A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Ios vs. Palma de Mallorca for Nightlife, Beaches, Backpackers, and Food

Should you visit Ios or Palma de Mallorca?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Ios or Palma de Mallorca? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Ios

Ios is a striking, touristy, and backpacker-friendly island. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca is a beautiful, stunning, and cultural island. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the nightlife, live music, and food.

Ios and Palma de Mallorca: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Ios or Palma de Mallorca?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Palma de Mallorca. Although Ios and Palma de Mallorca are popular destinations, Palma de Mallorca has more sights and attractions for tourists. Palma de Mallorca is very popular for its music and historical sights, while Ios attracts visitors for its museums. Palma de Mallorca is more touristy than Ios and is popular for its strikingly blue waters, sandy beaches, all-inclusive resorts, and vibrant towns. It is also well known for the turquoise water and white sand beaches. Ios is famous for its party hard atmosphere that attracts a younger and rowdier crowd.

the turquoise water and white sand beaches
The turquoise water and white sand beaches

How is Ios different from Palma de Mallorca?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Palma de Mallorca and Ios. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Ios or Palma de Mallorca?

Ios
Palma de Mallorca

Ios is a nice place to visit for its museums and history. However, Palma de Mallorca does not have museums and landmarks.

Ios is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. If you can pull yourself away from the beaches or parties, there are a number of archaeological and historic sights around the island. Churches like Panayia Gremiotissa Church and Evangelisimos Cathedral are worth visiting. Other attractions include Odysseas Elytis Theatre, Homer’s Tomb, and Skarkos Hill.

Palma de Mallorca does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Ios or Palma de Mallorca? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Ios
Palma de Mallorca

Both Ios and Palma de Mallorca offer very good local cuisine and restaurants.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Ios. Most of the island's restaurants are found in the port area or in the town of Chora, but you'll also find several options near Mylopotas Beach. Most restaurants offer typical Greek dishes, but they often have a local twist. You'll often find local cheeses or a slightly different take on an old favorite. Popular ingredients include cheese, yogurt, fish, olives, honey, olive oil, and grains. Common meats include lamb, beef, and even rabbit, but seafood is obviously popular as well.

Palma de Mallorca has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. Food here is centered around pork, fish, and vegetables. It is flavored with garlic and olive oil and it offers that feeling of comfort that comes with home cooking.

Is Ios or Palma de Mallorca Better for Nightlife?

Ios
Palma de Mallorca

Evening events are fantastic in both Ios and Palma de Mallorca.

Ios is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. This is one of the quintessential party islands in Greece. Many young backpackers come here just to party, particularly during the summer months. You'll find many parties start around midnight or later and carry on well into the morning. Most of the clubs and bars are around the main square and nearby streets in Chora, but there are also clubs spread throughout the town. Outside of town, Mylopotas Beach is another popular party area.

People head to Palma de Mallorca just to party. Head to Magaluf and Palma for the most popular places.

Is Ios or Palma de Mallorca Better for Music?

Ios
Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca is notable for its live music scene. However, Ios is not a live music destination.

If you love music, you'll find something to enjoy in Palma de Mallorca. Live concerts, international DJs, and a diverse range of styles have put the island's music scene on the map.

Ios is not a live music destination.


Is Ios or Palma de Mallorca Better for Resorts?

Ios
Palma de Mallorca

Ios and Palma de Mallorca offer a relatively similar set of very good luxury resort options.

Ios is known as a popular and fun resort destination. There are a number of resort areas around the island with families preferring the areas around Yialos Beach and Manganari Beach. Partiers usually head to Chora and the great beaches near Mylopotas, but if you want to escape the crowds, head to Agia Theodoti.

Vacationers can choose from a number of terrific resorts in Palma de Mallorca. Top resorts on the island include The St Regis Mardavall, Viva Cala Mesquida Resort and Spa, and Nixe Palace Hotel.

Is Ios or Palma de Mallorca Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Ios
Palma de Mallorca

There's nice scuba diving or snorkeling available in both Ios and Palma de Mallorca.

Ios has a few good snorkeling spots. There are some nice snorkeling and diving areas around the island as well as vendors who organize snorkeling and dive trips.

