Do as the Spanish royals do and spend your summer in Palma
Or Palma de Mallorca to give the city its full name. It’s all here: history and culture by the bucket-load, a throbbing nightlife and a warm Balearic welcome, freshened by a gentle Mediterranean sea breeze.
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Most shoppers head straight for Avinguda Jaume III, Palma’s main shopping street where international names jostle for attention. But the tree-lined Passeig des Born is also a good place for luxury boutiques. Brands can also be found at the Porto Pi Centro Comercial (Avinguda Gabriel Roca 54), a shopping centre 2km from the centre. For more unique items and traditional Majorcan design, wander around the Plaça Mayor district, which has a weekly market and a plethora of independent shops. Nearer the port, Rialto Living Lifestyle Store (Carrer de San Feliu 3) is a treasure trove of interior design and art. Foodies will delight at discovering Mercat Olivar, a buzzing food market on Plaça Olivar.
Food & Drink
Palma has a range of bars and restaurants to suit most tastes, whether simple tapas or cutting-edge cuisine. Café culture is big in Palma, with the atmospheric Bar Bosch (Plaça Rei Joan Carles I 6) a perfect place to try ensaïmada, a coil of light dough sprinkled with icing sugar. For more substantial fare, sit down to a meal at Café C’an Toni (Costa Santa Creu 5), a lively eatery serving traditional Majorcan dishes, such as succulent roast meats cooked in its wood-burning oven. Another mid-range option, Restaurant Toque (Carrer de Federico García Lorca 6), serves Belgian-influenced cuisine. Among the most fashionable restaurants is Simply Fosh (Carrer de la Missió 7a), a gourmet eatery in the Old Town.
Sa Rua Carnival
Also known as Darrers Dies, this carnival is celebrated at the start of Lent and features colourful floats, masked dancers and lively musicians in a lively procession along La Rambla.
Maundy Thursday parade
The largest parade during Semana Santa (Holy Week) sees different brotherhoods of the city hold aloft statues as they make their way to the cathedral.
Palma International Boat Show
This glitzy show featuring millionaire toys, luxury yachts and humble boats encompasses all things nautical in Palma Marina.
Nic de Foc (Night of Fire)
A feast of bonfires and fireworks signals the eve of midsummer in Parc de la Mersignal, an illuminating event that attracts both locals and visitors.
Festa de l'Estendard
This New Year celebration in honour of the Christian conquest of Palma in 1229 involves a popular parade from the town hall to the cathedral, where mass is held.
From the budget to the boutique, Palma de Mallorca has a host of fantastic accommodation. Gain a sense of traditional Majorcan chic at the Hotel Can Cera (Carrer San Francisco 8), a classy boutique escape in the Old Town. The classically styled Gran Mélia Victoria (Avinguda Joan Miró 21) is a good top-end option in the city centre. For a real ‘wow factor’, head 11km out of the city to Castillo Hotel Son Vida (Carrer Raixa 2). Set within a 13th-century estate, this opulent offering has obvious elegance and sweeping views of the bay. Those wishing to save their Euros need not miss out on historical charm, however, with a stay at character-filled former palace Hotel Born (Carrer Sant Jaume 3).