Here are my 10 pros and cons of living in Mallorca, Spain. Life on the island isn’t perfect. But it’s not far from it.
I’ve been living on this beautiful Balearic Island since 2005 so this article outlines the pros and cons of living in Mallorca. If you are thinking of moving to Mallorca, my experience will give you an idea of what life is like here.
Don’t forget too that you can buy my ebook all about Living in Mallorca Under the Sun or read about it here.
Contents Quick Links
THE PROS OF LIVING IN MALLORCA
1. What the weather is like living in Mallorca
Mallorca enjoys around 300 days of sunshine every year. After living in Northern England before moving to Mallorca, where summer temperatures rarely hit 19 degrees Celsius, I felt absolute gratitude arriving on the island with day after day of brilliant holiday sunshine.
In summary, Mallorca is the perfect place to live if you love blue skies and sunny days, even in winter. When it does rain, you have the excuse to stay indoors and get stuff done. It’s fair to say, I spend very little time at home which means any home improvements are left on the back burner for another day!
You can find out more about what the weather is like in Mallorca. Check out Spring weather in Mallorca here, Autumn weather in Mallorca here and everything about the wonderful winter weather in Mallorca here.
2. Living the beach life in Mallorca
Live in Mallorca and you can go to the beach every day!
You can sunbathe, swim, paddleboard and kayak, or you can just do yoga to the rising sun.
Even when it’s cooler, a walk along a beach to watch a storm roll in is just spectacular.
When I first moved to the island, every weekend felt like a mini-break without having to leave the island.
I can go to holiday resorts like Palmanova, Puerto Pollensa or Alcudia for the day, or go in search of picturesque, secluded coves in quiet remote areas of the island.
Nights out sometimes involved parties on the beach, and then when I had my daughter, beach picnics on a hot summer’s night became the norm.
However, the longer I live here, the more I appreciate the island out of season. As grateful as I am for tourism, I love winter sun walks along long empty beaches and the amazing mountain hiking in Mallorca.
I’m often asked, “I want to visit a quiet secluded beach. Where can I go?”. I always answer, “Come in the Winter!”
I never take for granted how lucky I am to be living on the island. However, I have absolutely no desire to book a beach break in another destination, so I guess I’ve saved some money too.
Here is a list of some of the best resorts in Mallorca where you can visit whenever you like FREE, either by free public bus service that is now available to Mallorca’s residents (read more about these here).
Living in Mallorca really does allow you to go on holiday every single day!
3. Fantastic healthcare in Mallorca
Both state and private healthcare in Mallorca and in Spain are well known to be excellent.
I’ve always had private health care and experienced shorter waiting times than you would get in the UK Emergency Rooms (Urgencias) and almost no waiting times to get emergency appointments.
Even getting check-ups, essential treatments and the ability to see a doctor, in my experience has been easy.
The obvious advantage of private health care is being able to see a doctor on the same day. However, state health care does have a fantastic reputation for treating serious medical conditions.
If you’re paying into the Social Security system here, you will have the right to free State-run health care, which is also really good.
If you are moving to the island from the UK, a condition of your visa may be to get private healthcare insurance so make sure you check this out before arriving.
4. The best places to live in Mallorca
When you are thinking about living in Mallorca, many people picture living in a nice apartment near the beach. But the diversity of places to live is immense and away from the stereotypical vision of what a Mallorca home should look like.
You may choose to live in a holiday resort year-round and feel like you’re on holiday every day. But bear in mind these resorts are very busy with tourists in the Summer and very empty during the Winter.
Or you may wish to live in a traditional stone finca in the countryside around villages such as Santa Maria, Andratx, Valldemossa, Pollensa or Calvia.
Or if city life is more your scene then you may choose to rent an old town apartment in the centre of Palma or a modern flat on the outskirts of the city.
You can find out more about living in Palma Old town in this article here.
Regardless of how much you pay, the downside of many of the accommodations is that they can be very cold or damp in the Winter months and hot in the Summer.
However, I have found I spend very little time at home when compared to living in the UK. We live in a much smaller property than we would if we were living in the UK.
I have written more about renting a property in Mallorca, so check it out here.
But the weather is fantastic so I don’t feel a huge property is really necessary here and you will find yourself spending more time than you would in colder climes outside!
5. Making friends in Mallorca
So Mallorca is a wonderful place to experience other cultures and expand your friendship network within and outside any of your ex-pat groups.
