When you’ve got wanderlust and want to let off some steam, a weekend of partying overseas is pretty appealing. But where should you go for great vibes, good drinks and a night out you’d struggle to match at home?
Nightlife in Europe has a lot to offer, whether you want quirky venues, techno beats, or drinks with a view. You’ll find some of the best nightlife in Europe in these five cities – we’ll drink to that!
While you might be miles from Budapest right now, in the lyrics of George Ezra, just over a two-hour flight can change all that. Touch down into this historic city and you’ll have more pubs, bars and clubs on offer than you have time to visit. But if there’s one you can’t leave Budapest without partying in, it’s the ruin bars.
You’ll find these venues popping up throughout the city in old, previously disused buildings. Sometimes intimate and cosy, sometimes more expansive, no two ruin bars will be the same. So if you fancy (over) indulging in nightlife in Europe with character and quirky venues, book your ticket to Budapest now.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
If you’ve ever had to give a speech in front of a large audience, you’ve probably succumbed to a little Dutch courage at least once. Surely it would be rude not to visit the country from which this adage gets it’s name? When it comes to choosing your city, Amsterdam is the clear favourite on the European nightlife scene.
Spend your time exploring the infamous red light district, tasting beers at Heineken, or perhaps take a more sophisticated approach with a wine and cheese night-time cruise (the indulgent way to line your stomach before hitting the bars!). And then there’s the annual Amsterdam Dance Event – five nights of non-stop electronic soundtracks – where there’s every excuse to party. Hard.
While Munich may be better known for them, beer halls also join the line-up of bars and clubs in Berlin. If you’ve gained a taste for beer, drunk the German way, from the many imitations popping up in the UK, then go out and experience it for yourself.
Try Prater Garten for an authentic experience where you can eat too, with the chance to taste two of their very own brews. The city throbs to techno music into the early hours, so it’s the perfect pub-club party mix for the best nightlife in Europe. Planning this trip? Check out what to eat in Berlin and everything you need to know about transport in the city.
No roundup of hotspots for nightlife in Europe would be complete without Ibiza. It’s the destination to bask in the sun by day and dance all night. DJs from the world over come to Ibiza to play every summer, as well as iconic festivals happening here. Popular parties with headliner DJs and acts get busy fast, though, so book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. There’s also cheap accommodation on offer if you don’t plan to spend too much time asleep…
Istanbul is always a hit for stag dos, with prime partying opportunities top of their requirements. But why let the stags have all the fun? Istanbul is a must-visit to experience some of the best nightlife in Europe, whatever the occasion. With the river Bosphorous as a glittering backdrop, party in clubs and bars that look out onto the water for an experience hard to match elsewhere. Be warned, the more luxurious clubs will fill up fast, demand a flashier dress code and cost you more on the drinks bill.
For a relaxed atmosphere with the same unbeatable views, try the bars instead. There’ll often be live music on in the evening, but visit in the afternoon too for laid-back drinks in the warmth of the sun. And if you’ve only got time to visit one, make it the rooftop bar, 360 Istanbul. As the name suggests, there’s no better place to say ‘cheers’ than here, with the entire city for your view.