Top 10 Most Entertaining Cities In The World
We all need something to remember and to keep us warm in the long winter days and nights. We also need new stories to tell our friends, children and grandchildren.
I remember the story that my father-in-law told me about his stay in Indonesia. He was invited with his business partners to a dinner in a village near Jakarta. The table was full of food. The host started listing the ingredients of each dish until he got to a small bowl with something white in it. He explained it was rice, while his wife did half of the job by chewing it, and the guest had to swallow it– it was a custom to honor their guests. Unexpected ending of the story, right?
The world is full of amazing places. As we don't want to reinvent the wheel, let’s follow the exciting list of National Geographic and embark on a virtual trip to remember!
10. Dublin, Ireland
Irish tradition is to drink in pubs, as the pub retains a pivotal place in Ireland. Dublin today has more than 1,000 pubs.
If you want to experience the true atmosphere of an Irish pub, go to the cultural quarter Temple bar. Hectolitres of beer, with Guinness in front, Irish whiskeys, traditional and modern music. If you arrive early, before 07 PM, you’d run into an “early bird”, so you can eat grilled meat with fries, traditional Irish lamb stew, and boxty, potato pancakes filled with meat and vegetables, all at low prices. Beered up!
9. Belgrade, Serbia
Belgrade is a city that never sleeps and its positive atmosphere will make you feel at home. Belgraders go out seven days a week, without much planning. They visit bars, clubs, splavovi (floating restaurants), restaurants, and have fun until the morning.
Splavovi are specific to the Belgrade nightlife. They are isolated from residential areas. You can listen to soul, funk, new wave, disco, pop, local pop and turbo folk music, house, rock, reggae... Some sightseeing boats board their passengers, food, and musicians at the early evening and cruise the rivers while having fuel and good cheer. In restaurants with live music, the orchestra goes from table to table meeting the guest wishes.
Traditional Serbian dishes are kaymak, Leskovac grill, Karadjordjeva schnitzel, cabbage rolls, chvarci (a kind of pork “crisps”), with mandatory slivovic (brandy).
8. La Paz, Bolivia
Arrival in La Paz is an almost surreal experience because it has been raised at over 3500m above sea level. Visitors coming to La Paz will be literally stunned by contrasts and diluted air. Altitude sickness can be mitigated by coca tea.
Once the sun sets in La Paz, the temperature drops and everyone seeks a refuge in pubs and bars with live music and dance. Popular bars and nightclubs in La Paz are Forum, La Costilla de Adan Bar & Restaurant, Mongo’s, Diesen National, Ttkos.
7. Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. The best way to see it is the parachute jump or the helicopter taxi service if you can afford them. The famous restaurant D.O.M., is one of the best restaurants in Brazil, and since 2006 it has been included in one of the 50 best restaurants in the world. On the March 25th Street, you can meet many artists, dancers, acrobats and other people trying to earn money with their talent.
Unavoidable locations are Vila Olimpia (bars, street musicians, and dance podiums) and vila Madalena and its traditional Brazilian gastro pubs with live samba bands.
In Sao Paulo the nightlife lasts 24 hours. Anyone can choose their favorite music: Brazilian pop, samba, jazz, soul, and blues.
6. San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico with its capital San Juan is the perfect Caribbean destination and an ideal mixture of golden beaches, palm trees, rain forests and huge waves. Also, there are a world-class casino resorts and quality nightlife.
Visit Casa Bacardi – free rum! You will learn about the history of rum production which is a national drink.
Don’t forget to taste monofongo, tostones, morcilla, mallorcas... And to drink: pina colada, rum – Bacardi, Captain Morgan, Coquito, beer, cocktails, coffee...
Popular nightlife streets are South Fortaleza Street, Calle San Sebastian and Calle del Cristo.
5. Goa, India
If we had to describe Goa with one word only, it would be “peace”. Goa is a mixture of Indian culture and the charm of Portuguese tradition. Its environment gives an incredible feeling of freedom.
A typical day starts on the beach with golden sand, coconut trees, and mighty waves of the Indian Ocean and ends in one of the beach bars with music, food and drinks. Go to the Nine Bar in Vegator and to Anjuna if you enjoy outdoor parties. Goa's silent parties on the beach are unique, so, get the headphone, select a radio channel and dance.
