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Palma Attractions - Free Things to do in Palma

Top Palma Attractions

Top rated Free Palma Attractions and Paid Attractions list

1. Serra de Tramuntana (Free)

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A dramatic limestone mountain range that hugs the northwest coast of the island and affords absolutely fantastic views of the sea.

The Serra offers many options for those that want to explore this beautiful, unspoiled side of the island. You can simply drive around; the roads are quite thrilling, being quite narrow and with many hairpin bends. A coach trip is also quite an experience. Hiking and biking are also popular pursuits. See the idyllic scenery including lush orange, lemon and olive groves, and tiny, picturesque villages with tempting cafes.

You can also explore the Canyon de la Calobra (link) with its caves, beaches and crystal clear water. When in the mountains, make sure you take plenty of water, suncream, a hat, and most importantly a camera to capture all that incredible scenery! The Soller Railway (link) also finishes in the Serra in the town of Soller, from where you can catch a tram to Puerto Soller.

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2. Palma Cathedral (Le Seu) (Paid)

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This imposing Gothic cathedral with its soaring spires houses an abundance of priceless artworks and treasures and is seen by many as the most beautiful church in the world.

Overlooking the sea, it makes an impressive sight for anyone approaching Palma by boat. The cathedral was started by King James I in 1229 on the site of a previous Arab mosque. The legend goes that James was caught in a ferocious storm while trying to retake Majorca, and swore to the Virgin Mary that he would build a church in her honour if she delivered him safely. Upon reaching dry land, he started work immediately, but the cathedral was not finished until 1601.

The interior is truly breathtaking with the stained glass allowing the sun to permeate and give a wonderful glow. The vast Royal Chapel has a beautiful altar dating from 1346. Above this is a much more recent addition: a wrought-iron chandelier added by Antoni Gaudí during his brief tenure of restoration.

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3. Canyon de la Calobra (Free)

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This dramatic canyon winds its way through the stunning landscape of Mallorca’s north coast, carved by the Torrent de Pareis river. There are several options for exploring the area depending on how hardy you are.

You can approach the beach at the canyon’s end from S?ller, either by car (again, this is a case of steep, winding roads), or via boat from Puerto S?ller. The beach is pebbled, fairly small and popular with tourists. With the imposing mountains and canyon in the background, and vivid blue water, it’s certainly an attractive place.

If you have a good pair of hiking boats, you might consider the walk down the canyon. Although there is a promenade to walk on near the beach, as you get further down it turns into an exhilarating walk with plenty of intriguing rock formations and local animal and plant life. Make sure you’re well prepared with plenty of water, a hat and sunscreen!

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4. Soller Railway (Paid)

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Taking a trip on this charming electric railway is like stepping back in time, as you travel from the historic station in Palma through the beautiful Mallorcan landscape to the town of S?ller.

The railway dates from 1912 and was founded on the profits of the orange and lemon trade. Even now, the train passes so close to trees bearing these fruits that you could almost reach out and pick them. The wooden carriages have an olde-worlde feel with open ends where you can enjoy a cool, refreshing breeze as the train rushes through the plains and mountains of the Serra de Tramuntana (link), with incredible views.

Once at S?ller - a picturesque town where you can sample many types of cuisine including tapas - you have the option of catching the electric tram to Puerto S?ller, which is also a fantastic journey. Here, there are seafood restaurants and beach activities as well as boat trips including to Canyon de la Calobra (link).

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5. Pilar and Joan Miro Foundation (Paid)

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This attraction is part art gallery and museum, as it houses a selection of works by the famous Spanish artist Joan Mir?, and you can also see the studios where he worked.

Mir? adopted Palma as his home in 1956 and remained there until his death in 1983. Afterwards, his widow Pilar established this foundation in his memory, but it also contains an evolving collection of contemporary art, as per his wishes.

The artist designed a modernist studio to work in, which you can explore. Its style is typical of his bold colours and lines. Inside are many of his artworks and objects that inspired him. There is also an old farmhouse, which he also used as a studio, with many sketches on the walls. The beautiful gardens contain many of his sculptures. The views of the sea and bay are stunning. There is also a cafe selling lovely pastries.

