For a more leisurely and romantic tour of Palma, smart, red galeras (horse-drawn carriages) offer an hour-long tour of the Old Town, starting beside the cathedral, or in Carrer Palau Reial, Avinguda d’Antoni Maura and Passeig Sagrera.
The city center is compact, we walked around everywhere and got lost in the maze of the small alleys but we always had a map with us. From plaza Espanya we walked to the center (plaza mayor), down to the cathedral and then a bit along the shore towards the port.
You can also rent a bike and make you life easier, watch out for some aggressive car drivers.
I used this site (http://horariodebus.es/) to check the local buses/train/boat timetables in every Balearic island. But we didn’t use any because we lived in the city center and walked around. The local buses will take you to any suburb of the general Palma area and of course to near by beaches like Palmanova, C´an Pastilla and S´Arenal. No#1 for the airport, No#15 for SArenal are some useful ones for tourists.
The buses run until 23.00 (the one for S’Arenal a bit after midnight) but there are also some night buses.
Long distance buses
Plaza Espanya is the main transport hub, from there you can take the bus to every city in Mallorca, the same for the train or the tram to Soller. The prices vary on the distance but as it’s not a huge island don’t expect lot of money. The only disadvantage is that you have to check the schedule first because there are only a few buses per destination and probably wont have the chance to visit more than 1-2 places per day.
Renting a car was a great idea to do daytrips out of town but we didn’t use it inside the city. There was too much traffic and it was almost impossible to find a parking. By the way the city center is a blue zone for parking which means you have to pay (about 2,5e for 2 hours in most streets, they charge is different on some side streets).
You have to pay daily 9.00-14.30 and 16.30-20.00, on Saturdays 9.00-14.30, free on Sundays.
What we did was to get away from Palma in the morning and return late in the afternoon. Don’t even think not to buy a ticket (every street has a ticket machine), the police officers were there every day going up and down non stop. Another alternative is to park the car away from the center, we tried that one day but it wasn’t convenient because the next day we had to walk for more than 20’ just to get the car.
We rent the car at the airport but there are also rental offices in the city and in the port of Palma.
A comfortable way to check other areas of Mallorca is to take an organized tour. There are different excursions covering the main sites (the caves, the north shore etc) and usually include a guide. The price is higher of course than to do it on your own.
There are also sighseeing buses for Palma city, the usual hop on hop off buses that tour around the popular sites of Palma, very convenient for those that don’t want to walk a lot, especially in the summer months and heat and humidity will make things harder. The bus runs from 9.30am to 21.00 which means you have time to stop, check a site you like and then catch the next bus (one bus every 20’-25’). There is also a pre-recorded audio guide along the way in numerous languages. The ticket costs 15 euro per adult for one day, 7,5e for those over 65.
Romantic couples can do a city tour with horse carriage although they just run along the bigger roads of the historic center and obviously not inside the small alleys.
The airport of Mallorca (PMI) is located 9km east from Palma. It’s a big modern airport covering hundreds of flights from all over Europe.
You can take a taxi from the airport, choose a shuttle bus or take the local bus #1 for 2,5e
Check here for details: http://www.emtpalma.es/EMTPalma/Front/lineas.en.svr?accion=entrada&cod_linea=1
Palma is connected by boat with other Balearic islands (Ibiza, Menorca) but also with mainland Spain (Barcelona, Valencia) if you can be in a boat for about 8 hours. The port isn’t far from the city center (3km SW) and there are numerous taxis there to take you to your hotel.
When a cruise ship arrives thousands of people conquer the city center, hopefull in mid may we saw a different city :)
Check the following site for ferries from Palma
The rides on a carriage are not much to take in. They do not go down the narrow streets, obviously, so need to stay on the main route and avoid all those tourists strolling by. Cost for 1/2 hour ride is 30 Euro, and most likely not worth the venture, in my opinion.
It is possible to travel around the island by public transport although it will take a good deal of planning. You will find a map and timetables here: http://www.caib.es/sacmicrofront/contenido.do?mkey=M09031114115111706958&lang=ca&cont=8712
The site is only in Catalan and Spanish.
Bus services are not extensive and many lines finish early so make sure you can get back to where you are based each time. There is no night bus service.
The train service is quite limited, with one line from Palma to Sa Pobla and one from Palma to Manacor. There is also a 'tourist' train from Palma to Soller, and a Metro within the city of Palma.
I'm not aware of any travel card but perhaps a local can advise on that.
Some road distances from Palma de Mallorca to:
- Valldemossa: 20 kms.
- Soller: 25 kms.
- Port d’Andratx: 34 kms.
- Manacor: 50 kms.
- Alcudia beach: 57 kms.
- Drach Caves: 68 kms.
- Artá Caves: 78 kms.
Checking the website, you’ll find more road distances together with the driving times and the best routes (don't forget that Mallorca is an island).
Taxis at any airport around the world are normally expensive and Mallorca is not an exception to this rule. However there is a good option, which is a shuttle service to different points of the island. For example if your destinationon the Island is Cala Major, this service costs about 10.27 Euros per person. In case you are 4 or more perople travelling together you might consider hiring a car. In case you want to use the shiuttle,you can check their services at the following website. You can check the cost till your destination before you decide to use this service.
In Plaza de España U´ll find the train station, right next to the touristic information office and across the Soller railway station.
This is the only train besides the Soller touristic train. It goes from Palma until Sa Pobla, a small town near the other side of the island. It goes trough Inca, the 2nd town in importance on the Island, after Manacor. In a small village after Inca U can change trains and go to Manacor instead of Sa Pobla. Inca is almost in the geographical center of the island so if U´re on bicycle or just walking, this is a good start and end point for your excursions far from Palma.
If U´re heading to the south, better go to Manacor and from here is more easy to get to the south.
Trains depart each day each 45 minutes, each one our in low season. First train is at 6:30am and the last one from Palma to Inca is at 10pm. It will take 2 euros from Palma until Sa Pobla or Manacor. To Inca is 1.80 euros. If U plan to come back the same day, better buy a 2 way ticket and there will be a small discount.
The best way, and the chepest, is to take the bus. Checking the link, you can find all the information regarding this issue.
The train is comfortable and with good view to the outside. Enjoy viewing the locals and maybe even talking with them
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