In 1983, PALMA became the capital of the newly established Balearic Islands autonomous region, since when it has developed into a go-ahead and cosmopolitan commercial hub of almost 400,000 people. The new self-confidence is plain to see in the city centre, a vibrant place – and a world away from the heaving tourist enclaves of the surrounding bay.
Finding your way around Palma is fairly straightforward once you’re in the city centre. The obvious landmark is the Catedral, which dominates the waterfront and backs onto the oldest part of the city, a cluster of alleys and narrow lanes whose northern and eastern limits are marked by the zigzag of avenues built beside – or in place of – the city walls. On the west side of the Catedral, Avgda. d’Antoni Maura/Passeig d’es Born cuts up from the seafront to intersect with Avgda. Jaume III/Unio at Plaça Rei Joan Carles I. These busy thoroughfares form the core of the modern town.