Top 3 coffee shops
1. La Madeleine de Proust
I love this entire neighbourhood, Santa Catalina, for its quaint "old Palma" feel and this little café fits in just perfectly.
Carrer Annibal, 17, 07013 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain
2. El Perrito
Also in Santa Catalina, this little restaurant also does good lunch and dinner. I love it for its laidback atmosphere; it's a great place to catch up with friends on a lazy afternoon.
Carrer D'Annibal, 20, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
3. Cappuccino Grand Café
This group of cafes started in Mallorca and has now extended its empire to Ibiza (where it has a beautiful location in the Marina), Madrid, Valencia, Marbella, as well as overseas. They do great little cakes and have a stunning location in the Port d'Andratx right on the waterfront - perfect for a café con leche and slice of cake after a stroll on the boardwalk.
Avda. Mateo Bosch, 31, Andratx, Spain
Where to eat dinner
1. La Bóveda
It wouldn't be a trip to Spain without tapas, and La Boveda has everything you expect: legs of jamon hanging from the ceiling, a hustling bustling atmosphere (even more so around 10pm, when the Spanish settle in for dinner), and some of the best pimientos de padrón and pulpo de Gallega I've ever had. Don't be put off by the brusque manner of the staff: it's all part of this place's charm.
Carrer de la Boteria, 3, 07012 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain
If you're in the mood for something other than Spanish, Koh, in Santa Catalina, has amazing Thai. I often dream about their red duck curry. Be sure to book ahead - it's a relatively small space and can be popular with medium-sized groups.
Carrer de Servet, 15, 07013 Santa Catalina, Illes Balears, Spain
3. Restaurant Ca'n Pep
A real local favourite, expect delicious family-style seafood.
Av. De Miramar, 30, 07639 Sa Rapita, Campos, Illes Balears, Spain
Top 3 brunch spots
I love this place in Portals for its open-air, easy seaside vibe.
Puerto Portals, Local 22, 07818 Calviá, Illes Balears, Spain
2. The Hotel Portixol
Is a nice place to start the day - and if you can book into the lounge poolside after brunch, even better.
Carrer de la Sirena, 27, 07006 Palma, Spain
3. Patron Lunares
Yummy Mexican food! It's also a great place for cocktails... for brunch or otherwise!
Carrer de la Fàbrica, 30, 07013 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain
Where to eat lunch
1. Marc Fosh
Recently rebranded (it used to be called Simply Fosh), I love this spot for lunch and they rotate the Mediterranean menu each week, which makes for a good excuse to come often! I've definitely spent a few afternoons here accompanied by a glass or three of crisp white wine.
Carrer Missió, 7, 07003 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain
2. Nassau Beach
This is the swish beach club and restaurant at the nearest beach to Palma, which is convenient if you're staying in the centre and don't have a rental car (though I highly recommend getting one to explore a bit more of the island).
Passeig Portitxol, s/n, 07004 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain
3. Balneario Illetas
My favourite beach and beach club in Mallorca, the waters at Illetes are sublime: crystal clear, the perfect shade of turquoise and oh so cool. The beach does get packed, but find a spot and you won't want to move all day - except to take a nice, long paella lunch at Balneario.
Passeig Illetes, 52, 070181 Calvià, Illes Balears, Spain
Top 3 best cocktail bars
1. Bar Cuba
This place is a tiny bit touristy, but it's a great place to start the night thanks to its buzzy, lively atmosphere and extensive cocktail menu!
2. Garito Café
See below under live music
3. Patron Lunares
see brunch spots
Carrer de la Fàbrica, 30, 07013 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain
3 best suburbs to stay and why
1. Santa Catalina
This little neighbourhood is within walking distance to Palma and full of quaint boutiques and cute cafés and restaurants. The market in the centre is a great place for fresh fruit and veg, and there are also a few tapas bars inside.
Head to the north of the island for a more remote, rustic experience. Weaving, winding roads - with cars parked sporadically along the already-narrow sides - lead the way to this little village, which is charming and picturesque in all its natural glory.
Illetes is just a 15-minute cab ride from Palma, which is always worth a visit, yet not so far away that you feel stranded (especially if you don't have a rental car). Many of the hotels are also within a short walking distance from the beach, making it an ideal place to stay if you're looking for a beach holiday.
