Sometimes you're in the mood for total relaxation on vacation, but sometimes you want to go a little wild (one word: Ibiza). With the pending doom of summer's end, it's time to put on (or take off) our Saturday's best and head to the world's best party destinations. Nightlife isn't all spring breakers and college co-eds; nary a keg or pinata in sight, these spectacular, world-class destinations put a glamorous and hedonistic spin on letting loose and experiencing party culture at its peak. See even more of them at Jetsetter.
When it comes to art, music and design, Berlin has a duality that is tough to beat. Europe’s current capital of cool mixes highbrow galleries, the grand opera and world-class museums with punk pop-up shows, gritty nightclubs and guerilla art. Berlin offers an experimental experience; expect sky-high elevator rides, mammoth dance-floors, hidden doors and a lot of German techno. For a loungey nightlife scene, head to the Mandala’s Qiu bar for a vision of “Miami meets Mitte,” with Art Deco details.
Historically, Colombia’s had a love affair with partying hard, but the balmy climate, spectacular sunsets and--of course--salsa music, draw a chill crowd. The sexiness of Cartagena is contagious; it’s got the old-world charm of Havana and the sophistication of Buenos Aires wrapped inside a sultry colonial city. Dine at the fashionable Tcherassi Hotel, sip <i>aguardiente</i> at the classic Café del Mar (also found in Ibiza) or dance to live music at La Habana.
There’s nowhere better to be in late summer than Ibiza. The Balearic Island, known for its party-till-noon rule, attracts the who’s who of the international dance-music scene, jetsetting cognoscenti and holidaymakers with a taste for the finer things in life. Hear the world’s best DJs spin in their natural habitat as 10,000 people bounce to the beat at the Privilege, the world’s largest club, and don a swimsuit for the famous bubbly foam parties.
With its mix of art-deco glamour, over-the-top nightlife and spicy Latin culture, Miami’s Collins Avenue, on South Beach, has serious staying power. A major contender in the worldwide nightlife scene, South Beach attracts everyone from tabloid kids to Art Basel sophisticates, all of them ready to experience the chic hotel lounges, beach-side bars and decadent clubs. It’s been 15 years since The Delano hotel ushered in the city’s halcyon era with its high design and high-wattage clientele, yet the party feels like it’s just getting started… again.
Home to the Grand Prix and the World Music Awards, and a short drive from the Cannes Film Festival, Monte Carlo is one of the most glamorous places in the world. And as in the more rowdy Ibiza, you’re never far from the scene here. The spectacular cliff-side Mediterranean location is the perfect place to party without really partying: Sip rosé by the beach, linger by baccarat tables, or board the world’s most impressive yachts in this James Bond-worthy locale.
The most cosmopolitan of the Greek isles, Mykonos attracts urbanites, backpackers and spring breakers, ready to trade in their clothes for itsy-bitsy swimwear (or lack thereof!). Bathed in cool Aegean blues and classic white architecture, Mykonos’s heart-fluttering panoramas are as prevalent as its fist-pumping clubs. The 45-square-mile island packs in some serious dancing action during the summer months, when Ibiza’s resident DJs jump over to get in on the action.
The tiny town of St. Tropez is the place to be in July and August, when everyone from the Beckhams to the Hiltons flock there for the summer’s hottest parties. The well-heeled head to the edge of the Côte d'Azur for day parties and nightclubs that cater almost exclusively to the rich and famous. On St. Tropez, it's all about the day: Whether watching the beautiful women prance around on Voile Rouge (Moorea Beach), sipping chilled champagne at Cinquante Cinq (Boulevard Patch), or basking in the summer sun on a chaise at Nikki Beach, the glitterati know how to spend their time — and money.
Goa, Southern India’s party gem, is known as much for it’s trance parties as its colonial architecture and pearly white shores along the Arabian Sea. Billed as a hippie capital since the early 1970s, Goa has 2 million annual visitors who come for its mix of tribal-techno music, mystic flavor and spirituality. With an East-meets-West culture and Portuguese-inspired cuisine, Goa serves up a contagious <i>susegad</i> attitude that’s hard to miss.
Vegas is synonymous with the word party; it’s flashy, bold, wild, and over-the-top, all in the best possible ways. Chock full of thousands of vacationers eager to indulge in more than just the seven deadly sins, Vegas is the place to play--be it shirtless or suit-clad. Vegas doesn’t discriminate--anything goes in the city of sin.
The lush and balmy island of Koh Samui has become a popular vacation spot, particularly for the party-’til-all-hours set. But for those in need of some serious hedonism, the island of Koh Phangan is where the action is. Free-spirited, body-painted travelers flock to the famous, monthly Full Moon Party to recreate scenes from <i>The Beach</i>. The all night, outdoor festival offers an eclectic combination: musical genres ranging from electronic to rap; sandy spots to lounge on Haad Rin Beach and wild clubs set along horse-shoe shaped shore. Call it the world’s biggest beach party.
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