London, Moscow, Vegas and Rio. These and other famous party locales are becoming more and more overlooked as global party-trotters attempt to uncover the best, new, hotspots of the decade. For a wild time and a mix of culture, check out the ten new ultimate nightlife destinations of modern tourism:
Hong Kong, China
With the constant churn of Western expats, global businessmen, local visitors and residents, Hong Kong is great at staying on top of various night time pursuits. The hilly pub and club streets of Lan Kwai Fong (or LKF), is the premiere night spot where most expats and after-work businessmen are found. Mixing rock, pop, and house, the music goes on till dawn. Causeway Bay houses hundreds of karaoke bars; a popular Asian pastime that swept through the country in the 80's and never looked back. Due to its popularity, a karaoke-night out can be relatively expensive. Tsim Tsa Tsui is the up and coming area where high-tech Japanese bars and psychedelic Chinese night clubs are found. The difference is quite distinct yet still a remarkably good time.
After many years of bad press and city restructuring from the 1990 Lebanese Civil War, tourism has been on the rise and is becoming one of the best, new, party destinations of our time. Named the Top Place to Visit and one of the Ten Liveliest Cities in the World in 1999 by The New York Times and Lonely Planet, respectively, Beirut, Lebanon has since then been dubbed The Las Vegas of the Middle East. All-night casinos, pool parties and home to some of the most beautiful people in the world including pop-star, Karl Wolf, is what makes this Middle Eastern city truly unique. To prove their liberalisation even more, open-air nightclubs and beach bars welcome sunrise as nearby Mosque's Call-to-Prayer is heard sounding off in the distance. The music just doesn't stop.
Dubliners really know how to hold their own and have a good time, so as a visitor, you need to try to keep up. Happy Hour at most pubs don't offer a single morsel of food, including basic bar nuts nor pretzels, so eating before you go might be a good idea. Nightclubs, including U2's own, The Kitchen, usually start to get revved up around midnight, and, with a mix of sexy stage-dancers and light shows, play heart-pumping house music until the crack of dawn. Temple Bar is another popular area that offers door-to-door pubs and discos, blending both locals and tourists alike. Prepare for the chance to never see the light of day - this city really knows how to party.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Known as The San Francisco of the Middle East, the warm weather and openly-gay community spreads a hedonistic vibe like no other. With such a relaxed atmosphere, a night on the town is hassle-free as most bars are within walking distance from the popular Frishman Beach strip and hotels, and fast food chains are open 24/7. The added bonus is that a few drink tickets are provided upon paying cover charge and lines move fast, so you feel no obligation to stay in one place all night. The immense variety of live music venues, martini bars, fine dining, beach parties and nightclubs continue to draw an internationally mixed crowd, year over year.
From the city that birthed modern improvisational theatre and originated house music, Chicago's longstanding history in entertainment and recreation is what continues to put this party haven on the nightlife-destination map. Nightly sound vibes burst at the seam from one of the world's best orchestra's, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and leading hip hop, rock, new wave, alternative and house artists. City-wide art installations are seen all over with the ability to interact with, and shopping can be done until late along the fabulous Magnificent Mile. A stroll under the stars through one of Chicago's stunning recreational parks, as recognized by the likes of famous artists such as Picasso, offers a break from the city-centre's constant heart-pumping music. An evening of Broadway-style theatre is also a definite must-do.
Cape Town, South Africa
Recently known for hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup and bidding for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, this city is reputable for more than just its sport hospitality and beaches. Drawing backpackers, celebrities and vacationers from around the globe, Cape Town has certainly become one of the best, new, nightlife destinations of the decade. Dozens of festivals, including the International Jazz Fest in March and International Comedy Fest in September, have this city buzzing with stimulation, year round. Long Street and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront pump a mix of local and international beats at various pubs and discos, all night, while fine-dining at chic cocktail bars along the base of Table Mountain offer relaxed luxury. For an educational, yet social, evening, visit the world-renown Stellenbosch and Two Oceans wineries.
With a mix of Parisian-style locals, American visitors and Canadian travellers, the culturally mixed, and bilingual, ambiance of Montreal brings a relaxed air to this francophone capital. Listed as one of the Top Cities in the World for Live Jazz on Trip Advisor, the sounds, smells and feel-good vibes from the Montreal International Jazz Festival, each June, craft a bond among party-goers unlike anywhere else. Dozens of music and art festivals fill out the rest of summer in Montreal, while the duration of the year focuses on club-lined streets, St. Denis and St. Catherine, which are dedicated solely for all-night parties. Due to the legal drinking age of 18, a slightly younger, yet incredibly hip, crowd take to the streets of this rocking party destination.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The night-scene of this Emirate is truly the reason to visit Dubai with something on tap at all times. Tuesday evenings provide free drinks for ladies at most bars and Saturday night hosts Plastik, a beach-pumping party scene with sounds from international DJ's and ever-flowing champagne. Dance clubs are crammed Monday to Sunday and play a mix of house, hip hop and top 40 beats, while outdoor concerts from the worlds hit artists are constantly on the agenda. For a more relaxed evening social, malls are open later than usual (especially during Ramadan) and shisha can be shared alongside beach bars or during nightly desert-camping excursions. With a buffet of entertainment options to choose from, nightlife in Dubai is a high-end delicacy.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Mirroring Cancun's sultry reputation while growing in art and culture, nightlife in Puerto Vallarta rocks and is one of the best in the country. Dubbed The New Cancun, this fast-growing resort town is home to steamy hot spots such as Roxy, Zoo Nightclub, Hilo and Senor Frogs blaring house, drum and bass and top 40 hits. All while catering to a plus-twenty crowd. Open-air beach bars pump salsa and folkloric music all night while the vast gay-friendly community boasts dozens of bars, restaurants and the number one gay beach destination in Latin America. Acapulco has been overlooked for years and Cancun continues to skew younger. Puerto Vallarta is the hot, new, party destination in Mexico and has even been recognized by popular Hollywood directors, such as Neil Burger, for his recent making of 2011's Limitless.
As the top ranked economically-growing city in the wake of the Great Recession, Istanbul's tourism has followed suit and because of that, so has its nightlife. Named one of National Geographic's Ultimate Cities, this East-meets-West metropolis blends to create double the exhilaration. Beyoglu is the main entertainment district on the European-side of Istanbul and encompasses Istiklal Street and Taksim Square, both layered with dozens of jazz, blues, techno and drum and bass discos. Various side streets mix and mingle between the two offering several underground hang outs and controlled brothels. For a touch of exoticism, many bars and restaurants offer flashy bellydancers, Russian troupes and cabaret singers. Cross over to the Asian side of Istanbul for calmer evenings brought on by night markets, vast shopping areas and relaxed fine-dining options along the Bosphorus Sea.
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Deanna is a freelance travel contributor, based out of Toronto, CA for TripAtlas.com and various travel sites. She has been featured on Sympatico.ca/travel and in Active Adult magazine. Her passion has led her around the world to Asia, Africa, Europe and most of the Middle East including a two year stunt in Dubai. The one thing she can't live without? Her passport.
Located: Toronto Canada
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