In this first post, we will be your virtual host in Palma city and we will do some imaginary sightseeing around the city center
I would like to start the tour at La Lonja, one of the main access points to the old city. From here we can have a wonderful view of the Palma Cathedral, Parc de la Mar and La Lonja. This is one of the most attractive areas of the city, both for tourists as for locals.
The historical origins of the Cathedral of Mallorca
Palma Cathedral, by it’s name La Seu is very emblematic gothic architecture piece of work. Designed in the Catalan Gothic style but with Northern European influences, it was begun by King James I of Aragon in 1229 but only finished in 1601. It sits on top of the former citadel of the Roman city, on the site of a Moorish-era mosque, between the Royal Palace of La Almudaina and the episcopal palace. It also overlooks the Parc de la Mar and the Mediterranean Sea. The building is 121 metres long, 40 metres wide and its nave is 44 metres tall. By way of comparison, the height of the central nave reaches 33m in Notre Dame de Paris, 38m in Reims, 42m in Notre-Dame d’Amiens and 48m in Saint-Pierre de Beauvais, the highest of all Gothic cathedrals.
Another detail to remember about this amazing temple is that the altar was build by Antonio Gaudi, so it is a very special piece of art and there is also a chapel built by Miguel Barcelo with a very peculiar technique, combining religious motives with marine ones, so when in Palma, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to enter the Cathedral and visit it.
Around the Cathedral:
We will continue now our tour exploring the surroundings of the Cathedral, one of my favorite part of Palma city. This area is one of the most romantic ones from my point of view in Palma City and taking a walk around this place inspires a lot of peace and tranquility. There are a lot of roman and gothic remains, starting with the old city walls which have endless stories to tell, a typical statue of a local warrior from the 4 century B.C., and many more architectural details, but I won’t tell you all the nice stories here. In fact, many people are totally surprised to find so much history in Palma as it is many times associated only with a beach destination in people minds, but this is why this city manages to conquer all visitors from all over Europe and the world.
This path takes us to one of the main squares of the city called Plaza de la Reina. This is a central point where several important streets meet and from where you can start a visit of the old and new part of Palma. In the same square you can find nice terraces and restaurants and go inside the old part of town, filled with restaurants and bars and nice venues. We will go later to this part of the city, now we will continue our tour along the El Borne boulevard.
Discover the city of Palma
El Borne boulevard, the fanciest boulevard in Palma city and one of the main shopping area here. You can guess it is fancy also from the statues welcoming you. On this street you can find many famous brands shops like Louis Vouiton, Tous, Pretty Ballerinas, Uterque, etc. but you can also find common shops like Zara, Massimo Dutty and other local brands. During shopping you can always take a break and enjoy a nice coffee or a fresh drink or local dish at the bars and restaurants located on the same boulevard.
The other end of the boulevard is another square called Plaza de Juan Carlos I, former king of Spain. Speaking of the king and the royal family, for those of you who don’t know, Palma is the summer residence for the Spanish Royal Family. Now we will continue our journey towards the old town of Palma, exploring the narrow streets that will reveal lots of surprising corners, for sure. As you can see, the contrast between old, new, vintage and chic is very interesting, we pass along typical houses of the old town, with inner courts and typical architecture, trendy shops and even art galleries, workshops and street art pieces.
And now we are back to La Lonja area, where we can see a different side of this part of the city. Around the old town there are a lot of nice squares, popping up where least expected and inviting to enjoy the local cuisine at one of the restaurants or terraces you find on the way.
The whole athmosphere of this part of the city is very pleasant and relaxed, with a unique combination of local touches and modern trends.
Behind each corner, we can find a nice terrace or restaurant to relax or a historical site like for instance the old fish market, which is nowadays an exhibition area. This gothic building dates from the The 14th century and it was the main meeting point for the merchants in Palma Habour area. The surroundings are filled of history and stories to tell, but also a very nice place to walk around. This is the area where usually street markets and local festivities are organized, so it is always a part of the city full of life.
The tour continues towards the somehow less touristic part of the city, where most of the locals move around. The style is the same, nice squares with terraces and restaurants and surprising historical buildings.
All the streets in this part of the city are filled with different type of shops, inviting the visitors to enjoy a nice day wandering around, combining shopping and sightseeing. And if you get hungry during the tour, we can always stop and enjoy a sweet or sour treat, discovering the local pastry and bakery. The most famous piece, the “ensaimada”, is a typical gift everybody brings home from Mallorca. And if you like it and want to learn to make it, you can always plan a workshop for you or the guests to join.
Our next stop is Plaza Mayor, the main square in Palma as in most of the Spanish Cities. The origins of this idea of a main square, which is in fact square by it’s design, goes back in the 14th century and it was established as a wide open space where the town weekly market could be organized and also where the city hall was to be installed. However, this used to be also the main meeting point for all citizens and public acts during many centuries. Nowadays it is a symbol of the Hispanic culture and it is a meeting point for shopping and having a drink with your friends or just making a break when sightseeing.
And finally we arrive to one of the most important shopping streets in Mallorca called San Miguel Street. Here you can find all kind of shops, local and international brands, as well as legendary shops of Mallorca, family run businesses going on for many years and promoting local manufacturers and products.
This was all for today, our imaginary city tour ends here, but if you would like to know more about Mallorca, Ibiza and the Balearic islands regarding MICE possibilities, and not only, please subscribe and start following us in Instagram and on our youtube channel. You can find the links below and in case you have any question or particular interest, please feel free to comment.