Plan The Perfect Palma de Mallorca City Break

Plan The Most Perfect Palma City Break

The Most Beautiful Hotels, Places You Must See, And Where You Must Eat

A Palma city break ticks all the boxes and then some.

See, if I wanted a weekend break full of history and passion (and pizza), I’d choose Rome. Excitement and fun? London of course. Or a romantic trip away? It’s Venice for me. But what if I just wanted a chilled-out weekend break with good food and wine, a relaxed vibe, great shopping, a high chance of some sun, and a walk along the beach thrown in for good measure? Well, Palma de Mallorca is all of that and more.

The people are friendly, the sun warms your cockles 330 days of the year, the history is fascinating and with every trip there are always more hidden gems to discover. Visiting Palma de Mallorca will always be one of my favourite Spanish city breaks. When that plane touches down on island soil, I get a shiver up my spine at what the weekend has in store!

So, let us help you plan the most perfect city break in Palma. Here’s all you need to know for your Palma weekend break, the stuff you don’t want to miss and the highlights of Palma that will make your trip amazing…

Palma de Marjorque!


We are lucky enough to have had several city breaks to Palma so we have a few hotel recommendations for you, each with their own USP’s.

HOTEL CORT – First Choice

Hotel Cort is probably my most favourite hotel in all of Palma. It’s the kind of stylish that wins its way onto the pages of interior design magazines, and there are so many carefully thought-out details across the whole hotel. The guest rooms are staggered on a giant staircase, all with their own beautifully tiled terraces, and eventually you end up on the roof with a small pool and a bar.

All of the rooms are lovely and we absolutely love spending our evenings down in the square, only a stone’s throw from your bed!

And might we say – this has to be one of the prettiest squares in all of Palma! A gnarled ancient olive tree sits on its 7 metre spread in the middle and commands the attention of camera-wielding tourists all day and into the evening. It lived the first quiet 600 years of its life up near Pollensa (North Mallorca) but has spent the last 18 years with a sideshow of Castellers, Flamenco and the occasional hand-cuffed drunkard doing his night in the town hall cells for starting a bar fight. Definitely a square worth savouring over a cold beer and plate of pinchos.

For the best deals at Hotel Cort, click here.


We came across Hotel Almudaina when we were doing a search for the best rooftop bars in Palma one time. We spent a gorgeous evening eating tapas and drinking Mallorcan wine with the most incredible view before us – we just had to return!

The rooms are contemporary modern but with elements of Palma that you will start to notice in many bars and restaurants – detailed wood features, gorgeous tiles and always a nod to the ocean with the decor. The whole hotel feels so light and airy and the bedrooms are quite spacious compared to other Palma hotels, especially in the historic neighbourhoods. We loved it and would recommend it in a heartbeat. For the best deals at Hotel Almudaina, click here.

The Perfect Palma Weekend Break

Palma is much greater than the sum of its parts. Because on paper its scoresheet of famous landmarks and tourist attractions is pretty poor but once you’re inside its walls you’re ticking boxes left right and centre.

City breaks to Palma are wonderful opportunities to escape the rat race, slow down into the Spanish manana style of time-keeping, and enjoy the food and drink in a beautiful capital with joyful locals and friendly business owners. Palma de Mallorca is about the finer things in life and enjoying them with gusto but at the slowest pace.

And since there isn’t a multitude of tourist attractions to visit we thought the easiest way to help you plan your Palma city break is to introduce you to the neighbourhoods of Palma town. They all have their own highlights and hidden gems, and if you follow our guide to Palma you’ll be sure to see all of the best bits with a few extra highlights thrown in.

The Old Town of Palma de Marjorque

The first thing you clap eyes on when you visit Palma de Mallorca is La Seu, the city’s gigantic cathedral. Its boxy contours and generous proportions are reminiscent of Noah’s ark, just waiting by the edge of the ocean for a tsunami-style flood, hoping to float away. So, anyone wondering what to do in Palma should start with this great landmark on the edge of old Palma town.

Nick-named the Cathedral of Light, the 61 stained glass windows are an absolute joy in the early morning light. And when Gaudi got his hands on the place last century, he managed, as always, to add some pretty unique features worth more than a glimpse. La Seu should definitely be visited during your city break in Palma – you won’t have encountered anything like it!

