PALMA DE MALLORCA

Spain

Palma de Mallorca is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain. It is situated on the south coast of Majorca.

Info Palma de Mallorca

introduction

Palma is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain. It is situated on the south coast of Majorca on the Bay of Palma. As of the 2009 census, the population of the city of Palma proper was 401,270, and the population of the entire urban area was 621,000, making it the twelfth largest urban area of Spain. Almost half of the total population of Majorca live in Palma. The Cabrera Archipelago, though widely separated from Palma proper, is administratively considered part of the municipality. Its airport, Son Sant Joan, serves over 22 million passengers each year.

Tourism

Since the advent of mass tourism in the 1950s, the city has been transformed into a tourist destination and has attracted many workers from mainland Spain. This has contributed to a huge change in the city's traditions, its language and its acquisitive power.

The boom in tourism has caused Palma to grow significantly. In 1960, Majorca received 500,000 visitors, in 1997 it received more than 6,739,700. In 2001 more than 19,200,000 people passed through Son Sant Joan airport near Palma, with an additional 1.5 million coming by sea.

In the 21st century, urban redevelopment, by the so-called Pla Mirall (English "Mirror Plan"), had attracted groups of immigrant workers from outside the European Union, especially from Africa and South America.

More than half of the population works in tourism, approximately 80%, therefore being the main economic portal of Palma. Tourism has affected the rapid economic growth of Palma, making the island of Majorca wealthier compared to other regions in Spain.

History

Palma was founded as a Roman camp upon the remains of a Talaiotic settlement. The city was subjected to several Vandal raids during the fall of the Western Roman Empire, then reconquered by the Byzantine Empire, then colonised by the Moors (who called it Medina Mayurqa) and, in the 13th century, by James I of Aragon.


Roman period

After the conquest of Majorca, the city was loosely incorporated into the province of Tarraconensis by 123 BC; the Romans founded two new cities: Palma on the south of the island, and Pollentia in the northeast - on the site of a Phoenician settlement. Whilst Pollentia acted as a port to Roman cities on the northwestern Mediterranean Sea, Palma was the port used for destinations in Africa, such as Carthage, and Hispania, such as Saguntum, Gades and Carthago Nova. Though present-day Palma has no significant remains from this period, occasional archaeological finds are made in city centre excavations.


Byzantine period

Though the period between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Muslim conquest is not well understood (due to lack of documents), there is clear evidence of a Byzantine presence in the city, as indicated by mosaics found in the oldest parts of the Cathedral, which was in early medieval times part of a paleo-Christian temple.


Muslim period

Between 902 and 1229, the city was under Islamic control. It remained the capital of the island and it was known as Medina Mayurqa, which in Arab means "City of Majorca".


Under the Emirate of Córdoba

The arrival of the Moors in the Balearic Islands occurred at the beginning of the 8th century. During this period, the population developed an economy based on self-sufficiency and piracy, and even showed evidence of a relative hierarchy. The dominant groups took advantage of the Byzantine withdrawal due to Islamic expansion across the Mediterranean, to reinforce their domination upon the rest of the population, thus ensuring their power and the gradual abandonment of Imperial political structures.

In 707, a Muslim fleet, under the command of Abd Allgaht ibn Musa, son of the governor of Ifriqiya, Musa ibn Nusayr, stopped off at the island. It appears that Abd Allah convinced the powers of the city to accept a peace treaty. This treaty was granted in exchange for a tax, respect for social, economic and political structures to the communities that subscribed to it, as well as the continuity of their religious beliefs.

After 707, the city was inhabited by Christians who were nominally in allegiance to the sovereignty of the Umayyad Caliphate, yet who, de facto, enjoyed absolute autonomy. The city, being in Majorca, constituted an enclave between western Christian and Islamic territories, and this attracted and encouraged increased levels of piracy in the surrounding waters. For wide sectors of the city's population, the sacking of ships (whether Muslim or Christian) which passed through Balearic waters was a source of riches over the next fifteen decades. Eventually, continued piracy in the region lead to a retaliation by Al-Andalus which launched a naval fleet against the city and the whole of the Islands. The Islands were defended by the emperor Charlemagne in 799 from a Muslim pirate incursion.

In 848 (maybe 849), four years after the first Viking incursions had sacked the whole island, an attack from Córdoba forced the authorities to ratify the treaty to which the city had submitted in 707. As the city still occupied an eccentric position regarding the commerce network established by the Moors in the western Mediterranean, the enclave was not immediately incorporated into Al-Andalus.

