If you need proof that there's more to Mallorca than sun, sea and sand, then Palma is it.
Book your flight to Palma
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.
There is a metro line in Palma, but the city is so compact and walkable that it's best explored on foot if you can. The metro has two lines; both run from the Plaça d'Espanya in the city centre, with M1 terminating at the University of the Balearic Islands and M2, at Marratxí. If you're heading further afield, the Transport de les Illes Balears bus service goes out to the suburbs of Palma and on to the rest of Mallorca. Buses depart from the Estació Intermodal de Palma on Plaça d'Espanya.
Cycling is an easy and relaxed way to see Palma. The city is criss-crossed with bike lanes, making for relatively safe and stress-free riding. Palma does not have a bike-share programme, but there are bike rental shops around the city.
Metered taxis are available throughout Palma. Hail a car with a green light or pick up a taxi from the taxi ranks in and around the city centre.
Parking in the city centre can be a challenge, but if you're planning to explore more of Mallorca then it's a good idea to rent a car to get to the best beaches and destinations further afield, such as Pollença. Book your car hire in advance and collect your car at the airport.
Old Town: for sightseeing
Old Town Palma is the enchanting, labyrinthine heart of Palma. Here, you’ll find buildings that have withstood 800 years of history, with a combination of Moorish, Gothic and Modernist architecture to show for it. La Seu Cathedral and the Palau de l'Almudaina are the star attractions, but the Old Town is home to lots of less imposing charms. Wander through back-alleys, stop into tiny shops and find a sun-drenched square where you can linger over a cortado and watch Palma pass by. Along the waterfront is the promenade and Parc de la Mar, perfect for a sunset stroll or a picnic.
Santa Catalina: for gastronomy
Bohemian Santa Catalina is Palma’s coolest neighbourhood, just a few minutes west of the Old Town. The area was once a fishermen’s village but has since developed into a hotspot for dining and nightlife. The heart of Santa Catalina is its eponymous market, open 0700–1700, Monday–Saturday. The market is a perfect place to shop for foodie souvenirs and taste local delicacies. At night, the neighbourhood oozes atmosphere, with buzzing tapas bars and trendy cocktail spots.
Portixol: for yacht-spotting and sunbathing
The neighbourhood of Portixol is just east of Palma's Old Town, along the waterfront. Another former fishing village, harbourside Portixol is now one of the poshest pockets of Palma. Yachts bob in the harbour while their owners sip wine and dine on some of the best seafood on the island. The two beaches here, Can Perl Antoni and Playa Portixol, are among Palma’s best, with views stretching to La Seu Cathedral, the palm trees beyond and on to the mountains.
Time zone: Central European Time (GMT+1) and Central European Summer Time (GMT +2)
Languages: Catalan and Castilian Spanish (English is widely spoken)