In this article I will outline 8 pros and cons of living in Palma de Mallorca.
Moving to Palma Old Town may be a great option for anyone first moving to Mallorca and using the city as a base to have fun, meet people, learn the language and easily get around the island.
This article is to support the video I made for my Youtube channel, which you can see on this page.
When I initially moved to Mallorca, I had the option to live anywhere on the island. My job at the time was in Palma city. So it made sense to move to the most central area in the city, Casco Antigo or Palma Old Town area and be able to walk to work as I didn’t own a car.
I lived in Palma Old Town for just under 5 years, but have been living here in Mallorca since 2005.
Where is Palma Old Town?
Palma Old Town or Casco Antiguo is the area inside the main road Avendidas Gabriel Alomar which circles the old town.
This is also historical Mallorca – when the bars and restaurants are concentrated. It is where you’ll find the sights which tourists flock from all over the world to see.
But Palma consists of many very different neighbourhoods and I’ll make a separate video and blog to cover these so don’t forget to hit the Subscribe on my Youtube channel and click the “notifications bell” to make sure you don’t miss this.
This article is probably more relevant if you’re arriving on the island either alone, with a partner but WITHOUT children. It’s not to say you shouldn’t move to Palma Old Town with children. But there are probably fewer busy areas to live in, but I’ll make another video/blog post about this.
This article summarises the 8 pros and cons of living in Palma de Mallorca.
- Where is Palma Old Town?
- 8 PROS OF LIVING IN PALMA DE MALLORCA
- 8 CONS OF LIVING IN PALMA DE MALLORCA
- PROS AND CONS OF LIVING IN PALMA OLD TOWN ON YOUTUBE
8 PROS OF LIVING IN PALMA DE MALLORCA
1. CITY LIFE
So, when the summer season ends in the resorts, the main advantage of living in the centre of Palma is that the city is busy year-round. You never actually feel like it’s not busy. Living in resorts can be quiet out of season, Palma is constantly buzzing. It’s a city. People come to work here every day and there’s always tourism.
2. MEETING LOCALS
The main reason Palma is such a great place to live is that you will meet other residents living here. You’ll get to know your neighbours in your apartment block and you’ll get to know the people in your barrio (neighbourhood), especially in the local businesses.
One of the best ways to meet the locals living in Palma is using Meet-up for language exchanges, excursions and trips to the mountains.
I met with people who initially wanted to improve their English and I wanted to practice my Spanish. I have some of my greatest memories of meeting up in the Old Town with them. And we are still friends today.
Living in the Old Town means you are a few minute’s walk from a wealth of restaurants and bars. The location is perfect to discover some great places to eat off the tourist trail.
What’s more, living in the Old Town means there is no need to get a taxi if you’re going out. In July and August, while there are long taxi queues, you can walk past them and stroll home.
You will also be perfectly placed for street fiestas like New Year’s Eve, the Easter Parade, Nit de Art, TaPalma and other events.
Living in Palma de Mallorca means you can step out of your front door into these events, or even get a bird’s eye view from your balcony depending where you are living.
4. PALMA CITY BEACH
Living in the city doesn’t mean living without a beach on your doorstep!
One of the biggest advantages of living in Palma de Mallorca is that the city has its own beach which is just across the road from the Paseo Maritimo on the East side of the city. It’s only eight minute’s walk from Palma Old Town.
OK, it’s not the best beach in Mallorca, but it’s a beach all the same, and a fantastic spot to watch the sunset, grab a cocktail in one of the beach clubs or go for a winter walk.
5. GREAT FOR FITNESS
There is a fantastic promenade with a bike path which runs from the Port all the way through the city’s Paseo Maritimo and Palma Old Town to El Arenal, beyond the airport.
It is the ultimate leisure space here in Mallorca and means you can get fit for free, and take in some of the best views on the island.
If swimming pools are more your thing, then there is a municipal pool in the heart of Palma Old town. It is incredibly cheap to join costing around 136€ for an annual pass which gives access to all of the swimming pools and gyms in the Palma area.
What’s more, if you decide to move out of Palma Old Town to another area in the city, you will still be able to access any of the municipal gyms in the Palma area.
6. PALMA IS A GATEWAY TO THE ISLAND (AND THE WORLD!)
Living in Palma de Mallorca means enjoying the best of both worlds. Making the most of weekday city life and the after-work social life. Then spend weekends exploring beaches and mountains.