While the Emirate of Córdoba reinforced its influence upon the Mediterranean, Al-Andalus increased its interest in the city. The consequence of this was the substitution of the submission treaty for the effective incorporation of the islands to the Islamic state. A squad under the command of Isam al-Jawlani took advantage of instability caused by several Viking incursions and disembarked in Majorca, and after destroying any resistance, incorporated Majorca, with Palma as its capital, to the Córdoban state.

The incorporation of the city into the Emirate set the basis for a new society. Commerce and manufacturing developed in a manner that was previously unknown. This caused considerable demographic growth, thereby establishing Medina Mayurqa as one of the major ports for trading goods in and out of the Emirate of Córdoba.


Dénia—Balearic taifa (1015–1087)

The Umayyad regime, despite its administrative centralisation, mercenary army and struggle to gain wider social support, could neither harmonise the various ethnic groups inside al-Andalus nor dissolve the old tribes which still organised sporadic ethnic fighting. During the 11th century, the Caliphate's control waned considerably. Provinces broke free from the central Cordoban administration, and became effectively sovereign states - taifas - under the same governors that had been named by the last Umayyad Caliphs. According to their origin, these "taifas" can be grouped under three broad categories: people of Arab, Berber or Slavic origin.

Palma was part of the taifa of Dénia. The founder of this state was a client of the Al-Mansur family, Muyahid ibn Yusuf ibn Ali, who could profit from the progressive crumbling of the Caliphate's superstructure to gain control over the province of Dénia. Subsequently, Muyahid organised a campaign throughout the Balearic Islands to consolidate the district and incorporated it into their "taifa" in early 1015.

During the following years Palma became the main port from where attacks on Christian vessels and coasts could be launched. Palma was the base from where a campaign against Sardinia was launched between 1016 and 1017, which caused the Pisans and Genoese forces to intervene. Later, this intervention set the basis for Italian mercantile penetration of the city.

The Denian dominion lasted until 1087, a period during which the city, as well as the rest of the islands, was relatively peaceful. Their supremacy at sea was still not rivalled by the Italian merchant republics, thus there were few external threats.


Balearic Taifa (1087 - 1115) and Western Mediterranean

The Banu Hud conquest of Dénia and its incorporation to the Eastern district of the taifa of Zaragoza meant the destruction of the legacy of Muyahid. The islands were freed from mainland dominion and briefly enjoyed independence, during which Medina Mayurqa was the capital.

The economy during this period depended on both agriculture and piracy. In the latter 11th century, Christian commercial powers took the initiative at sea against the Muslims. After centuries of fighting defensively in the face of Islamic pressure, Italians, Catalans and Occitans took offensive action. Consequently, the benefits of piracy diminished causing severe economic stress on the city.

The clearest proof of the new ruling relation of forces, from 1090, is the Crusade organised by the most important mercantile cities of the Christian states against the Islands. This effort was destined to finally eradicate Muslim piracy mainly based in Palma and surrounding havens. In 1115, Palma was sacked and later abandoned by an expedition commanded by Ramon Berenguer III the Great, count of Barcelona and Provence, which was composed of Catalans, Pisans and other Italians, and soldiers from Provence, Corsica, and Sardinia, in a struggle to end Almoravid control.

After this, the Islands became part of the Almoravid dynasty. The inglobement of all the taifa to a larger state helped to re-establish a balance along the frontier that separated western Christian states from the Muslim world.


Period of the Banu Ganiya (1157 - 1203)

The situation changed in the mid-12th century, when the Almoravids were displaced from al-Andalus and western Maghreb by the Almohad. Almoravid dominions, from 1157 on, were restricted to the Balearic Islands, with Palma again acting as the capital, governed by Muhammad ibn Ganiya. Massive arrival of al-Andalus refugees contributed to reinforce the positions of the last Almoravid legitimatists, the Banu Ganiya, who, conscious of their weakness in the Western Mediterranean context, started to get closer to the growing powers represented by Italian maritime republics. Genoa and Pisans obtained in this period their first commercial concessions in the city and the rest of the islands.

The Banu Ganiya, taking advantage of the great loss suffered by Abu Yuqub Yusuf in the Siege of Santarém, attacked Ifriqiya, where the Almohad dominion had not been consolidated yet, in the same year. However, this attack was repelled and the Almohad authorities encouraged anti-Almoravid revolts in the Islands. The city was captured by the Almohads in 1203.