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6. Basilica de Sant Francesc (Paid)

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Located near to the Cathedral (link), this 13th century church has an extremely impressive high altar and a tranquil atmosphere. There are also side chapels with ornate guilding and some lovely paintings.

The rather stark facade, rebuilt after being hit by lightning in the 17th century, is an imposing sandstone wall broken only by the ornate entrance and a rose window. The beautiful, peaceful Gothic cloisters have orange and lemon trees and a central well. As there are also classrooms on the upper floors, the quiet is momentarily broken twice a day for the school run!

As well as the main altar, the church also contains the tomb of Ram?n Llull (1235-1316), the Catalan philosopher and hermit. The monks brew their own spirit and tasters of this are available in the shop. The church organ is very well renowned and sounds incredible in the church’s acoustics. Behind the church is the old Jewish Quarter, now enjoying a renaissance with new restaurants.

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7. Bellver Castle (Paid)

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This attractive circular castle, built of sandstone and dating from the 14th century, has survived in remarkable condition despite being besieged twice early in its life. It is the only circular castle in Spain, and was built for the royal court of King James II. It was used as a military prison for many centuries, from the late 14th to as recently as the mid-20th century. It has served as a museum since 1932.

The castle is located on a hill about 3km northwest of the city. Fantastic views of the town, the sea, and surrounding mountains are to be had from the roof. Display panels throughout the castle tell you about its history. A dry moat encloses the castle, which was important in its defence. The inner courtyard, also circular, has a well in the middle with the main building looking onto it through a ring of gothic semi-circular arches.

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8. Passeig des Born (Free)

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This attractive, leafy promenade is a favourite spot in Palma for shopping, drinking, dining and people-watching. Bar Bosch near the top of the Born is highly recommended and has great views of the Cathedral (link).

The Born has been central to the life of Palma for over a century; it has been the scene of demonstrations and parties, and dancing and music still take place here during Palma’s many fiestas. Among the great selection of shops you’ll find Boss, Louis Vuitton, Zara and H&M. Don’t forget to look up above the shops to see the historic Catalan architecture. Another interesting feature is a marble column at the top of the street, supported by four turtles and topped by a bat emblem.

You can also find the Ca’n Solleric, a modern art gallery which opened in 1995 in a converted mansion. Passeig des Born ends at the harbour where you can enjoy lunch overlooking the water.

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9. Museu Fundacion Juan March (Free)

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This pleasant and inviting gallery focuses on the work of Spain’s avant garde artists, with 70 pieces in its permanent collection, by Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, Joan Mir? and Salvador Dali, among many others. 52 artists from the mid-20th century onwards are also represented. The museum also has a commitment to representing contemporary art, with temporary exhibitions of both national and international artists.

The gallery was opened in 1990 in an 18th century building that is itself a work of art, the modern art framed perfectly by its elegant curves and lines. It was expanded in 2003 and now has a hall for activities, classes and concerts. Although surrounded by busy shops, the gallery retains an air of tranquillity, perfect for chilling out during a busy day. It’s recommended for anyone with a passing interest in art. Admission is totally free and there is a small shop selling prints, catalogues and postcards.

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10. Parque del Mar (Free)

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This tranquil and attractive park is one of the most popular places in the city to sit and relax, with its fabulous views of the Cathedral (link), but its genesis occurred relatively recently.

Up until the 1970s, the Mediterranean came right up to the enormous city walls which encircle Le Seu. This was an impressive sight with the Gothic spires reflected in the crystal clear water. However, city planners installed a new motorway and Paseo Maritimo (boardwalk), in front of the Cathedral, pushing the sea back. They also created the Parque del Mar, which recreates that image of the Cathedral towering over the water with the help of an inland sea water lake. This also has a spectacular fountain.

There are also bars and cafes, an auditorium, interesting statues, gardens with colourful flowers and play areas. There’s even an occasional outdoor cinema when films are projected onto a floating screen on the lake! The views out to the sea and harbour are also stunning.

