Getting tired of London, spending every Friday night at the same watering hole? Liven things up a bit and discover other cities offering a vibrant night-life at a much cheaper price than London’s standard. Just a low cost flight ticket away and you’re ready to party!
Budapest: a low cost extravaganza
In Budapest it’s all about the kerts, huge garden bars with sometimes silly but always hip décor that open in spring. For £1.25 you can enjoy a glass of Soproni or Dreher, local brews and for a couple pence more you can get yourself a shot of the local’s poison, palinka, a distilled spirit of which the Hungarians are very proud. Grab a table at the famous Szimpla or in Tuz Rak Tér. In the summer these bars close late in the night, usually between 4-5 in the morning. A word of warning to non-smokers: it is still legal to smoke indoors in Hungary.
Barcelona: a night of frenzy
The local party-goers head to trendy neighbourhoods like Raval and El Borne. These alternative areas of central Barcelona have some of the best bars in the city. A night out here will relive scenes from The Spanish Apartment, trying tapas here and there to get ready to a long night of partying ahead. In Barcelona, the party rarely starts before 10pm and reaches full-swing around 1am. Later hit clubs like Nitsa Club or Discoteca Sixth. Tip: Avoid parties along Las Ramblas, the parties there aren’t that great (unless you want to be around other tourists).
Berlin: an alternative rendez-vous
Berlin never lost its reputation as a city a little off its hinges. Old warehouses and showrooms are often turned into new and trendy clubs, where there’s always enough space to dance and never a steep door price. Those looking for the middle of all the action, head to Mitte. After a browse in an independent contemporary art gallery, start with a coffee in the late afternoon at the Atrium Lobby Lounge & Bar, under the famous AquaDom. For the first drink of the night start at Keyser Soze on the corner of August Strasse, then, if the weather is nice, head to Berlin Beach for drink at the StrandBar. There’s a general spirit of wild abandon you’ll never want to give up!
Amsterdam: a cool cultural encounter
See Amsterdam by bike during the day and when night falls, bar hop by bike as well! In what other city around the world can you do this safely? Duck into a coffee shop out of curiosity, but know that they are increasingly becoming favourite past-times for Amsterdam locals since they are over saturated in tourists. Instead, go for a coffee with the locals at De Waag and then head to Melkweg, one of the largest alternative spaces in the city: dance, watch films, admire pieces of modern art… For something a little more extravagant, head to Supper Club. It’s slogan says it all, “Anything can happen, our keyword: freedom.” 24/7, this club never closes.
Belgrade: expect the unexpected
Bad press has kept the tourists away from Serbia for long enough… but it hasn’t stopped the parties. Even during the hardest times of political unrest, the locals still hit the streets for a night of mayhem. Foreigners now flocking this city are discovering just how cool it is to jive with the locals and stay up all night long in this eastern European capital. Dress to the nines if you want to fit in, this city is all class! Elegant (but cheaply priced by Western European standards) bars and restaurants are found in the Skadarlija district, where the parties thrive in winter. Once summer arrives though, the parties hit the water on club barges that float languorously on the Sava and Danube Rivers.
What’s your favourite city to party in? Any of the ones listed above?