La Seu, in the top 10 things to see and do in Palma - a beautiful piece of architecture by Gaudi. One of the highlights of a trip to Palma

Just beyond Gaudi’s ark (La Seu) are a tangle of cobbled streets that no heels should tackle. And once you start exploring you won’t be able to resist a maze-walk of curiosity through Palma old town which began its current life in the fourteenth century. Romans, Arabs, Greeks and Phoenicians left their mark over the centuries in one way or another, particularly in the food and heritage, but the old town is predominantly gothic in architecture and as preserved as a good jar of pickle – very few ugly modern buildings have wormed their way into the old streets of Palma.

The streets are narrow and the walls are high but catch a glimpse through the archways or open doors and you’ll see an abundance of pretty courtyards and ornately glamorous staircases crying out for a photo shoot.

There are a couple of hidden gems worth getting your map out for, like the Jardí del Bisbe (or Bishops Garden) a few streets behind La Seu. It’s a quiet little garden haven, charmingly rustic and maybe in need of a jet wash but nevertheless a sanctum of tranquillity only streets away from the selfie sticks and cruise-ship cronies.

Or visit the Arab Baths, one of the few traces of 10th-century Islamic roots left in the city, and an excellent €2.50’s-worth of a glimpse into old high society, once the privately-owned baths of a rich merchant, and much of it still intact.

Sant Nicolau & Sindicat Neighbourhoods

Leaving the tranquillity of La Seu and the old town behind you, as you carry on into the bowels of Palma town you hit the streets of Sant Nicolau and Sindicat. This is the area of Palma Mallorca where you will find our beloved Hotel Cort. The architecture changes and the buzz is palpable. It’s not from tourists though, Palma is a city of Spaniards and it’s refreshing to be amongst the locals.

Some of the streets are steep, especially on the way up to Placa Major but then the world opens up into this grand square and all of a sudden you realise how claustrophobic narrow cobbled streets can become. Placa Major is your usual humdrum of fake Gucci handbags on the arms of middle-easterners sellers and generic restaurants pushing photographic menus on billboards. Have a twirl in the heart of the city then get your balance, leave through one of the many exits and get back to the narrow streets where the real hearts beat.

Gaudí is the bomb in this town and these are the areas that most resonate the Mallorcan love for this bearded architect fellow. The intricate innards of La Seu cathedral are replicated on the house fronts of the 19th-century buildings you walk by – rainbow mosaics decorate the streets (think Parque Güell in Barcelona) and ornate ironwork is everywhere. If you can find a seat then be sure to take breakfast at Cappuccino Colon in the Can Forteza Rey building – it’s a beautiful place to drink your coffee and nibble on a pastry, written about in almost every Guide to Palma. Alternatively, there are plenty of more humble authentic Spanish cafes nearby, not as beautiful but great for watching the locals buy their morning croissants and bread for the day.

Cafe Colon in Palma de Majorque

La Rambla means ‘the river’ and to the north-west of Palma’s neighbourhood, Sant Nicolau, you will find yourself at the bottom of the old tributary that was carving a groove towards the sea. Nowadays it’s a tree-lined avenue of flower stalls and old coin markets, a bit random but oh so pretty and worthy of a picture.

If you want to incorporate a bit of shopping when you visit Palma, ZARA’ s flagship store is on Passeig Del Born cannot be missed. It’s set in a beautiful old theatre too. And if only one of you wants to shop, there are so many great bars and coffee shops in the nearby vicinity.

 La Rambla, Palma Mallorca

The Areas of La Lonja & Puig De Sant Pere

One of our favourite areas of Palma cocooned behind the port, where artists find their vibe and the cool youth come out to party, is Puig De Sant Pere. The combo shouldn’t work – yacht folk and their entitled offspring rub shoulders communally with artists and thespians as if the two breeds have never disagreed. However, it’s easy to tell them apart if you’re looking for your crowd – the artists won’t be wearing YSL.

