People celebrate their birthday in many different ways. Some like to go out partying whilst others simply enjoy the company of their friends and loved ones - but more often than not, one of the most popular things to do is go on holiday. It doesn't always need to be somewhere overly extravagant, but for the most part, it's somewhere that you've desired to visit for quite some time.
This tends to be more of a regular practice for people that are in and around Europe, and that's not exactly a bad thing or a hash stereotype. Every single city across the continent is special in some way, shape or form, although there is a handful that stands out above the rest in terms of a birthday/holiday destination.
By no means are we calling the ten 'boring' cities bad in general, but for one reason or another, it just doesn't feel like they belong in the 'best' category that we've listed, but as we've said before in the past, this is purely an opinion - and you may have had different experiences one way or another. It's all about your own personal preference, and we can respect that. But overall, your birthday is a special time and it deserves to be celebrated properly, and if it was up to us, this is where we'd be heading.
Updated by Lauren Feather, February 19, 2022: It feels like a lifetime ago that we ventured off to a new city for the ultimate birthday celebration. Whether for a week or two, or for a long weekend, there's probably no person in the world that doesn't feel excited by the thought of partying the night away in some of the most sensational cities. And as borders begin to open, and socializing becomes less frowned upon, folks are getting the stilettos and suits on and heading to the Europe's most esteemed, heart-pumping party hubs once again. And to celebrate, (and to help readers decide where they should celebrate their next milestone) we've added a few more incredible cities to this ever-growing list of the continent's most roof-raising party destinations.
23 Ibiza - Colorful Clubbing All Night Long (Celebrate!)
More of an entire island than a city to enjoy, this booming party hub in Spain is the clubbing capital of the world. Birthday boys and girls looking for the party of a lifetime involving flashing lights, loud music, awesome food, and non-stop shots will be in their element amidst this world-famous island's incredible party scene - one that has drawn some of the biggest names in the world to let down their hair and dance all night long.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Bieber, Paris Hilton, and so many more notorious party-lovers have all gone wild in Ibiza, which attracts the most discerning partiers from all corners of the planet. There are no lack of bars and clubs for partying like a rockstar 'til the sun comes up, with legendary long-term venues including the iconic Pacha and the amazing Amnesia, the latter with a whopping 5,000 person capacity.
22 Dubrovnik - A Party By The Sea (Celebrate!)
Forget Game Of Thrones, Dubrovnik in Croatia is growing in fame for its awesome party culture in lieu of being the filming location for the fictional show's "King's Landing." It's no secret that Croatians know how to throw a good celebration, and that's made all the more sublime with the idyllic sea right next to this stunning city's old-world center.
Travelers can spend the whole day waltzing through the historic streets, tanning on the beach, and swimming in the pure blue ocean, and follow a perfect daytime with a heart-pumping night cruising the city's beachside bars and clubs. With great music and booze flowing throughout the day and night, Dubrovnik has a variety of superb venues - both small and large - perfect for all kinds of party-goer. From the well-stablished beachside Buža Bar with its incredible views, and the Culture Club Revelin - said to be one of the world's best clubs - to the renowned Cave Bar literally tucked inside a cave, there's so much going on in this sensational Croatian city by the sea.
21 Stockholm - House DJs And Epic City Clubs (Celebrate!)
Sweden is the home of world renowned house DJs such as Avicii and Steve Angello, thus it only makes sense that the country's capital hosts some of Europe's most roof-raising parties. Stockholm’s nightlife scene does sometimes finish up somewhat earlier than the likes of London or Ibiza, however that never stops the crowd from continuing the party for some of the best all-nighters on the continent.
There's a wealth of amazing venues to visit in this lively city, with some of the most popular and famous being Fasching for its sensational live music, and Slakthuset its pumping EDM beats. What's more, partiers who descend to Stockholm in summer can experience dancing on rooftop terraces that open up thanks to the lovely long daylight hours and inviting temperatures.
20 Manchester - Ticks All The Boxes (Celebrate!)
It doesn't matter what your preference is regarding how you like to celebrate your birthday because Manchester has everything you could possibly hope for. It's like a condensed version of London, only with much cheaper prices, even better music, and much friendlier people.
From the house parties in Fallowfield to the Northern Quarter, you won't be short on things to do, and whilst New York City is often described as the city that never sleeps, we're fairly confident that they stole that title from the Mancs - and if you don't believe us, then go and experience it for yourself ASAP.