It's worth going snorkeling or scuba diving in Palma de Mallorca. Head to Cala Santanyi on the south side of the island for the best snorkeling. For scuba diving, National Park of Cabrera is one of the most popular spots.

Is Ios or Palma de Mallorca Better for Beaches?

Ios
Palma de Mallorca

For a relaxing beach holiday, both Ios and Palma de Mallorca are fantastic choices.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Ios. The island has beautiful sandy beaches that range from family-friendly to party hard. There are popular and more developed beaches near Chora like Koumbara and Mylopotas as well as more relaxing beaches a little more removed like Kalamos and Manganari. Because of their striking beauty, the beaches around the island have been featured in a few films.

With world-famous beaches, Palma de Mallorca is a very popular vacation destination. The island is lined with sandy beaches and rocky coves, which have contributed to it becoming one of Europe's most popular beach destinations.


Is Ios or Palma de Mallorca Better for its Old Town?

Ios
Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca is a popular place for its old town. However, Ios does not have a historic old town.

Many people head to Palma de Mallorca to see the old town. Alcudia is the best old town on the island. It has cobblestone streets and historic walls that give it charm and history.

Ios does not have a historic old town.

Is Ios or Palma de Mallorca Better for Hiking?

Ios
Palma de Mallorca

If you're looking to go hiking, Ios and Palma de Mallorca both have nice trails.

Ios is a good destination for hiking. The island has a barren and rocky landscape that offers spectacular views. Many of the hikes are quite challenging, but there are a few options for beginners as well. Many also pass by the spectacular ruins around the island.

Many people include a hike when visiting Palma de Mallorca. There are many beautiful hikes along the water and through the countryside that offer beautiful views and pass by quaint towns.

Is the Shopping Better in Ios or Palma de Mallorca?

Ios
Palma de Mallorca

Both Ios and Palma de Mallorca are nice shopping destinations.

Ios offers some nice shopping areas. There are a number of local souvenirs that you can pick up. Many visitors prefer to take home unique items such as a tin of olives or olive oil. Jewelry, honey, and local ceramics also make good gifts.

Palma de Mallorca has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. Head to Palma for some of the areas best shopping.


Is Ios or Palma de Mallorca Better for Families?

Ios
Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca is notable for its family-friendly activities. However, Ios is a mediocre island for its kid-friendly activities.

Palma de Mallorca is a very kid-friendly island. The beaches are large and sandy with beautiful blue waters. There's also many activities that both adults and kids can enjoy around the island including waterparks, aquariums, and amusement areas.

Ios is not always a place people visit with their families. While the island is known as one of the top party destinations in Greece, it also has a more cultural side. There are impressive archaeological ruins and stunning beaches that kids will enjoy. The island also has snorkeling and plenty of kid-friendly food. Some of the best family-friendly beaches are in Manganari Bay and Yialos Beach is a nice family-friendly area.

Is Ios or Palma de Mallorca Better for Couples?

Ios
Palma de Mallorca

Ios is an excellent place to visit for romance. Also, Palma de Mallorca is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its romantic activities.

Ios makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Because it's so close to Santorini, many people visit as a day trip. While the island is synonymous with partying, there are still many world-class archaeological sites and romantic beaches that make for an active and fun honeymoon. It's a bit quieter outside of the peak summer months.

Palma de Mallorca makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With beautiful beaches and a fun Spanish flare, Mallorca makes for a memorable honeymoon.

Is Ios or Palma de Mallorca Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Ios
Palma de Mallorca

Ios is a must-visit destination for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Palma de Mallorca is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

Many backpackers frequent Ios. For many backpackers, partying in Ios is a quintessential European experience. Nights are spent at all night clubs or beach raves, while days are spent nursing a hangover on the beach. There are plenty of venues that cater to the budget crowd, with cheap food available at different places.

Palma de Mallorca is a great island to visit for backpackers. There is no shortage of hostels in Mallorca so it's easy to find an affordable place to stay and a young crowd to hang out with.


