Each time I mention to someone new that I am studying abroad in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, I am met with the same response – “How can you get any studying done in a place like that?” While my typical response is to laugh it off and launch into an anecdote about the trials and tribulations of the Spanish university system, I must admit these people do have a point. Palma, the capital city of Mallorca, is a vacationers dream, boasting everything from perfect weather and untouched beaches to mountain hikes and delicious food.
As much as I would love to argue that you need a lifetime to understand what the island has to offer, beggars cannot be choosers, and visitors are often on a tight schedule. So, in the interest of making the most of a short time on the island, here is the best way to tackle Mallorca in 18 hours!
As one of the largest cathedrals in all of Europe, you couldn’t miss this one even if you tried. The massive church rests atop the old city and looks out over the Mediterranean. As spectacular as it is from the outside, the inside is really breathtaking. Avoid the ticket lines and get in for free by attending one of the daily masses. Upon arrival, simply ask the guards what time the next mass is scheduled for.
Las Ramblas and Passeig del Borne
Walking down these picturesque streets will have you falling in love with Palma in seconds. With towering trees overhead and flower markets flanking each side, it’s easy to feel like you’ve somehow ended up on a movie set.
Plaza España, Plaza Major, and Plaza de Cort
One thing that any Spanish city has an abundance of is plazas. Get lost in the winding streets and you will undoubtedly find yourself in one of these unique centers of the city. Each plaza has its own personality and its own offerings (shopping, restaurants, museums), making it worth it to find as many as you can.
Rent a Bike
Palma is filled with bike shops where you can rent a ride for the day for as little as 5 Euros. This is one of the best ways to move about the city, specifically to see the coastline. You can easily ride along Passeo Maritimo to see the ocean, and continue down to the outskirts of the city for some tapas right along the water. On the other end, you can ride all the way to the Porto Pi shopping center and stop at the Museo Histórico Militar de San Carlos for magnificent views.
Hop on a Bus
Whether it be the public bus or the hop-on-hop-off tourist edition, buses are often one of the best ways to get around the city easily and inexpensively. Take the public EMT bus line 3 to Cala Mayor or a little farther to Illetes – both gorgeous beaches to spend the day a little outside the city.
Mallorca is famous for its food, and the capital is filled with restaurants for everything from a quick tapa to a luxuriously long comida. My recommendations are:
Tapas - Casa Gallega, Tast, Bar Bosch
Coffee Stop - La Molienda, Tudurí
Dinner – Nemos, Arrocería Sa Cranca
No matter how long you are there, Mallorca is enchanting. Embrace the tranquila lifestyle, relax, and enjoy your trip.
- Abby Rasweiler