3 hotel suggestions
1. Puro Hotel
Carrer de Montenegro, 12, 07012 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain
2. Hotel Cap Rocat
Ctra. d' enderrocat, s/n, 07609 Cala Blava-Llucmajor, Illes Balears, Spain
3. Belmond La Residencia
Son Canals, s/n, 07179 Deià, Illes Balears, Spain
Where to shop
Head to the Avinguda Jaime III and the nearby Paseo del Borne to find boutiques from international brands. The Loewe store is worth a visit (particularly since Jonathan Anderson has taken over as creative director); there's also everything from Louis Vuitton and Carolina Herrera to Uterqüe (a higher end concept from Zara) and a huge, bi-level women's Zara flagship here.
Rialto Living - I love this store for its incredible edit of homewares, fashion and everything in between. It's basically impossible to leave without buying something! Its exclusive home collections are the perfect mix of playful, unique and sophisticated.
Angel Schlesser - a really great designer known for his chic, minimalist designs with a little something special. I used to have this dress by him that had the most amazing ostrich feather trim!
For homewares head to the flea market in Consell, a town approximately 25 minutes from Palma. It's held every Sunday until around 2pm and is the best and biggest flea market on the island. It's a great place to find knick knacks as well as furniture items - I've scored some amazing pieces here!
Best places for live music
Garito Café near the Paseo Maritimo in Palma often has live music on - usually electronic and house, but occasionally hip hop and nu jazz, too. It's also a popular hangout for Mallorcans, so head here for an authentic, local experience.
Darsena de Can Barbara, s/n, 07015 Palma de Mallorca, Illes Baleares, Spain
Fondació Pílar i Joan Miró is a gallery and museum dedicated to Joan Miró and includes the artist's (very Instagrammable) former studio, which is full of colour and just as he left it.
Definitely check out what's showing at modern art gallery, Es Baluard, which is right in the center of Palma. And if there's nothing that piques your curiosity, at least wander the outdoor space to check out the permanent installation by Santiago Calatrava.
Best places to hangout in winter and summer
In the summer: the beach.
In the winter: I love Santa Catalina. A lot of locals live here so it feels pretty active all through the winter months, when some of the more resort-y areas are slightly more deserted.
Best city views
The cliffs around Deià and Valldemossa, in the north of the island, are definitely the best place for sweeping views of the ocean. The little lanes in Valldemossa are also pretty picturesque. It's more a little village than a 'city', per se, but I love its sweet little lanes, boutiques, and cobblestone paths - it's all very Instagrammable.
Tourist attractions you may not have heard of
Sa Foradada - Just past Valldemossa, there's a little parking lot near a view point, and if you hop the fence, there's a 45-minute hike down towards the ocean. At the bottom, there's a lovely little family-owned restaurant that serves the most amazing paella. After lunch, you can take a short walk up to the viewpoint or take a swim in the cove's crystal clear water. It's the perfect Saturday afternoon. The only downside? Hiking down also means hiking back up - a drag in 35-degree heat. If you stay long enough (just past sunset), you can beg the family that owns the restaurant for a ride back up... but no guarantees!
La Granja is a 17th century property with a great restaurant, farm, and interactive 'museum'. It's a great day out for families, and they also do an annual summer party that is a TON of fun.
Rent a car. Mallorca's a pretty big island - it can take more than an hour to drive from coast to coast, and it'll give you way more freedom to explore! You can also rent a car for part of your trip, and a scooter for the rest - the bus system is decent, but you'll have a lot more flexibility if you set yourself up with wheels to get to and from the beach.
Best places to drop in for an exercise class
Forget a class - go paddleboarding at the beach! If you must get to a gym, Illes has a few locations dotted across the island. Tennis is also big on the island, thanks to a certain Nadal (who was born and raised here) - private lessons are available at Tennis Academy Mallorca.
Best day spa
You can't go wrong with a massage here. Be sure to spend some proper time here, though - the hotel's all-white aesthetic, super chilled-out vibe and poolside dining menu makes it easy to relax here all day.
Carrer de Pagell, 1, 07610 Can Pastilla, Illes Balears, Spain