10 places to visit in Palma de Mallorca

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10 places to visit in Palma de Mallorca



If you're heading for the island of Mallorca this summer, a visit to the Balearic capital is an absolute must. We reveal the best sights in the city of Palma de Mallorca: historic monuments, museums, neighbourhoods, castles... Get ready for your once-in-a-lifetime experience!

1. Catedral de Santa María

Santa María Cathedral, also known as La Seu, is one of Palma de Mallorca's most iconic sights. Built in the Levantine Gothic style in 1229, the church is the most important place of worship in the Balearic Islands.

The proportions are staggering: the central nave towers 45 metres into the sky. Inside, the world's largest Gothic rose window measures a vast 13 metres in diameter, and numerous other windows flood the cathedral with colours and light.

As legend has it, King Jaume I pledged to build the cathedral in honour of Santa María following a brutal storm he survived on his voyage to the island of Mallorca. After the conquest, the King of the Crown of Aragón demolished a former mosque to build the cathedral on the site.

2. Palacio Real de la Almudaina

Another not-to-be-missed building in Palma de Mallorca is the Royal Palace of the Almudaina, located next to the cathedral. This building comes laden with its own history. It's open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday between 10:00 and 18:00.

The palace dates back to the times of Muslim rule in the 10th century but was subsequently transformed into a Gothic-style Christian palace in the Kingdom of Mallorca era. It now serves as a summer residence for the Spanish Royal Family.

On the other side of the walls, you can access the S’Hort del Rei gardens, which lead to various royal and communal rooms, all decorated with the traditional furniture, paintings and tapestries of the period. And on the terrace, you can take in unique views of the seafront promenade with Bellver Castle in the background.

3. S’Hort del Rei

You'll find the S’Hort del Rei, also known as the King's Gardens, right next to the Royal Palace of the Almudaina. Formerly for the exclusive use of the royal family, the gardens were remodelled in the 1960s in the style of traditional Andalusian gardens and opened to the public.

Highlights include an archway over the pond, dating back to Muslim times, and three sculptures by Llorenç Rosselló, Josep María Subirachs and Alexander Calder.

Jewish Quarter

The city's old Jewish quarter has kept its authentic spirit firmly intact. It's known as El Call and was home to a 5,000-strong Jewish community. Streets such as Sòl, Montesión, del Vent, Torre de l’Amor and Seminari Vell constitute an interesting legacy of this traditionally discriminated and persecuted community.

The Jews were exiled from the city - or ordered to convert to Christianity - in the fifteenth century, although some continued their traditional customs in secret.

5. Sa Llotja

Right in Palma de Mallorca's city centre, Sa Llotja is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. The city's port was a hub of activity at the time, and it was built in 1426 as a meeting and trading point for merchants.

Inside the building, three naves - all the same height - are separated by six helical columns without capitals. This same design was subsequently copied in La Lonja in Valencia and Santiago de Villena church and was used in the towers of San Giorgio del Castel Nuovo in Naples.

Exhibitions are held in the building throughout the year, and it's open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday, between 10:30 and 13:30 and 17:30 and 21:00.

6. Plaza Mayor

The Plaza Mayor in Palma de Mallorca is located in the former San Felipe Neri convent in the heart of the city.

Three-and four-storey buildings rise from the rectangular site, which has a porticoed perimeter. It is uncannily similar to Madrid's Plaza Mayor, with its archways and buildings boasting green-painted shutters.

The area is filled with cafes and terraces, the ideal spot to take a break and recharge your batteries with something to eat or drink. Interestingly, the square was the headquarters of the Inquisition until 1823, when it was demolished.

7. Arab Baths

This ancient Arab Bath house is one of Palma de Mallorca's best hidden gems. Located in Callejuela de Can Serra, the baths were originally part of a private residence.

They are an incredibly well-preserved vestige of the Islamic period, and one of the city's few remaining testaments to Moorish architecture. After going through a horseshoe arch, you'll come to a central square room, surrounded by 12 columns with a semi-spherical dome, which housed the hot baths.

The baths are open from Monday to Sunday, from 9:30 until 20:00 (or until 19:00 from December to March).

8. Es Baluard Museum

Es Baluard Museum of modern and contemporary art is located on the city's old defensive walls. With a collection numbering over 700 works of art, this genuine architectural gem is home to paintings and sculptures by artists such as Joan Miró, Picasso and Miquel Barceló.

Temporary exhibitions, cultural activities and educational and training seminars are also held in the former water reservoirs. Before you go inside, make sure you take in the views from the terrace or the viewpoint.

Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 until 20:00, and Sunday from 10:00 to 15:00.

9. Santa Catalina neighbourhood

Santa Catalina is one of Palma de Mallorca's most fashionable neighbourhoods. This former fishing district is located between the seafront promenade and the Es Baluard museum of modern and contemporary art.

The traditional houses are characterised by their colourful façades, traditional Mallorcan wooden blinds and other decorative elements of the era. And whilst the traditional architecture has been preserved, an incredibly diverse collection of businesses hides behind the façades.

A walk to Calle Industria to see the windmills is more than worthwhile, or you could head for the Santa Catalina market to find the best zero-kilometre produce.

10. Castell de Bellver

Last but not least, on our list of must-see sights in Palma de Mallorca is Bellver Castle. This unusual Gothic fort sits atop a hill, about 3 kilometres from the Mallorcan capital. Three towers adjoin the circular building, and a larger donjon tower, also circular, stands separate from the rest. Don't miss your chance to go inside the castle and see the spectacular central courtyard.

The castle was built in the fourteenth century and was used as a residence for royals and other powerful nobles. It's now home to the City History Museum and has a terrace where you can sit and enjoy the best views of Palma de Mallorca.

The tourist bus is the easiest way to get there - it takes you right to the castle doors. It's open to visitors from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 until 19:00, and Sunday from 10:00 until 15:00 (it closes an hour earlier from October to March).

Hotel in Mallorca

Book your holiday or getaway to Mallorca at Hotel Rosella afiliado by Intur, the Balearic Islands' first Intur Hoteles’ hotel. The hotel is in Cala Millor, between the towns of Son Servera and San Lorenzo del Cardezar.

All rooms have a living area, bedroom and bathroom, and some have a balcony. The hotel also boasts a gym, swimming pool and buffet restaurant, as well as services and facilities designed for little ones, including entertainment, a miniclub and a children's playground.

Come and discover the island of Mallorca with Intur Hoteles!

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