Aquarium is just a stone's throw from the beach, here you can experience everything from jellyfish to sharks, different types of reptiles. In the park you will find The tropical seas, mediterranean sea and garden, jellyfish and you will also find something who is known as the Big Blue. The Big Blue is a tank who is the deepest Shark tnak in Europe.
A lovely park with beautiful scenery, play spaces and opportunities to get bought food and drinks and there is also a gift shop there.
You do not set the whole day to go here, around 3 hours plus minus.
The most accessible from Palma of the many beaches, this is a wide and lively beach.
If, for you, the night is so important as the day in the beach, then this may be your option - the other is Magalluf.
If you prefer a quiet place, then... skip it, and look a little bit further, in the Calas area.
Palau March Museu -- this museum features open-air courtyards with sculptures from artists such as Rodin, Chillida, and Moore. A library on the grounds includes over 70,000 books, manuscripts, and other printed works.
It is open April 1 to October 31, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; and November 1 to March 31, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is open Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., year-round. Admission is 3.60 Euro for adults, and 2.90 Euro for retirees and students with ID. Admission is free for children under the age of 12.(2012 prices)
Worth visiting just for the cafe in the gardens.
We did not have time to visit the Cathedral but the church of Sant Miquel was I am sure a reasonable alternative.
It dates from the 16th century and was built on the site of a mosque - we were very impressed with the barrel vaulted nave and rib vaulted side chapels.
I am not religious but despite being busy with tourists, shoppers and lunchtime office workers it had a great sense of calm about it.
A very good way to see the city is from one of the red sightseeing buses that travel through the city - you pay just once and then can hop on and off at the various stops. You collect a headset (which you keep) as you get on the bus and plug this into a socket near your seat and choose which language you wish to listen to the recorded commentary in.
There are 16 stops including the Cathedral, Castle (wonderful views fron where the bus stops), the harbour and all places of interest.
The cost is 15.00 with reductions (£12.50 if you are from the UK) and the full tour takes 80 minutes. Buses pick up at 20 minute intervals and start at 9.30 (10.00 in the winter). Summer queues can be long - we could not get on the first bus that came along.
Magalluf is the most agitated and noisy beach of Mallorca, thus appealing to the youngster. We took solomonic decision, staying in the western end of the quieter Palma Nova, in the "border" of both beaches.
That allowed us a relatively calm staying in Palma, and some short visits to the other side, where the young guys of our team went each night. But in daylight, the beach is also quiet and beautiful.
Which beach shall I choose? Peaceful and secure? Why not one of the many calas? We went to Cala D'Or - Very good week. But the young folks wanted animation!
We moved to Palma Nova - another very good week (for them!), taking advantage of our hotel's situation half way from Palma Nova and Magalluf
One evening we decided to walk north of Plaza Mayor towards plaza Espanya, on the way we some more churchs.
San Miguel church was built on the site of former mosque (cathedral of Palma was also built upon a former mosque). We took some pics of the exterior (pics 1-2) and then walked inside where a mass was taking place (pic 3). We stood silently at the back for some minutes and then walk outside as we didn’t want to interrupt them by taking pictures of the paintings etc.
Not far we noticed another church, Iglesia Ortodoxa Rusa is obviously the Russian orthodox church of Palma, not many people inside, there were some interesting paintings too but they didn’t allow me to take photos
Obviously if there’s only one attraction you must see in Palma this is the impressive roman catholic cathedral that dominates the city, located on hill facing the sea. It was the first thing we saw arriving into the city by car from the airport.
Le Seu (officially Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma) was started to built in 1229 right after King Jaume I created the kingdom of Mallorca but the cathedral was finally completed many centuries later in 1601!!
It was built on the same site of an arab mosque when the town was called Medina Mayurka. I knew it was impressive from my guide book but I was surprised by its size, 121m long was more than enough for me to feel tired walking around :)
The cathedral is amazing, originally in renaissance style ended up in catalan gothic style and what I didn’t know was about some modernism additions when the famous A.Gaudi was asked to help in the beginning of 20th century. The beautiful façade was added in 1851 because the old one was damaged due to an earthquake.