Also, there are some bars and restaurants with live music: rock, reggae, Indian and classical. Many Indian people are vegetarians, but Goans eat meat. Taste delicious dishes: prawn curry, vindaloo, rava fried fish, xacuti, Goan sausages, chicken cafreal and bebinca.
4. Ibiza, Spain
The suns, the sea, the beach, partying until dawn, the yachts, the restaurants, and a crowd of people. This is the island of Ibiza, one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea that belongs to Spain. Discotheques of Ibiza, some of them large enough to accommodate more than 3000 people, host the best DJs in the world.
Be sure to visit the main street downtown: narrow and cobbled, tricked out in the bar tables and high bar stools. Promoters of the best discos on the island will pass every hour through this street on stilts, with fireworks, snakes around their necks, making an indescribable noise.
Ibiza nightlife is concentrated in two places: on the east coast of Ibiza and in Sent Antonio on the west. The "madness” takes until morning, so, get ready to open your wallet, because nightlife is expensive.
The most famous cafe Café del Mar is a place where many tourists gather to watch the sunset.
Taste paella, tapas, sofrit pages, ensaimadas, greixonera, flao and the following local drinks: sangria, hierbas ibicencas, frigola, granizados, horchatas.
3. Houston, Texas
Houston is known for its dining, shopping, entertainment and nightlife. The former factories have been turned into restaurants and pubs which are always crowded.
Washington Avenue is reserved for evening outings, and one of the best places is Max's Wine Dive with its excellent selection of wines.
For even more fun, visit Downtown, Midtown, Montrose, River Oak and West University. If you are looking for the city’s underground hotspots, and you find the front door locked, just knock twice and you will enter Houston’s secret society: Last Concert Cafe, Absinthe, 13 Celsius, Mongoose Versus Cobra and Notsuoh.
Local food: beef ribs, spicy wings, turtle soup, firehouse burger, dry aged bone-in ribeye, crispy pig.
2. Thessaloniki, Greece
Friendly people, relaxed atmosphere, beautiful flavors of the local cuisine and nightlife. Thessaloniki. Greeks go out every day and the streets are alive until late at night. An evening at a disco starts with electronic music, but later they switch to Greek music and start to dance zeibekiko, hasapiko, sirtaki and tsifteteli. You can go to a boat-discotheque, alternative clubs, and penthouse cafes visited by the urban elite; or try their gay-friendly discotheques.
Have you heard of their Bouzouki nights? Visitors show their enthusiasm by throwing carnations on stage.
The area of Ladadika is a pedestrian zone and one of the hot spots of entertainment. Espresso bars, coffee shops, taverns, beer stores can be found there.
Don’t miss mezedopoleio – it has a special charm. With a variety of small food plates, slow eating followed by ouzo, tsipouro or beer, you will enjoy “meze” while talking with your friends.
In the streets Valaoritou and Sigrou, you can listen to the rock, pop, jazz, alternative, electronic, chill out, and there are several bars, side by side.
In Thessaloniki taste gyros, souvlaki, saganaki, tzatziki, greek salad, dolmadakia and loukoumades. Greek traditional drinks are ouzo, Metaxa, retsina and tsipouro.
In Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan, you feel like you are at home and that the whole country is your family. Baku has a lively nightlife and a great jazz tradition. If you like jazz, you can visit Karavan Jazz Club. Most hotels organize for their guests an evening with original Azerbaijani dance.
Be sure to visit the homes of tea (chaykhana), mostly located on the coast and enjoy a cup of tea with a variety of jams, nuts, and desserts. Youngsters mainly gather at Fountains Square, where they hold various festivals and celebrations. In the evenings, a whole orchestra plays there, and at nights, young people bring their guitars, and start playing, dancing, and singing. Most bars are located near and around the Fountains Square and they are usually open until morning. The perfect place for performances and concerts is the Philharmonic Hall or the Jazz Center.
National dishes are dushbara, qovurma, lyulya-kebab, dolma, fesanjan, shaker-churek. As far as the national beverage, try Xirdalan (local beer) and shabat, an iced soft drink.