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11. Far de Formentor (Free)

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This lighthouse is situated at the northernmost tip of Mallorca amid stunningly dramatic scenery. To reach it, you wind your way along a 13.5km road from Port de Pollença; another narrow road with plenty of hairpin bends, so allow about 35 minutes. The road was designed by the Italian engineer Antonio Parietti in the 1920s.

The lighthouse was designed by Emili Pou in 1863. Construction work was extremely arduous due to the incredibly harsh landscape of the Formentor peninsula. Builders also had to work Sundays and holidays, and upon hearing this, the Bishop of Mallorca installed an altar at the site so the workers could attend Mass before their shift. The interior dwellings have been renovated to offer accommodation to tourists. There is also a small cafe at the lighthouse.

Don’t forget your camera to catch the fantastic scenery at this rugged tip of Mallorca. The view over the sea and back towards Port de Pollença is spectacular.

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12. Es Trenc (Free)

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This beautiful beach is the only one on the island to remain undeveloped and preserve a natural state, giving it a great charm. It is very popular with families, especially on the weekends.

More than 2 kilometres of fine white sand are lapped by gorgeous crystal clear water. There is a gentle slope with wild vegetation growing on the dunes behind the beach. A few bars and restaurants offer refreshments. There are sunbeds and parasols available for hire. Be aware that one section is an unofficial nudist beach. However, the water is very shallow, making it safe for children.

The beach remains unspoilt thanks to the area being declared a natural park, and you can also spot a variety of migratory birds. Further back is a forest of pine trees and paths leading to even more secluded beaches. All in all, Es Trenc comes highly recommended; if you only have time to go to one beach in Majorca, it should be this one.

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13. Sa Llotja (Free)

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This stunning building is regarded as the finest piece of Gothic architecture in Palma. Somewhat resembling a castle or temple, it was in fact the trading exchange centre, where all sorts of goods changed hands, including gold and silver, silk, cotton, spices and coffee. Built between 1426-47, started by Guillem Sagrera and finished by Guillermo Vilasolar, the Llotja originally formed part of the sea walls and was lapped by the Mediterranean.

A beautiful structure with ornate decorations including statues and gargoyles, it also has four corner towers for defence as it also formed part of the city’s fortifications. In the vast interior, six spiralling columns branch outwards to support an impressive vaulted ceiling. Nowadays, it is used for temporary art exhibitions, which are always worth a look. Recently restored, it now features a roof terrace which can be ascended to via prior arrangement. Around the Llotja are a huge array of bars, cafes and restaurants offering every type of cuisine.

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14. Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum (Paid)

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This small but interesting museum houses a permanent collection of some of the most distinguished names in modern art as well as temporary exhibits of contemporary artists. Among those whose work is on view are Mir?, Picasso, Magritte and many others.

The building itself is worth a mention as it forms a fascinating transplant between the old and new; a modern structure built on top of the 16th century fortifications of Saint Pere at the bay. The views are spectacular, and you can walk along the tops of the walls after seeing the art. There is a camera obscura in one of the corner towers which makes for another interesting feature.

Founded in 2004, the museum is ideal if you’re looking for an overview of art since the beginning of the 20th century combined with excellent views of the city and sea walls. The garden is also great to explore with its diverse collection of sculptures.

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15. Golf Fantasia (Paid)

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For a really fun and slightly competitive day out with the family, check out this crazy golf complex set among lush, gorgeous gardens resembling a tropical paradise. There are three 18 hole courses (red, yellow and blue) to choose from and you will play alongside rushing waterfalls, caves and crystal clear lagoons with turtles, fish and comical ducks.

The 19th Hole bar offers tempting snacks and lipsmacking cocktails. You can relax and enjoy refreshments in between courses. The complex is ideally situated meters from the beach, just behind Abracadabra Pizza. For an extra special occasion, you can book birthday parties and club and team outings. And on those balmy nights you can stay and play under moonlight because the centre opens until 1am during the summer.

There is also a games area with a wide array of coin-operated machines. Golf Fantasia has enough to keep the family entertained for the whole day.

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