The Saturday City: Top Ten Cities for Partying

By Nomadic Matt | Published June 6th, 2009

I thought for this edition of the Saturday City, we’d do something a bit different. Instead of one city, let’s talk about ten. Ten great cities to party in. As travelers, we have nothing but time on the road and, at night when the sightseeing is over, we usually spend that time going out and meeting other travelers. I do. Quite often. So if you are looking for the best places to get loaded with other travelers, here’s my thoroughly researched list:

Bangkok
Partying in Bangkok
Bangkok is a major destination for travelers and the infamous Khao San Rd. It’s filled with travelers every night drinking out of alcohol filled buckets. They take after the locals who go out every night drinking from alcohol filled buckets. Seriously. Stop by the expat bars on a Tuesday and everyone is drinking at the after hours clubs until 5am. Bangkok didn’t do my liver any good.

Barcelona
Partying in Barcelona
Any city where people eat dinner at midnight is a city that will start and go late. The clubs here don’t get busy until about 2 am and stay packed until dawn. Barcelona is a city for night owls. It’s why residents don’t even wake up before noon.

Rome
Partying in Rome
Rome was a great city to party in. There are lots of bars, lots of kicking clubs, and lots of beautiful people. The pub crawl tours are a great way to meet other travelers. You often get pretty friendly and do crazy things with the people you meet. (See exhibit above!)

Prague
Partying in Prague
Cheap beer makes this city a major party destination….especially for Brits. While I didn’t encounter any of those notorious stag parties, the nightlife in this city will leave you in a haze wondering what you did last night and whose number that is on your arm.

Miami
Partying in Miami
Miami is not cheap but it’s a great place for the clubbers out there. Lots of music, lots of great DJs, lots of dancing, lots of pretty people, and most importantly, lots of booze. Even on a backpacker budget, you’ll be able to find some fun. Maybe you’ll even run into a celebrity or two.

Sydney
Partying in Sydney
Aussies know how to party and well, they do it really well.  The hostels here organize great hostel parties to meet other travelers but if that is not your thing, you can find your own crowd at any of the clubs and bars around the area. Aussies love to party and are more than happy to welcome newcomers with a drink.

Ios
Partying in Ios
Any top party list has to include a place in Greece. Ios is party central (though Corfu does give it a good run for its money). During the summer, the Greek Isles heave with people and this island heaves the most with travelers coming here to party all night so they can sleep on the beach all day.

Bali (Kuta)
Partying in Bali
Bali is a great place to get down. After a long day in the sun, all the backpackers want to do is relax and get silly on Kuta Beach. It’s a hotspot on the travel trail for a reason. The foam party is a blast (any foam party is) and, on Bali, you’ll spend your days hurting your skin in the sun and the nights hurting your liver with alcohol.

Florianopolis
Partying in florianopolis
This place in Brazil is a big travel destination. It’s known for its hot weather, hot bodies, and hot parties. In fact, everything is just hot here. The beaches have great night parties and there is a famous pool party run by one of the hostels.

Ko Phangan
Partying in Ko Phangan
It’s home to the monthly Full Moon Party which sees 20,000 people on average and goes until dawn. ’nuff said.

So if you are looking to flex your party muscles, check out these cities.

Note: I know Ibiza is a great place to party so before everyone asks why I didn’t include it on the list here’s why: It’s pretty much club central so if you aren’t a clubber, then Ibiza isn’t a good place. Plus, I didn’t want a list loaded with just Europe and Asian destinations.

comments 27 Comments

I’ve got to get out more. These pictures are awesome and that girl in Rome is crazy!

Alright, I’m 4 for 10! Ios is a little crazy. I was there at the end of season and they were advertising all over town for the “last party of the year” because the island was basically shutting down for winter. You could hear the nightlife all they way down the hill at the docks. I’d add Saigon (HCMC) too. Cheers!

there’s just so many….

So many places to party so little time! Would love to see a 10 – post series on the best party spots in each place. You’ll have to publish a list of cool barcelona party spots pre-latomatina. I have no idea where the hotspots are.

I definitely agree with Floripa (Florianópolis if you must) being on the list; spent 2 months there. Loved it! If you speak Portuguese you get invited into the REALLY good parties :D I have yet to find anywhere else in the world with a greater concentration of beautiful people :-P

In Europe almost any city can be a party city if you find the Erasmus crowd and follow them, and that is especially true for all cities in Spain that I’ve lived in. But Barcelona is indeed among my favourites!

