Name: Brittany Vulich
Semester: Spring 2011
Program: Liberal Arts
School: University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee
Whether you are new to Palma de Mallorca and need a few tips on where to go and what to see, trying to plan a full week of activities for visiting family and friends or have been here for a while and want to try something new, there is more than plenty to do. Palma offers something for everyone within city borders and outside. Below are some of the most well liked activities by past students.
Daytime: Go shopping
One of the first things you will notice about the young people in Palma de Mallorca is that they follow a very particular style ("de modo"). If you want to spruce up your wardrobe, there are plenty of store where you can find the pieces you need to fit in with the Mallorcans at every price. You are looking for higher end stores, check out Calle Jaume III. You will find big names such as Lowe of Madrid, HM and Armani mixed in with boutiques while strolling past the charming cafes and fountain on Paseo de Born. If you are looking for more economic places to shop, go to Calle San Miguel. You will find many stores ranging from $-$$$ in price. Zara, Desigual, and Mango (located on the Avenidas just a few blocks away) are some of the popular shops for students. If you don't like to waste time going from store to store, check out Corte Ingles, a huge department store that sells everything from clothing to food to computer. It has the exact layout and offerings as Macy's or Boston Store in the States.
Nighttime: Rent a bike and go for a ride along Paseo Marítimo
There are a few stores where you rent a bike or you can bring your "tarjeta cuidadano" to the metro and rent a bike for free. The students from Spring 2011 semester and I did this with our guardian angles and it was really a great way to see more of the island other than just Palma. One of the stores "Palma en Bici" is located at the end of Paseo de Tortugas on Avenida Antoni Maura 10. For just 14 EURO you can rent a bike all day. I recommend heading towards playa de Palma and beyond because there are amazing views, landscapes, and little towns with great restaurants.
(Students from CIEE)
Daytime: Go to Castillo de Bellver
This castle was built at the beginning of the 14th century by Jaume II. It's located on the western part of Palma de Mallorca on a hill with some of the best views in the city. On a clear day you can see for miles. Inside you can check out the full history of Palma and some interesting artifacts. Up top on the roof, you will be able to take in the 360-degree view of the sea, mountains, city, and woods. The entrance fee is only 2.5 ERUO Monday to Saturday and free on Sunday.
(Inside of Castillo de Bellver)
"Ruta Martiana" or tapas route on Tuesday is a young (and old!) peoples Tuesday night tradition. The route is a chain of bars and restaurants starting in Plaza Mayor, which offer food and drink specials such as a caña (small beer from the tap) and a tapa (an individual serving of some type of finger food) for 2 euro as well as hard alcohol and wine specials. Try the Sushi Club, Jamón Jamón, and Ruta de Té for a good variety. ¡Buen Aproveche! (¡Enjoy!)
Daytime: Take in the sun at the beach Illetes.
Hop on bus number 3 to Illetes and take it all the way to last stop to experience what most students consider to be the most beautiful beach around the city of Palma de Mallorca.
Nighttime: Go see the Cathedral by night.
La Seu is the grand gothic cathedral along the sea right in the center of the city. Walk around and take in the impressive architecture and beautiful views. During the sunset, the figure of the cathedral is reflected really well in the body of water directly below it.
Daytime: Take a day trip into Deiá
Deiá is located outside of Palma about 45 minutes by bus and is my favorite town to visit for its amazing location in the mountains, greenery, and seaside views. To get there, go down into the metro in Plaza de España and ask for the bus to Deiá or take a look at the bus times. During off-season times, tickets are just a couple euros each way. Deiá is located right in the Sierra Tramuntana although you can follow the zig zag trail through the olive groves and oranges trees to the bottom where you can then walk to the Cala de Deiá, another beautiful beach.
(Excursion to Deiá)
Nighttime: Go to Ladies' Night in Agua Bar.
The name "Agua" in Agua Bar is a testament to the resilience of the surrounding neighbors who have been known to throw water on the loud gathers outside this popular bar. You have been warned. Inside, you will find mainly Erasmus students and English speaking folks. Ladies can drink free wine and cava from 7:30-10:30 and all other drinks are half off. Good music, good people, good location.
Daytime: Eat lunch like the Spaniards and explore the Lonja.
On Fridays, Palma really comes alive as everyone takes to the street to commemorate the start of the weekend. Paseo de Tortugas always has a plethora of people of every age just hanging out, catching a drink, eating lunch, reading a book, ECT. I recommend going to Cappuccino for none other than a cappuccino and catching up on some reading and people watching. Hit up the Lonja at the end of the paseo for a great lunch of a first plate, second plate, postre (dessert) and glass of wine within a two-hour period (to be truly authentic).
Nighttime: Salsa dancing
There are many salsa clubs in Mallorca that offer formal lesson and more laid back environments where you can watch from a distance then give it a try. Made in Brazil on Paseo Marítimo offers a variety of salsa music and other Latin music (best drink award in my book too!)
Like I said, these are just a few of the amazing cities, restaurants, sights and sounds of Mallorca. For more ideas ask locals (they are always willing to help), consult travel books or just start walking around. There is always a new person or place to encounter. ¡Hay que aprovechar! (¡Take advantage!)