Countless boats are clustered at the jetties of the marina and in the background the impressive cathedral rises majestically. The view approaching from the sea underlines the fact that the capital of Majorca is one of the most impressive towns in the Mediterranean. Around the Plaza Mayor small shops, restaurants and cafés line the labyrinth of narrow alleyways, creating a unique charm. Here you will find a whole variety of local products, from chic summer dresses to almond ice cream, a local speciality. In addition, an important feature of Palma is its impressive cultural life with numerous museums and theatres. The hotspot for the nightlife is to be found along the coast, where you will find many bars and clubs in which you can sip your cocktails or dance the night away. Even today you can still find occasional evidence of the influence of the Moors in the old town, for example in the Arabic Baths, the only building of the Moors dating from the 10th century which still exists.
With just under 400.000 inhabitants, the island’s main city is the economic and cultural centre of the Balearics. There are hardly any large industrial companies here, but instead it is tourism and trade which contribute most to the economic strength of the town. The harbour of Palma is by far the largest in Majorca and its ferry port, together with the international airport of Palma, is the hub for the entire island. The extensive road network leading out from Palma ensures that all other holiday destinations in Majorca are easily reached by tourists, who can be found in almost every corner of the island, especially in the summer months.
Palma is very popular with foreigners as a place to live. Only half of the population were either born in Palma or moved there from other parts of the Balearic Islands. As well as from the Spanish mainland, it is mainly the British and Germans who come to live in this Mediterranean city and as a result, the population of Palma has been increasing steadily for some years now.
Majorca’s capital is sprawled across the large bay of Badia de Palma in the southern part of the island. It is situated in a coastal region which is very well developed for tourists and which stretches for about 30 kilometres from Magaluf to S'Arenal. Along this part of the coast you will find one hotel next to the other. However, only a few kilometres outside of the historic centre is the town beach of Playa Ca'n Pere Antoni, which is a nice place nearby for tourists and locals of the town to relax. Very close by is also the small bay of Cala Portixol, which is considered to be one of the coolest among the town beaches around Palma and the former fishing village is today very popular with young people. The small houses along the bay are being renovated one by one and are now modern cafés und tapas bars. The various town beaches around Palma are linked by a spacious promenade with its own separate bicycle lane, which means that you do not have to have a car to get to them.
To the south-west of the town the coastal landscape changes to hills, rocks and a lot of greenery. In spite of the many hotels and apartment buildings in the suburbs of Palma, there are still natural settings to be admired, for example around the bays of Cala Major and Playa Oratorio. The beach of Playa de Illetas is a little bit more exclusive and has expensive restaurants and chic boutiques. While the beaches to the east of the centre of Palma are above all very popular with the local residents, the bays in the south-western suburbs are more focused on tourism. In contrast to nearby Playa de Palma, which mainly attracts partying German holidaymakers, the beaches next to the town and the adjoining suburbs are more used by those people mainly looking for relaxation, sun-bathing and the chance to cool off in the sea.