Euroventure’s Top Music Cities

Euroventure’s Top Music Cities

For any music fan interrailing round Europe, you’re not going to want to miss out on the amazing heritage of this hugely varied continent. But where do you start in a place which has launched the careers of everyone from The Beatles to Robin Shulz? Here’re our pick of the most musical cities in Europe.

Hamburg

Hosting some of the Beatles’ first gigs, Hamburg has always been a key player in Europe’s music scene. But despite its massive success stories, it has remained a fairly well kept secret even in Germany. If you like the idea of Berlin but feel put off by the horror stories of 3 hours spent queuing for a club full of hipsters only to be turned away for no reason, Hamburg might be the perfect answer.

Where to go?

  • Uebel & Gefährlich – An abandoned Nazi Bunker turned gig venue, this is like something out of the cold war. However it’s hugely popular with artists touring Germany, and its atmosphere is like nowhere else.
  • Dockville – come summer this celebration of German art and culture takes over Hamburg’s docklands. Think Southbank but better.

Budva

Montenegro might not immediately strike you as one of Europe’s top music hubs, but this tiny Mediterranean country with its stunning coastline is the perfect location for summer festivals. Budva is not only home to one of the most spectacular beaches you’ll ever see, it’s also where Sea Dance festival takes place every July.

Where to go?

Sea dance festival – Voted Europe’s best medium sized festival 2015, Sea Dance is growing yearly. Its incredible beach-side location and camping create the most idyllic location imaginable, while also playing host to artists like Bondax, Jai Paul and other house and dance acts from The Sound You Need and UKF. The festival tickets are much cheaper than UK festivals, and because of its location, the festival camping, food and drink whilst you’re there is amazing value too.

Milan

While your mind might jump to Italy’s capital for nightlife and music, Milan is just as buzzing as its Southern sibling and often attracts a wider variety of acts. It’s a hub for rock and jazz music, with loads of Jazz bars serving excellent Italian wines and cocktails. If dance music is more your thing, you’ll find many amazing clubs hosting world famous DJs. Milan’s industrial past means it’s full of warehouses and abandoned buildings turned edgy music venues.

Where to go:

  • Tunnel Club – embedded in the central train station, you’ll find Tunnel. Getting it’s name from its location under a railway bridge, this ex-industrial club is home to a cool underground vibe, with live music as well as club nights, and offers discounts to students.
  • Le Trottoir – this centrally located cocktail bar offers live jazz and piano music. This place is great for a typically Italian taste of live music over a negroni or a glass of Chianti.

Porto

Porto is a hidden gem in Portugal, often overlooked for it’s big sister Lisbon. But with its stunning multi-coloured buildings, large student population and riverside nightlife district, Porto is definitely deserving of it’s place on our top music cities in Europe. The music starts late and carries on till dawn in this vibrant city, but it’s in the tucked away bars and venues that you’ll find Portuguese character and local crowds.

Where to go:

Hot Five Jazz Club: For something different, head to Hot Five Jazz Club and experience one of their live bands. Local bands perform on weeknights with live jazz from midnight Friday and Saturday, with a friendly mixed clientelle and staff. Another perk is their unique drinks (and food) system – you receive a card on entry which the barman marks all your drinks on, so you don’t have to queue for ages at the bar – you settle the bill as you leave.

Budapest

We know we always harp on about how great Budapest is, but it really is the capital of the East as far as music cities in Europe go. At its centre is the thriving Ruin Pub scene (for more info, check out our Top 10 Coolest Bars in Europe), a collection of vibrantly decorated abandoned buildings, which provide a whole host of amazing and unique venues for alternative arts. Most of these spaces have a massive variety of acts – from under the radar DJs to indie/rock/hip hop artists to the really weird stuff that you probably wouldn’t want to go to, as well as cheap drinks and incredible atmospheres. Google to see their upcoming events.

Budapest’s other big draw is of course Sziget festival, which takes over the city for 5 days in August. This year you can expect to hear sets by Naughty Boy, Bring me the Horizon, Kodaline, Sigur Ros and Mo with more still to be announced. It’s one of Europe’s largest festivals with over 400,000 visitors over the few days, and it takes place right in the centre of the city.

Where to go:

  • Szimpla Kert – the mother of all Ruin bars, Szimpla is one of Budapest’s most famous bars. Its live music scene sees different acts, both local and international, playing on a weekly basis.
  • Sziget Festival – See below… Need we say more?

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