From the romantic Danube to gritty Berlin, here's a round-up of the top five places to party in Europe.
1. Budapest, Hungary
The town is host to a couple of the best bars in Europe. Szimpla is a must. They make pizza in an oven on site all night (perfect for late night munchies), and old computers, bicycles and monitors decorate the walls. I found myself sitting on an old car seat wedged between my friends as internationals played foosball. The vibe is laidback and intense at the same time. You can dance all night to dance music or chill in a corner with friends. Budapest has a number of other bars, including one that floats. The A38 is a party boat that docks along the Danube. Whether you hit up these top bars or go on a pub crawl, Budapest night life is inexpensive and full of young people there for the sole purpose of having fun.
2. Berlin, Germany
Probably the party capital of Europe, Berlin is a massive city, vibrant with hipster bars, beer halls, elite nightclubs and the famed rave venues. No matter what your party style is, you will find somewhere to go in Berlin. Make sure to look up the dress code though, as locals dress casually (think Converse and jeans). A city filled with artists, check out Kreuzberg for artsy restaurants and quaint bars, as well as artist residences that sometimes host gallery parties.
3. Prague, Czech Republic
This romantic old city is famous for two poisons: beer and absinthe. Enjoy local craft beers with hearty goulash and knedliky (Czech dumplings) to prepare yourself for the night. If you like clubs, Bed Lounge is a neat place with beds you can lie down and has massive cocktails. End (or start) your night with a round of absinthe at a cozy bar.
4. Utrecht, Netherlands
I might be biased because I spent a semester abroad here, but this University town of 200,000 people is well worth the visit, a mere 25-minute train ride from Amsterdam. While you might find coffee shops and legions of tourists in Amsterdam, Utrecht is a lot more local and is full of Dutch and International students. Both Tuesday and Saturday nights are great times to party. Utrecht is one of a few Dutch cities that let you dine along the canals, and when night falls, there are clubs with entrances on the canal (in addition to party and coffee shop boats). There’s nothing more authentically Dutch than riding your bike to a club, and walking down narrow steps to an underground canal entrance. Clubs stay open till five or six a.m. and you can find both dance and rock venues in the city centre.
5. Brussels, Belgium
Another city revered for its beer, Brussels is a gorgeous city with a buzzing party life. L’Archiduc is a really cool bar that has live music and a cool European vibe. The Delirium Cafe (a little bit hard to find, there is a restaurant with a similar name and facade) is a legendary place that serves over 3000 beers. A major party destination, you can stay for a couple rounds or spend the whole night in the cozy bar. I randomly bumped into high school friends and made new ones, while sampling dozens of delicious brews.