I’m very glad to see Prague on your list though! I’m moving there for the entire summer from Monday. My mission is to see if it’s possible to learn Czech in just 3 months now that I know how to learn languages, and blog about my general language learning tips. I imagine you hung out mostly with the expat crowd there though? Can’t wait to get there :D

I’m going to try to get to Prague around september…..maybe you will be there.

I hung out with the backpackers while i was there but i’d love to meet the local…women… :)

I’ll be here for the first week of September ;) I’m a travelling Couchsurfing host so you can stay at mine if you make it then! But I’ll be moving back to South America shortly into September. I’d hate to just miss you! I’ve been following your blogs and comments for a while and just read through your travel-blog e-book (which inspired me not to put all my eggs in one basket on my infrequently updated site and make a brand new one. It was definitely the right decision!
Czech girls have been very impressive so far!! I’m hoping that a combination of my “cute” bad Czech, and general Irish charm will give me the extra edge :P

Hi Matt, nice list. I’m guessing that from this list of places to party, that you’re probably not a suitable candidate for the Liver Donor Register? I would add another city to this list – Cape Town, South Africa. Another great place to lose your liver. Lots of places to club at, every night of the week.

I hear a lot of good things about cape town but I can’t vouch for it so I left it off. I’ll check it out!

Great list and great photos. This really just illustrates how much more I need to get out. I’ve only been to 3 of these places!

Great list. I’ve been in love with Miami since Miami Vice

You forget Shenzhen, China. Everyone here parties like Rock Stars.

ade

“It’s pretty much club central so if you aren’t a clubber, then Ibiza isn’t a good place.

the party capital of the world and you dont mention ibiza ?

p.s. you do realise that only 20% of ibiza tourists are actually clubbers – so if you arent a clubber it is actually a good place to visit

but that would spoil a good tabloid shoddy journalistic story wouldnt it….

I’ll have to remember this list. Sounds like i’ve got some catching up to do. Good choice in the pictures, definitely makes me feel like I’m crazy drunk and sweaty with a torn up Pub Crawl T-shirt on right now.

PS: Ade, You do realize there’s a saying here on the internet. Believe it goes “Suck it up princess” – Matt gave a plug to Ibiza, and because of that smaller plug it probably got just as much reception as those with photos. He even said he was trying to keep a good ratio of Global locations, not just handpicking certain areas. Congrats though on being that cliche angry guy.

Good post matt

Yeah, I have to agree there – sure, Ibiza is most famous for it’s clubs, but there is seriously plenty to enjoy, both partying and chilling that doesn’t involve going anywhere near a club – there are loads of really cool bars and restaurants on the beach or in the mountains where you can have just as much fun partying for cheaper than in the clubs. And if you’re sick of even that, there aren’t many places better in the world for chilling out too

Thats a great party list..Though Im not too much of a partying variety , I always step out to meet travellers..and the cities have some amazing energies in the night

Great list. To be honest, though, I would have voted for Melbourne instead of Sydney. But everyone has their favourites!

Hi Matt,

I think someone already mentioned this, but I’d like to second it– Cape Town, South Africa is an amazing place to meet other travelers and have fun…I once participated in a drinking Olympics there against backpackers from all over the world and it’s one of my fondest memories.

What, no Las Vegas on this list? I suggest some more “thorough research”! Guess its not much of a backpacker stop…but definitely a place where the world goes to party, and there is a party to found every night of the week!

I like the list, and glad to say I’ve checked off 9 of these…a couple others I would throw in the mix:
Munich (beer-centric of course, but really good beer), Madrid (I’ll concede the nod within Spain to Barcelona), and Edinburgh (great mix of pubs and clubs all within a very walkable area).

Tel Aviv is great during the summer too!
btw, did you take these pictures?

lvleph

@Todd Vegas is not a party town it is a gambling town. There is a difference.

pj

what, no montreal on your list?…i know canada has a reputation for being somewhat boring, but i lived in montreal for 4 years and it really is a party town…and it has great style to boot!

DJ Yabis

Barcelona is so last decade. Have you tried partying in Berlin yet? ;D

NomadicMatt

Yes and that is a pretty wild time.

Wild is an understatement. Berlin is my favorite (Friday) Saturday (Sunday, Monday!) city! This article needs to be updated ;P

Madrid is missing in that list. Is without no doubts the best party city in Europe

jorge

So wrong… World is bigger than spain you know??

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