Christian reconquest and late Middle Ages

On December 31, 1229, after three months of siege, the city was reconquered by James I of Aragon and was renamed Ciutat de Mallorca (Mallorca City). In addition to being kept as capital of the Kingdom of Majorca, it was given a municipality that comprised the whole island. The governing arm was the University of the City and Kingdom of Majorca. After the death of James I of Aragon, Palma became joint capital of the Kingdom of Majorca, together with Perpignan. His son, James II of Majorca, championed the construction of statues and monuments in the city: Bellver Castle, the churches of St. Francesc and St. Domingo, reformed the Palace of Almudaina and began the construction of the Cathedral of Majorca.

In 1391, anti-Jewish riots broke out. The Jewish community of Inca was completely wiped out, as were those of Sóller, Sineu, and Alcudia. In spite of the governor's prohibition on leaving the island, many Jews fled to North Africa. The remaining Jews were forced to convert under threat of death.

Abraham Cresques was a 14th-century Jewish cartographer of the Majorcan cartographic school from Palma; Cresques is credited with the authorship of the famous Catalan Atlas.

The river that cut through the city gave rise to two distinct areas within the city; the "Upper town" and "Lower town", depending upon which side of the river one was situated.

The city's advantageous geographical location allowed it extensive commerce with Catalonia, Valencia, Provence, the Maghreb, the Italian republics and the dominions of the Great Turk, which heralded a golden age for the city.

At the beginning of the 16th century, the Rebellion of the Brotherhoods (a peasant uprising against Charles V's administration) and the frequent attack of Turkish and Berber pirates caused a reduction of commercial activities and a huge inversion in defensive structures. As a consequence, the city entered a period of decadence that would last till the end of the 17th century.


17th to 19th centuries

The 17th century is characterised by the division of the city in two sides or gangs, named Canamunts and Canavalls (from Majorcan Catalan "the ones from the upper/lower side"), with severe social and economical repercussions. During this period the port became a haven for pirates. During the last quarter of the century, the Inquisition continued its persecution of the city's Jews, locally called xuetes.

The fall of Barcelona in 1714 meant the end of the War of the Spanish Succession and the defeat and destruction of the Crown of Aragon, and this was reflected on the Nueva Planta decrees, issued by Philip V of Spain in 1715. These occupation decrees changed the government of the island and separated it from the municipality's government of Palma, which became the official city name. By the end of the 19th century, the name Palma de Mallorca was generalised in written Spanish, although it is still colloquially named Ciutat ("city") in Catalan. In the 18th century Charles III of Spain removed interdiction of commerce with Spanish colonies in America and the port and commercial activity of the city grew once again.

At the beginning of the 19th century, Palma became a refuge for many who had exiled themselves from the Napoleonic occupation of Catalonia and Valencia; during this period freedom flourished, until the absolutist restoration. With the establishment of contemporary Spanish state administrative organization, Palma became the capital of the new province of Balearic Islands in the 1833 territorial division of Spain. The French occupation of Algeria in the 19th century ended the fear of Maghrebi attacks in Majorca, which favoured the expansion of new maritime routes, and consequently, the economic growth of the city.

Climate

Climate data for Palma de Mallorca

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)22.4
(72.3)
24.4
(75.9)
26.6
(79.9)
28.0
(82.4)
32.0
(89.6)
36.5
(97.7)
38.0
(100.4)
37.6
(99.7)
35.5
(95.9)
31.2
(88.2)
27.6
(81.7)
23.0
(73.4)
38.0
(100.4)
Average high °C (°F)15.4
(59.7)
15.5
(59.9)
17.2
(63)
19.2
(66.6)
22.5
(72.5)
26.5
(79.7)
29.4
(84.9)
29.8
(85.6)
27.1
(80.8)
23.7
(74.7)
19.3
(66.7)
16.5
(61.7)
21.8
(71.2)
Daily mean °C (°F)11.9
(53.4)
11.9
(53.4)
13.4
(56.1)
15.5
(59.9)
18.8
(65.8)
22.7
(72.9)
25.7
(78.3)
26.2
(79.2)
23.5
(74.3)
20.2
(68.4)
15.8
(60.4)
13.1
(55.6)
18.2
(64.8)
Average low °C (°F)8.3
(46.9)
8.4
(47.1)
9.6
(49.3)
11.7
(53.1)
15.1
(59.2)
18.9
(66)
21.9
(71.4)
22.5
(72.5)
19.9
(67.8)
16.6
(61.9)
12.3
(54.1)
9.7
(49.5)
14.6
(58.3)
Record low °C (°F)0.0
(32)
−0.1
(31.8)
1.6
(34.9)
4.4
(39.9)
8.0
(46.4)
11.0
(51.8)
15.8
(60.4)
15.8
(60.4)
10.0
(50)
8.4
(47.1)
3.8
(38.8)
2.5
(36.5)
−0.1
(31.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches)43
(1.69)
37
(1.46)
28
(1.1)
39
(1.54)
36
(1.42)
11
(0.43)
6
(0.24)
22
(0.87)
52
(2.05)
69
(2.72)
59
(2.32)
48
(1.89)
449
(17.68)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)66554212576753
Mean monthly sunshine hours1671702052372843153463162272051611512,779
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología

