If you follow me on Instagram and stuck around despite the holiday spam, you’ll know I recently headed to Palma for a few days away with one of my favourite humans.
We’ve been visiting Spain for as long as I can remember but the closest I’d ever gotten to Palma before now was a post-sixth-form girls holiday to Magaluf (lol), so it goes without saying that I was pretty excited to discover a different side of the island.
I’m back at work and already feeling like I’ve never been away but that we certainly did. If you fancy a relaxing few days in the sunshine with a dash of culture and A LOT of good food, this roundup of our trip is for you.
Where to stay
We stayed in the ICON Rosetó, part of the Petit Palace hotel group, and definitely would again if we head back to Palma in the future. The decor is minimal so naturally very up my street and the rooftop pool was a life-saver in the 38-degree heatwave. The hotel is nestled down a quiet side street in the old town too so location-wise it was perfect. We never had to walk more than 15 minutes to get where we wanted to go.
What to do
The aforementioned temperature made my usual plans to explore pretty impossible but we did manage to see some of the history and culture this pretty city has to offer.
Royal Palace of La Almudaina
The palace is one of the first things you see as you drive into Palma so it’s hard to miss. It’s definitely a tourist trap but don’t let that put you off. Its impressive stone walls offer a fascinating insight into the history of the city.
When we exchanged ‘peaks’ and ‘pits’ of the trip as we always do at the end of a holiday, this came out top for both of us. I’ll warn you in advance that you’re going to have to navigate a fairly complicated network of side streets to find it but you won’t be disappointed. The arab baths date back to the 10th century and will cost you less than five euros to see.
Jardi del Bisbe
Just around the corner from the Banys Arabs is this small but perfectly formed garden. It won’t take you long to wander around but is free to enter and home to some beautiful plants and water features if you fancy spending a half-hour outdoors.
Where to eat
Onto the best part – food! I have to say, I was expecting Palma to be a lot more traditional than it actually was on the food front but that’s not a bad thing. The city is full of quirky eateries ranging from the traditional to the very millennial and I can honestly say I didn’t have a bad meal there. Here were a few of our highlights.
This ‘vermuteria’ was literally just a few steps away from our hotel and came highly recommended by one of the receptionists. With metro tiles and wooden stools, it’s a modern and very Instagrammable place to eat with a menu to match. We opted for a set menu of around six dishes featuring everything from octopus to meatballs and, aside from the food coma I found myself in shortly afterwards, it went down a treat.
Simple Smart Food
This boho cafe with a strong focus on sustainability was so good we visited twice. Their ‘tostadas’ were simple but delicious and the ‘Coffee Boost’ (coffee, banana, almond butter, maple syrup and almond milk in case you were wondering) is something I miss on a daily basis. Note to self: must try to recreate at home.
When I asked for recommendations before our trip, this was without a doubt the name that popped up the most and it’s not hard to see why. A drink might set you back a fair few euros but this bar, set within a 17th century mansion, is nothing short of magical.
Mercat de l’Olivar
I love a food market. I’m not ashamed to say I seek one out in pretty much every destination I visit. There’s just something about having a tonne of different options under one roof that sends my foodie soul to its happy place. Annoyingly I can’t actually remember the name of the restaurant we ate at inside (sorry) but you won’t be short of options, I promise.
I don’t think I’ve ever received as many messages in response to an Instagram Story as I did after I posted my breakfast at La Molienda. The picture says it all.
This was the only place I hadn’t ‘trip advisored’ in advance on this trip. Much to the irritation of my travel companions, I always do my research when it comes to eating out. Food is such a massive part of an enjoyable holiday for me and it’s no secret that I’m as organised as they come. Turns out Sunday nights in Palma are pretty busy though which means we couldn’t really afford to be fussy.
We stumbled across this place wandering down a side street in the old town and I’m really glad we did. It’s full of atmosphere thanks to its underground restaurant and exposed brick walls and the meal was one of the best we had on the trip without a doubt.
Any plans to visit Palma in the near future?