Where should I party in Europe?
July 16, 2007 10:37 AM   Subscribe

If I want to choose a European city to party in for 2 to 3 nights, where should I go? Looking for places that are sort of like Krakow (cool, sexy, not very fratty, great clubbing).

I live in the US, but will be meeting up with a good friend in London in a few weeks (so early August), with the intention of going somewhere fun in Europe to party / go clubbing for a few nights. We are trying to figure out where to go. A couple of years ago I went to Krakow and absolutely loved it-- the nightlife was exciting, cool, and understated. Not a lot of drunk frat kids, but rather a really fun, vibrant, sexy nightlife. This is the kind of place we are looking for, and while we could just go to Krakow again, I am curious to hear of other European cities (especially up-and-coming destinations) that are have really exciting nightlife. Any suggestions?

We've both visited many of the major tourist attractions in Europe already, so please don't suggest the major tourist cities (i.e. Rome, Barcelona, Paris, Prague)... that's not what we're looking for.

Any suggestions? Particularly any exciting eastern european destinations....

Other information: Cheaper is always nicer, but cost won't be the main deciding factor. We don't want it to be ludicrously expensive, but beyond that we're very flexible. We'll be traveling to and from London, so it would be nice if the destination were served by RyanAir/EasyJet or any of the other UK-based low-cost airlines.
posted by stilly to Travel & Transportation (17 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I went clubbing in Vienna. It was okay...cool/sexy, definitely...a little fratty. It's of course not what you're looking for, but I thought I'd mention it. Salzburg was great fun...it has this street along the Salzach that was awesome. Met the sexiest European I've ever laid eyes on there. Trilingual, too!

But I digress. Austria is in the lead for partying in my book, and I say try out Salzburg.
posted by taumeson at 10:43 AM on July 16, 2007

Not eastern Europe but Zurich has some very cool and sexy nightlife. A lot of lounge bars and not at all a frat feel to it. Plus it's a great summer city with the lake and mountains not too far away. A good size to spend a couple of days.

I've never been but Croatia might fit your bill, See this article from yesterday's Observer.
posted by jontyjago at 10:57 AM on July 16, 2007

C'mon dude. Come to Berlin! It's really the BEST party town in all of europe. You get everything here - Weekend Club, Berghain, Yaam, Watergate, Adagio, Kit Kat Club, Bar 25, Tresor, delicious donuts.

It's a very diverse party scene (as you will see if you look up the names above). And it's cheap and very not-touristy. It's about getting crazy and having fun, not about getting piss drunk (like in England). People are respectful and much nicer than in other places.

And in Berlin, you can have fun alone with your guy friend, you don't need to be in a big crowd. You can hang with smart sexy people or people who just don't care...

Anways. It's good.
posted by markovich at 11:17 AM on July 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

I had a great time with the nightlife in Budapest. They had some great clubs and the city is beautiful to boot.
posted by undercoverhuwaaah at 11:20 AM on July 16, 2007

Best answer: Belgrade and Sarajevo are right off the beaten path for now, but would probably be worth at least a few days of your time; check here, here, here, here, and here. Maybe a few nights in each?

I'm not sure if low-cost airlines fly there, but consider the fact that booking this close to your trip (ie, not back in January or something) in the middle of the summer, you might not have saved that much money on your flights anyway.

Bucharest and Sofia come to mind too, and some digging in the New York Times and Guardian's travel sections will probably turn something up. Istanbul is awesome - my best vacation save Krakow! - and might be marginally more expensive to get to, but would be cheaper on the ground.

Wherever you go, think about going during the week, as this might mean fewer drunken stag/hen weekenders running naked as a jaybird past some 15th-century castle thing.
posted by mdonley at 11:21 AM on July 16, 2007

Are you not thinking of clubbing inside the UK? Because I hear Manchester is awesome and should fit your requirements.
posted by saturnine at 11:44 AM on July 16, 2007

reyjavik, iceland. although i suppose there's always ibiza.
posted by thinkingwoman at 12:10 PM on July 16, 2007

markovich is right. Berlin is the best party scene in Europe right now and arguably the world. I lived there all year last year and went out at least five nights a week but still wasn't sick of it by the end.

My favorite clubs in the city (echoing what markovich already said): Berghain/Panorama Bar, Watergate, Club der Visionaere, Arena, 103, Weekend, Cookies, etc.. De-Bug publishes a list of upcoming events and here are their listings for August. The listings are a little thin right now, but they tend to get updated a lot, and a lot get added the week before or so, so I'd say keep checking back on that if you do decide to go to Berlin. You can check out the listings for this month if you want to see a slice of what Berlin nightlife is like.

And, I have to make special mention of how amazing a few clubs are. Berghain is the one club that I took people to where they were absolutely floored. It's an old power station that's been converted to a club and it's absolutely ridiculous. It's gigantic and has an amazing soundsystem, plus the music goes all night. Generally the party will go until the afternoon on Sunday (about 5pm), but I've been there as late as about 11:30pm on a Sunday.

The other is Club der Visionaere. It's a free, open-air club right on the canal. It generally is open 24-hours, but it's best to go there in the afternoon and here some amazing techno while hanging out with awesome people in beautiful weather. Plus, if you're into techno, you can generally see absolutely amazing music for free. For example if you went today you could see Dan Bell and Audio Werner. Amazing.
posted by atomly at 12:17 PM on July 16, 2007 [3 favorites]

What exactly do people do in clubs that's worth the time I always wonder? Second Manchester though
posted by A189Nut at 12:54 PM on July 16, 2007

I third Berlin. Also, I'd add Florence; admittedly, I haven't been there in a while, but it was chill and had great clubbing and food, plus museum/history bonuses. Best to avoid the more heavy tourist seasons.
posted by criacow at 1:03 PM on July 16, 2007

I've been to Belgrade. I didn't go clubbing, but I had a fantastic time, and definitely up and coming and well off the beaten track. We spent a lot of time al-fresco drinking on the banks of the Danube at 2am with beer served straight from the cask (25p a pint!) and on castle walls, and in random bars in the suburbs that were about to close for the night until we pulled up, and they dragged the house band out of bed to play for us. Amazing.

I've not been to Croatia, but I've also heard good things there.
posted by Helga-woo at 2:27 PM on July 16, 2007

What about Rotterdam? www.vvv.rotterdam.nl/uk/clubbing/index.asp

Dutch low-cost airline Transavia has flights from London Stanstead to Rotterdam.
posted by iviken at 2:32 PM on July 16, 2007

I hear: Sofia, Bulgaria; Rennes, France; Salamanca, Spain.
posted by bijou at 2:51 PM on July 16, 2007

posted by dydecker at 3:11 PM on July 16, 2007


Or Reykjavik maybe.
posted by Skyanth at 1:09 AM on July 17, 2007

I'll jump on the Berlin bandwagon, but if you're thinking Bulgaria, I'd suggest Varna over Sofia - clubs on the waterfront, beaches not too far away, among the cheapest party places in Europe.
posted by laird at 1:55 PM on July 19, 2007

Best answer: An update for anyone reading this thread later on looking for similar advice. My friend and I ended up going to Istanbul and loved it-- highly recommended.
posted by stilly at 9:54 AM on August 25, 2007

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