Below is a list of some our favorite bar crawls in the world, from dancing on the bar in Beirut to karaoke singing in Tokyo to Bollywood hangouts in Mumbai.
People of Athens love their bars and clubs, but the traditional music spots known as bouzoukia are where these gorgeous people let their hair down. The smoky, cramped venues of old have transformed into stylish cabarets where the biggest Greek pop stars perform. But some customs die hard: Most of the audience members dance on their chairs or onstage by the end of the performance.
Considering all of the conflicts in this city’s recent past, you would be forgiven for thinking it is not a good party city. Although Islam prohibits alcohol drinking, the notion of a stress-relieving cocktail is widely embraced in Gemmayzeh, an old neighborhood that is now filled with artsy, shoebox-size boîtes.
British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are a paradise of clear blue sea, white-sand beaches, and few roads. A pretty lousy place for a good bar crawl? Think again. Once you realize that the island has seven beach bars for its 200 residents, and that it is a national pastime to sail between watering holes, youwill get a different picture.
You are probably sick and tired of hearing about how the former gritty neighborhood of East London is now international scenester. But for each “Nathan Barley” (British slang for East london’s multitudes of casually employed and fashion-conscious youth), there is always a Bacchanalian dance club that is way ahead of the curve.
After spending hours studying the somber Velazquezes and Goyas at the Prado, stuff yourself with good food and exquisite drinks in La Latina, a working-class neighborhood that is now the refuge of immigrants and artists. Especially on the twisting street of Calle Cava Baja, small tapeos are cheek by jowl.
Whiskey flows freely in most bars and clubs in Mumbai, where Pilates- and yoga-toned women are at ease in tight jeans and hot tank tops. The balmy city lures starlets and wannabe stars from all over India. Mumbai has many posh bars and nightclubs, but the jeunesse dorée and movie stars stick to the more fashionable enclave of Bandra.
America’s greatest melting pot has embraced the drinking traditions of many countries. A bar crawl through New York’s top Slavic bars weeds out the weak-of-liver and the pretentious; order an appletini here and you will find yourself banished to Siberia.
Oxford is a stronghold of antiquated rituals, which include getting soused. Just imagining the stories contained within the city’s archaic drinking venues is enough to make your head spin.
Trivia: Portland has more microbreweries per capita than any American city. What’s more brewpubs (bars that produce beer on-site) are vital to the way of life of the locals.
The pre-Communist Shanghai was an intoxicating cocktail of gangsters, showgirls, exiled aristocrats, and opium fiends. Surprisingly today, many historic buildings and structures in the former nightlife hub of old French Concession have been revived as watering holes that gives every visitor a chance to look at how Shanghai once partied.
Tokyo has many places where you can sing your heart out to classics while drunk. Important tip: Japanese know that this kind of entertainment is more enjoyable to perform than to listen to, so it is the norm to rent a private room. Also, the entrance fee usually includes one or more drinks.