19 Brussels - Politics And Overpriced Chocolate (Eh, kinda boring)
Belgium, as a country, is great - and in many ways, Brussels is a very important city, too. Unfortunately, it doesn't really have the aura of somewhere that you'd go to on your birthday, mainly because everything feels a little bit more serious than you'd probably like.
You could still have a pretty fun time but the prices aren't great, the atmosphere tends to be a little bit overbearing in terms of how 'serious' the locals are, and it feels like it's almost been a bit worn down courtesy of, ironically enough, all of the travellers.
With that in mind, though, this is probably the one entry that we looked at and thought 'perhaps we can be swayed'.
18 Berlin - The Big Time (Celebrate!)
Germany is a sensational country, if only due to the fact that they've been able to bounce back from great adversity on several occasions throughout the course of history. As well as that, though, the nation also plays host to some incredible cities - and Berlin is one of the big ones.
We don't mean that figuratively, either, we mean that quite literally. Berlin is one of the biggest cities in Europe in terms of actual size and because of that, it has many faces. There's the fun side, the business side, the indie side, and the cultural side, with many more awaiting you as you go on your birthday adventure.
17 Oslo - Painfully Overrated (Eh, kinda boring)
If you're going to charge an arm and a leg for pretty much everything from food to travel, you'd better be the greatest city on Earth: but Oslo doesn't quite fulfil that prophecy.
It's gorgeous in parts and it's quite fun to walk around, but even celebrities will be walking around worrying about whether or not they can afford something that they'd like to do, eat or drink. When you're on holiday, especially for your birthday, you should be busy having a good time as opposed to panicking about how much you've been budgeting.
If you want to travel to Scandinavia, there are a series of alternatives you could look towards.
16 Lisbon - Utterly Beautiful (Celebrate!)
There are about a million different reasons as to why the Portuguese experience such a boom in tourism every single summer, with the weather being one of them - but while the actual holiday resorts may be incredibly popular, Lisbon is on a whole other level.
The food alone is worth treating yourself on your birthday trip, and it's legitimately crazy to think that the locals get to experience the city on a day-to-day basis. It combines the hustle and bustle of city life with fantastic beaches and outstanding visuals, and that equates to a very good time in our book.
15 Frankfurt - Sausages? That's It? (Eh, kinda boring)
Most German cities tend to follow a similar pattern in terms of how aesthetically pleasing they are to look at, how much they've got to offer, and how much time travellers usually spend there. Frankfurt, however, doesn't really fit into that category all too well.
Aside from the obvious appeal of sausages, Frankfurt is much more centred around the business side of things in the grand scheme of European culture. That isn't a bad thing necessarily as it means there's plenty of job opportunities for locals and foreigners alike, but it doesn't make it seem like a place that's all too appealing on first glance.
14 Amsterdam - Oh So Notorious (Celebrate!)
Everyone reading this has some kind of idea what they're likely to expect if they ever travel to Amsterdam, and some people have probably already been - but there's a bigger story behind the 'mask' of the Netherlands' most popular location.
Reputations can be great or bad depending on which side of the story you're hearing, and Amsterdam has suffered greatly in the last few years - even though there's so much more to it than meets the eye. It doesn't even necessarily feel like a city as much as it does a town, because it's such a 'together' community with many locals mixing brilliantly with tourists to make for one of the best atmospheres we've ever experienced.
13 Paris - Get The Cheque Book Out (Eh, kinda boring)
Despite all of the negative connotations you read about Paris we're actually going to stick up for it here because it's a city full of life and culture that deserves more than one visit in a lifetime. Alas, that visit should probably come on Valentine's Day or New Year's Eve as opposed to a birthday - if you're doing it on a big occasion, that is.
You want to be made to feel special on your birthday, and Paris isn't a city that's likely to accommodate that in comparison to some of the other cities that we've listed. Again, if you look hard enough then you'll find a good time, but things are a bit too 'busy' there.
12 Kraków - One Of Poland's Crown Jewels (Celebrate!)
Whilst the Christmas markets should be enough to convince you that Kraków is a darn good place to visit, we understand that not everyone is going to be visiting at that time of year. So then, why not head to Wawel Castle, the main square, the salt mine, or maybe just take in some of their fantastic delicacies?
