When you arrive in a new city, you’re not likely to know the best hangout already. So you may take the easy way out: the pub crawl. Now I’m not bashing pub crawls, since I’ve gone on them myself, but it’s easy to get hammered when you only have a set amount of time at each spot. You’ve seen flyers on the bulletin board at your hostel. You may have even seen people in matching “I survived RANDOM CITY NAME Pub Crawl” t-shirts. And 20 euros for plenty of drinks sounds like a good idea, right? But you don’t want to wake up with expletives in foreign languages Sharpie-d on your face, so here’s how to keep it together:
- Don’t pre-game for a pub crawl. It sounds simple and it is. Breaking this rule is the easiest way to find yourself passed out in the alley next to the first bar.
- If you’re looking to get the most out of your money, get the most drinks at happy hour, not at the end of the night. Happy hour usually provides half priced beer and wine and they may even throw in some free shots for you.
- After the first bar, pace yourself. One drink per stop is completely acceptable. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
- Eat first. Many amateurs have fallen prey to the empty stomach. Carbs work best, so load up on a burger or kebab before hitting the town.
- Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want to end up on Facebook. Your new friends may take pictures of you making out with that random person and your significant other back home may not appreciate the humor.
- Just say no to drinks on fire. Wasted pub crawler + fire shot = wasted burn victim.
So you’ve decided to go on a pub crawl, despite your better judgment. You’ve carefully considered our advice and just have to pick a city to crawl in. Here are some of the best and most popular you will find in Europe:
- New London Pub Crawls, London (New name: 1 Big Night Out Pub Crawl): Like any good pub crawl, this one runs every night. It starts out at Belushi’s, the Covent Garden original, at 7:30 p.m. The cost is 12 pounds or 14 euros for entrance into 5 bars and clubs, 4 free drinks and drink specials throughout the night.
- Ultimate Party Pub Crawl, Amsterdam: Go anywhere in Amsterdam and someone will approach you with one of these fliers. The Ultimate Party crew have 2 crawls to choose from: Leidseplein and Red Light District. Leidseplein is more dance oriented, getting you into 6 clubs, with 6 free drinks, a souvenir t-shirt, vodka shots between venues and free entry for 19.95 euros. It starts at the News Café at 8:30 p.m. The Red Light District crawl also includes a free t-shirt, in addition to free shots, drink specials and entrance into 6 bars for 15 euros. It starts at Players at 8 p.m.
- Prague Pub Crawl International Party, Prague: The folks in Prague really know how to party, offering unlimited absinthe, Czech beer, wine and vodka shooters at the Prague Pub Crawl Bar starting at 8 p.m. After destroying yourself at power hour there, you will get your free t-shirt and crawl to 4 bars and 1 club, with free shots at each location. 490 Koruna or 19.85 euros.
- Split Pub Crawl, Split: It’s called “the best night you will never remember” for a reason. The 90 Kuna or 12 euro pub crawl runs every night at 9 p.m. from the Peristil inside Diocletian’s Palace. You start at Brodolom, a pirate-themed bar with all you can drink beer and wine power hour. You hit up two more bars before ending the night at a nightclub on the beach. There are no free t-shirts involved, but you will get free shots throughout the night and meet some awesome fellow crawlers.
- New Paris Pub Crawl, Paris: The City of Lights gets a little crazy for this 12 euro pub crawl that runs nightly from Café Oz, near the famous Moulin Rouge. The price gets you into 4 bars and 1 nightclub and drink specials throughout the night.
- Backpacker Pub Crawl, Dublin: With thousands of pubs to choose from, a crawl may be your best bet in Dublin. This Hostelworld ranked crawl includes free entry into every bar and shots at every stop for only 10 euro. The tours run at 8 p.m. from Trinity College.
You may still wake up in Dam Square with no wallet or any idea how you got there, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.