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Taxi Transfer Costs:
Although the City of Palma is the commercial and cultural centre of Majorca, the depth of history, culture and nightlife here often takes visitors by surprise, and with the increasing popularity of the long weekend city break amongst travellers, we felt that a guide to Palma was a long overdue omission to our site.
Visitors arriving at the Son Sant Joan International airport, some 8km from the city centre, have a number of transfer options available to them. The cheapest route into the city is undoubtedly on the shuttle bus, which runs every 15 minutes from 6.10am to 2.15am, and costs around 2 euro per person. Its route takes it from the airport on to the Plaza Espana in the centre of the city, then on to the ferry terminal and port area. Whilst we appreciate that this may be the most cost effective option available, for most independent travellers however, the most convenient option would certainly be the door to door service offered by any of the numerous taxis waiting outside of the arrivals hall.
Whatever method of transport to choose for this transfer, your first impression of Palma will be of its busy and often crowded streets, although in all fairness over half of the islands 600,000 residents do live here before taking in to account the large number of visitors.
The origins of the city can be traced back to before Roman times, and in even today inhabitants of homes in the old quarter are often still discovering Roman remains less than a metre beneath the ground. The city you see today, however, is a still a relatively new creation. The tree lined avenues of La Rambla and the Passeig des Born, were only built in the 19th Century on the site of a dried up riverbed, the original walls that once protected the city from invaders were pulled down to create the Las Avingudas ring road, and the waterfront promenade, or Passeig Maritim, was only reclaimed from the sea during the late 1950’s.
Although being at the centre of the huge Bay of Palma, the city does not have its own beach. Although, for most visitors this isn’t really a problem as a day on the beach wouldn’t really hold much appeal. However, for those who do wish to escape for the day, the more traditional beach resorts of C'an Pastilla and Cala Mayor lie approximately 4 miles away to the east and west of the city centre respectively.
Unlike many of the popular coastal resorts around the island, the city of Palma does have a surprisingly efficient public transport system operated by the Empresa Municipal de Transports Urbans de Palma de Mallorca, which you will often see abbreviated as the EMT. Further details of the routes and timetables can be downloaded from our Public Transport pages.
Nightlife here is often described as being vibrant, but don’t expect to find all night karaoke bars and foam parties, you’ll have to travel west into either Palma Nova or Magaluf if that’s what you are looking for. There is however, a good selection of clubs, restaurants and lively bars in the El Terreno district of the city, which visitors should also be aware is the centre of the islands gay and lesbian community, and some may find the area somewhat seedy.
Throughout the year there is also a full programme of concerts, exhibitions, festivals, ballet and theatre productions that should appeal to most tastes. The forthcoming cultural itinerary is published in advance on the Palma City Council web site or alternatively can be picked up locally at any of the Tourist Information Offices throughout the city.
Hotels throughout the city are usually of a good standard, with little if any choice falling below the 4 star standard. However, of these the best hotels to tend to be concentrated on the Paseo Maritimo to the west of the centre.
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