If you live in the Old Town, you’ll be within easy walking distance of the bus and train station which gives you access to the other areas of Palma as well as the rest of the island quite cheaply.
You are also one direct bus away from the airport and the rest of the world. Palma airport is one of the most connected airports in Europe.
7. VARIETY OF ACCOMMODATION
You can choose to live in one of many fantastic old town buildings which date back hundreds of years with viga vista beams and persiana shutters.
You may remember my Ghost Walk Old Town tour , taking you on a Halloween walk through Palma Old Town, taking in Plaza Quertera where I used to live. At the time I paid 750€ per month to rent this 100 square metre, 2-bedroom apartment. Today you would look at paying in the region of 1,200€ per month for something similar.
If you’re looking to live in a more modern accommodation, then look across the road from Avenidas, or alternatively some more modern options near Plaza España. These rentals may be slightly cheaper.
The website I would recommend looking at for apartment rentals is Idealista.com
8. PALMA OLD TOWN IS CHILD FRIENDLY
And if you do decide to move to Palma with children, then you can enjoy some great children’s parks all over the city. You’ll also be within easy walking distance of nurseries and schools.
In Casco Antiguo, there is a fantastic park in Parc de la Mar and another in Sa Faxina just off Jaime III, as well as a great park in Plaza España near the bus station.
There are a couple of international schools on the outskirts of Palma however, the schools within walking distance of the Old Town are Spanish public and private schools (or “concertadas”).
8 CONS OF LIVING IN PALMA DE MALLORCA
1. ACCOMMODATION IS EXPENSIVE
Living in the historical centre of any city is going to be expensive and Palma Old Town is no exception. A nice one-bedroom apartment in a traditional old town apartment with classical old town features (including signature viga vista beams) can cost 900€ month. A two-bedroom apartment can cost from 1,200€ a month.
For this price, bear in mind that many of these apartments do not have lifts. Staircases are steep, so it can be a struggle to do your weekly shopping if you’re living above the third floor.
2. LACK OF OUTSIDE SPACE
Getting a roof terrace comes at a price. Some buildings have shared community terraces which are handy for drying your clothes. But usually residents do not use these unless they live on the top floor.
Many traditional old-style apartments have very small decorative balconies which can barely fit a chair.
3. LACK OF NATURAL NIGHT
There’s nothing more quirky than living in the narrow, traditional streets of Palma Old Town but this comes with one major drawback. And that is the lack of natural light.
Expect higher electricity bills because these apartments will feel cooler in the winter due to lack of sunlight, and maybe feel a little more depressing too.
My advice is to right high up and on a square to maximise the chance of getting natural light into your apartment.
Living in Palma Old Town is noisy! So avoid living above a shop or bar. Bars are noisy late at night and you will hear the shutters going up or down very early in the morning or late at night on the businesses depending on the time of day.
The sound of church bells ringing loudly on the hour could be an issue. Palma is full of churches and of course the La Seu Cathedral.
Also, rubbish trucks arriving to recycle glass can also provide an early unwanted wake-up call.
5. FEELING LONELY
Even though you are surrounded by people, living in Palma Old Town can feel lonely.
Most people working in Palma live outside the city or visit their families at the weekend. So when many shops close early on Saturday afternoon, the city empties out and the Old Town can feel like a ghost town.
So while the city can feel lonely on a Sunday when most of the shops and businesses are closed, it does give a great excuse to get out into the island and explore.
6. FINDING PARKING
It can be difficult to park a car and if you live in the Old Town and own a car, you will need to apply for a residents ORA parking permit. However, there are fewer parking spaces available than ever before so the competition to find a place to park is huge.
You may have to rent a parking space or garage on top of paying rent.
Alternatively, it can be less hassle and cheaper to rent a car to explore Mallorca from time-to-time. Or make use of the excellent public transport.
7. PALMA OLD TOWN ISN’T CHILD FRIENDLY
Living in Palma Old Town may not be the best place to live with children. While there are parks for little children, attending International schools would involve a morning commute.
It’s certainly a busier place to live with fewer open spaces and a very busy beach, so while it may be fun for a while, look into some of the other great areas to live on the island with are more suitable for family living.
8. HIGHER CRIME RATE
The population in Palma is of course higher and pickpockets notoriously work around the main attractions such as Palma Cathedral and Paseo del Borne.
If safety is of concern, it can also feel eerie walking back to your apartment late at night, along dimly lit side streets. Saying that I felt quite safe living in Palma Old Town during my time there.