23 Wonderful Things to Do in Palma, Spain
In the midst of planning an idyllic trip to Mallorca? You’ll probably start or finish your trip in Palma. Here are the best things to do in Palma Spain, for a day or two in Mallorca’s capital.
Palma de Mallorca is the largest city in the Balearic Islands and a city full of exciting gastronomy, design, history, and culture. Palma makes for a perfect weekend destination all year round or a start or end point on a longer Mallorca itinerary.
There are so many things to do in Palma Spain, from visiting the many local museums to trying the best tapas to visiting the most famous landmarks. If you’re just looking for good food and sunny beaches, there’s also plenty of that too.
Keep reading to find out all the best things to do in Palma Spain and plan the perfect stay in Mallorca’s largest city.
*This ‘best things to do in Palma Spain’ post contains affiliate links meaning I might make a small profit if you choose to book at no extra cost to you. This helps me to keep providing you with top quality content for free.
The Best Things to Do in Palma Spain
The first and most important of the best things to do in Palma Spain is its cathedral. The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma is one of the most popular and beautiful of all Palma attractions. It’s one of the island’s most iconic and unique buildings and it stands tall on a small hill on the Palma skyline.
Dating back to the 13th Century, the Cathedral was built over the site of an ancient Moorish mosque during the reign of King James II. More recently, in the 20th Century, the inside of the Cathedral was adapted by famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí.
When visiting the inside of the Cathedral (also known as La Seu), you’ll be able to spot many Gaudi-esque elements inside which also include a huge stained-glass window.
To enter the Cathedral, you’ll need to pre-book your tickets online. Queues can get fairly long so it’s a good idea to opt for a skip-the-line ticket to ensure you won’t waste too much time stuck in a queue. Get your Palma Cathedral entrance ticket here.
In Palma de Mallorca’s historical Old Town, you’ll find the Arab Baths, a fascinating testament to Mallorca’s multi-cultural history. Also known as Banys Arabs, the baths are one of the best examples of Moorish architecture left in Palma.
Dating back to the 12 and 13th Centuries, this collection of brick and stone rooms inside the gardens of Can Fontirroig, shows what baths would have looked like in Moorish times.
The best-preserved room is the central hall where you’ll see a large brick dome surrounded by 12 columns. This room was intended for hot baths. There’s a beautiful horseshoe arch entrance from the garden too.
For those interested in history, visiting the Arab Baths are one of the best things to do in Palma Spain.
Royal Palace of Almundaina
Standing right next to Palma Cathedral is the beautiful Royal Palace of la Almundaina. From the early 14th Century, this was used as the local residence of the Royals and the custom continues to this day. It still remains the local royal residence of the Spanish Monarchy today.
The palace architecture beautifully combines elements of Moorish architecture with the Catalan Gothic style, beautifully reflecting the artistic styles of the island. Inside you’ll find elegantly decorated Royal rooms, stone corridors, and a lovely, palm-filled inner courtyard.
Get your entrance ticket ahead of time here.
Explore the Old Town of Palma
The Old Town of Palma (Casco Antiguo) is a beautiful maze of winding streets, flanked by ochre buildings and stone walls. In fact, the area was once surrounded by fortified walls, the remains of which you can see along the waterfront.
The area is full of historic charm and there’s nothing better to do than just stroll around lazily. In the heart of the Old Town, you’ll also find some beautiful little squares- perfect for a coffee and people-watching. There are also independent boutiques and art galleries as well as great bars and cafes.
You could easily spend an entire afternoon walking around.
If you prefer a guided walking tour and all the extra information it offers, instead of just walking around alone, check out this highly rated Palma de Mallorca: Guided Tour of the Old Town
Go Design Shopping
The center of Palma and its old town is full of amazing galleries and boutiques so it’s a good idea to come to Palma with a fairly empty suitcase. There are some beautiful boutiques here to browse, especially when it comes to homeware and design.
Even if you’re not planning on buying anything, it’s still worth browsing their swoon-worthy collections. You’ll find earth-colored fabrics, angular lines, and intriguing shapes. Some of the best design boutiques in Palma de Mallorca, worth seeking out are Viveca Palma, Casa Lima, La Pecera Mallorca, and Rialto Living.
Another spot worth checking out is the small alley called Carrer de Can Verí. It’s known for its design stores and galleries.
Feast on the Best Spanish Tapas
While tapas aren’t exactly from Mallorca, they are still done very well here. To be honest, we’ll find any excuse to hunt out good tapas when virtually anywhere in Spain. If you’re like us then you’ll want to indulge in the city’s best tapas at least once when in Palma de Mallorca.
There are many restaurants and bars that offer great tapas in Palma. You can expect classic Spanish tapas like patatas bravas as well as a lot of seafood and fish-centered tapas.
Here are some of the best spots in Palma de Mallorca for tapas:
Bodega Can Rigo – a superb local bar with great, fresh tapas not far from Llotja de Palma
Bar España– Another very local tapas bar with good vegetarian and vegan options.
Ombu Tapas– A lovely and very popular, modern tapas spot with an innovative tapas menu. Great for cocktails too.
Moltabarra Bar de Tapas– Quirky, casual spot perfect for tapas and a cold beer to end the day.
El Camino– Great tapas is a gorgeous interior.
Spend the Afternoon on the Beach
Given its beautiful location right by the sea, heading to the beach for the afternoon in Palma is a must. If you’re visiting Palma during the warmer, spring, and summer months then you have two choices. You can either head to the Palma city beaches for the afternoon or rent a car and explore further afield.
Renting a car and getting out of Palma will mean you’ll be able to access some of the most beautiful beaches in Mallorca. Most of them really are worth the extra cost and drive.
Otherwise, you have the sandy and pretty Platja de Can Pere Antoni, Palma’s City beach. For a city beach, it’s very clean and the water is clear and the sand yellow. It’s a lovely spot to spend the afternoon and there are also beautiful views of the city and Palma Cathedral.
Platja Ciutat Jardi is another great option a little further out of Palma, between the city and the airport. You could easily access this beach by taxi or public transport. It’s a nice sandy beach to spend the afternoon.
Stroll through Jardi del Bisbe
Hidden just behind Palma Cathedral is Jardi del Bisbe, a lovely little walled garden. Here you’ll find some perfectly manicured lawns, fruit trees, and fountains as well as a few benches to relax on.