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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Palma de Mallorca [1] is a city on the island of Mallorca, one of the Balearic Islands off the Spanish east coast.
The cathedral of Palma
The cathedral of Palma

Understand

Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Balearic Islands, is the largest city in Mallorca; the population of the Palma municipality was approximately 400,000 at the beginning of 2007. Half the population of Mallorca lives in the city of Palma.

The city occupies the north western end of a bay in the south west of the island of Mallorca. The city council also has jurisdiction over the sub-archipelago of Cabrera including the islands of Cabrera, Conejera, Estells, Imperial, Rodon, Foradada, Plana, and Pobra.

The name Palma dates back to the Roman settlement on the site of the present city, although the area was originally settled during the Bronze Age. In the early middle ages it was conquered by Arabs, who named it Madina Mayurqa. In 1229 it was conquered by King Jaime I, ruler of Valencia and Aragon, and became an important trade city. Attacks by Turkish pirates in the 17th century led to a century long decline, finishing when Charles III opened trading with the Indies.

The city became a tourist destination in the 1950s, and tourist numbers have continually increased in the subsequent half century.

Get in

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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. The airport is managed by Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea [2].

PMI is only 9 kilometres from the center of Palma. EMT's Line 1 bus service runs between the sea port, the city centre and the airport every fifteen minutes between 6:15am and 2:30am, and the fare is €2.00.

By Train

TIB [3] 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 Placa Espanya in Palma.

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

By Car

Travellers can only drive to Palma from other cities in Mallorca; there are no bridges or any road links to other islands or to the mainland. Most cities and towns in Mallorca have road links directly to Palma. There are several companies in Majorca that offer transfer facilities from the airport to any destination on the island. Balearic transfer services [4] is one of these companies.

By Bus

EMT [5] (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 [6]). 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 7:00am until 8:00pm. They operate once every 30 minutes from 6AM to 10PM. The fare is €2.00. 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 €1.25, so you need to 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. In Catalán, it obviously means ´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 long. The bus costs 1€ and goes all the way down the infamous ´paseo maritimo´, which is where all the best clubs are in Palma.

tip. 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 (i.e. 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 [7] (ph 966 42 87 00) run ferries from Denia, Valencia, and Ibiza.
  • Trasmediterranea [8] (ph 902 45 46 45) run ferries from Barcelona, Valencia, Ibiza and Mahon.
  • Iscomar Ferries [9] (ph 902 11 91 28 or 971 43 75 00 for international callers) run ferries from Barcelona, Valencia, Ibiza and Denia.
Castell de Bellver
Castell de Bellver

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 [10]. 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 [11]) 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 €13 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.

An exhibit inside the Pueblo Español architecture museum
An exhibit inside the Pueblo Español architecture museum
  • Castell de Bellver. ph 971 73 06 57 or 971 45 12 03. fax 971 45 43 73. Bellver Castle is built on the ruins of a Muslim site. It contains a museum of archaeological finds and classical sculptures, as well as having an excellent view of the bay. It is open on weekdays from 8.00 a.m. until 8.00 p.m. (October to March) and from 8.00 a.m. until 9.00 p.m.(April to September). It is open on Sundays and public holidays from 10.00 a.m. until 5.00 p.m.(October to March); from 10.00 a.m. until 7.00 p.m. April to June); from 10.00 a.m. until 2.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. until 8.00 p.m. 9July to August), and from 10.00 a.m. until 7.00 p.m. (September). Admission is €2,10 adults and €0,87 members and concessions.
  • Pueblo Español, C- del Poble Espanyol. Ph: 971 73 70 70 or 971 73 70 75, fax 971 73 15 92, e-mail: p.espanyol@baleares.com. 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 9.00 a.m. until 7.00 p.m. Admission is €5 adults and €3 children.
  • Paseo Maritimo, Paseo Marítimo Palma. 20.00. If you enjoy nightlife, don´t miss the Paseo Marítimo, along the ocean in Palma. Clubs stay going until about 6.00 a.m. 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.  edit

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:

