When it comes to partying while travelling, it’s not usually a good idea to just wing it. To help you swerve the tourist traps, we’ve put together a guide to the best nightclubs in the world. From the beaches of Brazil to a boat in the heart of Paris, we’ve hunted down the most unique places to party in Europe, Asia and the US.
Since no words can really do these clubs justice, you’ll probably need to go check them out yourself ASAP… #SorryNotSorry
Bassiani, the biggest techno club in Tbilisi, is a maze of poured concrete in the basement of Dinamo Arena, Georgia’s national football stadium. On Saturday mornings, once the sun is up, you can watch smoke drift across the pitch, rising upwards from the party downstairs, where as many as 1,200 people shuffle around an empty swimming pool.
Address: Tsereteli Street 2, Tbilisi, Georgia
Berghain/Panorama Bar, Berlin
Sitting in a dusty lot on the border of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, Berghain is widely considered to be one of the world’s best nightclubs (and hardest to get into!). It has three dance floors: Berghain, a dark main room where most DJs play techno; Panorama Bar, an upstairs space dedicated to house music; and the all new ambient floor, Säule, on the ground floor, which opened this spring.
Address: 70 Am Wriezener Bahnhof, 10243 Berlin
Closer is a versatile multi-use venue housed in an old factory in the district of Podil. It curates parties and art exhibitions as well as live performances and festivals in the space. Closer is also an art centre, where they hold art and music lectures, exhibitions, jazz concerts, and the Stichka festival.
Address: Nyzhneyurkovskaya Str. 31, Kiev
No one group is singularly responsible for Paris’ clubbing renaissance that has occurred over the past couple of years, but a lot of the credit can go to Concrete, a boat docked on the Seine that throws some of the best parties you’ll find anywhere in the world. In March this year the club was granted a 24 hour license.
Address: 69 Port De La Rapée, 75012 Paris
The Shibuya venue, which opened last year, is run by Global Hearts, the company that previously operated the now-closed Tokyo nightspot Air. The basement club has two rooms—a main area and a smaller bar space—and employs a no-photography policy on the dance floor. The club’s director, Yuko Ichikawa intends the club to be a “space where everyone can easily come and enjoy the music without any concerns. A place where you forget that you even have a mobile phone to ‘take pictures’.”
Address: Shintaiso Building B2F, 2-10-12 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0043, Japan
It’s no surprise that one of the best nightclubs in the world is located on the party mecca of Ibiza. DC10 is already etched firmly into the history books of dance music culture on the White Isle. This small farmhouse at the end of an airport runway in Ibiza has become one of the best known clubbing destinations on the planet, principally due to the hedonistic and no-holds-barred after-hours sessions of Monday daytime party Circo Loco.
Address: PM-802, Sant Josep de sa Talaia, Ibiza
De School, Amsterdam
De School (you guessed it, it used to be a technical school) is more than a nightclub: it also has a concert venue, a restaurant, a café, an exhibition space AND a gym. Plus, it has a 24-hour licence and is open seven days a week. The nightclub has a capacity of 700 and is located down in the school’s former bicycle storage area.
Address: Doctor Jan van Breemenstraat 1, 1056 AB Amsterdam
Situated on top of Hooker Hill in the centre of Seoul, Faust is a nightclub, music venue and event space that strives to combine music with the arts, AND it also boasts one of Seoul’s few rooftop spaces. With a Kirsch Audio sound system in an acoustically treated room, partying here will definitely be an experience for high-fidelity listening.
Address: 3F, 126-31, Itaewon-dong, Seoul
Descriptions of Goa Club don’t do it justice. Like all the best venues, it really must be experienced first-hand. The theme of the interior is the Indian mansion of an English Lord. The space inside is exquisite, though you wouldn’t suspect this from the club’s modest exterior. Inside, everything has been designed to the nth degree, with incense and candles, rich satin tapestries, polished furniture and ornate trinkets.
Address: Via Giuseppe Libetta 13, 00154 Rome
Since opening in 2013, Kaiku has steadily kept itself at the centre of Helsinki nightlife. Located in an old factory, Kaiku is an intimate 400-person-capacity space located in the heart of the city’s cultural district. Defined by the owners as ‘second-storey underground sounds for music lovers’, Kaiku boasts a hefty sound system, spacious dance floor and a line-up of local and international DJs every weekend.
