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Make like a Palma local and start the day with a strong coffee and a sweet pastry from the nearest bakery. Don’t go too crazy on the croissants, though, because the next stop is one of the city’s best food markets and you won’t want to leave without sampling what’s on offer.
You could spend an entire morning at Mercat de l'Olivar (Plaça de l'Olivar 4), grazing on tapas and oysters from the deli stalls. The market is a savvy way to save some cash to make your Palma city break a cheap one, as you can stock up on cheese, olives, fruit and hunks of Serrano ham for a low-cost lunchtime picnic.
Head south from the market along the shopping streets around Plaça Major and on Plaça de Cort, admiring the grand façades of the modernist buildings as you go. Then take a stroll down the pretty Passeig del Born. Once home to some of the wealthiest families in the city, this boulevard has been considered the city’s main promenade for centuries.
The tree-lined avenue’s enormous mansions have recently been returned to their former glory and are now occupied by a mix of pavement cafes, high street shops and chic upmarket boutiques.
Savvy travellers know that for the cheapest city breaks in Palma it’s best to skip the fancy restaurants and opt for tapas instead. Spend the evening tackling the well-trodden tapas bar crawl of the Sa Gerreria neighbourhood and sample the small plates as you go.
For a classic Majorcan breakfast, grab a treat from the oldest pastry shop in Palma, Ca’n Joan de Saigo (Carrer Can Sanç 10), before spending a few hours admiring the impressive collection of artworks housed in Palma’s modern art museum Es Baluard (Plaça Porta de Santa Catalina 10).
The three floors of paintings, sculpture and ceramics showcase the best of Spain’s contemporary artists, alongside priceless works by Cézanne, Picasso and Gauguin. What’s more, the gallery is a work of art in itself; it was carved into a former military fortress in 2004, fusing modern architecture with Palma’s medieval walls.
After feasting on classic Mediterranean food at Es Baluard’s in-house restaurant, head for Palma’s top attraction, the historic cathedral, and dedicate a whole afternoon to exploring the city’s landmark building, commonly known as La Seu.
Time your exit from the cathedral for twilight, when you can head to the Parc de la Mar with your camera and capture the grand building at its illuminated best. It’s a short walk from here to dinner at Las Olas Bistro (Carrer de Can Fortuny 5), a popular eatery that serves Mediterranean-Asian fusion cuisine.