  • Image:Palma de Mallorca Cathedral by night.jpg
    The cathedral of Palma de Mallorca (La Seu) by night.
    Catedral de Mallorca [12] and Museo Catedralicio, C/ Capiscolato, 2. Ph: 971 72 31 30 or 971 71 31 33, fax: 971 71 93 87, e-mail: info@catedraldemallorca.org. 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 10.00 a.m., and its weekday closing hours are 5.15 p.m.(April to May), 6.15 p.m. (June to September), 5.15 p.m.(October) and 3.15 p.m.(November to March). On weekends it closes at 2.15 p.m. (all year).
  • Banys Àrabs, C/- Serra 3. Ph: 971 72 15 49. 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 [13], Sant Miquel, 11. Ph: 971 71 35 15 or 971 71 04 28, e-mail: museupalma@expo.march.es. 10.00 a.m.to 6.30 p.m. weekdays and 10.30 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. Saturdays. 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.
  • Bull Ring, located on the Avenue de Gaspar Bennazar. If you are not in to animal cuelty then just have a look around the arena. It is unlocked when there are no events taking place. It is a fairly impressive structure.
  • 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 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. May - June, Sept - Oct) and 10.00 am. to 6.00 p.m. July - August). Admission is €20 adults, €18 seniors and €14 children. [14]
  • Windward Islands Yacht Charter and Sailing, [15]. 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. This doesn't seem to be sign-posted from the town centre but just follow the ones to the Parc de la Mar (the park by the sea). When you get there face the sea and walk left along the main coast road for 5-10 minutes. 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.

Private & personal Guided Tours by Mallorca Tour Guides,[16]. Enjoy Mallorca with our exclusive offers for groups and travel agents, directly from your tour guides. Spanish,English, Italian, French for private groups. Historic and legends walking tours of the city, family tours and we have a wide range of tours to offer to you.

  • Learn History, [17]. Learn about Mallorca's history and famous buildings.  edit
  • El Corte Ingles. Two large branches of the Spanish national department store, in Palma at The Avenidas and at C/ Jaime 111. Anything and everything you might want to buy, in the UK at a good branch of Debenhams, or in the U. S. at Macy's!  edit

Work

Most EU citizens have the legal right to work (see restrictions for some new members). Getting a job, even temporary ones, for non-Spanish speakers is hard to find in Spanish speaking atmospheres (most Spanish do not speak English). So you may try looking for temporary jobs as bartendending or waiting at English-Irish or German owned bars and restaurants, mainly in cities outside Palma like Magalluf or S'Arenal and Peguera (for German speaking travelers). In Palma City you may try getting day-work washing boats at Palma´s Marina. There are several boats and some of the owners may need a hand. Be around 8AM at the Marina and start asking for "day work" to people around the big boats. If you're lucky you'll be making around 100 euros!. If you are seeking a career aboard one of the many superyachts in Palma de Mallorca a good place to register and start looking is Crew Central [18]

  • St Ambros, Placa Salvador Coll 11 (Palma Old Town, near Placa Major). The new Italian restaurant that replaces Bistrot Es Lloc.  edit
  • 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, C/- Sant Ramon Nonat. ph 971 262 015. fax 971 264 765, email info@12apostoles.com. 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
  • Cappucino Palau March, Conquistador 13 (in a palace near the cathedral), +34 971 717 272. Good breakfast till 12PM. Then cocktails and salads. Nice, romantic and comfortable. But not cheap. Various breakfasts including 'full English' ("Desayuno London") at €10.  edit
  • Jah Garden - Reggae Bar, Joan 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.  edit
  • Abaco, Carrer Sant Joan 1, La Llonja, Palma. 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!!!!!!  edit

Sleeping

The Mallorca high season is between July and September. Book especially early during any holiday weeks or weekends in the United Kingdom or Germany, as Mallorca and Palma in particular are popular holiday spots for people from these countries.Many hotels close in winter so that booking is also advised then.