Is Ios or Palma de Mallorca Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Ios
Palma de Mallorca

Ios is an excellent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. Also, Palma de Mallorca is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its public transit.

Visitors to Ios can move around easily with public transportation. There are public buses that travel to most of the tourist sights around the island including several of the more remote beaches like Manganari and Agia Theodoti.

You'll find some public transit in Palma de Mallorca, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There is an efficient bus system that can get you around the island, but trips are less frequent on weekends. Pick up the Intermodal Card which can get you from town to town.

Is Ios or Palma de Mallorca a more walkable city?

Ios
Palma de Mallorca

Ios and Palma de Mallorca both are nice when exploring on foot.

Ios is a somewhat walkable place. Chora is the most walkable part of the island.

Palma de Mallorca is a somewhat walkable island. It is a larger island that is not walkable, but Palma is generally a walkable area. If you stay in the central area you should be fine to explore on foot but if you want to get out into more rural areas, you'll need access to some type of transportation.

For even more information, also check out Is Ios Worth Visiting? and Is Palma de Mallorca Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Palma de Mallorca or Ios?

How long in Ios or Palma de Mallorca?

In either Ios or Palma de Mallorca, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Palma de Mallorca than Ios because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Ios, and 3-5 days is enough time in Palma de Mallorca.

Families should spend more time in Palma de Mallorca than Ios. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Palma de Mallorca, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Ios than Palma de Mallorca. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Ios that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Ios than Palma de Mallorca if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Ios.


  • How many days in Ios or Palma de Mallorca? Ideal Length of Stay
    Ios 1-3 
    Palma de Mallorca 3-5

One day in Ios or Palma de Mallorca?

With shopping and museums around the destination of Ios, there's plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. One day is often enough time to do most activities. It offers something for everyone.

With shopping and nightlife around the historic destination of Palma de Mallorca, there's plenty to do. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.


A weekend in Ios or Palma de Mallorca?

With museums and nightlife around the historical island of Ios, there's plenty to do. Your budget might influence how long you stay. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here.

Many people visit Palma de Mallorca for a weekend. With nightlife and live music around the stunning island of Palma de Mallorca, there's plenty to do. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in Ios or Palma de Mallorca?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the beautiful destination of Ios. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.

With live music and food around the destination of Palma de Mallorca, there's plenty to do. Many people spend five days here. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here.

A week in Ios or Palma de Mallorca?

Ios is a popular choice for travelers. It's also a relaxing resort destination. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Palma de Mallorca, a popular island, is full of activities for travelers. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Your budget might influence how long you stay. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Greece, The Best 3-Day Tours in Greece, The Best 2-Week Tours in Spain, and The Best 3-Week Tours in Spain.


Which place is cheaper, Palma de Mallorca or Ios?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Ios is €91, while the average daily cost in Palma de Mallorca is €139. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Ios and Palma de Mallorca in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ios 39
    Palma de Mallorca 69
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ios 78
    Palma de Mallorca 138
Compare Hotels in Ios and Palma de Mallorca

Looking for a hotel in Ios or Palma de Mallorca? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Ios


Hotels in Palma de Mallorca


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Ios Hotel Prices and Palma de Mallorca Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ios 16
    Palma de Mallorca 25

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Palma de Mallorca

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Palma de Mallorca are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    6.80
  • Bus Ride
    1.25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Palma de Mallorca

Also for Palma de Mallorca, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Palma de Mallorca to Mallorca Airport (PMI) - Departure Private Transfer: $33
  • Mallorca Airport (PMI) to Palma de Mallorca - Arrival Private Transfer: $33
  • Transfer from Palma de Mallorca Airport to Palma de Mallorca Port: $35
  • Transfer from Palma de Mallorca Port to Mallorca Airport (PMI): $35
  • Private Transfer from Palma de Mallorca Port to Palma de Mallorca: $35
  • Palma Acquarium with Transfer: $36
  • Magaluf to Mallorca Airport (PMI) - Departure Private Transfer : $43
  • Mallorca Airport (PMI) to Palma Nova - Arrival Private Transfer: $46
  • Mallorca Airport PMI to Port de Pollença Arrival Private Transfer: $50
  • Port de Pollença to Mallorca Airport (PMI) Departure Transfer: $50
  • Caves Drach Tour & Return Transfer from Cala Dor-Calas Mallorca: $60
  • Private Transfer from Mallorca airport (PMI) to Palma de Mallorca city: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Ios or Palma de Mallorca?

