Our last post on the best party cities in Europe got such overwhelming attention that we figured we had to reply. It looks like you agreed with our picks, but you also let us know that we’d missed a whole bunch. And so, to remedy that little discrepancy, we’ve decided to take your suggestions, check them out and compile a list of nine more of the ultimate party cities in Europe. Here they are in no particular order.
1. Belgrade, Serbia
Back in 1999 while NATO bombs and shells rained down upon the city, Belgraders held open-air gigs and club nights. Now if that isn’t the ultimate in hard-core party mentality, I really don’t know what is.
Most Serbs don’t go out before midnight, but as a traveller you can start the night off in one of the city’s many cafés or watering-holes a little earlierif you want. Backpackers on a budget, your best bet is to try Obilićev Venac Street. This is a crowded and lively street between the city’s two main shopping areas where you can get your pre-game on before hitting the clubs.
Once the clock has struck into the morning hours, it’s time to start migrating toward the clubs. In the summer, you’ll find all you need in the huge and heaving barge clubs on the Danube and Sava rivers. Best of all, most of the clubs are free, meaning you can tour the establishments to find your favourite before setting up camp for the night. The booze is cheap as well, so all in all, you’re in for an affordable night.
The barge clubs aren’t the only summer speciality offered by Serbia. Just an hour north of Belgrade, held in a huge fortress in Novi Sad is the Exit Festival. A mixture of the best of rock and dance spread across four stages is enough to keep any music festival fan happy.
Book your hostel in Belgrade now.
2. Valencia, Spain
Like all Spanish party towns, things don’t kick off until after 11pm. In fact, your best bet is probably to hit the bars around midnight if you want to join the Valencians when they’re in full party mode. Remember, this is a Mediterranean city, so things finish just as late as they start. When people hit the bars, it’s basically for a little pre-gaming. At around 2:30am they start to move toward the clubs with no intention of stopping until about 7am.
The liveliest part of the city is the Barrio del Carmen district, particularly the Calle Cabelleros and all the little side streets that split off it. You’ll find countless bars and clubs in this area, all varying in size, style and music choice, so it shouldn’t be hard to find something that caters to your tastes.
During the summer months there are also a whole bunch of boat parties and pool parties that are worth taking a look at. These usually run throughout the warmer months from March until September.
Book your hostel in Valencia now.
3. Malaga, Spain
OK, this one might be about as obvious as it can be, but it is a tried and tested favourite that somehow missed the last list. Considered the capital of the Costa del Sol, Malaga is a trendy city set on the southern coast with beautiful sandy beaches and a crystal clear sea as a backdrop. So, it’s no wonder that the biggest attraction here is the numerous beach bars that are open both night and day.
Malaga is also known for its music. There’s an impossible selection of music bars and cafes here, and no shortage of night clubs either. You’ll find a great mix of electronic music and DJs, along with live music too; anything to suit your music taste buds.
Book your hostel in Malaga now.
4. London, UK
London has something for everyone. What’s more it’s all fairly easy to locate since each area of London has its own unique character. For the trendiest music, whether that’s the best up-and-coming DJs or indie bands in leg-hugging jeans, East London and Shoreditch is your best bet. If your tastes pull toward something a little heavier, then you’ll find the best rock venues up in Camden. For anything from cheesy pop to hip-hop and R&B, head south to Brixton or Clapham.
London is also famous for its pub culture. Things start a little earlier than they do on the continent. On a Friday night, the pubs start to fill up about the same time people start leaving the offices (5pm-6pm). During the weekend, so long as it’s sunny, the beer gardens will start to fill around midday. Still, that doesn’t mean everything closes too early. Hit one of the fringe areas, like Dalston, and you’ll be able to party until around 6am, no problem.
Book your hostel in London now.
5. Ibiza, Spain
Again, how this one escaped the last lists seems to have baffled our readers. Ibiza is a rite of passage for young Europeans and is a clubbing mecca. It’s a moderately sized city on a little island, but it’s packed with literally countless clubs and bars. It also has a number of awesome, label-owned superclubs, such as Pacha and Amnesia, all playing the most popular music.
It’s not the cheapest party destination going. The island’s long established popularity has pushed up the prices of drinks, club entry and accommodation over the years. However, its reputation still holds strong. It’s the perfect place to go to party with like-minded hedonists from all over the world. Boredom isn’t a danger here as there’s always something to do (or drink), the only problems you’re going to have are exhaustion or a sudden bout of skint.