During the day the narrow streets are home to studios and galleries, all a stones-throw from their heritage at the Museum of Modern Art. But, when the lights go down, other craftsmen go to work in their kitchens and cocktail bars, enticing the appreciative crowds to some of the best restaurants and bars in Mallorca. Painters and shipmates alike all need their pinchos!

A fascinating little Hall right on the seafront, the area’s namesake – La Lonja (or Llotja), was the original Maritime Trade Exchange, the gateway of wealth for the rest of Mallorca. It’s a grand hall of stone and carved twisted pillars that send echoes of your impressed expressions circling around the room for all to hear. You can only imagine the noise levels when this place was filled with traders from every one of earths corners. Outside is a walled garden where I’m sure many a merchant retreated to when deafness had set in. It’s free entry and well worth a little look.

Bar Abaco is one of the most instagrammable spots in Palma, a cocktail bar resembling more of a flower shop than a drinking establishment and so pollinated you need to take a Piriton pre-drink. However, every Friday night, along with your €15 cocktail, you can enjoy a flower petal display as bucket-loads are showered from the balconies and cover the floor and guests in a blanket of sweet-smelling blossom. A bit gimmicky but probably worth doing once during your Palma weekend break.

Alternatively, another great hotel bar with a roof terrace and an amazing view of the sea and Spanish rooftops is the PURO Hotel. There aren’t that many beds but if you can get in early and snatch one, you’re set up for the evening in one of the comfiest real-life screen savers known to the Western world. Don’t forget your camera.

We have tried to book the PURO hotel several times as the rooms look beautiful, but sadly it’s always been fully booked. You could try your luck here tho.

The views of Palma city from Hotel PURO’s rooftop

Santa Catalina

So I’m just going to put it out there and say that Mallorcan cuisine is possibly my favourite type of food there is. And why is it so different from just plain old Spanish!? It just is. It’s Catalan, Arabic, eastern and modern all rolled into one. Mallorcans take their food so seriously that even regular chains like Es Rebost claim to do fast food slowly in order to get it right. So when you hear that Santa Catalina is the food district that locals choose to eat at, you’ve got to pay it a visit right?

The whole area is awash with restaurants offering great food at extremely reasonable prices. In fact, there are many little bars where your drink will automatically come with a free plate of pinchos, or tapas ; now you’re talking!

But if you want to know where the locals go to eat then you need to head on over to Carrer de la Fabrica. Most restaurants spill out onto a neatly groomed, pedestrianized avenue packed with cafe tables and chairs and the air is filled with families enjoying their evenings together. It really is nothing to look at when you consider how beautiful and old the rest of Palma is, but if you want great food then you will need to take a walk just beyond the ancient city and believe me – that 5 minute stroll will be well worth it!

Patron Lunares, Carrer de la Fabrica, is on the Bib Gourmand list (ViaMichelin), award-winning food for approximately €25-35 per person for 2 courses. Special food in a trendy restaurant with a relaxed setting. Check it out!

What Do I Need To Know Before Going To Palma?

And that there ends our synopsis of Palma city. A breakdown of neighbourhoods and what to see in each one, to help you plan the perfect Palma city break. If you visit Palma de Mallorca for a weekend then you could easily visit all of the neighbourhoods we have mentioned – it’s a fairly compact city. And, the 2 hotels we have recommended are perfectly positioned to ensure you won’t have to walk miles wherever you’re exploring.

How To Get To Palma From The Airport

Palma airport is 5 or 6 miles to the East of Palma de Mallorca city which makes it an extremely easy European city break. There are several ways you can get to Palma town from the airport…

By Bus

The cheapest way to get to Palma de Mallorca city is to take the bus. The A1 leaves from Arrivals, exit 4, and you pay the driver for your ticket in cash. It costs €5 one way, €8 return. The bus skirts the outer ring of Palma city which means it’s a 3 minute walk to Hotel Almudaina, but a 10 minute walk to Hotel Cort. The journey takes approximately 25 minutes and there are buses from 6.15am – 2am in the summer and 6am – 1am in the winter.

By Taxi

A taxi will cost you approximately €25 from the airport but will obviously be an easier door to door drop off than taking the bus. You can prebook but there are always taxis waiting at Arrivals. The journey will take approximately 20 minutes.

