Guide to Palma de Mallorca

Hello and welcome to my page, Guide to Palma: For My AirBnB Guests

IMG_3097I started offering the spare room in my apartment for rent on AirBnB in January of 2016. It is a great way for me to earn some money while I am still in the process of job searching here on the island. I absolutely love having the opportunity to meet travelers from all over the world, and it feels very special to know that I can play a small part in making their trip as great as possible.

With that being said, I wanted to create a place that I could continuous update and improve with tourist information and great tips and recommendations for Mallorca. You don’t have to be a guest of mine to take advantage of these insider tips!

Happy traveling!


 

Quick and Easy Directions:

For a first-time visiter, the small and windy and unorganized streets of Palma Centro can be overwhelming. I always recommend a simple route to my guests to help get them accustomed to the city’s layout and allow them to see some key sites along the way.

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 4.50.18 AMStarting from the front of Park S’Estaciones and walking through Plaza Espana (you will walk through the center of the Plaza and pass between a KFC and  Burger King) to Sant Miguel. Sant Miguel is a large pedestrian street with a lot of shopping and street vendors. By turning left onto Sant Miguel and continuing, you will eventually arrive at Plaza Mayor. Plaza Mayor is a large, rectangular plaza at the center of downtown Palma with a lot of great restaurant selections. If you continue straight through Plaza Mayor and continue you will arrive at the Courthouse, and by passing along on the right side of the Courthouse, you will arrive at the Cathedral by the sea.

**If you exit Plaza Mayor to the left, you will be at Calle Sindicat – another big shopping street, if you exit Plaza Mayor to the right, you will descend down a large staircase and be at the Calle Las Ramblas – there is a longstreet of flower markets there and you will be very close to the Theatre and Calle Juame III.**

Where to get groceries: Many of my Airbnb like to buy their own groceries and cook at our house. There are a few supermarkets within walking distance to my house. The easiest to find is the Eroski, it can be found under the front entrance of the park. Very close to where the airport bus drops off passengers at Plaza Espana, you can find an escalator going down, under the park, to the train station. There is an Eroski under there, it is open later than most of the other grocery stores (10pm I believe) and it is the only grocery store open on Sundays.

The largest grocery chain in Palma is Mercadona, one can be found near Plaza Espana on the second floor of the Mercat de Olivar fish market. Another is located 5 mins from my house in the direction opposite of Plaza Espana, the addresses are:

Mercat de L’Olivar, Plaza Del Olivar, 1, Mercat de L’Olivar 1ª p, 07002 Palma, Balearic Islands 

and

Calle Medico José Darder, 12-14, 07008 Palma

Palma’s Must-See Sights:

IMG_5743 The Cathedral: The most beautiful building by the sea that you’ve ever seen. If you don’t go here and take a million pictures, you’re not doing it right

Mercat Olivar fish market: The local market place for locals, just off of Plaza España.(Very close to my apartment) It is such a cool experience to buy your weekly groceries and peruse the days fresh catches. Mercat Olivar is not just a fish market; you can find anything from skinned rabbit to handmade pottery to dog leashes to imported goods from Thailand. There is a Mercadona on the second floor of this market if you need to just pick up regular groceries.

Es Baluard: This is a Modern-Art Museum that’s built into the side of Palma’s old fortress wall. I’ve never actually been into the museum; I just go there for the amazing terrace! There’s a sunny outdoor patio with it’s own bar and restaurant and it is my favorite place in all of Palma. You have the greatest view of The Cathedral, the marina, and Castillo Bellver.

 

IMG_2464Castillo de Bellver: Beautiful and perfectly preserved castle on a hill over looking Palma and the Atlantic Ocean. You can’t get any more “fairy-tell” than that! You can spend a few hours exploring the castle and the surrounding gardens and nature trails before heading back down the hillside into Santa Catalina and then, the Paseo Maritimo walk along the marina. (picture is a view from the top of the Castle)

 

mallorquin print

Sineu Street Market: This is not located in Palma but I wanted to include it because it is a major tourist attraction on the island. This market originated from ages ago when all of the Mallorquins would gather in the center of the island every few months to exchange livestock. These days, it is still one of the only markets selling live animals and it has transformed into a bigger tourist attraction. It is now open every Wednesday from 9am-2pm. You’ll be able to find all of the beautiful and colorful clay bowls and fabrics in typical Mallorquin print. Get there early! Around 10:30 it is almost too crowded with tourists to navigate to each stall.

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If you will not be here on a Wednesday you can also go check out the Pere Garau Market (Tuesday & Thursday mornings) – it is the same concept but on a much smaller scale, it’s only a ten minute walk from our house – ask Evan or I for directions!

 

 

 

Where to Eat:

I have been asked several times about vegetarian-friendly restaurants. These can be hard to find because Spaniards love their meat dishes. The best known vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Palma is Restaurant Bon LLoc, it is very centrally located and has been recommended by some of my previous guests. I can also recommend two places very close to Plaza España, Natural and Verd i Verd. Another place nearby is Foam, for light and fresh plates. These places might not be exclusively vegetarian but they will have more meat-free options and be more considerate about your no-meat personal preferences.

