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Nine Essentials In Palma de Mallorca

When talking about Majorca, we usually limit ourselves to the wonderful beaches and landscapes to be explored and tend to ignore its main city, Palma. Tucked away in this enchanting port city with a centennial history are numerous gems that make this a must-visit destination on the island. Following are some pointers to landmarks that make this city so alluring.

1. A Cathedral Filled With Surprises
You can’t help seeing it – Majorca Cathedral protrudes well above all other buildings in the city. Also known as La Seu, this monument in Levantine Gothic style is characterised by its lofty bearing – it is one of Europe’s tallest Gothic cathedrals – and its huge rose window, also one of the largest of its kind, while the interior is crammed with surprises. It features the legacy of Gaudí, who rearranged the interior in the early-20th century, incorporating Modernist ornamental elements and a baldachin on the unfinished altar. Then there is the amazing ceramic mural of Mediterranean inspiration which crowns the Chapel of the Most Holy, the work of Miquel Barceló, which visitors are unlikely to miss.

2. The Characterful Lonja
This must-visit 15th-century building, designed by Guillem Sagrera, was once the headquarters of the School of Merchants. Nowadays, visitors are dazzled by its helicoidal columns, which end in groined vaults that look like palm trees at first glance. The construction is enormously inspiring, capable of transporting the viewer to a time when Palma was a major trade centre.

3. A Route Through Miro’s Majorca
The imprint of Joan Miró is ever-present in the city where he spent the last 27 years of his life. Be sure to visit the Pilar i Joan Miró Foundation to see the artist’s house and workshop, in addition to a small part of his vast oeuvre. And, still in the same area, the recently opened Marivent Palace gardens feature twelve of Miró’s sculptures.

4. A Good Measure of Contemporary Art
In Palma, contemporary art is not limited to the figure of Miró. If you head for Es Baluard, Palma’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, you can also see works by the leading artists and movements that have come together and still converge in the Balearic Islands. Another venue you should make a point of visiting is the Juan March Museum Foundation which houses a highly interesting collection of contemporary Spanish art.

5. The Waterfront Promenade
Like any decent seaside resort, Palma is fringed from one end to the other by a long waterfront promenade which affords a different angle on the city. The view is stunning when you draw level with the Cathedral, and the promenade also has leisure areas where locals do various sports or just lounge around and chill out.

6. De Luxe Cuisine
Palma has splendid and highly assorted culinary offerings. The local tradition, in the form of tapas bars and restaurants offering locally sourced products, exists side by side with establishments that have reinvented Majorcan cuisine and taken it to a new level, and those serving up international cuisine. Don’t hesitate to try Majorca’s typical and essentialsobrasada,a spicy, pork sausage, or to put yourself in the hands of gourmet chefs with their bolder gastronomic interpretation.

7. Santa Catalina, The Hipster Quarter
This erstwhile fishing quarter has undergone a facelift and a marked transformation in recent years, becoming one of the most attractive beats in town. We recommend visiting it at dusk, when the establishments get into full swing, and refueling by opting for a hearty dinner in of one the area’s trendy restaurants.

8. Terraces with Views
Another way to enjoy the city is from one of the rooftop terraces which some bars and restaurants have tucked away. There you can order a small feast while soaking up the breathtaking views. One such spot with magnificent views is the Nakar Hotel, which offers an excellent culinary assortment served up by Majorcan chef Miquel Calent.

9. An Ensaimada as a Souvenir
You cannot possibly leave Majorca without an ensaimada under your arm. This is a giveaway at your destination airport, but there’s no resisting the delight of eating one. Filled with angel hair squash, custard, chocolate and even sobrasada – or without a filling, if you prefer – you can get your hands on this tasty souvenir in numerous pastry shops. Among our favourites are Forn Fondo and Horno Santo Cristo.

Book your Vueling to Palma de Mallorca, explore its streets and let yourself get carried away by the charm of this city.

Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Photo by SBA73