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Jackson Winters' Top Party Cities
  • May 30, 2012 : 12:05
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Editor’s note: It was no great feat convincing Jackson to find the world’s best party cities. A few early-morning phone calls had him out of bed, on a plane and flying across the Atlantic into a monthlong frenzy of booze and debauchery. Charging a man of his calibre and credentials to explore the world’s greatest party cities took little effort; sorting out literal boxes of unpaid bar tabs and scroll-length expense reports was another story. Getting him to file his copy on time and in legible script is an even longer one. But explaining to our CFO why he was getting calls from some hotel in Ibiza about a guest refusing to leave his room was really the last straw.

Jackson is home now and his pay stub for services rendered looks more like a damage report from a Midwestern tornado during an earthquake. The bad news is that Jackson will never see another dime from this magazine. The good news is, he’ll be writing for us for a long, long time.


Scene: 10/10                 Cost: 5/10                 Getting Around: 10/10                 Girls: 7/10

It was somewhere between my fourth and fifth day in Ibiza that I decided I was never going home. The place had consumed me, tangled completely in the never-ending stream of the island’s fast-living, long-drinking days. It’s a nocturnal nomadic beach world that runs on booze, women and fun. Serious. Fucking. Fun. If the days, or rather late afternoons, are somewhat relaxed — calm, cool and collected — then the nights are downright obnoxious free-for-alls, with clubs running into the wee hours of the morning and the party on loop. The day never changes in Ibiza; they all just blur together in one long neon-colored night that never ends. Closing time never comes and no one ever leaves; Ibiza is the longstanding party capital of the world.

Places to Hit: Privilege (10,000 capacity, indoor pool), Amnesia, DC10 and Space.

The Women: Travelling partiers, as plentiful as they are diverse.

Key Features: Small island, big party. Lax drug laws (possession is not a crime, though there is a thin line between possession and trafficking). Clubs run from midnight to 6 a.m. Loose dress code.

Cost: €12-15 a drink at the club, €10 at the bar. €10-12 a beer at the club, €6-8 at the bar.

The Downside: Overcrowded and overpriced during peak season (July-August).


Scene: 8/10                  Cost: 3/10                  Getting Around: 7/10                  Girls: 9/10

Lost somewhere between the electronica vibe of Cafe Solon and the impossibly tall blondes of the Club Odal, I realized I’d been here before. Twice before, actually. I was standing in the middle of Laugavegur Street, stone drunk and completely sideways with no jacket, no wallet and no ID. Being lost in Iceland’s party capital is not an unfamiliar feeling, but it’s also not an uncomfortable one. As I backtracked through the maze of side streets, through the enormous crowds of bar-hopping locals and equally confused tourists, I came across a group of what in my state I could only assume were supermodels, who happily invited me to Reykjavik’s super club NASA, and I happily obliged. Waking up next to one the morning after, she informed me we had met days before under similar circumstances, I in a similar state. I told her I couldn’t remember and she simply said, “Reykjavik: Rinse, Rock, Repeat.”

Places to Hit: NASA, Cafe Solon, Gaukur a Stong

The Women: Stunning. Tall, blonde angels

Key Features: Incredibly nice locals. Excellent pre-club scene. Vodka-spiked beer. Great breakfasts and geothermal swimming pools for hangovers. Low cover charges.

Cost: €13-17 a drink at the club, €10-12 for a beer. €10-15 a drink in the bar, €8-10 for a beer.

The Downside: Only real downside other than cost is the cold.

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