Palma is a beautiful city with a long history and a rich culture. When I first arrived in Palma, I could spend the whole day wandering aimlessly in neighborhoods like the Old Town, but I soon learned that its charm is not lost once the sun goes down and Palma de Mallorca nightlife begins.
Santa Catalina Nightlife
I used to solely admire the many antique windmills scattered throughout the city from the outside—now, my friends and I can spend the night dancing inside of them. I love to get lost exploring the winding roads lined with traditionally painted Mallorcan houses—now, I also love drinking specialty cocktails at the bars right next door. The sun shining over the harbor is quite the sight, but the view of the moonlight over that same harbor is also spectacular, especially through the high-set window of a popular nightclub. The best part is that all of these ideas for a fantastic night out can be done in or around the same neighborhood! That neighborhood is Santa Catalina.
The Santa Catalina Neighborhood
Santa Catalina is one of the most well-known neighborhoods in Palma. It is a favorite of sight-seers, foodies, and party-goers alike. In the 19th century, Santa Catalina was a hub for fishermen due to its proximity to the sea. To this day, it is still known for its large and very active fish market, Mercat de Santa Catalina, which has been open since 1920.
You can also find some examples of Spanish Modernista architecture throughout the neighborhood like Ferretería La Central or Hotel Hostal Cuba. Although its history and architecture are loved by many, the nightlife is what really attracts people to Santa Catalina.
What Does a Night in Santa Catalina Look Like?
My favorite aspect about Santa Catalina nightlife is that the nights are rarely identical. There is truly something for everyone.
As the saying goes: “Wealth is not about having a lot of money; it is about having a lot of options.” If the old expression holds true then we are all truly rich in Santa Catalina. We can start out in a nice, quiet pub to get some beers and play some pool, or maybe a trendy wine bar where we can listen to nice music and enjoy the ambiance. After that, it is time for cocktails. Many nice cocktail bars are located close to one another on Carrer de Sant Magí.
Whether you want something classic, something sweet with an umbrella in it, or even something that is served on fire, you can find it. Now, you want to dance, but you are just not quite ready to head into the club. Here, in Santa Catalina, you get the best of both worlds. There are many spots where you can find the energy and music of the club, minus the lines and cover fees.
After a good while of dancing in a rowdy bar to popular music, you are ready for more energy. Now we arrive at my favorite part of the night. Let’s go to the club.
Once again, our options are abundant. We can go to an underground techno club, headbang at a hard rock club, sing along at a commercial pop club, or we can even dance swing. At all of these locations, you will find lively crowds, excited locals, and people from all over the world.
I know at this point your imagination is racing and you are dying to go out. Below are my personal favorite bars and clubs, all located right here in Santa Catalina.
The Best Bars and Clubs in Santa Catalina
Best Cocktail Bar: Caoba
Come for the cocktails and stay for the ambiance. When you enter Caoba, the first thing you might notice are the many murals of unforgettable musicians hanging on the walls. Maybe you recognize a classic hip-hop song from the 90s playing in the background, or, if you are like me, you will double-take at the tins of popcorn and glasses of water that they serve to all the tables.
These are some of the reasons I have loved this bar ever since I first visited Mallorca, but the main reason is, of course, the selection of signature cocktails they offer. Their modern takes on classic cocktails, like their Banana Old Fashion, are what keep me and all my friends coming back.
Address: Carrer de Sant Magí, 61
For cocktails, also try:
- Up and Down – They offer over 50 different flavors of mojitos all for €5 a glass.
- Lab Bar – A classic spot that takes mixology seriously located on Carrer de Sant Magí.
Best Wine Bar: Vinostrum – La Fabrica
“Life is too short to drink a bad wine,” is cleverly written within a wine bottle on Vinostrum’s facade. I couldn’t agree more! You won’t just find amazing wine in Vinostrum. You will find amazing wine served by amazing people with real knowledge and dedication to what they do.
Locally owned, Vinostrum serves an unforgettable experience and offers a wide variety of local Mallorcan wine. For those of you who are looking to pair a Spanish tapa with a glass of Spanish wine, look no further than Vinostrum. They serve a variety of quality tapas that pair excellently with their quality wines.
Address: C. de la Fàbrica, 45
Best Live Music Bar: Shamrock
Shamrock has been a staple in Palma’s nightlife for years now. Locals and internationals alike all know and love the name. Although it is technically right outside the border of Santa Catalina, I had to include it in this list. You can see live bands starting at midnight Monday to Sunday. That’s right, they have live music every night.
Be sure to check out the newly opened upstairs on Friday and Saturday nights. There you can always find a DJ playing hits. Finally, if you get the chance every first Thursday of the month they do tattoos and live music. I guess that’s one way to make sure the night is an unforgettable one!
