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25 Cities With the Best Nightlife in the World

Join the party at these boozy terraces, glitzy rooftops, quirky drinkeries, and imbibing-focused cultural celebrations in the world's best nightlife cities.

Waterfront festivals, futuristic floating bars, atmospheric jazz clubs, dim-lit cocktail lounges, and weekend-long extravaganzas. Some of the world’s most iconic cities come alive when the lights go out. In these treasured nightlife cities, visitors will have no trouble finding after-hours entertainment, watering holes, or multi-day raves. From the “city of lights” to the “city that never sleeps,” here is a selection of the best nightlife cities in the world.

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Buenos Aires

WHERE: Argentina

Buenos Aires is a city of meaty meals, late dinners, and even later drinks. A night out in Argentina’s capital isn’t for the faint of heart as Portenos (as locals are called) head to bars and clubs well after midnight and usually let the sun’s earliest rays beat them home. The best place for nightlife in the city overall is the neighborhood of Palermo which has a high concentration of hip cultural centers, speakeasies, mural-adorned bars, and boliches (the word for night clubs) like Niceto, El Quetzal, and Verne Cocktail Club. Partying is possible in Buenos Aires seven nights a week, and Mondays are reserved for La Bomba de Tiempo (“The Timebomb”), a high-energy percussion night at Ciudad Cultural Konex.

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WHERE: England

Being the cultural hotchpotch that it is, you can meet the world on any dance floor or in any bar on any of London’s corners. In  Central London, feel free to set your sights further than Leicester Square. Drink in views from terrific terraces like Spanish-themed Aqua Nueva or Radio at ME London. Wine lovers should pop into Gordon’s Wine Bar, catering to oenophiles since opening in 1890. Go west to shimmy and sip on tropical cocktails at Trailer Happiness in Notting Hill, and on the East End, the trendy Shoreditch area never disappoints. Variety makes London one of the best nightlife cities in the world. From boozy comedy shows and atmospheric pub visits to riveting reggaeton nights at Barrio and Ministry of Sound Amapiano events, London nightlife truly offers something for everyone.

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WHERE: Spain

Barcelona regularly finds itself on lists of the world’s best nightlife cities, with good reason. Each month seems to usher in a new festival or alfresco celebration—bookmark the spectacular midsummer Sant Joan festival held every June and August’s multi-day Fiesta Mayor de Gràcia without delay. Daytime fun at the city’s chiringuitos (beachside bars) turns into animated nights dancing at clubs like CLDC Barcelona and Opium till the early hours. Barcelona is a bonafide cocktail capital and home to The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022 winner, Paradiso. Go there to sample the classics alongside anything-but-ordinary concoctions like the On Fire cocktail, a blend of sweet potato, bourbon, and smoked milk that’s made for sharing.


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New York City 

Many are surprised to find out that the “city that never sleeps” actually shutters around 3 or 4 a.m. Fret not, however, as a bevy of boutique bars, rollicking rooftops, and glitzy clubs will keep you wonderfully entertained until closing time. PHD Rooftop Lounge at Dream Downtown is a quintessential NYC hotspot with 12th-floor skyline views that dreams are made of. Mr. Purple similarly promises a pleasant aerial experience on the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo. Make space for fun and innovative cocktails at Wiggle Room in the East Village, or find yourself at Somewhere Nowhere, which also has a rooftop pool. See and be seen at The Blond at 11 Howard, or dance the night away at the velvety and low-lit Little Sister Lounge, which feels like a house party at your most stylish friend’s pad.


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Rio de Janeiro

WHERE: Brazil

As the largest country in South America, Brazil can fill a lifetime’s worth of travel itineraries. Rio de Janeiro is one of its most sizzling cities, with backdrops straight out of a travel brochure. Begin your enviable foray by merrymaking at Ipanema or Copacabana, lively beaches framed by the Dois Irmãos (two brothers) mountains. Alternatively, BYOB and join the Cariocas (Rio residents) that flock to Arpoador rock to watch the sunset before turning things up a notch come nighttime. You’ll have no trouble finding a cerveja (beer) or caipirinha cocktail to savor in any part of the city, but Lapa is one of the best places for nightlife. There are endless opportunities for day or night revelry in Rio from January to December, but one of the best times to visit is in February or March for the glitter-showered five-day color show that is Rio Carnival.

