HOW TO BEST SPEND ONE DAY IN PALMA DE MALLORCA
Palma de Mallorca, a beautiful old city on the coast of the Balearic island of Mallorca, wrapped around it’s beautiful gothic cathedral as the epicentre of the city, makes for a stunning destination on any must-visit mediterranean itinerary. But what if you’re short of time or you’re visiting as part of a cruise (Palma de Mallorca is a major port on many cruises the mediterranean region)? Worry not because this guide on how to best spend one day in Palma de Mallorca has you covered.
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- Where is Palma de Mallorca & A Little History
- The Best Time To Visit Palma de Mallorca
- How To Get To Palma de Mallorca
- How To Get Around Palma de Mallorca
- How To Best Spend A Day in Palma de Mallorca
- Admire The Views & Bellver Castle
- Marvel at Palma de Mallorca Cathedral
- Don’t Miss Out On
- Stroll through the S’Hort deck Rei Garden
- Meander Through Palma de Mallorca’s Old Town
- Head To The Plaça de Cort
- Admire Plaça de Major
- Visit The Ancient Arab Baths
- Santa Eulàlia Church
- Buy Entrance Tickets For Self-Guided Tours in Palma
- Where to Eat & Drink in Palma de Mallorca
- Discover The Food & Drink Of Palma With Food Tours
- The Best Views in Palma de Mallorca
- Where to Stay in Palma de Mallorca
- One Day in Palma de Mallorca Itinerary (8-10 hours)
- Day Trips From Palma de Mallorca
- Is Palma de Mallorca Worth Visiting for One Day?
- One Day in Palma de Mallorca Round-Up
- Palma de Mallorca Google Map
- One Day in Palma de Mallorca Related Articles
- Resources To Plan Your Trip
Where is Palma de Mallorca and a Little History
Palma de Mallorca is the capital city of the Balearic Islands, in Spain with over half of Mallorca’s population calling it home. The city has a rich history with noted settlement origins in the Bronze Age which later was founded by the Romans in 120 BC and when the Roman Empire collapsed, Palma de Mallorca was invaded by the Byzantines. Palma was eventually held by James I of Aragon in 1229 following its Islamic rulership at the beginning of the 10th century.
The glistening honey-dewed stone buildings and gothic-style cathedral with all the alleyways, gardens and cafes would have you exploring in a day and get a real taste for the city vibe in Palma de Mallorca.
This one day itinerary aims to satisfy those who would like an introduction to the city, just love meandering around old towns, are short of time or in the city for a day as part of a cruise holiday.
The Best Time To Visit Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca is blessed with the typical mediterranean climate so enjoys hot dry summers and pretty mild winters. If you love the sun, then Palma is great between June and August. July is the hottest month of the year and temperatures can reach on average a maximum of 32°C. The coolest month of the year is naturally January with an average daily temperature of 16°C.
If you’re a beach lover then June to October is a pretty good time to be out on the beaches of the area.
For city break lovers, spring or autumn, more commonly known as the shoulder season is perfect. This is generally May and September/October. This way the weather is still mild and perfect for exploring all day but also the huge crowds of the summer season are dying down and it will be easier to sight see and make restaurant reservations.
How To Get To Palma de Mallorca
If you are heading to Palma de Mallorca for a weekend break or a few days, you’ll most probably be flying in. There are lots of flights scheduled from the UK as well as globally to the Balearic Island capital and you’ll be spoilt for choice between the number of airlines that fly here.
However, Palma de Mallorca is included in many Western Mediterranean cruise itineraries and a great stop for a day of mooching around the old town.
The majority of cruise ships will dock at the Estacio Maritime Port with larger ships docking at Porto Pí, which is on the western side of Plan de Mallorca.
To walk to Palma Cathedral, will take around 45 minutes from Estacio Maritima but even longer from Porto Pi, 75-90 minutes. Most of the cruise lines will have their own shuttle buses to take you to a central point in palm de Mallorca and also pick you up from the same point at different times during the day, this is definitely recommended rather than walking.
There is a regular bus from Estacio Maritime – Bus No.1 which takes 10 minutes and will drop you off at Plaça d’Espanya in the Old Town and from here, will take approximately 15 minutes to walk to palm Cathedral.
