Even though I had a fun girly weekend in Mallorca which mainly consisted of us drinking and eating, I do envisage taking Monkey back to Palma in the future – it’s a wonderful and underrated city. And, apart from the obvious attractions that little ones love, such as the beach, swimming pools and parks, there Palma also has several others activities that will appeal to children and families.
While some of my Top 10 Palma suggestions would also be fine for children, including a visit to the Cathedral and sampling ensaimadas, here are some kid-friendly options to add to the mix…
Palma Aquarium houses 55 tanks, which contain a staggering 5 million litres of salt water – and more than 8000 different specimens of around 700 different species. But they also have Mediterranean gardens and a tropical jungle on their roof – the largest roof garden in Spain. The showstopper here is their enormous shark tank called ‘The Big Blue’, which is the deepest shark tank in Europe. And the brave amongst you can actually go diving with species including Reef sharks and Tiger sharks. For kids from six years up, they can even have a ‘shark sleepover’ and camp out in front of the tank all night!
The aquarium also organises special activities for children – games, face painting, water fights on the pirate ship – or they can become assistants to the Ocean Guides, and help feed the turtles, rays and Koi fish.
Palma Aquarium, C/ Manuela de los Herreros i Sorà, 21 | 07610 Palma de Mallorca
Adults €24; Kids €14; Children under 3 are free
What kid doesn’t love forts and castles? Let their imaginations run wild with a visit to Bellver, which has a round shape that is unique in comparison to the majority of Spanish Castles. Nestled high in the hilltops above the city, this 14-Century royal fortress is surrounded by pine forests and has several permanent exhibitions as well as a museum with excellent displays on the history of Palma and Mallorca.
Kids will absolutely love running through the tunnels and secret staircases that lead to and from the various levels. There are also lookout towers that have the most amazing views of the Bay of Palma. There’s also a cafe on site if you’re feeling a little peckish and thirsty.
Bellver Castle José Cela s/n. 07014 Palma de Mallorca
Check website for opening times; Adults €4; Kids under 14 are free
Train de Sóller
Since 1912 the Sóller Railway has been running a daily train service along a 27km route from Palmade Mallorca to Sóller – a charming rural town set in a lush valley between the mountains and the sea. The journey on a vintage train leaves the bustling city and soon starts passing sprawling countryside before entering a 3km tunnel before descending through dizzying bends.
Five trains leave Placa d’Espanya in Palma a day – so there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy the popular attraction. And whilst you’re in Sóller itself, there’s a good selection of tapas bars, cafes, ice cream stalls and pastry shops to enjoy. And if you still haven’t had enough of riding the rails, there is also a tram which will take you from Sóller to the port.
Marineland Mallorca which is situated on the coast between Palma Nova and Maguluf offers a more in the way of sea life with the star attractions being the dolphins. The popular dolphin show wows crowds twice daily with their amazing abilities and playful tricks – and visitors can even walk through an underwater tunnel and watch the dolphins as they swim in the water.
Marineland also has a tropical house which has reptiles and piranhas; an aviary with tropical birds; aquariums with sharks, penguins, sealions and turtles. You can also learn about their conservation work.
Marineland Mallorca Carrer Garcilaso de la Vega, 9, 07181 Costa d’en Blanes
Adult tickets from €21.50 if purchased in advance; Children from €10