The Best Party Cities In Europe: The Top 10 List

If you want to hit Europe and PARTY – here is a comprehensive top ten list that will show you some of the best places in Europe to party, have some good craic, jig a shindig or shimmy down and boogie. Whatever’s your night life fancy, Europe’s got a city that will be just right for you.

Barcelona

San Miguel And Don Simon Sangria

Pre-drinking? Prepare for this...

This is one of my favourite cities to party in; I’ve yet to meet a person who DOESN’T like Barcelona.

And if you want to party, this is a wild place to start. Apart from the fact they are having a festival every chance they get, there is a massive selection of both pubs and clubs to choose from.

If you prefer the pub nightlife, head to the winding medieval alleyways of the Barra Gotic area, this area is oozing with charm and pubs alike. I remember one pub that was ‘Captain Hook’ themed, and was filled with ship models and pictures of the sea life (which I love). The only drawback was that the staff were a bit rude.

If you want to go clubbing then head down to Port Olimpic – otherwise you also have a number of clubbing options near Plaza Real.

For further reading about Barcelona: My Personal Top 10 List Of The Best Things To Do In Barcelona.

A Pie and Drinks At A London Pub

A Pie and Drinks At A London Pub

London

The great thing about London is you can swing by an English pub for a pie and a beer and then hit some of the greatest (and often expensive) clubs in the world, from The Ministry of Sound to Pacha. If you want to party, London has got you covered.

Soho has some of London’s top gay clubs, as well as some of the most expensive. If you’re after a more “indie” feel – then pop down to Camden Town. The other ‘big name’ clubs are scattered throughout London, with the Ministry of Sound based in South London and Pacha near Victoria station.

Grab yourself a copy of the Time Out London magazine when you arrive for an up to date list of current events. Also, check out my article The Five Top Free and Fun Things to Do In London.

Book available on Amazon

Amsterdam

Who hasn’t heard of Amsterdam? It’s certainly got a lot to offer you in terms of a rocking party. And no, I don’t mean sitting in the corner of a coffee shop getting stoned with your mates.

The great thing about Amsterdam and what I love about it is that it’s so open minded and liberal, and it’s a fantastic place for visitors to go out in (the locals don’t find them ‘annoying’ like so many other places). You’ll get by just fine with English, and it’s such a multicultural place you’ll hear it spoken almost as often as Dutch.

The two big squares to check out for some party action are Leidseplein and Rembrandt Square, both are hosts to numerous and varied pubs and night clubs in a small and concentrated area.

If you’re going to Amsterdam, have a read of The 10 Top Attractions And Some Fun Free Things To Do In Amsterdam.

Ibiza

It’s impossible to have a ‘Top 10 Europe Party List’ without mentioning Ibiza. I haven’t been there myself, but its reputation for partying in Europe is almost unprecedented.

This party island located just off the coastline near Valencia in Spain has earned itself legendary party status; the two main areas are Ibiza Town (the capital of the Island) and Sant Antoni which is to the west of the island. Most of the well known and famous clubs are based in these areas.

Ibiza draws the best DJ’s from around the world – but beware, going out is not going to do your wallet or your travel budget any favors, so it’s best to pre-drink before heading out and if you need to buy anything at the clubs, let it be water (or get charged 30 Euros).

Best Party Cities In Europe - DJ at Ibiza

A DJ at Ibiza - photo credit to flickr user: Roberto Castaño

Berlin

I often hear backpackers on the road claiming that Berlin offers the best nightlife in the world, hands down. But then I hear the same thing about Barcelona as well, so I think people are just biased based on their own epic nights out.

Berlin IS famous for having a wild night life – with hundreds of quirky night clubs it’s a fun place to get down and boogie.

I’ve been to a bar in Berlin called Doctor Pong, where you drink and everyone plays circular Ping Pong, which is a game where you hit once and then the person behind you steps in for the next play. It’s a circle of people all playing at once, and if you miss the shot or hit the net, you’re out of the game.

Of course Doctor Pong is probably pretty low on most people’s idea of an epic party night out, never fear because Berlin has some super club offerings such as Berghain (voted best club in the world in the DJ Magazine for 2011), Cookies (open since 1994 and has a traditional Tuesday & Thursday nights out), and the techno club of Watergate.

