About Palma’s Paseo del Borne
Paseo del Borne, or ‘Passeig des Born’ in Catalan, is arguably the most elegant avenue in Palma. Not surprisingly, many luxury designers such as Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Carolina Herrera, Sandro, have installed themselves here, and the area has been nicknamed the Golden Mile.
Receiving the flow of traffic from both the busy high streets of Avenida Jaime III and Carrer de la Unió which leads to Las Ramblas, means a constant pulse of activity; yet, somehow, the wide promenade still offers some sense of tranquility amid all the bustle.
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Restaurants and cafeterias with terraces are ideally placed for people watching. There are also plenty of stone benches running along the pedestrianised section, inviting visitors to pause and absorb the atmosphere of the beating heart of the city.
Lofty trees provide welcome shade in summer, while in winter their trunks are adorned with sparkling Christmas lights. The tiled boulevard is situated between two small squares, Plaça Joan Carles, and Plaça de la Reina. Marking the two ends are two sets of stone sphinxes. A short walk past Plaça de la Reina will bring you to the famous landmarks of Almudaina Palace and the imposing Cathedral La Seu.
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History and Culture of Paseo del Borne
You may have heard the word ‘born’ before, in other towns in Spain. It signifies an area for games, such as jousting tournaments between knights in the middle ages. The avenue was actually once a kind of estuary until the great flood of 1403 turned the adjoining streets into terrible sewers. Much later, during the construction of the fifth walled enclosure of the town, the so-called Torrent de Sa Riera waterway was moved. Today, you can view the canal beside Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum. The reconstruction left Borne free as public space and for celebrations, which it is still used for today.
The avenue has undergone many alterations since the time of medieval knights. A restructuring took place in 1833, which is when the Jacinto Mateu Sureda’s Sphinxes were added, and the Turtle Fountain installed. In 1863 an effigy of Isabel II was inaugurated, but was pulled down five years later during the revolution. Though Franco did rename the avenue after himself, the dictator’s name didn’t really stick, and people continued to refer to it as Born.
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Things to do in Paseo del Borne
The well-kept promenade is an attraction in itself and worth strolling down at leisure, admiring the architecture on each side. The striking building in which Zara is housed, was once Borne’s famous cinema. On the same side of the road, you’ll come across Casal Solleric. It’s an 18th century converted mansion which now hosts temporary art exhibitions; there’s also a Tourist Office here if you’re after more information about what to do and see in Palma.
Watch the world go by on the terraced seating of popular Bar Bosch; or if you prefer to escape the bustle of shoppers, head into Rialto Café, and after a coffee, peruse their exhibition room upstairs. Along the same street of C/ de Sant Feliu, wander into the Gerhardt Braun Art Gallery for some wow-factor contemporary art installations, or visit the exhibition at nearby Kewenig Gallery.
There are a number of restaurants where you can stop for lunch in Palma; perhaps contemporary tapas at Ombú, or a succulent burger at Burger Lab. Or treat yourself to a cocktail and dinner at De Tokio a Lima on the terrace of Can Alomar Luxury Boutique Hotel. From Paseo del Borne you can explore the historic streets of Palma’s old town, and walk to the iconic Cathedral La Seu or Almudaina Palace. Even the trendy Santa Catalina neighbourhood is just a fifteen minute walk from here.
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Shopping in Paseo del Borne
The most common reason to visit Paseo del Borne and connecting avenue Jaime III, is for the excellent shopping. You’ll find familiar high street brands such as H&M and Zara, beside luxury brands including Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, Tous and Nicolas Joyeros, ROUGE. Luxury mortgage brokers, Lionsgate Capital, is also based along this avenue, in case your Mallorca trip inspires you to make a substantially larger purchase!
There are a number of stylish independent boutiques along narrow side streets adjacent and parallel to Paseo del Borne; for instance, concept stores, Opia, on C/ de C’an Brondo, and Casa Lima on C/ dels Peraires. It’s worth making a special trip to visit Gallery Red on C/ Can Puigdorfila; while lifestyle store Rialto Living on C/ de Sant Feliu is a must-visit if you love interior design or need gift ideas.
The famous Spanish department store chain, El Corte Ingles, is located on Jaime III, along with many well-known brands such as Calzedonia, Women’s Secret and Occitane. For your home, find inspiration at furniture store, Trends, or something for the younger members of the family at Kid’s Home, both on C/de Berenguer de Tornamira.
Restaurants in Paseo del Borne
Borne 8 is a popular ‘low-key’ restaurant with a pretty terrace – the menu is large and the food is good. Innovative tapas and creative cocktails can be found at Ombú, just opposite Plaça de la Reina. At the chic El Camino, you can choose between tapas, fish or meat. De Tokio a Lima serves high-quality Japanese, Peruvian and and Mediterranean fusion cuisine, with a privileged terrace location above Louis Vuitton store. Vegetarians and vegans will find fresh seasonal dishes at Bon Lloc.
The streets off Jaime III also offer some delicious options. For an excellent lunch menu, reserve a place at Aromata; or step inside sophisticated Fera for Mediterrasian cuisine surrounded by contemporary art. Check out our Restaurant guide for Palma for even more options.
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Hotels in Paseo del Borne
Housed in a beautiful historic residence but with all the contemporary luxuries of a five star hotel, Can Alomar Luxury Boutique Hotel boasts a rooftop solarium, panoramic views and the use of the spa in its sister hotels, Can Cera or Calatrava Boutique Hotel, just minutes away.
Not on the avenue itself, but very close is Brondo Arquitect Hotel; lovers of interior design will appreciate the creativity of the 14 uniquely decorated rooms. Ultra-luxury five-star Palacio Can Marques and four-star Boutique Hotel Palau de Sa Font both enjoy the beauty and atmosphere that comes from being housed in former town palaces.
Conveniently located Hotel Nakar on Jaime III is another great choice for visitors wanting to be in the middle of Palma, and has a Mallorcan restaurant Cuit, comfortable rooms, a subterranean spa and rooftop bar. These are by no means the only hotels in the area. Check out our Best Hotels in Palma guide.
Events in Paseo del Borne
Paseo del Borne is an important focal-point during some of the biggest fiestas held throughout the year. It is the place to go at Christmas for the turning on of the lights, and where to celebrate the New Year. In January, Mallorca’s traditional devils put on an exciting pyrotechnic display for San Sebastian, followed by an open air concert. In May, stalls of books fill the boulevard to celebrate Palma’s Book Fair.