If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may have noticed I am somewhat of a party animal. I love any vacation where there’s fun nightlife, good music, and awesome bars and clubs. I’ve made it a bit of a mission to tick off as many party cities as I can before I’m 30, and so far I think I’m doing pretty well. Don’t get me wrong, there are still many to tick off. So, here’s my researched and rehearsed list of the best party cities in the world. Let me know if you have any additions!
Ibiza has long been one of the go-to world capitals of partying. No DJ has really made it until they’ve had a summer residency in Ibiza. Home to the largest club in the world, Privilege, people know how to party in Ibiza. Expect a night that begins around 2am, and one that ends when the sun is up. Part of the beauty is getting back to your hotel before rushing out to the beach for sunrise. Don’t miss the iconic open air nightclub, Ushuaia, which hosts world-class DJs most evenings. Afterwards, hop across the street to Space or the Spanish hacienda of Pacha.
Las Vegas, Nevada
You can tell a place is going to be one of the best party cities in the world when it’s catchphrase is ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’. Sin City offers booze, buffets, clubbing, casinos, and strippers. Las Vegas is incredible for nightlife thanks to its famous strip of hotels, each with its own nightclub(s). Hop along hotel bars and casinos, and land in one of the clubs like Hakkasan or Omnia to catch a DJ like Calvin Harris or Tiesto. Don’t forget the awesome pool parties too. You’ll certainly need somewhere to cool off from the desert heat and where better than partying at the pool. See how well you can replicate your own version of The Hangover.
Traditionally, Cancún is known as the Spring Break destination for college students and frat parties, and it’s safe to say some of that isn’t going anywhere. Cancún’s party scene has somewhat matured in recent years, with clubs and bars appealing to a slightly more sophisticated audience. Check out Melody Maker, for instance, a resort which has recently attracted world-class acts and DJs to perform to crowds of thousands. Of course, Cancún wouldn’t be Cancún without the craziness of clubs like Bongo Bongo and their acrobatic dancers. Head to the Zona Hotelera for late nights and booze deals in the Mexican heat.
Most people know Amsterdam for its cycling, canals, cannabis, and well, sex thanks to its red light district. Its reputation for incredible nightlife should also go without saying, thanks to the plethora of top DJs that the country has produced, from Martin Garrix to Tiesto and Hardwell. There’s a varied mix of nightclubs where you can enjoy Amsterdam’s famous underground music. Check out Shelter, which is a huge club in the basement of the A’DAM Tower, or De School, a former school turned 24 hour venue. Other alternative Amsterdam venues include Vondelbunker, a 1940s bunker from World War II. Let’s not forget Amsterdam’s many festivals, including the biggest dance music festival in the world, the Amsterdam Dance Event. Head to the city on April 27th when almost a million Dutch party in clubs and festivals for the national holiday of King’s Day.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
We can’t talk about the best party cities in the world without discussing Rio de Janeiro. The world’s most famous Carnival has been celebrated every year since 1723, and today it attracts over a million people. Thanks to the iconic music and samba sounds, it’s not difficult to find a fun club or bar for drinking, live music, and dancing. Head to the Copacabana strip for some of the best party venues in South America. You’ll be going until well into the next day. There are also plenty of LGBTQ friendly venues, with gay clubs and bars scattered across the city. While all party tourists need to exercise caution in the city and stay safe, it’s still a super fun city to visit.
Berlin is one of the world’s coolest party cities – not everyone knows it, but the nightlife is bumping. Since the post-Cold War liberation, there are tons of clubs, and handfuls of DJs and artists playing every night. Berlin nightlife is also relatively cheap, and it’s cultural and fun. Some clubs can be difficult to get into, including Berghain, the capital of techno. You’ll find all kinds of party in Berlin, from jazz to house, to sex, to hip-hop. Head to b-flat for a jazz club with performances from global artists, Roter Salon for dancing, and Angels Tabledance for adult entertainment. Be prepared for an all-nighter in this city, and plenty of debauchery.
Tel Aviv, Israel
For decent heat all year round and one of the best party cities in the world, head to beautiful Tel Aviv in Israel. With a nightlife to rival its European neighbours, there’s something for everyone in this Mediterranean city. With the party starting well after midnight, you know you’re in for a fun night. From rooftop cocktail bars like Speakeasy to bustling clubs like Kuli Alma with its outdoor dance floor, there are plenty of great cities in this coastal city. Over 250,000 people flock to the city each year for the city’s largest Pride parade in Asia, showing just how fun and liberal Tel Aviv is. Don’t forget to finish your night off with some of the best falafel you’ll ever sample, it’s the only way.
You know you’re in for a treat in Barcelona when the locals are only just having dinner at midnight. Thanks to the Spanish siesta, days are short and the nights are long, the perfect recipe for any great party city. Expect the clubs to open around 2am, but the drinking and tapas to begin in the afternoon. There’s a ton of variety, with classy cocktail bars like Dry Martini or the W‘s iconic bar with a view across the city. For plenty of fun dancing and great electronic music, head to Port Olimpic by the beach. Here, you’ll find Ibiza-esque clubs including Pacha and Opium, where you’re guaranteed a great night. Sleep off your hangover the next day with an afternoon nap on La Barceloneta.
There’s a good reason there are so many dance songs making reference to being in, partying in, or moving to Miami, Florida. One of the primary reasons is simply because it’s undoubtedly one of the best party cities in the world. It’s the USA’s capital of electronic dance music, and the home of the legendary Ultra Music Festival. Whether you’re visiting or a local, everyone loves to party in this glamorous and tropical city. Expect to see plenty of Cuban influence and beautiful people, as well as an expectation of bottle service in the major clubs like Story, Club Space, and LIV. For neighbourhoods that are a little more low-key and arguably less pretentious, try the artsy suburb of Wynwood with its murals and outdoor bars. Brickell also has a fun yuppie vibe and is a great place to stay with cool bars and restaurants.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town may not be one of the first cities that jumps out at you when you think of party cities. But let me show you how it’s such a great fit. What Cape Town does best is day drinking. And who doesn’t love a little day drinking? Instead of pulling a rager at night and waking up with a mouth as dry as the Sahara, you can get a buzz on and sleep it off. Visit Cape Town in the summer months for the best party atmosphere, between October and February. Start your day at a super fun beach club like Shimmy, or Mzoli where you can eat barbecue and mix with a diverse crowd. From here, check out the hotspot of V&A Waterfront for cocktails at Cape Grace Hotel. When you’re ready for the club, be sure to catch the epic party at Camps Bay’s Caprice nightclub.
Bangkok is just as wild as you imagine, but definitely one of the best party cities in the world. It’s a sensory overload with tons of people, noise, drinking, and fun. We all need to exercise a little caution in Bangkok, but play your cards right and you’ll have a blast. Head to Royal City Avenue in Huai Khwang for neon, tacky outfits, but the most fun clubs. In the Thai capital, you’ll for sure pass red light districts and buckets of booze on Khao San Road. At such cheap prices, you’ll for sure have a story or two when you get back home. You can always keep it classy at one of the city’s many rooftop bars with a view. After a night of clubbing, get a tuk tukj to Wong’s which is open after hours, and make sure to grab some street food on your way back.
That’s my list – where’s on your list of the best party cities in the world? Let me know your recommendations in the comments section below!