Palma Neighbourhood Guide #
The North-Eastern sector of Palma which is made up of Son Oliva and Plaza de Toros are both up and coming neighbourhoods which offer people a little essence of what it truly is living like a local in Palma.
This sector of Palma is unlike the others as it is populated with both working- and middle-class people, showing a completely different side of the city, both atmospherically and architecturally.
This area is mostly residential, but does not fall short of spectacular when having a stroll around. The area is relatively safe and has a great potential for expansion as it is well connected with the metro and the trains from Plaza de España.
Son Oliva #
Son Oliva's local population is mostly comprised of working- to middle-class Spanish people, with very few ex-pats being visible around the area. It has a great potential to go upmarket, though, as it features all the amenities needed for a comfortable family life which is definitely a bonus. You'd be hard pressed to find an area with a better choice of schools, gyms and cultural community centres that have workshops for children and adults alike.
The name Son Oliva comes from its pre-urbanised era, when the space was just olive tree fields. (Its neighbouring L’Olivar is also named appropriately due to its proximity to Son Oliva).
Plaza de Toros #
The Plaza de Toros is located on the border of Son Oliva and L’Olivar but is much closer to the centre of the city, and it only takes a 10-minute walk to get to Plaza España from here. The neighbourhood shares the name with its most recognised architectural structure: The Plaza de Toros.
It’s close proximity to the centre makes this neighbourhood an ideal location to stay during your holidays or even to buy a second holiday home. The area is generally quieter than Palma centre, and even more so than the bohemian and trendy Santa Catalina
Local Sights #
With the two neighbourhoods sharing such proximity with each other the sights worth visiting are within walking distance to each other, and that is way more recommendable than driving as you can encounter a lot of traffic. However, amongst these two neighbourhoods there is only one sight that should be visited and that is the famed: The Plaza de Toros.
Even though it has a negative history of bloodshed and animal cruelty, the Plaza de Toros is a piece of Mallorquín history. It’s not all savagery and brutality, as the historic building itself is quite the architectural marvel. Either way, the local government decided to abolish the use of this site as a bullfighting arena in an effort for the Balearic Islands to show the public they are a government that no longer supports the abuse of animals. It is now used mostly for concerts and other events.
Food & Drink #
There is a variety of restaurants in the area that will no doubt satisfy any traveller (or resident). All the restaurants in the area are reasonably priced and will not burn a hole through your pocket when it comes to eating out at a pleasant establishment. There are many small local bars, bakeries and pastry shops available and rest assured that anyone can find whatever they are after. Some of our recommendations are the following:
If you’re after a quick snack or just feel like indulging in some Oriental food, look no further than Kapadokya. It is positioned right beside the Plaza de Toros and has many tasty dishes to offer that aren’t a kebab.
Contact: +34 971 75 14 73,
Avinguda Gaspar de Bennazar, 37, 07004 Palma
Chapapultec serves an assortment of typical Mexican dishes that stray away from the dreaded Tex-Mex cuisine. They try to keep the authentic Mexican touch in their grub with their delicious home-made tortillas and a guacamole to die for. They also have a great selection of Mexican beers to accompany your food, making the experience that much better.
Contact: +34 971 24 90 97,
Carrer Faust Morell, 11, 07005 Palma
Aires de Andalucia
If you find yourself around Son Oliva and want your tapas fix, the best place to go to is Aires de Andalucia. It is right next to the Catholic Church of Son Oliva, and has traditional and appetizing tapas for when you’re feeling a bit peckish.
Contact: +34 652 15 89 40,
Calle de Isaac Albéniz, 25, 07004 Palma
Note: Due to COVID, many places are closing. Please check to see if these places are open. If you find them closed, we would appreciate letting us know by emailing us at [email protected]
Sports & Recreation #
As the area is very family-oriented, it comes with lots of facilities that will keep you entertained as well as healthy. There are multiple workshops for children and adults, ranging from line dancing all the way to painting, all focused in the Club d’Esplai Son Oliva.
Contact: +34 871 71 45 37, Carrer José Maria Usandizaga, 07004 Palma
For the football freaks out there, Union Deportiva de Son Oliva is a club that offers both indoor and regular football classes for children (and adults!), which is subsidised by the government and participates in tournaments around the island.
Contact: Camí Vell de Bunyola, 21, 07009 Palma
If you’re an old-timer, or if you feel like you were born in the wrong decade, Tandem is a Swing dancing club that welcomes people of all ages to sway away to the rhythmic and melodic genre that was enjoyed by many during the early 20th century.
Contact: +34 871 51 12 03, Carrer de l'Arxiduc Lluís Salvador, 122, 07004 Palma
The artistic and cultural hotspot of the area is indubitably the Plaza de Toros. Even long before the bullfighting ban, the arena was used as a venue for eclectic events ranging from concerts to TV shows.
The Plaza de Toros is a place one must definitely be on the lookout for as they always have great musical shows going on regularly. It is a historical patrimony site where some of the greatest names in the music industry have performed including legendary acts like: Joe Cocker, Simply Red, The Scorpions, Dire Straits and even the mythical B.B. King.
There is also a small café that doubles as a wax museum in the area. It’s called “Transilvania Café & Museum” – and is frankly an enjoyable little place to check out as it focuses primarily on the whacky and creepy side of pop culture while you have your coffee break. Contact: +34 871 51 44 88, Carrer de Jaume Ferran, 38, 07004 Palma
Living in these Eastern neighbourhoods of Palma is a much quieter experience than anywhere else in the city. You’re assured more tranquillity, without having to give up the commodities that you may find jumbled together in the centre. There are a number of supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitals and even schools in the area which means you can settle into the neighbourhood with relative ease. It is a great place for families with children, too, as there is an indoor playground in the neighbourhood as well as a few parks and green areas where one can be at peace without the hectic life of the centre (and all this just 10 minutes away from Plaza de España! and easy public transportation).
By Sahil Dadlani
30 November, 2020