It's probably a little bit boring at this point to hear about just how fantastic Poland is as a nation, but we can't help it - because it really does need to be seen in order to be believed. It's somewhere that, even though it's incredibly accessible, feels like an honour to visit, and Kraków embodies that perfectly.
11 Milan - Fashion, Fashion, Fashion (Eh, kinda boring)
For those who have the perception of us enjoying 'slamming' Milan, that certainly isn't the case. It'd be great if every single town, city or country we went to was great fun, but unfortunately, that isn't the case with travelling, and it allows for more diverse opinions.
Milan is viewed as one of the fashion capitals of the world, but that isn't always something that's going to appeal to everyone. In fact, you could argue that it only really appeals to a very specific kind of traveller.
If that's your kind of thing, then great, but this city isn't an accurate representation of what Italy can provide.
10 Barcelona - Glorious Espana (Celebrate!)
Barcelona has all of the positives of a business-orientated city, whilst also possessing a certain spirit that you just don't see throughout most other places in the world. It captures that Spanish charm like no other city in the country can, and believe us when we say that it's incredibly vibrant.
If a stadium tour of the remarkable Nou Camp isn't your cup of tea, then we can all but guarantee that heading down Las Ramblas will provide you with the energy, food and culture that you'd have been looking for.
Oh, and it's one of the only cities whereby the bus tour is very, very worth it.
9 Vienna - Beautiful, But Not Overly Fun (Eh, kinda boring)
It feels a little bit 'harsh', if you will, to throw Vienna under the bus so to speak, but don't get this confused: it is a really entertaining city - but it all depends on what you're looking for. If you're going there with your girlfriend or boyfriend then you're bound to have a romantic journey together, but that's about it.
Even if you're looking for places to eat at night you may struggle, especially if you're there on a weekday. Vienna is gorgeous but if we're being honest with ourselves, this is the first real city that comes to mind when we think about the term 'boring'
8 Riga - The Unknown Entity (Celebrate!)
Unknown cities, especially across Europe, are always cause for speculation. You're never quite sure whether or not they're going to be incredibly underrated or a little bit risky to visit, but with Riga, all the boxes are ticked from our side of things.
It's visually stunning, everything is cheap, the locals are friendly, and it's a great place to escape to if only for 48 hours or less. It's difficult to overstay your welcome in Riga and at the same time, it's very, very hard not to find a way to have a good time. Don't delay, book your trip there today.
7 Basel - Not Switzerland's Finest (Eh, kinda boring)
Switzerland is a very beautiful country and, like many others around it, there are a few different 'faces' of it, if you will. There are certain places that you identify with, whether it be because of skiing or just because of just how much of a financial hub the nation is.
Basel, though, doesn't really fall into any of those categories, and it just feels a little bit built up. You don't even really have the luxury of everywhere being cheap either, because as we all know, Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world - and that's not just a stereotype.
6 Budapest - The Indie Pick (Celebrate!)
Budapest is a city that's thrown out there quite a lot when the discussion is brought up regarding great European destinations, and there is a handful of reasons for that. You can have a chilled out time in the many spas, go ice skating by the river, or even just take in some of the beautiful architecture.
Or, alternatively, you could head on down to the Jewish Quarter before exploring some of the many great restaurants and bars on offer. Hungary isn't a country that has all too many major cities and attractions, but Budapest certainly knows how to represent.
5 Moscow - Too Many Questions (Eh, kinda boring)
Look, the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia exemplified why the nation doesn't really deserve the harsh reputation that it gets most of the time. With that being said, it's not like we aren't still going to be slightly trepidatious over the possibility of visiting. That sounds harsh, but it's the truth for many.
Beyond that, though, it just doesn't seem like a place that screams 'birthday trip'. Perhaps if you were going for business or something along those lines then it'd be more suitable, but you're going to want an adventure on your birthday, and Moscow won't really provide you with that.
4 Prague - What A Place (Celebrate!)
Prague being dirt cheap is something that most people think about when they look for things to associate the city with, but at the risk of sounding too repetitive, it has much more of an identity to that. Sure, most people go there in search of a good time one way or another, but there are multiple ways in which to accomplish that goal.
The Old Town, the castle, the bridge, the restaurants - all of these things will allow you to have a splendid time without having to worry about your budget whatsoever. Oh, and you'll be able to feel incredibly safe at all times, too, which is something that can't always be said for places like this.