Thrifty Traveler’s Guide to Mallorca, Spain on a Budget
This guest post is brought to you by author Sam Ross who runs the blog The Hammock Hombre – a travel blog focused on the digital nomad lifestyle. Over the past 3 years, he’s traveled to every continent, which allows him to write on a broad range of countries, cities, and destinations.
If you’re looking for your next big getaway, put Mallorca, Spain at the top of your list. The largest of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, its beachscapes are as scenic as Ibiza. However, it offers a more serene and quiet island experience than its glitzy counterpart.
What’s great about Mallorca is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy what the island has to offer. Sure, it’s not the cheapest beach destination out there, but with careful planning, it’s possible to travel here without breaking the bank.
In this article, we will share our top suggestions on how you can enjoy Mallorca on a budget.
Where to Stay
Palma is the capital of this island, and it is considered the busiest area in Mallorca. Surely there are accommodations here that will fit every budget. Lodging options including downtown apartments, bungalows and cottages, and of course, the villas that have fantastic views.
When deciding on a place to stay, you could try looking for privately owned vacation homes rented out to tourists. These generally start at around €10 per person each night. Not only will you save hundreds of dollars in hotel charges, opting for a rental home gives you that genuine feeling of living like a local on the island.
Of course, if you prefer the convenience of a hotel, there are lots of resorts in Mallorca. Palau sa Font is a four-star hotel with traditional architecture and a courtyard, mixed with contemporary amenities like an open bar and pool. There’s also Iberostar Playa de Palma, a five-star modern resort that gives fantastic views of the beach. Keep in mind, though, that these options will cost you hundreds of euros each night.
Our favorite place to stay on the island is the Park Hyatt Mallorca. While the cash rates at the property are not cheap, you can use your World of Hyatt points earned from the World of Hyatt Credit Card to book a room at the property for just 20,000 points per night!
How to Get Around Mallorca
Public transportation is available all throughout the island, charging from €1.50 for trips around Palma, and up to €5 outside the capital. There’s also a reliable train system that links Palma with Sa Pobla in the north, and Manacor—famous for its caves and pearls—in the east. From the Manacor railway station, there are bus services going to the resorts located on the eastern part of the island.
Using public transportation means you’d have to plan your day according to the bus and train schedules. If you don’t want to be tied to a schedule, renting a car is likely a better option.
If you are renting a car, take note that diesel fuel is cheaper here than regular fuel. Because of this, you may want to rent a diesel engine vehicle if you decide to drive around Mallorca. Opting for a vehicle with a manual transmission over an automatic transmission will also help you save.
Bicycling is another popular mode of transportation for locals and tourists alike. Cheap rental bikes can be found just about anywhere, so you can take short scenic bike trips wherever you wish to go.
Where to Eat
Since it is a tourist spot, dining in Mallorca can get pretty expensive. If you want to save on food, do it like the locals and make lunch your main meal of the day.
Check the menu boards outside establishments and look for three-course lunch options that come with a glass of wine, beer or soda. This costs around €10 to €15. For a few euros more, you can enjoy a Michelin-starred meal at Fosh in Palma. For €18, you get to taste the best of Mediterranean cuisine.
Tasting menus are also available in bistros like Safrà 21, which you’ll find in Ciudad Jardín. For €25 you get a five-course meal that includes a glass of wine.
Cafés offer meals for those who want a lighter lunch. Rialto Living has a café that offers sandwich or salad meals for €8 to €9.
Don’t leave Mallorca without having a traditional meal of tapas. These taste so good and are quite filling as well. They are perfect after a day’s worth of sightseeing and shopping.
What to Do
The main attraction in Mallorca is the beach. While going for a swim and sunbathing at the beach is free, you have to pay for loungers or umbrellas, which cost around €7 to €9 for whole-day use. If you’re staying at a beachside hotel, it would be worth checking if they offer free use of these loungers.
The Playa de Muro is a nice location for families as the water is more shallow and safe for children. Connected to the beach is the Albufera Nature Reserve, the largest wetland area in Mallorca. There’s also the exciting waterparks like Aqualand El Arenal, which costs €75 for a day trip if the ticket is purchased online.
You can go on a budget by stocking up on picnic supplies. Beach bars usually offer steep prices, so it’s best to visit a supermarket first before heading off to the beach.
Aside from the sea, there are other places to explore on the island. For instance, art lovers can go to Es Baluard, a contemporary museum in Palma. Schedule a Friday visit here because on Fridays the museum lets you decide how much you want to pay!
Mallorca is an awesome place to discover. With its distinct culture seen, felt, and tasted everywhere on the island. With our budget tips, a little goes a long way to giving yourself an unforgettable adventure.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.