The cities where nightlife is thriving, and where it’s dying

Cities around the world are seeing significant crackdowns on their nightlife

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New research, launched by Traveloka, reveals the world’s best and worst cities for nightlife. In many cities around the world, nightlife has come increasingly under threat, with stricter curfews and licensing laws killing off many venues. By analysing venues’ average closing times, Traveloka’s research reveals the scale of this problem in some of the world’s biggest cities — and the destinations that are open (almost) all hours.

Although London appointed a Night Czar back in 2016 in an effort to preserve the city’s nightlife industry, the British capital scored the earliest average closing time of 00:20, alongside Sydney, Australia.

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Three other European cities — Rome, Dublin and Amsterdam —- round out the top five with average closing times of 01:00 or earlier.

City Country Average closing time

London UK 00:09
Sydney Australia 00:20
Rome Italy 00:29
Dublin Ireland 00:30
Amsterdam Netherlands 00:58
Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam 01:07
Bangkok Thailand 01:18
Tokyo Japan 01:20
Toronto Canada 01:22
Budapest Hungary 01:30

However, many other global cities have made more successful efforts to ensure the survival of their nightlife scenes. New York City, for example, appointed Ariel Platz as its first Nightlife Mayor back in March, while smaller cities such as Zurich, Switzerland, Toulouse, France and Groningen, Netherlands have filled similar roles in recent years.

With an average closing time of 02:56, the Greek capital of Athens proves to be a safe bet for those looking for a thriving nightlife scene. In a close second place is Istanbul, Turkey (02:52), followed by Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (02:23) and New York City (02:20). Meanwhile, Berlin, Germany, which is famed for its partying and non-stop nightlife, has a somewhat surprisingly early average closing time of 02:01.

City Country Average closing time

Athens Greece 02:56
Istanbul Turkey 02:52
Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 02:23
New York City US 02:20
Moscow Russia 02:17
Rio de Janeiro Brazil 02:10
Dubai United Arab Emirates 02:09
Vienna Austria 02:09
Berlin Germany 02:01
Buenos Aires City Argentina 01:56

Caesar Indra, SVP Business Development at Traveloka, comments:

“Nightlife forms an important part of a city’s culture — and to truly know a city, you need to see it at night. The transformation from day to night can be stark, but offering travellers the opportunity to experience it in an entirely different way.

“Whether you’re on a city break and have decided to forego sleep in favor of doing and seeing as much as possible, or awake at unusual hours thanks to jetlag, nightlife can be an exciting way to while away the hours and make new friends.

“However, cities around the world are seeing significant crackdowns on their nightlife, with curfews are being imposed on many venues. This not only has the potential to turn travelers away, but to remove some of that city’s identity permanently.”