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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
I also spotted this internal balcony. If you look closely, you’ll see the book tower suggesting this is a perfect reading nook.
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!
The cathedral interior is equally stunning, all Gothic arches and vast windows.
Harder to photograph, as the light is varied, but worth persisting.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Florist in Palma
You’ll also find some photogenic shopfronts in the city. Our favourite? This 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Can Bordoy Palma
We also ate a fantastic meal and explored the recently-opened Can Bordoy Grand House, right in the city centre.
Amazing food and service, and the interiors were exquisite.
The courtyard garden was pretty special too. It even had a swimming pool hidden away behind the greenery.
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