Before we visited Mallorca this summer, I thought of it mostly as a beach destination – and it is that, to be sure, with miles of beautiful Mediterranean coastline. But I was surprised by how charmed I was by the capital city of Palma de Mallorca, a small, pedestrian-friendly city that has interesting history and architecture and reminded me at different points of Barcelona, Florence and New Orleans. Fair warning that this post is very photo-heavy, since I couldn’t put my camera down.
We only had one day in Palma, but I felt like it was enough because the city is pretty compact. We started our day by walking over to Palma’s cathedral, the most famous landmark in town. It’s one of the most stunning churches I’ve seen, at least from the outside (unfortunately we weren’t able to go inside because we were in Palma on Sunday, the one day of the week the cathedral is closed to tourism).
After leaving the cathedral, we walked along the walls of the old city to Parc de la Mar, an aptly named waterfront park with a large playground that our 4 year old enjoyed.
We walked back to Old Town Palma, passing the cathedral again and getting nice views of it framed by the lake in the park.
We ended up at the Llotja de Palma, a mercantile built in gothic style in the 1400s. It was so interesting to see and the ceilings inside were incredible. It’s free to visit.
Gelato break! We got gelato from Riva Reno right around the corner from the Llotja. It’s an Italian company and didn’t disappoint.
I loved the broad tree-lined pedestrian streets.
After a break at our hotel for some pool time and a siesta, we headed to the city center for dinner, ending up at the Placa Major.
I loved how walkable Palma was. I think that’s why it reminded me of Florence. I also couldn’t stop marveling at how green it was and how many flowers there were, and we soon realized that wasn’t unique to Palma. There are flowers all over the place in Mallorca. (Stay tuned for photos from the rest of our week in Mallorca soon!)
The famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi spent time in Palma, and you can see his influence in some of the buildings here.
I really adored Palma and am so glad we spent some time here before heading to the beaches.
Where we stayed: Hotel Cort, located in Placa de Cort, right in the heart of old town Palma.
We loved this hotel! The rooms were spacious and so comfortable. We had a proper suite for less than I’ve typically paid for a junior suite or standard room in other European cities.
Our room had a balcony overlooking beautiful Placa de Cort, home to a famous 600 year old olive tree.
Breakfast is complimentary, and we enjoyed eating outside next to the olive tree. You order the food off a menu, but there’s a wide selection and everything we had – from pastries to eggs to avocado toast with fresh tomatoes – was excellent.
The hotel has a gorgeous roof deck with a plunge pool, which was a much-appreciated oasis from the mid-day July heat.
Hotel Cort has all kind of gorgeous design touches around the hotel, and I loved all the blue and white, especially the tile in the shower and on the roofdeck.
I can’t recommend Hotel Cort enough if you’re looking for a place to stay in Palma.