Here are my 10 pros and cons of living in Mallorca. Life on the island isn’t perfect. But it’s not far from it.

I’ve been living here 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.

THE PROS OF LIVING IN MALLORCA

1. (ALMOST) ENDLESS SUNSHINE

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 and get very little done!

palmanova beach mallorca

2. GOING TO THE BEACH EVERY DAY

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. 

alcudia beach mallorca
Taking long winter beach walks on Alcudia beach, Mallorca

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.

3. HEALTHCARE IN MALLORCA

Both state and private healthcare in Mallorca and in Spain are well known to be excellent.

mallorca hospitals

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, the 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. WHERE 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.

pollensa mallorca
Experience the country life in Pollensa, Mallorca

You may chose 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.  But the weather is fantastic so we spend much of our time outside!

5. FRIENDSHIPS

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.  

making friends mallorca

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 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.

The Cons of Living in Mallorca  

6. THE CAREER COMPROMISE

office working in mallorca
Always have Plan B for work if you move to 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 knowing 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 soon to be approved in Spain, then check out this article about this written here.

7.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”.

paperwork in mallorca
The never-ending paperwork mountain

From finding somewhere to live, registering to get your NIE (Numero de Extranjera), to get 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. WORKING FOR YOURSELF

networking in mallorca
Networking 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 living in somewhere like Mallorca.  You chose your own day’s 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, and 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 opwners prefer to rent by the day/week during the summer months for more money.

If you want to find more about living in Palma de Mallorca, check out this article here.

living in palma old town
Typical Palma Old Town Apartment Living

The main websites to look for a property are Idealista and Fotocasa.  Of course you can use Mallorca Facebook groups on social media.  Just be aware that if you are renting from an agent that 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 have 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.  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

It’s no secret many expats 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 Spainish!

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 accent (which is very hard to lose when speaking Spanish), sounds just like you’re struggling. Keep practising, keep speaking and don’t give up.


10 Pros and Cons of Living in Mallorca on Youtube

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