Palma

If you need proof that there's more to Mallorca than sun, sea and sand, then Palma is it.

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Home to world-class art galleries and exquisite cuisine, the capital is a destination in its own right. Of course, Palma is also the entry point for the rest of Mallorca, so if sun, sea and sand tick your boxes then you're in the right place.

Arriving at Palma de Mallorca Airport

Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI) is located five miles (8km) east of the city centre. The airport – the third-largest in Spain – is modern and well-equipped, with four terminals, free Wi-Fi available, VIP lounges, and a variety of shops and restaurants.

The city bus is an easy and affordable way to access central Palma from the airport. Take bus number 1 to the city centre; it runs about every 15 minutes from 0600 to 0110, stopping at central Plaça d’Espanya before heading on towards the Estació Marítima ferry terminal. The number 21 bus runs in the other direction between the airport and Arenal every 30 minutes from 0700 to 2130. The cost of a single ride is €5 for visitors and €1 for residents. Buy your ticket on board from the driver. There are also intercity buses heading to destinations around the island, including Magaluf (take the A11) and Alcúdia (A32).

The bus is convenient, but there's also an official taxi rank just outside the airport. The official city taxis that stop here are certified and will charge a metered fare. The ride into the city centre should cost around €20.

Essential sights

La Seu Cathedral

Dating to the 13th century, Mallorca Cathedral (commonly known as La Seu) is the pride of Palma. The interior was partially revamped by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí in the early 20th century. Nearly a century later, contemporary artist Miquel Barceló contributed a spectacularly avant-garde mural.

Palau de l'Almudaina

Set alongside La Seu, the imposing Palau de l'Almudaina was an Islamic fortress until it was converted to a residence for the King of Spain in the 13th century. The royal family still stays here on occasion. When they aren’t in residence, take a tour to see the fascinating blend of Moorish and Gothic architecture.

Museu Fundación Juan March

The Museu Fundación Juan March (also known as Palau March) is home to a small but impressive collection of Spanish works by the likes of Picasso, Miró and Dalí. A few international artists are also represented, including Auguste Rodin and Henry Moore.

Promenade and Parc de la Mar

Stroll this palm tree-lined promenade and you get a real sense of the sophisticated-city-destination side of Mallorca. The grassy Parc de la Mar runs alongside the promenade overlooks the sea and the staggering cathedral. Go for a walk, ride a bike, or settle in for a picnic with a view.

Es Baluard Museu d'Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma

Housed in a 16th-century fort, Es Baluard showcases artworks by artists who come from or have spent time in the Balearic Islands, including Picasso and Mirò. The rooftop restaurant is a very good, though pricey, choice for lunch.