When you’re looking for a great place to go to enjoy the nightlife, pubs, and bars it’s usually the bigger cities that win your business.
Places like London, New York and Bangkok are positively heaving with places to drink and have a fabulous night out so you’ll never be stuck for choice in these cities. But what the bigger cities often lack is friendliness and a welcoming atmosphere, and they’re crowded and more expensive too. So this is where some of the world’s smaller cities come in.
St. John’s – The City of Legends
Take the city of St. John’s in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, on the eastern coast of Canada. Canada’s Atlantic coast probably isn’t somewhere you’d instantly associate with a great nightlife, but the province’s capital and largest city is actually becoming renowned for its vibrant atmosphere.
With a population around 200,000 this is by no means a really small city, but it’s small enough to retain that friendly atmosphere I was talking about, and, small doesn’t have to mean it’s lacking in pubs.
George Street, in downtown St. John’s, is the heart of the city’s nightlife. One source quotes it as having the most bars and pubs per square foot of any street in North America, while another claims it has the most bars and pubs per capita of any street in North America. Either way, the fact is it has a lot of bars and pubs!
George Street is pedestrian friendly as well; closed off to vehicular traffic in the afternoon and evening so you can enjoy a pub crawl without having to worry about the walk from one pub to the next! With nothing but pubs, bars, restaurants and a few clubs, the walk from one drinking hole to the next is very short so this really is pub crawl heaven.
The party atmosphere doesn’t take off until late, with the street becoming more vibrant around midnight, and despite the sale of alcohol ending in the small hours of the morning you’ll still see many people milling around up to about 6am.
By the way, the city’s official nickname is “The City of Legends” but “City of Pubs” is probably more appropriate for the thousands who come here for the pub scene every year!
Stay For the Festivals
Though George Street can be busy any time of the year it’s busiest during St. John’s annual festivals.
If you’d like to coincide your visit with festival time there’s the George Street Festival in early August over a period of six days, and the annual Mardi Gras celebrations in October. During these two festivals there is gated access to George Street and you can come along and listen to the live music on stage, or just wander from pub to pub enjoying the atmosphere.
by Claire Bolgil, Travel Writer Extraordinaire
Explore and party it up in St. John’s