POPCORN AND GLITTER

A film, food, travel & lifestyle blog by Sophie Elizabeth

8 July 2020

Travel Diary: 5 Things to Do in Palma de Mallorca


Since lockdown, foreign vacations feel like a distant luxury. With absolutely no idea when we'll be able to travel again, it got me to thinking back to what we were up to this time last year and back to our trip to Palma, Mallorca. I thought I'd share a few must-see spots, just incase you ever get to visit there yourself. Here are 5 things to do in Palma, Mallorca (Spain).

It's rare for us to book a holiday where we can actually relax and I am very much a city break person. However, this holiday was very much a chance to get in some well deserved rest before our big move from London to Stamford. It's actually the first vacation I've been on where I hadn't planned out the entire thing from start to finish but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty to see and do.

The Palma Cathedral - Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca


Palma Cathedral was top of my list when visiting the Palma, Mallorca. Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca (more commonly known as La Seu) is a stunning Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral located right in the heart of the city and pretty hard to miss amongst the many local restaurants and shops. La Seu is the most famous building and landmark of Palma, which was first built by King Jaume II and opened in 1299.

Once inside, the building is nothing short of remarkable with incredibly intricate designs, stain glass windows and bizarre yet beautiful human remains of Spanish royals. Regardless of your religious (or non-religious) beliefs, it's well worth the visit and a must-see when visiting the city.  The cathedral took just over an hour to see in full and afterwards we explored the surrounding city with its many shops, cafes and pretty streets. 

Address/Location: Palma Cathedral/La Seu, Plaça de la Seu, s/n, 07001 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain
Opening times: 1 April - 31 May / October:  Monday to Friday 10:00 to 17:15, 1 June - 30 September: Monday to Friday 10:00 to 18:15, 2 November - 31 March: Monday to Friday 10:00 to 15:15. From April to October no-queue entrance at Portal del Mirador on Calle Mirador (prepaid tickets only)
Admission price and Restrictions: €8 for adults and €4 for children. You can find out more about tickets here. As an active church, some restrictions do apply. You may not enter barefoot, in swimwear or wearing revealing (transparent) clothing. Access is not allowed with sleeveless tops that do not cover the shoulders. Excessively pronounced necklines and crop tops are also not allowed. Access will also be denied with pants and skirts that do not cover at least to mid-thigh.

Palau de l'Almudaina (The Royal Palace of La Almudaina)

Palau de l'Almudaina mallorca
Conveniently located 2 minutes walk from the Cathedral (and often mistaken for it) is the Palau de l'Almudaina or The Royal Palace of La Almudaina which has housed many members of the Spanish Royal Family.

Certainly one for history buffs, this 14th century palace is decorated with great tapestries and royal artifacts - and even human remains. The current castle, of Roman origin, is actually a modification of the Muslim alcázar from 1281, until 1343 during the reigns of James II of Majorca, son of James I of Aragon, Sancho of Majorca and James III of Majorca. As you walk around, you can certainly see the Arab influences in the architecture. If you're a Game of Thrones fan, you may very much feel like you're walking around Dawn with stunning views of the sea and regal courtyard.

We managed to get round the palace rather quickly, perhaps within an hour or so, so I would not say this is an all-day event. It doesn't tend to get very busy but it might save you some time queuing if you book your tickets ahead of your visit.

Address/Location: Carrer del Palau Reial, s/n, 07001 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain
Opening Times: Tuesday - Sunday from 10.00 to 18.00. Hours may differ depending on events or holidays so check the website before visiting.
Admission price and Restrictions: €9 euro per ticket, children under 5 go free. It's worth noting also that, from our experience, there are quite a lot of narrow staircases which aren't particularly accessible. You may wish to see their website before going if you are a disabled visitor.

Enjoy the Local Cuisine

seafood plater in Palma de mallorca palma de mallorca seafoodlobster seafood platter in palma de mallorca
food in palma de mallorca
For me a holiday is as much about sightseeing as it is enjoying the local cuisine. Palma is known for its freshly caught seafood, Spanish paella, pasta, tapas and fresh fish which you can enjoy at most restaurants. Depending on where in Palma you are, naturally the prices can very much vary - and so can the quality - so it's worth taking a look around before pulling up a chair.

