Palma de Mallorca is the lively hub of this popular island destination, and a major Spanish city in its own right. Its rich historical sights, such as the distinctive cathedral, are complemented by buzzing nightlife, beaches and a colourful cultural scene.
Palma de Mallorca enjoys a temperate climate all year round although the midsummer can get very hot and snow is not unknown in December or January. Highlights of the Palma calendar include the pyrotechnics of the Nit De Foc to mark the fiesta of St. John on 23rd June and the traditional processions that are staged during Semana Santa, Easter week. The Festa de Sant Sebastiá celebrates Palma's patron saint with a music festival on 19-20th January.
Palma is one hour ahead of GMT. The local language in Mallorca is an island variation of Catalan, although Spanish is spoken everywhere and English is widely understood, due to the island's popularity as a holiday destination. Prices for dining out are notably cheaper than in London, although museums and galleries usually charge an admission fee. Palma's produce markets are an inexpensive source of fruit, meat and local cheese for beach picnics.
Palma airport is 9 km outside the city and well-served by taxis and buses. A taxi ride to the centre costs around EUR30. The EMT city bus service number 1 connects the airport with Plaza de Espana. Services depart every 15 minutes between 6 am and 1:45 am, with fares around EUR3. Several car hire companies have facilities at the airport. Central Palma is compact enough to explore on foot, but the local bus and metro network is a cheap way of getting to the city's beaches and shopping malls. Plaza de Espana is a transport hub for buses to most parts of Mallorca and for the scenic train ride north to Soller. Car hire allows exploration of the island's spectacular mountain scenery, while cyclists can rent bikes to enjoy the dedicated cycle tracks. Accommodation options include simple backpacker hostels and B&B establishments charging around EUR20 per person per night, while average hotel room prices are approximately EUR50 per person per night. Peak season prices between July and September can be higher, while out of season rooms are often discounted.