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Nightlife on the Atlantic Coast

Whether it’s in the balmy night air of Spain and Portugal, a super-chic boite in Reykjavik, or a snug pub in Ireland, nightlife is hot and theatre vibrant in the Atlantic Coast countries of Europe.

Nightlife in Spain is guaranteed to go-go-go until after the sun comes up. Start the evening with tapas or dinner and a few drinks in a music bar… or else you could go to a musical or the theatre. Then adjourn to a bar or disco to carry on partying until you want your pillow more than the dance floor. And to top it off –even though the sun’s already up– what could be better than a delicious cup of hot chocolate with “churros” (hot fritters)? If theater is your passion, you’re going to be busy in Spain. Mérida’s beautifully conserved Roman theatre and Barcelona’s Gran Teatro del Liceu are two you shouldn’t miss, and you’ll love the National Theater Museum – for daytime fun, that is.

In Portugal if you like your nights to be energized and exciting, start the evening on a café terrace by the sea or riverside, charge your batteries and get ready; then all you have to do is choose a bar or a disco and dance the night away. You’ll find just the ambiance you seek, whether your mood calls for retro, alternative, or hip and chic. Lisbon has neighborhoods catering to every style; in Coimbra, Braga and Évora, follow the student crowd. They’ll make sure you have a lively night out! For a quieter, but unforgettable and truly Portuguese experience, dine the sound of plaintive Fado, and listen to the soul of Portugal. Steep yourself in theatre, cinema, dance, music and video at the international summertime theatre festival in Montemor-o-Velho.

A night out in Ireland is surely going to involve some time at a pub. The pub lies at the heart of cultural, social and musical life here. Not just places to have a drink, in an Irish pub you can philosophize on the meaning of life, ruminate on global politics, listen to a poetry reading, tap your feet to a traditional session, feast on delicious food or just enjoy the quiet settling of a pint of Guinness in front of a crackling fire. Sit at the bar if you fancy chatting to the locals, or hole yourself up in one of the old snugs – private little spaces, which were historically designed just for the ladies. For stimulating theatre, check out what’s on at The VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art and the George Bernard Shaw Theatre, which present the work of a balanced mixture of local, national international artists. The annual International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival has become the largest event of its type in the world. It celebrates contributions of gay people to theatre, past and present.

Soak up local culture at one of the many theaters in Iceland. You can catch plays at the National Theater in Reykjavik, or at various smaller venues. Performances are usually in Icelandic but Theater Idno stages plays in English during the summer. The Reykjavik City Theater is the home of the Iceland Dance Company, which performs annually and isn’t quite so reliant on the spoken word! Reykjavik city centre is one place during the day and a completely different one after hours and on weekends when the party is well under way. It’s well known for having a vibrant nightlife, with trendy bars and clubs open until the early hours of the morning. 

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