Address: Av. de Gabriel Roca, 3
For live music, also try:
- Cafe Lisboa – A recently opened bar with open-mic nights located on Carrer de Sant Magí.
Best Rooftop Bar: Hotel Hostal Cuba
On the corner between Parc de Sa Feixena and the water, there really is no better place to have a rooftop bar. Hotel Hostal Cuba is a beautiful building that has stood as a landmark of Santa Catalina for over 100 years. Its Art Nouveau architecture cannot be missed, nor can the stunning view that is waiting for you atop its sky bar. After watching the sunset, the fun continues downstairs in their street-level bar, always packed with a classy crowd.
Address: Carrer de Sant Magí, 1
Best Beer Bar: Cervecería Tramuntana
Cervecería Tramuntana is a favorite of the local Mallorquines. It is a nice break from the international crowd.
Although, it is not totally local. The patrons may be from Mallorca, but the beers are from around the globe. I have never seen such an impressive list of beers at a bar since going to Belgium. I was able to find many of my absolute favorite beers in bottles. They even had one the best beers I have ever tried, made in Brugge, on tap!
Address: Carrer de Caro, 14
For beer, also try:
- Atomic Garden – This 80s-themed indie-rock bar serves amazing beer and amazing vibes. They even have their own brews served on tap!
Best Yachtie Bar: Ventura
If you’re like me, you had never heard the word “yachtie,” before arriving in Mallorca. After two years of living here, it is a word that I have become very familiar with. Yachties are the people that work on yachts and travel to Mallorca seasonally for work. Apart from loving the open sea and salty air they also really love to have a good time.
Honoring Santa Catalina’s nautical past, Ventura is, without a doubt, the hub for all yachties in the neighborhood. If you’re lucky, you might just bump into your favorite cast member from the hit yachtie reality television show Below Deck.
Address: Carrer del Torrent, 5
Best Bar for Dancing: Sabotage
The night I moved into my apartment in Santa Catalina, my roommate and I ate at a local burger joint. When we finished, I had to ask our server one question that had been burning on my mind since I had arrived. “Where is a good spot to go out around here?” She responded without hesitation “Sabotage.”
Located right next door to another spot on the list, Sala Luna, Sabotage has an amazing view of the marina. There is always a great crowd there, never a cover fee and there is even a secret room with a dancing pole if any of your group wants to show off their skills. For those of you who just cannot wait to go out at night, they also have “tardeos” on Saturdays. (Tardeo is the Spanish word for late afternoon parties.)
Address: Carrer Terrer, 2
For dancing, also try:
- Three Lions – Located right at the start of Paseo Marítimo this place is a favorite of locals and internationals. Pool, Darts, and Air Hockey await you upstairs, while a room packed with people dancing awaits you downstairs.
Best Swing Club: Galactic Club
For anyone looking for Jazz music and Swing dancing, this is your spot! This charming bar offers the best music all the way back from the 20s to the 60s. Have fun and dance to swing, blues, jazz, and lindy hop at Galactic Club. Once you have worked up a sweat, you can enjoy a cold beer outside on the terrace. Most nights they have group classes to practice your moves. They also have live music nights and monolgue nights.
Address: Carrer de Murillo, 9
Best Rock Club: Tunnel Rock Club
Tunnel Rock Club is not within the borders of Santa Catalina, but it is a quick 10-minute walk away. The club is both figuratively and literally underground.
Tunnel offers live bands, foosball tables, head-banging rock music, theme nights, and cheap covers. For these reasons, I had to include it in this list. Tunnel is, without a doubt, considered by many locals to be the best place to listen to rock music in Mallorca.
Address: Plaça Gomila, 2
Best House Club: Brooklyn Club
Brooklyn is a trendy, underground spot at the center of Santa Catalina nightlife. Upstairs is a classy, dim-lit cocktail bar perfect for starting the night. What they are hiding downstairs is what stands out. Descending just a few stairs, this cocktail bar transforms into an underground house and techno club featuring DJs from all over the world. The ceiling is lined with LED lights that change color, and the floor is packed with people sharing one common goal: dancing the night away to good music.
Address: Carrer de Dameto, 6
Best Techno Club: Es Molí
Appropriately named, Es Moli is a techno club that opened up only a few months ago in one of Santa Catalina’s iconic and antique windmills. (Es Molí means the windmill in Mallorcan Catalan.)
Still a well-kept secret, Es Moli is by far one of the coolest clubs I have been to. If partying in a windmill wasn’t enough of a selling point, the cheap cover, wall-rattling techno, and fun crowd certainly are. Although it is less than a year since they opened their doors, Es Moli has already become a staple in the Palma nightlife.
