15 Fun Things to Do in Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Steve Cummings

Mallorca

The Balearic Islands have been one of the most popular destinations for foreigners looking to enjoy a Spanish holiday for decades. As the capital city of the main island, many of the best things to do in Palma de Mallorca are the best to do on the whole island. If you are trying to plan your trip so you don’t miss anything, we hope the following guide will help you. 

Considering all variables, we have provided a list of the 15 must do things in Palma de Mallorca, regardless of who you are traveling with and what kind of budget you have available.

1. Enjoy a Dip in the Arab Baths

Arab Baths
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To kick things off with our guide, we will look at one of the more unusual things to do in Palma de Mallorca – a trip to the Arab Baths. These ancient baths existed before Palma, when the island of Mallorca was under Muslim occupation and rule. 

What’s more, if you want a frugal trip, the bath entrance fee is tiny, and we think it equates to great value for money.

2. Take a Train Ride to Sóller

To try and keep things interesting, before we get into the kind of activities and places you are likely to see on every blog about traveling to the island and its beautiful capital city, we wanted to look at one of the unique things to do in Palma de Mallorca. A train runs from Palma to the northwestern town of Sóller. If that doesn’t sound particularly exciting, you must consider that this train journey will be on genuine traditional wooden carriages.

The original purpose of this train line was to transport citrus fruit from Sóller to Palma for export. However, nowadays, it is an odd step into the past that offers a breathtaking journey through the various viaducts, tunnels, and bridges found throughout the land between the capital and Sóller.

Once here, make sure you allow time to explore the pretty little town that feels like a step back in time before taking its famous tram to the Port de Sóller where you can take a leisurely stroll along the gorgeous promenade there, swim in the crystalline sea, or just sit and drink a glass of something tasty while gazing out from the harbor.

3. Bellver Castle

Bellver Castle
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For history fans, one of the things to visit in Palma de Mallorca is the stunning 14th-century Bellver Castle. You can walk around this historic building, now home to a museum with exhibits highlighting the city's fascinating heritage. You can also look around the grounds and the moat area before taking to the roof.

The castle is 3km/1.8m west of Palma’s center, offering stunning views of the city and its iconic harbor and bay. With the tickets to enter costing only 4 Euros, it is quite an affordable way to spend a day. However, if you are looking to save a little more, on Sunday, like many sites throughout much of Spain, the museum and castle do not have an entrance fee.

4. Palma Cathedral “La Seu”

Palma Cathedral “La Seu”
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Depending on whether you are sailing into the city or have taken more conventional transport to get there, there are many great things to do near Palma de Mallorca cruise port. One in particular is one of the city’s many crown jewels. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is incredible and covers an impressive area.

While there, make sure you take the time to wander the grounds of the building to get the best viewpoints of the architectural majesty of the Cathedral before making your way inside. Work on the building started in 1300 but was not completed until three centuries later, in 1601. Restoration of The Cathedral occurred after an earthquake hit the area during the 19th century. As a result, it has an architectural blend of modern Neo-Gothic elements and Renaissance style. Within it is an intriguing small museum, which holds a relic that is said to contain some of the thorns from the crown Jesus Christ was forced to wear during his execution. The cathedral is also home to the world's most significant Gothic rose window, known as the Oculus Maior, and consists of around 1,115 stained glass panes.

5. Playa de Palma Beach

Playa de Palma Beach
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When traveling with children, you must plan your itinerary before flying out to ensure you have enough trips and activities. One of the best things to do in Palma de Mallorca with kids is undoubtedly one of the most popular things in general—a day at the beach. Playa de Palma may be classified as a city beach, but don’t let that take you off—the sand is pristine, and the water is sublime.

The beach is 10km/6.2m east of Palma and extends just under 5km/3m. In addition to sitting back and soaking up the waves, there are loungers, watersports, and a fun play area for children. The beach has the Blue Flag classification, and lifeguards are always on duty to ensure safe swimming.

6. Royal Palace of La Almudaina

Royal Palace of La Almudaina
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When traveling in certain European cities and towns, you must be careful if your trip falls on a Sunday, as many places are closed for the day. Fortunately, one of the extraordinary things to do in Palma de Mallorca can be done on a Sunday. Built in the 14th century, the Palace is the residence of the Spanish royal family and is one of the city’s most popular attractions.

You can access the Palace from Wednesday to Sunday, between 10 am and 6 pm. It began as a Muslim fortress during the Arabian rule of the 13th century. You can access the Royal Apartments, the Great Hall, the Queen’s Room, the small Santa Anna chapel, and the courtyard.

7. La Lonja Night Market

Unless you plan on having an early bedtime on your trip, you will likely look for things to do in Palma de Mallorca at night. One of the best things to do, especially if you want to experience the island's modern culture, is La Lonja night market on the iconic Passeig de Sagrera.

Regarding products and what is available at the market, you will find many exciting home décor items, clothing and jewelry, and many handmade arts and crafts.

