Tourists flooding Palma are pushing residents out. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

Living in the centre of Palma has become a nightmare for residents.
Complaints from neighbourhood associations have multiplied in recent months. They have accused the authorities of neglecting accessibility and resources as well as tourist overcrowding.

“The centre has become an amusement park for tourists. They are driving out the lifelong residents of the centre,” says Jaime Herrero, president of the Sa Llotja Neighbourhood Association.

Inés Jiménez has sold her flat in Palma’s Plaza Mayor because of this problem. She bought it with her husband in 1988, when “this area was the border with the marginal neighbourhood that was then the whole of Sindicato street”.

In the following years it was rehabilitated, with the improvement of infrastructures such as the car park and the underground galleries (now closed and abandoned since 2019). Despite being in the centre, “there was neighbourhood life, with its traditional shops, such as haberdasheries, ice-cream parlours and cafés”, he recalls. However, with the increasing arrival of visitors, all that changed a few years ago.

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Now it’s all souvenirs and shops for tourists,“ he criticises. First it was the accordion players and the shows for tourists: “They started playing at nine in the morning and didn’t stop until eleven at night. Without a break.

“It’s very uncomfortable that in your own house you have to have all the windows closed in the middle of summer because of the noise they make in the square”, she complains.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the degradation of the car park and the saturation of the roads in the centre, making it almost impossible to get home by car or to take the shopping upstairs.

Finally, after nearly twenty years of unsuccessful neighbourhood struggles, she sold her flat and moved to a suburb to regain her lost quality of life. She was not the only one. Several of Inés’ neighbours have opted in recent years to leave the square, fed up with the obstacles and problems.