Discover Palma's Old Town - Sightseeing and Shopping tips

La Seu & Royal Palace Palma de Mallorca City Hall

Palma's Old Town Attractions

Tourism accounts for 75% of Mallorca's GDP.
  • 5
Rated 4.60 out of 5 for sightseeing

The Old Town, located in the heart of Palma, has a rich history of culture and architecture. Our top 8 recommended visitor attractions include:

  • La Seu Cathedral: One of Palma's most iconic landmarks.
  • Almudaina Palace: Moorish and Gothic architecture at its best.
  • Paseo del Borne: A picturesque tree-lined avenue filled with shops & historic buildings.
  • Plaza Mayor: The main square is lined with colourful buildings, cafes and street performers.
  • Basilica de San Miguel, located at Carrer de Sant Miquel.
  • Fundacio La Caixa. Beautiful, ornate building & art gallery.
  • Santa Catalina, located west of the Old Town hosts a lively nightlife scene.
  • S'Hort del Rei Gardens. Moorish-in-style with ornate fountains & shady paths.

Arriving in Palma by Bus

When visiting Palma by bus from the islands many beach resorts, you'll probably arrive at the city's Palma Intermodal bus & rail station, located just north of the old town (about a 13-minute walk to La Seu Cathedral). As you exit the station, cross the busy Pl. d'Espanya and the impressive square, turn right onto Plaça de la Porta Pintada, then left onto Carrer de Sant Miquel and keep walking for a few minutes into the old town.

Arriving in Palma by Taxi

If arriving at Palma by taxi, ask to be dropped by the Cathedral (La Seu). Ideally, start and finish your sightseeing adventure on the beautiful Avenue d'Antoni Maura close to the royal palace. The avenue is 350m long and connects the main southern routes in and out of the city (it's also a stop-off point for the Palma City Sightseeing bus service). The avenue also has a convenient taxi stand for your return taxi ride back to your hotel.

Start your Palma adventure

The old city is a spider web of fascinating medieval streets, impressive boutiques, historic buildings, basilicas, bars and cafes. There's little need to follow a guide map - start your sightseeing adventure at the Cathedral, follow the main route (Carrer del Palau Reial) into the old town and onto the Plaça Major (main square), then take the side streets and lose yourself for a while amongst the labyrinth of narrow streets.

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April 2024 Our latest Palma old town pictures

Top Tip: Visit Palma at night - it's equally impressive - all lit up and buzzing till late.

Carrer de la Previsió Restaurante Casa Julio and the church of Santa Eulàlia

I recommend visiting Casa Juliois, a charming traditional restaurant bar located at the end of this street; it provides simple, no-fuss, well-priced Spanish cuisine, plus local wines and beers. Opposite is the charming church of Santa Eulàlia on a pretty little plaza. The plaza has a few cafes, ideal for coffee and relaxation before heading back to the shops. The church is worth visiting for its ornate altars and stained glass windows - pay the small fee and climb the church steps to the rooftop for excellent views of the city and photo opportunities.

La Almudaina The Royal Palace

The Almudaina Palace is the official residence of the King and Queen when they stay in Mallorca. It is a landmark of the capital of the Balearic Islands, along with the Cathedral of Palma. The Palace sits on an elevated old part of the city overlooking the Bay of Palma next to La Seu Cathedral.

Horse-drawn carriage rides The Old Town

Horse-drawn carriage rides were set to be banned from the city in 2024. However, we found plenty available to hire when we visited in April. The cost is around fifty to sixty euros for 1 hour. I was told that during the busy and hot summer months, carriage rides would stop due to the welfare of the horses. Although horse-drawn rides seem a pleasant way to experience the old town, nowadays, the narrow roads appear too busy with pedestrians and larger cars, so rides may not be as enjoyable as they once were.

Visitor Signposts Visit the Plaça Major

Look out for tourist information signs on the Plaça Major (main square) - they'll point you towards the city's main attractions. The Plaça Major is rectangular and surrounded by traditional yellow buildings with green shutters. The square has been the centre of the city for centuries. During our visit, the square was busy with cafes, restaurants and craft stalls with traders selling local quirky crafts. Most of the old town's main roads eventually lead to the square, making the old town relatively easy to navigate.

