72hrs in Palma de Mallorca
The largest of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca (Majorca) is all about magnificent blue hues, golden sun rays, excellent food and remote areas to bask in the Mediterranean sun. With beaches such as Alcúdia and Pollença at the north-eastern peak of the island being reminiscent of the Caribbean; sandy dunes lilted with beach bars, blue skies, shallow waters and the most idyllic backdrop ever makes this island one of our favourites ever visited. Mallorca has many corners of escapes that are tranquil and peaceful, while the main city Palma resembles an idealistic epicentre of the Mediterranean's envious way of life, with a rich cultural agenda. This guide is packed with insider tips on where to eat, drink, visit and stay in Palma de Mallorca.
The Sa Gerreria district area of Palma in historic times, was very much a medieval Arabic souk, with early originated trades sprouting in every street. In present time, this area has become a brilliant location to get locally sourced products and a genuine feel for local life. Almost adjoining the Plaça d'En Col you can easily spot Mimbrería Vidal, a well-known company created in 1955. For three generations they have been commercialising palm heart baskets, hats, custom curtains, grid chairs and other local gems that are handcrafted in villages around Palma. The crafts sector accredits them as leaders in the trade, with much-renowned respect.
On the street C/ de la Corderia nº24 quirky Quina Creu Tapas & Restaurant is serenaded with saucy films projected on a big screen. It has an elongated old-man's looking bar and offers a different style of presentation when it comes to the food. Only open in the afternoons until late at night, expect a vibrant crowd in a dim lit setting. There is a more genuine style of tapas bar on the same street called Ca La Seu. It has an old rustic feel as it is over 500 years old, with its past life being a basket shop, until a few years ago owners it sold it to Malachy Kerrigan and Caroline Peronneau who both upsold the roots and decor of its originality, only to integrate it to present times. For your morning fix, this neighbourhood houses the breakfast champs Ca'n Joan De s'Aigo, This is the oldest cafe in the city, with two locations: the most whimsical being at Sans Street, as it takes you back to the 17th century and the newer location on Baró de Sta. Mª del Sepulcre Street, both having traditional sweets such as the ensaïmada, chocolate, coques (Mallorquin pizzas) etc. Also not to miss is Fornet de la Soca, a traditional bakery in the inner city of Palma that serves pastries and bread made with only natural materials. Tomeu Arbona is the creator behind this bakery, and is fully responsible for shining a light on the more traditional side of Mallorquin cooking, recovering old recipes that his parents and grandparents have used.
The old city centre of Palma is an absolute stunner. You can spend weeks in the area alone, and still uncover blissful finds every day. The infrastructure is compact and pleasant with pedestrianised narrow streets making it easy to discover by foot. We recommend visiting the artsy neighbourhood La Lonja-Borne, here you can spot Rialto Living just a few steps from Boutique Hotel Can Alomar. Rialto Living is known for designer clothing, art, furnishings and has a pretentious café. If you are in the area and find yourself hungry, we recommend local's favourite vermouth place La Rosa Vermuteria & Colmado. Must try the octopus leg confit dish, or chicken eggs with sea urchin. Lots of great Spanish dishes such as mussels, razor clams and of course, iberian ham croquettes. You may not reserve a table, unless it is for a group of 8 or more, for which they provide a dining room area upstairs.
Palma de Mallorca hosts an abundance of great museums and galleries. The Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró houses some of the painter and sculptor Joan Miro best works. The modern building complex displays many of his works, maquettes and sketches and also houses his studios. The museum has a free entry on Saturdays 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. and the first Sunday of every month from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Another impressive building that houses a museum is the CaixaForum. Here you can attend conferences, view screenings, concerts and exhibitions in a reconverted old building that was formerly the Gran Hotel de Palma. This jewel of modernist architecture contains a permanent collection of the painter Hermen Anglada-Camarasa. The "la Caixa" Anglada-Camarasa Collection offers a unique testimony on paper by the legendary Catalan artist. It consists of 400 pieces (oil paintings, drawings, prints, lithographs, sculptures and personal objects) that were part of the artist's collection. Sitting at the top of the bay is Museum of Contemporary Art Es Baluard. The museum is within the ancient fortification of Palma de Mallorca, and also has the Es Baluard Restaurant & Lounge. Located by the entrance to the museum there is a shop where you can find books specialising in art and contemporary thinking magazines and catalogues. Opposite the cathedral of Mallorca you can find the Royal Palace of La Almudaina. Originally built as an Arab fortress, the palace became the official Majorcan residence for the Spanish Royal Family in the 14th Century. Expect to find the King's Courtyard or Courtyard of Honour and the Saint Anna Chapel inside.
