Last month I was able to spend 5 wonderful days in Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Islands in Spain. I needed to plan a girls trip with one of my best friends and we needed to keep it as cheap as possible. Fortunately RyanAir flies to Palma out of Memminghem so the decision was pretty easy. Not only did Palma end up being great for a cheap flight and Airbnb stays there were pretty decent as well, but it turned out to be the perfect place to spend a girls trip. It has shopping, beaches, food, culture, and a fantastic night life. And the people there are so beautiful and nice!
I'm going to give an overview of the things that we did in Palma in case you are planning a trip there soon (and you should). My friend is seriously already trying to find ways to move there.
Why not start off by talking about the food. It's Spain, the food is great. Besides trying to eat as much fish as possible, like bacalao and shrimp, I discovered my favorite snack in Palma; Allioli sauce with bread and Mallorcan olives. The white sauce was so good and I eventually realized it was basically a mixture of garlic and mayo. Some other great things I ate were Paella, goat cheese salads, and various tapas. And don't forget the Sangrias and Mojitos. I must have had a liter of Sangria at every other meal.
Forn Teatre was one of the places we went to a couple of times for tapas and drinks. Their Sangrias are also more affordable than some of the other places. I also recommend for cheap and delicious tapas, La Botana and Tast which are both downtown.
Tip: Make sure you ask the price of a liter of Sangria in advance. We had been spending around 8-10 euro on a liter of Sangria most of the time and assumed this was the going rate but we ate at a place called Pizzeria Anthony's and ordered and found out afterwards that the same liters of Sangria were 18 euro each. I'm pretty sure we were getting ripped off but the prices weren't posted anywhere so we couldn't dispute it. Just make sure you ask first.
Mallorca has some of the best beaches I've seen if not the best. We took a bus (line 3) on Jaume III street all the way to the last stop, Ses Illetes, and found the most beautiful beach. The sand bank isn't very long but there are also other areas to perch on and lay out. The water is so clear and warm. The views alone are worth it. You can stop at any one of the nearby beaches as well and get the same beautiful coves to spend a day at.
A more family friendly beach and more easily accessible would be to go to the town of Portixo. You can follow the beach in Palma and walk about 20 minutes to get there or take the bus for a few euro. This beach doesn't compare at all in beauty but it's another spot to go. Here I was also served one of the best goat cheese salads I've ever had at the Tapas Club. And it was affordable!
Ses Illetes below:
The Cathedral is in the old town but you can get views of the tops of it from all over town. It's pretty impressive. It's a huge Catalan Gothic design and worth visiting. There are a lot of good restaurants and shops near this area.
The Dali Museum
I don't know how I managed to do it but I'd stumbled upon yet another Dali exhibit (near the Cathedral). My first time was in Philly and the second in Sorrento, Italy. There are quite a few Dali exhibits around the world. While the exhibit I saw in Sorrento was more about sculptures, this one was more about his drawings. I love his work and can't pass up an exhibit when I see one, especially since Dali is from Spain.
The shopping in Palma was fabulous. They have such good style and beautiful hand crafted jewelry and clothes. Mallorca is known for their pearls and I'd suggest buying some while you are there. There are many kinds of pearl jewelry to choose from and it's very affordable.
The Night Life
I also have to mention how fabulous the night life in Palma is. I know Ibiza is known as the party island but Palma has a lot going for it too. I had a great time at the dance clubs and bars. People are nice and I felt absolutely safe. Do make sure that you are paying attention to how much your drinks cost because a few times bar tenders tried to rip us off. This was probably the only negative thing I'd have to say about Mallorca is that if someone can try to get one over on you as a tourist, they will. Just pay attention and speak up. Generally the party in Palma doesn't start till 2 am and goes on till about 6 am. I loved Palma and you will too.
Stay tuned for the second part of my trip where I mostly talk about visiting the small town of Soller, Mallorca by way of vintage train!