I have loved making friends from all over the world whilst living and working in Mallorca.
As with moving anywhere in the world, living in Mallorca is no different.
I have several Mallorcan and Spanish friends, but I’m not ashamed to admit I also love my ex-pat British and international ex-pat friends.
It goes without saying, it’s so important to integrate when you move to Spain. But do not have the expectation that you will integrate immediately. It could take years.
Mallorcan friends are very family-centric so they often spend weekends meeting their families or going for family meals.
And in the video I made about Living in Mallorca, I was criticised in the comments for my friendships with British and other international ex-pats and for not integrating.
But this is not the case. Just because you move somewhere, families will not want to immediately know you just because you have moved to the island. But like everything, just give it time.
However, Mallorca is an incredibly transient island. I have so many friends who have come to the island to live, and then left a few years later.
However new people arrive all the time and this is what makes living in Mallorca fun, because it’s constantly evolving.
If you would like to see how to make friends if you are new to the island, check this video clip here.
The friendships I have here, are so different from the ones I would otherwise have at home.
Sharing the commonality of a new life with others and learning about their culture and their lives has made living in Mallorca the most fabulous place in the world to live.
If you want to find out more about what my experience has been living in Mallorca, you can buy the book here.
THE CONS OF LIVING IN MALLORCA
6. The downside of working in Mallorca
Don’t move to Mallorca if you have really high career aspirations unless those can be achieved online, by carving out a career on the yachts or by starting your own business on the island.
This is unless your career aspiration is to move to the island in a senior position for one of the companies here. Because salaries working here are notoriously low. It’s always better to negotiate your salary before arriving. Companies can get away with paying less when they know you need work and know you have fewer options if you’re already living here.
Nepotism often rules in many of the larger corporate companies.
And regardless of how hard you work or what you do, you may never be good enough for promotion if the boss has someone known to them waiting in the wings.
It also appears Spain has a great policy when it comes to taking time off work to have kids.
A parent is allowed to reduce their full-time working day to look after children. But don’t expect that to go down well in the corporate world when you choose your kids over the interests of the company.
However, moving to Mallorca is all about the lifestyle. And it’s about spending long evenings out. And going to a different beach every weekend. Or watching the sunsets with a glass of vino and knowing that you’ll never (potentially) need to go on a seaside holiday again. And it’s about hiking in the mountains over the winter without having to drive for hours to get there.
If you move here with a company for a specific job, then bear in mind if you lose that job (hello Covid-19 pandemic), that it won’t necessarily be easy to find a job in that field again.
So think of alternatives, think about freelancing or how you could start your own business if you moved here, what you would do if you lost your job, and you didn’t want to leave.
If you would like to find out more about the new Digital Nomad Visa or other ways to move to Mallorca, check out this article here.
7. Moving to Mallorca and the bureaucracy
Paperwork is never-ending. Applying for official papers starts as soon as you land, if not before if you’re coming to live here from the UK or any other “third country”.
From finding somewhere to live, registering to get your NIE (Numero de Extranjera), getting on the town hall register (Empadronamiento), to then buying a car (registering the car), getting a mobile phone, getting wifi at your home, registering with electricity or gas companies, and then filing your Declaración de Hacienda (tax return). The list is almost endless.
Expect to spend some hours every month sorting out some kind of paperwork. Even after 16 years, it’s still ongoing for me!
The upside to this is, while you can get companies to do this for you, it’s actually a brilliant exercise in language learning and being in control of the process to create independence and reduce reliance on others. Not only will it rapidly improve your Spanish, but you are responsible for your own paperwork and it will save you money.
8. What it’s like to be self-employed in Mallorca
Whether setting up a business or working freelance, the paperwork is extensive. Be prepared too for the actual cost of running a business and the high cost of the social security payments you’ll have to make every month.
To work freelance, the cost even before you earn a cent is in the region of 300€. You’ll then need to account for tax on earnings and charges for a gestor (accountant) who deals with administrative issues.
On the plus side, just imagine being your own boss and living somewhere like Mallorca. You chose your own days off. You can go to the beach when you like. And you can socialise and network how and when you chose. Mallorca couldn’t be a better place to be your own boss.
9. THE COST OF RENTING AND BUYING IN MALLORCA
It’s no secret that property in Mallorca is expensive whether renting or buying.
