Stylish, sunny Palma is the beautiful capital city of Majorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands. The city’s historic heart is an inviting web of narrow stone streets crowned by a magnificent Gothic cathedral, and its charming squares are full of pavement cafés and chic little shops. Throw in some fantastic tapas bars and restaurants, plus the gorgeous beaches within easy reach, and it’s easy to see why Palma is such a fantastic place for a weekend or a short break! Our resident travel writer and guidebook author Mary-Ann Gallagher brings you the lowdown on the best of this gorgeous little city in our local guide: 48 hours in Palma.
Day one: morning
Spend the morning wandering through the stone warren of medieval streets around the cathedral, stopping off for coffee on the charming squares and popping into the stylish boutiques. Inside the cathedral, don’t miss Miquel Barceló’s contemporary installation in one of the chapels. Opposite the cathedral is La Almudaina, a royal palace that was built over the remnants of an Arabian fortress in the 14th century, and is set in charming gardens.
Day one: afternoon
Walk along the seafront to reach the boho-chic Santa Catalina neighbourhood, which has a fantastic market where you can enjoy lunch at one of the counter-top bars. After lunch, visit the Es Baluard musem of contemporary art, set in a beautifully restored 16th-century fortress that overlooks the bay. The views from the terrace café are fabulous. You’ll find lots of fashionable bars and cafés in this neighbourhood, or you could head back into the historic centre for some traditional tapas.
Day two: morning
Hop on a bus to reach the Miró Mallorca Foundation, which occupies a striking Modernist building on a hilltop. As well as admiring the huge collection of paintings, ceramics and other works by Joan Miró, you can also visit his studio, which remains just as he left it. Stroll through the Foundation’s gardens and enjoy the panoramic views.
Day two: afternoon
You’ve packed in plenty of history and culture (plus plenty of shopping, eating and drinking, we hope!) during your 48 hours in Palma, so you’ve definitely earned some beach time! The Cala Mayor, one of the closest beaches to the city centre and convenient for the Miró Mallorca Foundation, is a great bet. Bag yourself a sun lounger, slather on the lotion, and soak up some rays!