Europe’s Best Cities For Nightlife

Madrid Nightlife
Madrid Nightlife (photo via Allianz Travel Insurance)


There are all sorts of reasons to travel around Europe, but chief among them is to simply let loose and enjoy yourself. In keeping with this idea, many travellers heading to various popular destinations in Europe find themselves seeking out the best clubbing areas and nightlife scenes the continent has to offer. To give you a head start, if this is the sort of vacation you envision, here’s a look at five of Europe’s best nightlife destinations.

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is one of the most fascinating cities in Europe to visit regardless of your intention. It’s beautiful, it can be strangely calm for a significant metropolitan area, and it’s teeming with interesting attractions. But its nightlife scene is also unique in that it offers a convenient blend of high-class and party atmospheres. In naming Stockholm one of the 20 best cities in the world for nightlife, Fodor’s Travel pointed this out, identifying the northern parts of the city as better known for classy establishments, and the southern parts for the party scene. Vinbar Gondolen (for a classy drink and a pretty view of the water) and Fasching (for a high-energy jazz atmosphere) were identified in the article as some of the top venues to see.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is perhaps better known for its nightlife attractions than any other city, and with good reason. On a page detailing various vacation options to and around Amsterdam, British Airways even suggests that travellers “throw themselves into hedonism in the city’s famous party scene.” If that’s not a nightlife advertisement, we’re not sure what is! And rest assured, nighttime fun in Amsterdam isn’t only about the Red Light District and the city’s famous prostitution scene. The clubs and bars are also of legendary quality. Trouw, a converted industrial area that invites a rave-like club scene, and the artistic, seventh-floor club Canvas are two particularly interesting scenes to check out.

Antwerp, Belgium

There’s not a great deal to say about Antwerp in terms of a particular atmosphere or context that sets it apart from its fellow European nightlife destinations. It’s simply a particularly wild city once the sun goes down. Condé Nast Traveller has a nice rundown of some of the top bars and clubs to visit in the city, including the one-of-a-kind Cafe D’Anvers. It’s a nightclub that has been set up in an old church and designed to resemble a medieval dungeon!

Madrid, Spain

If this sounds like a surprise, well, that’s why we wrote the list! Barcelona is often viewed as the trendier Spanish city, particularly for young tourists. And then there’s Ibiza, which is more or less part of Spain and internationally renowned for its nighttime party scene. But the reality is, Madrid is among Europe’s truly great cities for nightlife. In fact, a nightlife scene is almost built into Spanish culture, in a way thoroughly manifested in Madrid. CNN Travel points out that near-mandatory siestas after lunch essentially set up the local population for high energy in the evening, which naturally leads to an active nightlife scene. As you can imagine, that means there’s a nearly endless range of bar and club options.

Mykonos, Greece

Alright, so Mykonos isn’t technically a city so much as an island that belongs to Greece. Never mind that, though, because it’s undoubtedly one of the most entertaining party scenes in Europe. To begin with, this fairly small island is as picturesque as they come. It’s extremely low and flat by comparison to more famous isles like Santorini (that’s basically perched on top of a rock cliff) and surrounded by the beautiful Aegean Sea. Mykonos is much like Las Vegas, USA‚ in the way that you party all day at beach clubs and pools, and then go all night in famous clubs. You certainly can’t go wrong in Mykonos.

My name is Gareth Leonard, a Marketing Director turned World Traveler with a passion for slow, meaningful travel. I have been traveling the world full-time for the past 9+ years and document it all on Instagram and YouTube. Come join me!

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