Average sea temperature
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
14.4 °C (57.9 °F)13.9 °C (57.0 °F)14.1 °C (57.4 °F)15.9 °C (60.6 °F)18.9 °C (66.0 °F)22.5 °C (72.5 °F)24.9 °C (76.8 °F)26.0 °C (78.8 °F)25.0 °C (77.0 °F)22.7 °C (72.9 °F)19.7 °C (67.5 °F)16.3 °C (61.3 °F)19.5 °C (67.1 °F)

Geography

Palma is a major city and seaport located in the southwest of Majorca, a western mediterranean island belonging to the Balearic Islands archipelago. The land area of the city is about 21.355 square kilometres (8.245 sq mi) with an altitude of 13 metres (43 feet) above sea level.

The city center of Palma is located north of the homonymous bay (Badia de Palma in the local Catalan language). The area that extends eastwards is mostly a flat fertile plain known as Es Pla. To the north and west, the city borders the Serra de Tramuntana, the island's major mountain range and a Unesco World Heritage site.

Internet, Comunication
  • Big Byte,  +34 971 71 17 54fax: +34 971 72 62 67, e-mail: . C/- Apuntadores 6, Bajos. This internet cafe includes DSL and wireless access and printing and fax facilities.
  • [email protected], Terrazas Porto Pi, Paseo Maritimo, 54, ph +34 971 70 38 79. This Internet cafe has 34 computers available using a broadband connection.
  • CyberCentral,  +34 971 71 29 27fax: +34 971 72 01 68. Soledad 4, Bajos. This Internet cafe has DSL access and laptop access for €3 per hour. Printing is €0,20 black and white and €0,90 color.

Transportation - Get In


By plane

Palma's city airport (IATA: PMI) is the major airport in Mallorca, and has daily flights from many European cities on national and budget carriers.

PMI is 9 kilometres from the center of Palma. EMT's Line 1 bus service runs between the seaport, the city centre and the airport every fifteen minutes between 6:15am and 2:30am. As of October 2016, the fare is €5.

A taxi ride from the airport to the city centre costs €20-25 and takes maximum 15 minutes without traffic.

Modules

There are four modules at the airport: Module A, Module B, Module C and Module D.

Module A

Located in the north of the airport, it has 28 gates, of which 8 have air bridges. This is the only module that has double air bridges attached to gates. The Pier is mainly used by flights to non-Schengen destinations including the UK and Ireland. This part of the terminal building is closed during winter months and is only used in the summer.

Module B

The smallest Module, located in the north east. It has 8 gates located on the ground floor, of which none have air bridges. It is used by regional aircraft of Air Nostrum, mainly operating intra-Balearic flights.

Module C

The largest of the modules is located in the east. It has 33 gates, of which 9 have air bridges. It is used by Air Berlin, Niki and Condor along with EasyJet flights to Schengen destinations. The majority of air bridges have airberlin.com written on them.

The southern area of the module was worked on and reopened in May 2011.

Module C is also the meeting point for transfers, taxi pickup and groups.

Module D

Located in the south, it has 19 gates of which 10 have air bridges. All odd-numbered gates have a bus transfer. The majority of air bridges have airberlin.com written on them.


By train

TIB [www] runs train services between Mallorcan towns. There is no train service to the airport. The main train, bus, and metro station ('Estacio Intermodal') is underground, at Plaça d'Espanya in Palma.

'Ferrocarril de Soller' operates the quaint wooden electric train from Plaça d'Espanya in Palma to Soller town, northwest of the island, and from where you can continue your relaxing scenic journey to Puerto Soller on the companion Electric Tram.


By car

There are no bridges or any road links from/to mainland Spain or other islands. Most cities and towns in Mallorca have road links directly to Palma.

There are several companies in Mallorca that offer transfer facilities from the airport to any destination on the island. Balearic transfer services [www], Fleet and Goo and BookTaxiMallorca are examples of these companies.


