10 Cities That Never Sleep

There are official places around the globe that never sleep, according to the late closing and opening hours of their establishments. Cultural preferences also play a big role in determining nocturnal cities, with even the most unexpected personas, like grandpas and grandmas, strolling under the moonlight. These metropolises, prominent by day, turn into iconic hotspots in the after hours. 

Athens, Greece

Athens at night
Streets of Athens filled with tourists at night.

While most people in other countries are on their first or second nightcap, the Greeks are just cushioning down at the dinner table for their long-prepared family dinner, typically between eight and nine in the evening. Those going out to dine have a wide choice of restaurants that keep doors open until midnight, which is some of the latest times around the world.

When in Greece, it is best to do as Greeks do and go out for a full-fledged affair of explosive Mediterranean fusions, with an added social aspect. Greece values Epicureanism, with nobody in a hurry to finish eating, and even the sleepiest servers will let one savor the "most important meal of the day" at 12 am over a lively discussion.

Beirut, Lebanon

Beirut, Lebanon at night
A street in Beirut's downtown area at night. Editorial credit: Jeff Merheb / Shutterstock.com

Beirut's periodic volatility is interrupted by upbeat gatherings and city dynamism unlike anywhere else in the world. There are multiple young neighborhoods where nighttime signals the partying to start. For an all-Beirut experience, one must take an espresso shot and head to the Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye neighborhoods.

Then, there is the whole night to seize by partying, eating, and drinking with friends like locals as if there's no tomorrow. The New York City of the Middle East earns rightful recognition as the party city that never sleeps. The dream destination for party animals from the west and European countries will seem like exotic land with multi-cultural vibes where the wildest things can happen.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina
The ever-busy streets of Buenos Aires at night.

When heading to the Latin-American capital, one must be ready to immerse in all-night fiascos with partying that never seizes. Buenos Aires is a bucket-list destination, home to sizzling music and raving tango clubs for a bachelor vacation like no other. The largest city in the country never sleeps, with Argentineans taking full advantage and bar-hopping through the night. The capital in the Western region on the estuary of Rio de la Plata offers plentiful waterside establishments for all levels of the wild. It was granted autonomy in 1994 with an amendment in the Constitution for the proud title of the "Autonomous City of Buenos Aires."

Two years later, the city elected its first chief of government, whereas before, the president of Argentina appointed the mayor of every city. The whole country is "sleep deprived," with bars open until early morning, but Buenos Aires is abuzz with excitement both day and night. It is perpetually awake with live music, modern and traditional dances, and cuisine galore with renowned wines. Crobar One is one of the most popular 24-hour mega clubs. El Viejo has its own fan base, and Almacen is known for night-long tango entertainers. One will never get bored in this sensual, raucous, and vibrant city that beguiles with thrills until the wee hours.

Cairo, Egypt

Cairo, Egypt market at night
Lantern store in the Khan El Khalili market in Cairo, Egypt. 

Cairo redefines the concept of a city that never sleeps by preparing to head out for the night when people around the world are getting ready to climb into bed. The Egyptian capital is one of the few cities around the globe where nightclubs stay open until 3 am or later. It also boasts the latest opening cafés and second-latest restaurants, for the title of the latest-opening city in the world. The climate and culture encourage "the nature of Cairo," with many shops open until midnight and entertainment lasting until dawn. 

The hypnotizing capital metropolis of Egypt pulsates with life day and night. To remedy the nighttime sins, one can relax over a sugary "chai" or tea while watching people going about their daily business through a cafe window before diving into another night. The "culture vultures" will love strolling end-to-end and around the city for sights. It is a paradise of many pyramids, the endless Nile, and magnificent minarets. One will feel adorned in the Medieval era at Old Cairo, while a camel ride backdropped by the setting sun over the landscape is the most atmospheric "must." 

Hong Kong

Hong Kong
Temple Street in Hong Kong is known for its night market. Editorial credit: Korkusung / Shutterstock.com

True night crawlers will love walking through the night streets of Hong Kong ablaze with glaring neon signs and bare lightbulbs and vibrating with the pulse of the city. It is a must experience to try to navigate the tightly-packed sidewalks teeming with more night owls and other "wild animals" roaming the scene among steaming food stalls and animated characters.

Once the sun sets, Hong Kong gets adorned with spicy and sultry aromas, risky business, and some of the world's top night spots. There are myriad options for tourists to join locals for an after-hours gala. One must explore Asia's most vibrant city, abuzz with different ventures day and night that never repeat. 

Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain
Night view of the famous landmark of Mercado San Miguel in Madrid, Spain.

