Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca © Galen R Frysinger
Palma is a lively cosmopolitan city, its centre forming a bustling maze of shopping centres, narrow lanes, and restored buildings surrounded by ruined ancient city walls and modern boulevards. The Moorish heritage of Mallorca is still evident, as are the remnants of Palma's golden years when it rose to wealth and prominence in the 15th century as the main port of call between Europe and Africa. Nowadays, it's a Spanish beach holiday haunt and favourite weekend city break destination of the rich and famous. Despite the invasion of foreign tourists, Palma has kept its local flavour, particularly in its old quarter, which is still lined by cafés and tapas bars. The biggest concentration of restaurants is in the centre of town, at El Terreno, and around the Paseo Maritimo. Palma de Mallorca's key activities centre on its nightlife and the town is well known for its bars and nightclubs. In fact, some of Spain's biggest nightclubs are in Palma de Mallorca and the city is a great destination for those seeking a party. Shoppers will particularly enjoy exploring the streets of the old town, while sightseeing attractions include the beautiful La Seo Cathedral, the fortress of Palau de l'Almudaina, the unusual Castell de Bellver, and some good museums. Unfortunately, the city doesn't have good beaches. Popular excursion destinations include the family-friendly Aqualand theme park, several excellent golf courses, and good hiking trails in the rocky Mallorcan hills.