The Mallorcan capital has more than enough distractions to occupy you for two or three days, but if you can’t spare that long, here are our suggestions on how you can get the essential feel of this beguiling city in one day.
So. for any easy, relaxed and realistic day out, we suggest you start with the Cathedral, Palma’s most emblematic and important building. Get there when it opens at 10am or you’ll feel you’re drowning in a sea of tour groups. When you tire of craning your neck into the void above and puzzling over why Gaudí’s contributions aren’t more Gaudí-esque, then stroll along the front by the marina and have a coffee at one of the hip cafés that front the harbour.
While sipping, if you turn around you won’t fail to notice the massive Bastió de Sant Pere, part of the city’s fortifications. This huge bastion has been converted into Palma’s newest art museum, Es Baluard. Its architecture is so stunning that it puts the art inside in the shade, but it shouldn’t be missed. Head there next.
Lunch is probably beckoning now, and it’s time to take you pick from Palma’s many and varied restaurants. After your feast you probably won’t fancy too energetic an afternoon, so take a slow stroll around the atmospheric and sparklingly restored old town. Patrician mansions line many of the streets, but the only one you can visit – and it’s well worth a visit – is Can Marquès, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of a wealthy Mallorcan family century ago.