When in Palma you can’t beat a simple tapeo (tapas hop from bar to bar) along C/Apuntadores and the various small lanes of the Sa Llotja neighbourhood. Choc full of wine bars, pubs and jazz venues, as well as a couple of legendary spots for a cocktail, it has more than enough to keep you busy for a weekend, even if you sneak over in low season. Wineing (C/Apuntadores 24, +34 971 214 011, www.wineing.es), despite the unfortunate name, is a cool little wine bar offering many of the island's best vintages by the glass. There’s more ‘wow’ factor at Abaco (C/Sant Joan 1), the city’s worst kept secret. It appears in every guidebook, article and conversation you’ll ever have about Palma, but has enduring appeal largely thanks to its refreshingly over-the-top décor: think opera-obsessed drag queen gone mad in a florist, with magnificently kitsch cocktails to match. I like to finish up at the Jazz Voyeur Club (C/Apuntadores 5, no phone) a shoe-box sized, dark and sultry music venue with great live bands playing jazz, funk, blues and soul most nights of the week.
The nightclub scene proper is concentrated along and behind the Passeig Marítim. For sheer atmosphere you can’t beat the nightclubs housed in defunct windmills in the Es Jonquet (the hidden fisherman’s quarter in front of Santa Catalina). Newcomer Luna (Placa del Vapor s/n, no phone) is one of the more chic of these and has a pretty garden to escape to when you can dance no more. Tito’s (Passeig Marítim s/n, +34 971 730 017, www.titosmallorca.com) is one of the island's original hotspots attracting in its heyday Hollywood elite like Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli. Today, it’s rather eighties in feel with its glass elevators and light shows, the crowd a little less A-list, but groovy all the same. Heading out of town towards Illetas, the iconic Pacha (C/Córdoba 3, Calviá, +34 971 594 356, www.pachamallorca.es) helped pave the way for the Balearics meteoric rise as the hottest party islands in the Med. This branch offers a multitude of themed parties throughout the season - see the website for details. My all time favourite is probably Abraxas (Avda. de Gabriel Roca 42, +34 971 455 908, http://abraxasmallorca.com) with its pretty, wood-decked portside terraces, chill out zones and an easier kind of sound to the electronica heard elsewhere.
The Auditorium (Passeig Marítim 18, +34 971 735 328, www.auditoriumpalma.com) is pretty much THE venue for big-name bands in rock and pop as well as classical recitals and opera. Also worth keeping an eye on is the small, outdoor theatre situated just below the cathedral in the Parc del Mar. Rather like an old-fashioned bandstand, it does not have a formal website or contact information, but it is possible to catch some great music there on summer evenings if you happen to be strolling past. Events are generally free
Palma is in Majorca. Click on Majorca nightlife for more after-dark options.