By bus

EMT [www] (ph. 971 43 10 24) runs the local bus service in Palma. Regional buses to destinations around the island are operated mainly by TIB (Transport de les Iles Balears [www] ). All EMT buses are equipped with onboard screens and loudspeakers that state the current and next stop, in both Spanish and Catalán.

EMT's line number 1 will take you from the airport through Palma downtown and to the outer dock of the main harbor (where most large cruise ships dock). Arrivals/departures every 15 minutes from 7AM until 8PM. They operate once every 30 minutes from 6AM to 10PM. The fare is €5 (as of October 2016). There is only one fare, so you don't need to specify your destination to the driver/conductor. All other local EMT destinations within Palma cost €1.50(?) so you must tell the driver "no aeroporto, por favor.".

In an effort to reduce drunk driving and get less people driving on the weekends, Palma offers a ´bus de nit´ bus service (Catalán: ´night bus´). It is full of locals and Spaniards from the peninsula and runs from 10PM to 6AM every 20 to 30 minutes, all night. The bus costs €1(?) and goes all the way down the infamous ´Paseo Maritimo´, which is where all the best clubs are in Palma.

If you really enjoy clubbing, do not be afraid to go a few miles along the Paseo Maritimo. The numbers start at 1 and go up to about 80. The biggest clubs, e.g., Tito´s and Level, are located in the 20´s. Farther down the Paseo the music gets better, the people are more mature, and you will find less completely drunk tourists.


By sea

Any number of cruise ships berth at Palma, and there are also a number of ferry services to other Balaeric Islands and to the Iberian peninsula:

  • Baleària [www] (ph 966 42 87 00) run ferries from Denia, Valencia, and Ibiza.
  • Alquiler de yates en Mallorca [www] (ph 620269020) Denia, Valencia , and Ibiza.
  • Acconia Trasmediterranea [www] (ph 902 45 46 45) run ferries from Barcelona, Valencia, Ibiza and Mahon.
  • Iscomar Ferries [www] (ph 902 11 91 28 or 971 43 75 00 for international callers) run ferries from Barcelona, Valencia, Ibiza and Denia.

The all-year-around Baleària and Acconia Trasmediterranea ships travel to and from the mainland (Barcelona) once a day, each. They both usually leave Barcelona at night (23:00) and arrive in Palma very early the next day (06:00). And they both usually leave Palma for Barcelona at 12:30 and arrive at 19:30. Tickets must be purchased in advance and westerners can book through services such as directferries.co.uk [www]. In addition, high speed ferries are now becoming available that offer reduced the travel time by a couple hours.

Palma's port has a small office on the west end of the port where customers must check in at least one hour before departure. The line can grow long so travelers may want to arrive a couple hours in advance. Please be aware that the ship may depart from the east end of the port, and that a bus will transport the customers from the check in building to the ship.

Transportation - Get Around

Buses and trains are the two forms of shared public transport in Palma de Mallorca. The local buses are run by Empresa Municipal de Transportes Urbanes de Palma de Mallorca (EMT) and are very frequent. They have particularly good coverage of the beaches and the centre of the city. Timetables and fares are available from the City Council [www] . The main train system is operated by Serveis Ferroviaris de Mallorca (SFM), Mallorca Railway Services.

The Palma City Sightseeing bus (which is numbered line 50 on the EMT bus maps [www] ) does a circuit of Palma that includes tourist attractions like Pueblo Español and major shopping centres like Av. Jaume III and Porto Pi, as well as the ferry and commercial ports. The buses are double-decker and the top floor is open air. A basic audio tour is free with the tickets. The tickets are €15 adults and €6,50 children for one day (24 Hours) which is much higher than the other city buses, but they are valid for reboarding as many times as you like within 24 hours, and this is the only bus route that visits the Castell de Bellver. The Two-day fare is € 16,25 for Adults and € 8,13 for children from the age of 8 to 16. The first bus in the winter season starts from Cathedral at 10:00AM and the last bus in winter starts from the same place at 06:00PM.

Cycling is a great way to get around Palma and along the coastline near Palma. Excellent bicycle paths have been made. Good quality bicycles can be rented for €5, full day, €3 half day.

