The 16 most exciting party cities in the world

05.07.2017 | 14:28

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Indifferent to the state of Argentina’s economy, portenos likes to let their hair down. ”One of the city’s more famous clubs in Niceto in Palermo (pictured), which remains packed until well after sunrise,” says Telegraph Travel’s Natalie Paris. “Thursday nights are when Club 29 has a weekly party. It’s a gay-friendly, creative night of djs and live acts, I saw Dr Strangelove characters cavorting about on a stage above the dancefloor.

For a more sophisticated night out head to the stylish district of Recoleta and dip in and out of its wine bars. In his itinerary for a weekend in Buenos Aires, Chris Leadbeater recommended trying the crisp Cucumber Martini at Gran Bar Danzon. He added: “And then there is always tango. Pick up a lesson and see just how hard it is to ape the deliberate, seductive moves of the professionals, or take in a show either during the day in the colourful streets of La Boca, or at night in one of the city’s many clubs.”


Berlin, Germany

“Berliners are generally very tolerant- an attitude that perhaps manifests most in the city’s nightlife scene, where establishments don’t tend to close until late or when the last guest leaves,” explains our expert in the German capital, Paul Sullivan. It’s no secret that Berliners are friendly and welcoming, but it’s the city’s diverse options after dark cement its position as one of the best cities in the world to party – from the kitsch, Soviet-themed CCCP Bar to the renowned super club, Berghain, where parties last for days.


Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Telegraph Travel’s Rio expert Doug Gray explains: “Everybody knows Brazilians like to party, but Rio’s carioca locals really like to party. Every year, nearly two million of them flock to Copacabana for the city’s free New Years Eve bash, thousands descend on Lapa’s samba halls every weekend, and the hall city shuts down and brings out the glitter for the eagerly anticipated week-long knees up that is the biggest Carnival on the planet”

Head to the hillsides above Leblon, to Alto Vidigal, an open-air club, for a different perspective of the city.


New Orleans, Louisiana

A city that fought its way back from the edge of destruction after it was hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was described earlier this year by travel writer Anthony Horowitz as “laid-back, shabby, extraordinary, still disastrous”. The city that straddles the Mississippi is famed for its French Quarter, for its claim as the birthplace of jazz, and its annual fortnight-long celebration of all things flamboyant, Mardi Gras. The best dance clubs to boogie in until the wee hours can be found along Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.


Barcelona, Spain

Residents of Barcelona are a surprisingly alternative lot, and away from the overpriced, touristy, beachfront bars, there is a plenty of unsung partying to be had, says Telegraph Travel’s Victoria Monk.

“Las Ramblas is indeed a spectacle at night, with street performers entertaining well after dark, but wiggle your way off the main drag and you‘ll  stumble into the edgy Gothic Quarter and Born district,” she says. “Here you’ll find myriad lively bars overflowing with Spaniards gorging local tapas. If you’re going to do as locals do, you need to settle in to dance until the sun goes down…and back up again at one of the city’s many late-night clubs that cater for every variety of beat. If you’re into dance music, La Terrazza is a hilltop, open-air club nestled within the walls of a replica ancient village, alternatively Razzmatazz-famed for being five clubs in one – offers a spectrum of music; from indie and rock to techno and pop. Additionally, each Sunday through summer, a small dance festival, Piknic Electronik is held in the Jardins de Joan Brossa.”


St. Petersburg, Russia

Russia’s “window to Europe” is the country’s liberal, cultural hub, and this is reflected in its nightlife. More and more trendy bars and clubs open each year as young, creative Russians finesse their own brand of partying. The city’s White Nights are testimony to this- though the official Festival of the same name is an arts event that welcomes ballet dancers, opera singers and actors to ply their trade beneath the midnight sun, it is the unofficial goings on of late-night drinking and clubbing until a dusk that never comes that showcases St Petersburg’s vibrancy. Though the city is more laidback than say, Moscow, at the bigger clubs you can still expect some glitz and bling as well as strict door policies.


Las Vegas, US

Few cities assault the senses like Las Vegas. Our expert on the ground, Sara Benson, says the Strip is packed full of “risque nightlife and glamorous casino resorts” - and, of course, annual pool parties. She adds: “Where casinos have no clocks, nightlife has no limits, and Sin City stays wide- awake until dawn. Saunter past velvet ropes at an ultra lounge, sip cocktails under the stars at a rooftop bar, or take in a mega-star’s stage show. Roll out of bed just in time for a champagne brunch buffet, then sun yourself at a hot pool club. Las Vegas is made for sybaritic escapes from the humdrum everyday.”


Beirut, Lebanon

“Beirut is a place where ideas are formed, and where art, culture, cuisine and an ardour for life thrive,” says Lizzie Porter. “Bars, restaurants and clubs come and go more frequently than the snow on the mountain peaks that form a backdrop to the city. But finding the new places-only to later realise they have vanished – is what makes for singular, memorable nights on these warm shores of the Mediterranean. Unlike in many other capitals in the region, there is a liberal attitude towards drinking in Beirut, where you will find a wide selection of cocktails and beers. The new tower blocks built after the civil war ended in 1990 have provided no end of rooftop bars- one of the first and biggest is SKYBAR – but it divides opinions thanks to its strict door policies and high prices. Alternatively, try B 018, a nightclub with a retractable roof opening onto the stars, and known for its liberal attitude and dance music.”