Madrid

Are you noticing a trend here? Three of the best places to party in Europe are based in Spain. Well, it’s not a mistake – the Spanish are known for their love of the night life and their ability to party all night long.

Madrid is no exception, with a staggering selection of hot nightlife spots of both pubs and clubs. As with most cities, it offers different strokes for different folks – I’ve enjoyed many Mojitos in the relaxed atmosphere of Madrid.

There are many pubs and quiet cafes to enjoy a drink and some tapas. Otherwise you’ve got some huge clubs like Joy Eslava (trendy clothes alert) where Thursday nights is student night and Kapital that boasts seven levels of dancing floor and lounging area action (there is also an excellent rooftop terrace to grab some fresh air).

Paris

Parisian nightlife is world famous, from the trendy cafes and small pubs to the livelier night clubs – it’s easy to get lost in the magic that is Paris.

There are so many places to go out; it’s difficult to know where to start. For a taste of live music and what is considered by many to be the ‘best’ nightlife spot in Paris, head to the area of Pigalle and Montmartre (this is the area close to Sacre Couer). One of my favourite cafes is located nearby here.

Other great areas to visit include Saint-Germain des Pres and the Latin Quarter (the area where the Notre Dame is located). Both of these areas spring to life at night and you’ll find a variety of pub and club offerings.

A Band Playing On The Street In Paris

A full instrumental band busking on the street in the Pigalle/Montmartre area.

Mykonos

Along with Ibiza, this is one of the premier ‘party islands’ of Europe. It’s a popular holiday destination for all types including families, singles and gays. The night life (that tends to really begin in the late afternoon) is populated with beautiful people in up market clothes (or bikinis).

Pop along down to Paradise Beach in the afternoon to begin your revelry. You may well find yourself later in the Little Venice area or at the famous Scandinavian Bar.

Best Party Cities in Europe - Myokonos

A view of the city of Mykonos. Photo credit to flickr user: Natalia Romay

Stockholm

The capital of Sweden is a brilliant spot to experience a taste of the Scandinavian night life. I’ve got to say, the stereotype that Swedish girls are beautiful generally rings true. With something for everyone, Stockholm will float your party boat.

For the glamour and the luxury head on down to Stureplan (and bring a full wallet). Those looking for the indie crowd will find it at Medborgarplatsen, or for a mix of eclectic and live music try the area of Sodermalm.

Munich

Parties don’t just have to be upper class nightclubs and underground pubs – they can also be beer gardens in the sun and warm Bavarian food in traditional beer halls.

Of course there are also some excellent night clubs in Munich too – but that’s not why I love it! It’s most notorious for Oktoberfest that runs during the end of September and beginning of October.

I love Munich for both the beer and the mouth watering and scrumptious Bavarian food (MEAT! POTOATOES!) which are extremely conducive to a great party in my opinion. Make sure you try both the Augustiner and Paulaner beers – and head out to some of the local beer gardens if the weather is nice and grab yourself a litre stein of the good stuff.

Munich Augustiner Beer Garden

It's Beer-O-Clock at an Augustiner Beer Garden in Munich

Let’s be honest, there are so many cities in Europe and you can find some nightlife action in nearly every one of them. These ‘best of’ roundups are always popular, but there are heaps of little party gems you will come across in your travels.

For example, I’m living in The Netherlands at the moment and they often go “Apres Skiing” which basically means they all go off and party in Austria on the ski slopes. Drinking and skiing? The perfect combination apparently.

Other notable mentions include the Eastern European cities of Prague, Riga, Krakow and Budapest – what you’ll find there though is that many of them have been overrun with British ‘stag-do’s. There is also a big focus on adult entertainment (often created due to the above mentioned tourism) – although as usual it depends WHERE you go. Krakow, for example, is a student city – so there are loads of places to rock a great party.

Just follow the young people, the students and the backpackers and you’ll find yourself a party, no worries!

Do you know an awesome, crazy or cheap place or city in Europe to party? Share your tips here and help out your fellow backpackers and travelers.

21 Responses to “The Best Party Cities In Europe: The Top 10 List”

  1. Margyle says:

    Considering the first night we spent in Barcelona resulted in a bag getting stolen, you would think I wouldn’t have the best things to say about it. On the contrary – I couldn’t agree more with it’s placement.

