We’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in Palma, so you don’t have to worry about missing out. If you’re all about exploring then there’s plenty for you to get your teeth stuck into, or if you’re looking for something more laid-back then there’s more than a few spots to laze the day away.
These local sights and attractions are bound to impress you from the get-go!
1. The Cathedral of Santa Maria
This Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral, often known as La Seu, is the city’s most iconic landmark. It’s impossible to miss this imposing building, with its golden sandstone spires jutting into contrast against the bright Majorca sky.
There are 61 stained glass windows inside, justifying the building’s nickname as the ‘Cathedral of Light’. The most spectacular being the central rose window, where the morning sun flows through and sends beams of coloured light scattering around.
This majestic building overlooks the harbour and lies in the oldest part of the city. Make sure to walk around the entire Cathedral – it looks different from every angle!
Famous architect Gaudi even added the wrought-iron canopy over the main alter in 1909 – so you just know you’re going to be impressed! You simply can’t come to Palma without visiting this majestic monument.
2. Cala Major Beach
Looking to chill on the beach? Cala Mayor is the bay closest to the centre of Palma (around a 15-minute journey), and the beach has even been awarded a Blue Flag.
Most of the other beaches near Palma are to the east and are long open stretches of sand with rather choppy waters, but thanks to the rock formations surrounding this beach, the waters are calm and sheltered. If you’re looking for a day of total relaxation, this is the place to be.
It’s easy to get to, too – hop in a taxi outside Palma Cathedral for around €10, or the number 3 bus will set you back just €1!
The Spanish royals have even been known to holiday here – and it’s no wonder when you see how postcard-pretty this beach really is.
3. Bellver Castle
Looking for superb views that overlook the city? Bellver Castle is the perfect spot to watch the sun go down with a glass of something chilled from the café.
A well-preserved 14th century royal fortress with lush greenery surrounding its stone walls, it’s perfectly maintained gothic arches and romantic moat will have you falling head over heels.
It’s the only round castle in all of Spain and is steeped in seven centuries of history, so any history buffs out there will certainly be impressed with what’s on offer.
You can get to this captivating castle by hopping on the Palma City Sightseeing open-top bus, which climbs to the top of the steep hill as part of its route of the city. Of course, you can always just walk there – it’s only a 20 to 30 minute walk from the port itself!
Soak up the history of Majorca as you take in the most stunning views – what more could you want?
4. Serra de Tramuntana Mountains
In the north-west of the island you’ll find the breathtaking range that is the Serra De Tramuntana Mountains.
Just a short drive from the city centre, you’ll discover unique landscapes that jut out into the Balearic Sea. They’re so impressive in fact, they were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.
The region’s stand out features make for a heavenly backdrop, so don’t forget to take your camera! You’ll likely spot wild flowers and olive groves intertwined throughout its lush pine forests.
While you’re in the area, a call into one of the highest and prettiest villages in all of Majorca is always a good idea. Valldemossa feels like a world away from the bustling capital – perched on a hilltop, its cobbled alleys and care-free ambiance make for the perfect pit-stop.
Prepare to be absorbed by Spanish culture at its best – from beautiful boutiques to treat yourself in, to rustic restaurants if you fancy a bite to eat.
It’s famous landmark – the Royal Charterhouse of Valldemossa – was built at the beginning of the 14th century, and is well worth a visit.
5. Es Baluard
Back in the heart of the city centre, you’ll find Es Baluard. This museum of modern and contemporary art is situated in a privileged place – the old bastion of Sant Pere, a 16th-century building overlooking Palma’s bay.
A walk around the outskirts of this stunning fortification to admire the beauty of its grand walls, taking in the gorgeous views as you stand on the adjoining bridge, is certainly rewarding. Of course, you can then choose to delve into the museum area, showcasing a collection of art by Balearic artists or those who have ties to the islands in some way.
There’s also an accompanying restaurant and lounge area, with a terrace that serves as an enchanting spot for an al fresco drink or two.
Fantastic views, fascinating architecture and first-class art? It would be rude not to!
Cruises to Palma
Whether you’re just in sunny Palma for the day or you’ve got a bit longer to explore his superb city, one thing’s for sure – you won’t be short on things to do. Bask on the blue flag beach or be a real culture-vulture and hit all the most famous hotspots.
If you’re wondering where the best places are for delicious cuisine and delightful drinks, then fear not – we’ve saved you the hassle of all the research and have a handy Food and Drinks guide at the ready. You’ll be dining in style in Palma before you know it!
If you want to cut to the chase and discover what amazing itineraries there are that will take you to this picturesque port, then click here to see a selection of our favourites.