Bus No. 1 runs a regular service, every 15 minutes and tickets cost €3. Even if your cruise ship is docked at Porto Pi, you can catch the bus from Dic de l’Oest bus stop opposite the fort.
There will be a queue of taxis at the ports so if you don’t wish to take the bus, you can grab a cab but make sure to ask for a rough price estimate first.
Related Article: Ultimate first-time cruise guide with tips and know before you go
How To Get Around Palma de Mallorca
The old town is pretty easy to walk around and it’s the best way to discover and stumble upon the sights and sounds of the city.
A good way to get around the city if you are short on time is by opting for the hop-on-hop-off bus which is also a great value for money option.
Be-lavie Tip: If you do get the hop-on-hop-off bus then get off at the Belvedere castle first and make your way down to the rest of Palma de Mallorca’s sites. The bus has 20 stops and is a great way to see the city if you are visiting for 24 hours or less.
How To Best Spend A Day in Palma de Mallorca
Be-lavie Pro-tip: As with much of Spain, heritage places of interest and museums remain closed on Mondays so plan accordingly. Palma Cathedral is the exception and remains open on Mondays. It’s worth noting, that certain ceremonies and services may mean the Cathedral is unexpectedly closed.
Paseo del Born red statues on balcony
Admire The Views & Bellver Castle
Your first stop of the day should be Bellver Castle. It’s a really great option to get the hop-on-hop-off bus as this 14th century castle is positioned on top of a hill approximately three kilometres form the centre of Palm de Mallorca. The bus ticket is super handy as it will save you a lot of time plus it includes entry into the castle, as long as you select the option at booking. Ensure you book well in advance of your trip.
To save on time, make this your first stop of the day and with the bus ticket you’ll be dropped off right outside the gates of the castle.
One of the knockout things about Bellver Castle is the incredible views you can admire from it, with it’s idyllic hilltop location. You can get a great panoramic of Palma de Mallorca Bay.
Did you know? ‘Castell de Bellver’ in Catalan translates to ‘lovely view’
You’ll immediately notice once inside the castle that it’s been preserved and restored to a high standard, considering it dates back to the 14th century and features one of it’s prettiest details a double-tier courtyard, including a moat with a drawbridge. There is a also a museum portion to the castle which displays a collection of Roman, Arab and Spanish period artefacts which tells the story of the historical past of Palm de Mallorca.
- Location: Carrer Camilo José Cela, s/n, 07014 Palma I Tel. +34 971 73 50 65
- Find on Google Map
- Website: Castell de Belllver
- Daily Hours: 10:00-18:00. Tuesday-Sunday
- Entry: Included on hop-on-hop-off bus ticket. General Admission: 4€ (concessions available)
Marvel at Palma de Mallorca Cathedral
A must-see and not to be missed attraction in Palma is the Catedral-Basilica de Santa Maria de Mallorca. It is the heart of the city and dates back to the 13th century (1229), however it was only completed in 1601.
Did you know? Le See is the Cathedrals Catalan name
Be-lavie Tip: Right in front of the cathedral, you’ll see Parc de la Mar. This is a man made lake which is a great photography spot, especially of the beautiful reflection of the cathedral. But either side of the lake is landscaped promenades which are a great spot to escape to with a picnic or drink.
The cathedral now sits on the site there was once the Medina, Mayurqa or central mosque, the capital of the Moorish Mallorca. The interiors of the cathedral has areas designed by modernist architect Antonio Gaudi as well as contemporary artist Miquel Barceló.
The cathedral’s nave or central part of the building stands at a height of 44 metres and is thus one of the tallest cathedrals in the world.
As you enter the cathedral the beautiful morning light is mesmerising as is the overwhelming size of the structure. The beautiful rose-tinted windows shine rays of light onto the floor and the pillars which reflect multi-colour tones on the floor.
The cathedral has one of the largest stained glass windows in the world made up of over 1.2000 coloured glass pieces and is most definitely worth going inside even if you just have a day, make this a priority. It’s worth opting for a skip the line ticket for the cathedral as it can get pretty busy and if you’re short on time, it’s best to get straight in as early as possible in the morning.
