Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca is the island's only true city. A city on the island of Mallorca, one of the Balearic Islands off the Spanish east coast.

Understand

Night view of Palma's massive Gothic cathedral

Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Balearic Islands, is the largest city in Mallorca; the population of the Palma municipality was approximately 400,000 at the beginning of 2007. Half the population of Mallorca lives in the city of Palma.

The city occupies the north western end of a bay in the south west of the island of Mallorca. The city council also has jurisdiction over the sub-archipelago of Cabrera including the islands of Cabrera, Conejera, Estells, Imperial, Rodon, Foradada, Plana, and Pobra.

The name Palma dates back to the Roman settlement on the site of the present city, although the area was originally settled during the Bronze Age. In the early middle ages it was conquered by Arabs, who named it Madina Mayurqa. In 1229 it was conquered by King Jaime I, ruler of Valencia and Aragon, and became an important trade city. Palma saw its dark ages in the 16th century, when a significant decline was caused by attacks from Turkish and Berber Pirates and through plague. Lasting until the 18th century, Felipe V changed the government which made Palma the capital of the Balearic Islands. Later, Carlos III established a free trade pact with the Indies, which had a huge impact turning financials around in Palma.

The city became a tourist destination in the 1950s, and tourist numbers have continually increased in the subsequent half century. Palma is a busy commercial and cultural center of Mallorca. This independent region of the Balearic Islands of Spain have over half of the island’s population living there. The holiday season lasts from the end of April until October, and from November to April, temperatures range from 20-28 degrees Celsius (60-70 degrees Fahrenheit) and may require a jacket in the evenings.

Palma de Mallorca, during the 19th century, more sea traffic would come in bringing in much economic growth for the island. Today, Mallorca is one of Europe’s major holiday destinations, with many tourists coming from everywhere, every year. Palma is a city of modern, hotel chains, and flashy shops, yet, is dated and still retains much of the old architecture, with the Old Town having narrow streets, and showing the restored cathedral standing proud in the center of town.

Get in

By plane

Palma's city airport (IATA: PMI) is the major airport in Mallorca, and has daily flights from many European cities on national and budget carriers.

PMI is 9 kilometres from the center of Palma. EMT's Line 1 bus service runs between the seaport, the city centre and the airport every fifteen minutes between 6:15am and 2:30am, and the fare is €2.50.

Modules

There are four modules at the airport: Module A, Module B, Module C and Module D.

Module A

Located in the north of the airport, it has 28 gates, of which 8 have air bridges. This is the only module that has double air bridges attached to gates. The Pier is mainly used by flights to non-Schengen destinations including the UK and Ireland. This part of the terminal building is closed during winter months and is only used in the summer.

Module B

The smallest Module, located in the north east. It has 8 gates located on ground floor, of which none have air bridges. It is used by regional aircraft of Air Nostrum, mainly operating intra-Balearic flights.

Module C
Outside view of the airport

The largest of the modules is located in the east. It has 33 gates, of which 9 have air bridges. It is used by Air Berlin, Niki and Condor along with EasyJet flights to Schengen destinations. The majority of air bridges have airberlin.com written on them.

The southern area of the module was worked on and reopened in May 2011.

Module C is also the meeting point for transfers, taxi pickup and groups.

Module D

Located in the south, it has 19 gates of which 10 have air bridges. All odd-numbered gates have a bus transfer. The majority of air bridges have airberlin.com written on them.

By train

TIB runs train services between Mallorcan towns. There is no train service to the airport. The main Train, Bus, and Metro station ('Estacio Intermodal') is underground, at Placa Espanya in Palma.

'Ferrocarril de Soller' operates the quaint wooden electric train from Placa Espanya in Palma to Soller town, in the north-west of the island, and from where you can continue your relaxing scenic journey to Puerto Soller on the companion Electric Tram.

By car

Travellers can only drive to Palma from other cities in Mallorca; there are no bridges or any road links to other islands or to the mainland. Most cities and towns in Mallorca have road links directly to Palma. There are several companies in Majorca that offer transfer facilities from the airport to any destination on the island. Balearic transfer services , Fleet and Goo and BookTaxiMallorca are examples of these companies.

By bus

EMT (ph. 971 43 10 24) runs the local bus service in Palma. Regional buses to destinations around the island are operated mainly by TIB (Transport de les Iles Balears ). All EMT buses are equipped with onboard screens and loudspeakers that state the current and next stop, in both Spanish and Catalán. EMT's line number 1 will take you from the airport through Palma downtown and to the outer dock of the main harbor (where most large cruise ships dock). Arrivals/departures every 15 minutes from 7:00am until 8:00pm. They operate once every 30 minutes from 6AM to 10PM. The fare is €3.00. There is only one fare, so you don't need to specify your destination to the driver/conductor! All other local EMT destinations within Palma cost €1.50, so you need to tell the driver "no aeroporto, por favor!".

In an effort to reduce drunk driving and get less people driving on the weekends, Palma offers a ´bus de nit´ bus service. In Catalán, it obviously means ´night bus´. It is full of locals, and Spaniards from the peninsula and runs from 10PM to 6AM every 20 to 30 minutes all night long. The bus costs 1€ and goes all the way down the infamous ´paseo maritimo´, which is where all the best clubs are in Palma.

Tip; if you really enjoy clubbing, do not be afraid to go a few miles along the Paseo Maritimo. The numbers start at 1 and go up to about 80. The biggest clubs (i.e. Tito´s and Level) are located in the 20´s. Farther down the Paseo the music gets better, the people are more mature, and you will find less completely drunk tourists.

