Some Spanish cities are celebrated for their picture-perfect beaches, while others are famous as cultural hotspots or exciting foodie destinations. But if you’re wondering if there is a city under the Spanish sunshine that is multifaceted enough to hold all the aces, the answer is a resounding “¡Claro que sí!”.
With its flourishing restaurant scene, white-sanded city beach and hip new openings, Palma de Mallorca has something for everyone — and is arguably the shiniest jewel of Spain’s sun-soaked crown.
Palma’s atmospheric old town, with its labyrinthine streets, ancient city walls and restored palatial buildings, is made for meandering whilst artisans’ workshops, contemporary art museums, and galleries, attract an international artsy crowd. Then there are the many guidebook hits, like the majestic La Seu cathedral and 11th-century Arab baths, not to mention lesser-known attractions like street performers and edgy art installations.
Foodies keen to throw their tastebuds a curveball can rejoice: Palma’s fine-dining scene is inarguably one of its most flourishing highlights. From Santa Catalina’s Sumaq to the old town’s Quadrat, no fewer than ten of Palma’s top chefs have cooked their way into Michelin’s Spain guide this year. There are also plenty of options for those looking for something positively casual. Places like Duke, Bunker and Chula Vista shine through their beach-shack aesthetic, buzzy vibe and fresh, delicious food.
There is a reason locals flock to Playa de Palma to stretch out on the fine white sand and soak up the island’s sunny rays. It is a hop, skip and a jump from the capital’s iconic cathedral and old town’s winding streets. Towel-to-towel busy with sun worshippers in summer but dang easy to get to and with plenty of chic bars to offer respite from the crowds. Let the chilled cervezas and contemporary tapas entice you to stay all day long!
The many upscale boutiques and internationally renowned fashion houses will make the hearts of shopaholics flutter with glee. Venture down the old town’s side streets or the more centrally located Calle Sant Feliu for one-off finds and local designs. Here, shoppers will chance upon independent boutiques selling handwoven textiles, one-off clothing items and tasteful home decor.
Petite restaurants with big personalities and independent boutiques selling cherry-picked treasures are matched by the capital’s stylish hotels. Those who scorn chain-hotel monotony can rest assured a good number of city centre hide-aways boast more character in their en-suites than most others in their entirety. City-centre gems such as Can Alomar pride themselves on impressive artworks, sumptuous fabrics and designer furniture.
Dynamic, cosmopolitan, yet relaxed and friendly. For the past few years, Palma has been quietly reinventing itself as a city break destination that ticks all the boxes.
What’s more, the airport’s location, a little over two hours from Europe’s main capitals and ten minutes from the city centre, means you could be enjoying a glass of ‘verdejo’ on a shaded rooftop terrace half an hour after your plane has landed.
Photography courtesy of Ignasi Mut Nicolau, Gerard Thomas Catala, Ingo Minow, Albert Ponseti Forteza via Palma365.
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