Find out many wonderful things to do in Palma de Mallorca if you are planning a holiday or day trip to this Balearic Island capital.
Palma de Mallorca city centre is easily reached from just about every resort on the island by the fantastic bus network.
You can find out more about this in this article here or this article here.
You can easily book a city break to the city and not run out of things to do and places to see, or you can visit for as little as half a day while you are on holiday.
However long you wish to stay, you will love exploring this wonderful city.
So here are my main recommendations for things to do in Palma de Mallorca.
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Table of Contents
1. Palma City Sightseeing Bus|Things to do in Palma de Mallorca
If time is short – maybe you are visiting Palma for the day or arriving on a Cruise and have limited time, then the absolute best way to see the very best of the city is by the City Sightseeing bus.
This bus is a hop-on hop-off bus which takes you to all the main sights around the city allowing you to jump on and hop off as many times as you like.
Some of the stops include Palma Cathedral, Bellver Castle, the Joan Miro Museum, Mercat Olivar to name a few!
2. Visit Palma Cathedral |Things to do in Palma de Mallorca
If you’re visiting Palma, then it’s essential to visit the Cathedral. You don’t even have to go inside but walk around this landmark building which stands proud on Palma’s seafront.
Often referred to as La Seu, Palma Cathedral Mallorca’s crowning glory, standing over 44 metres high and dominating the city’s skyline.
Wander around Parc de la Mar and grab a drink in the Guinness House to admire it in all its glory.
You can also buy Skip the Line tickets to explore the inside of the Cathedral for yourself.
Check availability and book here.
If you are visiting Palma Cathedral on the 2 February or the 8 November, then you are in for a treat.
For these two days only, you can experience Palma Cathedral’s Festival of Light.
The cathedral doors open at 7:30 am for this twice-annual event where the light hits the Rose Window and lights up the interior portal of the Cathedral creating the most amazing light spectacle.
It’s a sight seldom seen, so if you are visiting, then I encourage you to experience this in all its glory.
Right next door to the Cathedral is the Almudaina Palace. This beautiful building is well worth visiting. Tickets cost less than 10€ and are available here.
There are a couple of the main things to do in Palma de Mallorca. If you are visiting in the winter months then check out my guide here.
3. *Summer Only*- Book a boat trip from 13,50€ |Things to do in Palma de Mallorca
Palma is one of the best locations to get out on the water and see the city from the sea. You will also get some spectacular views of the Palma Cathedral that you will only get from one of the many boat trips that leave from the waterfront.
Most of these tours only operate during the Summer season, so normally from either 1 April or 1 May until the end of October.
There are several options but I recommend three of the best here which range from one to five hours that you can book below and range from as little as 13,50€ per person!
Palma City Sightseeing Boat
So you’ve just read about the Palma City Sightseeing Bus, but there is also a Palma City Sightseeing boat which offers short one-hour boat trips around the bay.
The reviews are great, and this is a fantastic way to see Palma from the water without spending the whole day at sea or blowing the budget as a ticket aboard is just 13,50€. Book it here.
Five-hour catamaran sailing trip from Palma
Departing from the area outside Palma Auditorium on Palma’s Paseo Maritimo, this is a fantastic catamaran sailing trip to enjoy from Palma.
Sailing either to the blue waters of Portals Vells on the southwest coast, or Cala Vella east of Palma, experience not only some amazing views, and a fantastic sailing experience but also the bluest waters so close to the city. Book it here.
Daytime Party Boat with lunch and a DJ from Palma
If you prefer your boat trip with music and dancing, then join the party boat from Palma, with an all-you-can-eat buffet and a bar. Book it here.
Alternatively, book all of these trips here:
4. Visit Palma’s Markets |Things to do in Palma de Mallorca
There are three fantastic markets in Palma – Mercat Olivar, Santa Catalina Market and Pedro Garau Market – so you must visit at least one while visiting the city.
