Palma, What you should not miss

By | 15 March, 2024 | 0 comments

Discover the most beautiful places in Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca, which is renowned and valued as Europe’s reference point for beach tourism, is also an ideal place for city breaks, a lively and cosmopolitan city that makes an attractive destination 365 days-a-year and not just during the high season months. Palma has a wide range of cultural, gastronomic, sporting and leisure options, making it especially attractive for a perfect break and for enjoying a wide range of experiences at any time of the year.

The magnificent beaches of Mallorca have made the island one of the most wellknown and cherished destinations in the world. We highly recommend visiting the following beaches, known for their crystal-clear waters and considered paradisiacal by many: Es Trenc, Playa de Muro, Playa de Santanyí, Cala Deià, and Playa Formentor. Regarding beaches near the Hospes Maricel & Spa Hotel, we are pleased to recommend the following: Camp de Mar, Sant Elm, Portals Vells, and Illetas.

Additionally, Palma hosts significant sporting events such as the Princess Sofia Regatta and the King’s Cup Sailing Regatta, a luxury unique to the city.



1. Emblematic places

The Cathedral of Mallorca

A must-visit in the city of Palma is the cathedral, popularly known as La Seu. Its construction began in the 13th century. It is a Levantine Gothic-style cathedral (characterized by the use of a hall plan in the German style) with one of the largest rose windows in the world, known as the Gothic eye. It is also one of the tallest Gothic cathedrals in Europe in terms of nave height.

The Cathedral’s history  closely linked to the island’s monarchy. The origins of the most important example of Majorcan Gothic date back to the 13th century. After the conquest of Madina Mayurqa in 1229, James I, King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona, ordered the old main mosque to be consecrated to the Virgin Mary as a place for Christian worship, and also the construction of a new building, in line with the style of that period.

Almudaina Royal Palace

The Almudaina is the Royal Castle or Royal Alcazar of the city of Palma. The current castle, a modification of the Muslim fortress initiated in 1281, was extended until 1343, during the reigns of James II, son of James I the Conqueror, Sancho I, and James III. The Almudaina was the seat of the prosperous independent Mallorcankingdom of the 14th century, during the reigns of the mentioned monarch and his successors Sancho I and James III, until it passed to the Crown of Aragon with Peter IV in 1349.
Its walls encapsulate the history of the islands from the megalithic settlements. The interior decoration of the palace includes various tapestries, paintings, and furniture from different historical periods.
The building consists of a rectangular tower housing the King’s Palace, a wing extending along the west facade forming the Queen’s Palace. A large hall called the Tinell, built on the southern wall facing the sea, and a Royal Chapel whose location delineates two courtyards: the Queen’s Court to the north and the King’s Court to the south, the Courtyard of Arms. At the junction between the King’s and Queen’s Palaces are the Arab baths, recovered after recent renovations.

Bellver Castle

Bellver Castle is located 3 km from the center of the city of Palma and 112.6 meters above sea level, dominating the bay and a large part of the island of Mallorca. Its construction began in 1300 by order of James II, king of Mallorca. The construction of the massive structure lasted nine years, and the decorative work was completed later. Seventy permanent workers, a large number of women, and the king’s slaves worked on the project.

The castle was conceived as a royal residence, and three kings of Mallorca resided there for short periods: James II, Sancho I, and James III. In the late 14th
century, Juan I of Aragon and Violante de Bar, along with their court, lived there for a while, fleeing the plague that ravaged Barcelona.

In 1717, it was converted into a military prison. Between 1802 and 1808, Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, Minister of Finance and Grace and Justice under the reign of Carlos IV, was imprisoned in one of the rooms on the first floor. The castle also served as a prison for numerous French soldiers and officers defeated in the Battle of Bailén. In 1817, General Lacy, leader of a failed liberal revolution, was executed. In 1821, the castle was temporarily converted into a mint. The last period as a prison was during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1938), when more than 800 republicans were imprisoned in Bellver.

It is the only circular castle in Spain and one of the only four circular castles in Europe.

Plaza Mayor de Palma

Located in the old town of Palma, just a few meters from other significant monuments, it is a lively square with restaurants, cafes, and shops under the arcades.

Cort Square

Cort refers to the feudal court that gathered in this area centuries ago. Also located in the old town, it houses the historic City Hall of Palma. Another significant element is the centuries-old olive tree, a 600-year-old tree located in the center of the square.

Commercial Streets

Explore the most famous shopping streets in the old town for shopping in Palma:
• Jaume III Avenue: One of the longest and most well-known streets. A beautiful neobaroque construction from the 20th century with arcades on the sides.
• Passeig des Born: The most elegant street in Palma, where you’ll find the best luxury brands and many restaurants or cafes to stop and rest.


2. Museums and Cultural Centres

Miró Foundation

The “Fundació Miró” is a Mallorcan cultural centre based on the art studios that artist Joan Miró bequeathed to the public. It offers visitors an insight into his artwork and underlying creative process in the place where the artist lived and worked for almost 30 years.
The Fundació aims to offer an interdisciplinary public service with a view to promoting knowledge, networking and participation, both at a local and international level. It is a centre for contemporary artistic creation and for reflection on subjects associated with Joan Miró’s work.

