We may not always admit it, but nightlife is a big part of why 20-40 somethings travel. Culture, sightseeing, relaxation, food – these are all good and important reasons to travel. But I’d argue that a great night out on the road is something you’ll remember far longer and more fondly than any monument. At the very least it will be a story that’s a lot more fun to tell your friends!
What makes a great night out while travelling? It’s a matter of taste and is different for everyone of course. For the young and intrepid traveller I’d argue that something new and different, with an element of spontaneity, good music, friendly atmosphere and meeting locals are all key factors.
Every city has its tourist nightlife area (trap), e.g. the Red Light District in Amsterdam. These places are pretty much impossible to miss – plenty of generic tourist bars for you to spend too much (tourist prices), drink too much (Jäger anyone?) and listen to commercial music (if any). These places can be fun. But the traveller wanting to get under the skin of a city will want more.
Every city also has the nightlife spots where the locals in the know go. To find these you need to have recommendations from a local (I heard about this great App once, ‘Spotted by…’ :-P).
With local knowledge:
- You’re immediately off the beaten tourist nightlife track
- You’ll have a more authentic local nightlife experience
- You’ll know which bar or club is good any night of the week
Another way is to meet a local. Meeting a local gives you an opportunity to not just interact with the local nightlife information source, but befriend that information source. Locals you party with can become friends.. maybe for life!
Dan Fennessy writes about nightlife culture on the Spotted by Locals blog