• Hold down Ctrl key and select the sections you want to print. If using a Mac, hold down the Cmd key.
  • Use Ctrl + A or on Mac, Cmd + A to select all sections (if you are using the Chrome browser).
  • Click "Apply" and the site will customise your print guide in the preview below.
  • Click the "Print" button and a print pop up should appear to print to your printer of choice.

Moving to Mallorca

Mallorca, the largest of the four Balearic Islands, lies off Spain’s eastern coast. Expats moving here will find few destinations more desirable or idyllic – with its azure waters, golden beaches, rugged coastline, citrus orchards, great weather and vibrant lifestyle, Mallorca is a Mediterranean paradise.

Mallorca, or Majorca, is an island steeped in history, and nowadays offers a spectrum of modern luxuries and amenities. Palma, for instance, is the island’s capital city and is home to the Gothic Roman Catholic Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca as well as the Moorish royal palace of Almudaina. While new arrivals are keen to explore this historical richness, many get to know the island’s culture by enjoying its animated nightlife and partying it up in popular resort towns such as Magaluf.

There’s no denying Mallorca is a tourist hotspot, but foreigners from all over the world view it as their home away from home. Since the fifties, the Mediterranean island has proved a magnet for tourists, and this has created a sound and safe infrastructure benefiting both visitors and residents alike, from healthcare to education. One drawback, despite the various modes of getting around, is that public transport routes are limited outside of Palma and expats may need to face the costs of driving a car.

The thriving tourism sector also means that most expat employment is linked to this sector, directly or indirectly. Prospective expats should note that finding work is not an easy feat, and asking around and networking in person is often advised for job seekers.

To add to this, property prices and the cost of living are relatively high. Mallorca’s island status has made it a destination that attracts affluent holidaymakers, celebrities, yachties and new five-star hotel developers. Luxury accommodation options are on offer, and the sunny southwest coast attracts the greatest number of expat residents; expats seeking a more authentic, rural experience choose the agricultural central Es Pla or the north and east of the island.

When relocating to Mallorca, expats who speak Castilian Spanish may settle in quicker or have an advantage when looking for work. However, the islanders speak Mallorquí, a dialect of Catalan, and given the international population, many residents understand English, German and French.

This cosmopolitan environment also eases the relocation process for expat families with children. There is a host of local and international schools to choose from, teaching in languages such as English and German with traditional and Montessori-based educational philosophies to help expat kids integrate into their new home.

A holiday is too short a stay to experience the island’s fantastic variety of landscapes: expats living on Mallorca can appreciate a range of sports and outdoor activities. From more than 260 beaches and bays known as calas, and the furrowed and imposing Tramuntana mountain range in the north – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – to the Llevant hills in the east, the scenery is both wild and gentle, with orchards and ancient stone terraces laden with olive, almond and fruit trees. 

There are pros and cons to relocating to this Spanish island but, when living among such natural beauty with such a friendly population, moving to Mallorca can feel like a dream come true for many expats.

Lifestyle in Mallorca

Mallorca offers many lifestyle benefits to those who decide to relocate. There are countless things to see and do, from shopping, dining out and partying, to a host of outdoor and sports activities.

Mallorca boasts a Mediterranean climate and a cosmopolitan environment, which attract a lot of expats from all over the world, many settling in the southwest municipality of Calvià. For expats open to the possibility, living on Mallorca can broaden their social and cultural horizons.

Increasingly, young couples and families are moving to Mallorca for a better quality of life, and a different upbringing for their children. The lifestyle in Mallorca is more relaxed and healthier than in many northern European countries: Mallorcans generally work to live, rather than live to work, and everything seems to revolve around family. The Mediterranean climate also makes it possible to spend more time outdoors. 

There are plenty of opportunities to make new friends through various clubs, which can help expats settle in. Networking groups, such as the English Speaking Residents’ Association (ESRA), and international organisations such as the Lions, Rotary Club and Toastmasters are represented on the island.

Shopping in Mallorca

For serious shopping – fashion and accessories, in particular – Palma is a solid contender. The heart of the city has everything from small traditional family-run shops to the large department store chain El Corte Inglés. As well as small independent boutiques, Mallorca hosts designer stores, including Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss, Cartier, Loewe and Carolina Herrera. The best-known shopping streets are Borne and Jaime III.

Festival Park, also known as Mallorca Fashion Outlet, near Marratxí, is a shopping centre with eateries, a multiplex cinema and other leisure amenities, but it doesn’t offer the discounted high-end brands found at some better-known European outlet centres.

