With diverse choices of beverages and versatile drinking cultures, European countries offer some of the best destinations in the world for nightlife enthusiasts. Wondering where to head next for a wild summer vacation? Here are the top 7 cities for great nights out with necessary tips you need to know:
Known for its intensive partying culture and abundant alternative bars with diverse styles, Berlin is the number one city in Germany for going out at night. Electronic discos and popular clubs can open until even 6AM in the morning, welcoming locals, expats and tourists coming here for the nightlife all week round. Some of the big clubs with massive and multiple floors, themes and quirkiness of their own are Berghain Panorama Bar, known as the church of techno, KitKatClub, a fetish club opened by an Austrian pornographic film-maker, and Salon zur Wilden Renate, where you can experience clubbing in a circus. Germany, and especially cities such as Berlin, Cologne and Munich, offers plenty of local beers, of which the quality comes top in the world.
Foreigners would most often relate the night of Amsterdam with drugs and prostitution. But the Red Light District has more to offer than that. There are plenty of pubs and shot bars to get you some fun and cheap schnapps (strong alcoholic shot resembling gin and flavored with fruit) before heading to the discos. It’s fascinating to watch bartenders in Amsterdam making magical shots out of alcohol, fire, whipping cream, and even chilli sauce. Ask for Headbanger and Harry Potter shots in Chupitos Shooter Bar. Smokers can stroll around to look for a coffee shop too.
The Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket provides 2 days unlimited access to 25+ clubs, nightlife experiences and free drinks for just 10 EUR (11.40 USD). Book your ticket now to get in on this incredible deal!
If you ask most Europeans which country they would go to for a vacation with great nightlife, most people would answer Spain. Most Spanish people are fun, relaxed, talkative, and great people to party with in general. Though it can be a quite typical stereotype, there is no doubt that the Catalunyan capital offers both great outdoor and indoor bars and clubs near and on the beach. The Gothic Quarter (Barrio Gotico), Raval and El Born are where to find many fun bars and clubs for students and travelers with a low budget. Several phenomenal bar experiences are the El Bosc De Les (a magical forest with cocktails served indoors) and the 360 Degree terrace bar of the Barcelo Raval hotel where you can get a stunning panoramic view of the city from high above.** **Many clubs in Barcelona have a fancy dress code and expensive entrance fees, so make sure you do not dress too casually with shorts and sneakers before leaving your home or hotel. A must-try in Spain is sangria (typical Spanish alcoholic beverage including red wine, chopped fruit and brandy)!
Also known as a Latin country where people are famous for being relaxed and where you can find some of the best party companies in Europe, Portugal attracts a large amount of visitors thanks to its excellent nightlife. In the capital city of Lisbon, Bairro Alto is one of the most popular areas to hang out, with more than a hundred bars and restaurants open throughout the night. Do not forget to experience a night listening to live Fado music around the famous Alfama district in recommended places such as Parreirinha De Alfama and Clube de Fado.
Rated as one of the best cities for a night out in Europe, Thessaloniki offers such an amazing atmosphere of a Mediterranean city that you can’t find anywhere else. People start by gathering around the bars along the waterfront. The area around the White Tower gets crowded, especially during weekends. You can even grab a drink and party on a boat that departs about every hour from the tower. Some must-try drinks in Greece are Ouzu, Retsina, Raki, also known as Tsipouro, and Tsikoudia.
Known for being relaxed and warm-hearted, Polish people also have great partying and social drinking cultures. The famous prior capital city of Krakow is famous not only for its old architecture, but also for the vibrant nightlife. Stroll around the old town to sing in a karaoke bar, grab a beer, or dance in a club. Most locals are friendly and it’s not difficult to start a conversation with a stranger. One of my favourite things about drinking out in Poland is that there are plenty of beers with fruity flavors offered in bars. Krakow is one of the cheapest cities in Europe to enjoy a great fun night out.
Though Finland remains a lesser-known destination in Europe, you have probably heard of famous heavy metal bands such as HIM and Lordi. I personally recommend going out in the capital of Finland if you would like to know the quirky rock and metal culture. Finns like to drink a lot, especially during winter as a form of escaping depression, and they can become really open and talkative after several glasses of beers. Most clubs in Helsinki have quite expensive entrance fees (7 EUR / 7.85 USD to enter and 3 EUR / 3.40 USD for cloakrooms), but some of them are cheaper or free on Sundays or before 11 PM. Besides, Finns love heavy alcohol. Go for a koskenkorva shot (a type of vodka), a minttu shot (vodka with mint) or a salmiakki shot (shot made of vodka and liquorice), which will make you scream for its quirkiness. Although most people will probably find the taste disgusting, it is also very unusual. My favourite place, where I regularly hang out and that is full of local and international young people, is Aussie Bar and Club.
Though going out in most of these cities is fairly safe at night, I recommend not to go alone and not to get drunk, as you may not want to spoil your trip the next day. Though Krakow, Barcelona and Berlin are fairly cheaper cities compared to other ones, be careful not to spend too much money on a spontaneous night, as alcohol may bankrupt you the next morning.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.