The Top 20 Party Cities on the Planet

Amsterdam party
Party people in Amsterdam for Koningsdag, a Dutch national holiday. | AFP/Getty Images
Party people in Amsterdam for Koningsdag, a Dutch national holiday. | AFP/Getty Images

Sometimes we like to tell you about unexpectedly great, underrated, under-the-radar things. Things like honeymoon destinations. Or cities in Mexico. But when it comes to partying, you just want to know the best of the best. The burn-the-world-down, no-sleep-till-Brooklyn -- or ever, actually -- ripped-to-the-nines, Lambos-and-discos, no-one-here-is-wearing-underwear, life-is-a-Mase-video, straight-up BEST PARTY CITIES ON PLANET EARTH. 

Such an undertaking requires a village. A village that enjoys a good foam party, or maybe a poolside keg stand. We tapped our worldwide network of contributors, listened to that Sander Kleinenberg song a few dozen times, and argued, probably with sand sticking to our sunblock. Gradually, this definitive list emerged. Behold: the top 20 party cities in the world, ranked by how hard they bring it.

20. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

If you watched any coverage of the Olympics at all, your impression of Rio was probably that it was a nonstop beach party with the occasional break for a mugging. That is not inaccurate. When it comes to oceanside partying in South America, no city does it better than Rio, with clubs, bars, and live music venues lining the shores at Copacabana. And parties notorious for samba-ing well into the next morning.

And that’s not even scratching the surface of what goes on during Carnival.

But while the revelry here is on par with anywhere in the world, the city itself is pretty rough. A full 19% of the population lives in hillside favelas, and while the city’s rampant crime isn’t immediately evident in the tourist-friendly south zone, it’s still there, and tourists are an easy mark. The local police aren’t the most helpful (just ask Ryan Lochte) and the city actually has a completely separate force designed just for tourists. So while partying here might be fun in theory, the reality is there are cleaner, safer cities in the world for that. Those, you'll notice, are ahead. -- Matt Meltzer, staff writer

19. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town. Hearing those words probably brings to mind Nelson Mandela, Table Mountain, maybe penguins or great white sharks, if you’ve done a little homework. The city itself doesn’t scream “rager” to the average traveler, but let me assure you, Cape Town is an all-day party town.

Provided you’re there during the warmer summer months (November to March), the day drinking scene gets serious at beach clubs like Shimmy. If you want to combine day drinking, BBQ, and eating with your hands, head to Mzoli’s in the townships. There you can wash down your braai with beers and mix with an eclectic crowd of locals, out-of-towners, and prominent politicians.

Don’t be swayed by the touristy V&A Waterfront, despite the familiar names. If you absolutely must have a drink in that area, hit the excellent craft cocktails at the Cape Grace Hotel's bar. As the sun slips below the waves, your night can go in a lot of different directions. Start it, though, at one of the amazing restaurants in Cape Town, like Test Kitchen. From there, if you’re dressed in your finery, perhaps cocktails at Planet Bar at the historic Mount Nelson Hotel. If you’re looking for a grittier night of boozing and a rowdy bar crawl, head to Long St and see how many pints of Castle you can handle. There are always the clubs, and if it happens to be a Sunday, and your Funday stretches into the evening, don’t miss the party at Caprice in Camps Bay. -- Jared S. Baumeister, Thrillist contributor

18. Hong Kong

You'll never feel out of place in Hong Kong, no matter where you're from. British banker-wankers might rub elbows with Indian-born locals over rooftop cocktails between the Batman-graced skyscrapers from The Dark Knight. Sobering up over late-night congee, you might find Canadian backpackers or vacationers from mainland China at the next table over. The point is, whether you're the most budget-conscious couch surfer or a Diamond-Elite-Plus-blahblah jet-setter, there's something for you in Hong Kong.

To the uninitiated, Hong Kong might seem like just a concrete jungle, but remember that parts really are downright jungle -- lush, green, mountainous, humid. That means a lot of sweaty nights out in summer and late spring -- after all, this is where sultry Chungking Express is set -- but nothing soaks up last night's regrets (or triumphs?) as well as the city's incredible dim sum. On the plus side, that also means the beaches beckon as late as November.

