Business Today
New meccas of nightlife across the globe

Venture beyond the tried and tired and allow yourself to be wooed by the new meccas of nightlife across the globe.

Hedonists are always searching for the next new 'undiscovered' club, secret bar or 'city that never sleeps'. Move over Ibiza and Amsterdam, we've lined up shiny new destinations that give you more bang for your buck. And with the advantage of global business hubs in the vicinity, they're ideal for combining work with pleasure. Book yourself a flight to the unexpected openmindedness of the Turkish capital of Istanbul or the cultural versatility of the Czech Republic, to the tireless energy of Belgrade and the elitist snobbery of Moscow; step outside the lines for a taste of life in the after hours.

ISTANBUL
Attracting a large volume of traders due to its pivotal location between Asia and Europe, executives visiting Istanbul for work can mix business with pleasure in the afterhours. Though the city evokes stunning, if familiar, associations like the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, it's time to lift the veil and view the city's vibrant night life. Apart from the coffee-drinking, belly-dancing capital that has captured the interest of tourists, Istanbul is an important business destination. After the day's work is done, enjoy the city by night. From the commercial to sexually-overt gay clubs, nightlife in Istanbul grew up when no one was looking. A night out could begin at a family run meyhane (Turkish tavern) like Soyali 9, which has been around for decades. You then move to one of the spanking new entertainment clubs like Reina located by the Bosphorus. Istanbul's night face has a vibe that's unmatched; heady, with very good looking patrons who love to party. Along the Bosphorus, you get a glimpse of how rich, young Turks live their lives as they valet park their luxury cars, (read Lamborghinis and stretch limousines) and even private yachts.

Alternatively, if nice and easy is more your style, make your way to the streets off Beyoolu's Ystiklal Caddesi for a boisterous night at one of the rooftop bars, street cafes or pubs playing live music. On the European side, Off Pera and 11.11 are favourites with the party frat as they rock through the night.

Taksim on the European side is the centre of all major gay venues. X-Large is a raunchy gay club that is very popular and has long queues on busy nights.

BELGRADE
The world's leading reformer, as stated by the World Bank, Belgrade represents one of the largest and fastest growing markets in South East Europe. And though this Serbian city might be lagging behind its European counterparts in terms of economic development, the Serbs of Belgrade surpass the biggest punters when it comes to their relentless appetite for partying. The clubbing industry here has more to offer than anywhere else. Every night in Belgrade is a Friday night, with nightclubs playing the very latest in global music. Mainstream clubbing offers venues playing house, tech house, progressive, and turbo-folk, while smaller spaces specialise in pop, rock, trance, alternative rock and jazz. Interestingly, two types of clubs operate here: winter clubs and summer clubs. Winter clubs are indoors and stay open from late September to early May. Come summer and the party shifts not just outdoors but onto floating river barges called splavs that are anchored by the riverbank. Foreigners can enjoy VIP treatment at a relatively low cost across the city. Belgrade's best clubs offer tables for as little as $250 (Rs 18,000).

With options to rival the best-known party capitals, Belgrade wins our top spot as the nightlife here continues year-round and isn't just seasonal like Ibiza.

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PRAGUE
A skilled yet cheap work-force coupled with a well-developed infrastructure attracts global business to the Czech Republic. At its heart, the city of Prague changes colour from day to night, when it transforms to party central. It draws in party-goers with its superb brews and varied music styles like club, jazz and RnB. No two nights-out in the city offer the same experience. You have it all here: live musical performances by local and international bands, reverberating electro clubs, and mass parties, Prague is truly unique in its appeal. If clubbing is your priority, Karlovy Lazne located in the centre of Old Town is a must visit. It is the largest club in central Europe, with five dance floors spread over four levels and a magnificent view of the Charles Bridge. Similarly, Cross Club, an industrial club in every sense of the word, is a bit of a trek to get to, but worth the trip. If lounging is more your thing, we recommend the not-sosecret M1 Secret Lounge.

It doesn't hurt that the beer here is cheaper than water; the drinking age by law is 18 and you can drink on Prague's streets legally.

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MOSCOW

The mineral-fuelled economy of Russia makes it a global hub, not only for corporate investment but also on the party circuit. If you're thinking of a rules-no-bar holiday (read legendary bachelor parties), head to Moscow. Literally everything goes under those bright neon signs. From elite nightclubs with pyrotechnic shows (The Artist), and dim dive bars for a laidback pre-drinking session to English-style pubs (The Hungry Duck) for a recharge between, you'll find it all here. Besides these, Moscow has two highly active party scenes. The rich and beautiful rely on "face control", which ensures they rub shoulders only with other rich or beautiful people. This is where a small but powerful social class of trust fund babies party till dawn and rack up nightclub bills exceeding $15,000 (Rs 8.25 lakh). The other active scene is underground, comprising largely homosexuals and 'escorts' (prostitution is legal in Russia) who service the capital's political and business elite.

Boasting more billionaires than any other city in the world, Moscow's extravagant discos and restaurants are the perfect place to unwind after a hectic day of business meetings.
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