2 days (48 hours) in Mallorca: Things to do
Autumn is the perfect season for a weekend getaway. 48 hours in Mallorca will be enough to discover this wonderful island that looks beautiful at any time of the year and regales you with landscapes full of contrasts.
Come and stay at our hotel, the Posada Terra Santa, and spend two unforgettable days in the former manorhouse of the Barons of Boixador, with all its amenities and comforts. Located right in the historic heart of Palma de Mallorca, just a stone’s throw from the Cathedral and the city’s main attractions.
If you’re after a more exclusive type of accommodation where you can treat yourself to a luxury suite, Samaritana Suites is located in the heart of Palma de Mallorca and surrounded by a backdrop worthy of a filmset.
Immerse yourself in its streets, visit the sites that have shaped its history, enjoy its traditional cuisine, take in museums displaying masterpieces by great national and international artists, or enjoy a train ride around the Serra de Tramuntana mountains.
TAKE A WALK AROUND THE CATHEDRAL OF “LIGHT” AND THE CHARMING CORNERS OF THE OLD TOWN
Don’t think 48 hours are enough? Deconstruct this myth by making the most of your time in Palma de Mallorca. Its many charms will make it very easy for you.
Start your tour first thing on Saturday with a visit to the cathedral, popularly known as La Seu. Its construction began in the 12th century and it was completed in the 17th century. The dominant architectural trends of each of these centuries made their mark on this edifice. Even the modernism of Gaudí, who replaced the choir with railings, lamps and a baldachin.
Continue your tour at the Royal Palace of Almudaina. A former Arabic palace that retains its 14th century structure, with the palaces of the King and Queen, the Santa Ana chapel and the baths. The caliphs reached their chambers by boat through the inlet that joined the palace to the sea. Today it has been turned an exotic idyllic pond by the wall and the King’s Garden.
Mallorca is a modern city, chosen by so many artists to develop their work. If you are interested in getting to know this side of the city, there are two places you simply must visit: Es Baluard and the Pilar i Joan Miró Foundation.
The historic centre was a walled city until the end of the 19th century, and each section was born of a different period. It began as a Roman fortification, and was later extended by the Moors. It reached its true splendour in the Middle Ages, and was then reconstructed during the Renaissance period.
Unfortunately, there’s little left. The most complete part of the wall is the section near the Bastion of Sant Pere, which is home to the Es Balard building and the Es Baluard Museu d’Art Contemporani de Palma.
This museum is 10 years old and houses a collection of more than 600 pieces of artwork by local and international artists, such as Picasso and Miró. The exhibition is well organised and the pieces exhibited change every six months. Guided tours are available. The terrace offers stunning panoramic views of Mallorca and its cathedral, against the backdrop of the sea.
After your visit, take advantage and tuck into a meal on the terrace at Es Baluard Restaurant & Lounge, located along the Rennaissance wall.
FUNDACIÓN PILAR I JOAN MIRÓ
Joan Miró maintained a close relationship with Mallorca. Fundación Pilar i Joan Miró is built upon the workshops left behind by this versatile artist and aims to exhibit Miró’s work and creative process under the same roof where he lived and worked.
The Fundación consists of three buildings: Son Boter, a traditional, 18th Century Mallorcan house, Taller Sert, designed by architect José Luis Sert López in 1956 and the Moneo building, designed by José Rafael Moneo Vallés in 1992. The route is a truly magical experience, thanks to both the artwork it houses and the architecture itself.
It’s not just an exhibition. It’s a space in which Miró appears to continue to be present, where his essence can be felt in each and every corner. Guided tours are available, but you must call and book in advance.
It’s a complete experience. Take a look at his work, discover his workplace, the pieces based on his gardens, stunning architecture and enjoy the gorgeous views of the port.
BASÍLICA DE SANT FRANCESC AND THE ARAB BATHS
Located in the historic centre, the Basílica de Sant Francesc is perhaps one of the best examples of gothic architecture the city has to offer. Its interior is particularly charming, and you can visit the cloisters. It offers an incredibly rich patrimonial heritage that is definitely worth discovering.
The Arab Baths in Palma Mallorca, located in the Can Fontirroig garden, is the city’s best-preserved building dating back to the Islamic Period. It was built on Roman remains and complete with a hydraulic system for the public baths and city residents.
This is one of the top spots to visit in Mallorca and although it’s a short visit, it’s a must-see location. Upon arrival, you’ll be shown an informative video which explains how the water system works. Some rooms, steam chambers and parts of the chimneys have been preserved, and a wander around the gardens is particularly enjoyable.
Can Oleza is a spectacular palace and is known for being home to one of the beautiful Mallorcan courtyards. The courtyard itself dates back to the 17th century, with lowered arches to lighten the structure, surrounded by the rooms of the house, and Ionian columns with a steep capital. This is a must-see location when visiting Mallorca and remains untouched by the passage of time.
Bellver Castle is a must-see if you’re in Mallorca. This route is your chance to discover the history of the city. It was built in 1311 under the reign of Jaime II, as a royal fortress and residence.
Despite its austere exterior of what could be described as a defensive nature, the interior décor was particularly elegant and worthy of that of a royal residence. In 1717 it was converted into a military prison and later a Currency Factory in 1821.
Wander through its rooms, discover the weapons courtyard and enjoy the views from the upper terrace, which overlooks the Bay of Palma and the pine forest which embraces the building.