By sea

Any number of cruise ships berth at Palma, and there are also a number of ferry services to other Balaeric Islands and to the Iberian peninsula:

The all-year-around Baleària and Acconia Trasmediterranea ships travel to and from the mainland (Barcelona) once a day, each. They both usually leave Barcelona at night (23:00) and arrive in Palma very early the next day (06:00). And they both usually leave Palma for Barcelona at 12:30 and arrive at 19:30. Tickets must be purchased in advance and westerners can book through services such as directferries.co.uk . In addition, high speed ferries are now becoming available that offer reduced the travel time by a couple hours.

Palma's port has a small office on the west end of the port where customers must check in at least one hour before departure. The line can grow long so travelers may want to arrive a couple hours in advance. Please be aware that the ship may depart from the east end of the port, and that a bus will transport the customers from the check in building to the ship.

Get around

Castell de Bellver

Buses and trains are the two forms of shared public transport in Palma de Mallorca. The local buses are run by Empresa Municipal de Transportes Urbanes de Palma de Mallorca (EMT) and are very frequent. They have particularly good coverage of the beaches and the centre of the city. Timetables and fares are available from the City Council . The main train system is operated by Serveis Ferroviaris de Mallorca (SFM), Mallorca Railway Services.

The Palma City Sightseeing bus (which is numbered line 50 on the EMT bus maps ) does a circuit of Palma that includes tourist attractions like Pueblo Español and major shopping centres like Av. Jaume III and Porto Pi, as well as the ferry and commercial ports. The buses are double-decker and the top floor is open air. A basic audio tour is free with the tickets. The tickets are €15 adults and €6,50 children for one day (24 Hours) which is much higher than the other city buses, but they are valid for reboarding as many times as you like within 24 hours, and this is the only bus route that visits the Castell de Bellver. The Two-day fare is € 16,25 for Adults and € 8,13 for children from the age of 8 to 16. The first bus in the winter season starts from Cathedral at 10:00AM and the last bus in winter starts from the same place at 06:00PM.

Like much of the Balearic Islands and the Catalonia region of Spain, the locals speak Catalan as well as Spanish. In addition, the island of Mallorca has it's own version of Catalan called Mallorcan. For this reason, fewer locals learn to speak English. English-speaking westerners should be aware that it will be more difficult to get around without learning basic Spanish. However, the nearby communities of Magaluf and Palma Nova are home to UK Citizens, Germans, and other Europeans.

See

Pueblo Español architecture museum

Historic Centre

The facade of the Almudaina Palace

The historical centre of Palma is the oldest part of the city. It is also a refreshing area to walk in on one of Palma's hot humid days: the streets are narrow and shady. You will get a chance to peek in at a number of private courtyards. In addition, the historic center has a lot of attractions:

Do

Town hall (Ajuntament de Palma)

Buy

Work

All EU citizens have the legal right to work. Getting a job, even temporary ones, for non-Spanish speakers is hard to find in a Spanish speaking environment (most Spanish do not speak English). So you may try looking for temporary jobs as bartending or waiting at English, Irish or German owned bars and restaurants, mainly in cities outside Palma like Magalluf, S'Arenal and Peguera (for German speaking travellers). In Palma you may try getting day-work washing boats at Palma´s Marina. There are several boats and some of the owners may need a hand. Be around 8AM at the Marina and start asking for "day work" to people around the big boats. If you're lucky you'll be making around 100 euros!. If you are seeking a career aboard one of the many superyachts in Palma de Mallorca a good place to register and start looking is Crew Central

Eat


Budget

Mid-range

Drink

Ignore the killjoys who tell you it's a rip-off: true, the bar only serves drinks (no food), frowns even on using the Cappuccino machine, and pushes an expensive cocktail menu on you as soon as you walk through the daunting entrance door. But the cocktails are all made with fresh fruit juices and are HUGE!! - or just have a cerveza or a copa de Vino. Everyone should visit Abaco at least once in a lifetime!

Sleep

The Mallorca high season is between July and September. Book especially early during any holiday weeks or weekends in the United Kingdom or Germany, as Mallorca and Palma in particular are popular holiday spots for people from these countries.Many hotels close in winter so that booking is also advised then.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Connect

Stay safe

Most areas of Palma are safe to wander around even after dark. Visitors should refrain from wandering alone after dark through the empty narrow streets of the Old Town and El Terreno. The gay and lesbian area of town, the Latter, can be rather sleazy in parts and known to attract drug users.

Remember Palma de Mallorca (as well as the other Baleric islands) is full of club drugs. Extasy, cocaine, marijuana, and more can be found especially in the club scene. Be cautious of drugs like GHB, ketamine, and others which can be slipped into drinks (especially in Sangría found in restaurants). Personal drug possession in Spain is legal (considered to be less than 500 doses), but trafficking is illegal.

Keep all valuables out of sign when sightseeing, such as wallets and purses to be kept in front or hidden in pockets. Any excess cash, cards, passports, and valuable documents are best left in the hotel or wherever visitor is staying to stay safe. It is always safe to take a taxi during late hours, especially if you are alone. Use your common sense to stay safe.

Go next

You can then take a tram from Soller train station to the Port de Sóller, located on a large bay. The journey takes about 15 minutes and costs 4 euros (one way). The port of Sóller is full of tourists attractons and shops, and has breathtaking views from the top of the hill on the island.
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