If you plan to check the interior allow some extra time because there are many things to see there. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of the interior because my camera to run out of battery once inside. There are so many things to see inside that is hard to mention all here, interesting chapels, beautiful statues, doors, columns, amazing rose windows (especially the big ones are unbelievable) etc. Kings and bishops are some of the people that are buried here.
It is open daily 10.00-18.30
The entrance fee is 6 euros
Just opposite the cathedral lies another impressive building. Palacio de la Almudaina houses Kings Palace and Queens Palace.
It was originally a Moorish citadel that was built in 9th century on the same spot where the romans had their fort. Later it was burnt by Christians and then (13th century) King Jaime II turned it into a palace by expending it. Part of the original solid outer wall can still be seen. The first thing you notice is the 4 towers at the corners but also the big one in the middle which is topped by a statue of Guardian Angel.
The Royal family can use it when they are in Mallorca for holidays but most of the times they just visit it during official ceremonies. In our days it houses the Harbor Headquarters of the island but also a museum with numerous rooms where you can see many items like old furniture, paintings, tapestries from 16th century, banners etc You can also see a nice chapel and some lovely small gardens with fountains and some beautiful reflecting pools.
It is open Monday to Friday 10.00-18.00 (till 14.00 on Saturdays), closed on sundays
One of the best things we did in Palma was getting lost on the maze of alleys in the historic center (that is circles by big avenues).
Most of the alleys are very peaceful and picturesque and if you’re not in a hurry you will enjoy it although probably you will get lost sooner of later :) Of course signs that point to famos sites (like the cathedral) will show you the way, don’t forget the sea is just a stone throw away. The twisting maze of these alleys will bring you to some unexpected square, small or big churches or just a dead end.
Some other streets like carrer del Sindicat (pic 4) were full of people, locals and tourists that were there for shopping because this street houses many different stores for clothing, souvenirs etc
From Plaza Mayor you can stroll into the maze of alleys (we did this the first day) or get out on the main road and walk down from plaza Rei Joan Carles I.
Although cars come and go on the side you can walk on the nicely decorated with flowers passages Paggeig des Born and Avgda d’Antoni Maura.
There are many restaurants and cafes there but they focus on tourists so except expensive prices and usually bad service.
Ok, not much to do here, we just watched the people passing by and took pictures of some nice buildings (pic 3), of the flowers of course (pic 2) and some interesting statues (pics 4-5).
Plaza de Espana is the main hub for every transport media across the island. Most visitors come here to catch a long distance bus to other towns, the train to Soller, the metro etc
Beneath the bus station is a park (pic 3) while the square is dominated by a big statue (pics 1-2) of King of Aragon Jaume I known also as the Conqueror. He created the Kingdom of Mallorca in 1229. The statue stands of a big rock that has been made by stones from the old city walls.
The square houses some open air market some days but has nothing special to offer to the visitor except some famous fast food restaurants around. But did you really travelled to Spain to eat big mac??!
Along the bay side of the city is a nice park that stretches nearly the length of the old town section. It is peaceful there, and they have a couple of large pools of water besides. The gardens were a concept that happened in the 17th century to carve out a connection between the Upper and Lower sections of the city which had a river separating the two. Before that, Arabs constructed some of the gardens and pools as part of their theme of serenity by the La Almudaina Fortress. It dates back to 1200's.
The changing of the guard dates back to 1808 when it was actually done for real. In 2010, they started a reenactment of the guard change of shifts to draw more tourists to the site. It is presented next to Almudaina fortress, and crowds get thick so get there early for a front row view.
The presentation takes place only one day a month, on a SAturday at the last week of a month. The time is 12 noon, except on hot summer months; then it is held at 7:30PM. We were there that day. History behind this is the volunteers of a solid troop that became one of the more disciplined group.
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