Palace de l'Almudaina, Palma de Mallorca
A royal palace has stood on this site next to Palma's cathedral since the Muslim walis (governors) built their alcazar soon after the Arab conquest.
It was converted into Gothic style under Jaume II, but elements of Islamic architecture remain - like the Moorish arches seen from the seafront, lit up at night like a row of lanterns. Inside you'll find tapestries, paintings and furniture from different time periods throughout its history.
The courtyard, laid out in 1309 and flanked by palm trees, is at its best in late afternoon when the sun falls on the cathedral towers overhead. Just off the courtyard is the royal chapel, Capella de Santa Ana.
The S'Hort del Rei gardens beneath the palace make a pleasant place to sit beneath the fountains watching the world go by. Look out for the Arc de la Drassana, once the gateway to the royal docks; near here is a statue of a hondero or Balearic slinger. The gardens were rebuilt in the 1960s, forcing the demolition of several houses; their best known landmark is Joan Miro's Egg sculpture, which few people can resist sticking their heads through.
- "I really enjoyed this visit, its free entry with passport on two nights during the week, there are guides on hand to tell you about anything you might want to know, beautiful gardens & views & very relaxed atmosphere" - Trip Advisor
- "Definitely worth a visit, especially near closing time when there are few people. Rooms were amazing and well decorated. It was like we were immersed in an episode of Game of Thrones." - Trip Advisor
- "A calm, serene building without ostentation, the palace will appeal to those who appreciate beautiful stonework and harmonious proportions. Information is provided in English in each room, though for detailed commentary try the audio guide (4 euros). Allow about an hour to an hour and a half for the visit." - Trip Advisor
When to come
The palace is open from 10:00, closing at 18:00 from October to March and at 20:00 from April to September (ticket offices close an hour before). Closed every Monday and on December 24th, 25th & 31st.
How to get passes
Tickets cost 7€, reduced to 4€ for children 5 to 16, over 65 and students under 25. Free for under 5, as well as on October 12th and every Wednesday and Thursday from October to March from 15:00 to 17:00, and from April to September from 17:00 to 20:00 (only EU and Ibero-American citizens).
You can also get an audio guide for 4€.
- Carrer del Palau Reial
Palma Centre & Marina, Mallorca