More information here

Es Baluard Museum

Es Baluard is a museum of modern and contemporary art considered one of the most importants in Spain. Located in Palma and opened in 2004, it has a collection of over 600 works of modern and contemporary artists linked to the scope of the Islands and/or with international reference. Es Baluard is catalyst and a vehicle for history, contemporary trends and education. The educational programs take place through exhibitions, activities and training cycles, as well as a living laboratory for current creative practices.

More information here

Spanish Village

The “Pueblo Español” was built between 1965 and 1968 by Fernando Chueca Goitia. The aim was to offer residents and visitors to Mallorca the opportunity to enjoy Spain’s rich architecture in
a 24,000 m² open air museum which replicates a medieval walled city.
The complex hosts 72 examples of Spanish architecture, including 18 blocks of buildings, 15 streets and 12 seats which were built to scale using materials from their respective regions.

The “Pueblo Español” is the third largest replica in the world and the only one that was built as a tourist attraction. Of the two others, one was built in Barcelona in 1929 and hosted the 2016 Universal Exhibition. The Pueblo Español of Belgium was built in 1958 for the Universal Exhibition of Brussels.

Caixa Forum

Located in one of the most prominent modernist buildings in the city, the Grand Hotel, an example of Catalan modernism from the early 20th century, CaixaForum Palma is now one of the most well-known and essential cultural spaces to visit in Palma. In addition to permanent exhibitions, visitors can explore internationally relevant temporary exhibitions, attend lectures, enjoy cinema, concerts, and numerous activities. It is also noteworthy for its extensive educational offerings for young audiences.

More information here


3.Other Places of Interest

The Drach Caves

One hour away by car, we find the Caves of Drach, which were already known during the Middle Ages, and were explored in 1880 by M.F. Will and in 1896 by E.A. Martel, who discovered the cave where the lake that bears his name is located.
Between 1922 and 1935 the cave was conditioned so that it could be visited, opening a new entrance, tracing paths, stairs…, and above all, withthe realization of electric lighting designed by the engineer Mr. Buigas. The visit lasts about an hour, and the tour is about 1,200 meters, and includes a concert of classical music and a boat ride across Lake Martel.

The inside temperature is about 21ºC, and the humidity is 80%.

More information here

Arab Baths

The Arab Baths are one of the few remaining examples of Muslim architecture in Palma. The Arab Baths date back to a period between the 10th and 12th centuries and were built based on the most antique elements and by recycling capitals from previous periods (Muslim, Byzantine and Roman capitals). The Arab Baths are perfectly integrated in the gardens of the former orchard of the manor house Can Fontirroig.

The train of Sóller

At the beginning of the 20th century the town of Sóller, with its booming industry and famous orange groves, needed to put an end to the virtual isolation that was hampering its development. The majestic setting of mountains surrounding it, and in particular the Alfàbia mountain range, prevented passengers and goods being transported to and from the port of Palma and the rest of the island, which was already strengthened by the structure of the growing Mallorcan railway network.
Until then, in order to travel to the capital (Palma de Mallorca) it was necessary to take a stagecoach and cross a high mountain via the Sóller pass, or Coll de Sóller, a steep, narrow dirt track which was exhausting for the draft animals. Still remaining from that era along the Sóller road today are the inns where passengers and animals rested and were supplied with victuals, and which have now been converted into restaurants.

It was a citizen of Sóller, Sr. Jerónimo Estades, a provincial parliamentary representative and businessman, who echoed the inhabitants of Sóller’s desire to set up a Palma-Sóller railway that would pass through Valldemossa and Deyá. A request was then made for the franchise of this railway, in 1893. However, the project was ruled out because of the high economic cost involved.

Work started simultaneously from Palma and Sóller on 3rd June 1907. After one year the squad that had started out from Palma reached Bunyola, where they met with the main challenge offered by the line: the Sierra de Alfàbia mountains, which had to be crossed via a tunnel with a length of 2,856m that would come out on the other side of the winding Coll de Sóller. Several tunnels and trenches had to be dug out. The 19th of August of 1911 the victorious locomotive, María Luisa, had reached the ‘Mirador de’s Pujol de’n Banya’ viewing point. The first working train reached Sóller on 30th September of the same year.
The small locomotive, Maria Luisa, was granted the privilege of inaugurating the line unofficially, drawing a saloon car loaned by the “Compañía de los Ferrocarriles de Mallorca” containing the outstanding figures of the concluded project: Jerónimo Estades, Pedro Garau, and Antonio Maura, on October 7th of 1911.

Mallorca awaits you! From our seafront hotel, you can have a unique experience and visit Palma’s most emblematic monuments. Stay in a palace at the Hospes Maricel & Spa, unwind from the day, relax with treatments at the Spa Bodyna, and enjoy the finest local cuisine at the Maricel Restaurant.

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