You want to let loose in Europe. You've heard it's different to everywhere else. You want to know where to go to safely drink, drug, and rage your way through some days and nights. But you don't know where to go.
Have no fear, Booze Games is here.
Many of us here at HQ have lived and travelled extensively around Europe for the last decade. Let us take you away with our faves.
...First, a couple of quick honourable mentions:
London (great options... too expensive to rank high for everyone), Paris (same as london), Belgrade (underrated)...
Now let's get to the heavy hitters:
The beautiful capital city of Czech Republic is a renowned booze and party spot for good reason. That shit is fun. Get a block or two away from all the tourist traps in the centre and you’ll be paying about 2 euros for pints of delicious Czech beers (Kozel Černy was my standard beverage of choice when living there). If recreational substances are your thing, you’ll be offered them constantly on the street… Okay, of course the street dealer quality is going to be poor compared to if you ask a local and get a number, but just check your product quantity and test the quality and get negotiating. If you’re stuck, it will certainly do the trick.
Prague is not difficult to navigate on foot. Our suggestion? Spend the day exploring the city on foot and bar hopping from one watering hole to the next. Make sure to check out the river and walk along its banks. Consider heading over and up to the castle. Then, before sunset, head over and check out Staroměstské Námestí (the Old Town Square). Next to there you will find the Hotel U Prince. Head in, take the lift all the way up, and sit in the bar on the rooftop overlooking the town square and Prague as the sun sets. The drinks are mediocre, but the view is one of the best in the city. Then, get your ass all the way to the basement of the same building where the best cocktail bar in Prague lives. It’s called Black Angel’s Bar. It’s a bit pricier, but it is worth it.
You’ll probably be looking for food soon, so head two doors down to Las Adelitas. Great Mexican in the heart of Prague?? It’s true. Las Adelitas is awesome. Get into the tacos and get into the drinks menu. After this, bar crawl your way over to Lucerna Music Bar. Lucerna is the most fun nightclub in Prague, in our humble opinion. After about 11pm every Friday and Saturday, it’s an 80s & 90s party. An 80s/90s party in an absolutely packed-out nightclub full of young people, mind you. It’s a huge mix of locals and foreigners, and it just plays bangers all night. Did I once pass out directly off the stage chugging a bottle of spiced rum? Yes. Lucerna is the place.
If you're hunting for afterhours after Lucerna shuts, look no further than Atelier.
Ah. Barcelona. A beautiful city and home to one of our favourite nightclubs in the world. Not too expensive, depending on where you go. You can easily join legal cannabis clubs and to go smoke or buy high quality weed. They are located all around the city (here's a map and more info). In Barcelona of course you can also find stacks of great bars and clubs, and, like Prague, if you’re desperate you will certainly have zero problems acquiring the necessary supplementation to go rage for days on end. As we said before, always better to ask a cool local, but hey, you do what you got to do. You can actually find some decent street gear here if you play your cards right. Word from the wise: it’s a more spaced out city, so unless you like walking for an hour or more to get anywhere, get yourself a metro ticket and familiarise yourself with that.
Look. The best thing about Barcelona, for us, is that it’s a major city on the water!!! Nothing beats jumping in the cold ocean water to cure a hangover (except for our emergency-ultimate-hangover cure protocol).
Chill out man. Wake up, stop by your local cannabis club for some armaments, and head over to the beach and relax. Bring a speaker. It’ll be packed, but it’s a big beach right in the middle of a huge city, so be grateful. Hang there, sink a few drinks, smoke a doobie, listen to music, and swim in the Mediterranean to ease into your day.
This beach area turns into a huge nightclub district later on at night, but we firmly vote to take off elsewhere before sunset and skip it. It’s pricey, and is your stock standard popping bottles commercial type stuff. Of course, that can be fun, especially if that is what you’re looking for, however for us they’re nothing too special and not really our scene personally. So, perhaps go get out of your beach things and head on over to El Raval and the Gothic Quarter instead to go bar hopping for a while. Plaza Real (Royal Square) is a guaranteed party and full of the backpacker crowd and things to do, so hit that if you’re lost and lonely. Food wise our recommendations are somewhat lacking, seen as the three times we’ve ventured to Barcelona we’ve been on benders of such epic proportions that we barely ate. It’s also a giant city and there’s just so many districts. So, your best move is to always ask a local, or duck in to something that looks appealing to you. As with all of Europe, watch out for the overpriced tourist traps in the most common sightseeing areas.
Now, remember you’re on Spain time. Things start late. Dinner might be at 10. You’ll want to stay at the bars until 1-1.30am. But, finally, it will be time. Time to go get dancy. We’ve steered you away from the beach clubs, and it’s time to direct you home: Sala Razzmatazz. Razzmatazz is one of our favourite nightclubs in the world. We’ve always had a good time there. If you get there early (1-2am) and it’s looking empty, just wait. It kicks. It’s got five rooms; everything from acid rave to salsa, and then the main hall, with a capacity of 2000 people. It inevitably pops off. Just go. Adventure in there. Get weird. Strap in. Enjoy.
You know what’s coming.
