Top 10 Leisure Locations in Europe

Time To Party - Top 10 European Nightclubs

Pegging down the top nightclubs in Europe is a hard one.  In part it’s difficult to pinpoint which European Nightclub’s come out of top because of the sheer number of clubs across the continent (with more opening every day), but, more to the point, their designation as “hot spots” tends to ebb and flow according to the taste of the day. That said, we’ve put together a list of the best clubs du jour, so if you’ve got a jet, a month, and a need for the best parties on the continent, read on…

 

Space (Ibiza, Spain)

Not Not Not for the faint of heart. With a 20,000 party-person capacity and a penchant for nights that stretch into days. Space has garnered a reputation for parties the size of small cities. The Best DJ’s are spinning, the hottest celebrities are dancing, and this Dance Mecca, build in a car park, is where you go when you don’t want the night to end.

 

Fabric (London, UK)

When a DJ has finally “made it”, he or she scores a residency at a table in Fabric. First things first, Fabric has a vibrating dancefloor. It actually shakes. It’s in the London’s “So-Hip-It-Bleeds” Meat District, It’s got three separate rooms that play host to the Who’s Who of London’s best DJ’s, and there’s A FLOOR… THAT VIBRATES.  Any questions?

 

Berghain (Berlin, Germany)

Germans do a few things very well, and one of them is techno. Berlin is the undisputed world capital of techno music, and their best and brightest congregate at the massive Berghain. The only club in the world we know of that’s built in an old Power plant, it’s also famous for the scandalous behavior it’s patrons get up to, if you’re not into getting all kinds of freaky, stay out of the Darkroom.

The Sub Club (Glasgow, Scotland)

Glasgow is a tough town, but let it never be said this industrial city doesn’t know how to get down. In terms of straight up, Party all night fun, the Sub Club takes the crown and has been keeping it real for longer than any other club on this list.  It’s subculture, it’s cutting edge, and it’s in your face. Prepare yourself!

Amnesia (Ibiza, Spain)

The island of Ibiza became notorious for 1960’s drug culture, and for Europe’s jet setters, it’s been the place to come and get wild from then till now. The hottest spot has to be Amnesia, a converted villa that’s over a thousand years old. When tyou visit try to remember that Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin all played famous gigs there, if you can think about anything between the earsplitting house music and your constant brushes with A-Listers.

Watergate (Berlin, Germany)

Look up and you’ll see an absolutely incredible LED ceiling that put on a show almost as dazzling as never ending stream of beautiful people dancing underneath it. Watergate is unofficially dubbed “The place to pick up” in Berlin, which puts it high on the list for best worldwide.

Plastic People (London, UK)

Question:  Do you like Dubstep? If the answer is yes, than you already know about Plastic People.  It’s not big, it’s not well lit, but it is loud. The music you’ll hear in Plastic People is always boundary pushing, always avant guarde, and the atmosphere makes for an audiophile’s heaven on Earth.

Paradiso (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Say you’re in Downtown Amsterdam and you pass a huge church with Rock Music blaring from all the stained glass windows. You’re not imagining things, you’re in Paradiso. Acoustics designed for choirs translate to Rock n Roll very nicely, and have made Paradiso a must stop venue for all the huge acts on European tours. They’ve hosted everybody from Joy Division to the Deftones, and if a band is lighting up the charts, chances are they’ve already played a set.

Sankeys (Manchester, England)

This will be Sankey’s twentieth year in business, during which they’ve been bankrupted three times. Financial matters are one thing, but so long as they manage to keep the doors open Sankeys is far and away the best piece of nightlife Manchester has to offer. The newly revamped club reopened in January, and the converted soap factory once again offers two floors of state-of-the-art all night party. Get while the getting’s good!

 

If those aren’t enough great party options for you, honorable mention has to go to the Rex Club (Paris, France), Cavo Paradiso (Mykonos, Greece) and Studio Martin (Bucharest, Romania).

Top 10 European Beaches

 Landmarks, Restaurants, museums, Europe’s got it all, but sometimes all you want to do is feel the sand between your toes and feel the sunshine. If hitting the beach is your idea of an ideal vacation, we’ve put together the very best the European continent has to offer.  Just trust us on the sunscreen. 

Biarritz (France) 

Biarritz is sexy and it knows it. The area built up around it, from cafes, bars, dance clubs and full-on resorts, all revolves around having the best natural beach in the continent. The Atlantic Ocean never looks or feels so good as on the majestic French coast, and the Biarritz Surf Festival is the sort of highlight that should be on every bucket list. 

Ibiza (Spain)

You could never accuse the party at Ibiza of being “conservative” and the beaches (particularly Cala San Vincente) have rightly earned a hedonistic reputation worldwide. Even when the beach is very busy (see: Always) it’s wide enough to accommodate the biggest crowds comfortably, so you’re never fighting for a place to watch the show.   

Cannes (France) 

If you’ve never heard of Cannes you’ve probably spent most of your life in a bunker somewhere. It’s almost a shame Cannes is so well known for it’s film festival, because there’s as much action happening on the surf then there ever is in the theatres, and most star gazers will take a bikini over a red carpet dress any day of the week. 

Tarifa (Spain)

What Tarifa has, maybe better than anybody else, is the perfect conditions for windsports. If parasailing is your thing, you’ve already heard of Tarifa and you’re probably planning your trip. It’s got lots to do and see besides, but always have a lookout for passing sailboats and the celebrities who own them. 

St. Tropez (France)

Luxury, thy name is Tropez. The French Riviera is never so posh as along this stretch of sand, and the worldwide celebrities that show up at all hours of the day just to soak up the rays is probably without equal. If you want a little glitz with your vacation, this is the safest bet there is.   