- Location: Plaça de la Seu, s/n, 07001 Palma i Tel. +34 971 71 31 33
- Find on Google Maps
- Website: Palma de Mallorca Cathedral
- Daily Hours: 10:00-14:15 Monday-Saturday
- Admission: 9€ (combined tickets available for other attractions to)
Don’t Miss Out On
Stroll through the S’Hort deck Rei Garden
Only a couple of minutes walk from Mallorca Cathedral, you’ll arrive at The King’s Orchard. It’s a great stop to have a rest from all the sightseeing. This is a great photo spot and is a symmetrical garden of Cypress trees on either side of fountains, ponds and a pergola that originates from medieval times. This area was once a portion of The Royal Palace of La Almudaina and would have been surrounded by fruit trees and medicinal herbal plants.
- Location: Avenue. d’Antoni Maura, 18, 07001 Palma
- Find on Google Map
- Daily Hours: Open all year around
Meander Through Palma de Mallorca’s Old Town
The majority of Palma’s sights are located in or very close to the old town, which is Laos known as El Casco Antigua. It is of course a must-visit and the best way to do so, is simply meandering the squares, lanes and tree lined streets.
The winding small lanes and streets lead to small squares, alleyways with cute tapas bars and cafes. The cafe’s in the squares are absolutely perfect to grab a coffee or a local pastry and people watch.
Head To The Plaça de Cort
The Plaça de Cort is a really quaint square and is renowned for it’s ancient olive tree on one side and the beautiful facade of the town hall on the other.
The olive tree is over 600 years old. The Olivera de Cort was actually re-housed from Pollensa to Palma de Mallorca in 1989 and is known by locals as a symbol of peace.
The 17th Century town hall was one a gothic hospital hiding under its current decorative Baroque façade
- Location: Plaça de Cort. 07001 Palma
- Find on Google Maps:
Admire Plaça de Major
This squares is Palma’s most grandest and centrally located square. It’s lined on both sides with bright honey and ochre coloured shops, cafes, eateries and trees. This square is where many of the town’s festivals take place but it is also where the seat of the Spanish inquisition was for around 300 years.
- Locations: Place Major, 07003 Palma
- Find on Google Maps
Visit The Ancient Arab Baths
The Banys Arab or Arab Baths in Palma de Mallorca date back to the 10th century when the Moors were in charge and are practically the only remains of the Arab city of Medina Mayurqa (now Palma).
The Baths were put together with architecture styles and remains from the Roman and Byzantine eras with the Muslim columns added later. It’s important to note, no two of the dozen columns that support the dome shape of the tepidarium are the same.
The baths have a courtyard leading through the tepidarium doors which makes for a great shaded spot scattered with palm trees and orange trees. It would be the ideal area to hang in following a hot bath.
- Location: Carrer de Can Serra, 7, 07001 Palma
- Find on Google Maps:
- Website: The Arab Baths
- Daily Hours: 09:00 -19:30 (April to November), 09:00-18:00 (December to April)
- Admission: 2.50€
Santa Eulàlia Church
If you love churches, you must go and pay your respects at Santa Eulàlia Church. It’s one of the oldest and most significant Catholic Churches in Palma de Mallorca and is dedicated to a 13 years old girl. The girl was said to have been martyred in the third century for professing christianity.
The churches construction started in 1236 but was completed in 1570 and is well known in the area for its Baroque alter and 15h Century artwork .
- Location: Santa Eulàlia Church, 07001 Papa
- Find on Google Maps:
There are a few Museums in Palma de Mallorca and it can be quite a challenge trying to fit in a trip but if the weather is not so good, then museums are a great way to stay out of a storm.
Fundació Miró Mallorca
Located in Cala Major, this museum is dedicated to the life work of Joan Miró. Known to be quite a prolific artist, there are over 6000 pieces, including paintings, ceramics and sculptures displayed here. It’s definitely plays a homage to the artist and is a must if you’re an art-lover.
- Location: C/ de Saridakis, 29, 07015 Palma I Tel. +34 971 70 14 20
- Find on Google Map:
- Website: Fundació Miró Mallorca
- Daily Hours: Closed Mondays, Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-19:00
- Admission: 10€
Castle History Museum of San Carlos
This Museum has some fantastic views if you love a great vista when travelling. It’s a great place to just simply walk around and gather some history of Palma de Mallorca and take in the views and is well worth a visit should you have any time to spare.