Satisfy your snobbiest Champagne tastes in Central's gleaming towers studded with three-Michelin-star restaurants, where the wine pairings will leave you luxuriously sloshed. More of a hippie? Then hop a ferry to car-free Lamma Island, where you'll feel right at home at the comfortably shabby pubs -- but beware that ride back, on the open water, if you've pulled a heroic number of corks to that point. -- Hannah Bae, Thrillist contributor

17. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Steak. Fernet. Lousy beer. Steak. This is what you're going to be working with in Argentina. Outside of a jaunt through the Recoleta Cemetery to not cry for Eva Peron, as per her wishes, there's not much on the tourist trail in BA. The touristic options are marginal, the local Quilmes beer is even worse. Who cares? You're not here to pose for a slideshow. You're here for the steak, for the Argentines, and for the nights that charge ahead through sunup.

Opinions are divided about where the absolute best meat is, but at the risk of sounding like a Frommer's guide, La Cabrera really is famous for a reason. Get the bife de chorizo and arrive hungry, it's massive. Nightlife in BA doesn't get going until 1am at the earliest, so while you digest your dinner, head to a cocktail bar like Floreria Atlantico, and let the beef settle while you drown it in booze.

Recoleta is considered the swankiest neighborhood here, but the majority of the nightlife is centered in the upscale areas of Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood. You will find everything from cafes to dive bars to clubs, so plan on spending most of your night drinking and exploring there. Check out Unicorn Huset. If you want to continue partying through the sunrise, check out the BA outpost of international super-club Pacha. It's open air, on the water, and located right near the smaller of Buenos Aires' two airports.

A final note when planning your fiesta: skip BA around New Year's. Many of the bars and clubs are closed, as the locals bring the party over to Punta del Este in Uruguay for the holiday. -- JSB

16. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Mexico is no stranger to parties. Chances are you've made one or several horrible life choices in Cancun on an ill-fated spring break and now cannot look at a Señor Frog's T-shirt without shriveling in shame. But while Cancun might hold the notoriety for being Mexico's biggest party destination, it's definitely not the one you need to know. Head another hour south from Cancun, and discover the magic that is Playa del Carmen.

Playa del Carmen is a once-fishing-village-turned-international hotspot on the Caribbean Sea. It's got gorgeous beaches, that warm turquoise-colored water you're craving, the ferry to Cozumel, and an endless calendar of parties. In fact, Playa (as it's known by the locals, and now you) kicks off every year with one of the world's best music festivals -- the BPM Festival. Thousands of fluorescent Ray-Ban-wearing audiophiles descend each January to the sugary shores for an epic, 10-day-long dance party with international DJs and parties that run from the afternoon into the wee hours of the morning.

Beyond BPM, there's 5th Ave, the main artery of Playa, flanked with bars, restaurants, and lounges. Sexy boutique hotels boast their fair share of "scene-y" pools, and the beach is lined with one club or bar after the other. The crowd in Playa tends to swing a little older and more mature compared to the body-shooters of Cancun, but that's you now. You'll fit right in. -- Meagan Drillinger, Thrillist contributor

15. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Forget the stereotypes of pot cafes, canals, and van Gogh. Spending a weekend partying in Amsterdam, will see you cycling from a former gas plant (Gashouder) to De School -- you guessed it, a former school, now 24-hour venue, fit with a yard, a gym, and a dance floor built into the school's former bike shed. The Netherlands boasts more music festivals per capita than anywhere else and the biggest dance music festival in the world (Amsterdam Dance Event). Appropriately, its capital was the first city in the world to have appointed a night mayor to oversee and protect late-night endeavors.

Amsterdam remains a hotbed of the world's biggest DJs, growing its own and drawing others with its passion for party perfection. If you can swing it, get to Amsterdam on April 27th, when nearly 1 million Dutch descend upon Amsterdam's streets, clubs, and special music festivals to celebrate their national holiday, King's Day, one of the greatest party events in the world-- Daniel Cole, Thrillist contributor

14. New Orleans, Louisiana

There's a reason every bachelor and bachelorette party east of the Rockies holds festivities in New Orleans. It's not a place that concerns itself much with limiting your good time, with bars open late, to-go cups so you never have to leave a drink behind, and streets packed with like-minded individuals. The party spills well past the (in)famous French Quarter. Sure, that area's home to Pat O'Brien's (birthplace of the Hurricane), the Penthouse Club, and Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop. But the Cajun culture of good times and great music extends through the whole city.

