If you want to keep the party going, why not take a city break honeymoon in one of the party capitals of the world? Many of the cities below are not just great party cities but also have history, culture and lots of old buildings to look at too. But you’ll have plenty of time for that when you’re middle aged and taking pictures of old bricks is your latest hobby. Now though, keep the party going.
Lima is the capital of Peru and a bustling city that is one of the largest in South America; and one of the liveliest. It’s a city of contrasts with gritty shanty towns made of tin and scraps of wood, side by side with ultra modern high rise glass fronted office buildings and hotels overlooking the beach and sea.
You’ll be able to party the night away in the Miraflores and Barranco area renowned for the party scene, then relax by day on one of the many beautiful beaches. You’ll need that time to relax too as most of the clubs and bars operate way into the night. Spend the night-time knocking back the Pisco sour which is the national drink made with grape brandy, but be warned, like an ageing heavyweight boxer, it might go down easily but packs a big punch.
I guess in a city that has long winter nights, the nightlife would be something special. It’s certainly gaining a reputation as one of the hottest places in the world to party, no pun intended. A recent article in the Washington Post dubbed Reykjavik “the King of Clubs” and that might be something to do with the quantity and quality of the local beer and schnapps. There’s a multitude of bars, clubs and live venues and they stay open long into the dark winter nights and you can party all the way through the endless summer days. The next day you can recover in one of the many natural thermal pools and spas and chill out in the city’s remarkable café culture.
The only thing hotter than Iceland’s thermal pools is its hopping party scene.
Everybody loves a Friday night out, the after work meet up with friends that could last a couple of hours or until the wee hours. In Belgrade they like it so much that every night seems to be Friday Night. With the number of clubs out there they take their partying very seriously. So much so that even when the NATO airstrikes were happening in the 1990s the locals just kept on partying in outdoor concerts in the city streets. While the conflict is long over, the clubbing scene certainly isn’t. Belgrade clubs are better organised than many more developed clubbing scenes with clubs dedicated to all genres. Many clubs pump out the latest hits but you’ll also find ones that specialise in R&B, alternative, jazz and even Pop but most are techno house.
If you like to take your partying a little further you can even party on one of the club boats floating on the Danube.
As one rather delicate partygoer said the morning after: “We had the best night we’ll never remember”.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city that, while in the heart of South America, has a distinctly European feel, but just below the surface is the Latin American passion which inspires the steamy Tango Argentina is created and gifted to the world. It has a vibrant nightlife throughout the night with clubs not opening until 2am and the coolest people only arriving at 4am. If you’re looking for something a little high brow you could head to the classy wine bars of the Recoleta district and sample some of the big flavoured reds and fruity white wines, washed down with a big red steak. If your preference is for something a little more edgy, seek out the secret bars that are scattered over Buenos Aires but the main concentration is in the Palermo district. If you’re not a member, you’ll have to get the secret passwords that will unlock a secret speakeasy and a hipster’s paradise with cool decor, cool customers and even cooler bar staff, who’ll mix you any cocktail you’d like and many you’ve never heard of. As with many of the coolest bars around the world, some of the secret bars are overcrowded, not such a well kept secret then, but they are definitely worth a visit and you’ll be partying with a mix of the local glitterati and a select few tourists. Chat to your concierge about the latest secret bars as the older ones are likely to be the least secret and most crowded.
Prague, Czech Republic
As a party city Prague really has it all with no end of bustling bars and crazy clubs to explore from underground cave bars to rooftop terraced beer gardens. If you’re looking for some sophisticated cocktails and wine bars, you will find them in Prague, but the main drink is beer which flows in copious amounts and is very cheap. Beer gardens during the summer are rowdy and raucous affairs with long tables and flowing beer and definitely worth a visit. At night time the clubbing scene is huge with some of the biggest clubs in Europe with top international DJs pumping out the best dance beats until the sun rises and later. If your feet and ears need a rest for a night, there are no end of underground cave bars and dive bars to explore. These bars are more grungy with many small rooms to investigate, each with its own style and feel but all filled with the young and the beautiful until the early hours.