Palma's contemporary art scene is on a roll and the epicentre of the gallery dilemma is downtown. Seek out La Caja Blanca and Galería Kewenig's magical converted chapel on Carrer Sant Feliu. Horrach Moyà is never too much as you can finish the viewings with a drink at their retro-chic cocktail bar on the ground floor. The Gerhardt Braun Gallery is a winner with works of keen talented professionals portraying entireties of photography, painting, sculpture, video, installation art and performances. Located in the heart of Palma is Galeria K, an exciting gallery of modern art. With special emphasis on the new generation of artists, Galeria Altair holds amazing displays with an amazing line up. For all things culturally related such as galleries, exhibitions and concerts, website artMallorca.com updates you on the cultural agenda in the island.
We love venturing around the Santa Catalina neighbourhood during the evenings, as it is home to some eclectic shops and boutiques that we love to explore. B-connected Concept Store on Calle Dameto n°4-6, is a must visit and we especially loved the surprising encounters in The Window Photography & Hand Made Design Store on Calle Soler n°21B. Limited edition photography can be enjoyed at this store among unique crafts. Santa Catalina is a hub for everything hip and trending in Palma. Expect to find some quirky concept spaces on every street. Have a snack and juice at Ziva To Go, a raw vegan café to boost your day of venturing around. On the must-eat list, you can find Sa Fulla (formerly Fulla D'Ostra), a beautifully decorated food house that combines the art of fine dining with fusion dishes. Another dinner option is Koh, a Thai and Asian restaurant on Carrer de Servert nº15. Abel Denhard and Mika are in charge of the kitchen here. There are great Asian delights such as Thai beef salad (Black Angus cattle) or the main dish fave green Thai curry with prawns, chicken strips, lychees and vegetables. They have good service, amazing food and a vast selection of craft beer! Walking through the street Costa d’en Brossa, you will come across the alma mater of Bazaar Palma, Mila Lázaro. Hand-picked items on display include scented candles, selective textiles, carefully crafted kitchenwares and other finds that can redefine your home. For a more vintage look, we recommend visiting Frida Watson. They have carefully selected vintage stock from the 1950s, 60s and 70s such as tables, hand-sewn cushions and ceramics.
Over the past 10 years, Mallorca's capital city has been consecrated with numerous boutique hotels, giving the tourists more choices of stay. Due to the high standards and nearly perfected atonement of hotel offerings, visitors are spoilt for options. As in any holiday getaway, hotels are a personal aspect when travelling, and with such impressive openings such as Boutique Hotel Sant Jaume, Posada Terra Santa, and Can Alomar to name a few, we have put together a well thought list of recommendations through our personal experience in an article Best Hotels in Palma de Mallorca.
If you want to visit the 7th heaven, we easily recommend staying at Súmmum Prime Boutique Hotel for their strategic location and superb hospitality. It is an arm's length away from trending La Molienda brunch giant and new gourmet dinner instalment Fera Palma. At Súmmum Prime Boutique Hotel you are surrounded by both ingenuity and the conventional. In the area you can come across a cute little shoe shop that goes by the name of Alpargateria La Concepción on Carrer de la Concepció nº17. Here you can pick up artisan and price-worthy sandals from Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza. They are also proud of the fact that the royal family in Spain buys from them preferably in the island.
If you fancy a day of being off the beaten path but not too far away from the city, you can go for a dip in the fishermen's village of Portixol. With its mini-harbour and small curve of sandy beaches, you will desire none other than to live there. For lunch, we recommend heading to Ca'n Punta.
For those that need a single city that is inclusive of all of the fine elements of island living with the convenience that a city offers, Palma has everything that you need. Though rather busy with tourists in the summer months, we recommend visiting Palma late September to November and then January to June to avoid the mass tourism in the city.
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