The best party destinations for backpackers


If pumping bass is your thing, these cities and travellers’ haunts come alive at night, and boast friendly hostels when it’s finally time to hit the pillow


Best for: nights under the stars

Festivals have put Marrakech firmly in the sights of globetrotting partygoers. The Oasis Festival, a boutique dance music affair in a resort just out of the city with great Atlas mountain views, returns in mid-September 2019; while Atlas Electronic also returns at the end of summer for another intimate party in the Villa Janna Eco-lodge. And there’s plenty more to discover in Marrakech itself; L’envers, with its focus on underground music, is one DJ bar to check out, while unique nightlife experiences can be found by checking for parties by promoters such as RAK Electronik and Moroko Loko, that put on regular poolside parties at hotels in the city. With growing attention from the festival crowd, it’s a scene that’s only going to grow.

Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea

Best for: serious clubbing in a serious metropolis

Seoul’s club scene has begun to get real recognition in recent years; the best of this is centred on the Itaewon neighbourhood which has long been a nightlife area, a hub for the city’s LGBT scene and home to countless bars including Seoul’s oldest rooftop drinking spot, Gaja Changgo (no website). Itaewon has also become a centre for dance music venues: Cakeshop, one of the city’s flagships clubs, expanded last year to a second space, Contra, a lounge bar next door. Another of the city’s top clubs, Faust (a two-room house and techno joint), relocated to the same area in May, further bolstering the neighbourhood’s reputation as a clubbing mecca.

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