Hotels

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Hotels

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Restaurants

  • Pamboli - traditional "sandwich", made with Majorcan bread, plenty of oil and tomato, and then with the topping of your choice.
  • Ensaimada - literally translated as "made from pork fat" - traditional pastry here, sometimes it just has powdered sugar on top, other times it is filled with chocoloate, cream, fruit filling.
  • Sobrasada - Raw,cured sausage that is typical of Mallorca.
  • Bunyols - (sweet pastries)- they are typical only in autumn. Bunyols are commonly made of boiled potatoes, flour, eggs, butter or lard, yeast and sugar; they are fried in hot oil and then sprinkled with sugar. (A fried Donut)

Budget

  • Tapas Tuesdays or Ruta Martiana: several dozen bars in Sa Gerreria (quarter in the old town, about 100m south-east of Plaza Mayor) offer cheap tapas and a drink on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Mid-range

  • Plaça d'en Coll: previously a reasonably good town square in the Casco Antiguo part of the old town of Palma, with a few quite respectable bars and cafes but with the incongruous and slightly disquieting presence of 'the travelling population' with their giant supermarket-style plastic bottles of warm San Miguel concealed in brown paper bags. All very nice polite guys (and girls) actually! - but recently (May 2011) Placa d'en Coll is transformed into a veritable plethora of bars and cafes, vying with each other on quality and price: the ideal place to visit for a 3-course menu del dia for less than fifteen Euros! - a veritable serendipity!
  • Cafe Port Pesquer, C/- Moll de la Llotja. ph 971 725 868 or 971 715 220. This portside cafe is a seafood specialist, and also serves local specialties like tapas and platos mediterráneos. It is popular with locals and tourists, but is perhaps a little under-staffed. Mains €14 - €20.
  • XII Apóstoles+34 971 262 015fax: +34 971 264 765, e-mail: . C/- Sant Ramon Nonat., This opulently decorated pizza restaurant has a pizza topping for each of the eponymous apostles. The enormous pizzas have a thin crust and sparse but intense toppings. Bookings advised if you're eating after 8:30PM. Pizzas €10 - €15. Wine €20 - €50.
  • Rock City Pizza y Copas, +34 971 450 976, c/ Caro, 24. Quality fresh ingredients, generous portions, each pizza hand tossed to order (no molds or frozen dough) and all at a great price. Rock City serves a Pizza with thin a crust and in three sizes, 24 cm, 33 cm and 46 cm. With a wide variety of salad and appetizer options, this is the place to come for more than just great pizza. Decorated with various photos of rock legends in their prime while some of the best rock, jazz and r&b plays in the background, Rock City's decor and ambience maintain a style and elegance you won't find in any other pizzeria in town. Apps & salads €5,50-€12,00 Pizzas €7,00-23,50 Cocktails €4,50 Wine €9,00-€22,00

Coffe & Drink

  • Cappuccino Palau MarchCarrer del Conquistador, 13 (in a palace near the cathedral),  +34 971 717 272. Good breakfast till 12 noon. Then cocktails and salads. Nice, romantic and comfortable. But not cheap. Various breakfasts including 'full English' ("Desayuno London") at €12.
  • Jah Garden - Reggae BarJoan Miro (the road up to Castell de Bellver leads of this one). This bar plays non-stop reggae DVDs on a wide-screen TV. The drink prices are a bit steep (€5 for a bottle of Heineken) but they don't seem to put any one off as people keep disappearing into the toilets at frequent intervals. There is an electronic lock on the front door so you won't get in if the barman doesn't like the look of you.
  • AbacoCarrer Sant Joan 1, La Llonja+34 971 71 49 39. The world-famous cocktail bar, set in a magnificent old-town former coaching house,where every Friday at 11:30pm (-ish), the classical background music rises to a crescendo and fresh rose petals fall from a hidden balcony above the imposing open stone fireplace. A ceremony not to be missed. Ignore the killjoys who tell you it's a rip-off: true, the bar only serves drinks (no food), frowns even on using the Cappuccino machine, and pushes an expensive cocktail menu on you as soon as you walk through the daunting entrance door. But the cocktails are all made with fresh fruit juices and are HUGE!! - or just have a cerveza or a copa de Vino. Everyone should visit Abaco at least once in a lifetime!

