Palma is the capital and largest city of the Balearic Islands, a Spanish autonomous community in the Mediterranean Sea. Palma is famous for its rich historical and cultural heritage, as well as its natural beauty and gastronomy.
What is Palma Known For?
Palma has over 2,000 years of history, and has been ruled by the Romans, the Moors and the Christian kings, each one leaving their mark on the city. Palma has two majestic cathedrals, a fortified Islamic palace in the city centre, monumental remains of the Roman Caesar Augusta, Renaissance-style palace houses, unique treasures of the work of Francisco de Goya, emblems of modern architecture and one of the most diverse and vibrant festivals in Spain.
Palma is also famous for its location by the Bay of Palma, which provides scenic views and recreational opportunities. Palma is surrounded by natural parks, such as the Serra de Tramuntana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, skiing and other outdoor activities.
Palma is also famous for its cuisine, which reflects its multicultural past and its agricultural wealth. Palma offers a variety of dishes, such as arròs brut (rice with meat and vegetables), sopes mallorquines (bread soup with vegetables and pork), ensaïmada (spiral-shaped pastry with lard and sugar) and gató (almond cake). Palma is also known for its wines, especially those from the Binissalem and Pla i Llevant denominations of origin.
Famous Drinks in Palma
One of the most famous drinks in Palma is the hierbas mallorquinas, a herbal liqueur made from aniseed and various aromatic plants. Hierbas mallorquinas is usually sweet or semi-sweet, and can be served as an aperitif or a digestif. It is often served in small glasses or clay cups. Hierbas mallorquinas is typically consumed during festivals, celebrations and family gatherings.
Another famous drink in Palma is the horchata de almendra, a refreshing drink made from ground almonds, water and sugar. Horchata de almendra is usually served cold in summer or hot in winter. It is often accompanied by coca de patata (potato cake) or quelys (small biscuits). Horchata de almendra is a popular drink among locals and tourists alike.
Palma also has a variety of beers to offer, both local and international. Some of the local breweries are Beer Lovers, Forastera and Sullerica, which produce craft beers with different styles and flavours. Some of the international beers that can be found in Palma are Guinness, Paulaner and Heineken.
Famous Sports in Palma
One of the most popular sports in Palma is football (soccer), as in most parts of Spain. The city has several football teams, such as RCD Mallorca, which plays in the second division of the Spanish league, and Atlético Baleares, which plays in the third division. Football fans in Palma also support Real Madrid or Barcelona, the two biggest clubs in Spain.
Another sport that has a long tradition in Palma is sailing. The city hosts several sailing events throughout the year, such as the Copa del Rey de Vela (King’s Cup of Sailing), which takes place in August and attracts some of the best sailors in the world. Sailing is also popular among amateurs, who can rent boats or take courses at various marinas and clubs.
Palma also hosts several other sporting events throughout the year, such as marathons, triathlons, cycling races and golf tournaments. Some of these events are:
- The Palma Marathon: A 42-kilometer race that takes place in October along the seafront promenade and the historic centre.
- The Challenge Mallorca: A triathlon that takes place in May and consists of swimming 1.9 km, cycling 90 km and running 21 km.
- The Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana: A cycling race that takes place in February and covers 160 km through the mountain range.
- The Mallorca Open: A golf tournament that takes place in June at the Golf Son Muntaner.
Famous Streets in Palma
One of the most famous streets in Palma is Passeig del Born, which connects Plaça de la Reina with Plaça del Rei Joan Carles I. It is a pedestrian street that offers a variety of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. It is also where some of the main events of the Fiestas de Sant Sebastià take place, such as concerts, parades and fireworks.
Another famous street in Palma is Carrer Sant Miquel, which runs parallel to Passeig del Born and forms part of the old city wall. It is a narrow street that has many historical buildings, such as the Church of Sant Miquel, the Convent of Santa Clara and the House of Rubén Darío. It is also where some of the most traditional shops and restaurants are located.
A third famous street in Palma is Avinguda Jaume III, which leads to the entrance of the Ciudad Monumental (Monumental City), the historical quarter of Palma. It is a wide avenue that has many modern buildings, such as the Gran Hotel, the Banco de España and the Fundació La Caixa. It is also where some of the most exclusive shops and boutiques are situated.
FAQs about Palma
- What is the best time to visit Palma?
The best time to visit Palma depends on your preferences and interests. If you want to enjoy the pleasant weather and avoid the crowds, spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) are ideal seasons. If you want to experience the festive atmosphere and cultural events, summer (June-August) and winter (December-February) are also good options.
- How to get to Palma?
Palma is well connected by road, rail and air. You can drive to Palma from other parts of Mallorca via highways MA-1, MA-13 or MA-19. You can also take a train from Inca, Manacor or Sa Pobla via SFM. You can also fly to Palma Airport (8 km) or Barcelona Airport (250 km) and then take a bus or a taxi to Palma.
- What are some of the must-see attractions in Palma?
Some of the must-see attractions in Palma are:
- The Catedral de Mallorca: A Gothic cathedral that houses the image of the Virgin Mary that appeared to Saint James in 40 AD. It is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Spain and has a spectacular dome and frescoes by Goya.
- The Palau de l’Almudaina: A fortified palace that was built by the Moors in the 11th century and later used by the Christian kings. It has a beautiful courtyard, a mosque and a throne room.
- The Castell de Bellver: A 14th-century circular castle (with a unique round tower), the only one of its kind in Spain. It offers panoramic views of the city and houses a museum about the history of Palma.
- The Es Baluard: A contemporary art gallery that is built into the shell of the Renaissance-era seaward walls. It displays works by Picasso, Miró, Barceló and other artists.
- The Poble Espanyol: A replica of a Spanish village that showcases the architectural diversity of Spain. It has reproductions of famous buildings, such as the Alhambra, the Sagrada Familia and the Plaza Mayor
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