The combination of a good summer climate and beautiful beaches has been exploited for both domestic and international tourism. Tourists have come from a wide range of countries, especially the Netherlands, England, France, and more recently, America. It also serves as a summer holiday town for residents of cities such as Barcelona and Girona.
This medieval town was once fortified but is no longer. Many narrow streets emanate from Plaça Nova -a large square with bars, restaurants and boutiques. The local government (Ajuntament) sponsors activities such as concerts and dances including the traditional Sardana. St. Martí's church was built in the late 11th century and is close to Plaça Nova.
Palafrugell was reputed for its cork manufacturing in the 18th and 19th centuries. The largest factory was owned by the American company Armstrong and employed hundreds of locals. Its closing in the 1970s led to severe unemployment. The factory's tower still stands, and there is now a small museum commemorating the cork industry just below it.