Countless eager visitors descend on the Balearic Islands every summer for one reason, and one reason only: the iconic nightlife. Sure, a lot of them are probably here for the world-class beaches, too. But in a destination that includes Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, and even more party hotspots, not experiencing the nightlife in the Balearic Islands would practically be a crime.
In the Balearic Islands, as is the case throughout most of Spain, nights out almost always start at the bar. This is where locals will head after dinner (which is quite late here in Spain: 9 p.m. at the earliest, or as late as 10 or 11 p.m. on weekends) for a drink before hitting the clubs.
In Palma de Mallorca, Calle Apuntadores (also known as Carrer dels Apuntadors in mallorquín, the local dialect of Catalan) is one of the best bar-hopping areas in town. It's packed with trendy locales that draw scores of 20- to 30-something locals night after night.
On Menorca, the historic town of Ciutadella is famous for its bar scene, with a small but solid selection of venues throughout the city that are consistently packed as well. And if you're Ibiza-bound, don't sleep on the island's second-largest city of Santa Eulalia—this is a great area for lively bars and smaller nightclubs that can make a nice alternative to the bigger discotecas.
If legendary clubs are what you're after, you'll want to head straight for Ibiza. With three main party areas spread out across the whole island, anywhere you go is bound to be filled with partiers dancing to thumping music.
Ibiza Town is the epicenter of nightlife on the island, drawing an eclectic international crowd thanks to its fame on the world stage. Partying with people from all over the world in the compact town center wouldn't be possible anywhere else. Just south of the town center, the Playa d'en Bossa area also boasts a lively beachfront club scene.
On the west coast of the island, Sant Antoni de Portmany offers a more low-key but equally exciting nightlife scene as well as a handful of the larger clubs that have put Ibiza on the map.
As we mentioned earlier, Spaniards eat dinner a lot later than many of us may be used to. Kitchens at normal restaurants will usually stay open until 11:30 p.m. on weekdays, and past midnight on weekends.
If you're looking for a late-night snack while you party, street food will be your best bet. In the Balearic Islands, this is a great way to sample some of the region's hottest international cuisine. Casual spots like taco joint 7 Machos—with three locations in Palma de Mallorca—are the perfect solution for when hunger calls.
Live music bars are ubiquitous in major urban areas across the archipelago. Even areas that don't have much of a nightlife scene in other terms, such as Mahón in Menorca, inland Mallorca, and Formentera in general, boast a respectable collection of venues where local talent and even some household names take the stage. These venues tend to be more casual than major nightclubs, and many don't have a dress code (official or unofficial).
You'll be able to find live comedy in just about all the major nightlife areas throughout the islands. But if your Spanish isn't up to the challenge of understanding jokes in a different language, no worries. Areas with a large concentration of expats, such as Magaluf on Mallorca and even regional capital Palma, will have plenty of comedy clubs putting on shows in English.
As if nightlife in the Balearic Islands weren't epic enough, there are plenty of fantastic festivals throughout the year to really up the ante.
- Jazz lovers won't want to miss the Menorca Jazz Festival in the spring. As the biggest music event on the islands, it's a must for anyone looking to experience some great tunes.
- The Sant Joan (St. John) festival is one of the notorious festivals on the Balearic Islands. On the night of June 23, locals take to the streets and the beaches to celebrate the arrival of summer with fireworks and bonfires, with the largest celebrations taking place in Ciutadella on Menorca.
- If you're planning a trip for the off-season but still want to experience a festive atmosphere, check out Carnival in late February or early March (depending on when Easter falls that year) for plenty of costumed chaos and late-night revelry.
Tips for Going Out in the Balearic Islands
- Major party hubs in the Balearic Islands, such as Palma de Mallorca and Ibiza Town, offer night buses that run past normal public transportation hours.
- If you need a taxi, take an official cab (they are white with a stripe along the door). Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are currently not available in the islands.
- Most nightclubs don't open until 11 p.m. or midnight, so until then, get drinks at a cocktail bar or enjoy a leisurely late dinner. From there, get ready to dance until dawn—literally, in many cases. It's not unheard of for many clubs in the Balearic Islands to stay open until 7 a.m.!
- Most nightclubs do have cover charges so have some cash on hand.
- Tipping in Spain in nightlife situations is rare. If anything, you can round up to the nearest euro when paying your cab driver and let them know to keep the change.
- Spain doesn't legally allow open-container in public, but many locals choose to ignore this and partake in botellón. A botellón is essentially a large gathering of people drinking in the street or in other public places, usually as a cheap way to pregame before heading to the clubs. While botellones are occasionally okayed by the local government with advance notice, many times, they aren't. Our advice: don't risk it, and do your pregaming at a bar or at home before heading out to party. The botellón may look fun, but it's not worth the risk of getting caught and arrested.