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Palma de Mallorca

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Palma de Mallorca is Balearic island

Palma de Mallorca is Balearic island located in the Balearic sea. It is close to the well known Spanish party island Ibiza and to its’ smaller lesser known little sister island Menorca. Palma de Mallorcaa is a small island that is not budget traveller friendly. The culture of Spanish islands is distinct from mainland Spain. Those from islands tend to love the island and of course their entire economy is based in tourism. The island of Mallorca is colloquially divided into two. Palma City is the city center and then there is the rest of the island. The rest of the island is why Mallorca is so famous. Outside of Palma city, Mallorca is farms, mountains, and beaches.

Arriving at Palma City:

Palma’s airport ticket

Palma’s airport is extremely close to Palma city center. The L1 bus offers a 15 minute transfer from the airport to the city center. Tickets are €8 euros round trip and €5 for a one way ticket. There is a ticket machine at the L1 bus stop and you can also buy tickets from the bus driver. The L1 airport bus stop is a 13 minute walk from the arrivals hall so be sure to allocate extra time in getting to the bus. While Mallorca does have good public transportation, Palma de Mallorca is best experienced by car. Car rentals start at about €40 euros per day. At the Palma de Mallorca airport there is just about every major rental car company that you can think of. Be sure to book your car in advance because lines can get very long.

You can also use a scooter to explore the city of Mallorca. There are several companies that rent scooters per day. The average rate is €30 per day. However, you should not get on the highway with a scooter. You will likely run out of gas and considering that Mallorca is full of hills, you may have a hard time getting uphill at times. Nevertheless, you are on an island so renting a scooter can be one unique adventure!

Pro tip: Public Buses to certain beaches (i.e: Es Trenc) only run in the summer. This is another reason to rent a car if you visit Mallorca. For most beaches you will have to pay to parking as well. Also, public bus prices to various beaches and tourist attractions vary (€2-€6 each way) so make sure to do your research based on when you are traveling.

The basics

Where to stay in Palma City:

Affordable accommodation in Mallorca is hard to come by. The cheapest hostel I found was €30 per night for a shared room of 4 girls. I stayed at the Central Palma Youth Hostel which is for young people 30 years and older. Rooms and bathrooms were cleaned daily and it was a clean acceptable place to sleep every night. If you are a budget traveller, your options on where to stay are extremely limited as Mallorca is a tourist destination so prices are astronomical. I do not recommend staying in the hostel where I stayed so I would suggest booking an Airbnb or hotel months in advance. The best time to travel to Mallorca would be mid September. Tourists are gone, prices will have deflated, and it will still be warm enough to enjoy the island.

Free walking tour

Starting your trip with a free walking tour is a great way to orient yourself in any European city. Palma city’s free walking tour is a good introduction to the city center of Mallorca. The tour lasted 2 hours and I found it to be geared towards tourists. On the tour I did get good recommendations for food, but it definitely felt like there was a lot missing. The amount of area covered in the tour is limited to the city center so be sure to do research before coming to Mallorca about other things on the island that you want to visit.

Soller, Mallorca, Spain

Shira on Soller beach

Soller is a popular day trip that many tourists take from Palma city.

Bus 211 goes from Palma city (Estacio Intermodal) to the city of Soller (€2.40 each way) and to the Port of Soller (€2.90 each way). One way tickets can be purchased from the bus driver or you can buy a transport card at the metro/bus station. Transfers from Palma City to the city of Soller take about 30-45 minutes.

There is also a train that goes from Palma to Soller and then a tram that goes from Soller to the Port of Soller for €32. The train & tram price combo is a tourist trap, don’t do it. The only upside is that the train that goes from Palma to Soller goes through the mountains and small towns on the island of Mallorca so essentially you are paying for the views of the island.

Soller port

Soller’s beach is below subpar but it is relaxing. On the port you’ll find shops and restaurants all selling overpriced food so be sure to pack your lunch if you decide to take the day trip. Overall I enjoyed my time in Soller. It was a nice relaxing trip.

Beaches in Mallorca

The best beaches of Mallorca are on the east of the island. Buses to popular beaches like Es Trenc only run in the summer time so take this into account. Es Trenc is also a nude beach. Some of the beaches boast the water is blue and clear but that is not true. #thebestbeachesareintheCaribbean

Food in Mallorca

Mallorca’s food is delicious. Unfortunately, tapas prices can be on the pricey side when compared with other parts of Spain, however tapas are best shared which makes splitting a more economical option. Many tapas are only served as rations and range from €6-€10.

Food recommendations:

  1. Bar Día – Spanish tapas. Located in Palma City. Centrally located. Fairly priced for location. Delicious pimientos de padrón (Green peppers).

  2. Casa Julio – Medium priced. Delicious calamari. Do not get the Menu of the day (€16) instead share rations amongst a group. If you traveling solo 2 plates are sufficient to feel satisfied

  3. Just Curry – Delicious curry. Small menu. Located in Palma city center. Prices range from €8.50-€13. There are 6 different curry options which comes with the choice of protein and one side. I ate here twice and opted for the Jasmine rice both times.

Casa Julio Menu. Located in Palma City.
Casa Julio Menu. Located in Palma City.

Vegetarian Korma curry with basmati rice.
Vegetarian Korma curry with basmati rice.

Nightlife in Palma de Mallorca

Nightlife in Mallorca is no different than any other Spanish city. Throughout the early evening you will see lots of people wandering around looking for bars and restaurants to go to. This is called “Tardeo” It means you go from eating tapas for lunch to going out por la trade (through the afternoon/evening). The party cycle never ends, haha. Palma city center is quite touristy so you’ll want to head to neighborhoods near the city center like Santa Catalina to have a more authentic Mallorquin party experience.

Overall, Palma de Mallorca is not a budget travel friendly destination. If you want to experience Spanish culture, this touristy island is not the place for you to do so. While worth seeing once in your life, there are many other places for you to visit that have lots of culture and are one half the price. There is nothing wrong with feeling such a way, but that just does not align with my travel goals. Check out my 10 steps to travel article so that you can make sure where you decide to travel aligns with what you want to get out of your experience.

Have you been to Palma de Mallorca? What was your experience like?


Mallorca Airport Bus Schedule & Prices:

Mallorca Bus Schedule:

Mallorca City Bus Prices:


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