Things to see in Palma Mallorca blog post title image

What to see in Palma: 24 hours with your camera

If you’re wondering what to see in Palma de Mallorca, read on for my recommendations for top city spots for beautiful photos and experiences.

What to see on Palma: my photo tour

Planning a city break in Palma de Mallorca? Take this Palma photo tour, which shows you the top city spots for beautiful photographs.

Meet the moment

This is not about mindless snapping. It’s about being uplifted by Palma’s everyday beauty.

Don’t click quickly and move on. Savour the view. 

Appreciate its beauty through your camera.

Pool flatlay Palma showing sunhat, magazine and sunscreen

About Palma de Mallorca

Palma is the island’s capital, situated on Mallorca’s south coast, in a bay with a huge harbour.

The Mediterranean climate means there’s often good light for photography. Sticking to early morning and evening photoshooting is, as usual, a wise idea. That avoids the harsh shadows that bright sunlight creates.

What to see in Palma: the old city quarter

The Old City and the area around the cathedral is varied visually. You’ll find quiet, narrow cobbled streets and busy squares, all in a walkable quarter.

Look up for the palm trees and stunning facades. You’ll find lovely stonework too, and stretches of greenery.

walls of old city in Palma with river running alongside and pigeon in foreground
Pigeon pose on Palma’s old town walls

What to see in Palma: win at wandering

Sometimes the best photographs come when you’ve no fixed destination.

Palma is a great city for wandering and looking around.

This is my favourite image from our city break.

This water fountain with a face wasn’t a landmark, or anything close to that. I just happened to pass by. And then spotted the side order of lime.

old stone water fountain in Palma with lime
When life hands you limes …

Palma’s hidden courtyards

The interesting thing about wandering around Palma is the abundance of courtyards and hidden entrances to peek into.

How about this for bike storage?

bicycles with plants attached to outdoor walls in Palma
Walls with wheels in Palma

Balconies of Palma de Mallorca

The same thing happened with these earthy pink house facades in a residential area. I was just strolling by and got instant balcony goals.

Pink house facade in Palma with iron balcony
Windows with wings

It’s all about the balconies in Palma. This one near the harbour featured a parasol at a jaunty angle, and one of the best views of the city.

Palma balcony with umbrella

I also spotted this internal balcony. If you look closely, you’ll see the book tower suggesting this is a perfect reading nook.

balcony window from outside in Palma
Can you spot the book tower inside?

What to see in Palma Cathedral

You can’t miss Palma Cathedral (Catedral de Mallorca) on the skyline. The exterior is all soaring towers and stonework embellishments. Minimalist it isn’t!

Palma Cathedral facade from below
Palma Cathedral: get low & look up

The cathedral interior is equally stunning, all Gothic arches and vast windows.

Harder to photograph, as the light is varied, but worth persisting.

Palma Cathedral interior rose window
Rose window in Palma Cathedral
Palma cathedral spires in distance on sunny day
Palma Cathedral and blue, blue skies

On your way back out, don’t miss glimpsing into the courtyard. While the cathedral was thronged with visitors, this courtyard was empty apart from a few glossy trees, airy cloisters and carved metalwork above a very photogenic well.

Palma Cathedral courtyard with well and small tree
Cloistered courtyard of Palma Cathedral

Seek out Sa Llotja

Near Palma Cathedral you’ll find the walls of the old city, and plenty of those beautiful narrow, cobbled lanes.

You’ll find the most impressive doortrait at the massive twin portals of Sa Llotja. Pretty good arched windows too. Inside you’ll get great shots of a soaring vaulted ceiling.

The most serene-looking angel guards the entrance – look above the main door.

Sa Llotja Palma angels above ornate outer door
Giant doors of Sa Llotja Palma

What to see in Palma: coffee shops and shopping

Lifestyle store anyone?

Palma has one of the loveliest I’ve seen, Rialto Living, right in the heart of the city.

Rialto Living Palma: lifestyle store

As well as the café inside, Rialto Living has several floors of interior goodies, gifts, and the best, most realistic faux flower display we’ve discovered.

Rialto Living cafe Palma
Cafe at Rialto Living Palma

It’s the perfect spot to combine shopping with refreshment, and well worth a visit for interiors lovers.

There’s a rooftop area too – perfect spot for al fresco drinks?

Rialto Living rooftop Palma
Rooftop at Rialto Living Palma
Sweetpea in a vase resting on a simple wooden stool
Faux sweetpea from Rialto Living in Palma
Latte art from above of flower in blue cup and saucer, on aqua striped tablecloth
When coffee, tablecloth and clothing all match at Rialto Living Palma

Coffee shops in Palma de Mallorca

We also loved the Cappuccino group of coffee shops. The coffee was good and the menu, set out to tell the family story, was a total charmer.