Sights & Landmarks

  • Castell de Bellver (ph 971 73 06 57 or 971 45 12 03, fax 971 45 43 73, web page ) is a 14th century castle, one of the most distinct castles in Spain with its circular form. The castle is set high on a hill and has the best view of the bay of Palma and the entire city of Palma. Built on the ruins of a Muslim site, the castle contains a museum of archaeological finds and classical sculptures. It has three large towers, a central courtyard, and other features throughout the architecture of the interior and exterior. The best way to tour this castle starts with a walk around the moat; then proceed to the top of the castle to a patio area. Castell de Bellver is open to visitors daily all year, weekdays 8:30 AM to 6 PM, and Sundays and bank holidays 10AM to 5:30 pm. On Mondays, the Castell closes earlier (1:30 PM). Admission for Adults is €2.60 and €1.05 for pensioners and students.
  • Pueblo Español, C- del Poble Espanyol. Ph: 971 73 70 70 or 971 73 70 75, fax 971 73 15 92, e-mail: [email protected] This architectural museum is designed like a small village containing facsimiles of the major classical works of Spanish architecture. During the week there are numerous artisans' shops, restaurants and bars operating within the museum. Open from 9.00AM until 7.00PM Admission is €5 adults and €3 children.
  • Paseo MaritimoPaseo Marítimo Palma. 20.00. If you enjoy nightlife, don´t miss the Paseo Marítimo, along the ocean in Palma. Paseo Maritimo refers to area all along the port, where all the yachts and boats are chartered. It is where the majority of the discotecas, bars, pubs, etc. are located and it is beautiful at night because you can see the cathedral all lit up. Discotecas are very popular here; Tito's is a famous discotecas that in the 1950's, people like Frank Sinatra used to go to and it is still up and running today. Clubs stay going until about 6AM and the clubs here do not get extremely busy until at least midnight on most days. It is a great place to people-watch, even if you cannot stay up until the sun rises on the island. 6.00.
  • Fundació Pilar i Joan MiróC. de Saridakis, 29. A museum showing works of the artist Joan Miró, who lived and worked in Palma. There's a sculpture garden and you can visit Miró's two ateliers: a modern one designed by the architect Sert, and an older one with Miró's graffiti on the walls.

Historic Centre

The historical centre of Palma is the oldest part of the city. It is also a refreshing area to walk in on one of Palma's hot humid days: the streets are narrow and shady. You will get a chance to peek in at a number of private courtyards. In addition, the historic center has a lot of attractions:

  • Catedral de Mallorca,  +34 971 72 31 30, +34 971 71 31 33fax: +34 971 71 93 87, e-mail: . And Museo Catedralicio, C/ Capiscolato, 2. Mallorca's spectacular cathedral is located close to the sea-side. The museum, located in the chapter room and vestry, has exhibits of religious paintings and silverware. The museum opens at 10AM, and its weekday closing hours are 5:15PM (April to May), 6:15PM (June to September), 5:15PM(October) and 3:15PM (November to March). On weekends it closes at 2:15PM (all year). 4 Euro to enter.
  • Banys Àrabs,  +34 971 72 15 49. C/- Serra 3. The Arab bath building is the only building in Palma dating to the Arab settlement. The baths were constructed in the tenth century, and were sauna-style: the floor was heated and water added to make the room steamy. A small courtyard and the two rooms of the baths themselves are open to ten people at a time. €2,00 adults and free for children.
  • Museo de Arte Español Contemporáneo,  +34 971 71 35 15, +34 971 71 04 28, e-mail: . 10AM to 6:30PM weekdays and 10:30AM to 2PM Saturdays. Sant Miquel, 11. This branch of the museum of contemporary art has a permanent collection of over seventy pieces by modern Spanish artists including Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Juan Gris and Salvador Dalí. Free admission.
  • Plaça del Mercat, church and interesting art nouveau buildings.
  • Plaza de Toros (bull ring), located on Avinguda de Gaspar Bennazar. If you are not into animal cruelty then just have a look around the arena. It is open when there are no events taking place. It is a fairly impressive structure.