JARDINES DE MARIVENT
The Jardines de Marivent form the green heart of Mallorca, surrounding the Spanish Royal Family’s summer residence and occupying 9000m2. The route is home to 40 indigenous plant species and the bronze sculptures created by Joan Miró.
The gardens are open all year round, except when the royal family is at this location, which tends to be during the summer months. It’s worth wandering around the green space, which is an oasis of calm in the capital.
If you love relaxing spaces and nature, Finca Rural Son Catxo is an excellent accommodation option during your visit to Palma de Mallorca. It’s located in Búger, a 30-minute drive from the capital, in the smallest municipality on the island. This accommodation is truly embraced by nature and is located in a house which dates back 250 years. This is the perfect spot to experience the most side to Mallorca.
PASSEIG MARÍTIM DE PALMA
The majestic Passeig Marítim de Palma follows the city’s coastline. This is a pedestrianised area bustling with tourists and locals alike, and even has a cycle lane. The atmosphere is lively and you can enjoy the yachts or some of the most emblematic buildings, such as the La Seu Cathedral.
At 4km long, it runs from Porto Pi to the locality of Portixol. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a wander, go skating, cycling, have a drink at one of the many restaurants with sea views, go for drinks at the local bars, or visit the nearby monuments.
There’s something for each time of day, and the beautiful shade of pink that charms the Passeig Marítim at sunset is truly something special. This is a great starting point if you want to discover the best coves Mallorca has to offer. This is a must-see if you’re in the area.
PATIS DE PALMA
Who hasn’t heard of the Patis de Palma, or Mallorca’s Courtyards? This is one of the most emblematic spots in the city. There are more than sixty courtyards, some of which are private and you’ll only be able to access them with a guide. However, you can visit some of the most popular at your own pace.
Some of the most well-known include Casal Solleric (27 Paseo del Borne) and Can Vivot (4 Can Savella). Don’t miss out on the chance to explore those you can find on the route, as they may hide genuine jewels.
This is a perfect route for discovering the traditional Mallorcan wells, courtyards decorated with gorgeous plants, palm trees and even monumental staircases.
LLOTJA DE MALLORCA
This architectural and sculptural jewel is a testimony to the importance of the history of Mallorca, both in terms of art and trade. It was built in 1952, following 32 years of building works. Thanks to its privileged location, Mallorca played an essential role in Mediterranean trade during this period.
It was a sort of “merchant’s house” and one of the best examples of Catalan gothic architecture. It was so important that the famous Llotja de Valencia, declared Heritage of Humanity, was inspired by this Mallorcan Llotja.
Enjoy the Sa Llotja area, characterised by its old streets which feature mismatched styles, from Renaissance to Modernism. Observe its majestic exterior, head inside and enjoy its peculiar spiral columns and book a slot to head up to its terrace and get a glimpse of its gargoyles up close.
Palma Aquarium is the perfect and alternative way to enjoy Mallorca. This is one of the most astonishing aquariums in Spain. It stands out for its excellent organisation, with impeccable spaces and stunning tanks where you can get to know the local underwater world. It’s a great experience for both adults and children.
TORRE DEL VERGER
The Torre del Verger, known as Mirador de ses Ánimes, is one of the surveillance towers in the area that can still be seen. It can be found in a privileged location in the Serra de Tramuntana, surrounded by some of the prettiest towns in Mallorca.
It was built during the Middle Ages in order to protect the area from frequent attacks by pirates. The tower system was designed so the towers could communicate quickly with each other, using light or smoke signals in the event of an attack.
Today, it’s a famous viewpoint, thanks to its stunning panoramic views of the Mallorcan coastline. This is a magical spot, especially at sunset.
A TWO-DAY TRIP TO MALLORCA AND ITS GASTRONOMY
Without a doubt, it would be a sin to leave without tasting the island’s typical sweet pastry known as the Ensaimada. One place where you can sample Mallorca’s favourite sweet treat is the classic Can Joan de S’Aigo. Try these pastries filled with pastry cream, fresh cream or the traditional Carnival Ensaimada stuffed with sobrasada sausage. Prepared individually and served warm on a hot plate. If you want to take one home for your family or friends, it needs to be ordered several days in advance.
In Mercat de l’Olivar you should try a selection of roast meats or, when in season, dolphinfish (lampuga). If you are looking for somewhere that combines modernity and an excellent menu, come to La Despensa del Barón. Dine beneath Gothic ogival arches from the 14th Century in this exquisitely decorated restaurant. The Chef, David Raya, will delight you with sophisticated dishes that combine creativity and the finest ingredients.
A cosy venue for a romantic evening with your partner or a getaway with friends. After dinner, enjoy the night with a drink or a cocktail in the distinguished Salón Inglés.
SERRA DE TRAMUNTANA, THE ISLAND’S JEWEL OF NATURE
The island’s open secret is the wonderfully pleasant weather it enjoys all year round. You can take a walk along some of the footpaths that cross through the Serra de Tramuntana, the island’s most important natural treasure and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
These mountains form the backbone of the north-west of the island, with more than 90 kilometres of footpaths. Its peaks include Puig Major (1,436 metres) and Puig Massanella (1,348 metres). We’d also recommend Es Baluard, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Palma, which houses more than 700 works of art by both Balearic and international artists. If you’re an art connoisseur, you can also visit the Fundación Joan Miró and the Galería Horrach Moya Sa Drassana, which feature pieces by contemporary artists.
If you’re visiting as a family, the Palma Aquarium has the deepest shark tank in Europe. We’d also recommend the Planetarium.