Palma de Mallorca is a charming seaside city with a rich history. Its medieval Old Town is a delight to explore, with cobbled streets and small squares dotted around it.
It’s also home to several beautiful Art Nouveau buildings. These eye-catching masterpieces are a must-see in Palma de Mallorca.
1. Bellver Castle
Bellver Castle, also known locally among the Spanish islanders as Castell de Bellver, is a magnificent 14th-century fortress that's perched atop a wooded hillside west of Palma. It was commissioned by King James II of Aragon in the 14th century and, as you might imagine, it's a spectacular structure that boasts an unbeatable view of the city and bay from its top.
Its construction was overseen by military engineer Ponc Descoll, who was also responsible for the round Jewish enclosure in Perpignan (also known as "le Call") and the Angel Tower at Almudaina palace.
Built on the site of a former Roman necropolis, it's now home to the Museu d'Historia de la Ciutat and hosts concerts and cultural events year-round. It's an excellent choice for a day trip from Palma, and admission costs $4.50 - not bad for a 700-year-old landmark.
2. Cathedral of Palma
The Cathedral of Palma, or 'La Seu' as locals call it, is one of the most impressive structures in the city. Designed in Catalan Gothic style with a smattering of European influence, it took almost 400 years to build.
A trip to the Mallorcan capital is not complete without a visit to this stunning structure. It holds many secrets, boasts a lengthy history and offers spectacular views over the city and beyond.
A special highlight is the Rose Window, which contains around 1,236 crystals. Every year on February 2 and November 11, this 13-metre-wide rosette is illuminated by the sun, creating an incredible light show.
3. Royal Palace of La Almudaina
The imposing Royal Palace of La Almudaina is one of the official residences of the Spanish royal family. Visitors can explore the stately rooms and apartments, opulent art and tranquil gardens at their own pace.
Originally an Islamic fort, the mighty structure was converted into a Majorcan palace from 1281. During this time, Moorish features were demolished but many of the building’s relics survived.
Inside, the royal court and its Gothic chapel are some of the highlights. There are also displays of Flemish tapestries, furniture and paintings. Up the grand Royal Staircase are the royal apartments, where you’ll find a succession of lavishly decorated rooms. You’ll also find the Gothic Capilla de Santa Ana (Saint Anne Chapel).
4. Museum of Contemporary Art
One of the most important cultural attractions on Mallorca, Es Baluard (meaning 'the old bastion') houses one of Spain's largest and most comprehensive collections of modern and contemporary art. Opened in 2004, it's cleverly built into a former military fortress.
It's a must for any fan of Spanish art or anyone looking to explore the modern and contemporary art scene in Palma de Mallorca. It has a large permanent collection and hosts many temporary exhibitions too.
Also, it is a great place to take a stroll through the grounds and enjoy some gelato while you're there. You can find this museum on Carrer de Sant Pere, near the city's port.
5. Palma Aquarium
Located next to Playa de Palma, this aquarium is a great way to spend a day with your family. It is home to thousands of different aquatic species and has 25 aquariums.
- It also features a large touch pool, which is where you can get up close to starfish, sea horses and octopus. Kids can enjoy the play area, the 'Jungle' and Spain's largest roof garden.
- The aquarium's main attraction is the 33 meter wide shark tank, where you can watch 11 tiger and sandbar sharks. It has more than 3,5 million litres of salt water and is the biggest shark tank in Europe.
- You can also get up close and personal with humpback whales thanks to the 3D cinema in the Giants of the Ocean experience. This is a rare opportunity and will be an unforgettable experience for you and your family!