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A Guide To Getting Around Mallorca

We see you doing all the googling and trying to figure out all the details about the best options for getting around Mallorca without wasting tons of time or having to miss out on seeing the best spots!  

We spent a week on the island and we decided to travel by public transport for a few days and by car for a few days so that we could give you the inside scoop on exactly how to travel to make the most of your time!

The answer to the question: “Do you need a car” in Mallorca is not straightforward because it really depends. In this post, we will share everything you need to know about transportation around Mallorca so that you can make the best decision for you guys as a couple!

Here’s a video we took while actually driving around so you can see the roads:

YouTube video

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All About Renting a Car in Mallorca

If you’re wondering if you need a rental car, here’s the scoop. Yes, you CAN get around Mallorca without a car but it will not be easy and the best sites are visited by car.

You Don’t Need a Car in Mallorca If…

The only time that we say that you will not need a car in Mallorca is if you plan to stay solely in Palma de Mallorca, the capital city of the island. This city has a beautiful old town that is just as walkable as Madrid, and all the popular tourist attractions are within walking distance. Parking and driving in Palma is also a bit of a nightmare, so it is better to not have a car if you’re sticking around here.

You Do Need A Car in Mallorca If…

If you want to follow our 7-day Mallorca itinerary and explore the majority of the island, you absolutely need to rent a car to see the best places. This will also give you more freedom and flexibility to not worry about missing a bus so you can make the most of however many days you have to spend in Mallorca. We also think you need a car if you visit Mallorca in colder months like January, as you aren’t going to want to walk around in the cold or sit on a cold bus!

We love Discover Cars for car rental booking as they show you all the provider options, availability and prices!

>> Click here to check prices and availability of rental cars during your stay! <<

That is not to say that it is IMPOSSIBLE to see more of the island than Palma without a car. However, while we found that the public transportation is pretty decent, it will require a lot more planning and a lot more time spent waiting on the bus schedule and you will not be able to make the most of your time.

People sitting at a cafe in Europe eating lunch

3 Things to Consider When Deciding to Rent a Car Or Not

To help you decide if you need a rental car or not, here are 3 things we recommend you consider 

  1. Your budget while renting a car is relatively affordable (around $15-$60 per day depending on the season) it may not be the best option for you if you are on a tight budget and want to save more money for dinners out or Spanish souvenir shopping.
  2. How many days you are spending on the island – if you have more days then you have more time to allow for getting around by bus, so public transport is an easier option. However, with fewer days, you want to make the most of them and you should rent a car.
  3. What you want to see/experience – if you’re coming to the island for the main historical sites, for nightlife or to experience the city, then you can stay in Palma and don’t need a car. If you want to explore the other areas of the island and cross all everything off that bucket list, renting a car will make that much easier! Going on a Mallorca road trip is also one of the most romantic things to do on the island!

Practical Ways to Get Around If you decide NOT to rent a car

When you’re thinking about how to get around Mallorca without a car, or even just how to get from the palma airport to palma city center, you are in luck because there are many ways to get around this beautiful island. While we were vacationing on the island, we saw that there are 3 other practical ways other than a rental car:

a group of tourists walking around an old stone village

1. Your Feet

This really only is an option if you plan to stick around Palma OR are going to Mallorca solely to hike the trails such as the Gr-221 Dry Stone Route.

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You will not be able to walk between any other cities or villages from Palma. If you do decide to use public transport you could take a bus into the mountain villages and walk between SOME of the villages such as the hike from Soller to Fornalutx. This will take a lot of planning! However, for the most part, you will still need to be taking a set of wheels between most areas.

A public bus on a street with people geting on

2. The Public Bus

The public transport system in Mallorca is very well connected, especially between Mallorca and the tourist towns and areas so this makes it a good way to get around Mallorca without a car. We traveled both by car and public around the island and we were surprised how easy it was to navigate, and it’s also the most budget-friendly option.

There are two types of buses in Mallorca that you need to know about:

The EMT which operates in the center of Palma and to and from the Palma airport

The TIB links all the different towns, villages, and tourist attractions around the island.

