From the azure waters and pretty beaches of the Badia de Palma (Bay of Palma) rises a city of epicureans in sandy-coloured stone: Palma de Mallorca. Wandering through the historic centre, with its winding streets full of small art galleries and boutiques, you’ll recognise the influences of the different cultures – such as the Romans and the Moors – that settled here over the centuries. The resulting cultural melting pot forms the basis of this vibrant, surprising city today. Palma is the ultimate Mediterranean city trip.
A strategic starting point for a visit to Palma is the Plaça Major, a large square that forms the epicentre of the city's social and cultural life. This is where locals sip drinks on terraces at the end of the day, while street musicians play. From the square, you can walk (in a few minutes) to the city's main cathedral, which is known as La Seu. Here, you’ll come face to face with the largest rose window in Europe, which features stained-glass with breathtaking colours and details. Equally impressive is the 14th-century Gothic Castell de Bellver (Bellver Castle), which is just outside the city centre and provides the most beautiful views of Palma.
Art tour by bike
Mallorca is known as a European cycling paradise, and Palma is the starting point for many beautiful cycling routes. The one from the district of Portopí to the resort of El Arenal runs along the promenade overlooking the sea. Stop off at the Es Baluard Museu d'Art Contemporani de Palma (the Es Baluard Museum of Contemporary Art of Palma) along the way (cyclists get a discount on the entrance fee). This architectural delight houses masterpieces by Miró, Barceló and Picasso. Modern-art lovers will appreciate the Palau March Museu (Palau March Museum), which is housed in the former home of the wealthy March family. The museum also has sculptures by Moore, Rodin and Chillida, and lithographs by Dalí, on display.