Lonely Planet Writer

Discover where you can have the 'best night out' in the world

If going out in the evening is important to you on holidays, you may head to Hamburg in Germany, which has been named the ‘best night out’ in the world.

Strand Pauli beach bar in Hamburg. Image: Jonathan Stokes/Lonely Planet

‘The Best Night Out’ study by online hostel-booking platform, Hostelworld, based its findings on 4100 interviews with city dwellers living in 41 cities across 27 countries. Residents were asked to provide detailed information on attitudes and experiences relating to nights out in their city, and typical local prices for a range of food, drinks, and leisure activities. The top ten cities were found to be 1. Hamburg 2. Copenhagen 3. Berlin, 4. Dublin 5. Amsterdam 6. San Francisco 7. Gothenburg 8. Prague 9. Warsaw and 10. New York.

The Temple Bar district in central Dublin at night. Image: T.Slack/Shutterstock Royalty Free

The participants were asked to rate the nightlife in their hometowns based on five categories. These include quality of the nightlife, including the variety of things to do and general enjoyment. Also examined was the openness and friendliness of the locals, including how welcoming they are to tourists and how easy it is to meet people, how safe people feel, how easy it is to get around, and the cost.

Customers dine at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, New York. Image: Elena Pominova/Shutterstock Royalty Free

Hamburg topped the openness and friendliness category, being both the most welcoming city to tourists and the best place to meet new people. It also came first in the ease of getting around category, thanks to its excellent public transport and the proximity of key destinations to each other. New York scored most highly on the quality of nightlife category, and Copenhagen was first for safety. The cost of a typical night out varied significantly across the world, with Berlin, Pretoria and Jakarta being voted by locals as the best value for money.

Tivoli Gardens amusement park in Copenhagen. Image: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock Royalty Free

“The results of this study have been fascinating, especially the performance of smaller cities – most notably with Hamburg taking top spot over Berlin,” says Marek Mossakowski, Global Head of Brand at Hostelworld. “We know young travellers are increasingly venturing off the beaten track to uncover unique experiences, and this study demonstrates this. Meeting people is an essential part of travel and we hope this study will help in the hunt for unique social experiences.”