For some people, experiencing local nightlife is the best part of traveling to foreign lands. Dancing, drinking, scene-making, and mingling with locals can be more fun and memorable than sightseeing. World-famous cities have great nightlife and entertainment scenes, but experiencing the party firsthand can be quite expensive. Nighttime entertainment spots in pricey places like Tokyo, New York City and London might seem prohibitively expensive for average travelers. Even those venues without cover charges sometimes have some sort of velvet rope that makes them difficult to enter.
Luckily, there are plenty of great cities for people who want to experience some after-dark fun but who don’t want to blow their entire travel budget on a single night on the town.
Want to party within your means? Here is where you should go.
Prague, Czech Republic
This Czech metropolis is one of the best places to party in Eastern Europe. Plenty of tourists have come to this part of the continent because the prices are cheaper compared to Western Europe. Prague is one of the few places that can match its westerly peers in terms of nighttime fun. The clubs and music venues are good, but the beer is the best aspect of Prague. High quality brews can be enjoyed for as little as a 41 (less than one Euro), and you’d be hard pressed to find anything selling for over $5 a glass. At these prices, you can afford to drink the night away … every night.
The Thai capital may be best known for its go-go bars and its uneasy political landscape, but if you look past the headlines, you’ll find a great place to party. Live music venues, some hosting internationally known Djs and bands, are scattered throughout the city, while more laid-back lounges, including the famous Brown Sugar jazz bar, offer a more-stylish set of options. When it comes to club design and quality, Bangkok is easily the best in mainland Southeast Asia, and arguably the best clubbing spot in the entire East Asian region. Best of all, prices are very reasonably, making it possible to party twice as hard for half the money.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia’s capital is usually not the first choice on anyone’s to-visit list, but it certainly is a worthwhile stop for budget-minded revelers. This is a reasonably-priced city all the way around. It might not be as dirt cheap as the less-developed metropolises in Southeast Asia, but it certainly offers great value, with world-class hotel rooms available for less than $100 per night. Asia’s best DJs often stop in the city, while internationally known talent can regularly be seen at the glitzier clubs. There are also more down-to-earn, feet-stick-to-the-floor options for people who would rather have a drink in a bar setting instead of hitting the dance floor. As with everything else in KL, prices are quite reasonably compared to other world-class cities.
This South American city on Colombia’s Caribbean coastline has a very unusual vibe. It is part laid-back Caribbean cool, part stylish global city, and part historic melting pot. Numerous clubs are found in the city’s Old Town, a well-preserved Spanish colonial era section of the city. These places feature world class talent on the turn-tables and a distinctly cool-and-sexy Colombian vibe. Prices are often pretty reasonable by South American standards, and downright cheap compared to some of the world’s largest party cities.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Argentine capital is a great place to party. Clubs stay open until after sunrise and some don’t ever close their doors. This seems like the perfect set-up for people who want to dance (tango, anyone?) the night away. But how does it stack up in terms of prices? Since things don’t really get going in B.A. until after midnight, revelers can get their buzz at happy hour prices. Beer is a cheap option, with many places offering a selection that is cheaper than wine. Clubs that charge a cover will almost always include a free drink or two with the price of admission and bartenders will not expect more than a modest tip from their patrons.
This is one of the most popular of the Greek islands for partying. On other “party” islands like Mykonos, prices are much, much higher than they are on Ios. This means that revelers on this island can party longer and harder than their peers on the other popular islands in the region. The beautiful beaches (which are uncrowded outside of the tourist areas) are a plus, though few party-happy tourists wake up before noon, so an early morning trip to any stretch of sand will be relatively peaceful.
Any of these destinations are great places to party without blowing your entire travel budget on a single night on the town.