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10 stops in Palma de Mallorca’s Old Town

With its cobbled streets and sun-kissed squares, few places in Europe are as immediately spellbinding as the Old Town of Palma de Mallorca. Knowing how easy it is to spend days getting lost in its maze of winding, narrow alleyways, we made a checklist of the top ten things not to miss when exploring this enchanting medieval neighborhood.

Dating back to the Bronze Age, Palma has survived its fair share of invaders, from the Moors to the Romans, the Christians, and, later, considerably less hostile hordes of northern European tourists. No wonder then that the city has become such a multinational melting pot of cultures and nationalities. 

While mass tourism has caused some cities to lose their authenticity, this hasn’t been the case with Palma, which still retains much of its genuine local charm. Warm and hospitable, many of its tapas bars, wine bars and restaurants are equally popular with international visitors and born-and-bred locals alike – although most foreigners opt to visit them earlier than the customary Spanish 10pm dinner time – while its splendid plazas, shops, museums and Gothic churches are always worth a visit, no matter who you are or where you come from. 

These are our top ten tips for your next trip to Palma’s Old Town:

The chic hotel Es Princep

It will come as no surprise that the elegant, yet understated Es Princep has established itself as one of the most popular hotels in Palma since opening in 2018. This immaculate boutique hotel is tucked within the ancient city walls in the least tourist-trodden part of Palma’s Old Town. From the moment you walk through the door, everything about it makes you feel right at home. Here you’ll enjoy exceptional service, smooth-as-silk Egyptian cotton sheets in perfectly appointed rooms – many of which enjoy views of the Med – not to mention the peaceful Coco spa, the outstanding Bala Roja restaurant, and the 800 sq m Almaq rooftop terrace.

Es Princep

C/ Bala Roja, 1, Palma de Mallorca

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Let Fera tickle your tastebuds. Phto: Fera

The inventive eatery

Few restaurants in Palma stay open all year around and those that do make it work because of loyal locals who keep coming back for more even after the tourists have fled for winter. Fera is one of these. Maybe it’s because Austrian chef Simon Petutschnig uses only the finest produce he can source on the island, or the way he effortlessly blends Mediterranean ingredients with a dash of Asian flavor in his contemporary, creative tasting menus that also include a full six-course vegetarian option. Either way, the locals love it and so do we.

Fera

C/ de la Concepció, 4, Palma de Mallorca

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The busy tapas bar

Gaudeix means “enjoy” in Mallorquin (the Catalan dialect spoken in Mallorca) and that’s what you’ll do here. While this lively bar will not win any “most-Instagrammed” awards, visitors can’t get enough of its great ambiance and outstanding food, which includes dishes of moreish prawn croquettes, sinful pan-fried duck foie gras, and delicious oxtail in port. If you’re really lucky you might even bag one of the sought-after tables on the shady terrace.

Gaudeix

C/ de San Sales, 2, Palma de Mallorca

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Enjoy Mediterranean food, drinks, wonderful music and the views at Almaq. Photo: Es Princep

The breezy rooftop terrace

Es Princep isn’t only one of Palma’s top hotels, it’s also home to arguably the city’s hottest rooftop hangout. Boasting 360° views of the Old Town and Med, Almaq is the perfect spot to kick back and relax after a busy day exploring the ancient city. Serving Mediterranean cuisine, signature cocktails and tunes till late, it’s no wonder that this is one of the buzziest spots in Palma on summer nights.

Almaq

Es Princep Hotel, Bala Roja, 1, Palma de Mallorca

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Wineing with its many vines served by the glass is a perfect place to start the evening at. Photo: Wineing

The free-flowing wine bar

With 48 local and international wines on tap and a to-die-for menu of bar bites, Wineing is where lovers of all things vino-related head, to while away their Palma nights (and days). Kick things off with a glass of award-winning Mallorquin Ànima Negra red and Wineing’s famous tapas dish of mouthwatering bacon-wrapped goat’s cheese with marmalade, and let the games begin.

Wineing

C/ Apuntadores, 24, Palma de Mallorca

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The local designer

Mallorca-born fashion designer Rosa Esteva is best known for the subtle, elegant and highly feminine collections she designs under her own brand, Cortana. Take the opportunity to pick up some unique Mallorcan outfits that will make your friends green with envy at her flagship store in Palma’s Old Town.

Cortana

C/ de Can Asprer, 1, Palma de Mallorca

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The gourmet deli

Olive oil, liqueurs, sea salt, marmalade, honey and a very Mallorcan variety of bright orange sausage known as sobrassada. These are just some of the local delicacies to be found at Mateu Pons’ delicatessen, which stocks Mallorca’s finest homegrown food products. Warning – visiting gourmands may get lost here for several hours.

Mallorca Delicatessen Mateu Pons

Pl. del Marquès del Palmer, 7, Palma de Mallorca

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Relax at Hotel Cort on the lovely Plaza de Cort square. Photo: Hotel Cort

The lively plaza

Few of life’s little pleasures compete with the feeling of sitting outdoors on a bustling plaza in Spain, sipping an ice-cold caña (or beer) in the sunshine. Palma’s Old Town has countless sunny squares, but few are as pretty as Plaza de Cort or offer a spot as ideally suited for people watching as Hotel Cort’s hip outdoor terrace.

Hotel Cort

Pl de Cort, 11, Palma de Mallorca

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Magnificent Le Ser is just as amazing on the inside as the outside. Photo: Shutterstock

The church

Think that if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all? Think again. Even the most hardened atheists would be forgiven for whispering a silent “wow” at the sight of the Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, more commonly referred to as La Seu, majestically perched on a hillside overlooking the Mediterranean. Don’t miss La Seu’s 61 stained-glass windows – the most spectacular of which is the central rose window that famously captures the morning sun, flooding the building with beams of colorful light.

Santa Maria

Plaça de la Seu, s/n, 07001 Palma

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The museum

Founded in 2004, Es Baluard is one of Spain’s top museums for contemporary art. Modern art lovers will be enthralled by the exhibits, which focus on artists from the Balearics or those related in some way to the Balearic islands, while those with other cultural inclinations will appreciate the panoramic views of Palma, Bellver Castle, and the Cathedral, and the excellent cocktail menu at the rooftop restaurant and bar.

Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum

Pl. de la Porta de Santa Catalina, 10, Palma de Mallorca

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