The Amsterdam New School, pioneered by techno DJs Dylan and Shinedoe, is gaining worldwide recognition, and this is the best place to experience it. From the people who brought Amsterdam the legendary Club 11, Trouwis an industrial space – a former newspaper building – where the line-up always makes headlines.
Stumble in at 9am to the award-winning Fusion Suites, a pretty mansion next to Vondelpark; and make sure you stay up for the incredible home-cooked breakfast. Stay at Fusion Suites (+31 206 184 642, www.fusionsuites.com).
The impossibly happening Catalan capital has a dazzling array of clubs and scenes, all of which are melded together at Razzmatazz. Across several floors, music ranges from indie and pop to techno and trance. And when you need to escape the dancefloor, just head for the beautiful roof-terrace.
The Raval is effortlessly edgy and the coolest area for Barcelona’s many bars; Hostal Gat Raval is smart, clean and funky, with each room displaying work by a local artist.
Berlin has long been recognised as Techno-Mecca and Berghain/Panorama Bar is Berlin’s – and thus the world’s – premier techno club. Both the main club Berghain, with its 18-metre-high dance space, and the upstairs bar pump out intense techno in tune with the power generation this massive building was once used for.
With large comfortable rooms and good transport links, Hotel-Pension Bregenz is probably the best value hotel in Berlin, leaving you with more money to spend on partying through the night.
With one of the best festivals in Europe – Garden Festival – Croatia is building up a reputation as Eastern Europe’s clubbing capital. Head for Carpe Diem on the stunning island of Hvar to dance with Croatia’s beautiful people. The beach bar doubles as a lovely restaurant – and don’t miss the fantastic full-moon parties. Carpe Noctem!
It’s worth having your own apartment on Hvar, and it’s not too expensive; Ana Dujmovic is endlessly helpful and has a number of lovely well-furnished apartments to let. Stay at Ana Dujmovic (+38 521 742 010, www.hvar-croatia.com/dujmovic/index.htm).
Ibiza is arguably the clubbing capital of the universe, and a huge part of that universe is Space – considered by many, and with a truckful of awards to show it, to be the very best club in the world. You’ll need to take out a second mortgage just to get a sip of water here, but it’ll (hopefully) be worth it.
After all that dancing, you’ll need a comfortable bed to recuperate in: Es Mitjorn is the hidden gem of Ibiza. Fantastic value for the island, it’s in a great location, with a lovely pool and clean rooms.
London has many overpriced and oversubscribed fashionista clubs, but to get away from the hipster hype, head to Mass. This converted church is Brixton’s house of rave-worship, with room for 1,500 people. Mass offers a variety of clubbing experiences, with none of the posers. Don’t miss DMZ – the world’s most important dubstep night.
Stay local, avoiding the silly central London prices and an even sillier taxi fare. Boutique-style Pasha Hotel, with its Turkish hammam and Kazakh cuisine, is putting south-east London on the cool tourist map.
The clubbing in Milan isn’t exclusively about footballers and models, though they certainly frequent Tocqueville 13. The music here is as varied as the drinks list, and the venue less aggressively pretentious than the close-by Hollywood – but just as glamorous.
The absurdly modern STRAF is right in the centre of the city, with every room on the fifth floor boasting a mini-spa; the ultra-hip hotel bar is a must-visit.
Malta is loudly making its case as the great-value alternative to Ibiza. Gianpula, housed in a converted farm, is the country’s biggest open-air club: its 4,000-clubber capacity means it can in theory accommodate one per cent of the island’s population. The music menu features everything from posh trance to R&B.
The Fortina in Sliema is a classy four-star hotel with five restaurants and two salt-water swimming pools; the company also has a spa resort on the same beach. Enjoy spending the money you saved from avoiding Ibiza.
New York is primarily a bar city, but the cultural capital of the USA has thousands of clubs beneath its skyscrapers. Apartment-themed club APT, with its sleek basement bar and cosier street-level room, is one of the best places in the city for hearing the sound of the underground. From the techno of Carl Craig to Zulu Nation-founder Afrika Bambaataa, an eclectic mix of DJs and sounds can be heard here. The place is rammed on weekends.
For kipping down, head to the Bryant Park, at a fantastic location on West 40th Street. Many rooms have terrific views of the park and all are modern and spotlessly clean. Stay at Bryant Park hotel(+18 776 409 300, www.bryantparkhotel.com).
One of the biggest cities on the planet, Brazil’s business capital has a vast number of clubs to choose from, with the best music probably at Manga Rosa. A world away from the derivative pop, rock and R&B of São Paulo’s more commercial clubs, the DJs here play progressive house, techno and other electronic music to a young, beautiful crowd who are always up for a good time.
Considered one of South America’s best hotels, the Emiliano is the only accommodation option if you’re not on a budget; from the elegant spa to the delicious food, this excellently located boutique hotel is the best that Brazil’s biggest city has to offer. If you’re on a budget… go to Rio.
Plan your perfect trip with this inspirational compendium of failsafe holiday suggestions. It's packed with fresh ideas for traditional breaks, from beach idylls to winter sun and family camping, along with great suggestions for trying something different – all around the world. Whether you're looking for a weekend break or the trip of a lifetime, Time Out's worldwide team of travel specialists can take you there.