I know when travelling you’re supposed to do the cultural things like climb a mountain, visit a temple, but I don’t think there’s anything more beautiful than going clubbing. People from different walks of life come together to share the love and beauty of music. Cheesy I know, but I’m okay with it.
I used to look at DJ Mag’s Top 100 Clubs in the world and use this as a guide to decide where to visit on my travels. This wouldn’t always be the smartest or the most cost effective route, but I’ve managed to experience some of the most incredible nights out during my sauntering.
NOTE: These are not all of the best clubs in the world, that might take years and I can only party for so long. This is merely my favourite ones I’ve visited and wanted to write about.
- Warung Beach Club, Itajai – Brazil
Warung Beach Club has always been the #1 clubbing destination for me. The club is an enchanting wooden temple in the middle of a deserted beach and as the sun comes up, it lights up the entire venue. It’s really special. The parties are dotted around the month, sometimes twice or four times a month so when it comes happen, it’s worth the wait.
Photo credit: From Warung Facebook Page as my photos are terrible.
Situated an 8-hour drive or 1-hour flight (depending on how tight your purse strings are) from Sao Paulo, this is a trip for those who are dedicated. The parties are heavenly, with so many beautiful people, obviously, the Brazilians are stunning but it’s hard not to be in awe of its atmosphere and stunning aesthetic.
Deciding one visit was not enough, we waited around for another two full weeks until the next party – Solomun’s Dynamic label showcase. If that isn’t dedication to Solomun, I don’t know what is – except maybe getting his name tattooed on my ass.
Entry costs around €60 and girls get half price (sorry lads). You must get a taxi from Itajai to the club, which takes around 15 minutes although can take up to 45 minutes as it’s a single road with lots of cars en route to the club.
Itajai is the nearest beach town where Brazilians like to go on holiday, so whilst you’re waiting for the party, enjoy the scenery.
NOTE: Please don’t try and drive. There were so many crashes with party goers having a little bit too much fun and attempt the winding roads back. You might be okay to drive but the person in the other car might not.
2. Berghain – Berlin
The penultimate question: How to get into Berghain?
I was trying to think of a way to describe Berghain, but the only word I could think of was brutal. It’s a complete assault on the senses and if you survive the interrogation from Sven, the legendary head bouncer, and his men, then congratulations – you are in for a ride!
The door policy is harsh. They will turn away anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are 25 or 60, black, white, Scottish, disabled, or the best-looking person God has created – they will most likely turn you away. They are not racist or bigoted. They just do not care and they’ll let in whoever they feel like letting in.
Photo: Walking towards their fate at Berghain’s pearly gates.
When you don’t get in, please don’t take it to heart and always have a plan B. I’ve posted a few other decent clubs to try when your Berghain attempt is unsuccessful which you can read about here. Some people say to always think positively, but not when it comes to Berghain. PREPARE TO FAIL.
Note to self: Never write a self-help book.
If you’re a tourist in Berlin for the weekend, your mission is even harder. They hate tourists. The easiest time to get in is Sunday morning around 10 am as that’s when the Berliners go as there is no queue and the shift of bouncers has changed from the night before. Queues can be up to 3 hours long on a Saturday night or even up to 5 hours long on a big weekend, like Berlin Gay Pride weekend or on their label night Ostgut Ton.
Photo credit: Read the Highsnobiety interview with legendary head honcho Sven Marquardt here.
There are 3 levels; Panorama Bar at the top, the main level complete with a cheese toastie stand, ice cream station and of course a sex swing for good measure. Coffee is also available in P’Bar. The bottom layer is ‘The Lab’ which I’ve only heard stories about, if you want to hear more about these, send me an email as I wouldn’t want to put you off your dinner.
The outdoor Mad Max style garden area is nice for those delightful summer afternoons escaping the beautiful intensity that is happening inside those walls. Expect heart-melting techno, nudity and an incredible atmosphere. Entry costs €15 and you can re enter until 8pm ish on Sundays. No photos or videos – obviously – which is nice as it means everyone is actually enjoying the music instead of Snapchatting their pals about what a ‘sick’ night they’re having. GOOD LUCK!
