The time you get your first hangover is a painful coming-of-age moment. It hurts, but in a way that makes you feel sort of proud, or at least all the wiser. One hangover eventually turns into far more, and as time progresses they (for most) don’t maintain that same sort of novelty. As you accumulate and diversify the hangovers in your repertoire, you build a scale by which to diagnose the severity of your current one: Workday hangovers, January 2nd hangovers, Sunday-in-bed hangovers, and to our main point of contention–hangovers in different area codes.
Booze patrons all over the world are hungover as we speak. From Sydney to Seattle, there probably isn’t a moment on this planet when at least one person isn’t hungover. With that said, some cities do provide more optimal environments for hangovers than others. So, what makes some hurt more? Based on factors like type of alcohol, light, smells, accessibility, noise and crowds, we found the cities that create the most hangover-inducing conditions in the world:
New York City
What we’re drinking? A little bit of everything.
New York is one of those cities where “one drink” easily turns into “one too many”. You never stay in one place long enough to settle in, and hop from bar to bar trying not to get sucked into the bartender’s special everywhere you go. And by the end of the night, you’ve had a mix of wine, vodka, gin and maybe even a little mezcal. Pick your poison!
The city can be ruthless and has the tendency to beat you up on days when you’re already a little down. The subway makes a sound equivalent to scraping nails, sirens and people knocking into you on the street is nearly inevitable, bright lights are everywhere you turn and every so often you’ll get hit with a smell more terrible than anything you’ve sniffed before.
New York makes sure that the only safe place to be during a hangover is at home. Which, unless you live on the top of a fancy high-rise, is probably still tinged by some sort of abrasive noise from the outside outside world. And being isolated in your apartment would be fine, if the city didn’t have this strange ability to make you feel guilty for not doing anything.
What we’re drinking? Rum.
It’s always the right time to have a drink in Havana. There’s something about the lusty wave of color and music that make this city particularly fun to drink in. That, and the fact that mojitos are everywhere you turn. Seriously, everywhere you turn.
Imagine having a hangover without any of the modern conveniences that make them bearable. You’re hungover, and the first thing you want is food. Well, you don’t have Seamless, Postmates or whatever the most meal-delivery site you prefer, so you must venture outside. And once you step outside, the heat will hit you like a thick cloud, soon to soak you in your own alcohol-scented sweat.
Hangovers tend to fog the memory, but you will have to remember now more than ever how youre going to get to your destination and back because there is no GPS. Without Wi-Fi and a sober sense of direction, good hangover remedies are almost impossible to find. So there you are, without hangover food, dying of heat, and with no technology to help you get by.
What we’re drinking? Mekhong whiskey.
If you’re hungover in Bangkok, there’s a good chance it has something to do with whiskey. Which probably means you had a fabulous time, but also, that you are going to suffer the consequences.
With all of it’s magical whims and wit, even at your best, Bangkok can be difficult to navigate. The city is spread out, and getting from one place to another amid the noise and heat can be quite the obstacle. Trying to figure out where you’re going hungover by bus or public transport is its own sticky challenge, and even if you take a ridesharing service, be prepared to situate yourself for at least an hour.
Thai cuisine is one of the most celebrated and complex in the world, and you’ll often pass markets or vendors selling a variety of ingredients on the street. You’d think this would be a pro, but the seriously potent smells tend to make a hangover that much worse.
What we’re drinking? Prosecco.
Oh Venice, how you charm with your canals, cannolis and classically beautiful people. But however charming sober, you can be anything but charming to handle hungover.
The small city filled moments of magic, is also filled with many moments of disorientation. It is painfully easy to get lost in Venice, a maze of similarly, albeit cute, streets seem to merge into one. Eventually, you are more than likely to run into one that is flooded, and at some point, you will need to take a gondola across canals. Which on any other day might sound nice, but a hungover ride can heighten your nausea.
But it’s all a small price to pay when you’re in Venice, right? The entire city is crowded, and if you’re not running into a tourist taking a selfie, you’re getting heckled by someone trying to sell you one useless trinket or another. While these annoyances used to be confined to certain areas, they seem to have seeped their way through the entire city. So perhaps the only thing to learn from a hangover in Venice, is that you probably should’ve waited to leave bed.
New Delhi, India
What we’re drinking? Palm wine.
There is so much going on at all times in New Delhi. The city is full of zigs and zags that often lead to beautiful surprises. When drinks are calling, getting lost often leads you to lovely local watering holes for some traditional palm wine. When hungover, these turns often lead you to well, an even bigger headache than you had before.
New Delhi has a unique capacity to overwhelm, and palm wine has an alarming capacity to induce a migraine. The constantly moving and multi-sensory experience that is New Delhi can lead you to feelings of discombobulation. And when hungover, the last thing you want to be is overwhelmed and confused.
You don’t even know where to look. When just casually sitting in traffic, on one side of you there could be cattle trotting along, and on the other side might be seven people on one beeping motorcycle. What’s that smell? It could be a whole host of things. You simply won’t be able to appreciate the beauty in the crowds, sounds and stimulations, which is why you should definitely visit New Delhi sober.