Hamburg, Germany’s second city, beat New York, Paris and London to be ranked as the “best night out in the world” in a new study.

Online booking service HostelWorld examined how residents of 41 cities across 27 countries rate the nightlife in their area based on five categories: quality of the nightlife; openness and friendliness of the locals; how safe people feel; how easy it is to get around; and cost. More than 4,000 people took part.

The curveball top choice scored best for two of the categories – “openness and friendliness” and ease of getting around, thanks to its compact centre and good public transport links. It also came joint second with Copenhagen in the “quality of the nightlife” category. 

The Danish capital of Copenhagen came second in the rankings, thanks to its variety of things to do and relative safety – it only missed out on the top spot due to locals feeling it was too expensive. Berlin took the third spot, followed by Dublin and Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, some of the most famed cities were surprisingly far down the rankings. New York just made it into the top 10, while London didn’t even feature in the top 20, sliding into 26th position. This was due to residents scoring the UK capital particularly badly for affordability.

“The results of this study have been fascinating, especially the performance of smaller cities – most notably with Hamburg taking top spot over Berlin,” said Marek Mossakowski, global head of brand at Hostelworld. 

“We know young travellers are increasingly venturing off the beaten track to uncover unique experiences, and this study demonstrates this.”

Top 10 cities for a night out

1. Hamburg (Germany) 

2. Copenhagen (Denmark) 

3. Berlin (Germany)

4. Dublin (Ireland)

5. Amsterdam (Holland) 

6. San Francisco (United States) 

7. Gothenburg (Sweden) 

8. Prague (Czech Republic) 

9. Warsaw (Poland)

10. New York (United States)


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