Close-up of menu Cappucino Grand Cafe Palau March Palma
Coffee -the nectar of the gods indeed! Cappuccino Grand Café Palau March in Palma

You’ll find a few Cappuccino’s dotted around the city. We took shelter from a short and sudden rain shower in Cappuccino Grand Café Palau March. We sat in a vaulted terrace, soaking up the city views.

Spot restaurant Palma

Slightly further out of the city centre we found a great spot for lunch, actually called Spot!

Interiors fans will adore it. It’s decorated in earthy clay tones – luxe pinks and peaches toughened up with a dose of concrete and softened with greenery.

Spot Mallorca Palma interior
Interior of Spot Mallorca in Palma – sorbet shades toughened up with concrete

Arquinesia lifestyle store

I found this hidden gem in the gallery quarter – Arquinesia – a shop/experience selling various fragrance products. Totally worth taking a look in and getting a tour of the shop.

Arquinesia Palma shop front
Hidden gem – Arquinesia Palma
Arquinesia Palma interior vignette
Arquinesia Palma – the styling is beautiful
Arquinesia Palma interior courtyard
Don’t miss the shady courtyard garden at Arquinesia Palma

Florist in Palma

You’ll also find some photogenic shopfronts in the city. Our favourite? This florist.

Florist shopfront Palma Flores Borneo
Greenery and neon at this Palma florist

Hallelujah for maximalism: another must see in Palma

You’ve got to aim for Bar Abaco for some mad maximalist styling and high drama.

This place is highly quirky. Originally a grand manor house, the building has been made over into a cocktail bar, but not as you know it.

The bar itself is laden with flowers and fruit. It’s impossible to exaggerate the scale. Quantities re supersized. Up close, you feel like a toddler at a very chic, colourful market.

The yellow flowers at the bottom of the staircase were the size of the canopy of a perfectly-formed tree.

Bar Abaco Palma interior
Interior of Bar Abaco, where the scale of things makes you feel like a toddler

In the pic above, the tiny-looking open door (a section of the huge wooden double doors) is normal-person sized. That gives you an idea of Bar Abaco’s internal perspective.

Bar Abaco Palma petal shower

The best bit though? Later on Friday evenings, before midnight, there’s a petal shower.

It lasts for the duration of a long snippet from the Hallelujah Chorus, which plays as the rose petals fall from a concealed balcony.

The whole episode sounds like a phoney marketing ploy, but it’s actually pretty magical. It also helps ensure you get value for money from your pricey cocktail.

Once you’ve picked the petals out of your hair (and Mojito), stroll about the various rooms upstairs, where you’ll find cherubs on the frescoed ceiling and a vintage kitchen all laid out with fruit and veg.

Bar Abaco petal shower Palma
Colourful aftermath of Bar Abaco‘s petal shower

If this sounds like your type of thing, you’ve got to try it at least once. The floor/flower show was so worth it for quirky memories.

Ocho restaurant Palma

In the same cobbled streets and only a block away is the recently opened Ocho. Perfect for a supersized gin! This small boutique hotel and restaurant was so welcoming and photogenic.

Restaurant Ocho Suites and Kitchen Palma
Velvet, metallics and tiles in the very Instagrammable Ocho

For more eye-candy, hit the gallery quarter, just a stroll from the main shopping street. You’ll find amazing pieces tucked in behind huge wooden doors.

Palma art gallery interior
Pink men climbing the walls at a Palma art gallery

Where to stay in Palma city centre

GPRO Valparaiso Palace Hotel

We stayed at the GPRO Valparaiso Palace Hotel & Spa, which is around 30 minutes walk to the old town. Our seaview rooms overlooked the harbour.

The onsite thermal spa is excellent, and the hotel also has tennis courts.

The vast outdoor swimming area was serviced by a shady garden bar.

If you want to build some walking into your trip, the Valparaiso is an ideal base for exploring the city. The flowers in the lobby were pretty photogenic too.

Valparaiso Hotel Palma lobby flowers
Petal power in the lobby of GPRO Valparaiso Hotel Palma

The views from the hotel balcony are amazing – across the harbour to the cruise ships and superyachts, and beyond to Palma Cathedral and the fairytale Bellver Castle overlooking the city.

Bellver Castle Palma on skyline
Bellver Castle Palma de Mallorca – a little zooming from the Valaparaiso hotel balcony created this shot

Can Bordoy Palma

We also ate a fantastic meal and explored the recently-opened Can Bordoy Grand House, right in the city centre.

Can Bordoy Palma entrance
Peeking into Can Bordoy Grand House Palma

Amazing food and service, and the interiors were exquisite.

Can Bordoy Palma sitting room
Creepy! Greenery on the ceiling at Can Bordoy Grand House

The courtyard garden was pretty special too. It even had a swimming pool hidden away behind the greenery.

Can Bordoy Palma courtyard garden
Courtyard garden at Can Bordoy Grand House Palma

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