Best Cities to Party in Europe

Are you looking for party cities in Europe? The continent may be packed full of interesting museums, beautiful views, and fascinating historical centers – but for a significant percentage of visitors, these are all just places to recover from the night before. Europeans know how to throw a party. Whether you’re looking for a drink in a trendy bar or an all-night celebration, one of these cities will have you covered.

Party cities in Europe

Berlin, Germany

Berlin beach club at night | Party cities in Europe

Berlin’s nightlife is world-famous. You’ll easily find a party unlike anything you’ve ever been to, pretty much any night of the week. And when the weekend hits, the parties stretch out well into the next day, sometimes not stopping until Monday morning. Berlin offers a diverse range of establishments that cater for the quirky, to the quaint, and everything in between. Drinks are cheap, music is cutting-edge, and the atmosphere wild, so this is the ultimate stop for those seeking party cities.

Must-go: Berghain is one of Berlin’s premier clubs. The lines may be long and the entry criteria unclear and frustrating, but you’ll find out why they can be so difficult the moment you make it inside.

Insider tip: Entry into Berlin’s most popular clubs is seldom easy. Improve your chances of getting in by meeting the dress code and not arriving drunk and in a large rowdy group.

How to get there by train: There are regular high-speed trains to Berlin from all German and several international cities. There are regular night trains from Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich, and Budapest.

Barcelona, Spain

La Rambla at night | Party cities in Europe

Barcelona’s party scene may only start kicking off after 2 a.m., but when it does, you’ll know all about it. It’s one of Europe’s most celebrated party cities, and there’s a bar, club or festival to suit all late-night desires. Most locals will only start thinking about dinner at 11 p.m., but many often start the night early at one of the numerous tapas restaurants and quirky bars before gearing up for a night on the town.

Must-go: Sala Apolo is one of the most popular concert halls and nightclubs in Barcelona.  Music and crowds vary from night to night, and it’s also a good mix of locals and tourists.

Insider tip: If you’re looking for a more traditional start to your evening, visit Bar Marsella. This unpretentious absinthe bar is full of character and atmosphere, and it attracts a diverse crowd.

How to get there by train: There are direct high-speed trains from Madrid and most large Spanish cities. There are also high-speed and overnight trains to several international cities including Paris, Milan, and Zurich.

Krakow, Poland

Krakow Market Square at dusk | Party cities in Europe

Krakow has quickly become one of the most popular European cities for traveling partygoers. The city offers an exciting mix of traditional bars, modern clubs, cheap pubs, and extravagant parties, most within walking distance of the beautiful old town. The youthful, vibrant energy from locals and visitors combine to make this a thoroughly enjoyable city to explore after dark, whether you want to kick back with a few budget-beating beers or party the night away in a chic club.

Must-go: If you’re looking for an out-and-out club experience, then visit Frantic Club. You’ll find four bars, two dance floors, and up to 500 people getting down to pop, house, and hip-hop.

Insider tip: Alcohol is notoriously cheap (and strong) in Krakow, but it’s slightly pricier in the popular clubs. If you’re looking for cheap drinks and a vibrant local crowd, then head to Tomasza Street.

How to get there by train: Krakow’s Dworzec Główny station is well connected to the rest of Poland. There are direct and overnight sleeper trains from Prague, Budapest, Lviv, and Vienna.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest offers a party scene like few other European destinations. Cheap drinks, low or non-existent cover charges, and incredible locations and settings make this a must-visit for anyone who likes to cut loose a little. The city’s famous ruin pubs are the best place to get to grips with Budapest’s nightlife scene. These quirky shrines appeal to the anti-establishment hipsters in all of us. The cheap drinks, fun atmosphere, and friendly crowds don’t hurt either.

Must-go: Szimpla Kert is Budapest’s most popular ruin pub. Start here and then be sure to hop to other nearby bars to get a taste of all the ruin pubs in the area.

Insider tip: Keep an eye out for pop-up bars in summer months. These spring up in fascinating locations, and feature events such as live concerts and movie screenings.

How to get there by train: There are several direct and overnight trains to Budapest from across Europe, including from Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw, and Bucharest.

Lagos, Portugal

The harbor from Lagos at sunset | Party cities in Europe

Lagos has dramatic cliffs, beautiful ocean views, and world-class surfing. But these days most visitors descend on this small city in Portugal’s Algarve to sample its famous nightlife. Parties often start with sunset drinks and booze cruises, then end with late nights and wild celebrations. Unlike Europe’s urban party capitals, there’s a laid back charm to this coastal city. And at the very least you’ll leave with an impressive tan to match that aching hangover.

Must-go: Start your night at NahNahBah. It has good burgers, a wallet-friendly happy hour between 11 p.m. and 12 a.m., and it’s also popular with locals and tourists alike.

Insider tip: There are literally hundreds of bars, clubs, and restaurants in Lagos. Stay in the old town and then follow the crowds to find the people, prices, and atmosphere that meet your demands.

How to get there by train: There are regular InterCity trains to Lagos from Lisbon that connect in nearby Tunes.

Berlin Party Strand Bar | Party cities in Europe

These days it seems most cities in Europe place some emphasis on a good night out. There’s a good chance you’ll find whatever it is you’re looking for in the main centers, which can all be reached with a Eurail Global Pass. Even if your focus is on the more permanent aspects of the place you’re visiting, a few nights out in these European party cities will create lasting friendships and (albeit somewhat hazy) memories to take back home.

Get in-depth with these party cities:
8 of the best things to do in Berlin
7 of the best things to do in Budapest
Krakow for first-timers