If Bourbon St feels like amateur hour, there's an entire secret nightlife scene in New Orleans, with everything from sex clubs and underground pinball arcades, to jazz clubs where Kermit Ruffins regularly pops in for a set. New Orleans is also famous for its annual Jazz Festival, bringing a slightly more sophisticated party to the Big Easy. The city's also loaded with beer bars, cocktail bars, and yes, strip clubs. And if your idea of partying involves severe gluttony, well, nobody needs to sell you on the food scene. But if you go, these are the restaurants you need to hit. -- MM

13. Singapore

If your idea of a good night out is heading to a club and rubba-rubba-ing on a local who speaks English (or hilariously charming Singlish), then steamy Singapore is your jam. Tidy and buttoned-up by day, Singapore sheds that image like a wool sportcoat during its perpetually summery nights.

We're partial to the cocktail scene -- after all, Singapore was the no-brainer pick for the only international outpost of the swanky, storied New York City cocktail bar Employees Only. Need more options? Head to Operation Dagger for its pared-down, minimalist cool, or Jigger and Pony, whose spot-on classic cocktails are just as polished as the gleaming teak bar. Cozy up to some fresh meat and soft buns (burgers, swear) at Potato Head Folk, where you can bounce upstairs for a digestif at the uber-chill open-air bar.

The high life takes on multiple meanings in Singapore, where there's no shortage of drinks to be had at dizzying heights, as long as you're down to drop a wad of cash. Nowhere shows off the city-state's skyline better than 1-Altitude, although Marina Bay Sands' offerings are worthy of serious honorable mentions. Want to pad your tummy with a buffer before calling it a night? You're in the right place. Singapore's incredible food culture excels at late-nighteats -- call it "supper" if you've got a taste of Singlish on the tongue. -- HB

12. Tel Aviv, Israel

The Mediterranean lifestyle is synonymous with living slow and enjoying life to the fullest. In Tel Aviv the locals have taken this mantra to the next level. With perfect weather all year round, the parties here only really begin after midnight and don't stop even if you are the only person dancing in the club; no one will turn the lights on and kick you out. Tel Aviv established itself as "a city that never sleeps" early on, with a world-class DJ scene known for giving birth to the trance kings Infected Mushroom and more recently to the EDM poster child, Borgore. For a city as small as Providence, RI, Tel Aviv parties big.

This is where the largest Pride parade in the Middle East goes down, drawing over a quarter million people annually to celebrate life in this very LGBT-friendly city. On any night of the week you can start out at an American sports bar, stumble to a grungy dive, crash a bachelorette party, take shots of arak with some British tourists, hit a trendy underground rave, escalate the night at a drug-fueled afterparty, and by sunrise end up at a French party on the beach, with a falafel sandwich in hand (because that's really all you need after dancing for six hours straight). -- Oren Aks, Thrillist graphic designer

11. Bristol, England

Two hours west of London, Bristol is a thriving, bass-heavy port filled with students, music trendsetters, and iconic clubs. While the authorities are busy smothering London's clubbing scene by closing its most important venues, Bristol is taking the torch as the country's undisputed party capital. It's the culmination of having two leading universities, mixed with diverse ethnic communities and some radical-leftist ideologies. And unlike the nation's capital, all the major hubs for dancing are located around the city's harbourside (more or less).

This is the city that birthed Massive Attack, Roni Size, and Portishead, and played a pivotal part in the global movements for drum & bass and dubstep, largely due to the influence of its large Caribbean population. That's why Bristol's nightlife is built around a rude sound-system culture, where the city's clubs (and illegal parties, if you can find them) churn out dub, reggae, or more contemporary hybrids that leave your legs wobbling and stomach shaking. With London now struggling to hold its own in the nightlife scene -- having recently lost major venues such as Fabric and Plastic People -- Bristol is easily every Brit's go-to stronghold for music culture and nightly wanderings. -- DC

10. Beirut, Lebanon

This city’s relentless nightlife can only be explained by a young-and-naive desire to escape the harsh realities of Lebanon's relentless daytimes. This tiny Mediterranean country has a tendency to swerve from plight to plight: civil strife, assassinations, ISIS at the border. Today, a garbage crisis has left mounds of uncollected waste baking under a hot sun. Also, the country hasn't been able to decide on a president for more than a year.