Book your hostel in Ibiza now.
The Malta club scene is getting better and better with each passing year with more and more top DJ’s travelling to this Mediterranean paradise to play their beautiful open-air nightclubs. It’s an awesome experience, clubbing until the early hours under the stars feeling the sea breeze.
There’s plenty more besides too. Hit the island’s Paceville district in the east near St. Julian’s Bay for all Malta’s best bars. There’s a whole load of smaller clubs too who still pull in the well-known, if more specialist, DJs.
For something truly memorable, try out one of the boat parties. The Lazy Pirate Party Boat takes its deck full of party goers out off the coast where they can indulge in the open bar, dance to tunes span by the on-board DJ and take a moonlit dip in the sea after dark.
Book your hostel in Malta now.
7. Sofia, Bulgaria
Sofia has the two major ingredients needed to create a good party town; lapse licencing laws and a large student population. As such, there’s the demand without any of the restraint.
This city has everything you could ever want. Bars here are usually open until around midnight, so will usually start to fill in the early evening. You’ll find most of these around Vitosha Boulevard or up near the university near where the students live. For those looking for the live music experience, there’s no shortage of venues. Places like the Swinging Hall and Back Stage put on all types of bands, from traditional Bulgarian folk to Hardcore Punk to reggae. Once these close up, that’s when it’s the city’s clubs turn to play.
Although things start a little earlier in Sofia than they do in some other places, they go on just as long. The city’s three main clubs (Yalta, Escape and Chervilo) will all be spinning the tunes and pouring the drinks until at least 5am. If you’re still not done, Chervilo is known for its afterhours parties, going strong until eight or nine in the morning.
During the summer months, there’s an open-air bar in the city park known as the Buzuka. It’s open 24-hours a day, so if you’re still not done by the time they chuck you out of Chervilo, you know where to go.
Book your hostel in Sofia now.
8. Munich, Germany
You must know what’s coming here. Munich is a must-have addition to any party list for one very simple reason; Oktoberfest. This is the world’s biggest beer festival and runs for a whopping 16 days. True to tradition, huge beer tents are erected in the city centre to act as the main drinking halls for the festivities. It attracts more than six million people each year and feeds them all an obscene amount beer.
Oktoberfest beer is some of the strongest in the world, between 5.8% and 6.3%, and are usually served in the huge 2litre steins. Some people massively over estimate their ability to handle their booze, resulting in the odd unconscious reveller receiving the local name of “Bierleichen” or “beer corpse”.
To try a preserve the traditional feel of the festival, the music is kept low and traditional during the day. After 6 is when the party music starts and things start to liven up. Of course, beer isn’t all that’s happening here. There’s also plenty of traditional German food on the go, along with a funfairs, rides and fair games. The city also has a decent amount of clubs dotted around the place too.
Book your hostel in Munich now.
9. Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn has far more than its fair share of bars, not surprising really, considering its reputation as one of the stag and hen do centres of Europe. However, there is one that every traveller must visit. The Valli bar is known by everyone in the city and a fair few travellers too. It’s so legendary that its interior has been declared a national treasure and there was even a documentary made about its regulars.
Still, the thing that makes it most famous, or more accurately, infamous, is the specialist shot it serves. It’s a mixture of its own design and it is guaranteed to cause you to gag. Millimallikas (aka. Jellyfish) is a vicious blend of Sambuca, tequila and tabasco, and yes they taste as bad as they sound. They are the scourge of every easily lead drinker lucky enough to touch down on Estonian soil.
Of course, this isn’t all that Tallinn has to offer. It also has a well-established club scene that usually starts to kick-off around midnight and run until around 4am or 5am. For all this city has on offer, head toward the “Bermuda triangle of Tallinn” between Suur-Karja street and Vaike-Karja street.
Book your hostel in Tallinn now.
So there we have it, another nine party cities across Europe that every hedonistic international traveller must check out if they are looking for a good time.
Know of any more awesome European party cities? Let us know in the comments…
Thank you to David, Bergin, Emmett and Elliot, Trent Strohm, brainflakes, stefan m, benjamin vander and ville hyvonen for the images. Please note, all images were hed under the Creative Commons licence at the time of publication.