For many travellers, an amazing night out clubbing is key to a great trip. But, of course, these nightspots can be a challenge to find in a foreign city. To help with your search for the perfect place to dance your way into the early hours, we’ve listed some of our favourite electronic music clubs from across the continent.
When Nick Hollywood, Chris Tofu and Dan O’Neill held a launch party for White Mink: Black Cotton – an Electro Swing Vs. Speakeasy Jazz compilation CD series – no one had predicted how the popularity for this cutting edge music style would sky-rocket. Fast forward 5 years and White Mink is now a staple of the London nightclub scene, with their most popular and frequent evening at London’s Village Underground on the first Saturday of February, May, November and December. Those who can’t make it to London, don’t fret! White Mink is also held in Bath and Brighton, and has become a regular on the festival and European club night circuit. Having been voted the second best party in the UK by Mixmag, the evening is well worth planning a trip around, so don your finery and dance to your heart’s content.
- Price of beer: £4/can.
- Price of entry: £12-17 depending on venue and purchase date.
- Resident DJs: Lots of DJs on the Freshly Squeezed Music label (“the spiritual home of electro swing”) as well as live performances from singers and cabaret acts.
- Entry difficulty: Can be difficult if you don’t plan ahead; tickets are sold in advance and they almost always sell out. There’s no enforced dress code but to match the remixed music, many attendees don 1920s-inspired attire.
Fancy partying in an abandoned factory? This is the place to go. The building has only had minimal renovations and otherwise has all the character and industrial charm you’d expect from a factory converted into a bar. It’s also considered a major hub for art of all kinds, including film, theatre, and festivals, in addition to the well-loved electro nights. Roest invites individuals to contribute, get inspired and create, which adds to an amazing collaborative vibe whether you’re there to dance or to see something more experimental. And if you need a breather, there’s the option of stepping outside to the nearby beach, where you can recuperate with a beer before heading back in.
For more info on partying in Amsterdam, check out the listings on the Clubbie.nl site.
- Price of beer: €2.50
- Price of entry: Mostly free, though it can cost anything between €4-30 depending on the night.
- Resident DJs: Marcel Barlag, Jules de la Courgette and EINDBAAS.
- Entry difficulty: Anyone can get in, although sometimes they have a theme and you can dress up. If so, you get a discount, and those who don’t dress up won’t be rejected.
Sometimes a club can feel like a sauna, but this venue used to actually be one. The former wellness-centre was used as a swinger club and meeting point of the Russian Mafia when it opened in 1965, but later it turned into one of the most important hubs of the techno/electro scene in Austria. Though it’s been appropriately refurbished, it’s still kept that aquatic edge with some of its fixtures, flooring, and of course an illuminated pool. Not to be pigeon-holed, Pratersauna also hosts concerts (Die Antwoord has performed), has its open-air pool for summer days (sometimes there are night swimming events, too!) and boasts gallery space and rooms for art exhibitions.
- Price of beer: €4-5 (cocktails up to €9)
- Price of entry: €8-15 (can be pre-ordered tickets online), usually with discounts for students
- Resident DJs: Local DJs include Electric Indigo, Laminat, Moogle. Among the more international DJs you’ve got Mathias Tanzman, and Andhim.
- Entry difficulty: Not very difficult to get in, but on a Friday or Saturday be prepared to stand in line for a good half hour.
Prague, Czech Republic
The Roxy Club was established in 1992 in the abandoned shell of a former movie theatre. As you can imagine, the main room is collosal, boasting beautiful mouldings and vaulted ceilings. The club was renovated just a few years ago, and among the refurbishments include new “chill out” rooms where you can sit, sip, and relax between trips to the dance floor in the main room. A number of other events take place here including concerts, fashion shows and – harking back to the venue’s roots – film openings.
- Price of beer: Starting at 39 Koruna or €1.42 (cash only! They’ll accept Euros but expect change in crowns).
- Price of entry: Depends on the DJ/event, but Mondays are free.
- Resident DJs: Selecto & Komandante.
- Entry difficulty: Fairly easy since it’s a big club. There’s no formal dress code, so dress casual but still stylish.
Open for decades and one of the oldest clubs in the city, Indústria Club was relaunched in 2011 by DJ Vibe, one of the most successful DJs in the country. People like Laurent Garnier, Danny Krivit and Tenaglia have played here, and music skips between genres of drum’n’bass to house and electro. Despite these famous names, there are also newer local DJs which helps keep the electro fresh. Unlike most other electro clubs, a night out here includes drinking wine or champagne, and the doors don’t open until 2am, so be prepared for a long night. If you want to go for a drink beforehand, you’re spoiled for choice; Indústria is located in the city quarter shared with some of the nicer cafés and bars.