- Location: Carretera Dic de l’Oest, s/n, 07015 Palma I Tel. +34 971 40 21 45
- Find on Google Map
- Website: Museum of San Carlos
- Daily Hours: Closed Monday. Tuesday -Sunday 10:00-14:00
- Admission: Free Entry
Walking Tours in Tours in Palma
Where to Eat & Drink in Palma de Mallorca
With only a day to spare in Palma de Mallorca, there may not be much opportunity to visit many restaurants and cafes, but you have to try the following:
These are undoubtedly the islands famous pastry. They’re made from sweet yeast dough and saïm, which is a reduced pork. They are also made without the lard in many places and substituted for vegan and vegetarian diets too.
The pastry looks a little bit like a wide coil, (a larger and thinner version of a cinnamon bun) all wrapped around and come either sweet or savoury and sprinkled with a light dusting of icing sugar. They go great with a cup of coffee as a mid morning or afternoon snack.
You can enjoy these delicious ensaïmada, as Ca’n Joan de S’Aigo. This cafe is Palma’s traditional most loved cafe but also the oldest with a grand old age topping well over 300 years. It’s decorated in a traditional and typical Malllorcan style and is a great place to stop and take a break, surrounded in history.
- Location: Carrer de Can Sanç, 10, 07001 Palma I Tel. +34 971 71 07 59
- Find on Google Maps
- Daily Hours: Monday-Sunday 00:00-21:00
- Price Range: $-$$
Of course you’re in Spain, so traditional tapas are a must! Just as with the rest of Spain, when you order a drink, you’ll also be presented with some Tapas to accompany your beverage and additionally you can choose more form the bar menu.
Check out this line up of the best tapas restaurants and choose one or two for your one day in Palma de Mallorca itinerary.
Tapas comes in a variety of options from cold meat, bread, fish, cheese, peppers. There are lots of vegetarian choices too.
Vegetarian Tapas Recommendations
Padron peppers (salty fried blistered peppers), Spanish Tortilla (homemade omelette served cold), Potatoes Bravas (potatoes in a punchy tomato sauce with paprika), Piperade (sweet fried peppers and onions) on crunchy bread, smoked cheddar and chilli jam croquettes (perfectly crunchy and cheesy), Spanish stuffed peppers (stiffed with garlic or cheese), mini churros (served with chocolate sauce or dulce de leche).
When in Spain, sample the local drink of Sangria, its’ so much better than anywhere else you’ve had it!
Sangria is a bit like an alcoholic fruit punch made with red wine, citrus fruits, whole and also in fresh juice form, and other fruits like peach, strawberry, apricot, combined sometimes with a dash of other liquors, citrus liquor, vermouth, brandy, and mixed sparkling soda just prior to being served up.
You will be spoilt for choice with Sangria as in Palma you can get these in traditional cafes as well as fancy hip rooftop and cocktail bars.
Discover The Food & Drink Of Palma With Food Tours
The Best Views in Palma de Mallorca
When it comes to views in Palma de Mallorca, there are many options:
- Bellver castle
- Museum of San Carlos
- Coastal beach views
But if you want something a little more fancy and would like to enjoy some drinks with a view, why not head to the Nakar Hoyel rooftop which comes highly recommended?!
Closely located to the old town is the Nakar Rooftop. On the whole much of the hotel is out of bounds for non-residents including the beautiful infinity pool, you can head to the rooftop bar. It’s open to non-guests between 19:30-01:00 daily and weekends means there’s always an in-house or visiting DJ on the decks.
Be-lavie Tip: Many rooftop bars, especially located in hotels will be for residents only during the day but some will open during the evening for non-guests to enjoy too.
A great guide to rooftop bars in Palma de Mallorca
- Location: Avenue. de Jaume III, 21, 07012 Palma I Tel. +34 971 72 02 23
- Find on Google Maps
- Website: Nakar Hotel rooftop Bar
- Daily Hours: 19:30-01:00 Monday-Sunday
- Price Range: $$
Where to Stay in Palma de Mallorca
Although we visited Palma de Mallorca on a cruise itinerary so accommodation wasn’t required. There are some great boutique hotel options to suit all budgets. Here are some of our handpicked options:
Concepcio By Nobis, a Member of Design Hotels // Luxury
Located in the historical town of Palma, this is a design hotel with a difference, with a 16th century setting. Enter a world of brass, wood with a carefully manicured blend of Huguet tiles and Scandinavian aesthetics.