8. Eat Some Local Dishes

Eat Tapas
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Just as on mainland Spain, food and eating are an essential part of the culture, so high on your list of must do things in Palma de Mallorca is to try as much of the local food as you can. Many of the island's best eateries are found in the capital, and if you need help figuring out where to start, you could also go for the failsafe option of Tapas. That way, you will get an excellent taster selection of some of the flavors and produce used in cooking there.

Bazaar Tapas and Bas Espana are two great options in the city. Sa Cuina de Marcato, with its unpretentious atmosphere and beautiful menu, is a must for a sit-down meal. There, you will find delicious food that is refined, well-crafted, and made from only the best locally sourced ingredients.

9. People Watch at One of the Many Plazas

There are various free things to see and do in Palma de Mallorca, such as visiting some museums and other sites and attractions on specific days of the week, like Sunday. However, if you want something more flexible, you should see the many plazas or squares around the city and watch the world go before you. It is one of the excellent ways the average Mallorca resident experiences life.

Some of the best options where you are bound to get a real insight into life and catch a chance to speak to some locals are the Paca Major, the main square for the city, Placa Cort, and Placa de la Drassana.

10. Enjoy a Cocktail at a Rooftop Bar

alcohol
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We’ve already discussed food, but another key part of any trip abroad to a Spanish island is undoubtedly the chance to relax and enjoy a local cocktail or two. One of the best things to do in Palma de Mallorca is not just to enjoy a cocktail or two but to do so on one of the various rooftop bars you find around the city.

Two of the best are Nakar Hotel Rooftop and Singular Rooftop Terrace. These are extremely popular and offer some of the city's best views, which can be taken in while drinking a refreshing glass of your preferred tipple or a new favorite.

11. Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum

You will unlikely spend time in Mallorca’s capital without checking out the ancient Old Town soaked in history and heritage. If you are looking for things to see in Palma Old Town, one of the places we’d highly recommend, especially if you are a lover of art, but even if you aren’t, is Es Baluard. You can enjoy some of the most stunning panoramic views of the Cathedral, Bellver Castle and the city in general from this location.

Constructed in 2004, the museum is one of the best for contemporary art in Spain. It features hundreds of exhibits dedicated to artists from the Balearic Islands or connected to them.

12. Parc de la Mar

When exploring the capital city, if you are taking in the most popular sites and looking for things to do near Palma Cathedral, we highly recommend you take the time to visit the iconic Parc de la Mar. In the past, until around the 1960s, the water from the sea reached Palma’s city walls, which offered a spectacular reflection in the water of the majestic Cathedral. However, a new road changed everything.

The island created an artificial lake to counter that and achieve the same effect. Found within the parameters of Parc de la Mar, this is something you must see. The park includes many cafes, an extraordinary mural donated by Joan Miro, and a fascinating art gallery housed within the vaults of the city's old walls. If that’s not enough, the park offers breathtaking views of the Cathedral and several other key landmarks and is the site for many events, festivals, and concerts during the year.

13. Enjoy Some Retail Therapy

While the weather is mostly the kind you’d expect from a Spanish destination – warm, sunny, and dry – there are times when the heavens open up and drench the island. In those situations, one of the best things to do in Palma when it rains is to enjoy some retail therapy at Fan Mallorca, the biggest shopping mall on the island, not far from the capital, around 5km/3m. You will find many of the world’s best-loved and biggest brand names here, like H&M, Calzedonia, Benetton, Adidas, Primark, and Tous, alongside more local favorites.

14. Basilica de Sant Francesc

Basilica de Sant Francesc
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One of the most beloved and stunning buildings in Palma we have not yet mentioned is Basilica de Sant Francesc. Constructed in the 13th and 14 centuries, this is one of the best things to do in Palma on a budget. Within this sacred fortress is the tomb of the famous philosopher, poet, and writer born in Palma, Ramon Llull. Llull was considered to be the writer who started Catalan literature.

Alongside the tomb is a fantastic Gothic cloister set on multiple levels with gorgeous columns. You should also look at the genuinely incredible stained-glass window and one of the most remarkable church organs.

15. Western Water Park

Are you planning on taking in the sights and sounds of vibrant Palma Nova during your trip to the island? If you have children and want things to do in Palma Nova for families, a trip to the curiously Wild West-themed water park known as Western Water Park is necessary. It is divided into different areas, El Paso, Indian Town, and Western Land, and is just five minutes away from the city. Here, you can enjoy artificial waterfalls, parallel slides, and some of the best water-based fun on the island.

It may be smaller than other waterparks, but the cowboy theme is an excellent feature for children.

Final Thoughts

Given the island and the capital city’s popularity, it’s unsurprising that we have found it relatively easy to provide you with a guide to 15 of the must do things in Palma de Mallorca. It doesn’t matter what time of the year you visit and whether you are traveling solo, as a couple, or with your whole family. You will have a memorable vacation and one that, if you follow our guide closely, should not break the bank. 

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