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WHERE: Germany

You might need something stronger than a Berliner Weisse beer to keep up with Berliners who are accustomed to 72-hour raves. The party never ends in Germany’s capital, or at least it goes on all weekend at clubs like Golden Gate and Sisyphos, a former dog food factory. Berghain is another party spot where day and night blend. This power plant-turned-most-popular-techno-club-in-the-world has a no-card payment and no-camera policy, meaning that hedonists can thrive and vibe freely without fearing future social media infamy. Berlin is one of Europe’s best cities for clubbing, and it particularly pleases electronic music loyalists. Boozy daytime brunches are also a thing. In the summer months, you can while away the days at the outdoor bar and wooden lounge deck of Badeschiff, a floating pool on the River Spree. Club de Visionaere is another tried and tested open-air drinkery for enjoying Berlin’s warmer months.


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WHERE: Nigeria

Abuja might be Nigeria’s capital, but Lagos is where the party is at. Densely populated, frenetic, and huge, this mega city has energy in spades. There’s an event, enclave, or scene for every budget, persuasion, or music preference. Nigerian Afrobeat music has soared in popularity around the world. Lagos is a wonderful place to enjoy live shows from emerging artists or dance without a care in the world at clubs blasting the sounds of Burna Boy, Wizkid, Davido, and Rema, who are now household names on the global stage. Lagosians take pleasure in dressing well, so put on your Sunday best and join them at Rhapsody’s in Ikeja, Club Quilox on well-heeled Victoria Island, or sing and dance at Shaunz Bar, a karaoke hotspot.

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New Orleans

WHERE: Louisiana

New Orleans is a city that knows how to enjoy itself. You’ll never have to look far for late-night revelry, and you needn’t wait until Fat Tuesday, either. NOLA is, of course, known as the home of Mardi Gras. In anticipation of Fat Tuesday—the day before Ash Wednesday— the city parties for weeks with parades, floats, costumes, street vendors, and spirited events. Night owls are welcome to enjoy a taste of New Orleans 365 days a year. As the birthplace of jazz music, you’ll be embraced by brass-fuelled bars that are steeped in history, and sweet melodies escape from every corner. Jazz clubs worthy of investigation are Fritzel’s Jazz Club on Bourbon Street, Blue Nile on Frenchman Street, and Tipitina’s which has been serenading toe-tapping jazz fans since 1977.


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WHERE: Florida

“Party in the city where the heat is on, all night on the beach till the break of dawn.” Welcome to Miami! Will Smith praised the 305’s party potential in his 1997 hit “Miami,” and today, it’s still one of the cities with the best nightlife in the US. A good time is practically guaranteed, especially if you have the cash to splash at the award-winning swanky cocktail bars and world-renowned clubs like LIV, which thumps and bumps till the early hours. Chic hotel pools are abundant, too. You’ll be happy you found out about Strawberry Moon at The Goodtime Hotel, a pastel-colored swim club and bar courtesy of musician Pharell Williams. Miami’s rooftop game is also particularly strong. South Beach brings the heat, so escape to Highbar at Dream South Beach to pose and party by the pool or Serena at the Moxy South Beach for a magical sunset and mouth-watering cuisine. For diversion back on solid ground, Nikki Beach is a Miami institution everyone must visit at least once.

