Whether you’re looking to cut loose for a weekend or planning a 2-week bender, these ten European cities have you covered.
10 -Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, one of students’ favorite places to visit in Europe, maintains a bold nightlife. On the weekends, bars stay open until 3 a.m., and dance clubs won’t shut down until 4 a.m. The night cafés stay open even later. Rock out to techno, house and EDM music at the massive Warehouse Elementenstraat or party hard at Sugarfactory, an intimate, multipurpose venue with thick red curtains and hazy lights. Sort of like Las Vegas, Amsterdam is the final destination of many Europe tour packages. Visit the Red Light District if you’d like, but don’t get stuck there, and if you want to hit up a coffeeshop, be selective. Try Grey Area, which has won several Cannabis Cup Awards over its 15 years of operation.
9 – Rome, Italy
Tucked in a historic cityscape, Rome’s buzzing nightlife has a certain novelty to it. In the quintessentially Italian neighborhood of Testaccio you’ll find a single ancient ruin, dozens of excellent restaurants and the graves of Protestant poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Stay until midnight and you’ll find the highest density of nightclubs in Rome. Akab is a staple here, with its gigantic dance floor and impressive lineup of guest DJs, while the artsier Conte Staccio features live music in a more casual, yet chic setting. The fun, sociable atmosphere of On the Rox attracts a large crowd of students (as do their impressive student discounts). Let friendly bar tenders introduce you to new drinks at their famous, 35 ft long bar. Wander out of this neighborhood, and your options are endless.
8- Stockholm, Sweden
Home to world-famous house DJs like Avicii and Steve Angello, it makes sense that Sweden’s capital holds some of the best party places in Europe. Stockholm’s vibrant nightlife might wrap up a bit earlier than Reykjavik or Barcelona (3 a.m. closing for many clubs), but the crowd parties hard right to the end. Try your luck at the swanky Hell’s Kitchen, Stockholm’s trendiest and most exclusive nightclub. When you’re not getting shwasted at world-class clubs, fill your itinerary with more budget-friendly activities.
7- Mykonos, Greece
You may have never heard about this sunny little island with a powerful nightlife, but despite being one of the less famous places in Europe, Mykonos is a round-the-clock good time, with chic, mediterranean venues that welcome everyone. Spend your days partying at various beach clubs and then explore Mykonos’ 32 bars and 19 clubs all night. Pierros, located on busy Matoyanni Street, is one of the world’s most famous gay bars.
6- London, England
London nightlife has both substance and variety (that’s why it ranked #3 on the best New Year’s Destinations). You can find anything you want here, from risqué burlesque shows to high-end superclubs, like the glitzy Ibiza-style Pacha and Studio 338. For a more authentic experience, try Corsica Studios. This stripped down two-room venue delivers cutting edge music with a raw, rebellious attitude straight out of 1970s London. If you appreciate a little kitsch, visit Maggie’s, an 80’s style club with Iron Lady references incorporated into the décor (her iconic speeches play on loop in the bathrooms).
5- Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik is a capital city with a small town vibe, so you won’t be dealing with the bouncers and high cover charges of mainland Europe’s Superclubs. Nightlife here is all about the bar crawl. Join locals as they stumble from one venue to the next, grabbing a drink and sampling the live music. Parties start late and run late, and it’s not rare to find people dancing on tables into the morning. Vegamot, a hip bar in city center, features world-renowned DJs and stays open until 5 a.m.
4- Prague, Czech Republic
For “the City of a Hundred Spires,” Prague offers a surprisingly well-rounded (and affordable) nightlife. The club scene may not quite match that of Ibiza or Berlin, but believe you me, Prague is #Lit. The Karlovy Lazne Club holds five stories, each with a different theme and purpose, making it the biggest club in the region. At most venues, the cover won’t exceed $5 (free for girls). Prague really beats other party destinations in Europe with their beer gardens and cellar bars, which hide dance rooms underground. The cool, cave-like bar U Sudu offers half-liter beers for less than $2. This is the perfect city for college students and backpackers who want to party hard without breaking the bank. Go forth and get wrecked
3- Berlin, Germany
With the most intense clubbing scene in Europe (if not the world), Berlin is a must-see city for any international party animal. Electronic music blasts nonstop on the cavernous concrete dance floor of Berlin’s most famous power-plant-turned-club, Berghain. It only gets weirder from there. Behind the gritty, crumbling face of About Blank, you’ll find two main dance floors and a large garden with a graffitied Caravan and secret bungalow playing its own music. For a more affordable night, visit the cheap and rowdy Rosi’s Club, or join the one of the recurring parties at Stattbad Wedding, a long-closed swimming pool just north of city center. Stranger yet, try visiting Salon zur Wilden Renate, a mind-blowing labyrinth of avant-garde junkyard rooms that let you dance and chat to your heart’s content. Technohead or not, you’re sure to enjoy the city’s thrilling nightlife.
2- Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona boasts an eclectic party scene, so you can try something different every night! In the Gothic Quarter, visit the Harlem Jazz Club for live performances or squeeze into Macarena for a bone-thumping night of techno. If you crave a little R&B or Hip Hop, head to Otto Zutz, a more sophisticated club spanning three floors of an old textile factory. For international DJs and stylish crowds, go to the seaside Catwalk Club. For a quirkier venue that attracts locals and tourists alike, try BLVD, located right in the middle of the Raglas. Parties pick up serious momentum around 1 a.m., so get ready for late nights as you explore this coastal gem.
1- Ibiza, Spain
This iconic Spanish island is the clubbing capital of the world, attracting stars like Justin Bieber, Kate Moss, Leonardo DiCaprio, Paris Hilton, and Madonna… the list goes on and on. Come to Ibiza if you want to sleep in Europe’s best hotels, watch the sunset from a restaurant terrace and then party like a rock star. Legendary clubs like “Space” and “Pacha” throw nightly raves that drag well into the morning. More experimental events include the Zoo Project, an eccentric festival staged inside an abandoned zoo in the hills of Benimussa. The Zoo project blurs the line between performer and partyer, with Seal Pit Circus Takeovers and a holistic Mandala Garden where wandering guests can participate in drum circles and tarot readings.