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Usually people want to see the icing on top of the cake and choose the flashiest or most crowded cities in America so they can say they visited all there is to see during their stay. But this couldn’t be more wrong. Big cities are usually cosmopolitan area which means they will pretty much have the same features all over the world, plus they combine different cultures.

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Palma de Mallorca Tourist Attractions

Even if you won’t get accommodation in the South-West island of Mallorca – Palma de Mallorca remains a vacation must, especially since it is representative for the local origin and history.

You can take about 3-5 hours to visit a few central tourist attractions and then you can wonder off on the narrow alleys and gaze at the amazing Latin and Maure architecture.

The name Palma dates back to the first Roman settlements (year 123 BC) although archaeological discoveries revealed that the area was populated since the Bronze age.

During the Middle Ages it was occupied by Arabs, who named it Mayurqa Madina (in 902, when Issam al-Hawlani conquered the Baleare islands), when it knew a prosperous economic and cultural time, and in 1229 it was conquered by king Jaime I and transformed into an important commercial city.

Cathedral of Santa Maria la seu
Cathedral Santa Maria of Palma (La Seu) | Image credits: Secret Pilgrim via Fickr

Beginning with the 14th century the pirate attacks became more often and the defense system of the island became weak, since then it started an economic downfall thus in 1570 king Philip the 2nd of Spain though to evacuate the island.

Fortunately, despite its harsh history, the Mallorcans made it, and now you can find they are happy, loud, beautiful and proud with a powerful tourism industry available for those who have money to spend.

Palma de Mallorca became a tourist destination since 1950, and the tourist numbers grow continuously, vacation season begins at the end of April and last all the way in October.

Around the well preserved old Centre a modern city was built with hotel chains and stores, clubs and discos and also some relaxation areas for seniors and families with children.

And since you are not missing out on the historic Palma de Mallorca Centre, we will state a few tourist attractions that are a must see on the tourist map.

The Tranvía de Sóller | Image credits: Patrick Müller via Flickr

The gothic cathedral and the La Seu museum – built by king Jaime the 1st in the 13th century, it is a symbol for the West coast of the island and lies by the sea shore and looks absolutely spectacular. Entrance fee per person is around 7 Euros.

Santa Creu Church – built in a gothic style in 1335 during the reign of Jaime the 2nd, it lies close to La Lonja and surprises through its simple exterior and rich interior.

The Arab baths – date back to the 10th century, during the Arab domination and have spas and warm floors, interior garden and two bath areas. The price per one ticket is 2 Euros and it is worth it during hot days, when you feel the need for something chill and green. Very intimate and relaxing, especially is you get there during less crowded periods.

Palma de Mallorca

Bellver castle – built on the ruins of an Arab site, it was built in the 14th century as a Summer residence for king Jaime the 2nd of Aragon and remained one of the distinct Spanish castles, renowned for its circular shape and its specific architecture. Here you can admire gothic arches sustained by light columns, the imposing chapels around the interior garden and an exhibition of Roman statues found during excavation in the area along with old coins, furniture pieces, ceramics, mosaic and a map of the city of Palma dating in the 13th century.

After a beautiful period when it was used as a residence for kings, Bellvar was turned into a prison until 1915. Now it serves as the town’s history museum. The price per ticket is 4 Euros per person.

Almudaina palace – situated in front of La Seu cathedral on the site of the first Roman establishment in 123 BC, it functioned as an Arab fortress and then, after the Catalan colonization in 1229, it was turned into a royal residence. It is amazing and imposing, closed off by high walls and protected by cannons, with the king court connected to the main entrance, the queen court with an extraordinary column gallery, with 3 well preserved Arab baths (if I remember well) and the throne room. Memorable is the Tower of the heads placed close to Costa de la Seu street where, as the name suggests, prisoner heads were on display…. if you also watch Game of Thrones your imagination will go wild.
Entrance fee costs 9 Euros per person and it is worth it.

There are many other objectives to visit than those stated above, but I promise you that under the Mediterranean sun you will visit the most imposing buildings and then head off for ice-creams, cafes or restaurants, then wonder off with your camera in your hand through the narrow and charming alleys of Palma. Or at least I did that…
Advice: go for walks during the weekend and keep the museum visits and shopping during the week days so you will find everything open.

Palma de Mallorca

Prices and resorts in Palma de Mallorca
An ice-cream cup – approx. 1.80 Euros

A quick lunch with pizza and a beer/or some snacks – approx. 10-12 Euros per person.

A decent lunch – 25-30 Euros/person

Souvenirs – obviously, many are kitsch, but you can also find some beautiful things at right prices compared to other resorts. I recommend you make your shopping in Palma de Mallorca or Alcudia – I will come back on this in a future article.

For the beach buy water and beer from markets – beer costs just like water 1-1,2 Euros.

Surprisingly decent are the prices in bars on the sea coast or connected to the hotels. For instance an espresso at a bar on the beach or in the centre of the old town of Palma varies between 1.5-1.9 Euros, and at a no name cafe you can get the same quality at 1.2 Euros.

Usually, the hotels organize shows for those of you that want to go out in the evening and have a drink. A very decent and pleasant mood and so are the bar prices. A good glass of red wine costs 4-5 Euros and a good brandy costs approx 3-3.5 Euros. The price for water and lemon is the same for a glass of brandy.

Watch out for the terraces with high prices that become even higher when new waves of British and German tourists arrive, you better check the prices before going in.

Palma de Mallorca Spain
Palma de Mallorca | Image credits: Santiago Lopez-Pastor via Flickr
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