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Central European capitals and their nightlife


As a consequence of their complicated histories and limited access during the time of Cold War, the capitals of the Central European countries were not seen as tourist destinations for many years. The last three decades of political and social transformation changed that situation completely, attracting more and more tourists to the magnificent cities of Prague, Warsaw, Budapest and Bratislava. What’s more, it turns out they actually rock when it comes to the nightlife and entertainment… Why is it worth visiting them and what awaits you if you decide to go there? Let’s find out together!

Prague, Czech Republic

It is often said that Prague is the equal (or more!) to Paris in terms of beauty. That’s not the only reason though, why the Czech capital is the most visited city of all of Central and eastern Europe. In addition to the marvellous landmarks that everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime – let’s just mention a fairy-tale-like Hradcany castle complex and the romantic Charles’ bridge – Prague is also known for its chic, super fancy nightclubs. We don’t dare to forget the pubs serving not only amazing Czech beer, but all the kinds of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks you could possibly imagine, at very reasonable prices.

You will be happy to know that the most famous nightclub in Prague is in the the biggest club complex in Central Europe. Karlovy Lazne – located right next to the famous Charles’ Bridge – has five floors, with each floor playing different genre of music. This way you can easily choose which vibe you like the most – and just go upstairs or downstairs to find it!

Budapest, Hungary

You might not know this, but the Hungarian capital used to be not one, but two cities situated on two sides of the river Danube – Buda on its right bank and Pest on the left bank. Although they’ve been one city for a long time now, some differences are still visible between the two historical parts of Budapest. Buda is known more for its historic monuments and peaceful ambience, while Pest has become more modern and has  most of the city nightlife. All of the hottest DJs are appearing in Budapest’s clubs regularly, making it a Central European capital of electronic music. The ultimate proof is the Sziget Festival – an annual week-long music event held every August on the Obuda island, in the suburbs of the city.

Another thing that makes Budapest exceptional are its so-called ruin bars – around 20 amazing places that are a unique hybrid between a bar, a cafe, a club and a beer garden with different themes and ambience, created in the old and abandoned Jewish district around 10 years ago. This is something different – definitely worth an experience!

So what places should you visit to truly study the rich culture of this city? Definitely the numerous museums, exhibitions, concerts of all styles of music, and other regular cultural events. While it is true that visitors should check out, among other things, the world’s third largest Parliament building and Europe’s largest synagogue, it is imperative they find out what festivals are currently taking place, because there is always something going on in Budapest.

Not interested in large, colourful festival crowds? Then historical sites may fit the bill nicely, as well as beautiful landscapes. For example, the Banks of the Danube were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site – they are appropriately described as “one of the world’s outstanding urban landscapes”.

Warsaw, Poland

The capital of Poland has a long and vibrant history and the way the city looks now reflects that perfectly. If you’re fond of 20th century architecture, Warsaw is the perfect choice for you – today’s architecture in Warsaw’s centre is a perfect blend of modernism and socialist realism. One of the most iconic places in Warsaw – Plac Zbawiciela –also houses some? of the hottest clubs in town with a very modern, hipster atmosphere. This is not the only party hub in the Polish capital though – this city never sleeps, at least not in the party zone of Parkingowa, Nowogrodzka and Mazowiecka streets.

While visiting Warsaw in the summertime, be sure to check out open air bars and clubs by the Vistula river. The nights there are really unforgettable… and if you’re leading a vegan lifestyle, you’ll be also happy to know that the Polish capital is often mentioned as one of the world’s most vegan-friendly cities with more than 50 various vegan establishments. Yum!

Bratislava, Slovakia

The only capital city in the world bordering two independent countries, the rich history of this free, royal coronation town offers a unique combination of architectural styles.  A medieval old town with churches, cathedral and narrow cobbled streets contrasting with majestic buildings of the socialist realism style. Today, the metropolis of Bratislava is a blooming city experiencing a great boom, while maintaining a lively atmosphere of the old town with its wide range of cultural events, and plenty of great opportunities for a relaxing stay.

One of the city’s main attractions, which can be seen from afar is The Castle of Bratislava. The most attractive part of Bratislava is the Old Town where most of its historical sites, as well as its cultural institutions are concentrated. Its tiny lanes offer an ideal atmosphere for romantic walks for those who love to follow traces of history in the middle of the modern world.

A little party never killed nobody – especially in Central Europe. You should give it a try!