Nightlife abroad vs. nightlife in Fort Collins

Amanda Thompson

Clubs vs. house parties.

Late night vs. early morning. 

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Dressy attire vs. casual attire. 

In addition to differences in culture, architecture and cuisines, the college nightlife in Fort Collins and the college nightlife in Europe both have their differences and unique aspects.

The nightlife in Europe is commonly stereotyped as more crazy and intense than the nightlife in Fort Collins, and the United States in general, but many would be surprised to find out that European nightlife lacks some of the aspects that are unique to the U.S. 

Crowds of people partying at Opium, a popular club in Barcelona. (Photo courtesy of Flickr).
Crowds of people partying at Opium, a popular club in Barcelona. (Photo courtesy of Flickr).

Clubs vs. House parties

Even though clubs are also a huge part of American culture, the clubs in Europe are larger, crazier and more of a typical nightlife “go to.”

On a standard Friday or Saturday night in Fort Collins, one would find apartments, houses and even dorms abuzz with parties, pregames and celebration. In Europe, house parties are not as popular, especially for study abroad students. Many programs and schools that provide these students with housing mandate strict housing policies and rules.

During any weekend in Europe, especially in Barcelona, a destination that is known for its huge extravagant clubs on the beach, dance clubs would be crowded and open until as late (or early) as 5 a.m. 

2 a.m. vs. 5 a.m. 

Europeans literally “party until the sun comes up.” The nightlife in Europe during any given weekend starts late and ends late. Europeans usually start eating dinner later than Americans, around 8 p.m. The bars and clubs usually do not open, or are not crowded, until at least 11 p.m., and one could find hordes of people hanging out on the streets, sidewalks and public places until 5 a.m. Unlike in Fort Collins, the only people awake at 5 a.m. are the baristas at the Alley Cat. 

Shot glasses made out of pure ice are lined up in an Ice Bar in Rome. (Photo credit: Amanda Thompson).
Shot glasses made out of pure ice are lined up in an Ice Bar in Rome. (Photo credit: Amanda Thompson).

Dressy Attire vs. Casual Attire 

Attire and fashion at pubs and bars in Europe resemble outfits found in Vogue and GQ magazines. People of all ages are always dressed to the nines and catwalk-appropriate at almost any given bar.

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Given, Italy is known as the fashion capital of Europe, however, dazzling dresses and shoes with heels just doomed to snap on those uneven cobble stone alleyways, are the norm.

Of course, in Denver, many of the ladies and gents put on their best dress or shirt for the clubs downtown, but most would not be caught dead in skyscraper tall heels and their best dress at the Drunken Monkey or Sundance. 

Despite these differences, as someone who has experienced both versions of nightlife, their differences are what makes the clubs, bars and house parties unique and enticing to go to. Whether it is the swings at the Drunken Monkey, or the bar where drink prices work like the stock market in Barcelona, these are the unique aspects that draw in people from all over the world. 

Collegian Nightlife blogger Amanda Thompson can be reached at blogs@collegian.com or @amanduhh3003