Fun Things to Do in Palma de Mallorca

Things to do in Palma de Mallorca - waterfront walk
We touched down in Palma de Mallorca Spain in the Balearic Islands and liked what we saw: sun and palm trees. We hopped on the public bus for a 20 minute ride to Palma city centre. We arrived in Plaza de Espana and surveyed our surroundings. We crossed through the plaza into a warren of pedestrian streets. The pavement was marked with golden flourishes. We were looking forward to exploring all the fun things to do in Palma de Mallorca!

Mercat de L'Olivar

Things to do in Palma de Mallorca - shop for oranges at Mercat de L'Olivar
We ventured into Mercat de L'Olivar, a short distance away. Inside, the market was teeming with people buying sausages, fruits and vegetables. Giant oranges (larger than my fist) caught my eye and I managed to conduct a transaction in Spanish to purchase two of them. We took a quick pass through the adjacent fish market and then emerged back onto the street. Our next stop was Pasticceria Ca Na Cati. We tried a meat pie with peas plus a Palma specialty, a robiol filled with confitura de cabello de ángel (pumpkin filling). Just a few doors down, we spotted Lozano and were drawn in for a closer look. Huge sheet cakes in a variety of shapes and sizes were on display. We opted for a dulce de leche square for later.
Things to do in Palma de Mallorca: shop for sheet cake at Lozano
We continued the walk to our hotel passing an ancient, ropey tree en route near Las Ramblas. Colorful artwork adorned a number of residential doors. We wound our way through narrow lanes past more street art that made us smile. Before we knew it, we had arrived at Hotel Saratoga, our home for the next couple days.
Things to do in Palma de Mallorca. Keep an eye out for street art

Walking Palma de Mallorca

We wandered the streets of Palma near our hotel and the world somehow seemed topsy turvy. We wandered over a verdant canal leading to the sea. We encountered all kinds of artistic statements throughout the city. From a peeing dog marking the side of a pet shop to abstract metalwork. A stolid war memorial stood in the middle of the park along the canal. A fountain ran downhill toward the sea. A strange buoy stood watch at the base of a staircase in the park. We looked back up the waterway, along the city wall back toward where we had come from. We crossed a major road girding the city center and separating it from the sea. More art crossed our path. We spotted a quiet square with a fountain as its centerpiece. We went in for a closer look and then dodged down a small side alley until we were looking up at what seemed to be a castle. We quickly discovered that Palma is simply full of surprises.
Things to see in Palma de Mallorca - Castle walls

Sa Llotja Wine Stop

We spotted an innocent looking bar and went in for a closer look. We emerged on the other side of the revolving door in Sa Llotja. We treated ourselves to a glass of Mallorcan wine. The muscat was fragrant and tart; really enjoyable. We looked up at the dark wood accents and some family portraits over the bar. We enjoyed our wine with a free bowl of savory snacks. After downing our vino, we opted for a cortado with copious amounts of sugar. Napkin art adorned a wall outside the loo. We emerged back onto the street an hour later to continue our walk to discover all the things to do in Palma.
Things to do in Palma de Mallorca - drink wine at Sa Llotja

Cathedral of Santa Maria de Palma

We crossed over into a small garden sounding Palma's signature cathedral. Provocative art stood on display. A dancing fountain added to the ambience. We climbed the small hill up to the cathedral and took a look at the surrounding pond and ocean beyond. The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma is am impressive gothic structure in the old town. We looped around to the open entrance and had a look inside. Gorgeous stained glass anchored each wall. An unusual golden crown-like structure (wasn't sure what to make of it...) sat above the altar. We took our leave as Saturday service was about to begin.
Things to do in Palma de Mallorca - admire Palma Cathedral
The sun was setting by the time we emerged from Palma's cathedral. We admired a gnarled and stately tree nearby. Public buildings were accented by spotlights. We stopped at a lovely souvenir shop and enjoyed chatting about various Mallorcan specialties with the shop owners. We walked away with four small packages of flor de sal. Sea salt is a nice way to remember a trip long after we've returned home. We walked along the river back toward our hotel.

Es Mercat for Dinner

Note: since our visit, Es Mercat has permanently closed. 

