When you’re travelling around Europe, it’s really difficult to know where to spend your evenings, you don’t want to be researching when you should be exploring, so I’ve put together a few of my favourite places and places that I’ve been recommended. Most cities have a young and vibrant district for good bars and on weekends have a good buzz. The kindred spirits you may meet could make your visit a far more memorable one!
The french are very well known for their wine, cheese and laid back attitude on long summer evenings.
For a student vibe – head to Rue de Mouffetard, where you can find lots of reasonably priced restaurants and bars, hidden in an amongst the Latin Quarter – expect to find lots of very knowledgable politics and literature students.
Another very popular young, student area is Montparnasse, rue de la Gaïté is inundated with bars, namely Le Café Tournesol.
In the summer months, people drink along the River Seine, be it just by the Hotel de Ville or down on Quai d’Austerlitz – where you can find the open air bar Nuba, the open air club Wanderlust or venture down the stairs from Nuba and find a hipster hang out, where you can sit in old baths, play ping pong, table football and enjoy a beer! Concrete can also be found near here – at Port de la Rapée.
Another great area is in the north, around Montmartre – take some wine and hike up to Montmartre and enjoy the spectacular view of Paris – then head to either La Machine du Moulin Rouge or Social Club (which both host a range of good music nights).
If you don’t want to venture too far out, you can find Le Showcase hidden under one of the bridges of the Champs Elysées, Zig Zag is a short walk from there. Rex is also very central and Batofar is on a boat – so you’ll just have to find out where it docks!
Check out what’s going on at Folies Bergère, it’s a wonderful seated venue.
If you head to the Quai, lots of bars line the river and in summer, it’s absolutely buzzing. You’ll find club Le Plateforme along Quai Victor Augagneur and Le Sucre a little further down – undoubtedly one of the coolest clubs in Europe! (It’s an old converted sugar factory)
Terminal Club in the North, Le Petit Salon not far from train station Lyon Part-Dieu. And Le Transbordeur can be found just outside of Lyon.
Place de la Comedie is Montpellier’s centre – just off the centre you can find ‘Barberousse‘ a small ship-themed rum bar with very friendly staff! For students, The Australian café and Cargo are very popular. In the Summer, the larger, more commercial clubs between the beach and the centre of town open and draw in a big crowd
I-boat hosts music, film and cultural events.
A wonderful city with a wild party scene in some of the most creative venues, the party won’t stop until everyone goes home, I kid you not. Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain are the most lively areas, offering a very multi-cultural scene and some very cool, quirky and laid-back venues.
Berghain/Panorama bar is one of the most famous clubs in the world due to it’s strict door policy, numerous people have tried writing blogs, articles or whatever on how to get in. Ultimately, Sven, the scary tattooed bouncer makes an executive decision (for most people it’s no!) They have been known to favour people in black, looking sober and gay. The club tends to open on the Friday and not shut until the Monday afternoon – how German’s can party all weekend and go straight to work on Monday is absolutely beyond me!
The daunting exterior, resembling a prison and the elusive door policy along with forbidden photo taking just makes us want to see what we’re missing…
Chalet, a cool 150 year old house-like club with numerous rooms and a good outside chill area.
Salon zur Wilden Renate, very similar to Chalet, a little twist of the theatre in the downstairs room, while there is a bed in-between the two upstairs rooms.
Stattbad, a really cool venue that is closed for the moment, was used as a wedding venue, the main room was an empty swimming pool which you had to climb into. The first ever Boiler Room started at this venue, you could quite easily miss the second room as you have to find your way through a maze of corridors to the ‘boiler room’ a sweaty, tiled room!
Tresor, is an old power plant and feels much like an underground dungeon with a maze of concrete paths and steel bars. Tresor also have their own record label, expect heavy German techno in this venue.
://About:blank, very grimey with heavy music and quite a strict door policy. A club with endless nooks and crannies!
Sisyphos, a great summer venue, a huge outside chill area. Perfect for sunday afternoons. There are two indoor rooms, a big warehouse feeling room and another smaller, more chilled one. I highly recommend this club!
Watergate, one of the more modern club venues which is great for watching the sun come up over the River Spree.
Golden gate, a venue people tend to go to at midday (when they still haven’t been to bed), one of Berlin’s grittiest clubs!
Suicide Circus, found next to the Warschauer straBe train station.
Ritterbutzke, another former factory venue with plenty of charm and many a disco balls and a great courtyard for the summer months.
Club de Visionaere, really good for afternoon chilling in the summer, it’s more of a bar than a club!
… and there are many many more in the Kreuzburg/Friedrichshain area.
Robert Johnson, a world-renowned club hosting some of the biggest names in electronic music, including Ricardo Villalobos and Bicep. The clubs tag-line is ‘Welcome to the Riot’ – just so you know what you’re getting yourself into!
Take a stroll through the city’s red-light district,Reeperbahn then head to Uebel & Gefährlich or Golden Pudel.
Uebel and Gefährlich – another huge daunting building …
Bob Beaman, located near to the University – Munich’s best club for electronic music.
Goya Social Club, Mondo, La Riviera
Nitsa, Razzmatazz, Macarena, La Terrazza (openair), Sonar festival in July
Porto: Club Gare
Milan: Dude Club,
Tunnel, near to Milano Centrale, one main room with the stage at the front, a good sound system and good lineups. Hosting nights called Voyage and Le Cannibale
Fabrique, a huge venue on the outskirts of Milan hosting big names in a large warehouse.
Promoters; Take It Easy, Rollover, NUL
For students, Santo Spirito is great for chilled drinks, the Charles Cecil Art school students always tend to be here. Santa Croce is also very lively (try and sniff out the midnight bakery too!) Blob club is pretty awful but funny and always seems to have a young crowd of Europeans/students.
Tenax is only open part of the year round, so check beforehand.
Festival: Meadows in the Mountains
Amsterdam: Radion, Studio 80, Sugarfactory, Paradiso (a really cool venue, in an old church!), Melkweg, Air
Trouw has now shut down.
Rotterdam: Perron, Toffler, Factory 010
Czech – Republic
Prague: Cross Club, Roxy
Karlovy lázně – well known by stag-dos and students! A 15th century buliding-come 5 floor club.
The “Sparty” is held during the summer months at the Budapest Baths.
A really interesting article by the Guardian, dj’s voting their favourite parties, venues, clubs: 25 of the best clubs in Europe – chosen by the experts !
You can check event info at: residentadvisor.net