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WHERE: Spain

What is the number one party city in the world? It’s impossible to speak of the best nightlife cities without paying homage to Ibiza. This Balearic party isle is pricey, pulsating, and has massive fun-in-the-sun potential. During Ibiza’s party season (roughly April to October), the biggest names in electronic music grace the decks at clubs like Pacha and Amnesia, which have become destination superstars in their own right. Partying non-stop for 24 hours is wholly possible for dedicated night owls, and the daytime beach bashes and pool parties are just as roaring. Dress to impress and make your way to Blue Marlin Ibiza for people-watching on sun loungers. Toast to a riotous sunset at Café Mambo (where sunsets deserve a round of applause), enjoy a concert-meets-pool-party at Ibiza Rocks Hotel, and don’t leave the island without jamming during one of Ushuaïa’s legendary daytime soirees.


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Las Vegas

WHERE: Nevada

Sin City may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s one of the best party cities in the world. Everything goes on the Vegas Strip, which is a brightly-lit assemblage of casinos, sprightly shows, top-notch dining venues, and over-the-top hotels that push the boat out. You can be as uninhibited as you please, wear your sunglasses at night, or eat your weight in seafood at a breakfast buffet if you want to because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. You might also bump into a celebrity or two. Several of them own restaurants there, like Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar, Wolfgang Puck Cut, and Nobu Restaurant Caesar’s Palace, which is co-owned by Robert De Niro. After dark, Feast your eyes on Omnia, Hakkasan, Marquee, Tao, XS, and Zouk, Vegas’ larger-than-life nightclubs.

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WHERE: Thailand

Bangkok undoubtedly offers some of the best nightlife in Asia. Thailand’s capital has it all: temples, floating markets, finger-licking street food—and endless options for boogying and boozing. Hectic and hedonistic, you’ve certainly heard stories about wild nights on Khao San Road, where deep-fried scorpions are consumed alongside Singha beers. Despite its rowdy reputation, temperate travelers are also welcome in Bangkok. You can groove without the booze at Skal Sober Bar, or avoid the carnage altogether by ascending to one of the city’s sophisticated rooftops. The views are fantastic   champagne bar on the 61st floor of the State Tower (which also has an array of non-alcoholic cocktails). Further up on the 64th floor, visit Flûte to tick imbibing at the world’s highest open-air champagne bar off your list. Add Tichuca, Vertigo, Vanilla Sky, and pretty in pastels Paradise Lost to your little black book for cocktails and covetable city views.

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Los Angeles

WHERE: California

If you’re looking for a good time, Los Angeles will suit you just fine. This is one of the best cities for nightlife in the world, with impressive and diverse havens of hedonism spread across the sprawling city. There are legendary celeb haunts (Hollywood Roosevelt), sell-out improv nights (The Comedy Store), string-lit tequila terraces (LA Cha Cha Chá), pinball-cum-hotdog-cum-craft beer joints (Walt’s Bar), and various visually appealing bolt-holes to consume a boozy beverage. If the Academy gave awards to bars, The Culver Hotel would win one for good looks. Treat yourself to drinks and live music at this majestic LA landmark that dates back to 1924. The city of angels is the world’s entertainment capital, and there’s a heaving dance floor, glitzy rooftop, or all-night fiesta with your name on it if you want.

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WHERE: Illinois

Chicago is an all-rounder boasting a social calendar brimming with side-splitting comedy nights, boat parties on Lake Michigan, and events that will keep you up past bedtime. Combine your love for beer and comedy at The Second City, which has dispensed laughs since 1959. Watch the latest blockbuster and simultaneously enjoy a cold one at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, where more than 30 draft beers or handcrafted cocktails can be delivered right to your seat. To have whiskey in the windy city, The Berkshire Room, Rebel & Rhye, and Delilah’s have got you covered. Chicago’s rooftops deserve mention as lounges like LondonHouse Chicago, Cindy’s, and IO Godfrey promise people-watching potential, classy cocktails, and views that money can’t buy.

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WHERE: France

If you love speakeasies, you’ll adore Paris. The city of light is brilliant for enjoying art, culture, Michelin-starred dining, and bars in all sorts of unexpected places. Lavomatic is one such venue, hidden in a relatively nondescript building on Rue René Boulanger. Among a row of washing machines and dryers, patrons must find the secret machine that’s actually the door to a trendy bar with swings and sweet cocktails. L’Épicier has shelves of couscous and home provisions in a petite convenience store that conceals a lively Moroccan-style bar. If you ever wanted to peer behind a mysterious crimson door to sample farm-to-glass cocktails, call at The Little Red Door in Marais. Drink names are simple at this intimate speakeasy—think Saffron, Rice, and Walnut—but they are complex mixology masterpieces.

