With New Years Eve fast approaching and many people already starting to make plans for 2018, I decided it was time for a post on the best party destinations around the world. Instead of writing my own list, however, I reached out to some of the best up-and-coming travel blogger to see what they had to say.
Who better to tell us where to party than travel experts who write about these places ever day.
From drinking on the beach in Boracay to attending your first underground trance party in Goa, dancing on the streets of London or attending Hogmany in Edinburgh, here are the best party destinations in the world.
Boracay, Philipinnes – Erica Villas, Girl Unspotted
Having lived in Las Vegas for many years, the idea of getting dolled up to party has somehow lost its novelty to me. So welcome to Boracay, Philippines, where make up is unnecessary, brushing your hair is optional, and dress code means bikinis. Despite the negative connotation it’s been receiving lately, it’s the perfect spot to let loose and meet people who will without a doubt be on the same level as you. It’s a modern day wonderland with turquoise water, white powdery sands and where happy hour begins at 10 am. It’s every partier’s tropical dream a a must on any short trip to the Philippines!
(Editors note: You should also check out the legendary Boracay Pub Crawl, where they turn strangers into friends.)
San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua – Kimberley Davis, Walkaboot
By far the most well-known and anticipated party in Central America is San Juan Del Sur Nicaragua’s Sunday Funday pool crawl. If you have traveled through Central America I am sure you have seen the T-shirt. The party starts at 2 o’clock in the afternoon and party go-ers continue their day being shuttled from hostel to hostel, pool to pool, and view to view. The first stop is a hotel with a beautiful infinity pool over-looking the city, the second stop shifts the party to a sunset over the beach and the third stop is a full on dance party. Think sun, bikinis and muchos cervezas as you are left in each of these spots to drink yourselves silly, swim and dance. Let’s just say during this party I have seen things from intoxicated backpackers that I simply cannot un-see. The party is well organized and everyone does it for a blast. No one should miss out on the Sunday Funday pool crawl of San Juan del Sur. For more fun in Central America, check out my Guatemala backpacking guide.
Madrid, Spain – Danielle Nourok – The Wild Trek Experience
During the day Madrid is known for it’s amazing food and beautiful architecture but during the night it turns into one of the best party destinations in the world. There is always a fiesta happening in Madrid but the primary nights to go out are Wednesday through Saturday. What makes Madrid so unique is that the party doesn’t really start until 3 am. Madrileños do not eat until around 10 or 11 so generally their pre-game does not start until 12. Pregames can take place at a bar or someones house but most of the time it is just on the street or in a public park. The act of people socializing outside and drinking in public spaces is referred to as botellón in Spanish. The night typically ends when the metro re-opens around 6 or 7, unless you have the energy to keep going. If you do, there are after clubs which can last until 3 in the afternoon. In addition if you do not know many people in the city or where to party then you can head down to the center of the city, sol, and find a promoter to take you to the nearest party. And of course if there is a reason to celebrate the city is vibrant in it’s celebration.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Repiblic – Rebecca Richardson
Santo Domingo has to be one of the best party cities in the world. People in the Dominican Republic are born to dance and this is clear the moment you step inside a bar or club anywhere in the country. Merengue and bachata are favourites, and even if you’ve never danced a step in your life, you will definitely learn quickly! If you go out in Santo Domingo, expect to be whisked onto the dance floor and spun around until you’re dizzy! If you prefer house music, you can head to La Guacara Taina, a dance club found underground in a cave!
Edinburgh, Scotland – Sonja Thomas, Migrating Miss
Split, Croatia – Sabina Trojanova, Girl Vs Globe
Split is a beautiful Croatian city with a Mediterranean feel and 1,700 years of history to sink your teeth into. That’s all good and well… but you shouldn’t go all the way to Split only to marvel at architecture. The place has an incredible party scene and you are guaranteed to have an incredible time there! If you are sticking around for longer, don’t forget to visit the nearby island of Hvar which is notorious for its excellent night life!
(Editors note: You can also head to some of the world’s biggest music festivals like Ultra Europe as seen in the photo below, or party on a luxury yacht for seven days by signing up to The Yacht Week.)
Budapest, Hungary – Lizzie Jones, From Europe And Beyond
My absolute favourite party city to party in is Budapest – the perfect weekend break! Between the ruin bars, the cheap beers & and never ending nights out, you feel like absolutely anything can happen and absolute strangers in your hostel become your best friends in seconds over stupid drinking games.
(Edotors note: You should also check out the epic Magic Bath Parties, as seen in the photo below.)
Leeds, England – Luke Marlin, Backstreet Nomad
Another lifetime ago I lived in Leeds, in the UK. As an exchange student, studying or going to class was something we did in our spare time if we weren’t either in a different country or at the pub. As one of the country’s biggest universities, the student population was dominant in Leeds and it wasn’t hard to find a party to go to or find a crowd for your own party. However, perhaps what the Leeds party scene is most notorious for is the “Otley Run”. A surprisingly historic pub crawl that starts a few kilometres out of the city in Headingley and follows a string of pubs down through the uni to a pub in the city centre, generally the Dry Dock or Strawberry Fields. What makes this pub crawl more than that is that every Otley Run has to have a theme. And everyone must dress up!
Goa, India – Sonal Kwatra, Drifter Planet
When it comes to parties, nothing can beat the old school psychedelic trance gatherings of Goa. Back in the 1960s, many hippies visited this place and it became their permanent residence. It led to the birth of “Goa Trance” genre which further ushered in a different style of parties with a strong presence of visual aspect that utilizes UV paint and decoration that now happen all over the world. In Goa, some of the best parties are underground and invitations are only by word of mouth for the “insiders”. If you’re lucky enough to find one, you will remember the experience for the rest of your life! Alternatively, you can also visit Hill Top in Vagator (North Goa) for a kickass trance party or Silent Noise in Palolem (South Goa) for a unique “silent” headphone party.
London, England – Rachel Wortmann, Small Town Girl
The best party place in the world has to be the London Notting Hill Carnival. It’s three days of island life in the middle of London. The entirety of Notting Hill smells of Jerk Chicken, people are dancing in the streets, and even the bobbies (our police officers) twerk along. It’s a happy, feel-good weekend where the normally quiet and clean neighborhood of Notting Hill turns into the biggest carnival in Europe.
Seoul, South Korea – My personal favourite
Of all the countries I have been to and the hundreds of cities I have partied in (I am Irish, afterall) nothing will ever beat Seoul, South Korea. When I see lists of the top party destinations around the world that DON’T include Seoul, I start shouting at the screen and calling the author incompetent. The beating S(e)oul of Asia, it’s a city that never sleeps. Regardless of what day of the week it is or how late at night it is, there is always a party to be found. Be it joining the rich kids in Apujeong to party Gangnam style, chilling out in the park in Hongdae drinking cans and listening to street performers, finding a new bar every night in bustling, hipster hub of Sincheon or joining the other expats, foreigners and military personnel in Itaewon for a pub crawl that encompasses 2 English pubs and about 10 Irish pubs, there is something for everyone in this eclectic city. Everywhere you look in the city, there are flashing neon signs enticing you in for a drink in all night cafes, pubs, old-school record bars or night clubs that would give clubs in Vegas a run for their money.