Markets are also a great place to try the local food and you will find little bars and cafes dotted around the marketplaces for the freshest food in town.
You can read more about markets in Mallorca here.
5. Explore Palma Old Town |Things to do in Palma de Mallorca
If you are new to Palma, then one of the best things to do is to enjoy just getting lost in Palma Old Town (Casco Antiguo) and exploring the little side streets which lead you to amazing sights.
Of course, it’s a lot harder to get lost than ever before if you use an App such as City Mapper or Google Maps, but part of the fun of visiting Palma is just exploring the Old Town.
There are so many great places to explore such as the many churches, the Arab Baths and the little squares or plazas where you can pick up a refreshment or ice cream.
The best way of exploring Palma is going solo, but if time is not on your side, then you may wish to book a tour which you can do here.
You can also book a Segway tour too for an alternative and fun way to see the city.
Check it out here.
6. Go Shopping in Palma |Things to do in Palma de Mallorca
There are some great shopping opportunities in Palma de Mallorca.
The best places to shop in Palma Old Town include Paseo del Borne, Calle San Miguel and Avenida Jaime III (where you will find El Corte Ingles a Department store).
However, it is also fun to explore the side streets and the little shops that lie tucked away in Palma’s Old Town.
Don’t forget there is also a modern shopping centre on the Western side of Palma city (Porto Pi) and also on the way to the airport at Fan Shopping Centre. Both are accessible by the Palma’s blue and white EMT bus.
Find out more about taking the EMT Palma buses as well as other places to visit in the city here.
7. Eat Icecream in Palma |Things to do in Palma de Mallorca |Things to do in Palma de Mallorca
You will see ice cream parlours dotted all over the centre of Palma. So what better thing to do in Palma than grab an ice cream, whatever the weather?
You will find a great selection of ice cream shops around Plaza Cort, but here are a couple of insider tips about my favourite two ice cream shops in Palma.
Rated highly on TripAdvisor in the La Lonja area is Rivareno.
The ice cream here is homemade Italian Gelato and it has to be tried!
Also try Gelateria Ca’n Miquel a short walk from El Corte Ingles just off Jaime III is another great place to grab the best ice cream too.
8. Visit Palma’s Art Galleries |Things to do in Palma de Mallorca |Things to do in Palma de Mallorca
If you are into the arts scene in Palma, and also if its a rainy day, then check out the art galleries and exhibitions.
From Es Baluard Museum to Casa Solleric, don’t forget that Fridays will get you free entrance.
You can read more about a self-guide Art Gallery tour here.
9. Walk along Palma waterfront |Things to do in Palma de Mallorca
A stroll along the Paseo Maritimo is just one of the most lovely things to do. You can walk all the way out to Can Pastilla and Arenal during the winter months when it’s cooler.
Following the cycle path, you will pass many places to stop, whether it is a beach to have a swim, a cafe for coffee, or a restaurant for lunch.
During the Summer months, this is a great walk to do in the evening. You can also get the bus back to Palma city centre from anywhere along this route.
If you are arriving to Palma on a cruise ship, then I really recommend walking along the Paseo Maritimo (arriving from the opposite direction).
In 2023, you will see some pretty major roadworks along the Paseo Maritimo road, but the walk way along the water has been kept clear.
10. Visit Bellver Castle |Things to do in Palma de Mallorca
Bellver Castle can be seen from most vantage points along the Paseo Maritimo and I really recommend taking the short journey to go and explore the Castle and grounds particularly if you are interested in history and amazing views.
Out of the hot summer months, the Bellver Forest grounds are wonderful to explore. There are some great walks you can make just by following the paths.
There is also an excellent children’s playground with huge slides making this a great place to come for a picnic, especially during the Winter.
The best way of visiting Bellver Castle is on the hop-on hop-off Palma City Sightseeing bus as you can visit all the same sights with just one ticket.
Check it out here.
