Palma is the main city on the island of Majorca and capital of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain. Its massive stone monuments still found on some parts of the island date as far back as the 13th century B.C. The Romans named it "Palmera" for the numerous palm trees on the island. Today, in addition to the bustling tourist trade, farming is the chief occupation and the island grows large amounts of almonds, olives, figs, citrus and grapes for the production of local wines.
Renowned for the Marivent Palace where the Spanish royals spend many holidays, other amazing sites include the Bellver Castle (built in 1300 by King James II), the Spanish Village (a reproduction of buildings and monuments from different Spanish regions) and the magnificent Cathedral. For shopping delights, Mallorca is known for leather products, unique glassware and pearls.
Places to Explore
- The Arab Baths
Providing a peek into Palma's illustrious past, the 11th-century Arab Baths are one of the only remnants still standing in the city that offer a glimpse into a time when Arabs ruled the area. Similar to other Moorish baths, the site features a tepidarium and a caldarium, in addition to a spherical opening in the ceiling for light, along with 12 ornate pillars culled from an earlier Roman settlement.
- La Seu
Arguably the symbol of the city, La Seu or Palma Cathedral is a must see for all who visit Palma. Dating back to the 13th century, this architectural marvel took approximately 300 years to build, and features towering pillars, lavish spires and flying arches on the outside-and pointed spires, ornate sculptures and ribbed vaults inside.
- Castell de Bellver
Constructed as both a residence and a defense stronghold in the 14th century, the spectacular Bellver Castle features 4 semi-circular towers in a dramatic gothic style and a central courtyard. The onsite museum relays the history of the grand structure in fascinating detail, including the time when the castle was used as prison.
- Musea de Mallorca
Immerse yourself in Palma's intriguing history through a collection of Roman and Moorish relics and artifacts dating back thousands of years at this museum, which was originally constructed as a mansion in 1643.
- The Old City
Walk in the footsteps of Palma's founding fathers during a relaxing stroll through the numerous small streets and hidden town squares located in the southeast part of the city. Home to a plethora of museums, shops and restaurants, the Old City is a destination of choice for Guests looking to shop, sightsee and experience the architectural history of the city.
Surprisingly, there aren't any beaches located in Palma. However, there are several beach resorts nearby, including Playa de Palma and Puerto Portal.
Catalan and Spanish are the main language. Many people also have an understanding of English.
The national currency is the Euro. Credit cards are widely accepted; however, smaller restaurants and shops may not be able to.
- How to Get Around
- Buses: Buses run frequently throughout town and are the most common transport. Timetables and fares are available from the Palma de Mallorca bus station on Carrer Eusebio Estada.
- Taxis: Reasonably priced, taxis are available 24 hours a day throughout the city and charge per kilometer.
- Walking: Much of Palma's downtown is best explored on foot.