedral. Plaça de la Reina has a round central fountain and a pretty flower garden and is a good place to stop for a photo.

If you are planning on visiting The Royal Palace or the Cathedral, then the route there along the Borne is recommended.

Cathedral

The vast, beautiful and historic Palma Cathedral (‘La Seu’ in Catalan) is without question, the major architectural landmark in the capital city. The awesome predominantly Gothic 14th century structure is located in the heart of the city and the sheer scale of the golden sandstone building makes it impossible to miss.

Things to do in Palma