Palma is certainly a city packed full of fun events whatever the time of year. Let’s kick off with the fiestas and fairs because they are some of the most spectacular events you could attend. Palma knows how to celebrate and bring people together, and boy do you get to know the real city when it hosts one of its fiestas!
Apart from the usual traditional festivals celebrated in Spain, you really should try to get involved in the city's two main fiestas: Sant Sebastiá which is held in January and Sant Joan that takes place in June. Others to watch are the Three Kings Parade on the eve of the Epiphany (5th of January) and Sa Rua, Mallorca’s very own carnival in February.
Sant Sebastian is Palma's patron saint and the city comes out in force to celebrate. You can expect street parties with BBQs and music concerts, followed by parades, fireworks and a Correfoc (devil fire running) in the lead up to the more formal proceedings taking place on the actual saint's day of the 20th January, a public holiday in Palma.
Sant Joan is celebrated on the 24th June as part of the summer solstice but, again, it's the evening before that sees the biggest party. The infamous ‘Nit de Foc', or Night of Fire is held on the night of the 23rd June and sees bonfires lit throughout the city and the crazy ‘fire run' where locals dress as demons and devils and run through the streets bearing torches. Everyone eventually gathers in the Parc de la Mar for concerts, more bonfires, firecrackers and an impressive fireworks display.
Art lovers should attend Nit de l'Art in September when the art galleries and restaurants display art to the public with canapes and wine. There are a couple of grand theatres in the city which host annual opera and ballet festivals, their programmes are speckled with musicals, concerts and other ‘spectacles'. Look out for details on the Bellver Castle Music Festival, a popular occasion in the summer months. There are also several jazz clubs in La Llonja, and other live music venues (bars) can be found throughout Palma.
For the foodies, the Spanish love of food is reflected in gastronomic events throughout the year. Every Tuesday La Ruta Martiana takes place in Palma’s old town. Bars offer their patrons a small tapa or pintxo plus a caña of beer for a modest 2-3€. It's a great way to discover authentic Spanish bars and cuisine away from the touristy areas of the city. On a larger scale, be sure to check out the TaPalma event. These tapas routes at the end of October are great for encouraging people to explore the more hidden bars and restaurants of Palma, each establishment serving unique quality tapas and wines for a reduced fee. Participating bars and restaurants are marked on a handy map of the area which you can pick up in bars and cafes.
Much like the rest of the island, Palma has its fair share of sporting events. The city has its own marathon in October, as well as a range of cycling events, and is a renowned hub for numerous sailing regattas in the Mediterranean, not to mention it has its own International Boat Show held on the first May bank holiday weekend. Football fanatics, we promise a Spanish football game atmosphere is worth sampling... there isn’t anything quite like it! Mallorca has its own football team that normally plays in Spain’s top division. Their stadium is on the outskirts of Palma and tickets are relatively easy to come by.