When you come to new place and a new country, much of the pleasure is to travel around, discover the country and make new friends and acquaintances. Some come to Mallorca to lie in the sun on a beach and relax from everyday life, most prefer an active time. To do this in the best way, you must learn to travel in the best possible way, perhaps not only for your own pleasure, but also to reach your goals as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Car and car rental
There are about 200,000 passenger cars registered in the Balearic Islands (annually about 33,000 passenger cars are registered with a life span between 6 and 9 years). In addition, there is a large number of more or less legal foreign cars. With so many cars it’s a wonder that the traffic flows as smoothly and without jams as it does! Mallorca has one of the most disciplined and safe traffic cultures in the Mediterranean, if not the very best.
A consequence of the large number of cars is a screaming shortage of parking spaces. It may take considerable time to park and you may be forced to park far from your target, which reduces the benefit driving a car. Should you go on a trip on the island, you should definitely do it by (rented) car, which makes many interesting places available and shortens travel times. If you commute in the city, municipal communications or (electric) bicycle are mostly much faster.
When you park your (rented) car you must look out. The parking guards may be very zealous. Good to know if you get a parking fine: if you pay quickly, you get a discount on the fine. It feels much nicer to get a discount for fast payment than to get a penalty for paying late.
Blue parking spaces have fee.
The 10-meter rule from the street corners and crossing points is unknown here, there are often marked parking spaces within 10 meters distance. Use common sense so that traffic is not stopped, big trucks cornering on narrow streets take a lot of space.
Look out for the yellow line along the roadside!
If you find a free parking lot on many streets, there is often a self-appointed parking assistant nearby who is very helpful in parking in tight pockets. He expects one or two euro as a thank you.
If you rent a car, pay your parking fees yourself, the rental company without asking will charge your credit card for the fine including an extra fee.
Bike, electric bike, moped and motorcycle
These are often the fastest means of travel, especially in the cities. There are companies renting them everywhere.
Bus, train, tram, subway
Bus: Mallorca has a comprehensive network of regional bus services at very reasonable prices. The problem with a very comprehensive network is that the bus lines make detours and have stops at many points along the way. Therefore, bus travel often takes a long time. For example, bus 102 runs from Plaça d’Espanya to Port d’Andratx. By car this journey takes about 25 minutes. According to the timetable, the bus journey takes 1 hour 15 minutes, often in reality up to 1½ hours.
Train: Majorca has a railway, from Palma via Marratxi, Santa Maria del Cami, Binissalem and Inca. One line goes only to Inca, one line continues to Sa Pobla and one to Manacor. Marratxi thus has a train connection with Palma with down to 10 minutes intervals, Inca is connected to Palma at 15 to 20 minutes intervals, Sa Pobla and Manacor have about one train per hour. The train has the advantage over bus that it is much faster.
There is also a museum railway from Palma to Sòller. The train connects at the main square of Sòller to a museum tram to Port de Sòller. Trains in the tram have been imported from San Francisco’s classic tramway. The train starts from Palma on the ground level next to the Intermodal station on Plaça d’Espanya see below.
Subway: Palma has two subway lines, one to the university area (UIB) and one to Marratxi. The trains and the subway (not the museum railway) have prices and discounts like buses, they are operated by the same company.
City buses Palma: operated by another company than the regional buses and have different tariffs and rules than the regional traffic. They run very often but the times in the tour lists are not kept very carefully. Sometimes a bus on a given line will almost catch up with the bus in front, then there will be a longer stop after the two buses. Therefore, it is very useful that there is a MobiPalma app for smartphones, where you can see the real times for buses and get a signal from your smartphone 2, 5 or 8 minutes before the bus stops at the bus stop.
The center for buses, trains and metro is the Intermodal station on Plaça d’Espanya. Opposite the park with the rider statue is a stairway down to the underground Intermodal station’s ticket hall and information center. Another stairway leads to the regional buses, the trains and the subway. Nearly all city bus lines have stops in front of the staircase down to the Intermodal station. The museum railroad from Palma to Sòller has its station next to the Intermodal station.
Prices for the trip:
The price for travel both regional and local is very modest. For example: if you get on the bus in Palma for travel to Port d’Andratx, you pay to the driver € 5:50. This is what tourists and those traveling very rarely must pay. If you travel more often, you will get an “intermodal card” for € 3:00, which can be charged with € 30:40. This “charge” is sufficient for 20 trips to Port d’Andratx, which gives a price per trip of € 1:52 (loading with 45:80, you get 40 trips at a price of € 1:15 per trip).
- Regional bus, train and subway: The price when paying in cash for a trip depends on how many zones the trip includes. The price for the longest and most expensive trips is around €7. Traveling more frequently, you can reduce prices with Intrmodal card that can be purchased at the TIB Information Center in the Intermodal station on Plaça d’Espanya so that the price for the longest trips is just over €2. The exact price can be found on the TIB website, see below.
- City bus in Palma: on cash payment to driver the journey costs € 1.50. With a ticket valid for 10 trips, the price per trip will be € 1. Higher prices for trips to port or airport € 3 and € 5, respectively. The 10 trips card can be purchased at tobacconists or kiosks, for example in the kiosk at Plaça d’Espanya across the street from the entrance to the Intermodal station.
Exact information about timetables and prices is available on the websites:
For regional traffic: https://www.tib.org/es/web/ctm/
For city buses: http://www.emtpalma.cat/es/inicio
The smatrphone app called MobiPalma with information about both regional and local traffic and with current time at all stops can be downloaded free of charge. It also has information about bikes, taxis, traffic jams and parking situation in the major parking garages.