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If they are in a certain tourist destinations, travelers are virtually required to visit those headlining attractions that are featured in every guidebook and every glossy travel magazine. The Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, the Colosseum, the Great Pyramids, and so on. Wherever you end up on your travels, there are bound to be a couple of places that fit into this must-see category. You know for certain that when you get back home, people are going to ask to see your snapshots of these famous sites.
But sightseeing is only one aspect of traveling. For many tourists, the real reason to visit a foreign land is to party. Some might even take some Eiffel Tower or Colosseum pics to mask their real motivation for visiting Rome or Paris.
Nightlife-seeking globetrotters sometimes run into budget trouble. To truly enjoy the nighttime entertainment in places like Milan, Paris, and Tokyo, you will have to blow everything on one or two nights of extravagant fun.
Luckily, some of the world’s best party spots don’t have expensive price tags. Sure, they might be a little more remote than the happening’ hub cities mentioned above, but an extra flight or train trip will lead to significant savings when it comes to nightlife (and, usually, room and board as well).
Where are these easy-on-the-pocketbook party spots?
This German metropolis is the king of casual cool. Music clubs and artsy lounges are scattered all over the city. Most are quite casual and lack dress codes and high cover charges. There are a few scene-makers’ venues where the velvet rope is present, but a vast majority of nightspots welcome laid-back, sneaker-wearing revelers. As with many European destinations, the expensiveness of Berlin for Americans depends on the current USD to Euro exchange rate.
The capital of one of the world’s largest nations is Jakarta. This vast metropolis is party-central for in-the-know tourists. Giant clubs host regionally famous and even internationally known Djs, while pubs serve up wild nights filled with inexpensive liquor and willing women. Yes, Indonesia is officially the world’s largest Muslim nation, but, aside from a few conservative regions and fringe groups, this is a secular place with little evidence of the conservatism found in the Middle East or even in nearby Malaysia. Is it cheap? By European and American standards, yes, it is. Tourists can afford to party twice as hard in Jakarta for half the price.
The Argentine capital is, and always has been, known for its nightlife. From neighborhood pubs that stay open late into the night to clubs and more traditional tango venues, there are plenty of places to enjoy yourself until well after the sun goes down (or even until it comes up again). Closing time for many bars is 6 a.m., and a few don’t even bother to close at all. Beer flows freely in B.A., and it is cheaper swill the suds than it is to drink wine. The city’s San Telmo District is home to some more-bohemian hangouts. Even if you are not into that type of scene, the cheap accommodations and eateries in this area will help you stay on budget.
This city has long been celebrated as a place for bohemian artists and travelers. Even if this scene is not to your liking, the dirt cheap beers are enough to tempt anyone. This is hop-head heaven, with world-class micro-brews sold for a dollar or two per glass. Huge beer-halls can get rowdy, and a club scene can give those with the desire to chase some skirts a place to do so. Eastern Europe as a whole has grown, and its blend of accessibility and cheap prices has drawn more and more tourists. Don’t go expecting a world-class nightlife scene, but go expecting fun and knowing that your dollars (or Euros) will go much further than in Paris or Barcelona.
Dakar is this list’s African entry. This relatively safe metropolis on the continent’s western coast is home to an amazing music scene that regularly hosts concerts by DJs, Afro-pop superstars, and world music luminaries. Prices are always reasonable and cover charges are not universal. The happy-go-lucky atmosphere and the appreciation that locals have for great music and raucous partying means that this is an unforgettable place to spend a few nights.