Until recently, Palma was one of those strange cities where, despite its exceptional weather and its beautiful historical centre, people had not succumbed to the tapeo fashion. Mediterranean to the core, in Palma the typical habit was not having a beer after working, or being in the terraces until midnight; if you wanted to stay, you had to stay until dinner. Table, knife and fork, even though you had only ordered a traditional and simple pa amb oli.
But, in the centre of the Balearic capital, things have changed a lot in the last 5 years. The anti-smoking law and the need of offering to the regular customers and smokers a space where they could enjoy a drink without stopping smoking, have caused the proliferation of small terrace bars and pubs all over the old quarter of Palma.
As well, the revitalisation of the historical centre of Palma de Majorca, specifically the abandoned area of the old Jewish quarter (Sa Gerreria), has been present at the birth of a tapa culture that was just cultivating classic strongholds such as Bar España, next to Plaza Mayor. Another option was La Lonja neighbourhood -old wines area, now a meeting point of foreigners enjoying their holidays in the city-, where it is still possible to find so deep-rooted places like Bar día, offering an aftertaste of typical pub of Madrid where you can delight in the typical Spanish tapas and some other speciality of Majorca (such as the tombet).
Nowadays, more than 25 bars, restaurants and pubs in the surroundings of the Sindicat street and Plaza de la Quartera are part of an offer that, despite running out of steam, have become established as an essential appointment on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at night in the centre of Palma: Ruta Martiana.
Some of them have moved to other areas of the city, with better or worse success, but with a faithful public. In the same way, the other fashionable neighbourhood of the city, Santa Catalina, has taken advantage of the Thursdays to capitalise the tapeo fever in Palma, offering as an added value its nearness to the Paseo Marítimo, where you will find bars and discos to go on the night.
When it is time to enjoy this facet of Palma in the evening, a hotel in the centre of Palma is the best accommodation option since it allows you to easily move to the traditional area ofhotels in Palma and Cala Estancia beaches, and park without worries and typical complications of the Spanish cities’s old quarters.
If your hotel is in the Illetas or Cala Major area, tapeo alternatives are limited: it is a beach area very focused on summer and pleasant beach bars and pubs offering dinners and drinks, but only opened at the height of the season. The ambiance is very select and there is always entertainment in the summer nights, but tapeo options are scarces (or non-existent). To move from here to the centre of Palma, the best alternative is a rented car or a taxi (for 4 people, 12 euros), since at the night there are not bus transportation.
Another interesting place is Industria. Booking a room in Paseo Majorca, close to this area of the Palma centre, gives you many advantages: it is close to Santa Catalina and Paseo Marítimo and, besides, has its own nightlife area surrounding its famous mills, old buildings made to grind the grain, now turned into bars, restaurants and pubs throughout the well-known street.