5 European Towns You Simply Must Party In
Another round, please. Europe’s best party towns run the gamut, from historic seaside villages to bustling metropolises. While some party zones cater mostly to modern hipsters and techno zombies, others offer entertainment venues for jazz lovers, blues hounds and hardcore rockers.
A party vacation isn’t complete if you stay in a run of the mill hotel or resort, so Europe delivers with party hostels that keep the celebration alive night and day. So, what are you waiting for – grab your feather boa and get your groove on, because it’s party time.
Ibiza, an island located in the Mediterranean Sea, consistently ranks among Europe’s top party towns, and for good reason. In fact, the party in Ibiza keeps going around the clock.
The action begins every night around 11:00 p.m., when partiers meet at small bars for a few opening drinks. By 2:00 a.m., it’s time to head to the clubs for dancing until dawn. When regular nightclubs close, after-hours bars kick in to keep the party going throughout the morning.
Top clubs include Amnesia, an aptly named venue, and Eden, both located on the waterfront. To start the party as soon as you arrive on the island, drop by DC10 near the airport. Or, if you arrive by boat, head to Pacha at the marina.
Most clubs present a full lineup of entertainment seven nights per week. Attire varies, depending on the night’s theme, but outfits are never boring. Some partiers come dressed in the latest European fashions, others sport outrageous costumes and some show up wearing next to nothing.
Ibiza lodgings offer all types of accommodation and most cater to the party crowd. Jet Apartments features fully furnished apartments, along with three swimming pools, restaurants and the notorious Bora Bora bar.
Rooms aren’t cheap in Ibiza, but you can find reasonably priced accommodation at Boutique Hostel, located near the sand dunes. If your budget allows, book a room at Migjorn Ibiza Suites and Spa, situated steps away from the beach at Playa d’en Bossa.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Although Amsterdam is famous for its social liberalism, its residents live relatively reserved lifestyles. While tourists lurk in dark corners of coffee shops, locals join friends at nearby pubs for cold beer and good conversation.
Nonetheless, Amsterdam’s clubs know how to throw a party, attracting merrymakers from all over Europe and North America for full throttle excitement.
Housed in an old printing plant, Trouw is one of Amsterdam’s most popular nightclubs. The décor is total industrial, with old machinery and shredded newspaper scattered about, creating a perfect environment for the club’s pounding electronic beats.
If techno isn’t your style, head over to Bitterzoet, which plays a mixed of jazz, funk and soul musical styles. For a little disco and 1960s surfer music, drop by Pacific Parc, where you’ll find a more mature crowd and a distinctly American décor.
The famous Flying Pig hostel sits steps from the main train station and features a bar and smoking lounge. Amsterdam’s notorious red light district lies within walking distance, where you’ll find a nice collection of coffee shops and bars, as well as the city’s famous brothels.
The Bulldog Hotel has accommodated tourists for more than 40 years. The hotel is situated a few blocks from the main train station, but all over town you’ll see bars and coffee shops operated by The Bulldog Company.
Although you might expect Lagos, with its historic center and rocky coastline, to be a sleepy tourist town, it’s actually one of Europe’s hottest party spots. Tranquil natural beauty defines the surrounding area, but the town’s party scene is anything but tame.
In Lagos, you can find about anything you want; surf, sand and sun, along with toga parties and booze cruises. During the day, you can delight in a variety of water sports – that is, if you can drag yourself away from the beach parties – but when the sun sets, it’s time for the most popular Lagos sport, dancing.
To get the night kicked off right, many party animals head to the Red Eye Bar, which offers a free shot with your first drink order. Fashioned as a sports bar, with dart boards, a pool table and TVs playing live events, the Red Eye Bar can keep you occupied until closing time, or at least until it’s time to head to the next party.
Over at Three Monkeys, tech crazed hipsters surf the internet on tablet computers, as diehard partiers mingle and dance. At Whyte’s Bar, you can order cocktails by the pint, join in the “9 deadly sins” shot contest, or stumble down to the basement and hit the dance floor.
You’ll find a celebration almost anywhere you stay, but the Rising Cock Hostel is considered the leader of the Lagos party hostel pack. Located just a short walk from the beach, the hostel hosts all-you-can-drink booze cruises, and serves a crepe breakfast every morning to help you recover.
House music rules in most Berlin nightclubs, where drinks are cheap and international travelers gather for no-holds-barred partying. Berlin attracts the most famous DJs, along with some of the hottest electronic bands on the planet, making it a virtual “ground zero” of the cutting edge music scene.
Berlin’s clubs open early, close late and offer a more laid-back atmosphere than nightspots in other parts of Europe. And most clubs don’t have dress codes or Goliath-style bouncers watching your every move. The result is an ever-changing party scene, where the outrageous is the norm.
For a party that lasts all weekend, head to the Golden Gate club. Located in a building beneath a railroad track, Golden Gate attracts a local crowd of techno fans and always has an unpretentious atmosphere.
Berghain/Panorama Bar, two clubs located under the same roof, is one of Germany’s hottest nightspots. Housed in an old power station, the club has an industrial feel and attracts a welcoming and unconventional crowd.
While Farbfernseher has a reputation of being grimy, smoke filled and dark, it’s a hot spot for local partiers. The club has a small dance floor and an even smaller seating area, but the lack of tables doesn’t matter, because Farbfernseher is a place for hardcore partying, not lounging.
Wombat’s City Hostel is by far the most well-known party hostel in Berlin. Located near Alexanderplatz, Berlin’s main plaza, Wombat’s has double rooms and dormitories, and a spectacular rooftop terrace. Before heading out to the clubs, stop by the onsite womBar, where you’ll find daily specials and a lively mix of international travelers.
You can get the most for your party dollar in Budapest, home to some of Europe’s most unique clubs and bars. Many of Budapest’s most popular nightspots started out as party spaces for squatters, earning them the nickname “ruin pubs.”Needless to say, the décor in ruin pubs is mixed, from contemporary chic to urban grunge.
In recent years, Budapest’s clubs have begun to attract the world’s most famous DJs. However, they’ve managed to keep their drinks cheap and dance floors packed.
The music scene covers all styles, from techno to blues. Clubs are scattered throughout the city, with no distinct districts for different musical genres, and most keep their doors open until 4:00 a.m.
In its early days, Szimpla Kert occupied an empty courtyard, with garage sale furnishings and paper lanterns for lighting. Today, the club has a roof over its head and hosts fashion shows, concerts and art exhibits for a diverse mix of Budapest’s party faithful.
Morrison’s 2, which occupies three floors, is one of the city’s hottest clubs and features multiple dance floors, a courtyard and six bars. Each level has its own style, giving you a choice of pop, funk, house and rhythm and blues music scenes.
As other clubs start to wind down, Piaf heats up. The after-hours club keeps the party going until well after sunrise, and has a dance floor, piano bar and loads of interesting patrons.
Grandio Party Hostel, founded by a collection of street artists, offers warm beds, a game room and a friendly bar. The party often spills out onto the hostel’s huge courtyard, where you can meet fellow partiers from around the world or relax with a drink in a comfy hammock. Although the party at Grandio is more than enough to keep you busy, its staff organizes all types of outings, including boat cruises and pub crawls.