    • Tom says:

      Hah, it’s true that even people who get robbed in Barcelona still love Barcelona 😀 I met a guy there who had just taken out 500 Euros and then put his wallet on the table at a cafe, someone came up and pretended to be selling books swiped his wallet off the table. He was pretty annoyed – but he still loved Barcelona!

  2. Laurence says:

    I’ll be in Barcelona at the end of next week.. can’t wait 😀

    • Tom says:

      Yippeeee, I know you’re going to Barca! It’s going to be so awesome and I can’t wait to see your insanely superb photos (because they’re always awesome).

  3. Steve says:

    Nice list but i would kick out Munich and put in Hamburg instead 😉 Spain is awesome for partying!

    • Tom says:

      Thanks for the comment Steve. I haven’t been to Hamburg myself, why would you recommend it? Any pubs/clubs/streets that you can recommend to readers in particular that are the best for partying backpackers?

  4. Waegook Tom says:

    Newcastle over London ANY day for the UK. London is ridiculously over-priced, not to mention fairly sketchy, whereas Newcastle is a buzzing student city, affordable, and full of the friendliest people in the UK – the Geordies!

    Gdansk in Poland is another great city to party in, too. Vodka shots for under one pound and a stunning location.

    • Tom says:

      Heya Tom! Awesome tips there, good to throw something a bit different into the mix instead of the usual big city fare 😀 I hear funny things about “northerners” from Londoners haha, I’m sure many of them would disagree 😉 Brighton is another city in the UK that has a vibrant night life due to those partying students. Thanks for adding value to the post!

  5. Alice says:

    Not really sure where else to ask this and you seem very knowledgable — what do you think about the safety of clubs in Europe? Are roofies very common? Obviously “be careful” but clubbing somewhere where you don’t know the language and European men are known for hitting on younger girls! What do you think, how worried should I be?

    • Tom says:

      Hey Alice. Clubs in Europe are just as safe as clubs in USA, Canada, Australia etc. The same rules apply, as in, don’t leave your drink unattended and use common sense (don’t get obliterated to the point where you have no idea what you’re doing and where you are). Go with some new friends at the hostel or that you’re travelling with. I would not be worried at all!

  6. Krisztian Juhasz says:

    Where is Budapest on this list???????

    • Tom says:

      I think every city in Europe has the potential for an awesome party – Budapest didn’t make my personal list but I hear good things from others (I have been there – and have fond memories of hot mulled wine in a cosy pub whilst it was freezing outside).

  7. In my opinion there are much better cities in Europe to party than Paris not in this list (Budapest, Warsaw, Prague…)

    • Tom says:

      I think every large city in Europe has the potential for an amazing party 😉 Budapest/Prague are top contenders, but more and more “stag parties” take their toll.

  8. Randy Berridge says:

    Anyone going to Paris must go to the Bastille section. Great nightlife and clubs, always packed with college students.

  9. Beni says:

    I can’t believe you missed out the greatest party city in the world – BELGRADE (Serbia)!

    There are huge range of clubs in Belgrade, from indie, rock, metal to techno, house and ‘turbofolk’ (Serbian & Turkish folk mixed with techno and house) and everything else in between, and bars and pubs everywhere. The best place in summer is the floating clubs and bars (splavovi) on the Danube. There are even coffee houses and burek shops (think a greasier version of a pasty) everywhere for that hangover the next morning!

    And the best thing about Belgrade – its cheap! In most bars especially out of the flashy area you can expect to pay around £1-£1.50 for a 0.5L beer and food and other drinks are really cheap too for westerners! Has been voted best nightlife capital in Europe many times over!

  10. Haley says:

    Sorry but Stockholm, Sweden is BORING as hell! Totally! OMG!HORRIFIC!

  11. Dr. Barry Rifkin PhD DDS says:

    I pop bottles in London several times a year. It is rather posh for an old, fat fellow like myself

  12. Alan says:

    For me one of the best party destinations in Europe is Warsaw in Poland. It is truly an amazing city, so diverse that it is impossible not to find something for yourself. And the clubs there are really great. The one that is my personal favorite is New Orleans Club. It is a club for men, very elegant and high-end. I love everything about that place – from sexy dancers to delicious drinks

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