Our knowledge of nightlife doesn’t limit itself to North America, and that’s because our ears don’t only cover the music that comes out of this continent. We do have some pretty notorious nightclubs in the U.S., but if you haven’t seen the nightlife outside of this country, then you’re missing out on some of the top nightclubs in the world. From Germany to England, Spain to Singapore, there are nightclubs that constantly try to stake the claim as “Best in the World.” We’ve narrowed down the list to the top ten best nightclubs in the world for music, and here’s what we’ve come up with.
#10 Best Club in the World
Cielo – New York City
If you’re looking for the best house music in New York City, there are only two venues worth mentioning: Pacha NYC and Cielo. For those ravers and techno-music junkies out there who nightly crave the sounds of deep European dance music and floor-pulsing, heavy-hitting house in an upscale environment, Cielo is where it’s at. Found between 9th and Washington in the Meatpacking District, Cielo boasts a simple space, with a ‘70s playboy feel and a rowdy Ibiza flare, with nothing but house music, and those who crave it, filling the nightclub. Since 2004, the posh party haven has racked up tons of titles, including “Best Deep House Club” (New York Magazine, 2006), “Best Club” (ClubWorld, 2008) and “Best Party” for Dance.Here.Now (ClubWorld, 2009). Perhaps it’s the world-famous DJs this club attracts or perhaps it’s the reputation that continuously propels Cielo’s success that keep it going strong, but either way, it doesn’t look like this venue will be leaving the spotlight anytime soon.
#9 Best Club in the World
Club Space – Miami
Miami’s known to be a mecca for house music. Nightlife in Miami is without a doubt tops when it comes to the U.S., and downtown Miami is the home of one of the best nightclubs in North America, and one of the best clubs in the world for music. Club Space has been a staple in nightlife for Miami for over a decade now. Their Dynacord sound system is impeccable and delivers the kind of bass that rattles your soul on the dance floor. Some of the best DJ/producers from around the world, including Paul van Dyk, Sander van Doorn, Oscar G. and Steve Lawler have played and continue to play their infamous Terrace.
#8 Best Club in the World
The Guvernment – Toronto
We don’t always consider Toronto when it comes to the best places in the world to hear the best music, but in our opinion, The Guvernment has changed that stereotype. This 22,000-square-foot nightclub (or shall we say, “entertainment complex”) has been around for over a decade, and has won EYE Magazine’s “Best Dance Club” award twice during its reign. With so much space, this venue draws both DJ talent and décor from all over the world—disco balls and white drapery recall Miami nightclubs, and red-velvet-drenched alcoves filled with hookah smoke summon Moroccan culture. Rather than travel the world in search of the best nightclub, why not let the sounds and sights of the world’s best clubs come to you. The best part about The Guvernment, is that it does not just reel in DJ talent (like Chus + Ceballos who are performing this month); the nightclub also doubles as a concert venue, inviting guests like MGMT, The Black Keys, Miike Snow and Band of Horses to showcase their talent. And that’s why we consider The Guvernment to be one of the best clubs in the world for music.
#7 Best Club in the World
Stereo – Montreal
We’ll have to go with Muzik on their decision to rank Stereo in Montreal as one of the top 10 clubs in the world. The sound system at this nightclub alone is enough to entice some of the hottest DJs in the world—including Paul Oakenfold—to spin on Stereo’s turntables. Even the walls are designed to optimize the sound inside this nightclub, with an inside wall three feet away from the outer walls, creating what the venue describes as a “box in a box” technique to get the beats sounding less like they’re blaring from static-ey club speakers and more like they're coming from a recording studio. Pair the incredible acoustics with top-notch DJ talent and a dancefloor which rests on shock absorbers (to keep your dance moves and energy going strong throughout the night) and you’ve got the recipe to one of the best nightclubs in the world for music and all-around partying.