There are several large trading estates around Palma and Polígono Son Bugadellas in Santa Ponsa has numerous retail units selling quality home and garden products. For DIY requirements, visit Leroy Merlin in the Palma area or Brico Depôt. Furniture is manufactured widely in Mallorca’s second city, Manacor. Swedish giant Ikea also has a large store on the outskirts of Palma.

In towns and villages, expats can enjoy old-fashioned personal service from traditional local bakers, butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers – surviving, so far, despite the increasing number of supermarkets.

The Eroski, Mercadona, and Lidl chains are widely represented. Palma has out-of-town Carrefour and Alcampo supermarkets on its main site near the airport. In both the north and southwest of Mallorca, independent minimarts sell international brands of foods, toiletries and household products – although many of these items are also now available in local supermarket chains.

The inland village of Consell has a large Sunday morning flea/collectors’ market, where shoppers can find pretty much everything under the sun – from books to unwanted antiques and curios.

Outside the resorts, many shops maintain the Spanish tradition of closing for a few hours at lunchtime, although the number staying open all day in Palma de Mallorca is gradually increasing. Most shops close from Saturday lunchtime until Monday morning.

Eating out in Mallorca

From hearty affordable menus to restaurants serving Michelin-starred cuisine, expats are sure to have their taste (and budget) met. While some restaurants cater mainly for holidaymakers and close for a few months in the winter, quality local places are open throughout the year. Additionally, tipping isn’t generally expected but is appreciated.

Many local restaurants offer a menú del día – a three-course set lunch (often with a choice of dishes for each course) at a very reasonable price. Even in Palma, it’s possible to eat a decent three-course lunch.

Mallorcans are keen on out-of-town roadside establishments – usually large, brightly lit, vibrant places. These serve traditional country fare, such as roast suckling pig, frito mallorquin (a fry-up of vegetables, potatoes and meat or fish), and sopa mallorquina (a soup dish containing thin slices of rustic bread). 

No dining experience on Mallorca is complete without one of the island’s many excellent wines. There are some 60 bodegas, producing around 300 different wines.

Nightlife in Mallorca

It's not necessary to be a holidaymaker to enjoy Mallorca’s renowned nightlife – the best of which is centred in Palma de Mallorca and, particularly, along the Paseo Marítimo. Party in Palma’s numerous bars, pubs and clubs, take in views of the harbour full of glitzy boats from rooftop venues, and dance until 6am. Expats can also head for the smart Casino de Mallorca in Palma’s Porto Pi Centre; it has a restaurant, cafe and cocktail bar.

Magaluf, Ca’n Pastilla and Arenal are also popular resorts among partygoers and holidaymakers, with nightlife geared to British and German tastes. With renowned nightclubs and music venues, expats can enjoy international bands, singers and DJs perform live during the summer months.

Sport and fitness in Mallorca

Thanks to the island’s almost year-round favourable climate, expats could be tempted to take up a new sport or outdoor activity – and there is plenty of choice on Mallorca. 

This scenic island is home to over 260 beaches as well as the Tramuntana mountain range, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Expats could easily find themselves hiking in the morning, then relaxing on a sandy beach in the afternoon.

Sports and outdoor activities in Mallorca


The MCC – Mallorca Cricket Club – plays visiting teams (often from the UK) on its own ground in Magaluf, and always welcomes new players and spectators.


Cycling enthusiasts can take advantage of Mallorca’s varied terrain and relatively light traffic. Professional teams from all over Europe use Mallorca as a training ground. The island has an extensive network of cycle routes, making getting around by bike easy. The Palma Arena velodrome hosts indoor cycling events and is also used as a venue for concerts and exhibitions.


Although Mallorca is an island, it is not isolated from the country’s love of football. Keen players can find themselves kicking around a football in friendly local clubs, while spectators can support the island’s football team, Real Mallorca.


For golfers, there are over 20 courses on the island, and it’s easy to find an instructor if looking to improve one's game.

Gyms and sports facilities

Many towns and large villages have good municipal general sports facilities, and there are numerous private gyms offering membership, for those who prefer exercising indoors.


Tennis clubs abound – Mallorca being the birthplace of Carlos Moyá and Rafael Nadal – and the related sport of paddle is also widely played.


Trotting is horse racing Mallorca-style: the horse pulls a two-wheeled ‘chariot’ known as a sulky, on which the jockey sits, and must race at no more than a trot. The short but exciting races are held annually at Palma and Manacor hippodromes.