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WHERE: Italy

We can thank the Romans for crop rotation, the Julian calendar, aqueducts—and jolly wine-filled nights out alongside centuries-old monuments. Just steps from the colosseum—a Roman amphitheater built around C.E. 70—you can sip on something delicious at the ever-cozy Divin Ostilia Food & Wine Bar, the bougainvillea bedecked American Bar at Hotel Forum, The Court at Palazzo Manfredi or at La Terrazze atop Hotel Capo d’Africa. Speaking of steps, Gregory’s is one of Rome’s most celebrated jazz bars, minutes from the Spanish Steps. When in Rome, do as the Romans do: sample something from the club’s extensive whiskey collection and then enjoy a live jazz performance in the lounge.

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WHERE: Japan

Kicking clubs. Karaoke. Sake and more. Tokyo is a fantastic city to party in. With cultural programming that includes Kabuki shows, sumo wrestling tournaments, and restaurants serving some of the tastiest cuisines on the planet, Tokyo will whet your appetite for thrills. Make your way around the city’s neighborhoods to try Japanese spirits like plum-based umeshu, citrussy yuzushu, or awamori, Japan’s oldest distilled spirit. To quaff cold pints outdoors, beer lovers should visit Garden Island Beer Restaurant or Bar Sekirei, which also has a stellar whiskey selection. Tokyo’s best nightlife resides in the Shibuya, Shinjuku, Roppongi, and Ginza districts though you can also party on the water on Jicoo, a futuristic floating bar that could easily be mistaken for a spaceship.

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WHERE: Portugal

Resisting falling in love with Lisbon is futile. The scent of pillowy pastel de nata custard pastries clouds the air, singers chant for lost loves at intimate Fado music shows, and every June, there’s a boisterous street party in honor of the city’s patron saint of love, St. Anthony. Glasses clink during late alfresco dinners on heart-snatching cobblestone streets like Calçada do Duque. It’s always ginjinha o’clock at Ginjinha Sem Rival, where this red-hued cherry liqueur has been served since 1890, and epic late-night escapades transpire in the bars and clubs of Bairro Alto, Cais do Sodré and Alcântara. Gourmands, hunters of off-the-wall bars, wine connoisseurs, fashionistas, nomads, and everyone in between flock to hilly Lisbon for feelgoodery, and it’s heralded as one of the best nightlife cities in the world.

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Cape Town

WHERE: South Africa 

Daytime pursuits in Cape Town include perusing the penguin-populated Boulder Beach, tracking down places with the perfect braai (barbecue), making selections between dramatic hiking trails, and admiring Table Mountain from near or far. When it’s time to kick back, let your hair down at tempting waterfront venue Grand Africa Café and Beach, smartly accept any invitation to The Village Idiot, which has vibes for days (and succulent boerewors burgers), or get lost in the good tunes during The Athletic Social Club’s live music nights. Also of note: joining the dressed-to-the-nine locals at Souk, where the who’s who of South African music perform. If you happen to visit Cape Town on the first Thursday of the month, you’ll be in luck as you’ll gallivant between dozens of galleries and dance under the stars during First Thursdays Cape Town.

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It’s big, bold, and quite often covered in gold. What was once a desert has become one of the best nightlife cities for luxury travelers. An excellence race of sorts means that restaurants, spas, clubs, and all sorts of hospitality businesses in Dubai compete to offer superlative and exclusive experiences. You’ll find the world’s largest synchronized musical fountain display (Palm Fountain), the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa), the world’s deepest swimming pool (Deep Dive Dubai), as well as the world’s highest 360-degree infinity pool. Despite the supercars and dazzling designer hotels—Armani, Bulgari, and Versace all have addresses there—this millionaire’s playground is surprisingly wallet-friendly for ladies. From Monday to Friday, there are set-price deals or just free drinks galore at an increasing number of fine establishments.


