5 clubs you need to visit before you die

Grab your passport and shine your dancing shoes because these are the world’s most essential clubs.
Ravers at the famed club Amnesia in Ibiza get a face full of smoke
Amnesia, Ibiza © PYMCA / Contributor / Getty Images
By Krystal Rodriguez

All good things must come to an end. Clubland is no exception. In the last few years, beloved spots such as the Arches (Glasgow), Verboten (New York), Plastic People (London) and Sankeys (Manchester) have closed their doors for good. In some cases new venues pop up in their place, such as Schimanski (New York), Printworks (London) and Sankeys East (London), while others are converted into expensive apartments.

It's a reminder to seize the day – and night – and enjoy them while you can. Here are five clubs around the world to cross off your bucket list while you still can.

De School, Amsterdam

When Trouw shut its doors two years ago, it left a hole in Amsterdam's nightlife. So in January 2016, its staff opened a new spot, De School, in what was formerly a technical school.

The club has a cozy 700-person capacity and the DJ booth is hidden among the crowd, with minimal lighting and a focus on local selectors. It's open seven days a week, has a 24-hour alcohol license, and shares campus space with a gym, café and art gallery. But like its famed predecessor, De School is a five-year-long "temporary project" so get down there sooner rather than later.

Smartbar, Chicago

When it comes to house music, you can't get much closer to its roots than in its birthplace, Chicago, Illinois. Though the venue in which it originated, The Warehouse, is no more, its legacy lives on at Smartbar, recently named one of the world's best clubs by Resident Advisor.

The subterranean room is small and simple, with a wooden dancefloor and a Funktion-One soundsystem, but it has hosted resident DJs including Derrick Carter, The Black Madonna and house pioneer Frankie Knuckles, who played there from its 1982 opening until his death in 2014.

A photo posted by smartbar (@smartbarchicago) on

Amnesia, Ibiza

For those whose ideal clubbing experience includes jetting off to tropical climes, Amnesia is a must-visit. Located on the party island of Ibiza, it boasts a capacity of over 5,000 across two massive rooms: its cavernous main room, lined with cooling 'ice cannons' and its glass-roofed greenhouse terrace, where ravers can rest under palm trees and soak in the sunrise after an all-nighter.

It's one of the most diverse of Ibiza's clubs, offering heads-down techno, groovy house, uplifting trance and raging big-room all within the same week. Who doesn't love options?

Fabric, London

Since opening in 1999, fabric has become a clubbing institution. It has three separate rooms, each with its own sound system – including one room with a vibrating 'bodysonic' dancefloor, which allows clubbers to feel the music through their feet via low-end frequencies emitted by bass transducers attached to sections of the floor. When it was shut down last September, the global electronic music community rallied around its staff, resulting in its successful re-opening in early 2017. If you've never been, now is your chance.

Berghain, Berlin

Located in a former power plant, Berghain was once described by leading dance documentarian Philip Sherburne as, "possibly the current world capital of techno."

Getting to the Berlin club is easy, getting in however is another feat entirely, due to its famously discerning doorman Sven Marquardt. Make it past him, and you're privy to all the venue's secretive, hedonistic spoils, in addition to weekend-long stints between its techno-heavy main room and upstairs Panorama Bar (it has ice cream!). If you're the type who likes to let loose, the venue's no-photo policy ensures that what happens in Berghain, stays in Berghain.

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