But it's perhaps that chaos that keeps Beirut's nightlife so incredibly sexy. No matter who you are or what you want to do, Beirut's appeal will lure you in. For the clubbers, begin at White Beirut. This award-winning, multi-level outdoor venue will have you dancing to the beat of the lights and the music, accompanied by acrobatic women hanging from the overhead truss. For a more toned-down, no-heels-needed scene, head to Grand Factory to dance with a view of Beirut's port. Another rooftop bar with a view of Beirut's skyline is Iris, great for sunset drinks and live music. At Music Hall, a pricey night worth every dollar will include a dozen international musicians performing on a grand stage till 2am.

The city's bar scene represents Beirut best, and most honestly. Three areas of the city demand a visit, each offering a different facet of Beirut's diverse, complex identity. First, Makdessi St in Hamra, lined with bars and pubs. At the end of the street, you'll find Ferdinand -- great burgers, great staff, and a respectable selection of beer. Second, Mar Mikhael. Start at Internazionale, turn left, right, up, or down the street -- any direction is the right one. Junkyard, Coup d'Etat, and Trainstation are safe bets for a good time. Finally, there's Beirut's ascendant and least stuffy bar scene: Badaro St. Tell your cab to let you out at Bank Audi and follow the rumbling sounds of bar-goers. Heads-up: be ready to return home smelling of secondhand smoke and the local beer and wine, Lebanon's pride and joy. -- Dana Ballout, Thrillist contributor

9. Barcelona, Spain

Admit it, everyone you know who has been to Barcelona has told you that you simply must go, and that they loved it. But practice your midday napping before you make the leap across the pond. In Barcelona, remember, you should not be going to dinner before 10pm at the earliest, and the parties at night really don't get going until 2am. Don't worry, you'll have plenty of time to sleep on the sand.

The Burj-esque W is right on the beach, and the bar scene there is perfect for Sunday cocktails stretching into the night. Once you shake your Monday hangover off in the surf and gorge yourself on tapas, check out the Monday night party at Apolo, if you can handle a student-heavy crowd. For single-stop restaurant, bar, and club areas, check out Tuset St, especially for Bling Bling and Sutton, or El Born, where you should pop into Mix, or if you're feeling a bit more alternative, Magic. If you're down by the beach, go to CDLC or get your Ibiza-lite fix at Opium next door. More "mature" partiers who can't stomach the student scene should check out Luz de Gas. Make a wrong turn at some point? Doesn't matter. Just keep moving -- everyone else here is. -- JSB

8. Miami, Florida

Only in Miami can you be standing in a hotel lobby at 8pm on a Monday and have a 65-year-old man in a yarmulke come up to you and say: "My wife's pissed at me because I've been partying at E11EVEN since 9 o'clock last night." And the fact that this man just spent almost 24 hours in a strip club doesn't even faze you. Miami isn't just a city; it's a springboard for interdimensional travel, where visitors can come and pretty much do whatever they want, while a good number of "locals" do it right along with them.

There's a disproportionately large number of songs devoted to partying in Miami. Part of the reason is because the city is America's de facto capital of electronic music, the birthplace of the now-worldwide Ultra Music Festival, and home to such legendary EDM venues as Club Space and LIV. And though Miami might be famous for its legendary bottles-and-models nightlife, the city's partying options have broadened over the years. Wynwood, for example, is Miami's arts district, where you can walk from one outdoor bar covered in street art to another, typically keeping your drink with you. And the high-rise condos in Brickell have drawn young professionals and an entire bar scene to go with them. All this growth has made Miami one of the more interesting and diverse party cities in the world. At least until it's all underwater. -- MM

7. Montreal, Quebec

The local drinking age of 18 reads only one way: ridiculously messy. For many young partygoers, a crash-landing in Montreal is a glorious realm of firsts -- first time drinking in a bar (well, legally), first strip club experience, first strip club experience gone hilariously awry. It's basically a breeding ground for those embarrassing amateur mistakes you won't forget till you're dead in the dirt.

The more seasoned partiers will attest that Montreal's also got plenty of space to avoid such bush-leaguers, and to raise a little hell in Canada's French-speaking quarters. Evenings can start off in a BYOW (bring your own wine) restaurant, and evolve towards watering holes and nightclubs that range from student-priced to hipstery and chic. And it ain't over until it's 4am and you're waiting for a table at La Banquise, ready to wolf-pounce on poutine covered in sausage. Sunday hangovers are cured at Tam-Tams, a weekly open-air festival with DJs, drum circles, LARPing (medieval jousting matches role-played), and musky billows of pot smoke. Drinking in public parks is actually legal in Montreal, so long as it's accompanied by a meal. Challenge accepted, non? -- Barbara Woolsey, Thrillist contributor

