In the years before the start of the Corona pandemic, almost 14 million guests per year visited the four inhabited Balearic Islands. This is the assessment of the Spanish statistical institute Frontur. The main part of the visitors falls on Mallorca, the main island of the Autonomous Region of the Balearic Islands. It is indisputable that no one can avoid Mallorca's island capital, Palma. Whether guests arrive on the island by plane, ferry or cruise ship, they always end up in Palma.
Article overview Mallorca
Palma - Mallorca's island metropolis
Mallorca is by far the largest of the four Balearic Islands. The area measures 3.640 square kilometers and the coastline is estimated at 550 kilometers. The island is also very mountainous. The highest peak is in the Tramuntana mountains. It's the Puig Major; it reaches 1445 meters in height. In addition to pleasant temperatures, Mallorca offers its guests magnificent mountain landscapes, beautiful bays and, with Playa de Palma, a huge beach region. Much more than you can consciously experience in two or three weeks of vacation. And then there's Palma: if you haven't seen the island's capital, you don't know Mallorca.
Bay near Palma
Approximately 2021 people lived in Palma at the beginning of 425.000. That is significantly more inhabitants than the major German cities of Bielefeld, Bochum or Wuppertal. Palma's area extends over a good 30 kilometers. It ranges from Magaluf in the west to S'Arenal in the east. More than half of the approximately 900.000 islanders live in this region.
Palma - some history
The first proven settlers of the prehistoric Talayotic culture lived on the island as early as 5.000 BC. The Romans followed the Talayotic culture. They conquered Mallorca in 123 BC They founded the port city of Palma. With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 4th century AD, Palma lost its importance again. It was only with the Moors, who occupied Palma in 903, that Palma regained its status. Moorish rule lasted more than 300 years. After the expulsion of the Moors, Mallorca fell to the Kingdom of Aragon in 1229. Under his leadership, the city fortifications and the Cathedral of La Seu were built.
La Seu Cathedral and Parc de la Mar.
The architectural styles of the Moors, Gothic and Renaissance, which are mixed in Palma, are the result of the respective periods of rule. Other notable buildings were built at the beginning of the 20th century in the style of Spanish modernism.
Banys Àrabs - witnesses of Arabic culture
Palma - Church, Culture and Science
Palma has been a Catholic bishopric since the 5th century. The Diocese of Mallorca is subordinate to the Archdiocese of Valencia. The cathedral and other impressive churches invite you to visit.
Basilica de Sant Francesc
Culture and art from different civilizations influenced the island's cultural life. One of the most important artists in Mallorca was the painter and sculptor Joan Miró. He died in Palma in 1983. It is not surprising that art museums and galleries define the cityscape in such an ambience.
Monumental art on La Rambla
There is a wide range of music festivals on offer. Classical, pop and electro are served equally.
Palma is a university location. In 1978 the UIB, the University of the Balearic Islands, was founded there. Teaching is divided into six faculties.
Another example of contemporary art
Palma - transport and economy
The island, but especially the area around Palma, is well developed in terms of transport. Local public transport leaves little to be desired.
Estació Intermodal underground bus station
Mallorca is connected to Europe and the Spanish mainland by air and ferry lines. According to the operating company, Palma's Son Sant Joan Airport sees 30 million passengers a year. This puts it in the same league as Copenhagen, Oslo or Zurich airports.
From an economic point of view, Palma lives mainly from tourism, services and trade. Industrial companies have not been allowed to settle in the city since the 1970s and are therefore completely absent. Important employers are the airport and the entire maritime sector. The municipal areas and the administrations of the autonomous region of the Balearic Islands should also be mentioned.
Palma - from the perspective of the crusaders
Palma is one of the most important cruise destinations in the western Mediterranean. In 2019, before the start of the corona pandemic, 820 cruise ships docked in Mallorca. The number of passengers is estimated at 2,22 million. The government of the Balearic Islands plans to effectively limit cruise ship calls from 2023 onwards. Then a maximum of three cruise ships may dock at the same time. Only one of the ships is allowed to enter with more than 5.000 passengers. The daily upper limit of cruise passengers should not exceed the number of 8.500 on a weekly average.
Palma is rich in attractions. It is one of those cities that - with appropriate preparation - do not require guided excursions. Under Palma de Mallorca - attractions we show the recommended attractions of the city and the surrounding area.
In Palma cruise ships dock at two piers:
Berth No. 1:
Estació Maritima num. 2 near the marina. Walk to town about 30 minutes.
Pier 1 - Estación Maritima
Berth No. 2 - Mole Dique Oeste:
In the commercial port of Porto Pi behind the fortress of San Carlos. Walk to town about 75 minutes.
Mole 2 - Dique Oeste with AIDA ship
The actually remote Mole Dique Oeste is well developed in terms of transport. Buses chartered by the cruise lines, taxis and the public transport bus line 1 connect the cruise terminal with the city center. Bus line 1 ends at the airport. When visiting the city center, it is advisable to get off either below the Palacio Real de La Almudaina (stop: coming from the port area after the turn into Avenida d'Antonio Maura) or at Plaça España. Palma can be easily discovered from both stops.
Guests whose cruise ends in Palma and whose flights do not leave until the evening will find both luggage storage and check-in for the flight home in the port area. After completing the formalities, you can concentrate on the city in peace. After your sightseeing tour, take bus number 1 to the airport.