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WHERE: Canada

Montreal is one of Canada’s best cities for nightlife; cold weather doesn’t keep locals from going out. Even when temperatures dip below freezing, Montreal boasts a vibrant nightlife scene. Stay warm indoors while dancing to EDM at Newspeak, vibing at perennially popular Le Rouge Bar on St. Laurent Boulevard, or enjoying a wide variety of musical genres at Le Belmont. Want to explore Montreal’s cabaret scene? Check out The Wiggle Room, Cabaret Mado, or head to the second floor of Café Cleopatra, one of the city’s oldest cabaret stages. If you’re in Chinatown, stop at Le Mal Nécessaire to savor quirky, tropical-themed cocktails—try the Champagne Papi, a playful cocktail emblazoned with the face of Canadian rapper Drake.

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WHERE: Czech Republic

Two words to describe Prague: beer culture. It’s going to be love at first sip for hop-minded travelers who will have no shortage of places to sample the good stuff direct from centuries-old monastery breweries. Lured by the beer halls, beer spas, and beer tours, Prague is a popular European destination for bachelorettes and bachelor parties. Czechia—the Czech Republic’s official shorter name as of 2016—consumes the most beer per capita in the world, and Prague is also where you’ll find the largest nightclub in central Europe. Let’s face it; you can get some serious partying done in “the city of a hundred spires.”

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Tel Aviv

WHERE: Israel

If you’re nocturnal, you’ll love Tel Aviv. This Mediterranean city has rooftop bars, hipster bars, well-concealed speakeasies, and even bracelet bars—unlimited refill spots—to fill your social calendar. Many nightlife establishments only get going after midnight, and the marathon partying rages on till the early morning hours. Before you hit the town with Tel Aviv’s seasoned merrymakers, be sure to line your stomach with something hearty and delicious—you can grab 24/7 eats to fuel your festivities at The Streets or Benedict. Then, dance the night away at Kuli Alma, Sputnik Bar, The Block, Zoozoo, three-story Duplex Club, or Instagram-friendly Phi Garden, where one may sip on libations with a healthy twist.

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WHERE: Spain

After the repressed decades of dictatorship under Francisco Franco, a hedonistic wave known as La Movida Madrileña (“the Madrid movement”) commenced in 1980s Madrid. The Spanish capital saw an explosion of freedom, creative expression flourished, opening hours were relaxed, and people took to the streets to celebrate with wild abandon. The Malasaña neighborhood became the epicenter of the movement with no holds barred parties, after parties, and post-after parties. Today, Madrid maintains its zeal and zest for fun, and a party is always somewhere. Travelers can indulge in cultural pursuits by day—Prado Museum, perusing Picassos at Reina Sofía, the Egyptian Templo de Debod, etc.—and then let loose at La Via Láctea, El Penta, and Tupperware, Malasaña bars that are all intricately linked to the cultural movement. Besides Malasaña, some of the best nightlife in Madrid can be found around Gran Via and Puerta del Sol.

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WHERE: Netherlands

It is a misstep to confine yourself to De Wallen—also known as the Red Light District—when visiting Amsterdam. This Dutch city has long been a bucket list destination for all the wrong reasons, but these days, coffee shops and window shops are making way for new cafes, boutiques, and bars. Wander through the canals on foot or by bike—cyclists rule here—to uncover unique late-night experiences like the 17th-century tasting house serving fine jenevers, a riotous English-language comedy show, or the historic bar where sailors reportedly paid their bills with exotic pets like monkeys (In’t Aepjen). Also, as some of the world’s most famous electronic music DJs hail from the Netherlands (Tiësto, Armin van Buren, Martin Garrix, Afrojack, Oliver Heldens, the list goes on), you can naturally expect to encounter a great club or two where you can dance under lasers.