Like many tourist destinations, you may also find that a lot of the restaurants typically serve English dishes which is just plain boring. Thankfully, we managed to track down some great places just from using Google Maps and Instagram.  Our favourite of the holiday had to be La Serene - famed for their seafood platers and outrageously big steaks - one which we still joke about to this day. With a beautiful view of the harbour and it being our final night, we thought we'd order whatever we liked and handle the bill later. After a fantastic meal, you can then imagine our surprise when, having ordered a seafood plater, a large t-bone steak, a bottle of wine,  a few beers, several soft drinks and starters each when the bill came to just €70. 

Alcudia Old Town

alcudia old town steps
visit alcudia old town
church in alcudia old town
views of palma de mallorca
If you don't mind public transport, renting a car or a taxi during your stay, it's worth branching out and experiencing some of Mallorca's most famous spots - including Alcudia Old Town. Perfect for shopping, dining and sightseeing, we spent hours just wandering through the little cobbled streets and markets. 

Alcudia Old Town is a wonderful place to visit if you're looking for some laid back exploring at your own pace. Whilst there, I'd recommend checking out the 365 Calvari steps (pictured above). The famous steps are a steep walk up to a peak so you're sure to get your steps in but once at the top, overlooking the island and the views will not disappoint.

On lower ground, however, the Old Town offers some of the greatest Spanish cuisine I sampled all holiday alongside a vast market of all kinds of treats, local lifestyle stores and a number of stunning churches - which, no matter what your faith of beliefs, were breathtaking to explore.

Address/Location: Avinguda Príncep d'Espanya, 07400 Alcúdia, Illes Balears, Spain
Opening Times: There are various shops spread out all over the town but market days take place every Tuesday and Sunday from around 8:00 to 13:00. I'd recommend getting there early before it gets too busy.
Admission Prices and Restrictions: To visit the Old Town and the 365 Calvari Steps is completely free of charge although there are costs involved with travelling there and shops. Most markets are cash only and the Old Town is extremely easy to get to via bus or taxi - although public buses get very busy on market day so I'd personally recommend a taxi.

Cuevas del Drach (Caves of Drach) in Porto Cristo

caves of drach mallorca
caves of drach
The Caves of Drach is a popular tourist destination in Mallorca, located in the picturesque town of Porto Cristo. Made up of four great caves, it was actually discovered during the Middle Ages but are believed to have formed between 11 and 5.3 million years ago, during the Miocene era. 

Once inside, they are incredibly impressive and I could have easily spent hours in there. As you walk through, you'll notice a beautiful crystal clear lake runs all the way through the caves which is actually the largest underground lake in the world. During your tour, you'll walk through 1200 meters of cave before being taken down to a large arena in front of water where a small orchestra played some classical music in darkness. At the end of the tour, guests are offered a short boat ride through it. A nice touch although sit near the front if you want to avoid queues after the musical performance.

Depending on where you are staying in Mallorca, between the cave tour and getting to and from, this is likely to be an all day event, though well worth it.

Address/Location: Ctra. de les Coves, s/n, 07680 Porto Cristo, Illes Balears, Spain
Opening hours: The cave works on time slots - from November 1 to April 30: 10:30, 12:00, 14:00 and 15:30. From May 1 to October 31: 11:00, 12:00, 13:00 and 14:00.
Admission Prices and Restrictions: Online price is €15.00 for adults and €8 for children. Babies under 3 years old do not require a paid ticket. Be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes before your entry time. The caves are not suitable for anyone in a wheelchair and pushchairs etc are not recommended. Ideally it's best to carry as little with you as possible. Visit their website for details.

Well, it only took me a global pandemic and a year to I finally put together something from our trip to Mallorca but it's been really nice looking back at the memories. The downside, however, is that in putting writing this post it has made me desperate for another adventure - even if it's just a UK one for now. But tell me, where are you looking forward to visiting (once lockdown has ended)? Have you visited Mallorca before? What were your favourite tourist spots? As always, I love reading your comments so please do leave me lots of lovely ones down below. 

Until next time, stay safe 


SHARE:

No comments

Post a comment

Thank you for your comment. I truly appreciate all of your comments/questions and so I try to respond to all if I can. Remember to pop back to see my reply

Blogger Template by pipdig