Things to do

  • Aqualand, Palma – Arenal Motorway, exit 13, Km 15. This water park has slides and pools of varying degrees of adventurousness. Open from early May to early October each year, its opening hours are 10AM to 5PM May - June, Sept - Oct) and 10AM to 6PM July - August). Admission is €20 adults, €18 seniors and €14 children. [www]
  • Windward Islands Yacht Charter and Sailing. Windward Islands, one of the world's largest yacht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in the Baleares. Operating from nine offices worldwide (USA, Spain, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Honk Kong and Dubai).
  • Beach. From the town centre follow the signs to the Parc de la Mar (the park by the sea, just south of the cathedral). When you get there face the sea and walk left along the main coast road for 5-10 minutes until you reach the beach. This part of the beach is fairly noisy due to the traffic so go to the other end where the road veers away. There are also some showers here.
  • Ciudad Jardín is very a white sandy beach, 450m long and 45m wide and protected from bad weather by a series of jetties. This beach has moderate waves and is located in Ciudad Jardín residential area, a pleasant neighborhood that is surrounded by the La Torre d’en Pau Park, where all buildings are low-rise and are flourished with many outside, beautiful gardens. Ciudad Jardín offers many facilities for visitors, such as free showers, telephones, beach umbrella rentals, hammock rentals, Boat rentals, as well as plenty of bars and restaurants, and shops.
  • Cala Major (Cala Mayor) is positioned only a few kilometers West of Palma de Mallorca. The beach is 200 meters long and 80 meters wide. The water is crystal clear. The beach is surrounded by high hotels and tends to be crowded during the months of July and August. Cala Major, is suited for children, only always pedal boats, and has a promenade that visitors or locals can find a number of restaurants and bars.
  • Can Pere Antoni is 735 meters long and 25 meters wide. This beach is to be found just in front of the cathedral of La Seu, beside the beautiful promenade. This is one of the most pleasant locations in Palma to go cycling. A cycle path is available, that stretches the entire length of the Bay. Can Pere Antoni has a restaurant available as well.
  • Titos. Titos, located in Palma de Mallorca, is a hip night club. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, big stars of the day such as Marlene Dietrich and Ray Charles kept this place hip. Visitors can dance to house and R&B music. There is an illuminated elevator that will transport visitors up to the disco, which suggests a fantastic view of the city of Palma at night. Visitors need to be 20 to enter, and range from ages 20-35 years old. Titos includes go-go girls, a light show and can hold up to 2,000 guests.
  • Marineland. Marineland is a large marine zoo, a perfect place to take children. This main attraction of this zoo can be made an entire day experience and has been in existence for 38 years. Marineland has a large aquarium, as well as, a terrarium. Sharks, tropical fish, exotic lizards, iguanas, anacondas, flamingos, and penguins can all be witnessed here. If visitors want to take a break from the animals, Calvias Costa d'en Blanes beach is close by, as well as, a playground, which all belong to Marineland. There are daily shows played here, such as shows of the Sea lions, Dolphins, and Parrots.
  • Festivals. Festival Isladencanta – Annual music festival covering genres including rock, pop, and features Europe’s best DJ’s during the month of July.
  • Festival de Pollença – Classical annual festival featuring ensemble of renowned international artists and orchestras, occurring during the month of August.
  • Fonart Short Film Festival – Showcases rising talent from Balaeric Islands and the mainland, with regular screenings at establishments throughout the city between the months of August and September.
  • Festa de l’Estendard – Historical event of the festive new year, featuring a Mass at La Seu Cathedral during December to celebrate the marking of the end of the year and the coming of the new year.

Festivals and events

  • Festivals. Festival Isladencanta – Annual music festival covering genres including rock, pop, and features Europe’s best DJ’s during the month of July.
  • Festival de Pollença – Classical annual festival featuring ensemble of renowned international artists and orchestras, occurring during the month of August.
  • Fonart Short Film Festival – Showcases rising talent from Balaeric Islands and the mainland, with regular screenings at establishments throughout the city between the months of August and September.
  • Festa de l’Estendard – Historical event of the festive new year, featuring a Mass at La Seu Cathedral during December to celebrate the marking of the end of the year and the coming of the new year.

Stay Safe
  • Be aware of pickpockets when walking around the centre. They can even steal loose change from your back-pocket!
  • If you do stop at any of the many terraces in the centre, keep an eye on your valuables and never leave them alone.
  • You will probably find women offering flowers around the Cathedral. They will do their best to take what ever they can from you. If you see them, pass on.
  • The people on Mallorca are Catalan, not Spanish. Do not make any jokes about "Catalan just being Spanish spoken with a lisp" or any remarks that could be construed as support for the Madrid government.
  • Italian troops were stationed on Mallorca during the 1930s. The Franco regime named a road and erected monuments in their honor. However, the local population were less hospitable and there is still some residual resentment. If you are of Italian origin and this comes out during conversation then don't be surprised if it comes to an abrupt end.

Most areas of Palma are safe to wander around even after dark. Visitors should refrain from wandering alone after dark through the empty narrow streets of the Old Town and El Terreno. The gay and lesbian area of town, the Latter, can be rather sleazy in parts and known to attract drug users.

Remember Palma de Mallorca (as well as the other Baleric islands) is full of club drugs. Extasy, cocaine, marijuana, and more can be found especially in the club scene. Be cautious of drugs like GHB, ketamine, and others which can be slipped into drinks (especially in Sangría found in restaurants). Personal drug possession in Spain is legal (considered to be less than 500 doses), but trafficking is illegal.

Keep all valuables out of sight when sightseeing, such as wallets and purses to be kept in front or hidden in pockets. Any excess cash, cards, passports, and valuable documents are best left in the hotel or wherever visitor is staying to stay safe. It is always safe to take a taxi during late hours, especially if you are alone. Use your common sense to stay safe.

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