  • Hostel Terramar, Pl. Mediterránia, 8. ph 971 73 99 31. Reviews describe this as a particularly clean hostel with very friendly staff. A guest kitchen is available. Dorm beds are €15-17 per person, and double rooms are €17 per person (€22,50 with en suite).
  • Mallorca Wohngemeinschaft [19], C/- Joan Maragall, 37. Ph: +34 607 447 921, fax: +34 971 27 43 35, e-mail: info@wg-mallorca.com. This small guesthouse run by an Austrian couple is very close to the bay and has a number of double rooms. Guests have use of the kitchen -- the guesthouse is self-catering. Guests have use of wireless broadband internet access. Prices are € 23,50 per person per night (high season) and € 20 per person per night (low season). Long stay discounts are available during the high season: two weeks stay is € 299 per person.
  • Hostal Ritzi, Apuntadors, 6. Phone: 971714610. Open in winter, English owned and cheap, conveniently placed near the cathedral and with numerous really cheap tapas bars around.
  • Hotel Venecia, C/ Rosal Nº8 Paguera, +34 971 68 66 12 (, fax: +34 971 68 66 16), [20]. checkin: 12:00PM; checkout: 11:00AM.  edit
  • Hotel Gala, C/- Xabec, 5. ph 971 26 08 12 or 971 40 09 69 (bookings), (fax 971 26 15 12), [21]. Reviews describe this three star hotel as in a good location near the beach and not far from the airport. It is described as an ideal family hotel with plenty of entertainment and a good distance from local restaurants and activities. Double rooms €69 per night (high season, 16 July - 15 Sept), €49 per night (low season).
  • Hotel Isla Mallorca, Plaza Almirante Churruca, 5. ph 971 28 12 00 (fax 971 45 65 03 info@islamallorca.com), [22]. Reviews describe this hotel as being well equipped and close to the commercial centre of the city. The facilities are oriented towards business travelers and include Internet access and a fax service for guests. Double rooms with breakfast only €100 per night (high season, July - Sept), €80 per night (low season). Double rooms with all meals €140 per night (high season), €120 per night (low season).
  • Hotel Dalt Murada [23], C/- Almudaina. Ph: 971 42 53 00, fax: 971 71 97 08, e-mail: info@daltmurada.com. Reviews describe this small hotel as delightful: it is located in a refurbished 16th century building near the cathedral, and the rooms have period furnishings. The rooms have hydromassage baths, internet access and satellite TV. Double rooms from €140 per night and suites from €186 per night.
  • Palacio Ca Sa Galesa [24], C/- de Miramar, 8. ph: 971 71 54 00, fax: 971 72 15 79. This luxury hotel goes all out with the rooms: silk curtains, antique furnishings and original paintings are in every room. The facilities are also top rate: private phone line, Internet access, and climate control. Double rooms €278 per night, suites from €332 per night.
  • Portixol Hotel (Portixol Hotel), C/ Sirena 27, 07006 Palma (At the end of the Paseo Marítimo on the way to highway, follow the right side by sea. After first traffic light in the small fishing harbour, turn right twice), 971 27 18 00 (, fax: 971 27 50 25), [25]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. A small 4 star hotel facing the sea and the small harbour of Portixol, mixing Scandinavian decoration with mediterranean style. Nothing pretentious but offering high standard accommodation. Rooms with views to the sea. 200€.  edit
  • Hotel Bon Sol, Paseo de Illetas, 30, +34 971 402 111 (, fax: +34 971 402 559), [26]. A luxurious yet friendly and charming 4 star beach hotel on the outskirts of Palma, with two swimming pools, conference facilities and golf bendinat. Euro: 170-205.  edit
  • Gran Melia Victoria, Avenida Joan Miró, 21 (Paseo Maritimo in the heart of the bay of Palma), (34) 971 732542 (), [27]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Five star hotel offering guestrooms, Suites, and Junior Suites are affixed with state-of-the-art technologies and accentuated by furnishings that combine both traditional and island-luxury styles.  edit
  • Villa Bendinat, [28]. A good option for a group of 4 to 6 travelers to Mallorca.
  • Big Byte, C/- Apuntadores 6, Bajos. ph 971 71 17 54. fax 971 72 62 67, email: cafe@bigbytepalma.com, [29]. This internet cafe includes DSL and wireless access and printing and fax facilities.
  • Cyberc@fe, Terrazas Porto Pi, Paseo Maritimo, 54, ph 971 70 38 79. This Internet cafe has 34 computers available using a broadband connection.
  • CyberCentral, Soledad 4, Bajos. ph 971 71 29 27. fax 971 72 01 68, [30]. This Internet cafe has DSL access and laptop access for €3 per hour. Printing is €0,20 black and white and €0,90 color.
  • 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 to 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 honour. 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 converstation then don't be surprised if it comes to an abrupt end.

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 Sangria found in restaurants). Personal drug possesion in Spain is legal (considered to be less than 500 doses), but trafficking is illegal.

  • Take a journey on a vintage train from the Plaza d'Espanya to Sóller. Sóller is a beautiful small-town getaway, and the slow train journey through the citrus groves has magnificent views of the western mountains. Groups can get a deal for about 10 euros, but depending on the day of the week, tourists can make the round-trip day adventure for about 17 euros.
You can then take a tram from Soller train station to the Port de Sóller, located on a huge lake. The journey takes about 15 minutes and costs 4 euros (one way). The port of Sóller is full of tourists attractons and shops, and has breathtaking views from the top of the hill on the island.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Simple English

Palma de Mallorca is the capital of the Balearic Islands and the Mallorca island, in the Mediterranean Sea, in front of the Iberian Peninsula. The city, with a population of 375,000, is the ninth-largest of Spain. It is a very important tourist center in the world.


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