7 Vibrant Cities That Come Alive at Night

Listen up, night owls. If you're looking for a city that only offers more as the sun goes down, move these to the top of your list.

Cities that come alive in the night time are famed for being full of surprises. Truly, there’s no bad time to visit these celebrated destinations. However, these well-traveled settings come with a kind of extra specialness that is best experienced after sunset.

If you’re planning a trip to any of these places, I highly advise you to stay up late at least once. Even if you’re the type to turn in early, take an afternoon nap with getting out and about later in mind. It’ll likely prove totally worth it.

Whether you seek a thriving nightlife or a breathtaking moonlit stroll, these 7 inviting cities have what you’re looking for. So arrive well rested and see their evening splendor for yourself.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam canals

When it comes to international nightlife, globe trotting night owls say there’s no topping Amsterdam’s red light district. By now, you’ve likely heard rumors about what type of shennanegans you’ll find here, but there’s much more to it than its most buzzed-about, sometimes scandalous aspects. Parts of it are a lot more mellow, for those more interested in stunning cityscapes than hard partying.

“Amsterdam nightlife is famous throughout Europe and beyond for its rowdy and permissive atmosphere. From the famous red light district and its coffee shops to the concert halls and the world-renowned museums, you won’t find yourself short of activities to keep you going into the early hours,” per Bounce.

Tokyo, Japan

A night of the neon street at the downtown wide shot. Shinjuku district Tokyo Japan - 08.29.2019 Here is an electric quarter in Tokyo. It is center of the city in Tokyo.

Some call Tokyo at night a “sensory overload,” but those who know it best call it a dream. Once darkness falls, there’s certainly a lot happening. The beauty of Tokyo is that getting lost in the middle of it all is part of the fun.

You can take in this spectacle of lights just by walking around downtown. Keep those eyes peeled — you could easily stumble upon some of the best karaoke bars in the world at any moment.

New Orleans

Bourbon Street in New Orleans at night

“The Big Easy” is famed for its deliciously diverse food scene, eclecticly southern soul, and neverending nightlife. There’s no shortage of live music and lively venues that stay open until sunrise, especially in the French Quarter. Then most of them re-open for brunch, if they ever close at all.

The motto in NOLA is “laissez les bons temps rouler,” which translates to “let the good times roll.” And it’s easy to let those good times roll over into the next day without even noticing.

If you crave a spooky factor, head south for a scary good time. New Orleans’ distinctive architecture takes on a much more haunting vibe in the dark. And if you do find yourself on a quiet, cobblestone street when you least expect it, you can expect an eerie feeling as well as a magical one.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany, panoramic view of Berlin cityscape and Spree River at night.

You’d be hardpressed to find a “best nightlife” list that didn’t include Berlin. From craft breweries to sprawling nightclubs with lines around block, people flock to Berlin for a good time, and many locals agree – there’s nowhere quite like it at night.

Dance until the sun comes up at one of Europe’s most beloved nighttime hotspots. Stroll to one of Berlin’s many local eateries for a foodie-approved breakfast, take a nap, and then do it all again the next night.

Read More: The World’s Greatest Skylines

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An ancient town by Thu Bon River in Vietnam at night

Just when you think Hoi An couldn’t get any prettier, just wait until you see it at night. Adorned with lanterns and pop-up vendors, this preserved fishing village is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the kind of jaw-dropping photo opportunity you must see in person to believe.

For some, the evening opportunities for exploration are only made more delightful by this Vietnam hotspot’s cocktail-friendly streets and cheap beer.

Paris, France

The Cafe des 2 Moulins French for Two Windmills in the Montmartre district, Paris, France at night

You don’t get a name like the “City of Lights” by sleeping on it. France’s capital lights up everything it touches after sunset. And no matter how tourist-heavy many say it’s become these days, there’s still no place like Paris, especially at night.

“The city of romance” is often considered the most beautiful city at night, and the sparkling, twinkling lights all over the Eiffel Tower certainly don’t hurt its reputation. Venture beyond the most well known spots to truly be dazzled. Each neighborhood comes with its own set of charms, but all of Paris will make you feel that the night is forever young.

New York City

Time Square - New York in movement.

Obviously, this round-up could not be complete without “the city that never sleeps.” The hustling, bustling, and beautiful Big Apple is action-packed all hours of the day and night. But there’s something extra striking about New York City after dark.

From the glittering skyline to the world-renowned speakeasies, New York is an intricate playground for night owls, always offering up something for everyone, no matter what you’re into. Not to mention, the best midnight snack you’ve ever had is always just around the corner. So when in doubt, keep walking.

Read More: The Most Walkable Cities in the World

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