Expect to pay in the region of 900€ per month for a one-bedroom apartment in the Palma Old Town or 1,200€ for a two-bedroom apartment in the neighbourhoods of Portixol or San Agustin.
You can of course rent apartments for less, but these will be cheaper for several reasons. Location, outside space, build quality and how well it’s been refurbished will help to determine the price.
Living outside of Palma isn’t necessarily cheaper either and getting a long-term rental contract in a holiday resort can be difficult because owners prefer to rent by the day/week during the summer months for more money.
If you want to find out more about living in Palma de Mallorca, check out this article here.
The main websites to look for a property are Idealista and Fotocasa. Of course, you can use Mallorca’s Facebook groups on social media. Just be aware that if you are renting from an agent you may have to pay an additional month’s “finder” fee (even if you “found” the property).
I would always recommend renting a property first before committing to buying. Buying is a huge investment, not just because of the cost of buying, but also the taxes that have to be paid in the sale of your property in another country and buying property in Mallorca.
Property prices in spite of the pandemic have skyrocketed on the island. In fact, they have consistently gone up since I moved here, so if you’re wondering when the right time to buy is, is it always now?
I would always advise against buying any property right away without knowing the island first. Rent first and try out some areas. You may surprise yourself as to where you want to be.
Experience both a summer and a winter in an area of the island before even considering buying. So as you can see, there are many pros and cons of living here in Mallorca.
I also have an article all about the cost of living in Mallorca for 2023, so check it out here.
In my opinion, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. There is no perfect place in the world to live but for me, Mallorca (almost) has it all, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
10. LANGUAGE LEARNING IN MALLORCA
It’s no secret many ex-pats come to Mallorca and don’t bother to learn Spanish. However, for those of us who are keen to learn, it’s incredibly hard to practice unless you’re in an environment to do so.
See if video clip here to find a great way of practising your Spanish!
Persistence is key, and even now I find myself in a cafe asking for a ‘cafe con leche‘ only to be told, “Don’t worry you can speak English!”. Don’t be demoralized and press on!
Don’t let this put you off though. The English, German or any Northern European accent is very hard to lose when speaking Spanish. It also sounds just like you’re either struggling or here on holiday. Keep practising, keep speaking and don’t give up.
The Pros and Cons of Living in Mallorca on Youtube
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Briliant ,beautifully written and informative
It is informative, giving a good overview of pros and cons.
Good luck with the site!
Thanks so much Ross!! Your comment is much appreciated!
Such an interesting and helpful article. I have holidayed on the Island many times and always loved the variety of locations. And the climate!
Thank you for posting.
Thank you so much Harry for your comment. I’m glad you found it useful. 🙂
Hi Alex, I am your follower and a Mallorca fan since I found your videos about the island in YouTube, before I badly knew about it geographically !! I am a Spanish descendent, 74 year old living in Canada for 35 years but was born in Cuba. After 35 winters, I am looking for a warmer place to spend some time close to my islander’s roots. Needless to say, Mallorca was LOVE TO FISRT SIGHT and your very instructive videos a resourceful mean of information.
So in short, I am considering at least to visit there as soon Co vid restrictions are more relaxed and explore the island with its possibilities for me as a Senior.
I have just taken my first step making contact with you and will continue investigating all the info that I can get from your useful/beautiful/web. We can practice Spanish/English on line if you wish, I am an eternal student. Love for you and your daughter sincerely Aurora
Note: I also have only one daugther, Daisy a 50 years old that still is my pride and joy, no grandchildren but that could follow me there with her Greek husband later on, bye for now, Hasta pronto Alex besos para tu nina
Hi Aurora – Nice to virtually hear from you! I think you would love the warmer weather in Mallorca as I hear those winters get very cold in Canada! Thanks so much much for your lovely message – you must book a holiday to see if you like the island!
Thank you Alex for your prompt reply, Certainly, I’ll be booking very soon God Permit now that the C Vid restrictions are opening up!!!
Great reading and so true .
Thanks Elaine, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg!
hello, thank you for all information that you share on the video, how you get the flight discount ? which airline provide this discount ? is when you flight from UK only ?
Hi Gianni – I went to the town hall with my TIE (NIE) and passport where I registered my empadronamiento, and asked for a travel certificate. If you have your empadronado in the Balearics, you’ll get a discount on flights to and from the mainland and the Canary Islands (not to the UK). Just book direct with the airline and there will be an option to request the discount. But take the certificate you get from the town hall with you as this can be checked when you board.