Cefalonia (Greece)

Greece has an embarrassment of perfect beaches, but there’s the Island of Cefalonia stands out as the very best of the best. Head in any direction and you’ll find a picturesque seaside, but the best rule of thumb is, go to Myrtos for the scenery, and Antisamos for the party, 

Brighton (England) 

If you don’t notice the drop in temperature you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Miami. Brighton boasts an iconic games arcade and really, really, really good pubs, and, being that it’s only a quick shot from there to London, the hot clubbing scene more than makes up for the cooler temperatures. 

Marbella (Spain)

You can’t talk about Marbella without bringing up Nikki Beach. It’s the hard partying, sun-soaked, music pumping capital of the world, and easily the best all-round entertainment spot on this list. We can’t promise you quiet, but as far as a day and night to remember filled with pictures you probably won’t want to share on Facebook. 

Toscana (Italy)

The beaches at Toscana have been a hotspot since the Etruscan era. There’s just something about the geography that makes the water feel better. You won’t find an inch that isn’t developed to the nines, so don’t look for a private moment, but if it’s a place to see and be seen that you’re after, the resorts and hotspots are not to be missed. 

Cadiz (Spain)

The word that comes to the minds of Cadiz’s visitors is usually “unspoiled”. It’s a popular destination to be sure, but there’s something about the small villages, kilometer long beaches, amazing cliffs and laid back attitudes that set it apart from the rest of the places on the list. Cadiz is a good place to take a deep breath and recharge the batteries.   As if these weren’t enough, the other top contenders for the best beaches in Europe include Curonian Spit (Lithuania), Barleycove, County Cork (Ireland), Sopot (Poland) and Warnemünde (Germany). Surf’s up! 

Top 10 European Restaurants

 There are parts of Europe that were early adapters to the “foodie” movement that eventually swept the globe, and then there were the countries and establishments who were doing it all along.  Whichever side of the coin the city you’re in is on, there aren’t any places left on the continent without top shelf cuisine and restaurants that are busy perfecting this dish or that. Even so, there are some restaurants that just stand above them all,   

Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark)

There really isn’t any debate left, Noma is the best restaurant on the continent, and it even got the “best in the world” nod in 2010, six years after it opened. They do Nordic food the way Johnny Cash does Nine Inch Nails songs, that is, better than it’s meant to be. Bring your appetite.

 

El Bulli (Catalonia, Spain)

This Michelin 3-star deserves the second spot, even though it’s been closed for three years. It was small and intimate overlooking the Mediterranean and the kitchen quarterback Chef Ferran Adria did things with a rotating cast of 42 other chefs that blew the rest of the world away. We salute you. 

The Fat Duck (Berkshire, UK)

The English were so notorious for having the worst food on the entire planet that their celebrity chef’s have had a chip on their shoulder for the last two decades. The Fat Duck are right in the middle of that storm, bringing all that “gastronomical science” a 1:1 customer/employee ratio and the sort of food where everybody’s comfortable with the three Michelin Star rating. Don’t miss it. 

El Celler de Can Roca (Catalonia, Spain)

El Celler de Can Roca spends it’s days jostling between first and second best place to eat in the world, but what’s really striking about the entire business is that it’s a spinoff from his family’s “larger” restaurant that’s been in business since ’67.  Their signature is simplicity at its finest, using local food, elegant presentation, and probably the most reverent ambient experience anywhere. 

Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy) 

 Italy is where good food just happens, but Osteria Francescana can bring their patrons to tears of joy before they’ve finished the hor d’oeuvres. It’s art on a plate, and if you can get a reservation you’re not in for a meal, you’re in for an experience that takes all your senses into account. 

Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Spain)

Some establishments, when they become famous and successful, get set in their ways, but at Mugaritz innovation and exploration are absolutely tied to its identity. Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz is the world’s gastronomical Enfant Terrible, and the stuff coming out of that kitchen is the textbook definition of “groundbreaking”. 

Le Chateaubriand (Paris, France)

They call it “Neo-Bistro” but until you get your meal patrons are meant to feel as comfortable as if they were in any other busy, cool little lunch place the city is so famous for. When you get the food though, that’s a different story altogether. A meal at Le Chateaubrand is consistent with any visit to Paris; Beautiful.  

Arzak (San Sebastian, Spain)

The Spanish really are making a splash, on this list and most others, but Arzak has boasted three Michelin Stars for more than 20 years, the building is over a hundred years old, the chefs are a father/daughter team, and the food, “New Basque Cuisine” at its very best,  

L’Hotel de Ville – (Fribourg, Switzerland)

In terms of overall experience, L’Hotel de Ville takes a backseat to absolutely noone. The views of the beautiful city is absolutely pleasant, the food, while not groundbreaking exactly, is perfectly balanced, and the atmosphere is so-hip-it-bleeds. If you’re in Fribourg and you don’t check it out, you’re cheating yourself! 

Hof van Cleve (Kruishoutem, Belgium)

Peter Goossens isn’t exactly a household name, and maybe Hof van Cleve isn’t either, but the food critics never miss a chance to visit with either. Peter and his wife run an elegant ship with traditional Belgian food done to perfection, but don’t order waffles unless you want a dirty look.  These kinds of lists, by their very nature always leave first rate places off the list, but some really terrific honorable mentions have to go to Pierre Gagnaire (Paris, France), Vendome (Cologne, Germany) and Chez Dominique (Helsinki, Finland). Or go out and find some uncelebrated gems on your own, you can’t go wrong! 

 

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