Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands, and many audaciously believe it's the most beautiful Mediterranean island. Its population is over 500,00, and it's mostly concentrated in or close to its capital, Palma de Mallorca. It's no wonder that Palma is a sizzling and popular hub! It has a small old town with cafes, graceful palaces and old buildings. Exploring the city, you'll find both shady and vast squares, all of which are equally inviting. Enjoy in the glittering sun, refreshing sea, numerous beaches and hidden coves. Have a delicious meal as you watch how the locals go through their daily routine, and you might just be one more person to fall in love with the place. Hire a car at Palma de Mallorca Airport and explore the beautiful island of Mallorca as a hired car offers you mobility to visit every corner and remote place on this breathtaking island.
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Driving in Mallorca
The roads are well maintained, however, traffic in the city can often be hectic, and city centre parking can be sparse. On the other hand, the great Serra de Tramuntana mountain range is a driver's, hiker's and cyclist's paradise – it's covered with pine trees and looming cliffs with the endless blue of the Mediterranean in the back. There are many directions you can choose from, but perhaps the most scenic drive is if you take the R710 route from Andratx to Pollenca. The best time to visit Palma de Mallorca (weather-wise) is from March until May. The maximum BAC level is 0.05% for drivers of private vehicles, but the drink/drive laws are strict, so it's recommended not to drive if you have been drinking. There is a Zero Tolerance Law for novice drivers who have held a driving licence less than two years and for young drivers under the age of 21.
- Age limits: 21 (minimum age may vary according to car rental companies. A Young Driver fee will apply to drivers under 25 years of age. In order to hire a vehicle, it is required that a driver has held a driving licence for a minimum of one year).
- International Driving Permit: Yes, if you are a non-EU licence holder.
- Additional papers: Identification (passport), a valid driving licence and a valid proof of insurance.
- Additional requirements: Warning triangles, reflective vests and hands-free equipment with hearing aids are required while driving and talking on the phone.
- Children in the car: All car occupants must wear a seatbelt. Children under the age of twelve or shorter than 4ft 5in/1.35 metres can only travel in the front passenger seat if they are in a special rear-facing children’s seat.
- Driving side of the road: Right.
- Lights: Headlights are not turned on unless you are in a tunnel or during conditions of poor visibility.
- General speed limits: 75 mph/120 kph on motorways, 60 mph/100 kph on main roads, 55 mph/90 kph on minor roads, 38 mph/60 kph on city roads and 25 mph/40 kph in small villages.
- Parking suggestions: There are underground parking garages in the city and there are blue-lined metered parking spots, among which some are time-limited, where you can usually park for up to two hours. Parking in spaces with yellow stripes is prohibited. It is recommended not to leave any valuables in the car. Alternatively, you can park in the outskirts of Palma and commute into the city by bus, train or a taxi.
What to see in Mallorca
One of the first attractions to marvel at is the beautiful 13th century Palma Cathedral, or La Seu. If you want to get a great capture of the famous Gothic cathedral, you can head towards the spacious Parc de la Mar close by, and take amazing photos while relaxing in the sun. When you're ready to mingle with the crowds, enjoy a cup of coffee and some people watching at Plaza Mayor! For more amazing architecture, you only have to walk for about five minutes from the plaza to arrive to Basílica de Sant Francesc and be amazed by this, yet another, Gothic structure.
Our favourite spots
Walk around the walls of this round castle and stop for magnificent views of the city and the sparkling blue Mediterranean sea.
Parking is available at Joan Miró underground garage just ten minutes away.
More parking suggestions here »
Royal Palace of La Almudaina
An Islamic fort in the past and a notable historic building today.
Underground parking is available right in front of the Palma Cathedral, which is a minute away from the palace.
More parking suggestions here »
For a refreshing afternoon dip, or an entire day in the sun, Palma de Mallorca has plenty of beaches to suit your every need and desire, and we'll point out a few for you. Ca'n Pastilla Beach is a wide beach with white sand, quite popular among people. Another popular beach is an urban beach called Ca'n Pere Antoni Beach and Cala Major, while Illetas Beach is smaller but equally delightful.
Drive your rental car around Mallorca
Discover places outside of the heart of Palma de Mallorca, and have an unforgettable vacation! Hire a car and drive less than 25 mi/40 km to Valldemossa, Deia and Soller, picturesque old villages that will steal your heart. Head for the beaches and the Old Town of Alcudia, about 30 mi/50 km from Palma. Walk the trendy marina in the aforementioned Andratx, also only 18 mi/30 km away from Palma, or take your rental to the beachy Porto Cristo, less than 40 mi/60 km and see the famous Caves of Drach, with one of the largest underground lakes in the world!
Where to eat, drink and party in Mallorca
Mallorcan cuisine is all about fish, vegetables, garlic, olive oil and pork – the star meat product is sobrasada sausage, made out of pork meat. Order Arroz Brut, which is basically paella done Mallorcan style – rice with veggies and meat. Another traditional dish is Frit Mallorqui, consisting of offal and vegetables. It has lots of local variations. There are also soups, tapas and salads for you to try and enjoy. Their pastry is not to be missed also, such as the famous Ensaimada, a spiral-shaped pastry with pork lard. Again, lots of variations can be found across the area. Take a break between your sightseeing and order their light and fluffy Coca de Cuarto cake. It pairs up heavenly with a cup of coffee, hot chocolate or ice cream. Most local liqueurs are packed with herbs and can be either sweet or dry in taste. A famous traditional liquor is Palo, a mixture of sweet caramel and the bark of the Quina plant.If you prefer wine, you'll be happy to learn that their white and red wine is rich and elegant.
If you want to go clubbing or bar hopping, explore the La Llotja and Darsena de Ca'n Barbarà districts and Portixol suburb.
A century ago, this market used to be slaughterhouse, but now carries a more positive vibe – seventeen different food stalls, drinks and a cocktail bar!
This restaurant was previously named Simply Fosh, and it opened in July 2016, serving amazing and inventive Mediterranean dishes with seasonal ingredients.
Those who love sophistication and pampering will love this place! It's located on a small peninsula, offering spectacular views of the sea.
Enjoy a traditional meal in a cosy atmosphere for a very reasonable price.