Address: Kaikukatu 4, 00530 Helsinki, Finland
Lux Fragil, Lisbon
Lux Fragil is Portugal’s most internationally renowned venue and one of the biggest nightclubs in Lisbon. Since 1998, it has presented weekly events where house, techno and disco are often — but not exclusively — the soundtrack. The venue, which is divided into a club space, bar and terrace, is also known for its stunning waterside location.
Address: Av. Infante Dom Henrique 73B, 1100 Lisbon
Macarena is an intimate house and techno club right in the heart of the Gotico neighbourhood of Barcelona. Macarena is famous for its super limited capacity — just 80 people — and DJ booth right in the middle of the dance floor. The music programme is generally looked after in-house but the club also features guest labels and promoters.
Address: Carrer Nou de Sant Francesc, 5, 08002 Barcelona
Nowadays, New York
The best parties in NYC are definitely Mister Sundays at Nowadays 📷@c.taylr
The infamous Mister Sunday parties which used to be at the Industry City complex in Sunset Park have now moved to Nowadays, a park-like outdoor space in Queens, filled with honey locust trees and a big, padded dancefloor. The popular Mister Sunday events here run from 3pm to 9pm with a full food and drink menu, so you can fuel up for a night of dancing under the stars.
Address: 56-06 Cooper Ave Flushing, NY 11385
Opium has a proud record of fostering the house and techno community in the Lithuanian capital, supporting local talent as well as bringing in high-profile international guests. The club itself is located in the basement of a restaurant named “Briusly”, so go and enjoy some spicy Korean fish soup before heading downstairs for world-class electronic music.
Address: Islandijos gatvė 4, Vilnius 01401
Phonox joined London’s clubbing landscape in September 2015. Its aim is simple: to host world-class DJs in a world-class environment, upheld by professional staff and powered by Funktion-One sound. On Fridays, one guest plays all-night long, while Saturdays are in the hands of the club’s resident DJ. Expect to hear the best in house, techno, disco, drum & bass, electronica, funk and soul in this intimate Brixton club.
Address: 418 Brixton Road Brixton London SW9 7AY, UK
Robert Johnson, Frankfurt
Sitting just across the river from Frankfurt, Robert Johnson is an intimate club run by Ata and Sebastian Kahrs. You’ll love the club’s minimalist flair: its main room consists of a simple dance floor with space for less than a hundred people. There’s also a balcony with amazing views of the Main River wrapping around the building.
Address: Nordring 131, 63067 Offenbach am Main / Frankfurt
Salon Des Amateurs, Düsseldorf
The Salon Des Amateurs is literally at the heart of Düsseldorf’s creative community — it’s located inside Kunsthalle, an exhibition hall for contemporary art with a sculpture by the celebrated German artist Max Ernst near the front door. The venue’s name riffs on Société Des Artistes Français, an association of French painters and sculptors that holds an annual event called the Salon. The organisers say: “The ‘amateur’ part of our name is important, because we’re not professional at all. We’re just in love and totally enthusiastic about our club.”
Address: Grabbeplatz 4, 40213 Düsseldorf
Chicago’s Smartbar is one of the United States’ most important night clubs. The 400-capacity venue opened in 1982, and has since become the beating heart of the city’s dance music scene. Many of Chicago’s most respected DJs have held residencies at the club: Frankie Knuckles, The Black Madonna and Derrick Carter to name just three.
Address: 3730 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613
Sub Club, Glasgow
Glasgow’s Sub Club is arguably Scotland’s most famous electronic music venue. In 2006 the club installed one of the UK’s largest bodysonic dance floors, which allows clubbers to ‘feel’ the music through their feet from speakers on the floor. First opened in April 1987, the club has been home to residents Harri & Domenic’s Subculture party since 1994, and famously hosted JD Twitch and JG Wilkes’ Optimo (Espacio) event every Sunday from 1997 to 2010.
Address: 22 Jamaica St, Glasgow, G1 4QD
Warung Beach Club, Southern Brazil
Based on location alone, this is easily one of the best clubs in the world. Starting from the beach and going right into the Atlantic Forest of southern Brazil, Warung Beach Club is definitely an experience every lover of house music must have. The architecture is inspired by Indonesian open-air temples and the music keeps everyone dancing until sunrise. The main open air dance floor is built into the forest, while a second dance floor in the upper levels of the building has a terrace with views of the coast.
Address: Av. José Medeiros Vieira, Itajaí, 88306-800