11. Have dinner in Santa Catalina |Things to do in Palma de Mallorca
There are many places to eat out at night in Palma de Mallorca but one of the my favourite areas is Santa Catalina which is the area just across the Paseo Mallorca from the Old Town.
This used to be a very Spanish area, but has over the years become one of the main areas for nightlife in Palma with an explosion of cafe’s, bars and restaurants, with the Santa Catalina market as its centre point.
There is a masisve selection of restaurants and bars along Calle San Magi and Calle Fabrica.
12. Take part in the Ruta Martiana |Things to do in Palma de Mallorca
Probably the best way to try the tapas is by taking part on the Ruta Martiana or Tapas Tuesday.
This is a great way to really explore the heart of Palma’s Old Town and some of the best bars in Palma that open their doors to the Ruta Martiana from 19:30.
So Tapas Tuesday works in a way that you can get a drink and a tapa for around 2€ to 3€ however, with the price increases, this cost may well increase to 4€. I’ll update this article as soon as I find this out.
It does seem like a cheap night out if you are only have a couple of drinks and tapas, but it can mount up, particular if you vist many bars!
To find out which bars are taking part here. This link is a little outdated so it will give you an idea. But do wander the bars in the Sa Gerreria area, most of which will be taking part.
13. Cycle along the Paseo Maritimo |Things to do in Palma de Mallorca
Renting a bike is just one of the best ways to explore the Pasero Maritimo all the way out East to El Arenal.
And just like walking the route, it will offer the same benefits as being able to stop for a swim or cafe stop.
The cycle route goes right out to El Arenal, and all along this route is a great place to watch the sunset.
You will find bike rentals on the Paseo Maritimo in the area around Palma Auditorium.
Alternatively, you can tie in sightseeing around the city with a cycle tour. This tour has rave reviews and takes you to all the best sites, and you can book it here.
14. Attend Palma de Mallorca’s local festivals |Things to do in Palma de Mallorca
There are several events and fiestas celebrated in Palma de Mallorca throughout the year that if you are lucky enough to visit during this time .
Going to a local fiesta is a great way to see the traditional side of Mallorca.
By far the best time to visit Palma to experience the best festivals are in January, especially during the San Sebasitan Celebrations and the Correfoc (or fire run)
You can read all about these events and more in this article here.
Easter is another unique time of year to experience Palma, and you can read all about this in this article here.
And don’t forget Christmas is just the most magical time to visit Mallorca. The Christmas lights are the best in Europe (in my opinion), so find out more in this article here.
15. Visit Palma’s most traditional cafe experience – C’an Joan de S’Aigo |Things to do in Palma de Mallorca
There are so many fabulous local experiences to enjoy in Palma but pulling up a chair in one of Palma’s two C’an Joan de S’Aigo cafes is something not to be missed.
Both cafés are extremely popular with local residents. In fact C’an Joan d S’Aigo is something of an institution in Palma.
The inside of the cafe is not dissimilar to visiting a long-lost Mallorcan Grandmother’s living room with old antique chairs, tables and bright red wallpaper with chandeliers.
Local residents will queue up to get a seat in this café in the afternoon from around 5 pm so make sure you get there before. Don’t forget this is “merienda” or afternoon tea time, not dinner!
But what do you order? I would recommend ordering a ice cream (almond or strawberry) with a wonderfully light cuarto de tarta piece of cake, which has 3 main ingredients – eggs, sugar and corn or potato starch.
Getting to Palma from anywhere in Mallorca
All roads lead to Palma wherever you are on the island, so if you’re driving, just follow the signs and you will find your way into the city.
Alternatively, check out the Getting Around section on this website here about how to use the TIB and the EMT buses which is possibly the best way to get to the city.
Don’t forget too, you can book your hire car here.
You can also book hotel accommodation on this link here.
One word of warning. If you are sightseeing in Palma de Mallorca, please watch out for pickpockets. You can read more about this here.
And for more information about Palma de Mallorca, then check out my Youtube channel Mallorca Under the Sun here.