Is Mallorca Safe? How to Stay Safe in Mallorca
Mallorca is a beautiful Mediterranean island that is part of Spain. Unfortunately at times it gets a bad reputation because some areas have vibrant nightlife scene and is considered a party island. However Mallorca offers much more than parties and caters also to families and other tourists. So the question is: is Mallorca safe?
The Balearic islands including Mallorca has a 45% higher crime rate than the national average. This includes a hand full of crimes, but mostly concerning theft. In fact it is advisable to be vigilante in particular areas for pickpockets in crowded and busy places. Regardless, in a 2022 Forbes Report, Spain ranked as the sixth safest country in Europe.
The level of crime as perceived by residents is low. So the likelihood of getting mugged, attacked or assaulted in a violent crime is unlikely. Even vandalism and theft on personal property is low. In fact the stats in general look great when compared to vandalism and car theft levels in Catania, Sicily.
However, overall the crime rate for the Balearic islands including Mallorca is higher than the national average. The national average in 2019 rested at 46.7 offences per 1000 inhabitants. On the other hand the Balearic islands have an average of 67.5 offences per 1000 inhabitants. The crimes include those for drug trafficking, assault, threatening behaviour, but mostly theft.
You can expect that in populated cities, there is a higher incidence of crime as opposed to rural areas. In for example Palma, the capital city and Magalluf crime is higher. In fact Palma is the third most dangerous city for tourists in Spain in 2022. To clarify, it is after Bilbao and Barcelona on mainland Spain.
You can expect that in populated cities, there is a higher incidence of crime as opposed to rural areas. In for example Palma, the capital city and Magaluf crime is higher. In fact Palma is the third most dangerous city for tourists in Spain in 2022. To clarify, it is after Bilbao and Barcelona on mainland Spain.
Regardless of this fact, Spain in general has safer cities than most other countries. In fact when I visited Barcelona I felt safe, even in busy tourist hotspots like La Sagrada Familia and the surrounding areas.
The problem with statistics like “Palma is the third most dangerous city for tourists in Spain” is only relative to Spain. It does not take into consideration the overall safety and relative safety. Cities in Spain and Europe in general do not have high crime rates with some exceptions.
The reality is most people in Mallorca feel safe across the board including the city of Palma. Even the chief inspector of the National Police’s robberies squad in Palma said “Palma has never been an excessively challenging city”.
Pickpockets are an issue for tourists so it is best to keep your wits about you. The thieves usually target unsuspecting tourists. So if you are aware of your surroundings you are less likely to get robbed.
Like in any country, the best thing to do is to take some common sense precautions. Here are some tips and common sense advice to stay safe:
- Only take what you need. Do not take unnecessary cash, cards or carry passports when you will not need them.
- Never leave your bag unattended.
- Always keep your bag in your sight. There are instances where thieves stole bags from underneath tables at restaurants. If you are in a spot where thieves will have a hard time getting to your bag then you are fine. Or if you are in a quiet area. Otherwise keep your bag in your lap if you have to.
- Keep your bag in front of you in the street. If your bag is in front of you, you are more likely to notice if a thief tries to target you.
Where to Stay Alert
Pickpockets tend to hang around in crowded places in large cities and tourist hot spots. As a result you should be more alert in certain areas, particularly:
- On public transport
- Bus stops
- Bus and train stations
In Palma specifically you should stay more vigilant in the Cathedral area and Plaza Mayor. Over here they may even cut a hole in your bag to steal the contents. Or they may cut off the strap of the bag.
Moreover you should watch out for the flower sellers, they have a tendency to pickpocket. They tend to hang around the narrow streets between Palma Cathedral and the Arab Baths as shown on the map.
The best advice is for you to not let anyone come close to you and touch you. Like for example the flower sellers may pin a flower on your blouse and take your wallet at the same time.
Places to Avoid in Palma
There are some areas you definitely want to avoid when you are in Palma. Most people would stick to the general tourist areas and not veer off. However of course do not go into back alleys.
Additionally just in case you like wondering and exploring here are 3 neighbourhoods you want to avoid.
- Son Banya
- Son Gotleu
In Son Banya some dodgy stuff goes on and you just do not want to go there. In the other two, it’s more about a somewhat dingy and dodgy area. It does not mean you will get robbed, but they aren’t the best of areas.
Even when booking accommodation you should ideally not book a place to stay in these areas. You should make use of the maps on online travel marketplaces like Booking.com to help you avoid booking accommodation in areas that are less safe.
Is Mallorca Safe at Night?
In general most people feel safe walking alone at night in Mallorca. The safety index is 65 out of 100 which is high, but does not guarantee 100% safety. It is always advisable to never walk alone especially when you are on holiday in an unfamiliar land. There is safety in numbers, so the larger the group the less likely you will come across any issues.
In the past Spain did not have a good reputation for road safety. However for those considering hiring a car to get around Mallorca, times have surely changed.
Spain overall has been consistently making good progress to improving its roads to make them safer. Over the last 3 decades the number of fatalities on its roads decreased by 80%. That is from 10,000 in 1989 to 1,755 in 2019.
In fact between 2010 and 2017 alone there was a 26% drop in fatalities. This places Spain as one of the countries in Europe that saw one of the highest improvement levels in road safety. However injuries have remained stable even though GDP has increased as you can see from page 8 from this International Transport Forum report.
Additionally, in that report it also points out that 66% of fatalities happen in rural roads compared to 29% in urban areas and 5% on motorways. You would think that since there is more traffic in urban areas it is more likely to have an accident in cities.
The thing is Mallorca has some beautiful mountains and they provide some beautiful panoramic views. As a tourist it is fantastic, but the roads going up the mountains are high and quite often narrow.
Additionally if it rains it becomes more dangerous and you have a more likely chance of having an accident. There are a couple of roads that are particularly notorious that you should know about; the MA-10 and MA-2141. The MA-10 in particular is considered by residents as the wildest road of the island.
The best thing to do while driving is to slow down when it rains and always wear a seat belt. If you have young kids in the car you should make sure they are properly secured in a car seat. The reality is most fatalities in 2020 in Spain could be avoided if passengers wore a seat belt. So buckle up and stay safe!
Conclusion – Is Mallorca Safe?
To sum up Mallorca overall is safe, even at night. You just need to take some precautions like you would normally. Firstly by making sure you are aware of your surroundings, keep your bag close to you to avoid getting pickpocketed. Secondly at night you ideally should not walk alone. Finally you should make sure to wear your seat belt if you are driving a car or as a passenger.
Enjoy your stay in Mallorca!