6. Athens, Greece

Grab your Molotov cocktail, a bottle of ouzo, and let's party Athens-style! While most tourists simply connect in Athens on their way to the beautiful Greek isles, the city's unparalleled history isn't the only draw. Start with a quiet dinner in the northern suburb of Kifisia, or perhaps try one of the more lively restaurants closer to the center, like Spondi or Milos. After dinner, head to Galaxy Bar on the top of the Hilton hotel and offer a toast to the ancients as you imbibe with panoramic views of Athens and the Acropolis. Once you've soaked up enough history by osmosis, head to Baba Au Rum to continue with some quality cocktails.

Once you've bled the cocktail bars dry, and the mere thought of austerity makes you want to throw cabbage at a riot cop, head to the Kolonaki neighborhood and keep the night going at Dybbuk or Rock n Roll. If you're sporting a man bun and are into amateur artisanal beekeeping, perhaps the bars of the up-and-coming Gazi neighborhood, so-named for the gas works in the area, will be more your speed. Finally, if you're returning to your yacht for the evening, the famous Island Club in Vouliagmeni will be waiting. Whatever your pleasure, take the time to explore Athens before you abscond to the various island paradises that dot the Aegean. -- JSB

5. Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand's gargantuan capital is famous for nocturnal throwdowns, red light districts, and demolishing buckets on Khao San Rd on the cheap. But there's a reason nearly everyone who visits Thailand comes away with some kind of raging booze-fueled story. In Bangkok, there's no shortage of spots to go looking for trouble -- and if you don't go looking, it often seems to find you anyway.

Even the most innocuous evening can turn legendary in a second. You might be sipping cocktails at a speakeasy or rooftop bar, and suddenly you're linked up with a group of expats, getting whisked away to an event with free-flow Champers and Thai socialites, celebs, and generally lots of gorgeous people. Before you know it, it's 5am and you're in a tuk-tuk going to Wong's, a dive bar that’s pretty much the only place to go after everything else has closed (be prepared to order beer and wash your hands in a bathroom sink that's literally just a hose in the wall). Either that, or you've probably already ended up at someone's private afterparty -- and seeing as anything can happen in Bangkok, a penthouse wouldn't even be out of the question. -- BW

4. Berlin, Germany

Here you'll find everything for all types: sex parties, techno parties, jazz parties, house parties, and burger and hip-hop joints. You can leave the house on a Thursday afternoon and not come back until Monday morning, having danced and dirtied your clubbing footwear, and drowned yourself in the local energy drink, Club-Mate. Who has time for sleep in this constant, enduring, unending sprawl? The city's infamous techno nightspot Berghain is so renowned worldwide, Conan O'Brien was recently seen skitting outside the venue's doors. It even spawned a now-infamous New York Times article "In Berlin, You Never Have to Stop," about an Australian band who arrived in what they saw as an artists paradise and who sank into the rabbit hole of decadent dirtbaggery.

The city's post-Cold War legacy was set in motion once the Wall came down. Suddenly free to leave, East Berliners did, in droves. Behind them stood an abundance of urban housing at dirt-cheap prices, ripe for a generation of creative, liberal-minded people to fill the void. A generation later, prices have largely caught up, but it's cheaper than Ibiza, and has more DJs and artists playing throughout the city's clubs than any other European hotspot. It may be the planet's finest incarnation, at present, of actual sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. -- DC

3. Ibiza, Spain

The party scene in Ibiza is pretty much like that rave in The Matrix Reloaded, except that everyone's rich and/or famous and/or on designer drugs. Oh, and it's an island paradise. If you get tired of dancing your face off to one of the zillion-odd beach parties, you can always slip away to one of the island's myriad hidden coves. Bring a friend, make a lover. Then get back to it, because you're here for the clubs. Pacha is the powerhouse, with the world-famous Flower Power discotheque. Space, famous for its theme parties, throws a bash that imitates the Feria de Abril in Seville, where flamencas serve up manzanilla and jamon. At Privilege, the largest nightclub in the world, see hundreds of go-gos streaming out of nowhere. At Amnesia, maybe get a scornful glance from guest DJ Paris Hilton.

