By Ronan Gay
- Everyone wants a cheap night out, no matter where they are in the world. So our reporter, Ronan Gay, went to extreme measures and travelled the world to find some of the best, and cheapest, nights out. Here’s what he found: (all prices are in GBP, USD and EUR)
Beer Corner, Hanoi, Vietnam
Every night, without fail, hundreds of locals and backpackers converge on the corner between Luong Ngoc Quyen St and Ta Hien St, to sit on tiny plastic red chairs, chat, make friends and drink beer for 4,000 Vietnamese dong. How much is that in real terms? £0.11/$0.18/€0.13, that’s how much. Utterly ludicrous. Sit and watch the locals weave perilously close to people on their motorcycles, or strike up a conversation with the person next to you – worrying about the cost of a round has never been more futile.
Films in Tompkins, New York, USA
Cheap nights out in New York are hard to come by, but we’ve found one that’s not just cheap, it’s free! Located in Tompkins Park, one of the nicest parks in Manhattan, Films in Tompkins is an outdoor cinema with some live music thrown in for good measure. Films start at sunset, so get there after a day’s sightseeing and find a perfect spot on the grass. During those summer months, we can’t think of a better way to spend your evening.
Serendipity Beach, Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Naturally, swimming, beach-lounging and soaking up the sun should always be free, and is. But it’s the nightlife here that sets Serendipity Beach apart from other beach locations across the world. Beachside bars offer beers from just 15p/$0.25/€0.18 cents. Spirit/mixer costs £1.20/$2/€1.50 and it’s bucket-sized. Literally. Free fire shows, pool tables and live DJs make this beach truly serendipitous.
Celtica, Brussels, Belgium
Celtica is possibly one of the best bars in all of Belgium. Located in the heart of the country’s capital, this Irish bar offers live music downstairs and a packed-out nightclub upstairs. Did we mention there’s no entrance fee, and drinks are £1.60/$2.60/€2 until midnight? Madness.
Ain’t Nothin’ But, London, England
Ain’t Nothin’ But offers some of the best live blues music in London, and entrance is completely free on weekdays or free until 8.30pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Open until 1am weekdays and an astonishing 2.30am on the weekend, this really is the place to take part in some foot-stomping blues. There’s no cover charge on the tables and no pressure to buy any drinks, but expect to pay £3/$5/€3.65 for a beer or £4/$6.70/€4.80 for a glass of wine. Located just Regent Street, there’s no problem getting a night bus home. Come early if you don’t want to queue – this tiny gem is fast-becoming the most popular live music venue in central London.
Old Town, Bratislava, Slovakia
It’s difficult to recommend a bar in Bratislava’s Old Town, as they’re all so cheap. With cosy settings and friendly staff, it’s hard not to be charmed into spending an entire evening in one venue, enjoying glasses of wine for just £0.80/$1.30/€1 or local beer for £1.20/$2/€1.50. There’s plenty of free live music about too, and that late-night kebab won’t set you back much more than the cost of a beer. A night out in Europe for under £8/$14/€10? Easy.
Whistlebinkies, Edinburgh, Scotland
Whistlebinkies is possibly be the best-value night out in Edinburgh: no entrance fee, all-night drinks promotions and live music 7 days a week. There’s a great mix of music genres and special student deals keep the crowd young, so you’re sure to have a great night out. As with all proper nights out – don’t plan anything for the next morning, because you’re sure to sleep through it.
(Not) Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain
Las Ramblas is a fantastic strip of vibrant street performers, live music and heaving bars, but you’ll pay for it. Dive down one of the alleys off the main road, get yourself lost in the myriad of streets and watch the prices for drinks and tapas tumble. Some of the finest hidden gems are down these streets… which will be your favourite secret? When you start seeing sangria for about £1.60/$2.75/€2, you’re in the right place.
Boca y Sapo, La Paz, Bolivia
Right in the centre of La Paz, Boca y Sapo is a heady mix of locals and backpackers all looking to party the night away without breaking the bank. A bottle of wine for £5/$8.30/€6 and a beer for £1/$1.60/€1.22 – this bar knows how to keep you coming back. Pumping music and a raucous dance floor – you won’t forget this one in a hurry.
Trastevere, Rome, Italy
Thought Rome wasn’t cheap? Think again. Trastevere is Rome’s student hub, with bars lining the pokey streets and restaurants serving up unbelievable pizzas from just £2.50/$4/€3. Don’t worry about following a particular recommendation here – the adventure is in finding your own perfect spot. Take a peek through the windows of each bar to get a feel for what’s going on inside. (Hint: the younger the crowd, the cheaper the drinks!) A large birra alla spina (draught beer) will cost about £2.50/$4/€3 during happy hour, similar to a glass of wine. But it’s the crowd here that makes it all worth it.
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