Palma de Mallorca is one of those cities you can enjoy every day of the year. This city has been a melting pot of cultures for the nearly 2,000 years, so if history’s your thing, check out iconic buildings and hidden places you could only dream of.
Whether you prefer sweet or a savoury, treat your palate to some of our local cuisine’s most traditional dishes, which you’ll find in some of our most iconic shops. It’s another unmissable reason to visit!
To tell you the truth… I’m one of those people who likes both. Right, ready? Let me take you through what I think is a perfect trip around our capital, jam-packed full of quirky finds you won’t read about in any other guide.
The San Francesc Basilica
We’ll kick off our tour around the city from one of its many iconic buildings. Bet you didn’t know this is the very building where two local noble families, the Armadans and the Españols, went head to head. The resulting violence was such that the basilica had to be reconsecrated. And here’s another unusual fact: the entrance hall had to be rebuilt, because… It was split in half by a bolt of lightning!
Can Joan de S’aigo
We can’t walk by here without stopping, for two reasons: one, it’s right by where the walk started, and two, it’s the most iconic of the three shops bearing its name. This is one of the oldest shops in Palma, and its founder started off selling blocks of ice, which were made using snow from Serra de Tramuntana.
What’s more, if you have a sweet tooth, Ca’n Joan de S’aigo is the place for you! Try their homemade almond ice cream, cups of chocolate, ensaimadas, or the cuarto, which is one of Mallorcan cuisine’s most traditional baked goods. If you dare to cook it at home, don’t forget that the trick is to give it a good scare.
The Church of Saint Eulalia
I’m sure you enjoyed those nibbles I recommended, but now it’s time for us to carry on with our walk, which takes us to Palma’s oldest church. This is where one of the kings of Mallorca, Jaime II, was crowned. As you admire its spectacular façade, remember that you’re also standing on something a bit more melancholy – the city’s first cemetery.
As you were distracted, you probably walked right by this place without even noticing it. This is one of the city’s iconic locations that plays a truly active part in the district it calls home, especially since Joan Serra, father of Tolo, the current owner, took over management in 1956. Can you imagine a customer coming to your house and waking you up from your sleep, asking you to open up shop so they can have a snack? Well, that’s exactly what once happened! This is the perfect chance to treat yourself to the house specialty, their llonguets. I suggest starting with the sobrasada and cheese one, a classic choice. Wait, what do you mean you don’t know what a llonguet is? It’s a bread roll that used to only be baked in Palma.
Palma Town Hall
This is another place you have to visit no matter what. Everything about this building is fascinating: the spectacular overhanging roof; Figuera, which is the name of the clock that dominates its façade; and the ‘Si No Fos’ bench. Here’s a little challenge for you: can you spot the lizard and snail? Don’t linger, and head right inside! Discover its secrets!
Es Fornet de la Soca
When you set foot in any Es Fornet de la Soca establishment, you’ll taste our city’s history thanks to a recipe book that dates back centuries. There’s a mix of very well-known desserts, such as ensaimadas or ‘panadas’ (there are 16 different kinds!), along with others you definitely won’t have seen before. Be sure to try them, you won’t find them anywhere else.
Bombonería la Pajarita AND Colmado la Pajarita
These two iconic shops come with their own origin story. They share a unique, unmissably orange façade, which it’s kept since its beginnings in 1872. This old chocolate shop was the first place to sell bananas, coffee, and Moët Chandon anywhere in Mallorca. Whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer savoury, you’re sure to find something to tickle your fancy. You wouldn’t be the first: the writer Robert Graves or Archduke Louis Salvador of Austria are known to have given in to temptation here.
Straight off the bat, this building’s façade, brimming with floral detailing, is sure to catch your eye whether or not you’re into modern art. This establishment was once the most luxurious in Spain, until the Ritz hotel opened in Madrid. It had room for 150 people and, difficult it may be to believe, not every room had its own bathroom! The price per night varied from 2.5 to 15 pesetas (around 1.5 euro to 9 euro). Can you imagine paying those kinds of prices these days?
Es Forn de la Glòria
You’ll find this bakery very close by to the Lonja, one of the city’s great buildings. Its over 300 years of history means it has plenty of stories to tell. The first thing that’s sure you’ll no doubt spot as you cross the threshold is the waft of freshly-baked bread. Here you’ll find some of the city’s few remaining wood-burning ovens.
This is where our journey around the city’s iconic locations and delicious treats comes to an end. Good things never last, but remember, Volotea will always be there to take you back as soon as you’re ready to do it all again!