What Is The Weather Like In Palma?

The weather is Mallorca is perfect for a Palma city break almost all the year round. August and September are the hottest months but we have found late September/early October to be the perfect temperature for a Majorca weekend break – it’s not too stifling during the day and it’s still warm in the evenings. During the winter months you can still see plenty of sunshine, which inevitably feels much warmer than the actual temperature if you’re sat in it, but make sure you pack a warm jacket as the evenings are very chilly.

The yearly weather in Palma de Mallorca

Is It Expensive In Palma?

Not at all.

Like the rest of Spain you can still find the Menu del dia in many Palma restaurants – a set lunch menu of excellent value which makes for a budget-friendly weekend break. Add to that the custom of receiving a plate of tapas with drinks at many bars and you can save even more money.

Hotel prices are what you would expect from a capital city but there are still deals to be had if you visit Palma de Mallorca in the shoulder seasons (March – May/October and November).

Which Airlines Fly To Palma de Mallorca?

There are several airlines that fly to Palma and from multiple UK airports too, which makes it a very easy choice for short breaks to Palma Mallorca. Ryanair, Jet2 and TUI are the most popular. Search FlightsImage

All that remains to be said is “Have a fabulous Palma city break!”

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A Palma City Guide - a breakdown of all the different neighbourhoods, including their best bits and hidden gems. It's a fab city with plenty of great food, culture and shopping. Follow my guide and you'll be sure to find all of the best bits and best travel tips including some great hotel recommendations... #palma #mallorca #majorca #balearics #spain #europe #bestislands
All the best things to do in Palma - highlights, hidden gems and best restaurants in Mallorca's capital city. #Mallorca #Palma

Looking for where to stay with the family in Mallorca, check out our post about the best hotels :

Family Friendly Mallorca – Choosing The Right Resort

16 Comments Add yours

  1. James says:

    Totally amazing place. Been several times and recommend it to everyone.

  2. this brings back memories of going to palma with my mum. beautiful city 🙂 #KCACOLS

  3. Oh wow, you make it sound absolutely amazing! I’ve never been before, and love how much I know feel like I know about the place having read this. Love all the insider tips about where to go and where to eat! x #KCACOLS

    1. Alex says:

      Aw thanks – it’s such a great city though

  4. Arianne says:

    This place looks amazing! Also I am not one for shopping much while on holiday but that flagship store couldn’t be missed! Great article

    1. Alex says:

      Me neither but I LOVE Zara!

  5. Mel Butler says:

    I stayed in Palma a couple of summers ago and it was such a pleasant surprise. I was unaware about the history or the amazing restaurants there. Loved your tips and recommendations, I will definitely use them when I take my husband back.

  6. Liza says:

    Never been there before, but now I really want to go to Palma! Alwesome photos, Alex!

  7. Cheryl @ Tea or Wine says:

    I’ve never been to Palma, but it sounds great and somewhere I’d definitely consider for the future. Great tips! Thanks for linking up with #KCACOLS, hope to see you again next time. x

  8. Tammymum says:

    Oh it does look gorgeous. I love anywhere that is steeped in so much history. I love European cities because of this. It looks like there is just so much to do and see. We are hoping to get to Majorca either this year or next and Palma will definitely be on my list of places to go, as will the Zara haha. #KCACOLS

    1. Alex says:

      Oo good – hope you have a fab time!

  9. I wish i could fit a weekend visiting Palma into my remaining few weeks in Europe! I love Mallorca and next visit I will definitely spend more time in the city! So much to see and do!

  10. Bread says:

    It’s gorgeous. I love hidden gems, getting off the beaten path you know. #kcacols

  11. Theresa says:

    What an absolutely delightful and thorough picture you’ve painted! You really have a way with descriptions and placing the reader right on those narrow cobblestone streets. Thank you!

    1. Alex says:

      Thanks Theresa.

  12. Jurga says:

    Never been to Palma, nor to Mallorca for that matter. I always used to think people just go there for the beaches, but this proves me wrong. What an extraordinary architecture of the Cathedral! 330 days of sunshine is another great reason to put Mallorca on my list, Belgian weather is just about the opposite 🙂

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