Prices for flights to both Palma de Mallorca and Ios change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Ios 33
    Palma de Mallorca 45

Typical Food Prices in Palma de Mallorca

For Palma de Mallorca, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Soda
    2.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Palma de Mallorca

For Palma de Mallorca, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Palma: Mallorcan Cooking Class With 5+ Tastings: $22
  • Spanish Cooking Class Palma meals+drinks 7 dishes Full meals: $50
  • Traditional recipes cooking experience: $99
  • Mallorca sailing, snorkeling, as a Local with drinks and pizza: $105
  • Mallorca Evening Tour: Horseback Riding, Dinner and Dance: $108
  • Spanish Cooking Experience in Mallorca: $110
  • The Award-Winning PRIVATE Food Tour of Mallorca: The 10 Tastings: $131
  • Mediterranean Dinner Experience with a Twist in Palma: $132
  • 4-Hour Market Visit and Traditional Cooking Workshop in Palma: $149

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ios 26
    Palma de Mallorca 34

Tours and Activities in Ios

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Ios are as follows:

  • 5 -6 Hour Private Chora E-Bike Tours: $133
  • Electric Bike Tour Chora to Diaseli Cheesery: $111
  • Electric Bike Tour Chora to Homer's Tomp: $111
  • Ios Island Trekking Tours: Discover Ios Unexplored: $28
  • Private Orienteering Experience in Mylopotas: $166

Tours and Activities in Palma de Mallorca

For Palma de Mallorca, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Palma Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.64
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - The Kingdom of Mallorca: $6.99
  • AbenteuerDate, Palma,Santa Catalina, Tour with Fun Activities in German Language: $9.93
  • Jardines de Alfabia Tickets: $9.93
  • AbenteuerDate Alcudia, Interactive Fun Tour in German Language: $9.93
  • AbenteuerDate Palmanova, tour with fun activities in German language: $9.93
  • AbenteuerDate, Cala Rajada, tour with fun activities in German language: $9.96
  • Self-guided tour to must visit places in Mallorca : $14
  • Palma de Mallorca Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and Tour: $17
  • Mallorca 'Hidden Gems' by City Break - walking tours made fun!: $19
  • Skip the Line: Rafa Nadal Museum Xperience : $20
  • 1H Self-Guided Electric Scooter Tour around Palma de Mallorca: $22

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ios 33
    Palma de Mallorca 29

Sample the Local Flavors in Ios

Also in Ios, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Bar Crawl Ios Ticket in Cyclades: $39

Typical Alcohol Prices in Palma de Mallorca

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Palma de Mallorca are as follows:


  • Coffee
    3.10

Sample the Local Flavors in Palma de Mallorca

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Palma de Mallorca:

  • Wine tasting with wines from the smallest wineries in Mallorca: $43
  • Guided tour of the Winery with wine tasting, Vineyard and much more!: $50
  • Palma Distillery Tour with 3 Spirits and Gourmet Tapas Tasting: $54
  • Gastronomic Mallorquin Wine Tasting & local delicacies: $72
  • Mallorca Wine Tasting: $75
  • Palma Distillery Tour with 6 Spirits and Gourmet Tapas Tasting: $76
  • Sa Clasta Mallorca Wine Tours: $160
  • Sa Clasta Wine Tours, Mallorca: $160
  • Mallorca Bodega & Olive Tour with Wine Tasting (full day): $164


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Ios and Palma de Mallorca, we can see that Palma de Mallorca is more expensive. And not only is Ios much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Ios would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Ios and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Palma de Mallorca would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Palma de Mallorca than you might in Ios.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Ios Expensive? and Is Palma de Mallorca Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Ios or Palma de Mallorca?

Palma de Mallorca has a larger population, and is about 210 times larger than the population of Ios. When comparing the sizes of Ios and Palma de Mallorca, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.