If you need proof that there's more to Mallorca than sun, sea and sand, then Palma is it.
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.
Food and drink
The hills that surround Palma yield beautiful produce, from olives to almonds to aubergine. But this is Spain, after all, so pork reigns supreme. Local specialities include porcella, suckling pig that is marinated and roasted, and sobrasada, a spicy, spreadable cured sausage. Freshly caught seafood is everywhere, often simply grilled and served with a squeeze of lemon.
At the market
Palma’s open-air markets are a great place to taste the local specialities. The main market is Mercat Oliver near Plaça d'Espanya. Mercat Oliver sells seasonal produce, wines and local cheeses and meats. Pick up the makings of a picnic and head to Parc de la Mar for an alfresco lunch. The market is open every day except Sunday, with extended hours on a Friday.
On the table
Palma’s restaurants range from rustic cafés and tapas bars to fine dining extravaganzas. Going out for tapas is a wonderful way to experience local life, with each small plate only costing a couple of euros. Foodies take note: there are several Michelin-starred restaurants in Palma, so read up and make reservations well in advance.