Depending on how long your layover in Mallorca is, you may want to leave the airport and explore the old town of Palma a bit. Luckily for you, the airport is quite close to the city, and it is extremely walkable. Maybe that’s why Palma is such a hot cruise ship destination. A few hours can allow you enough time to walk down pretty much all of the streets within the old city.
We happened to have a 6 hour layover in Mallorca on our way from Granada to Valencia, and instead of waiting in the Airport I thought we should go and see something. On our way out of the airport I snagged a free city map which actually had a path laid out for a self guided walking tour around the city. If you want to have a relaxing and enjoyable stroll down cobbled streets surrounded by beautiful buildings during your layover in Mallorca, then this article is for you.
The first thing to do (if you have luggage) is to drop it off. Luckily in the airport there is a baggage hold which means you can walk around Palma with just the stuff in your pockets, or a backpack if you want to keep it on you. The luggage storage is located and costs 7 Euro per bag.
Then you’ll want to either take a taxi or a bus to one of the spots on the list. I recommend going to Placa d’espana as there is a bus stop right there and it is quite easy for taxi to get to as well. From there you can walk the loop, see the churches and palaces, get a meal, then taking a taxi/bus back to the airport in time for your next flight.
Taxi: 12-20 Euro depending on time of day, number of passengers, and amount of luggage.
Bus: 5 Euro per person, 1 Euro for locals. Children under 5 ride free
As you can see, it’s usually more economical to take a taxi as it is much more convenient, and if you are more than 2 people, it’s more economical as well.
When you arrive at Plaza d’Espana it coming from the airport you’ll have to cross the street to get to the actual plaza. You’ll know you’re in the right area as there is a fantastic statue of Rey Jaume I , as well as a few fast food restaurants like KFC and Taco Bell.
You can then walk down the cute street Carrer dels Olms towards the cultural center. This is a beautiful building in its own right, but across the street there is the Convent de Santa Magdalena de Palma. If we look left on the map, it will take us down one of the most beautiful street in Palma, La Rambla.
This tree lined promenade has tons of open seating if you want to take a rest, as well as boutique shops and some restaurants all the way down the street. However we are going to pass this street for now as we have a different destination. Cross La Rambla and make your way to Carrer de Sant Jaume. Along this street you’ll pass the Ca’n Tacon, Ca’n San Simon, and the Can Trujillo, which are historical landmarks in Mallorca.
Following this street takes you to Paseo del Born, which is my favorite street in Mallorca. It is similar to La Rambla, but is even more beautiful in my opinion.
At the end of Paseo del Born is a gorgeous fountain and this is where you’ll want to make a right on Carrer dels Apuntadors for a block, then head down Carrer de Sant Joan until you hit the Llotja de Palma.
The Llotja de Palma is a beautiful historical building, and if you happen to be there when it is open I highly recommend that you go inside as it looks spectacular.
I do feel however that the Llotja de Palma is sadly overlooked, because right down the street is the most famous building in Mallorca, the Catedral of Santa Maria of Palma. More commonly known as La Seu, it is a gothic style cathedral that was started in 1229, and finished in in 1601. One thing I found interesting is that the central nave is 44 meters in height, 11 more than Notre Dame in Paris!
The cathedral is bordered on its main façade by a lake with a nice fountain, and is a great place to hang out if you have the time. There are vendors selling souvenirs, or you can pick up some ice creams and just sit down and enjoy the view.
The Cathedral is right next to the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, which is another historical building you should go check out if you have the time. We unfortunately spent far too much time at the cathedral to go into the palace, but I wish I had the time to go check it out as it looks magnificent.
At this point you can take some of the winding streets back towards Placa Major, seeing some beautiful churches along the way. which is surrounded by restaurants. I think these places are quite touristy so I would not recommend getting a meal there as from experience those types of places don’t tend to be quite worth it. Then again, at the end of this article I’ll explain where we went to get dinner so I can’t pretend like I know much about the restaurant quality in Mallorca.
From Placa Major we walked up through the Carrer de Sant Miquel, which is quite a nice shopping street full of brand name stores, and this street will essentially take us all the way back to Placa d’Espana where you can pick up the bus or take a taxi to the airport.
Whew we did it. All in all, it only takes about 2-3 hours to walk around all the key points of the city, but if you want to go inside some places you can definitely extend your walk. This is good since if you have a layover in Mallorca you’ll definitely have enough stuff to do.
Now as I mentioned earlier we didn’t choose the best place for lunch, and I was a bit disappointed in that regard. We decided to walk about a mile up from Placa d’Espana to the Mercado Gastronomico San Juan. This place seemed quite interesting as it looked like a gourmet food court and had 18 different kiosks selling everything from fresh seafood, to alcohol, paella and burgers and more. However out of the four of us, I have to say none of what we got was all that good. The prices seemed a bit high for being out of the center of the town and the overall quality of the food was just lacking.
If you have some restaurant recommendations for Mallorca feel free to let me know in the comments so I’ll be ready the next time I go for a proper trip!
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