Approximately 6km long, the beach Platja de Palma (in Spanish: Playa de
Palma) is around 5km East of Palma de Mallorca. It is one of the most famous
and biggest holiday areas in Europe. The area, which stretches over several
resort towns, has many names; In Catalan it is Platja de Palma (Palma
Beach). In Spanish it is called Playa de Palma (which also translates as
The Germans call it Ballermann. This word is very well known
in Germany and became a symbol for mass tourism. The word Ballermann in
German denotes somebody who goes on a holiday which consists of heavy
drinking, sun, beach, sex, heavy drinking and party until the sun rises, not
at all dissimilar from the English party people who go on holiday for the
sun, sea and sex. The Platja de Palma starts in Can Pastilla and ends at the
marina of El Arenal. The resort is totally dominated by Germans. In average
every German spends two times in his/her life a holiday here.
Orientation: The beach is about 6km long and 1km wide. The whole
resort consists of pubs, hotels, restaurants, small supermarkets, tourist
shops and typical tourist infrastructure. Because everything look so
similar, it is easy to get lost. For that reason the area is divided into 15
parts, the so called Balnearios - called the 15 Ballermann in German. These
15 Balnearios are all very big outdoor beach bars which all look the same.
There is a big number written on each of them. Coming from Palma the first
one in Can Pastilla is number 15, going down to 1 in El Arenal after around
1 hour’s walk at a brisk pace.
At the beach there is a nice, broad and modern promenade with a footpath and
a street. The street is closed to cars and can only be used by cyclists,
pedestrians and skaters There is a road train here every few minutes in
summer which is used for public transportation. Next to the street there are
pubs, shops, cafes and restaurants.
Platja de Palma‘s Second Street is about 100mbehind the beach parallel to
the waterfront. Bus #15 runs along this street (which has different names in
different areas) every few minutes. Both sides of the street are lined with
shops, bars and restaurants. It is a very busy street with a lot of traffic
jams. The further away from the beach you go, the more hotels and bigger
supermarkets you will find.
Pubs and Nightlife: In summer the biggest party in
Europe takes place
at the Platja de Palma. There are hundreds of pubs here, most of which are
adjusted to accommodate the Germans. The biggest concentration is around
Balneario 6 with the famous Schinkenstrasse (Ham Street) and Bierstrasse
(Beer Street). You will find the biggest clubs of Mallorca in this area. The
most famous one is the Bierkoenig (Beer King), which is on Schinkenstrasse.
Also well known in Germany are Oberbayern and Mega-Park. In these places you
can mainly listen to German Schlager music (German Folk). The main
attraction here is alcohol. Almost nowhere in Europe are there as many
drunken bodies as at the Platja de Palma. The biggest nightclub with
international music is the Riu, which is about 300m from the
Schinkenstrasse. Most of the smaller pubs are owned and run by Germans and
have mostly a German name. Prices are a bit lower than in Britain.
Restaurants and Fast Food: German food dominates here. All of the
menus are in German – sometimes Spanish, Catalan and English make guest
appearances. The competition is fierce, with low prices. German sausages are
plentiful, as well as kebabs and McDonalds. The food quality is low on the
Accommodation: More than 90% of tourists here are on a package
holiday. Despite a choice of 300 (large!) hotels, it can be hard to find a
room here in the summer. Your best chances are at the end of the beach in
Arenal. In the run-down backstreets you can find some cheap pensions. Here,
rooms can be had for as low as €25 out of season. In summer you should be
happy to find anything in Platja de Palma for less that €50. Have a look at
the room first, and ask about extra charges (e.g. use of the hotel safe) –
the crime rate in the area is not high, but burglaries are common.
Buses: City Bus #15 from Palma´s centre goes along the whole of
Platja de Palma (only €1.10). Those wo want to go towards the end of the
beach from Palma can use the much quicker express bus, #23. Both buses are
often packed and have to wait in traffic jams. It can take an hour or more
to get from Palma to the Platja de Palma and it is likely that you will have
to stand the whole time.