The beach in El Arenal is a vast white sandy beach, but the beach here can get pretty busy in the high season months of July and August. Unfortunately, this is pretty standard for most of the beaches in Mallorca around this time. Before, you could often find many groups of young party people here on the beach with loud music and loads of alcohol, but Mallorca is trying to put an end to this with varying degrees of success.
In the streets of El Arenal, you will find primarily boutique-style hotels, small and compact. If you are booking a hotel here, definitely look on the map to see where it is located to avoid being on a loud street. I visited many of the hotels in this area and the best choice for a stay away from all the loud noise, but still close to everything, are the Hispania and Aya hotel just on the border of El Arenal and Playa de Palma. You can find prices and other El Arenal deals on Booking.com. On this page, you can find the complete selection of top hotels in Mallorca I visited.
El Arenal is one of the main party areas in Mallorca, especially with German and Dutch nationalities. The entire area is lined with bars, beer gardens and large clubs like Mega Park. Also, there are many side streets with beer gardens and open-air bars. If you are looking to party, this is the best place for you on the island, together with Magaluf and Cala Ratjada.
If you are not sure if this is the right place for you in Mallorca, you might also want to look at the neighbouring resort of Playa de Palma or look at my where to stay in Mallorca guide.
There are some random shops tucked away in the side streets of El Arenal, but these sell mainly alcohol and touristy clothing. If you want to do some serious shopping, the FAN shopping centre nearby is your best choice with a large variety of outlet stores from many more famous brands. These are easily reached with the EMT public transport. Also, Palma can be reached by public transportation in about 15 minutes from El Arenal, where you will find many shopping streets and shopping centres like Porto Pi.
Restaurants & bars
El Arenal has many restaurants all over the resort. Many cater primarily to Dutch and German holidaymakers with their international dishes. Over the years, many restaurants have been getting more upscale and higher in price. However, there are many simple and budget snack places for those looking to eat on a budget and Grillmeisters all over the place.
How to get to El Arenal
El Arenal is close to the Palma Airport in Mallorca (PMI). However, it is still not within walking distance like some people think because of the highway and many other obstructions in the way.
If you are not arriving late in the evening or have the possibility your flight is delayed, you might want to choose public transport to get to El Arenal.
I would advise a shuttle bus instead, that you have to book before online as you can not get tickets at the airport. These also usually cost the same as the public bus, but you are guaranteed a seat on the bus, and if your flight is delayed, they will wait for you. Also, they will drop you off at your hotel and not some bus stop, making everything stress and search-free.
If you are travelling 4 people, a taxi is your best and cheapest choice, but make sure you book it before online. To find out pricing and the companies I would advise for shuttles and taxis, look here.
Things to do near El Arenal
Near El Arenal, you will find the Aqualand water park. While it can be great fun, I would still advise you to avoid it in July and August as it will get pretty overcrowded. However, if you still want to go during these months, I would buy a fast lane pass or go on a Saturday, usually the less busy day.
For culture, Palma, the capital, is worth a visit. If you just want to hang around in the narrow streets near the cathedral or actually visit the Palma Cathedral, that is up to you.
For a rainy day, the Palma Aquarium near Playa de Palma is worth a visit but also great on not rainy days. It’s not only fish in aquariums but also some fun exploration things for kids and adults. The Palma Aquarium is a bit of learning but mostly fun.