Straddling a wooded hillside, the Castell de Bellver is a 14th-century circular castle (with a unique round tower), the only one of its kind in Spain. Jaume II ordered the castle built atop a hill known as Puig de Sa Mesquida in 1300 and it was largely complete 10 years later. The best part of a visit is to mosey around the castle and enjoy the spectacular views over the woods to Palma, the Badia de Palma and out to sea.
The castle was conceived above all as a royal residence but seems to have been a white elephant, as only King Sanç (in 1314) and Aragón’s Joan I (in 1395) moved in for any amount of time. In 1717 it became a prison. Climb to the roof and check out the prisoners’ graffiti etched into the stonework.
The ground-floor Museu d’Història de la Ciutat (City History Museum) consists of some explanatory panels and a modest collection of pottery. Upstairs you can visit a series of largely empty chambers, including the one-time kitchen. These are kept closed (no great loss) on Sundays, when admission is free.
About the nearest you can get to the castle by bus (3, 46 or 50) is Plaça de Gomila, from where you’ll have to hoof it about 15 minutes (1km) up a steep hill. Instead, combine it with the Palma City Sightseeing open-top bus, which climbs to the castle as part of its circuit of the city.