If you’re in need of a girls weekend away, Palma de Mallorca could be the perfect place to choose. Palma is a laid back yet busy enough city for a girls (or boys or couples) long weekend or week away.
With its vibrant Mediterranean feel, Palma has an array of cafes and bars with terraces to soak up the atmosphere. For dinner, choose from simple bustling tapas bars, sophisticated seafood restaurants or fine dining experiences at Michelin star restaurants. There are shops galore to suit all tastes from independent boutiques, to stylish Spanish high street brands (such as Zara, Mango & Massimo Dutti) through to the glamour of designer stores.
All this to enjoy, whilst surrounded by elegant architecture, stunning historical sights and an enticing seafront.
Palma has many areas, streets, restaurants and cafes to explore, so below we’ve just offered up some ideas of what to do during a short break in Palma. The best area to stay in is the Old Town so you can easily walk to everything.
A good way to start your trip is to experience a laid back Palma evening with drinks in the pretty Placa de la Llotja.
Head round the corner for delicious tapas at Taberna La Boveda (booking advisable as it is a busy spot). Be warned, the tapas sizes are super generous so best not to over-order. Enjoy squid piled high, chorizo, delicious white bait & if you fancy trying a selection of local and Spanish cheeses make sure you order the small platter otherwise you will have a dairy overload! If you’d prefer a more sophisticated seafood dinner than try restaurant Caballito de Mar which sits next door.
Start the next day exploring the Old Town. Wander the streets filled with shops, art nouveau architecture and busy cafes.
A walking guide for day 1:
Walk along Ave HM Jaime III under the arched covered pavements lined with shops. Veer left at the end of the road and instead of joining Avenue Born, head along up Ave Unio taking in the architecture at Fundacio la Caixa and Purification Garcia. Climb the steps up to the grand Placa Major where there is often a craft market.
Don’t stop for a lunch or a drink in the Placa Major square but instead wander along to the huge indoor market and eateries at Mercat Olivar where you can pick up fresh fish, fruit & veg. There are plenty of food stands from which to try something tasty and locally produced for lunch. We are also rather partial to the homeware stalls with their terracotta ceramics (perfect for your own kitchen or as a present for someone else). If you are looking for a more sophisticated lunch in this area, then you can’t go wrong with Simply Fosh at Hotel Convent de la Missio on the street of the same name. Lunchtimes here are good value for such special food.
Head along to the Ramblas, which is often lined with flower stalls. Amble south back to Placa Weyer and stop off for delicious icecream at Amorino where the icecreams are shaped into flowers and taste of Dulce de Leche, pistachio and plenty more. Turn down Passeig des Born & Ave D’Antoni Maura towards the seafront and don’t miss the super elegant store of Massimo Dutti & Rialto Living.
Walk through the calming gardens and fountains that run alongside Ave D’Antoni Maura, whilst admiring the cathedral on your left.
If you’ve got the energy you can explore the Cathedral today or leave to another day (which our plan entails). At the end of the gardens there is often a small collection of local artisan stalls. Make sure you take a look at the leather stall which has handmade tan satchels, pretty purses and simple yet on trend brightly coloured bags at bargain prices. The place to head to after a day of exploring & shopping is the hidden seafront café at Varadero. Perched out on the rocks and little visible from the main road, this café has fabulous views straight out to sea and back towards the cathedral. Sit on the terrace with olives and a beer whilst relaxing prior to the evening.
For an evening out with the locals head to Placa Drassana. An elegant place to start is the Restaurante Sadrassana. For an aperitif, chill on the comfy sofas and seating in the elegant main covered courtyard area. The menu is also good here and is a perfect spot for a relaxed yet grown up group dinner (i.e. for a special birthday or event). This restaurant is housed in a beautiful and newly converted grand house so it’s worth taking a look at the art galleries upstairs to appreciate the whole place.
A good place for a late night drink is Es Baluard. The stylish outdoor bar, restaurant and terrace at this art gallery overlooks the twinkly lights of the Bay of Palma. There are plenty of sofas and relaxed seating from which to enjoy the view and the DJs tunes. If you are a gin fan, then it’s also worth visiting the late opening Ginbo bar.
A walking guide for day 2:
Meander through the old town exploring pretty Placa Cort and Placa Santa Eulalia on the way. Stop off for coffee at Café Cappuccino Palau March, most noteworthy for the beautiful building it’s located in and its proximity to the cathedral. And then head to Cathedral, which is well worth a visit although access is limited on a Sunday. If you are in the area on a Sunday, often the main door is open so take a peek through this. If you take a tour of the Cathedral, of special note is the work done by Gaudi and the rose windows.
After visiting the cathedral, walk all the way along the ancient city walls and look out across the Parc de la Mar to the sea. At the end of the walls, head onto the seafront. Either visit the beach club Anima or carry onto Nassau Beach for a drink.
Take the chance to dip yourself or just your toes into the sea. For lunch head further along to the busy yet laid back Portixol area full of cafes and restaurants.
The Portixol area is also good for an evening out, and the stylish Portixol Hotel also has a great bar and restaurant to try out.
Or for another area that’s popular with the locals head to the Santa Catalina district of Palma, where you’ll find a good selection of restaurants and bars around C/Fabrica.
Where to stay:
For stylish value for money (with twin, triple and some quadruple rooms available) our top picks are HM Jaime III, Palau Sa Font and Hotel Tres. HM Jaime III also has the added attraction of a spa for those wanting a bit of pampering during their stay.
If you’re going for luxury try the super centrally located stylish Can Alomar with its beautiful roof top pool and terrace. If a twin or triple room is essential then the serene Convent de la Missio is ideal as all beds split into singles at this hotel.
For free advice and a free hotel booking service (ABTA bonded), email us via our contact page or call us and speak directly to a travel adviser on 0800 170 1020 or +44 (0) 207 118 1020. Alternatively you can browse all our recommended Palma places to stay here.
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