Palma is a city of contrasts.
Tradition, history and modernity which coexist peacefully behind what remains of their defensive walls, raised for the first time by the Romans in the year 123 B.C. The gastronomy, the culture, the architecture, the trade and social life, are the undisputed mainstay of the most emblematic points of a city that moves with the times & reinvents itself through the years.
One of its main attractions is the Cathedral, a spectacular, religious temple, which is in a Gothic Levantine style, declared a historic-artistic monument in 1931. The building boasts the largest rosette window in the European Gothic world. Next to La Seu, the Royal Palace of the Almudaina, a fortress of Roman origin, modified over the centuries. Headquarters for the kings of Majorca, James II, Sancho I & James III. And at the foot of both is the Parque del Mar, an area of about nine hectares designed for leisure and relaxation for those passing through by foot. You can breathe in the history of the most emblematic inhabitants of Palma via the ‘patio routes’: Can Oms, Can Zavellà, Can Oleza…
Majorcan stately homes with their singular Gothic, Baroque, Neo-Classical or Modernist style patios, in the heart of the city. Nearby is Plaza Mayor, another architectural monument, a rectangular plaza with an arcaded perimeter, which occupies the location of what used to be the convent of San Felipe Neri, which was the headquarters of the Inquisition in the 19th century.
A place to recharge your batteries. If you fancy a snack, without a doubt Can Joan de s’Aigo is one of the best options and the most traditional.
Famous for its chocolates, ensaimadas, typical Majorcan sponge cakes, and home-made ice creams, this historic local in the center of Palma was founded in 1700. Or the Bar Bosch, a classic, where it is a must to try their famous ‘lobsters’, sandwiches made from the traditional Majorcan bread ‘llonguet’.
If we carry on into the centre, we find the Passeig del Born, one of the main streets with designer shops such as: Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Carolina Herrera o Hugo Boss, which are just some of the companies that have established themselves on this avenue, built on the old channel of the torrent of La Riera.
The visit to the historic centre of Palma can be completed with a cultural route to the main art centres in Palma: Es Baluard Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Juan March Foundation, or La Caixa Forum Palma, located in the modernist building of the Grand Hotel, are some of the options. If what you are looking for is the atmosphere of the city, bars & social activities, there are two must-see areas: Santa Catalina, with a traditional market & low-rise buildings & El Portixol/Molinar, next to the sea, with areas to swim and also a fishing port.
To enjoy wonderful aerial views of Palma and learn a little more about its history, art & architecture, then the Bellver Castle must be visited, a Gothic style fortification, unique in Europe as it is circular.