Palma Instatour – top city spots in Mallorca for beautiful photos
Planning a city break in Palma de Mallorca? Take this Palma Instatour, which shows you the top city spots for beautiful photographs.
Meet the moment
Like our other Instatours, this is not about mindless snapping. It’s about being uplifted by everyday beauty.
Don’t click quickly and move on. Savour the view. Appreciate its beauty through your camera. Treat yourself to a little beauty every day.
Palma is the island’s capital, situated on Mallorca’s south coast, in a bay with a huge harbour. The Mediterranean climate means there’s often good light for photography. Sticking to early morning and evening photoshooting is, as usual, a wise idea. That avoids the harsh shadows that bright sunlight creates.
The Old City and the area around the cathedral is visually varied. You’ll find quiet, narrow cobbled streets and busy squares, all in a walkable quarter.
Look up for the palm trees and stunning facades. You’ll find lovely stonework too, and stretches of greenery.
Winning at wandering
Sometimes the best photographs come when you’ve no fixed destination. Palma is a great city for wandering and looking around.
This is my favourite image from our city break.
This water fountain with a face wasn’t a landmark, or anything like that. We just happened to pass by. And then spotted the side order of lime!
The interesting thing about wandering around Palma is that there are so many courtyards and hidden entrances to peek into. How about the bike storage in this one?
The same with the earthy pink house facades in a residential area. We were just strolling by and got hit by instant balcony goals!
It’s all about the balconies in Palma. This one near the harbour featured a parasol at a jaunty angle, and one of the best views of the city.
We also spotted this internal balcony. If you look closely, you’ll see the book tower that suggests this is a perfect spot for reading.
You can’t miss Palma Cathedral (Catedral de Mallorca) on the skyline. The exterior is all soaring towers and stonework embellishments. Minimalist it isn’t!
The cathedral interior is equally stunning, all Gothic arches and vast windows. Harder to photograph, as the light is varied, but worth persisting.
On your way back out, don’t miss glimpsing into the courtyard. While the cathedral was thronged with visitors, this courtyard was empty apart from a few glossy trees, airy cloisters and carved metalwork above a very photogenic well.
Near Palma Cathedral you’ll find the walls of the old city, and plenty of those beautiful narrow, cobbled lanes.
You’ll find the most impressive #doortrait at the massive twin portals of Sa Llotja. Pretty good arched windows too. Inside you’ll get great shots of a soaring vaulted ceiling.
The most serene-looking angel guards the entrance – look above the main door.
Coffee shops and shopping
Lifestyle store anyone? Palma has one of the loveliest I’ve seen, Rialto Living, right in the heart of the city.
As well as the café inside, Rialto Living has several floors of interior goodies, gifts, and the best, most realistic faux flower display we’ve discovered.
It’s the perfect spot to combine shopping with refreshment, and well worth a visit for interiors lovers. There’s a rooftop area too – perfect spot for al fresco drinks?
We also loved the Cappuccino group of coffee shops. The coffee was good and the menu, set out to tell the family story, was a total charmer.
You’ll find a few Cappuccino’s dotted around the city. We took shelter from a short and sudden rain shower in Cappuccino Grand Café Palau March. We sat in a vaulted terrace, where we soaked up the city views.
Slightly further out of the city centre we found a great spot for lunch, actually called Spot!
Interiors fans will adore it. It’s decorated in earthy clay tones – luxe pinks and peaches toughened up with a dose of concrete and softened with greenery.
We found this hidden gem in the gallery quarter – Arquinesia – a shop/experience selling various fragrance products. Totally worth taking a look in and getting a tour of the shop.
You’ll also find some photogenic shopfronts in the city. Our favourite? This florist.
Hallelujah for maximalism
You’ve got to aim for Bar Abaco for some mad maximalist styling and high drama.
This place is extremely quirky. Originally a grand manor house, the building has been made over into a cocktail bar, but not as you know it.
The bar itself is laden with flowers and fruit. It’s impossible to exaggerate the scale. Quantities have been supersized. Up close you feel like a toddler at a very chic, colourful market.
The yellow flowers at the bottom of the staircase were the size of the canopy of a perfectly-formed tree.
In the pic above, the open door (a section of the huge wooden double doors) is normal-person sized. That gives you an idea of Bar Abaco’s internal perspective.
The best bit though? Later on Friday evenings, before midnight, there’s a petal shower. It lasts for the duration of a long snippet from the Hallelujah Chorus, which is played as the rose petals fall from a concealed balcony. The whole episode sounds like a phoney marketing ploy, but it’s actually fairly magical. It also helps ensure you get value for money from your pricey cocktail.
Once you’ve picked the petals out of your hair (and Mojito), you can stroll about the various rooms upstairs, where you’ll find cherubs on the frescoed ceiling and a vintage kitchen all laid out with fruit and veg.
If this sounds like your type of thing, you’ve got to try it at least once. The floor/flower show was so worth it for quirky memories.
In the same cobbled streets and only a block away is the recently opened Ocho. Perfect for a supersized gin! This small boutique hotel and restaurant was so welcoming and photogenic.
For more eye-candy, hit the gallery quarter, just a stroll from the main shopping street. You’ll find amazing pieces tucked in behind huge wooden doors.
We stayed at the GPRO Valparaiso Palace Hotel & Spa, which is about a 30 minute walk to the old town. Our seaview rooms overlooked the harbour. The onsite thermal spa is excellent, and the hotel also has tennis courts.
The outdoor swimming area was vast, serviced by a shady garden bar.
If you want to build some walking into your trip, the Valparaiso is an ideal base for exploring the city. The flowers in the lobby were pretty photogenic too.
The views from the hotel balcony are amazing – across the harbour to the cruise ships and superyachts, and beyond to Palma Cathedral and the fairytale Bellver Castle overlooking the city.
We also ate a fantastic meal and explored the recently-opened Can Bordoy Grand House, right in the city centre.
Amazing food and service, and the interiors were exquisite.
The courtyard garden was pretty special too. It even had a swimming pool hidden away behind the greenery.
If you’re looking for a hotel in Palma, check out some great deals via Hotel Exclusives – they’ve lots of choice in the city and elsewhere (affiliate link).
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