Other places in Palma that I love to get a bite to eat:

                 IMG_3164      (Pastries as S’Escorxador)

                        IMG_3345  (Evan’s parents at dinner at the Tast Club)

S’Escorxador – THE BEST PLACE FOR AUTHENTIC SPANISH TAPAS. S’Escorxador is a repurposed butcher house. It is not centrally located, it is found in a quite residential area but that only adds to its charm and authenticity. It is about a 15 minute walk from our house. Directions: Exit our house and walk to Plaza Espana, turn right on “La Avenida” (the big street where the airport bus drops people off at Plaza Espana), continue walking about 5 minutes and turn right on Carrer de Blanquera, this is a pedestrian-sonly street (no cars) there are countless cafes and restaurants here, its a very nice area to walk around. At the end of the Blanquera you will see the red brick compound of S’Excorxador. Onsite it has a cinema, several cafes, a library, a community workshop room that usually has zumba classes on weekday mornings, and the gastronomy area. Inside the Gastronomico de San Juan building are specialty kiosks of all different types of typical Mallorquin foods. It is all delicious and not a bad price either.

Calixto – Best place for Paella. Evan and I love this small, family-owned restaurant, they specialize in authentic paella and offer the typical wines of Mallorca. It is located off of one of the corners of Plaza Mayor in a cute and quiet plaza so it is easy to find and a great central location to enjoy a meal.

The Tast Club – The most romantic and upscale atmosphere I have ever been to. I believe that it is a repurposed stable. When you walk in it feels like you are in a cozy, candle-lit library and then it opens up into a beautiful bar with enormous chandeliers and an arched ceiling. If you continue to the back you find romantic seating. The food and drinks are superb, mostly typical Spanish plates and tapas. It is all excellent quality and experience but it is a bit more pricy than other places I recommend. P.S. There is no sign for the restaurant so it can be difficult to tell when you have arrived. You can see a sign hanging above the street that says “Blue Pilates” and then you know you have arrived, there is just a small corridor to a candle-lit entrance.

Forn de Theatre – Located right off of the main shopping street, Juame III, and very close to Plaza Mayor, Forn de Theatre is a great place in the center of downtown to catch your breath, relax, and enjoy some great food. My favorite dishes are the fried squid platter and the bread with side of aioli.

Bar CotoThis bar and restaurant is located in a charming little square just off of the marina. There are so many cute restaurants in this square so even if Bar Coto isn’t for you, you can find something else near by. They have a wide variety on their menu and the menu is given in many different languages (they are clearly accustomed to the tourist crowd). They also have a great deal for sharing tapas.

Where to Drink:

C’an Angel – We have nicknamed this, “The Gin Cave” because it feels like you’re walking down into a cave and they serve the typical ‘Menorcan’ drink of Pomada, which is a limon and gin mixture.

Es Baluard – I mentioned the place earlier as one of Palma’s must-see sights. It is also the perfect place for a sunset drink-with-a-view.

Corner Bar – If you’re craving some English conversation, head over to Corner Bar. After first moving to Mallorca and struggling to learn the language right away, it was nice to find a place that other English-speakers loved to hang out. The crowd is mostly made up of yacht workers and other expats like myself. Corner Bar is always a good time with its friendly staff, constant mood-lighting, pool table competitions, and drink specials.

Cafe Antiquari – I love this cafe, they have the cutest spanish-steps outside that people sit on while sipping mojitos and listening to the life street music usually playing near by. Speaking of the mojitos, they are amazing!! 5.95 Euro each, but oh so worth it!

Café Set – My favorite little café in Palma to grab a drink – of coffee! This cute café is located just off of Plaza Weyler, they have really good tapas deals as well!

(Coffee date at Cafe Set)

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Where to Party:

These are my recommendations for anyone looking for something more than just grabbing drinks downtown or bar hopping around Palma, if you want to stay out until the wee hours of the morning this is for you:

Passeo Maritimo – strip of bars located along the marina on the west side of Palma (Santa Catalina). The biggest clubs here are Pacha and Titos.

Magaluf – 30 minutes bus ride west of Palma. This is the hub for British vacationers, there’s a lot of bars with outrageously cheap drink specials, there’s often bars with live music or foam parties, and there are beach clubs open during the day and through the night. The last bus from Palma to Magaluf leaves from underneath the park around midnight and the first bus home is 530/6 am. You can also take a taxi to or from for approx. 25Euro each way. Average price for beers here are approx. 2euro/pint.

S’Arenal – 25 minutes bus ride east of Palma. This is the hub for German vacationers, Evan and I are usually the only native English speakers there and people give us a weird look when we tell them that we aren’t Germans but that just adds to the fun! The germans in S’Arenal are always having a great time and we enjoy spending weekend nights there. There are rows and rows of bars and discos here, most places are cash only. Average price for beers are approx. 4euro/pint.

Best Recommended Places outside of the city:

Soller/Port de Soller

Cala Deia

Port de Pollenca

Cap de Formentor

**details of these places can be found in my other Mallorca Guides 🙂 **

 

Free Public Bathrooms:

Inside the food hall at S’Escorxador

In front of the little lake in front of the Cathedral, next to the Guinness house

Any McDonald’s (Aragon & Passeig Born)

Underneath the park in the train station, Estacio Intermodal

 

Free Public Wifi:

Estacio Intermodal – Plaza España

McDonald’s on Aragon

McDonald’s on Passeig Born

Palma has a free wifi service in some parts of the city so check when your in any crowded business area (Plaza Mayor is probably your best bet)

 

 

That’s all for now but I am constantly updating with more information! I will also be posting a new page with information about things to see and do outside of the Palma city limit. Comment or send me a message if you have any questions. I would love to help!!

Happy Travels,

Sarah