#6 Best Club in the World
Watergate – Berlin
If there’s one club that you should definitely visit before you die, it has to be the marvelous spectacle that is Berlin’s Watergate (and no, it absolutely has nothing to do with Nixon’s resignation). It’s a ridiculously well designed split-level nightlife venue that overlooks the River Spree. It’s truly a visual mind f&#k for anyone inside, and the sound is perfectly spread throughout the venue, giving everyone in the club a perfect listening experience. What it’s known for most is its LED lighting system that runs the length of the club right above you. Their resident VJ always knows how to tweak the lights to whoever is in the booth. Watergate is definitely one of the best clubs in the world for music.
#5 Best Club in the World
Zouk – Singapore
Okay, okay, we know what you’re thinking: “One of the top 10 best clubs in the world is in… Singapore??” And our response to that is yes. Yes it is. The vibe at Zouk, propelled by the music that resonates from its walls, is really what earns this place a spot on our list of the top 10 best clubs in the world. Their motto is “One people. One tribe. One dance.” Alright, we can get down to that. They regularly bring in underground talent like Danny Howells, Ricardo Villalobos, and 2Many DJs… even Paul Van Dyk has cited this as one of the world’s top clubs, saying that “Zouk is one of the best clubs in the world and if you have been there, you’ll know how intense and energetic the crowd is.” This year, DJ Mag ranked Zouk #10 on their list of top 100 clubs in the world and, as it’s been open for almost 20 years now, we can safely say that this nightclub (pardon the cliché) is aging like a fine wine.
#4 Best Club in the World
Space – Ibiza
Space Ibiza has no relation to Club Space in Miami, but they do both bring in similar acts. One thing that Space Ibiza edges on is its size. Space Ibiza is known for its all day parties featuring sets that lasts hours by names like Danny Howells, Hernan Cattaneo, Carl Cox and James Zabiela. It’s an insane scene to describe. Just think of a circus mating with an evil music festival… that’s Space Ibiza for you. You need real stamina to party with the folks here, another reason why it’s one of the best clubs in the world for music. The crowd here gets in when the doors open and Space Ibiza closes up whenever they choose. This could take a while so be sure you’re in the mood.
#3 Best Club in the World
Matter – London
This colossal venue just across the Atlantic is one of the best clubs in the world for music. Matter in London resembles more of a haunted futuristic ship, and the party is at the ship’s helm. From the lighting, to the 2nd floor walkway, a lot of bodies can be packed into this venue for their star-studded shows. From above, you can see a sea of the sweaty masses dancing along to DJ-production legends. If you get a sense that Matter feels a lot like Fabric (who’s coming up on our list), that’s because the club is actually operated and designed by Fabric nightclub. But when there’s one great DJ in town, where’s he going to play? When you combine size, design and sound, and deliver like Matter does, you’re automatically considered one of the best clubs in the world for music in our books.
#2 Best Club in the World
Pacha – Ibiza
What is there to be said about Pacha Ibiza. Just the two words together—“Pacha” and “Ibiza”—proclaim this nightclub as one of the best in the world for house music. Erick Morillo speaks volumes on this spot, and as one of the leaders in the house music industry who has chosen Pacha Ibiza as his summer residency for 13 seasons now, he knows better than anyone that Pacha Ibiza is a reigning force in the nightclub world. DJ Mag ranked Pacha Ibiza #5 on their list of top 100 nightclubs in the world, and with a resume stacked with the likes everyone from David Guetta and Tiesto to Steve Lawler and Carl Cox, Pacha Ibiza deserves a spot on our list of the top 10 best nightclubs in the world for music.
#1 Best Club in the World
Fabric – London
Once Fabric opened its doors back in 1999, the legendary venue quickly began bringing in the big names in electronic music. They made it a point to bring in the best, and that continues today. Their main point was to upgrade the acid house experience for the 21st century. Ricardo Villalobos, Jeff Mills, Jesse Rose and Luciano all consider this place to be their favorite club in London to play. The booking team at Fabric is one of the best in the world, not just sticking to big names, but trying out new artists that would really add a better musical angle to the club. While most clubs try and stick to big names that look good on tickets, the usual crowd at Fabric is always on its toes to see who the next best DJ/producer is.