Palma de Mallorca
Holidays to sunny Spain are always exciting. And if you’re looking for history and culture, excellent eateries, and breathtaking scenic shoreline, there are few better destinations than Palma de Mallorca.
Palma is a vast resort city and the capital of Mallorca, which is a Spanish island among the Balearics. The Balearic islands also include Menorca (not to be confused with Mallorca!), Ibiza, Formentera, and other islets (tiny islands).
Thinking of visiting Palma? You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to planning each day. From the gigantic Santa María Cathedral and hilltop Bellver Castle to plenty of excellent waterparks, irresistible Mediterranean beaches, exquisite restaurants, bars, and nightlife, there’s something for everyone on this sun-drenched Spanish isle.
Like many of Europe’s major cities, Palma de Mallorca has a rich and fascinating history. Occupied by the Romans in 123 BC, the Balaeric Islands are named after Quintus Caecilius Metellus Balearicus. The Romans developed Mallorca and its capital, then called Palmaria, cultivating olives and salt and producing wine.
At the fall of the Roman Empire, Palma fell to the Byzantine Empire and became part of Sardinia.
After around 200 years of attacks, the island and its capital were conquered by Moorish forces from North Africa. Palmaria had its name changed once again to Medina Mayurqa. During this occupation, the city was remodelled further, with several impressive examples of Islamic architecture still visible today.
Fast-forward to 1229. King James I of Aragon conquered Mallorca, bringing the island into the Kingdom of Aragon. His son, King James II, inherited the kingdom and oversaw a period of peace on the island. Several of its most important buildings were constructed and developed during this time, including Castell de Bellver and the Royal Palace of La Almudaina.
Today, Mallorca and the rest of the Balaeric islands are a part of Spain.
Things to do
Palma is home to a whole host of exciting things to do. Whether you’re looking for adrenaline and excitement or simply want to unwind on holiday, this capital city has it all.
History and architecture fans might enjoy visiting the city’s most iconic spots. The Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca (Cathedral of Santa María) is a stunning example of Roman Gothic architecture. Opposite, the Royal Palace of La Almudaina is another must-see. Visitors can also walk or ride up to the historic Castell de Bellver for panoramic views and exhibitions about the island’s past.
Mallorca is well-known for its world-class waterparks, and Palma is close to many of the best. Aqualand in El Arenal is just 16 kilometres east of Palma, with lots of rides and pools set amongst lush greenery. You could also travel west along the coast to Western Waterpark, another significant attraction with a wild-west theme!
It wouldn’t be a trip to Palma without visiting the beach. Playa del Palma is famous among holidaymakers for its soft sand and shimmering Mediterranean sea. The shallow, clear waters are ideal for splashing around, and the beach’s vast size means there’s plenty of room to stretch out and relax.
And when the sun goes down? There are many memorable ways to spend your evening in Palma de Mallorca, whether you feel like chilling out with a cocktail or dancing into the early hours.
Head to Plaça Major, a traditional Spanish square lined with bars and restaurants. You could also try Plaza del Mercat or head to Palma Old Town, wander the streets, and stumble upon many more atmospheric spots.
For world-famous music and atmosphere, seek out Pacha, Mallorca’s most famous nightclub. Pacha is open until the early hours, offering live DJ music to a diverse and energetic crowd. If you’re planning just one big night out in Palma, it has to be Pacha.