Es Mercat offered an irresistible evening prix fixe. We settled into the interior and admired the ethereal 3D artwork on the walls. It was after 9 pm but we were still the first ones to sit down to dinner. I always find it tough to get used to the Spanish style of dining. We started with a tomato and mozzarella salad in a light herb dressing. French fries covered in egg and cheese came next. These were tasty but dripping in oil. For our main course, we tried medallones de solomillo (beef medallions) and rodaballo (turbot). The portions were dainty and delicious. For dessert we sampled a rich chocolate brownie smothered in warm fudge sauce with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. The meal really hit the spot. We concluded our evening with a bit of jazz at the Hotel Saratoga.

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for other cool island destinations to visit in Europe? Why not:

Ensaimadas for Breakfast

We started our day with a Palma specialty, an ensaimada. This light flaky pumpkin pastry was delightful. We sat outside at Up and Down and enjoyed our desayuno. I liked this sliding scale pricing:
Things to do in Palma de Mallorca: eat an ensaimada for breakfast

"Un cafe con leche!" - 3 EUR "Un cafe con leche por favor!" - 2 EUR "Me pone un cafe con leche por favor" - 0.95 EUR

Walk to Bellver Castle

We walked through the center of Palma toward Bellver Castle, one of Palma's top things to see. We found the lower entrance and climbed a small staircase to a faintly marked trail. Beautiful wildflowers lined the path. Lush greenery marked the route. We soon spotted Bellver Castle at the top of the hill. We surveyed the gorgeous views of the city and sea. We walked up a final flight of stairs to the castle proper. Admission was free on Sundays. Pillars emerged from a dried up moat. The castle tower was a sight to behold. We climbed some uneven steps and explored the castle grounds. An interior courtyard was lined with stately arches. Antiquities were on display in the museum galleries on the property. We got a nice close look at the tower. Palma spread out at the base of the castle. We discovered birds living in hidey holes along the castle wall. We finished our tour and took a look at a sign that seemed to be pointing to a church and exit. We assumed this was the way we wanted to go and descended a step winding staircase. What goes up must come down…
Things to do in Palma de Mallorca: Visit Bellver Castle

Palma’s Waterfront

We descended from Bellver Castle to the Palma Waterfront. It was cool to see Festival San Patricio (St. Patrick's Day!) celebrated Spanish style. We spotted historic windmills on the hillside above us. We stopped for a Mahou beer and some snacks at a seaside cafe. We could see Bellver Castle in the distance giving us some perspective on how far we'd walked. Our trio of sandwiches (beer, pork, and bacalao) were a real treat. We continued along the harbor and admired the cathedral through the masts of local boats. We stopped for a coffee at a waterfront bar and noticed colorful nets drying nearby. An intricate sundial stood next to the cafe. We looked out over the Mediterranean.
Things to do in Palma de Mallorca - Grab a snack on the waterfront

The Royal Palace of Almudaina

We circled around toward the Palma Cathedral. We did a lap around the pool in front of the cathedral. We paid a visit to the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, an official royal residence. We enjoyed the posh trappings of the royal lifestyle (no photos allowed inside). The palace featured lots of antique furnishings and ornate tapestries. The courtyard outside was a kingly oasis. We completed our tour at the pond in back of the palace.

A Final Nosh in Palma

We skipped dinner on our last night in Palma; satisfied with a plate of tapas. Sa Ronda featured a variety of options. The service was friendly but I suspect we were overcharged for what we received. To add insult to injury, our stomachs were a bit upset after the meal and we suspect it was from less than optimally heated tapas. I recommend avoiding Sa Ronda as it did not meet our expectations.

Things to do in Palma de Mallorca: buy popcorn from the Popitas machine at the airport
In contrast to our evening victuals, we were positively delighted by a food find at the Palma Airport. Popitas machines were spread throughout the airport and we just had to spend the 2 EUR to try some freshly air popped popcorn. The Popitas machine in action features an awesome musical soundtrack. Onward to Valencia and Las Fallas!

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Fun Things to Do in Palma de Mallorca
Fun Things to Do in Palma de Mallorca
Learn about fun things to do in Palma de Mallorca. Discover what to see in Palma. Explore Palma de Mallorca Spain for 2 days.
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