Water and extreme sports

For an adrenalin rush, there is mountaineering, hang gliding or kitesurfing. Many beach resorts offer opportunities to learn or practise water sports, such as sailing, canoeing, kayaking, water skiing, scuba diving and snorkelling.

Getting Around in Mallorca

Mallorca is large enough to offer a variety of landscapes, yet small enough to make getting around relatively easy. From the metro system in Palma to the train and bus networks around the island, the public transport network is efficient and integrated. Getting around by car allows greater freedom to explore all the hidden treasures, while walking and cycling are also actively encouraged in Mallorca thanks to pedestrianised areas and dedicated cycle paths.

Public transport in Mallorca

Palma’s Intermodal Station in Plaça d'Espanya is the hub for train, metro and bus services. The Intermodal Card can be purchased for use on any of those services and offers significant savings for regular public transport users. The station is located underground and can be accessed by escalator, elevator or stairs.


TIB (Transports de les Illes Balears) operates transport services across the island; TIB buses and coaches are distinctively yellow and red. When in Mallorca’s capital, Palma, expats can get around by EMT (the municipal transport company) buses. The integrated travel system means that bus services are found at most of the island’s railway stations, so passengers can complete their journey to outlying destinations.


TIB also operates the train routes in Mallorca. The main services connect Palma with the town of Inca, where two further routes continue to Sa Pobla and Manacor. Check the TIB website for info on fares and timetables.

Tren Sóller – Orange Blossom Express

Mallorca’s traditional narrow-gauge rail service is operated by the private company Ferrocarril de Sóller from its own station in Plaça de Espanya, linking Palma and the mountain valley town of Sóller. Dating back to 1911, this service sought to transport citrus fruit from the Sóller valley to the port of Palma, and it’s now one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions. A tram service links Sóller and its port.


Mallorca has a small metro system based in Palma with two lines connecting with Universitat de les Illes Balears and Marratxí municipality. The metro makes getting around easy and allows expats greater flexibility when looking for accommodation outside of Palma’s city centre.

Taxis in Mallorca

Several taxi companies operate in Mallorca. Taxis are typically white and must display their taxi licence and number. They are easily identifiable and can be found at taxi ranks usually near public transport hubs, contacted by phone or hailed using a taxi app.

Driving in Mallorca

The main roads in Mallorca are excellent and – with the exception of Palma and its environs – traffic is often fairly light. Not surprisingly, the main road through the Tramuntana mountain range has many hairpin bends, so journeys take longer than expected for the distance. Driving through the mountains calls for particular care in the summer months, when traffic is heavier and tourist coaches (which need extra space on the bends) use the route.

Palma de Mallorca has a motorway ring road known as Ma-20 or Vía de Cintura. From this road, motorways link Palma to the southwest (Ma-1), the north (Ma-13) and the southeast (Ma-19). The road from Palma to the second city, Manacor, in the east, is a very good dual carriageway (Ma-15). Look for speed limit signs on smaller roads and in towns and villages – and be aware that speed cameras are used.

Having access to a car gives expats greater freedom of travel in Mallorca, but drivers should note potential hazards. Always drive defensively and be aware of other road users, cyclists and pedestrians, especially at roundabouts and corners where pedestrian crossings are located. If parking on the street, check whether a pre-purchased ticket is necessary. Driving is on the right-hand side of the road.

Note that Guardia Civil officers often do spot checks for sobriety and appropriate documentation.

Importing a car

If expats intend to bring a vehicle when moving to Mallorca, it’s recommended to seek advice from a local specialist company that can assist with this type of operation, as the bureaucratic process of obtaining new Spanish registration plates can be time consuming and complicated – and there are costs involved.

Cycling in Mallorca 

Mallorca has an excellent network of cycling routes and it’s no surprise that the sport is popular on the island. There are many cycling clubs in Mallorca and, during the cooler months, keen cyclists and top professional teams travel to Mallorca to take advantage of the favourable climate and bike-riding conditions.

In Palma, it’s easy to travel around on a bicycle, and there are plenty of official bike parks to secure the two-wheeled steed while not using it. 

Bike-sharing programmes

While expats residing in Mallorca can buy a bicycle, they can just as easily rent one for a short period through schemes such as BiciPalma and Mou-te Bé. Bikes fitted with child seats can also be rented, making it easy for expats with kids to get around.

Walking in Mallorca

Walking and hiking are popular activities in Mallorca, which boasts some excellent signposted routes in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tramuntana mountain range. Palma is also an easy city to walk around, being compact and with several pedestrianised shopping areas.