Palma de Mallorca hasn't always been what it is today. Palma was founded under the name Palmaria by the Romans on the remains of a settlement. It was later sacked numerous times until it was conquered by the Byzantines, the Arabs and finally by James I of Aragon. In the fifteenth century the port rose in wealth and prominence until it became known as the main port of call between Europe and Africa. Sometime later, however, it slowly started to disappear off the global map.
The city became the capital of the Balearic Islands in 1983 with the establishment of the area as an autonomous region of Spain. Since then it has bloomed from a dusty provincial town to a cosmopolitan commercial hive of activity. The best place to see this is in the city center - a vibrant and lively place that is similar to many of Spain's bigger cities on the mainland yet with a slower pace of life. While the suburban areas may still be somewhat shoddy in appearance, the city center has become a lively collection of shopping areas, a maze of lanes and numerous well-restored old buildings. Many of Palma's hotels are located in restored buildings with a strong sense of atmosphere. Added to this are the charming remains of the old city walls which still surround parts of the city center.
When arriving by sea, Palma is impressively beautiful. The Cathedral towers above the old town and remnants of the medieval walls giving the place a beautifully aged feel. The main sights of Palma are to be found within the city walls and are quite easy to explore on foot. At the center of the town you will find the historic quarter with its grand Renaissance mansions, Baroque churches and Gothic cathedral. Most visitors will make their way around the city to see the Cathedral of Palma, the Bellver Castle and the harbor, though there are many, many more beautiful things to see such as the Sierra de Tramuntana and the Caves of Drac. The wide beaches of Mallorca are also very popular. The Son Sant Joan airport in Palma is one of the busiest in Europe which is a testament not only to the large amount of business that the city sees but also to it's popularity with tourists. Why not see if you can book a cheap flight to Palma for your next holiday? It's a destination with a difference!