It has 32 well appointed rooms, from doubles, to attic rooms to sweeping suites and the Terrace room. All decorated in the most beautiful natural, earthy hues – some rooms even feature a bath. The hotel has a gym, sauna, pool, restaurant and bar. The hotel has a great sustainability focus and well located for all the sights of Palma.
- Location: C/ de la Concepció, 34, 07012 Palma I Tel. +34 971 91 50 25
- Find on Google Map:
- Website: Concepcio by Nobis, Palma
- Price Range: €€€€
- Best for: Interior junkies
Hotel Joan Miro Museum, Cala Major // Mid-Range
This modern hotel is also located in the old town of Palma de Mallorca and is dedicated to the modern Catalan expressionist, Miro, with artworks throughout the property. The decor is bright and airy and the 97 rooms also display some beautiful over the bed artwork. Rooms and suites have terraces and some with sea views too. There is also a bar and restaurant serving mediterranean style fare.
- Location: Carrer de Bartomeu Fons, 8, 07015 Palma I Tel. +34 971 40 52 01
- Find on Google Maps:
- Website: Hotel Joan Miro Museum
- Price Range: €€
- Best for: Art lovers
The Abelux Hotel // Good-Value
This good value for money accommodation is located close to the centre of Palma de Mallorca and features everything you’d want for a price-friendly stay. There is also a restaurant area where a continental breakfast is served. The area is quite and close to the centre of the city to be walkable too. The bar serves great drinks with the lobby area being perfect for relaxing.
- Location: Carrer de Ramon Muntaner, 30, 07003 Palma I Tel. +34 971 75 08 40
- Find on Google Maps:
- Website: Abelux Hotel
- Price Range: €
- Best For: Those on a budget but want to be close to the city centre
If you stay further out of the old town and in other locations around the island, there are more options in price. The above suggestions are all located in the old town on Palma de Mallorca.
Search and Book Palma de Mallorca HotelsBooking.com
One Day in Palma de Mallorca Itinerary (8-10 hours)
- Arrive in Palma de Mallorca between 08:30-09:00
- Take the hop-on-hop-off Bus to the Bellver Castle or Head straight to Palma Cathedral
- Walk through the old town through Plaça de Major and Plaça de Cort.
- Head to Palma Cathedral if you didn’t go first thing and use your skip the line ticket.
- Take a wander through the S’Hort deck Rei Garden close to the Cathedral.
- Fuel up with some traditional pastries (Ensaimada) before heading to one of the museums.
- Make your way to the Fundació Miró Mallorca or the San Carlos Museum.
- Otherwise take a more leisurely walk through the old town taking in the squares, Gaudi architecture, alleyways, churches, town hall and market stalls.
- Incorporate the Arab baths if you fancy some ancient history.
- Have some afternoon tapas and sangria.
- Pop to a rooftop bar to finish your day in Palma de Mallorca to take in the sparkling views of the night lights and the cathedral (if you’re on a cruise, you may have to skip on this due to strict timelines on returning to your ship).
Day Trips From Palma de Mallorca
If you are lucky enough to be visiting Palma for more than a day or you’d rather spend your day on a trip out of Palma, here are some suggestions.
Is Palma de Mallorca Worth Visiting for One Day?
The simple answer to this is yes! There is still so much you can do in a day and you can always add as much or as little you feel comfortable with exploring. The capital has a lovely laid-back vibe, especially the old town. One day in Palma de Mallorca is a great taster for the atmosphere and will also help you decide if you’d like to head back and explore this Balearic island in more depth later.
One Day in Palma de Mallorca Round-Up
Palma de Mallorca has a rich and wonderful historical past, waiting to be discovered amongst it’s honey-coloured buildings, artworks, beautiful stares, Gaudi-inspired architecture and much more surrounding its beating heart, The Cathedral. Hopefully you have everything required to spend at least one day in Palma de Mallorca and your appetite has well and truly been whet to explore the island. This itinerary is a great starting point and building as much or as little upon it is completely up to the traveller, their interests and travel style.
Palma de Mallorca Google Map
How to use this map: click on the image to reveal the link to our fully detailed Google map with all the points of interest covered in this article. There is also a legend included for convenience.
One Day in Palma de Mallorca Related Articles
If you’d like to visit Palma de Mallorca as part of a cruise
- Booking a first-time cruise with a specialist agent
- Ultimate first0time cruise guide with tips and know before you go
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