24 September 2017

Places To Visit: Palma De Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog

As an anxious traveller, and a phobic airplane passenger, this summer marked my first trip abroad in 12 years. 12 whole years I have been too scared to even brave an airport, let alone imagine flying to a beautiful sunny destination. So this trip to Mallorca was very special for me, and I hope you enjoy reading about it - and get prepared, as the travels won't stop there!

Mallorca was our family holiday this year - I went exploring with my mum and my younger brother. The island itself is absolutely stunning, and I will do another post about the village where we stayed, but this post will focus solely on what to do and what to expect when visiting Palma De Mallorca.

Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog

The first place on my radar was Palma Cathedral which we could see from the bus stop where we hopped off - it looked beautiful and totally unmissable. Cathedrals are always calming places in my eyes - there's something about the energy around a cathedral, so calming and peaceful. And the architecture is unbelievable - the detail which goes in to the decor of a cathedral is one of beauty.

Palma Cathedral is big, spacious, and quite Gothic. As with most Cathedrals you can light a candle, sit in the prayer room, and walk around the building. People do tend to get kicked out when there is a service happening, so be mindful! The areas surrounding the Cathedral are stunning, with horse drawn carriages filling the street, views of the Mediterranean sea, and small streets which are just screaming to be an Insatgram photo.

Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog

We then ventured into Palma city centre - the main street lined with designer boutiques and high street shops. From Escada to Louis Vuitton, H&M, Zara, Mango - I can honestly say it's a shoppers paradise. The prices aren't very different from what we would pay in the UK, but they had some great sales and I picked up a pair of heels and a dress from Mango. Would be rude not to have a couple of pieces from Mango whilst in Spain! But what I was really excited about were the deli shops dotted around Palma - olive oil, sobrassada, Mallorquin cheese, Iberico ham... Oh the YUM!

Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog

We stumbled upon Mallorca Delicatessen and I suddenly discovered heaven - it has everything I wanted to bring back with me, so I packed my arms with salami and sobrassada. Sobrassada is a Balearic Island speciality made from pork, paprika, local spices and then cured. I didn't know about sobrassada before I bought it, but it's delicious spread over bread or cooked black pudding style - we demolished our piece as soon as I brought it home! I also picked up some Mallorcan olive oil, cheese, and foie gras which I haven't tried yet - I feel like maybe I can crack it open at Christmas with a nice dry red wine. Oh an of course another thing I'm forgetting is the Mallorcan salt, one of their exports. Mallorcan salt can be as is, or flavoured with herbs, spices, and more intense flavours like hibiscus, truffle, or orange. I opted for a herby mixture, and smoked paprika salt - they perfectly team with meat and fish, and delicious on top of grilled padron peppers.

Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog

All this food shopping made us hungry so we decided to go on a hunt for a nice local restaurant and we stumbled upon a steakhouse which served traditional Spanish food like paella, prawns, and tapas as well as delicious grills which were my brothers choice - the man needed his meat! I have been trying to remember and look for the name of this restaurant but I haven't been able to find it - once I do I promise I will link it! It's really quirky with old typewriters, walls of vintage wine, and a deli counter in the front with the biggest octopus I have ever seen! And also, it was air conditioned which in 30c heat is a god send. Trust me, you want somewhere with air conditioning. 

Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog

We ordered a couple of starters to try: padron peppers (a classic!), cuttlefish and pork meat balls, chicken wings, and chilli and garlic prawns. To go with our meal the obvious choice was sangria - you just can't go to Spain and not have sangria, it's delicious!
It was the first time I tried padron peppers and I loved them - there is something different in the taste of the peppers, a sweetness and bitterness which makes them delicious. With a sprinkle of Mallorcan salt on top - delicioso! I also really enjoyed the cuttlefish meatballs which were meaty, soft, and juicy with the flavour of pork and cuttlefish marrying beautifully to create a unique taste.

Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog

For mains, my mum and I ordered a mixed paella to share which traditionally uses rabbit or chicken, prawns, mussels, squid, paprika, peas and garnished with lemon wedges. I love paella but it was really nice to indulge in local paella with fresh ingredients - I don't know about you guys but I always love eating local food wherever I am: whether it's a Mallorquin paella, a Scottish haggis, or simply Hampshire beef - always, always, always eat local.
My brother ordered a sizzling steak with chips and of course I stole a slice of steak - it was delicious! So flavoursome and cooked to perfection - it kind of gave me food envy! Paired with a red wine, that steak was a true beauty.

Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog, fashion blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog, fashion blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog

We absolutely had to stop and get some ice cream in the heat - and we found Amorino ice cream which did the beautiful floral shaped ice creams in the most delicious flavours - basil and lime anyone? It was incredible! How they shape these ice creams is just a work of art - a very yummy one at that.

Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog, fashion blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog

We ventured again into Palma towards the end of our trip to Mallorca and we decided to feast on some tapas at Cafe 7Set, set in the heart of the city. On the menu was sangria (naturally), a selection of tapas, veal with tuna sauce, and a loaded cheese and ham pizza.

The food in Mallorca was delicious throughout the trip - my diet consisted of fresh fish and salad 90% of the time. I was very intrigued to taste a traditional tapas platter and what I took away from it is that the food is very simple, but made with quality ingredients. Russian salad was on the menu and this is something I'm very familiar with because my family is Russian and my mum makes this salad for special occasions like Christmas or my birthday. The salad was good, but my mum makes it better ;) We then had bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt on top to bring the flavours to life; tuna which was a mix of canned tuna with mayonnaise and spices; seafood salad made from prawns, clams, and seafood sticks in a mayo sauce; clams and mussels with sea vegetables; Iberico ham (my favourite); and Mallorquin cheese which is a slightly hard cheese with a soft yet distinct flavour.

Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog

What I was very interested in, and maybe ordered it mainly because I couldn't imagine how this would go together, was the veal in tuna sauce. Again, it's a combination of meat and fish like with the cuttlefish meatballs which worked incredibly well together! I've never had veal before so this was a new experience for me, and the tuna sauce with salad and capers really complimented the meat. So as far as food went - it's a massive thumbs up from me!

We spent some more of the evening exploring Palma and taking out time to see the streets, check out local shops, plan what we're going to be doing over a drink or two - it was the perfect end to my first holiday abroad.

Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog
Palma de Mallorca, things to do in Palma, travel blog

Palma de Mallorca is a beautiful corner of the earth, and I would highly recommend anyone who wants to visit Mallorca to visit Palma. It's a vibrant city with many things to do whether you're into shopping, sightseeing, relaxing, partying, sunbathing, or watching the sunset over a glass of sangria.
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