3. Sub Club – Glasgow
Considering this is where I grew up, I will always have massive love for this wee club in Glasgow. With continuously strong lineups and the longest UK residency from the legendary Harri and Dom, it’s hard to fault.
Photo credit: From Sub Club’s Facebook page
The club holds its place in the heart of Glasgow’s city centre. An underground bunker, where phone signal is thankfully nowhere to be seen and the ceilings are low enough to touch. Be sure not to stand too close to the ‘wall of sound’, the wall of speakers, which is sure to feel your ears ringing for a few days after.
Entry cost varies depending on the night but you’re guaranteed to have a good one here. Get yourself a Haggis Bomb (Irn Bru and Jager) at the Arlington Bar for £2.50 and then saunter down to the Subby.
4. Fabric London
Facing the threat of closure recently, Fabric has bounced back regaining its spot as one of the best clubs in the world. Unfortunately, due to licensing agreements from the council, you will receive a proper pat down from security – it’s not their fault, they really don’t want to have to feel you up but it’s the council’s rules so be nice.
At the weekends, there will be Fabric curated lineups and ‘Fabric Live’ curated line-ups. The latter is more drum’n’bass acts then the Fabric techno/house line-ups.
Photo Credit: Anna Wallington // Michael Mayer at Fabric
Consisting of three rooms, a decent outdoor space and a solid sound system, the club will continue to reign high in the top clubs in the UK, if not the world.
PS. I still need to go to Printworks, the 18-acre old printing factory building in London with mind blowing lasers. That’s on my next trip to-do list in London.
When I lived in Australia this club, along with Brown Alley, were the only two ‘go-to’ places for me. With Sydney’s clubs facing huge crack downs from police and licensing restrictions, Melbourne’s night life scene is still holding its own, although that’s not to say it hasn’t had its challenges.
Photo: Melissa Butters Photography on Revolver’s Facebook Page.
Revolver is one of the few places in Australia which has a 24-hour license so you will regularly find revellers still going at 11am.
Situated on Melbourne’s famous Chapel Street, full of decent bars, shop and cafes, this venue hosts an array of music nights and also serves as a restaurant so you can line your stomach before a big one.
DJs play from behind a cage in the intimate main room, surrounded by tired leather couches, ambient red lighting and stencilled walls, which makes you feel like your creepy uncle’s dark living room rather than a nightclub, but is definitely a cool space.
Be sure to check out their website for more info.
6. DC-10 Ibiza
Photo credit: DC10’s Facebook page
Oh Ibiza – where do I begin? This Balearic island is a beautiful place, offering the best sunsets, lineups and clubs in the world. I’ve detailed my favourite places to visit, stay and eat in my Ibiza blog but let’s dive into my favourite club on the island, DC-10.
Situated in an old airport hanger, the club has a capacity of 1500. It’s most famous (and best night) is Monday hosted by Circo Loco which is in its 19th year. Tickets to any night can be up to €50, but the quality of DJs and the fact it lasts until mid-afternoon the following day is worth it.
A full list of Ibiza’s parties can be found on Ibiza Spotlight every year. My favourite nights are Circo Loco at DC10 on Monday, Marco Carola’s Music On Friday, Amnesia on a Thursday and possibly Wednesdays at Pacha and Thursday at Sankeys. Everything else is up for grabs.
I also have to mention the legendary Space here. During my first trip to Ibiza, one of the first nights we went to was Carl Cox’s Sunday residency ‘We Love’ at Space 10 years ago (gees – I feel old). Space ‘We (still) Love’ you. ❤
6. Gashouder – Amsterdam
I’ve also written about Gashouder in my ‘Where to party in Amsterdam? Then recover in Brussels and Bruges‘ blog, which details places to visit, where to eat and where go for a night out.
Gashouder is an old industrial event space in the gas network on the outskirts of town. The most famous party is Awakenings, who fly in top tier DJs and sync fireworks to take off to the music above your head.
It is as incredible as it sounds and here is a video of a Panpot set from 2012 in case you don’t believe me. (Skip to 1mins 45seconds for the full experience.) Other good clubs are De School and Claire.
I’ll keep adding to this as there’s still a few more clubs I’d like to tick off the list before I get past my sell by date.
Have fun. But not too much.
❤ STG x