Top sites in Palma de Mallorca for history, culture buffs and foodies

07 June 2018

Often seen as a gateway to the rest of Mallorca, Palma is a wonderful destination in its own right, with a rich history and culture and a thriving foodie scene.

Located on the Bay of Palma, the capital of the largest Balearic island is a lively spot with a wealth of heritage, activities and culinary experiences in which to immerse yourself. And with a temperature range of 15–25°C and a flight time of just over two hours’ flight time, this is a year-round destination within easy reach of the UK.

For history buffs…

Founded as a Roman camp more than 2,000 years ago, Palma has been subjected to numerous invasions and conquests throughout its history, providing some of its modern-day charm. The city’s Old Town is where you’ll find La Seu Cathedral, a majestic 14th-century gothic church perched above Parc de la Mer and dominating the city’s skyline. Originally constructed by the Crown of Aragon and renovated by Gaudí, La Seu is known as the ‘Cathedral of Light’ due to its 61 stained-glass windows allowing sunlight to flood in and illuminate the space.

There’s also Bellver Castle, a well-preserved royal fortress that has stood on a wooded hill overlooking the city for more than 700 years and offers panoramic views of the bay and surrounding regions. Spain’s only round castle, it now houses the city’s history museum.

Another of Palma’s historic relics is the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, the official summer residence of the King of Spain. Built on the site of a former mosque, the palace has impressive palm-flanked grounds and stands at the foot of the beautiful S’Hort del Rei gardens – a perfect place to sit and people watch on a sunny afternoon.

For culture vultures…

As the urban centre of the Balearic Islands, Palma offers a fantastic array of things to do. There’s always an event going on. In February, the streets of Mallorca as a whole but especially Palma come alive with carnivals, parties and parades to commemorate Sa Rua – a pre-Lent celebration. Or in December, experience Palma’s bewitching Christmas lights and join cheerful locals to celebrate their switching on, accompanied by live music and street vendors.

Palma is also renowned for its art scene, with works from Picasso, Miró and DalÍ on display at the Fundación Juan March museum, and conceptual art at Es Baluard.

Make sure to check out one of Palma’s fantastic food markets. Among the city’s best places to eat is San Juan Gastronomic Market in its distinctive pink building, housing a bar, café, terrace and 17 stalls selling traditional fare including paella, croquetas and jamón.

As well as offering great street food, Palma has two Michelin-starred restaurants – Adrián Quetglas, with great-value tasting menus at both lunchtime and dinner, and Marc Fosh, with sophisticated Mediterranean fare in a cool urban setting.

To find out more or book your Palma stay, contact your Travel Counsellor today.

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