The Almudaina Palace Entry & Ticket Prices

The palace is definitely worth a visit; it dates back to the 14th century and reflects the artistic styles that have evolved throughout the history of the island. Visitors can wander through several rooms to view numerous antiques, impressive furniture, paintings, sculptures and tapestries. Noteworthy areas include the Main Hall (one of Almudaina's most significant rooms). The entrance price is €7 or there's free entrance on Wednesday and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. (access up to 60 minutes before closing).

A wonder of architectural styles Central Old Town

Remember to keep looking up. Walking along the winding streets of the old town, you'll find a mosaic of architectural styles that reflect the city's diverse cultural influences. Moorish arches mingle with Gothic spires, and Renaissance facades stand side by side with Baroque palaces, creating a harmonious blend of architectural splendour - and providing impressive photo opportunities.

Can Forteza Rey Built 1902 (Address: Plaça del Marquès del Palmer)

A Very striking-looking building in the middle of the old town. The building's design reflects that of Catalan Modernism, especially works related to Gaudí. The five-storey building was initially commissioned as living accommodation. The exterior of the building is impressive, especially the sculptural decorations around the bay windows and frontage, which features floral and animal themes. On the second floor, an impressive gargoyle like head and face is flanked by winged dragons, making the building stand out even more.

Where to find a quiet space in the old town.

The Old Town of Palma is a living museum of architectural marvels that continues to captivate and inspire visitors worldwide. However, Palma in mid-summer can be crowded and unbearably hot, so it's handy to know where you can relax away from the crowds and take shade in gardens next to cooling fountains - see our recommendations below:

  • Visit the S'Hort del Rei gardens, enjoy the cool shade and fountains (next to and once part of the Royal Palace) on the Av. d´Antoni Maura.
  • Relax along Palma's long promenade, walk or hire a bike, enjoy less crowded open spaces along the seafront and admire the impressive marinas where the super-rich moor their super-yachts.
  • Enjoy the Rooftop Sky Bar at 4* Hotel Almudaina. Open to the public for drinks & snacks (laid-back, urban rooftop oasis with impressive views).
  • Rest up for a while - at the Plaça de Santa Eulàlia - a shady square with quaint cafes in the centre of the old town, ideal for a relaxing coffee break. There's also a peaceful & inviting church to explore.
Av d'Antoni Maura Near to Palma's Cathedral & Palace

Quirky and Unique Attractions in Palma

The following quirky and unique attractions add an extra layer of excitement and intrigue to a visit to Palma de Mallorca, ensuring that there's always something new and unexpected to discover in this vibrant city. See our list of alternative 'must see' attractions below:


Discover the vibrant and eclectic city of Palma de Mallorca, where every corner holds a unique surprise. From its historic streets steeped in architectural wonders to its quirky and offbeat attractions, Palma offers a captivating blend of culture, art, and adventure.

Explore the renowned works of Joan Miró at Fundació Miró Mallorca, or immerse yourself in contemporary art at Es Baluard Museum.

Alternatively, experience the vibrant nightlife of Palma's trendy Santa Catalina neighbourhood, known for its hip bars, stylish restaurants, and lively atmosphere.

Palma promises an unforgettable experience that delights the senses and sparks the imagination.

  • Pueblo Español Mallorca. Interesting open air museum, reconstruction of a typical Spanish town and famous buildings.
  • Es Baluard Museu d'Art Contemporani de Palma. A contemporary art museum with a diverse collection of modern artworks by both local and international artists.
  • Palma's Hidden Courtyards (Patios Ocultos). Join a guided tour or embark on a self-guided adventure to discover the hidden courtyards tucked away behind the facades of Palma's historic buildings.
  • Market de Santa Catalina. A bustling market, known for its lively atmosphere and eclectic mix of vendors selling everything from fresh produce and local delicacies to artisanal crafts and clothing.
  • San Juan Gastronomic Market. A modern gastronomic market, offering a diverse array of food stalls, with vendors serving up a tantalizing selection of international cuisine.
  • Gastronomic Tours. Embark on a gastronomic adventure through Palma's culinary scene with guided food tours that highlight the city's diverse flavours and traditions.

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