When others go to sleep, the beautiful city of Madrid wakes up with infectious energy that makes it impossible to leave the streets even when the daylight breaks. It would be hard to sleep anyways, with the sinful music all night long at open cafes where people are having a blast. The great Hemingway immortalized the nocturnal city by writing, "Nobody goes to bed in Madrid till they have killed the night!" Locals and tourists alike enjoy the sultry music, cosmopolitan vibe, and party atmosphere into the wee hours.

Open cafes that never close are perfect for that espresso shot and a spritz of dry shampoo before heading to work, while unaccustomed tourists can turn the day into a siesta before another night-on-town. "The most developed Spanish city" for after-hours, Madrid knows how to tend to all tastes with a whole culture developed around staying up until 4 am, with entertaining, relaxing, and simply wild options. 

Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech, Morocco
A busy night market in Marrakech, Morocco.

The exotic wonderland of Morocco is unlike any other major city, with the most magic revealed when it comes to having a blast at night. It is a destination with prevailing culture and fun during the day and lively streets transforming into something out of a dream at night. The complacently beautiful weather calls for all-nighters at one of the multiple beach resorts or a cocktail-ridden full-fledged bar bash in the heart of town. The booming main square is filled with extravagant eateries to re-energize after a day of exploring the cityscape.

Instead of the typical fast food fare for the starving night owls, one will find delectable couscous and lamb-stuffed sandwiches. Marrakech is the most intoxicating city for hundreds of miles around, seeing globetrotters and treating them like favorite locals. The city that never sleeps and barely pauses for breath at night has a good eye for alcohol at countless bars staying open until the wee hours. Marrakesh is a real vision during the night with tons to discover, stay entertained, and drink like there is no tomorrow.

Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo, Uruguay at night
Carnival celebrations in Montevideo at night. Editorial credit: Marotoson / Shutterstock.com

Montevideo is a beach-ridden paradise with the world's second-latest opening bars and clubs. This means they stay active dusk-til-dawn for night owls that Montevideans are. Like Cairo, the city is also known for late-night chats, where people choose flirting on social media through the night instead of sleeping.

There is a vibrant beach party scene under the moonlight, with warm and gentle waters perfect for intermittent sobriety to keep drinking. The must-experience heaven is quickly gaining popularity among worldwide night crawlers for the grand beaches with a mad party scene. 

New York City, United States

New York City at night
A heavily crowded Times Square in New York City at night. Editorial credit: Andrey Bayda / Shutterstock.com

Officially the "City That Never Sleeps," Big Apple boasts turmoil nights that really do feel like a New York Minute. The major global power is considered the financial, cultural, and media capital of the world, where locals deservingly live large after sunset following a hard day of work. During the day, there are immense food, fashion, and art scenes, while the entertainment never ceases. Times Square is the most-worthy seeing during the night for a vision that will imprint forever after. The five boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island, consolidated in 1898, each has something unique to offer.

Numerous establishments stay open through the night, and the New York subway system never closes for convenient hopping between neighborhoods to get a taste of all. The Staten Island Ferry also operates day and night with no rest days and boats departing every 15 to 30 minutes. The iconic New York City is frenetic and overwhelming, with a vibrant nightlife that lets one choose nocturnal adventures and make them memories of a lifetime. There are after-hour nightclubs and hip, underground bars, and wanders down the hectic streets for a full cultural specter. One must stop under the glitzy lights of an open theatre for a late-night show and opt for a quiet or romantic horse carriage ride through Central Park.

Paris, France

Paris at night
Arc de Triomphe in Paris at night. Editorial credit: maziarz / Shutterstock.com

The city of lights, with so much to offer, blends into one unforgettable memory when the sun sets. Into the night, Paris is the most beautiful and romantic scene and the best place to explore in the dark. It never gets pitch-black and is a sight to behold in every way. There is the illuminated Eiffel tower peaking its various lengths from countless viewpoints around the city, like brasseries with terraces that stay open late. The brightly lit-up roads call for a stroll along the cobbled streets under the glitzy signs of many renowned spots at the heart of Paris.

Paris never sleeps, with those "hurrying" to work for a ten o'clock start, strutting down the streets in businesswear for a meeting, or sitting down at cafés for prolonged lunches, also staying for the lively night scene into the wee hours. The iconic Sacré-Cœur that throngs at the heartstrings of the natives and tourists alike during the day will take your breath away at night, along with the whole city to the other side in the palm of the hand, under the moonlight. 

This bucket list of the world's liveliest and loveliest cities that never sleep is perfect for globe trotters and night crawlers. There are countless explorations and sights to pursue during the day that will only energize you to keep going through the night for unforgettable out-on-town experiences. 

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