New York, US

The original City That Never Sleeps, New York is almost unrivalled for night life. Our expert, Douglas Rogers, says it is the most exciting city in the world, bar none. He says: “There’s no shortage of nightspots to stay awake in, but which one to chose? Current cocktail bar trends are for retro, remade Art Deco spaces, although tiki lounges serving fruity umbrella drinks are also popping up. Of course there are still timeless hotel bars, classic taverns, and sleek nightclubs for all tastes in New York.”


Copenhagen, Denmark

Perhaps an unexpected inclusion for the list, but the Danish capital has heaps of nightlife packed into its compact city centre. “The nightlife, largely conducted in smart wine bars, microbreweries and cocktail bars, is reassuringly refined,” says our expert, Andrew Stone.

The city is also home to the “morning bar”, a term for an establishment that opens after the clubs close and houses Danes until about 1 am, long after the sun has risen. Though nights out here don’t really get going until 1am, it’s still an impressive feat. Considerably less refined, meanwhile, Distortion is a five-day rave that takes place in June in the city streets.


Tel Aviv, Israel

Nicknamed the “Big Orange” for its Big Apple-like-24-hour lifestyle, Tel Aviv offers a diverse nightlife scene, says Telegraph Travel’s Soo Kim.

She adds: “Hangouts range from underground clubs around the trendy Rothschild Boulevard, to the high-end bars of the chic Neve Tzedek district, from the alternative spots in the bohemiam quarter of Florentin to the beachfront bars along the coast. The Imperial Craft Cocktail bar, tucked away in the unassuming Imperial Hotel on Tel Aviv’s promenade, is a good place to start. The intimate spot offers original concoctions and unique twists on classic drinks and is open until the last customer leaves.

“Walk towards Gan Hahashmal, home to a growing community of hip artistic types, spread over the streets Allenby, Yehuda Halevy, Barzilay and Hahashmal, where you’ll find Kuli Alma ( The electric club venue features an open-air courtyard, two bars, and a dance floor, as well as an exhibition and gallery space. Admire the wall art while sipping a glass of Tubi, a deceivingly light and sweet Israeli alcoholic drink that’s a local hipster favourite. For late-night drinking and dancing, head to The Breakfast Club (, a Tel Aviv institution. The dark and smoky multi-level underground club with a DJ spinning electro dance tunes.”


Bangkok, Thailand

A chaotic city, from the squeaky clean skyscrapers and shopping malls to the oppressive cacophony of sights, smells and sounds on its streets, Bangkok is enigmatic.

“It’s hot and heavy, but its nightlife has come a long way from gaudy to cosmopolitan,” says our expert Tom Vater. “It is high, low and in-between, reflecting the states of visitors from every corner of the globe, as well as expatriates and well-to-do locals. Wine bars, intimate music venues, cocktail lounges and trendy nightclubs give the ubiquitous go-go bars a run for their money – and for their customers.”


Belgrade, Serbia

After years of seeing their city making headlines for all the wrong reasons, Belgrade has become the hottest party spot on the Danube, says Telegraph Travel’s Adrian Bridge.

He adds: “A lot of the action actually takes place on boats parked up on the River Sava with 20/44 - one of the first genuinely independent clubs and once a strip joint known simply as “the boat” – still a firm favourite with the fast and funky.”

“Belgrade has been on those top party town lists quite often during the past two or three years and has really become the nightlife centre of the Balkans- for us, but also for many people who come from abroad,” says Marko Savic, a long-term Belgrade resident and seasoned clubber. His favourites include KC Grad (a well-know spot in Savamala, favoured by Belgrade’s alternative crowd), and Barutana (translation: “gunpowder storage”), inside the walls of Belgrade Fortress and a place which in summer attracts famous DJs.


Amsterdam, Netherlands

Nightlife in the Dutch city floods out onto the streets and in amongst the network of pretty canals and waterways. Between the famed coffee shops, red light district and the swankier, more contemporary cocktail bars, is a wealth of friendly pubs and café- style bars. A late-night stumble round the many busy little alleys of the Jordan quarter should always result in the possibility of a nightcap. Our expert, Rodney Bolt, recommends De Tuin, a convival café on Tweede Tuindwarsstraat.


Tokyo, Japan

“As the sun dips and the skyline lights up, there are few better places to head than a bar- and there’s plenty of choice,” says Danielle Demetriou, our resident expert. “From super- glam cocktail bars in skyscrapers and specialist craft- beer bars to tiny local hangouts with beer crates as chairs, Tokyo excels at after- dark entertainment.”

Her top picks include Bar High Five, the standout among the dozens of tiny hidden gems in the Ginza district; Montoak, the perfect place to sip mojitos and people- watch on balmy nights; and Bar Piano, hidden away in Nonbei Yokocho (roughly translated as “drunken alley”), a row of tiny atmospheric bars next to Shibuya station.


London, England

The capital does not have a catchy moniker like New York’s City that Never Sleeps, but there’s no doubt of its muscle when it comes to a night out. From the trendy outposts of Hackney to the familiar glitz of the West End, there is a wealth of cocktail bars, rooftop terraces and historical pubs. Our London expert, Sophie Campbell says: “The range of restaurants, bars, theatres, sports, pop- ups, performance art and large- scale events is astounding. Right here, right now, London is somewhere you have to be.”



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