The Dutch are experts on electronic music, responsible recreational drug taking policies, good beer, and nightlife. Amsterdam is a classic, and we respect the classics.
Not going to overcomplicate this one. If you’ve never been to Amsterdam we suggest pulling the classic tourist. Wake up and grab a bunch of truffles (like heaps of truffles... so many truffles) & weed from your local smartshop. Then, get your trip on while walking around the beautiful city and its canals. Might sound cliché, but it is so for a reason... it’s fun as hell, and a lovely city to walk around if the weather is nice. Be careful of bike riders though. They are everywhere, they go fast, and they’ll getcha. If you’re trying toyou’re your hands on anything more chemical here, avoid the street dealers, they’re just as likely to sell you crushed up Panadol as anything real.
Eventually, get drinkin and get bar crawlin. Proeflokaal Arendsnest has over 100 fresh froffy beers from Dutch breweries, so working your way through a few of those could be a good place to start. Then cruise over to Hannekes Boom or Roest for the late afternoon / sunset vibe and get kickin for real and like a bit more of a local. Check Soundgarden if you end up in that area.
Finally, when the hour is ripe, get your ass over to De School. Yes, it’s a banging nightclub in an old school. Yes, it’s awesome. Apparently, it’s only going to be in operation another year and a half or so, so we suggest you make hay while the sun shines. A glorious den of depravity, rave, sesh, drinking, and all other good insanity. Get amongst it.
Lisbon, to put it lightly, fucking rules. It’s got everything you want – lax drinking laws, easily accessible extracurricular supplements, a super open-minded cool crowd, some of the best beaches in the world within a stone’s throw, and fantastic nightlife. Lisbon was threatening for the number one spot, if we’re being honest; because it’s still a bit of a hidden gem. It’s still so free. Old school Europe. Substances in the open in many places, everyone being cool, smoking laws lax, drinking allowed anywhere. The party person’s dream!!! … and all this along with some of the best gosh darn weather in Europe! What’s not to love!? Maybe we’ll write a full standalone Lisbon post at some point.
There’s a lot to choose from... If you’re not heading to a nearby beach, get your ass to a miradouro during the day. Treat yourself: grab a coffee and a pastel de nata on the way. We suggest buying some snack and drinks and heading to the lovely Jardim de Torel (our pick for the nicest miroudoro (lookout) in the city – it’s got a free public pool too for christ’s sake! If you're not into this, bring a picnic blanket and sit either in Jardim da Cerca da Graca, or right at the top of the hill there in Graca in front of the fence where all the tourists are looking out (because it’s the best view in the city).
Suitably buzzed, head on to a good local Portuguese restaurant for dinner, cause why not, right? As always, we vote mostly to stay away from the touristy areas when you’re going to eat. Go find a little local one somewhere. Then… grab a Pica Pau. Definitely the best Portuguese dish in our opinion. The rest? Mostly basic meat variations with rice, chips etc. But damn, we love a good Pica Pau around here.
- Depending where you are and how far you feel like walking, here’s a list of some cool ass bars to check out around the city before you really hit the send button: Crew Hassan (used to be an absolutely epic night spot 24/7 but now they recently changed it to close at 11, truly devastating stuff)
- Casa Intendente (classic, but sometimes there’s cover)
- Palheta (in Cais do Sodre; just off the main tourist beat), Secret Garden (jump on into what looks like a backyard at the top of the Graca hil!)
- If you wanna get really deep jump into the almost hidden door of Kimbo, where depending what time you go and on the night you can play your own music. If the owner wants to let you in.
If you want to go full tourist party mode, and feel like you’re in an English lad’s film, head on over to Barrio Alto. It will be going any night; it’s quite the site to behold. Not our scene, but worth checking out just for the spectacle / if you’re into that!
But okay. It’s time to absolutely rage, so let’s think a bit later on, shall we? Lisbon is quite events oriented so it’s always worth looking what’s going on and which DJs are playing or which sort of party it is first. However, some basic ones to set you on the right path:
- Lux Fragil: the classic. Don’t bother going until like 3-4am, the line can be insane. Also, don’t fuck around going in the middle or upstairs. You want to head down to the basement and absolutely tear the lid off until the sun comes up, which it will, and they will open the whole bottom section and let the sun in while you’re all pingin off ya nut.
- Nada Temple: A loud rave box. Sesh approved. Can get heavy.
- Estudio Arroiz / Village Underground: these two can be super fun depending on the night, but you should check what events are on first, because they can also be dead or even closed.
- Lounge: a classic late night spot open almost every night until the wee hours. It spills onto the street outside and there’s a dfloor inside that’s normally a good time. Gosh, we’ve put in some shifts at lounge. It’s good times.
- Damas: cool diverse crowd, music depends on the night. You can chill on the street, in the bar, or hit the dfloor. Good times have been and will be had at Damas.
Bonus option: if it’s a Sunday, get your ass over to Titanic for Samba. It will be packed shoulder to shoulder, and it will be fun.
There can be only one city to take the number one place on this list.
Berlin is iconic for good reason.
There are about a million places to recommend there.
24/7, there will be things popping.
…but just go to Bergheim. It’s one of a kind.