- Price of beer: €4.
- Price of entry: €15 on average.
- Resident DJs: DJ Vibe and Paul Day.
- Entry difficulty: It’s a bit selective, which means no trainers! And you’ll need to be over 21 to get in.
Since 1994, Fuse has been a haven for high quality techno with a reputation for bringing in the best and most innovative DJs on the scene. DJs such as Jeff Mills, Kevin Saunderson, Dave Clarke, Stacey Pullen, Richie Hawtin and Ricardo Villalobos have wowed the crowds here. The rooms are divided by style with the larger main room exhibiting a more typical sound, and the second “motion room” open to the more experimental DJs. Being able to go back and forth injects a great balance and some variety into your night.
- Price of beer: €3.
- Price of entry: Admission price differs from weekend to weekend, depending on the line-up. Usually around €9 before midnight, and €13 after.
- Resident DJs: Pierre and Deg, with common guest DJs.
- Entry difficulty: Very easy. The door policy is relaxed which suits a more casual style.
Found along graffiti-filled street, the charming-yet-edgy Fundbureau (literally translated as “lost-property office”) offers typical electro DJs and artists, as well as indie and hip-hop acts. Recurring events also include the popular and legendary Russian-themed “Datschapartys” and a monthly gay party. Before being reincarnated as a club, Fundbureau was first home to a pub before becoming a lost-property office, an identity which the club decided to keep. Maybe as homage to the building’s former purpose, the first Wednesday of each month hosts an evening flea market.
- Price of beer: €2.50 for an Astra
- Price of entry: €3-12, depending on which DJs perform
- Resident DJs: Heiße Pladde, Saltown, Sahne & Seife and many Berlin DJs.
- Entry difficulty: Not too difficult, but have at least one girl in your group to increase your chances.
It may occupy a former cabaret venue in the heart of the old town of Barcelona, but Moog has been home to electro for almost 20 years. The building itself is quite small which creates a level of intimacy not usually available in a space that houses big names such as Laurent Garnier, Jeff Mills, Richie Hawtin or James Holden. If that’s not exclusive enough, there’s an upper level with an even smaller dance floor where one of the resident DJs will play electro pop and 80s and 90s hits. The best day to go is Wednesday, since you can then enjoy international DJs with weekday-sized crowds.
- Price of beer: €4.
- Price of entry: €10.
- Resident DJs: Omar León, Gus and DJ Olmos.
- Entry difficulty: Very easy to get in, and you don’t need to bother dressing up.
Think the name sounds ominous? Well, frankly it kind of is. Their motto is “Every kiss is, at the end, a bite”. However the name derives from the more heart-warming phrase, “meeting the cannibal”, which describes the process of “bumping into another culture” or “to find a new way to see the world and yourself”. This kiss-and-bite/culturally-eye-opening event takes place every Saturday in the underground Tunnel Club. In terms of musical taste, Le Cannibale provide a versatile style with a mix of synth, new wave, disco and techno and are famous for hosting big names from the electronic world, such as Sohn, Lunice, Scuba and Siriusmo.
- Price of beer: €6 (cocktails are the same)
- Price of entry: Tickets vary between €10-15. Can also be bought online in order to avoid the queue or reserve a table.
- Resident DJs: UABOS (Matteo Pepe), Andrea Ratti, and Kosmi.
- Entry difficulty: The club is quite small, and the event is only once a week, so buying tickets in advance is often advised.
Rex Club is located in the basement of the Grand Rex, a historic movie theatre where Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds first premiered. The club itself may have started in the 80s as a rock joint, but it is now an undeniable electronic hotspot. The Rex is an incredibly important institution within the club scene of Paris. Many now-famous artists started there, which makes it known as the birthplace of new sounds. Since 2006 an incredible new sound system has been installed, with over 70 points of sound throughout the club. You’re basically attacked from all sides by noise… sounds great!
- Price of beer: Average cost of beer is €8.
- Price of entry: Starts at €15, depending on the act.
- Resident DJs: Laurent Garnier formerly hosted the famous “Wake Up” evenings, but nowadays there are other resident DJs, including Jennifer Cardini, D’julz and Chloé.
- Entry difficulty: Takes some effort so dress well, and if there are any guys in the group ensure you have women as well, to balance it out.
Feature image courtesy of Nick Koutoulas‘s Flickr.
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