Travelled in: May 2017
Mallorca has been my family’s go to holiday destination for as long as I can remember. Whilst I have spent many days on the beaches on the west side of the island, I have never actually explored the capital city. When some cheap flights came on to my radar a couple of months ago, I didn’t hesitate to book a weekend away for some sun, sangria and sightseeing!
Arriving in Palma:
During a random search of sky-scanner on a rainy day in May, I managed to bag myself a bargain… I found some last minute, super cheap Friday – Sunday flights to Palma for around £50 with Easyjet. OBVIOUSLY it would have been rude not to book!
After landing at Palma airport at around 11pm I jumped in a taxi and took arrived in the city center within 20 minutes. The taxi to the city center costs around 30 euros. If it wasn’t so late I would have taken the cheaper alternative and hopped on the bus, which takes you right in to Palma city center. The bus costs 6 euros one way… I found the bus timetables on this website!
Travelling in Palma:
Palma is a walk-able city, BUT it is a fairly big place and depending on what you want to do it can take a long time to walk from one place to another. As I stayed slightly out of the city center I ended up getting taxis most days to save time, which worked out to be quite expensive. (Taxis in Palma are not cheap!) Had I been there a bit longer I would have utilized the public buses as a cheaper option. The bus service seemed really efficient and they stopped at most of the neighboring towns and beaches!
Staying in Palma:
To keep my weekend away relatively cheap I found a room in a local hosts apartment via airbnb for under £100 for 2 nights. The room was located on the border of the Santa Catalina district, in the east of the city. This area is about a 10 minute walk from the city center, and is a great place to stay, there are loads of amazing restaurants and bars close by.
Eating in Palma:
I really rated the food in Palma, it was SO good. Keeping it traditional I opted for some Spanish classics, Paella, Tapas and copious amounts of Sangria. I would highly recommend all of the places I tried out in our short, but sweet stay in this city…
Molino, Platja Ca’n Pere Antoni Beach – If you’ve had a busy day tanning on Platja Ca’n Pere Antoni Beach, then you will want to try out this beach side restaurant for some good vibes and great food.
Santosha, City Center – For something a bit different check this place out! The brunch menu is great and it is in a cool spot hidden away from the hustle and bustle, making it a hidden gem.
Como Me Lo Como, Santa Catalina – We loved this Tapas bar so much we came back twice over the weekend – not only do they dish up some incredible Tapas, their Sangria was also amazing! A must try if you are staying in the Santa Catalina area.
Peix Vermell, City Center – Paella had to be done for our last meal in Palma. We chose the best rated Paella place from trip advisor and it did not disappoint. Sadly we didn’t manage to make it through the whole portion as it was HUGE!
Why Not Bar, City Center – Palma is actually surprisingly good for a night out. The main area for drinking is along the sea front and in Santa Catalina. We managed to stumble across this bar owned by an Italian which is renowned for being the smallest bar in Palma… Why is it that every city must have a Why Not Bar… Get there before 9.30pm for happy hour and be assured you will get a lot for your money. The gin and tonics were as large as my head.
48hrs in Palma…
Palma Cathedral – We started our weekend with some sightseeing at the most popular attraction in Palma – The Cathedral! After seeing some really impressive photographs of this place I was eager to see if it would live up to expectations. It did, and it was beautiful! The building itself is incredible and the surroundings are just as lovely… We didn’t get chance to go inside (the queue was huge and we were on a short time limit), but if I go back again I will definitely go back and explore further.
Old town – Getting lost in the old town of Palma was all part of the fun of the weekend. The pretty, narrow, cobbled streets should definitely be explored, there are loads of hidden boutiques and coffee shops to discover amongst them.
Windmills – The windmills of Mallorca are a big part of the islands heritage. They can be spotted from the moment you touchdown on the plane. If you are taking a stroll along the Palma sea front near the marina there are also some windmills here you can go and see!
Markets – There are a few different markets to check out in Palma, there is a craft market which takes place in the main city square Placa Major and a fruit market in Santa Catalina… I stumbled across this vintage market in between the cathedral and the marina. It wasn’t particularly cheap, but there was some great vintage items to rummage through!
Castell de Bellver – I went on a bit of a mission to find the castle on the hill, which I had heard boasted the best views in Palma. After walking along the seafront front, then uphill for about 40 minutes out of the city, I FINALLY made it to the top of the hill to Castel Bellver! It was well worth the sweat and blisters in caused me to get a glimpse of this view… There is a small entrance fee to get in to the castle, but deffo worth paying!
On hindsight I realized I had walked the long way up to the castle. Most of the other tourists seemed to have hired drivers so that they had someone waiting at the top to take them back down. That is recommended if you are not a fan of walking up hill!
Beaches – There are a couple of beaches to chose from close by to Palma city center. Although they are not the best beaches on the island, there are a couple of beautiful spots to catch some rays and have a swim in the sea…
Cala Comptessa was recommended by our airbnb host. This beach is a popular spot for locals, I didn’t hear an English accent for the whole day. The bay where the beach is is absolutely beautiful, the sand was perfect, and the water would have been a great place for a swim, (if it hadn’t been so cold). There is also a small beach bar to grab lunch, or an ice cream, so you don’t have to walk too far. From Palma city center you can either get a bus or taxi here.
A bit closer to the city center is Platja Ca’n Pere Antoni Beach. This beach is a long stretch of sand, and is easy to walk to from the city. I was a bit disappointed with this beach as it was quite dirty and the sand was rough, but a beach is a beach, and it was still a good place to sunbathe for a few hours before heading home.