When most of us head to Mallorca we arrive in Sant Joan airport and then make our way to whichever resort we are staying, not returning to Palma again until its time for the flight home. Some of us may squeeze in a day trip to the Mallorcan capital as part of their holiday and those that do, will no doubt return. However, Palma rarely makes an appearance on lists such as ‘Best City Breaks’ or ‘Girls Getaways’ – well it should! So why is it a great place for a city break for couples, or for a few days with your friends?
Cheap flights for a start! If you plan ahead you can get return flights from many UK airports for less than £100, even in peak season. Easyjet normally do the best prices from Belfast, though Jet2.com is another option. The main centre of Palma is only 10 minutes by taxi from the airport.
Only 3 hours away – reasonably short flight which is what you need for a short break, though long enough to enjoy a glass of wine! Should probably point out that the evening flight can be lively and Easyjet do normally restrict alcoholic drinks to 2 per person.
The climate is perfect, hot and sunny during the main summer months, with temperatures in the low 20s from Easter and even reaching high 20s in September and October. Though always worth checking the weather before you go as, like anywhere in Europe, it is prone to the odd storm and rainy periods, even in the summer….
I have been several times with my family for day trips, but recently I visited with a couple of friends and we had a ball! So here are a few tips …..
Where to stay? I would recommend staying in a hotel close to the old town or the marina, as that is where you will spend most of your time. We stayed in the Catalonia Majorica which was situated over looking where the cruise ships dock. The views from the terrace where amazing, there was an outdoor and indoor pool and the indoor bar area was lovely. You can walk into the centre in about 30-40 minutes along the front and take in the marina and the beautiful boats, there is also a bus and taxis were reasonable. Though we felt, on the whole it was too far from the centre. If you are able to stretch the budget a little, any of the Melia Hotels would be a fantastic choice!
Shopping wasn’t something we did a lot of, though the area around the cathedral is beautiful with quaint, narrow streets packed with boutiques and cafes. We did take a walk to Porto Pi which was a great shopping centre with a fabulous range of shops and a couple of good restaurants (with great views of the cruise ship dock). As you wander around Palma you will come across a range of stores that we have in the UK, alongside European chains and some high end retailers such as Louis Vuitton. Check out this site if you’re after some retail therapy Palma Shopping Guide.
Food and drink – you will be spoilt be for choice with the range of restaurants. We were given a few recommendations and on the first night we chose El Neo which was absolutely stunning! The vibe of the interior was quirky and welcoming and the food was mouth watering! Super cocktails too and the staff were really friendly and attentive. It was hard to not return there the other nights we were there!
The second night we tried a family ran business, an Italian restaurant called La Baranda and on our final night we opted for the main square beside Sa Llotja as we wanted to eat outside, there are several restaurants in the square, all offering tapas so worth checking out menus and prices. Again we had beautiful meals on both nights, with a different dining experience on all 3 nights. On average dinner and a couple of drinks worked out around 30 euros each.
Several other restaurants that were recommended are mentioned below – always a reason to return…
The main areas for nightlife are Santa Catalina and La Lonja. There are lots of quirky bars in the labyrinth of streets behind Sa Llotja. No trip to Palma should miss a visit to Bar Abaco as this place is so unique. There are people wandering around, taking in the atmosphere and the luxurious interior, as well as the museum rooms upstairs. The courtyard is beautiful and buzzing with people drinking the very expensive cocktails! Stunning place and worth checking out.
Over the weekend a few other places that we visited were the famous Sky Bar this place has unrivalled views over the marina and the cathedral, with a nightclub in the basement (free entry).
(not the best photos as my iPhone is totally wrecked!)
Idem served up fabulous cocktails, which were less pricey than Bar Abaco. This cocktail bar had a warm, glamourous décor.
Novo Cafe Lisboa was a bar we found by accident, but was a great find as it extended towards the back, with a balcony where you could watch the DJ in the basement, there were stairs leading from the main bar into the underground nightclub – the atmosphere was amazing.
On our last night we walked past the Ice Bar and we thought why not? It was a bit cheesy, though still good fun – entry includes a cocktail and you do get a cosy furlined cape to help you bear the temperature!
If you are looking for somewhere to have an afternoon coffee or glass of wine you could do worse than check out Melia Palma Marina. On a warm day the terrace at the swimming pool is the perfect spot for a snack or drink, with views over the marina. The lobby area is absolutely stunning, making it another good choice to sit and chill.
I honestly can’t wait to get back to Mallorca and think on my next visit I will definitely spend a couple of nights in Palma, before heading off to our resort…. on this trip we didn’t go to any of the museums, galleries or Bellver Castle. There is so much to see and do in Palma it is worth checking out Things to do in Palma..…
Enjoy Palma x