Speaking of, you want to drop names? Ibiza will throw them at you so fast you lose track. Rafa Nadal, Ronaldo, Paulina Rubio, Chris Brown. Or maybe you want to drop euros? Top-tier parties will run you a cool 100€, but even they have names you'll want to drop: Fuck Me I'm Famous by David Guetta, one of the most celebrated bashes around the island, used to be at Pacha but is now at Ushuaia, an incredible open-air club. Now the party is called, appropriately enough, BIG. The hush-hush VIP parties at Lío, a restaurant with a cabaret that turns into a disco, are probably out of your reach. No matter, for you can also make your scene on the cheap. If you don't want to get sand in your ass, hurl yourself off the rocks at Punta Galera, a gorgeous cove for cliffdiving. If you're into ass sand, go to Ses Salines, a never-ending white sand beach. There, at night, the clubs sponsor bikini street parties, at a price you can finally afford. -- Josh Bergen, Thrillist contributor

2. Las Vegas, Nevada

Though Miami might beg to differ when it comes to partying in the USA, no place can touch Vegas. The big clubs here -- Hakkasan, XS, Marquee -- succeed where others in America fail, combining the exclusivity and glamour of bottle service with the big-room dance floors of a music festival. So you can party here whether you want to drop thousands and be surrounded by bottle rats, or if you just want to dance your ass off until whenever the afterparty starts.

And that's the thing about Vegas. New York says it's the city that never sleeps, but point of fact, everyone there has a steep rent to pay, and must get up in the morning. Vegas is the city that never stops partying. People land at McCarran and it's like they change into different people, and that guy who always calls it a night at midnight is rolling back into the hotel room at 9am asking, "When's the pool party?" Because in Vegas, the beautiful people just move the party from inside to poolside as soon as the sun comes up. The pool parties at places like Marquee and Encore are referred to as "day clubs," taking all the debauchery that's typically limited to darkness, and putting it all out in broad daylight. And while there are other cities in the world with great clubs, sick pool parties, and inhibition-less people, no place combines it all and throws in 24-hour gambling, great food, giant events, decadent stage shows, ridiculous strip clubs, pop-in gun ranges, marvelous people-watching, and shady American shenanigans from red states and blues states alike, quite like Vegas. -- MM

1. Seoul, South Korea

Say "kimchee," throw up a peace sign, and smile, because good cheer runs through Seoul like soju swimming in your bloodstream. You're doing it right if that soju got into your system through a "love shot," a delightfully cheesy semi-hug reflective of Seoulites' unabashed affection for humankind: you face someone (hopefully one of the city's many beautiful people), hook opposite elbows, and throw back the all-too-swiggable liquor in your cup.

A night out in Seoul is a deliriously joyful whirlwind anytime of the year. Round one might unfold among the smoke and sizzle of a Downtown Korean BBQ joint, where the air is filled with the aromas of succulent bulgogi and pork belly, the clinks of beer mugs, and neighboring tables' happy shouts of "yogiyo!" -- over here! -- because everyone wants more! more! more! of this goodness.

Ready for round two? Good, 'cause the Seoul party train always runs local. Head to a private Korean noraebang, where there is absolutely no shame in erupting in liberated goofiness when you and your friends don neon wigs and belt out tunes to the beat of light-up tambourines. Maybe you're in the mood to hit the club for round three. Expect good company: Hongdae's youthful, indie crowd will dance with the gleeful abandon of Peanuts characters. Or maybe you're more Gangnam style (had to): the area's polished, futuristic temples of sound attract only the insanely stylish. No matter the neighborhood, there's nonstop energy all night long, with people inexplicably high on life (drugs are highly, highly illegal in South Korea, but you definitely won't need them here) and not even a hint of the aggro-shoving that plagues dance floors elsewhere.

The best part? After all this, your wallet will still be oddly fat, because a good time in Seoul can be had for a song. Bonus points: you can tell mom not to worry because you'll be partying in an incredibly safe city, where it'd be shocking for anyone to mess with you and your posse, even if you're bleary on soju and sleeplessness, stumbling back to your hotel.

Feeling rough the morning after? Hope is as close as the corner convenience store, which will no doubt stock an array of hangover remedies in mini-cans and brown glass bottles -- or maybe grab one of the newly invented hangover-fighting popsicles. They're yet another sign of how partying has worked its way into daily South Korean life. Follow with a detox afternoon soaking and scrubbing at one of Seoul's super-cheap jjimjilbangspas until you feel like new. No wonder the party never stops in Seoul. -- HB

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Matt Meltzer is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow him on Instagram @meltrez1.