It’s important to note that some of the beaches and caves are very hard to access by public transport and if you’re staying outside of Palma, it will be almost impossible to use public transport.

Paying For The Bus:

When you are getting around Mallorca by bus and using the EMT bus line around Palma, excluding the airport, a single ticket costs $2 and you pay the driver in cash – they do not take credit cards.

PRO TIP:

while most people will tell you that you can only pay cash from the Palma airport to downtown, this is not true. There is a small pay station where you take the EMT A1 Airport Bus outside of the arrivals hall and you can credit card. You will have to pay a couple bucks more than usual but it’s a small price to pay for not dealing with the headache of finding cash!

When you are traveling with the TIB buses between towns, you can easily pay by credit card right on the bus – no need for a bus ticket. You simply tap your credit card and voila!

IMPORTANT: you have to tap your credit card when you get on AND off the bus or a surcharge is added!! You will also get a discount if you pay for multiple people with one credit card.

Where To Take The Bus:

If you take the EMT buses around Palma, you can take these at the airport or just around town at bus stations. 

If you take the TIB buses between cities, you want to walk to the Palmas central bus station (Estacio Intermodal) which is located across from Plaça d’Espanya and right by the Antique train station. It’s a bit hard to find as it’s underground, but you’ll see a large sign with pictures of a bus on it, across the street from the antique train. Follow those!

people playing in the ocean on a white and beach

3. City Sightseeing Tourist Bus

As Mallorca is a tourist hot spot, it has a hop on hop off City Sightseeing bus that you can use for 24 to 48 hours and takes you around the most important landmarks and attractions.

While this is not our cup of tea, it’s an option if you’re short on time, want to see the main sites, and don’t have a car.

a stone walkway on the side of a harbor with a yacht

Don’t Count on these methods of transport

Renting a Bike

Cycling is a VERY popular thing to do in Mallorca. However, we do not recommend using a bike as your only transportation if you are planning to go between most of the villages and cities as it will be a lot harder, especially if you go into the Serra Tramuntana Mountain range. However, many cyclists do this and the island has many specifically designed cycling routes for this reason!

Train

Mallorca has a train that runs mostly on the island’s interior and does not run to any main tourist spots, making it not a good option for visitors to rely on.

There is also the famous vintage train that runs from Palma to Soller or the vintage train that runs from Port Soller up to the Soller city center, which was one of our favorite things to do on the island! However, we don’t really call this a method of transportation and more of just a fun thing to do together! 

Metro

Palma has two metro lines that serve the city’s suburbs and are not convenient for tourists looking to get to the tourist destinations. So, take the metro off your list when you’re considering how to explore Mallorca. 

Taxi

In general, we don’t advise taking a taxi between cities as this is an easy way to blow your budget! We also had some issues with calling taxi numbers that were posted on taxi stands in villages as they kept being out of service

We also thought that we might take some taxis around the small villages and then found that there were very few taxis once we got into the mountain villages and we ended up having to take the bus, so we don’t recommend relying on being able to take a taxi.

a cobblestone road lined with stone buildings and trees

Is there an Uber in Mallorca?

Technically, there is Uber in Mallorca. However, we tried to call Uber several times and there were not any cars available so we do not recommend relying on Uber as your mode of transportation. In this case, hailing a taxi is a better option.

How We Can Help You Next

So, do you need a car in Mallorca? The answer is “yes” if you want to make the most of your time and see as much as possible! If you just want to stick around Palma, you will absolutely be okay without a car!

If you’ve decided NOT to rent a car and are wondering where to stay, we can fix that! We wrote all our insight in this guide on where to stay in Mallorca without a car!

Or, if you are going to rent a car, check out our ultimate list of the best places to visit with a car!

So, what way would you choose to get around the island?

Other Helpful Posts:

Free Email Course: Mallorca Made Easy

Discover everything you need to know to plan an EPIC Mallorcan Getaway in our free email course!
a girl standing on a beach in a pink dress with a sunset

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