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18 Mallorca holiday tips: Things to do, see & AVOID!

After travelling around Mallorca for a few weeks, I made this list of things to do, see and experience on the island. I also included some things to avoid and not do to ensure you have a great holiday in Mallorca. I provide (affiliate) links for more details, prices and bookings.

Visit Palma in the evening or at night

People sitting on a terrace in Palma at night
Palma de Mallorca at night

Palma is a great city to visit and explore. However, it can also become extremely busy. However, after 18h00 most tourists leave the city, and everything becomes much more authentic and relaxed. Visiting Palma at night or in the evening allows you to enjoy some of the great restaurants and tapas bars.

Go on excursions on Saturdays when possible

Since many people leave and arrive in Mallorca on Saturdays, this is often the best time to visit places like Western Water Park, Katmandu, and other popular tourist attractions. However, in most cases, you will have to get there yourself as often organized excursions don’t visit these parks on Saturdays because many buses are occupied with airport runs.

Don’t go to Es Trenc or Playa de Formentor in July or August

Busy beach of Platja de Formentor
Overcrowded beaches in July

These beaches are very nice but in the high season months of July and August get extremely overcrowded. However, many other equally lovely beaches on Mallorca are not so famous and don’t get so crowded. So please have a look at my guide to the best beaches in Mallorca to know where to go.

Visit BanyalbufarDeià, Soller, Valldemossa or Fornalutx 

These are some of the more unique and traditional villages in Mallorca Deia, Valldemossa and Soller are often the busier and the more well known. They make for a nice place to visit but in high season can get a bit too busy as they are so popular. So try to avoid them in July and August. Instead, pick Banyalbufar or Fornalutx in July and August.

Rent a car the right way

People waiting in line at car rental desks in Mallorca airport
Car rental offices in Mallorca Airport

Mallorca is huge. With over 500 km of coastline, there are lots of things to see and do. If you want to explore and not only stay in the hotel, I would advise you to rent a car. If you are ok with just going on organized excursions and staying in your hotel most of the time, then don’t.

Renting a car in Mallorca can be a bit tricky, with many companies having hidden charges. So if you are going to rent a car, please first have a look at my car rental guide.

A day in Rancho Grande

I would highly advise spending some time at Rancho Grande. It is one of the best places on Mallorca to go horse riding, but they offer much more. A petting zoo, Sangria wagon, BBQ, line dancing, shows and much more. All in all, a great day out for the family.

Don’t go to waterparks in July or August

Saying that July and August are busy periods for Mallorca would be an understatement. Saying that it is hot during these months would also be one. So expect waterparks to be extremely busy. It might simply not be worth it for you to visit one and I would advise you not to do it. Maybe spent a little more money on your hotel instead and make sure they have some nice pools within the hotel.

If you want to visit a waterpark in any other month, the Western Water Park is the best one in my opinion in Mallorca.

The Palma Cathedral… if you like history

Palma Cathedral
Palma Cathedral

One of the most promoted things to do in Mallorca is to visit Palma. And most specifically, the Palma Cathedral. So if you want to experience some of the history and culture of Palma, this might be an excellent place to start.

Katmandu Park for family variety fun

If you don’t have much time in Mallorca or want to pack in as much variety as possible, Katmandu Park is for you. 4D cinema, mini-golf, laser games and much more. They have it all here in a unique setting.

Don’t go on excursions that mention the word “pearls”

Mallorca is famous for its high-quality fake pearls. Yes, I said it; they are fake! However, this seems to get often not mentioned when visiting any of the pearl shops on Mallorca. You will often find these very close to some of the major attractions in Mallorca. Conveniently placed to be included in any organized excursion. But beware of the “hard sell” when going into any of these factories or stores.

Go for a drive in the Tramuntana mountain range

The Serra de Tramuntana area in Mallorca is a whole other Mallorca. It’s green, lush and often a bit colder and fresher than the rest of Mallorca. Also, pretty much behind every corner, you will find another amazing view. In the Serra de Tramuntana area, you can find many authentic towns not affected too much by tourism and still restaurants and bars offering “non-touristy” pricing and service.

If you don’t want to drive yourself, then a great way to experience the Tramuntana mountain range is to take the Soller Tren from Palma to Soller.

Don’t pick the wrong time to go

I often get emails or messages from people saying they are going on holiday to Mallorca in February or another winter month. Of course, the main question always is… how will the weather be then? Well, very unpredictable and much colder than in summer.

Mallorca is only a popular beach holiday destination from May till half of October. The rest of the year, many hotels, restaurants, bars and attractions will even be closed because of this. These winter months are recommended for cultural tourism to Palma, elderly escaping the colder weather in their home countries and people coming to bike, run or train for other sports. So it is not a great idea to go in winter and expect to be sunbathing. There will be some days that you can, but it is not guaranteed. If you want to find the best month for you to go, have a look at this guide explaining when to go to Mallorca.

Arrive prepared at the airport

On Saturdays or in July and August, the Mallorca airport gets extremely busy and long lines form. If you need to take a taxi or bus to get to your destination, book it in advance. Like this, you make sure to avoid significant cues. Here is my guide to the best option for you.

People waiting in line for taxi at Mallorca airport
Long lines for taxis at Mallorca airport

Visit the Palma Aquarium (on a rainy day)

The Palma Aquarium is one of the newer attractions on Mallorca and is great for all ages. However, there is much more to do than just watching fish in aquariums, including lots of things outside as well. This is great fun any day, but on a rainy possibly one of the best options.

Watch out where you drive your rental car in Palma

Palma has some restricted areas for cars that don’t have a special permit. Many of these or located around the cathedral area. If you don’t have a permit you will be instantly picked up on the camera and receive a fine.

It is easy to avoid, however. Just stay away from small narrow streets around the cathedral. It is best to leave your car in one of the underground parking areas on the main streets or at the Paseo Maritimo (the main busy road next to the seaside). If you want to drive into town, you can find the full ACIRE restricted road map here.

Watch one of the great shows in Mallorca

Whether you are travelling as a family, with young or older kids or just as adults only, there are great shows to see on Mallorca.

The Pirates show offers two editions. One for the entire family and one 18+ show. The Pirates show has been on Mallorca for many years and is still one of the most visited shows on the island. This one is located in Magaluf/Palma Nova, so depending on where you are on the island might be worth the drive or not.

Son Amar is the other great show on Mallorca that offers a lot of variety. Singers, dancers, magic, acrobats and much, much more. You can also enjoy some great dining options here.

Don’t go on “street excursions”

For lack of a better word, I am calling these “street excursions”. Especially when you stay in the larger holiday resorts in Mallorca, you will often find flyers offering cheap excursions on the street. Don’t go on these! They sound like a good deal but always include a catch. This can be a long sales presentation or even a timeshare pitch. Only book with your tour operator, reception or book online for the best price.

Pick the right holiday destination and hotel

Porto Cristo: One of the smaller holiday resorts in Mallorca

Mallorca is huge and because of this has many different holiday destinations. From loud and busy to quiet and relaxed. To make sure you have a great holiday in Mallorca, make sure you pick the right holiday destination for you. Here is my guide to where to stay in Mallorca and my guide to the best hotels in Mallorca.