Europe is packed with historic cathedrals, first-class art museums, and breathtaking scenery, but some travelers place nightlife and party options at the top of their must-see list. From beachside boozing to nightclub dancing, there are some European cities that offer visitors the chance to party from dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn. Here are the eight best party destinations in Europe, so you can squeeze in some fun between sightseeing.
1. Ibiza, Spain
The Mediterranean island of Ibiza is a sexy hot spot known for poolside DJs and nightclubs hosting world-renowned electronic artists. While the historic center of Ibiza Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, most visitors eschew sightseeing for sunbathing on one of the multiple lovely beaches and drinking at all-inclusive hotels. Don't miss sunset boozing at one of Sant Antoni de Portmany's many bars, and late-night raging at popular clubs like Pacha and Amnesia.
Ibiza Hotel Pick:
2. Berlin, Germany
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany's capital has become a center for cutting-edge art and progressive nightlife. All-night partiers love the fact that there's no law around closing times for bars, and the array of nightlife spots range from techno raves to swing dancing. In line with its cool, trendy scene, many clubs are housed underground and in industrial warehouses that arrive and disappear before they become too well-known. However, one of the city's most popular spots is Berghain, which is known for its techno, gay-friendly atmosphere, and strict door policy that keeps people returning time and time again in hopes of getting inside.
Berlin Hotel Pick:
3. Mykonos, Greece
While peace-seeking honeymooners typically head to Santorini in Greece, young revelers make their way to party-heavy Mykonos. It has stunning caldera views (though they don't compare to Santorini's) and upscale properties, plus lots of beachfront bars that host all-day parties. Tropicana bar on Paradise Beach is a favorite for its wild parties where bathing suit-clad visitors dance to DJ-led music, all while next to the beautiful Mediterranean water.
Mykonos Hotel Pick:
4. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona has it all: striking Gothic architecture, delicious tapas restaurants, renowned museums, and vibrant nightlife across the city. It's an ideal destination for travelers who want to get a heavy dose of culture and history during the day, and have a plethora of club and bar choices to party at night. Craft cocktails in Eixample, nightclub raging in the Gothic Quarter, and flamenco shows by the Poble Espanyol museum are all tried-and-true ways to enjoy Barcelona once the sun sets.
Barcelona Hotel Pick:
5. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Sure, Amsterdam has gained a reputation for its red light district lined with brothels, but there's a lot more the city has to offer in terms of partying. During the day, places like the Brouwerij 't IJ brewery and Wynand Fockink distillery serve booze, while dozens of coffeeshops sell inexpensive marijuana. The evening scene throughout the city is also boisterous, as groups head to see shows at The Waterhole Live Music Bar and Paradiso, or dance at techno and house music clubs.
Amsterdam Hotel Pick:
6. Copenhagen, Denmark
From world-class cuisine and stylish Scandinavian design, to beautiful architecture and greenery-filled parks, Copenhagen hits the mark across multiple categories. This also rings true for its party scene, which consists of underground music venues, posh bars, and intimate jazz clubs. The Meatpacking District is a trendy spot to go out, though the downtown area is packed with notable spots for imbibing and dancing. Danish pubs also offer a more authentic look at local life.
Copenhagen Hotel Pick:
7. Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Situated on the southeastern coast of Cyprus, Ayia Napa is the premier place to party on the island. This resort town manages to pack dozens of bars and clubs into its small area, and the pretty beaches offer scenic spots to recover after a night of drinking and dancing. Most action centers around the main square and strip (Ayias Mavris), where you'll find Senior Frog's and Paddy's Irish Bar. The Castle Club and Soho Club are popular spots with DJs, though travelers can find any type of music or vibe they want in the town.
Ayia Napa Hotel Pick:
8. Albufeira, Portugal
Within Portugal's Algarve region -- known for sandy beaches, striking cliffs, and warm weather -- Albufeira is a nightlife-loving resort town. Although history-lovers may shiver at the souvenir shops and tacky signs that fill the Old Town's cobblestone streets and Moorish buildings, the abundance of cheap bars, nightclubs, and long stretches of golden sand are great for sun and fun.
Albufeira Hotel Pick:
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