Palma is the capital of Mallorca, Spain. As one of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca is a popular destination for tourists, with nearly 30 million tourists passing through Palma Airport every year. One of the reasons Palma has become a holiday hotspot is due to its array of historic sights and pristine beaches.
Palma has a long history dating back over 2,000 years. Palma was originally known as Palmeria, and was established by Romans in 120 BC. After the Romans, Mallorca came under the control Byzantine and then Moorish forces until the arrival of James I of Aragon in 1229. Since the 13th century, Mallorca has been mainly under the control of Spain.
Modern-day Palma offers holidaymakers beautiful architecture, Spanish culture, delicious cuisine, and endless sunshine.
Fun Fact: despite Palma being established around 120 BC, Mallorca has been continuously inhabited since 7,000 BC.
Things to do in Palma
Palma is the busiest area in Mallorca, with nearly half of the island's inhabitants living within the city. As a result, you'll find many of the best shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions in Palma. Here are some of the best things to do around the city.
- Browse the boutiques along Passeig des Born. This historic street is home to many of Palma's best stores, including Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss, and Zara.
- Feast on local cuisine at one of Palma's many classy eateries. Popular options include Adrian Quetglas Restaurant, Bar & Restaurante Alma Palma, and Vandal Palma.
- Discover Palma's Muslim past at the Arab Baths. These 10th-century baths are one of the few remaining structures from the Moorish city of Medina Mayurqa and also feature an ornate, vibrant flower garden.
- Learn about local culture at the Fundació Miró Mallorca. This art museum is within Joan Miró's old house and contains many works by this world-famous painter.
- Bask in endless sunshine at one of Mallorca's white sandy beaches. Have a seaside cocktail at Cala Major Beach, or make a splash at Can Pere Antoni.
Transit options in Palma
- Tren Soller (historic local train system)
- Palma Metro (M1, M2)
- Local Bus Services (EMT Palma, TIB, Mallorca Buses)
- Taxi Ranks
Luggage storage in Palma
Mallorca is the perfect place for vacations, with dozens of unique and exciting attractions scattered across this historic island. Before setting out to discover what Mallorca has to offer, consider stashing your belongings at a Palma luggage storage service. These services are dotted across the city at local businesses and are super easy to book through the Bounce app. Just hop online, and within minutes you'll have a safe place to leave your cumbersome luggage before seeing the best of this beautiful Balearic Island.
Attractions and activities near Palma
- The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma: The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma is one of Palma's most famous historical sights. Also known as La Seu, construction on this Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral started in the 13th century and took a staggering 300 years to complete. At nearly 400 feet long and over 140 feet tall, it is one of the largest Gothic-style cathedrals in the world. At the start of the 20th century, famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí helped renovate the cathedral's interior.
For a small fee, visitors can peruse the inside of the cathedral and admire its stained glass windows, lavish architecture, and religious paintings. You won't want to drag your heavy suitcase through this echoey cathedral, so stop off at a luggage storage service in Palma first.
- Cuevas del Drach - Located an hour across the island near the town of Porto Cristo is the entranceway to one of Mallorca's breathtaking cave systems. Cueva del Drach consists of four immense caves complete with underground lakes and stunning rock formations.
The best way to explore the caves is on an underground boat tour. This tour will take you past the "Snowcapped Mountains," a fantastic formation of minerals and stalactites, and Lake Martel, one of the largest underground lakes in the world. You'll even be able to enjoy a classical music concert within the caves for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You won't be able to bring heavy bags on the boat with you, so head to a Palma luggage storage service before traveling to Porto Cristo.
- Castell de Bellver - See how Palma's royalty lived at Castell de Bellver. Castell de Bellver was constructed in the 14th century and was the home of King James II of Mallorca. As well as being home to royalty, Castell de Bellver was used as a prison during the 18th and 19th centuries. Nowadays, the castle is a significant tourist attraction and serves as a history museum.
The museum plays host to several important permanent exhibits relating to the history of Mallorca. Some of the museum's most intriguing artifacts include Roman pottery dating back over 2,000 years, and Arabian ceramics dating back over 1,000 years. The castle also affords gorgeous panoramas of Palma, so make sure to take in the sights during your visit.
- Palma Aquarium - Looking for an activity the whole family will enjoy? Consider the Palma Aquarium. Palma Aquarium features over 700 different species of aquatic animals from around the globe. Palma Aquarium also holds the record for the biggest collection of live coral on the continent. During your visit to the aquarium, you'll see a huge variety of tropical fish, such as anthias, boxfish, and clownfish. Anybody feeling brave can book to swim with sharks, including massive sand tiger sharks and sandbar sharks.