One of my first ever posts when I created my blog was about the city where I was born, in fact, I published it on April 2nd, my birthday. I have been updating it. I did not want to leave anything nice untold, but it was becoming a bit long, so I created this other one about Palma where you will find a mishmash of places.
I’ll start with the neighborhood of Santa Catalina; It was created when the fishermen settled there because, when they returned from the sea late at night they’d found the city gates closed. Today it is full of bars and restaurants, among them there is another example of modernist architecture, Bar Cuba, very popular for those Saturday nights, as well as the Havana bar.
The funkiest thing about the Santa Catalina market is that you can buy something to eat and in the bar on the corner, they cook it for you!, meanwhile you can have a wine or a tapa, a very fun atmosphere is created.
The church of San Magí is one of its features, located in the street of the same name.
I encourage you to explore its little streets, its variety of restaurants and bars to party or have a romantic tea. Like Patron Lunares restaurant, recommended by my friend Lourdes. Or if you like Indian food Jonny’s Dhaba Indian restaurant is a good option. I love their veggie selection.
As you can see I thought I’d include some restaurants that I like, you know that I am not a foodie, so when I discover a nice restaurant with yummy and vegan or vegetarian food I mark it on google maps. C’an Ela is a delicious vegan and cute restaurant on Calle del Mar in the neighborhood of La Lonja.
La Mujer de Verde is another place where they treat us very well, offer a delicious vegan menu and they welcome our little furry friends, if they’re well behaved. It is in Porta de Santa Catalina square, next to the Es Baluard art museum, which has a very cool terrace from where you’ll get nice a view of the port.
I find old stores that have been there longer than our lives very romantic, with those original signs, like the chocolate shop “La Pajarita”. Founded in 1872 became an exclusive store where products never seen on the island were sold, delicatessen like the Möet Chandon, for example.
Or the Mimbreria Vidal since 1955, where they make the traditional baskets.
The Convent of Santa Clara behind the cathedral supplies sweets and bread to anyone who wants to acquire these delicacies handmade by these cloistered nuns. They’re very popular during Christmas, but they sell their craft all year around.
The Literanta bookstore looks out through these centuries-old streets provoking us with its shelves full of letters. In the Biblioteca de Babel you can’t just buy some books but you can also have a lovely cup of tea or a glass of wine.
Last year in January my friends Rob and Mani spent a couple of days in Palma, it was their first time and I can say they fell in love. They stayed at Palma Suites, a nice boutique hotel where we had breakfast before heading out to explore.
We went for lunch to the restaurant El Camino, where we had tapas at the bar, where curiously Nicole Kidman has been these days, that she’s been filming on the island with Zoe Saldana.
During the pandemic, when the city was almost deserted I dedicated myself to exploring some boutique hotels that have proliferated in the old town, Fil Suites was formerly a yarn factory, the Hotel Basílica was a warehouse of I do not remember what; the Hotel Singular had been a mansion. All of them are beautiful and I love how they keep some of their original features, even some of the photographs of the first owner of the place, as in the case of the beautiful Hotel Palma Antigua.
Other business like Zara in Passeig des Born or Rialto Living in San Feliu, have stablished themselves in what they used to be cinemas. I totally recommend a visit to Rialto Living, there’s also a cafe restaurant inside the stunning building.
After the pandemic my mother and I started a tradition, trying restaurants, traveling through tastebuds in our city. We love to go to the Olivar market, we have freshly squeezed juice or we eat lovely food in the tapas bars and restaurants that are around the fish market. Then we go to the stunning Cappuccino on San Miguel Street for dessert.
Or the bakery S’Estació with glass floor, antique decoration and soft music from the 40s, which my mother loves.
Another of our Sunday routines is to take the dogs to the only dog beach in the city, Es Carnatge, so Bella runs and jumps, Elsa discovers the sea and old Daisy strolls along.
If we continue walking or cycling south along the promenade that runs through the whole of bay of Palma, we arrive at Cala Estancia where my favorite surf bar Mai Mai is open all summer season.
We have our fair share of castles and palaces, we are proud to have a rounded one in the middle of the forest of a hill, the Bellver Castle, circular Gothic fortification from where you can enjoy the view of the entire bay.
My literary recommendation today comes from the hand of a writer from Palma, Lourdes Verger and her novel Casi Viva. Do you like true stories? Sarah, 82, gives voice to her own, through her acid and sarcastic sense of humor describes in detail how the “system” takes her from from nursing home to nursing home from which she manages to escape, while waiting for a sheltered apartment.
Tough, endearing and funny story that slaps the system for the elders and the attention, or lack thereof, that we profess to them.