It may be the destination of choice for good-time getaways, but Mallorca is much more than just a party island. Overflowing with cathedrals, museums and beautiful beaches, Palma de Mallorca, the island’s capital has plenty of sights worth exploring. Expand your horizons and follow our ultimate guide for things to do in Palma de Mallorca.
Dominating the Palma de Mallorca shoreline is the 13th century Santa Maria Cathedral, the pinnacle of Mallorquin architecture. Built in 1229 on the ruins of a former Arabic mosque, the sandstone building stands out for its Catalan Gothic appearance and immaculate architectural craftsmanship. As beautiful inside as it is out, pay attention to the rose windows, bell tower, altar and Mirada Portal. Make sure to catch the cathedral at night when its lights are reflecting off the nearby lake, creating the perfect backdrop for your next Instagram picture!
The Royal Palace sits right opposite the cathedral and is an essential sight to add to your list of what to do in Palma de Mallorca. Perching on a hill, the palace has fantastic views of the bay and is one of Palma’s main attractions. Currently the official residence of the Spanish royal family, spend the day wandering through its halls and numerous rooms taking in the period furnishings and tapestries. Head to the Royal Staircase and Royal Apartments for a lesson in intricate design. Used by the Balearic military as a command hub, the museum also has stunning gardens (complete with swans) – perfect for strolling!
Hike up the hill to Bellver Castle for stunning views over the city of Palma. Just three kilometres west of the centre, the entirely round structure was built in the 14th century for King James II of Mallorca. Home to Palma de Mallorca’s museum of municipal history, the castle has three towers that surround a central courtyard and a moat which you can walk around. Climb on to the roof, look down in to the courtyard that sits on two levels, and take in the mixture of architectural styles. Even if history isn’t your thing, this is still a cool place to visit in Palma and a great day activity before a night on the town.
Running along a scenic path from Palma de Mallorca to the port town of Sóller, the interurban Tren Sóller is definitely worth a go. Operating since 1912 by Ferrocarril de Sóller SA, the charming wooden electric train is a great way to see the outskirts of the city and guarantees unrivalled views of the landscape. The route cuts through the Sierra de Alfabia mountain range via a series of bridges and the ‘cinc-ponts’ viaduct. This is the perfect alternative to the local museums if you fancy an outdoor history lesson.
Located in a remarkable modernist building, this market is all your foodie dreams come true. Featuring a variety of stalls serving every imaginable cuisine, the Gastronomico is the ultimate lunch stop after a day of wandering the city’s sights. Just a twenty minute walk from the Old Town, curb your hunger with Japanese, Mallorcan, Thai, Italian - you name it! To make things even better, half of the space is taken up by the resident bar, The One, so you can wash down your meal with a fruity cocktail.
Another historical highlight to add to your list of things to do in Palma de Mallorca is the palatial Palau March house. The former residency of the wealthy March family is home to the Bartolome March foundation’s impressive collection of arts and books. If you like contemporary sculpture then this will be heaven as the gardens and courtyard are scattered with works by great 20th century sculptors such as Henry Moore. Set in the middle of Palma’s Old Town, this place is easily accessible and provides an interesting insight into how the other half of Palma lived.
Visiting Palma de Mallorca soon? Make sure to tag us, in your sight-seeing photos from our ‘things to do in Palma de Mallorca’ guide. Use the hashtag #ryanairstories for a chance to be featured on Ryanair’s Instagram feed.
Flights to Palma de Mallorca
- Lucy Norris