Not every Balearic island likes to party hard. Menorca’s nightlife is a laid back antidote to the hedonism that Ibiza does so well. But that’s not to say this gorgeous little island doesn’t know how to entertain its guests. It just does things a little differently. You’ll still find cocktail bars, chiringuitos, beach clubs and live music, but they all serve relaxation alongside every drink. One even has a zen garden. Fly in, kick back and expect to be up until 2am, except here, you’ll likely be chatting with some locals about the latest acoustic gig you just caught in the market square…
Let’s start with a classic. Straight out the gate, La Margarete’s setting the tone for Menorca’s chilled out vibes. Cocktails are served in this gorgeous spot that uses just the right amount of fairy lights to string together both bar and garden. Indoors, there’s plenty of planting and coloured lighting to make the bar feel other-worldly, without tipping over into kitsch. If Ciutadella’s on your list of things to do in Menorca, drop into this bar after exploring the old town. Relaxed and welcoming, there’s more to this spot than cocktails. Well priced beers help keep the budget in check and offer a welcome alternative to yet another mojito.
Menorca nightlife might never get rowdy, but that doesn’t mean the island’s entirely devoid of life once the sunsets. For a night of indie, soft rock or acoustic pop – possibly some jazz, head on over to Es Claustre. Open air live gigs in Mahon’s market square are just the sort of vibe Menorca’s going for. Acts tend to be local – or, at least from nearby Balearic islands, and it’s a chance to hear something entirely different than the latest ear worm to hit the summer charts. Part concert venue, part bar. Es Claustre stays open until around 2am.
If you’re looking for a beach club in Menorca that doesn’t follow the same path as the Ibiza party clubs, Isabella is for you. Zen, starkly white and very chic, this little nook in Platges de Fornells is THE place to mix sunsets, sushi and a thirst-quenching pomada. Whether the local take on a gin and tonic slips down rather nicely, is neither here nor there. The setting, service and subtle soundtrack all combine to deliver on effortlessly cool ambience.
Arena Beach Club
Of the handful of beach clubs in Menorca, Arena Beach Club is the closest you’ll get to a Balearic party vibe. Sip champagne on a Balinese bed by the pool by day and slink into the chic restaurant and bar in the evening. International DJs fly in to provide the soundtrack to your night, with the occasional spot of live music to get the party started. As this is Menorca, things do stay relatively relaxed, but the Full Moon Parties are the nights to pick. Fire shows, Batucada bands and aerial dancers bring a touch of Ibiza’s showmanship to these shores, which definitely isn’t a bad thing.
Cova D’en Xoroi
It’s too simple to say that Cova D’en Xoroi in Alaior is just a nightclub. It’s a must see destination when you’re on the island. Yes, there are club nights in these caves carved into the cliffside. But there are also chilled nights behind the VIP ropes, sunset cocktails on the terraces and live music acts drop in to gently start the evening off. Choose your night wisely – but frankly, whichever night you pick, with this cave/cliff location combo, you’re unlikely to experience anything quite like it anytime soon.
As you may have guessed by now, Menorca’s rather light on bass thumping clubs to revel the night away in. Though, as luck would have it, Ciutadella’s got a little hotspot tucked away by the port. Kopas is frankly your best chance of a fun night’s authentic clubbing that’ll come anywhere close to the levels seen on the other Balearics. Which is either your signal to flock there asap or give it the widest of berths. Either way, know this. Kopas is a whopper of a venue, by Menorcan standards. Three floors, two terraces and the music rarely takes itself too seriously. Fun. Neon. Laser shows. Oh, and there’s a chill out terrace if it all gets a little bit too much. Which, may well be needed if you’ve fallen under Menorca’s laid back spell.
If you love the chic lines of Isabella but want something with a smidge more variety, pull up a chair at Bambu. Though, first you have to choose between the restaurant, terrace or zen garden. All technically spots to order from the food menu, we’re certain most people pitch up for the glorious sunsets over the sea and a cocktail or two. For that, there’s the aptly named sunset bar. This south coast gem is yet another laid back spot you’ll not want to leave. Jasmine flowers pepper the zen garden, with the sweetest scents wafting in – along with the ocean breeze. Book a table in time for the sunset, but don’t be the least bit surprised to find yourself here at 2am, wishing they stayed open just a little longer.
Bambu’s a little low on beach vibes for a beach bar. If you really want that chiringuito vibe, sand between the toes and waves crashing at your feet – head to Es Bruc in Sant Tomas. That location is important, as there are two more Es Bruc’s on the island – one of which definitely isn’t on the beach. No matter, all three are stellar spots but the Sant Tomas one is THE beach bar to quaff your pomadas in. Condensation glistening drinks of every kind compliment the laid back ‘beach barbecue’ style menu of grilled fish and meat. Simple. Stunning and a bit of a Menorcan institution. Es Bruc’s been bartending these shores for over 70 years.
Don’t miss: Menorca’s night markets
Menorca does things a little differently when it comes to nightlife. Nowhere does that show more than in the night markets. In season, you can find one running every night of the week, if you know where to look. On the weekends, head to the port in Ciutadella for a browse of the stalls. On week nights, it’s all about Alaior’s market. Items for sale tend to be a similar crop of souvenirs and tourist-centric offerings. If you’re looking to browse something a little more Menorcan, there’s a flea market on Thursday nights in Cala en Porter.