Tel Aviv, Israel
While Israel might not be seen as a place of fun and partying, Tel Aviv is one hell of a place to party. With a bright young population and heathy nightlife it was called “The Manhattan of the Middle East” by the Huffington Post. It is much more laid back than the busy bustling New York though, and strict rules don’t seem to apply here so you are free to just go with the flow or create your own flow and watch as others follow you. For a city in a country known for its strict religious views Tel Aviv is a surprisingly liberal city with a large LGBT community. Follow the crowds to the clubs and bars along the port where every night there’s a party in converted warehouses that host hopping dance clubs and plush restaurants. Alternatively, head to Lilienblum street where a plethora of cool, laid back bars make for the perfect pub crawl while mixing with locals and tourists and sip cocktails to an eclectic soundtrack. It might do you well to pace yourself though as there is no closing time here and bars will serve until the last customer goes home.
They say you go to Jerusalem to pray and Tel Aviv to play!
Istanbul sits, somewhat uncomfortably at times, on the cultural and geographical divide between Europe and Asia. In recent years, Istanbul has exploded as a premier party city with the clubs rocking until dawn and beyond. In fact, you can keep the party going in Istanbul 24 hours a day if you want. While it’s predominantly Muslim there are more bars than there are mosques in Istanbul so there’s no shortage of choice. Older locals prefer to sip Taki in a Turkish tavern but the younger people head to the discos, clubs and rooftop venues where you can sample pumping indie music, raucous rock bars, trendy wine and cheese bars and smoky basement jazz clubs. You’ll find something for every taste and budget. The rooftop bars and swanky clubs in Nisantasi are a bit more expensive and you’ll sip and tip in equal proportion while mixing with the local celebs, but in Istiklal Caddesi you’ll find hip bars that are overflowing most nights with cheap beer, thirsty customers and live gypsy bands. You’ll probably be mixing with the students here as opposed to the celebs on the rooftop bars but all the better for it!
If you still want to keep the party going head to one of the many nightclubs such as Babylon, Karga Bar and Re-Fresh where you’ll dance the night away to the latest House and Techno DJs, many of them in the open air during the summer. Istanbul plays and parties hard, so be prepared.
New Orleans, USA
I don’t think there’s a city in America that has more character than New Orleans with its heady mix of French, African and American cultures reflected in its spicy cuisine and equally spicy night life. Nightlife is probably a misnomer when talking about the party scene in New Orleans as some would say the nightlife starts around three o’clock in the afternoon. The French Quarter is where most parties start but there’s more to New Orleans than a leisurely pub crawl along Bourbon Street, pleasant and all as that may be. If you’re a music lover you’ll love New Orleans and Frenchmen Street is probably the best place to see and hear live music with everything from jazz and blues to reggae and most things in between. As New Orleans claims to be the birthplace of Jazz you’ll not be surprised to find many jazz bands in bars, clubs and even traipsing down the streets. Of course for full on partying it’s hard to beat Bourbon Street with its endless bars, DJs, burlesque clubs and live jazz on the streets. Not as popular with the locals as Frenchmen Street you’ll find an unending stream of tourists from the four corners of the world to party with and dance until the wee hours of the morning. New Orleans is certainly a thriving, pumping, party city and we haven’t even mentioned Mardi Gras yet where the pleasure levels are given a turbo boost.
Koh Phangan, Thailand
What better way to keep the party going than an all-night beach party, and in Thailand they have the mother and father of all beach parties: The Full Moon Party. In Koh Phangan, every month around the full moon, revellers turn up to party until sunrise to a backtrack of R&B, drum and bass, house, dance and reggae music in the many clubs along the Haad Rin beach. The Full Moon Parties are legendary and have grown from the mid ‘80s when it was just a few hippies smoking weed to the tunes of a few acoustic guitars. Now it’s a world renowned event that attracts anything from 5,000-30,000 revellers, mainly tourists, who come to party with buckets of alcohol, all night dancing and a fair smattering of drugs. In place of the acousitc guitars you now have bars pumping music though their sound systems onto the beach.
It seems the Full Moon Party phenomenon might be reaching its peak as a combination of the size of the gatherings, and the local military Junta cracking down on the debauchery, means its days may be numbered; so if you’re heading to Thailand for your honeymoon, you should try it out before it’s becomes extinct.