Address: Carrer de la Indústria, 11
Best Commercial Club: Sala Luna
Sala Luna is one of the oldest and longest-standing clubs in Mallorca. A titan in Palma nightlife, it has hosted many guests, including a young King Felipe VI of Spain.
Small winding streets, lined with beautifully painted, traditional Mallorcan houses lead you out into Plaça del Vapor, a gorgeous and typical Spanish plaza filled with orange trees. At the center of this plaza stands Sala Luna.
The outside of the club has a beautiful, open-air courtyard. Once you walk up the stairs you will see tables scattered around, big windows with views of the Mediterranean, and a dance floor filled with young people.
Address: Plaça Vapor, 20
For another commercial club, also try:
- Kaelum – This fun spot right by the water always has a great crowd and great music that anyone can enjoy.
Other Popular Palma Nightlife Areas
Old town, also known as La Ciutat Antigua in Catalan or El Casco Antiguo in Spanish, is truly the heart and soul of Palma. Here you can find some of the most culturally significant tourist attractions of Mallorca like the ‘La Seu’ Cathedral, the Royal Palace of Almudaina, and Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum. After you have gotten your fill of beautiful architecture and rich history, be sure to return at night to enjoy some of my favorite bars in the area.
My favorite bars in Old Town:
- Bigfoot – Bigfoot is a popular and classic bar in Old Town. You will always find a talkative and friendly local crowd. Look out for events and themed nights they love to host. Bigfoot is loved by many locals and is known to be a favorite spot of one of Mallorca’s most famous musical talents, Rels B.
- Agua Bar – Almost every night of the week they have something special. Mondays they have flip nights. Order a drink, flip a coin, guess it right, and it’s on the house! Thursday night is Ladies Night. All women can enjoy a free wine or cava from 7 pm – 10:30 pm and 50% off all other drinks. Sunday nights are open-mic nights. You can show off your skills or enjoy local talents. Either way, it will be a good time.
S’Arenal is a very popular area in Palma to go out. It is a peculiar part of the island where you are more likely to be speaking German than Spanish or Catalan. It runs along Playa de Palma and is absolutely packed with bars, clubs, and travelers having a good time.
My favorite spots in s’Arenal:
- Bierkönig – The name literally translates to Beer King in German. Bierkönig is a spot known by almost every German tourist in Mallorca. It is a massive beer garden that offers both indoor and outside spaces, live music, and giant steins of German beer.
- Megapark – There is only one other spot that is as famous and as popular as Bierkönig in s’Arenal, and that spot is Megapark. The outside looks like the old ruins of a castle, but there is nothing ancient to be found inside. Megapark is Europe’s largest open-air beer garden and a must-see of Mallorca nightlife.
Paseo Marítimo is one of the most popular areas of Palma nightlife. Here you can find a packed bar almost any night of the week. It is a path along Palma’s marina that seemingly never ends and is filled with bars. Irish pubs, hip-hop, reggaeton bars, salsa music, and upscale clubs can all be found on Paseo Marítimo. While walking you can always find an energetic crowd or someone waiting outside one of the countless bars ready to offer a free shot and free entry.
My favorite spots along Paseo Marítimo:
- Epic – By far the most popular bars in the area, Epic never has a dull night. It is open seven days a week and will undoubtedly be packed for every one of those nights.
- Social – Social is one of the most well-known clubs in all of Mallorca. They frequently feature world-famous DJs and have well-loved resident DJs on all other nights. The inside feels like an old-school speak-easy and the upstairs terrace offers a spectacular view of Palma’s marina and VIP booths.
Tips for Enjoying Palma Nightlife
Embrace the passion
Spain is known for its very friendly and open population. The people love to sing, dance and speak with passion. Sometimes there is so much passion that it is hard to tell if they are arguing or just having a normal conversation. Do not worry, they love to be exaggerated, and if you show them kindness they will always show it back.
Palma is a safe city, but that does not mean you should not always stay aware of your surroundings. It is unfortunate but pickpockets are known to take advantage of unaware people. Make sure to check your pockets, do not leave your phones and wallets on tables, and stay with your group.
Most bars in Palma do not mind what you are wearing. That being said, there are many that will not let you in if you are wearing basketball shorts or sandals. Just make sure your beach outfit and going-out outfit are not the same. When going to clubs you should be wearing long pants and closed-toed shoes at the very least.
Enjoy the prices
Americans will be very happy to find that the prices here are much cheaper than back home. For example, a small glass of beer, known as a ‘caña’, is normally around €3.
Adjust your schedule
During the summertime, there are crowds almost every night of the week. Of course, Fridays and Saturdays are the most popular. The Spanish do everything later than we do in the United States. It is not uncommon to have dinner at 10 pm so do not be surprised if a bar or club does not start to fill up until after 1 am.