November 15, 2021
I'll never forget what a friend told me when I asked him about European women just prior to my first trip to that continent: "the most beautiful women in Europe are in Spain, and the most beautiful women in Spain are in Northern Spain." Boy was he right.
I'll never forget my first day in San Sebastián, the summer resort capital of the Basque Province. I took the fast train down from Paris with two girls from New York City. We checked into the youth hostel and hurried to La Concha, the famed beach here in San Sebastian, to catch the last rays of sun before the day's end and to see what everyone was ranting and raving about. As we stood on the edge of the beach, I looked out upon what I thought had to be paradise. One of the girls said to me, "I have never seen so many beautiful women in one place in my entire life!" I didn't respond to her comment with any more than a stunned grunt, because she was totally right. The Basque women possess a natural beauty that's obvious to anyone who's visited this region on the border of Spain and France. I know if I grew up here would have never left that beach
Aside from the women, the place just looks like paradise. From a single vantage point on La Concha, you can actually see the beach to the north, mountains to the northwest, rolling hills and farmland to the southwest, a completely modern city directly to the south, the River Urumea to the east, and the Parte Vieja with its classic cobble stone streets, old buildings, museums and statues to the northeast. On top of all that, the food is great, the wine is the best in all of Spain due to its proximity to the French wine country, and this place absolutely rocks come nightfall. In fact, the only bad thing you could ever say about this place is that it rains too much because of those damn weather systems coming off the south of England. Bloody Brits.
The nocturnal action centers around the Calle de San Fermin in the Parte Vieja. Yes, this is named after the same guy as Pamplona's festival - he has got to be Spain's favorite saint. The atmosphere here is incredible. The place is crowded with both old and young until about 12 am, especially in the summertime. Afterward, the hot girls show up. At last count, there were something like 40 different bars and restaurants on this street and most every one of them is good. You can actually leave a bar with a drink in hand, walk down the street while finishing it, put it down at the next bar and get a refill. Since most of the bars use the same glassware, the bartenders don't care. In the US you get yelled at if you even take one sip out of the Big Gulp and try to pour yourself some more!
La Piscina on Calle San Martin, Iguana on Calle San Jeronimo, Ezpalda on Calle Pescaderia and Keope on Calle Anoeta are the best discotecs in town. The university is also worth checking out if you're here during the academic year, but DO NOT come here in August, when tourists are literally everywhere.
Now I'm the kind of guy who likes to save the best for last, but in this case, I'll make an exception. Spain is hands down one of the best countries for women in the entire world. Spanish women are beautiful, and every city in this country is full of them. Madrid, Seville, and Barcelona rock from autumn 'til spring, and the beaches of Ibiza and the Costa del Sol are crazy in the summertime. Each one of these places has its own personality and is very different. Thankfully, the one thing they have in common is being home to some damn fine chicas.
One thing to keep in mind: life is different here. The Spanish think of work as something they have to do to make money so that they can have fun when they're not working. When they get a pay raise, they cut back on their hours, so that they can have more time to enjoy themselves. Now that's a work ethic I can relate to!
Another thing to remember is that appearances are extremely important to the Spanish. You have got to look your best to do well here. That means for all you backpacking dudes, do some laundry before exploring the nightlife. Ditch the baseball cap and the Nike's, and wear long pants and decent shoes. Trust me on this one. This ain't Seattle, grunge boy! Your efforts will be well worth it.
The Spanish are definitely not shy about public displays of affection. Take a walk through Retiro Park, Madrid on a warm Saturday afternoon in the springtime. You can't walk ten feet without stepping on some Spanish couple making out hot and heavy. Some of these couples stay there and make out for hours and hours. Muchas pelotas azules [blue balls], aycaramba!).
Spanish girls are not the easiest girls to hook up with. Traditionally, they are very strictly Catholic, but the attitudes towards sex are changing, slowly. Spain, like some other European countries, has an awesome tradition which other places, like the US, Australia, and Asia, don't - members of the opposite sex kiss each other when they meet. This is a good thing, a very good thing. So while in Spain, so as not to seem like an idiot, the way you carry out a proper Spanish kiss is as follows: kiss her right cheek and then her left at such an angle that she can kiss you too. Make it seem familiar and natural to you. When I asked a Spanish girl why the Spanish kiss each cheek, she said to me, "That's so one cheek won't be jealous of the other!" A perfect answer, if I ever heard one. As is obvious with this example, the Spanish don't ignore their sexuality, they celebrate it. The rest of the world can learn an important lesson from them.
Madrid is unbelievable. It's a great party town. The people here just don't sleep, so while you're here do as the locals do and stay up - you can sleep when you're dead. This city reminds me of New York, but with better-looking women. It's big, there's loads of fun to be had, and the "city never sleeps". Unfortunately, some of the residents also have the attitude of New Yorkers. But with some effort on your part to be friendly, avoid seeming like an undesirable foreign tourist, and pulling out your high school Spanish, you're going to have a blast with the babes. Oddly enough, the one phrase I remember from high school, "Donde es la biblioteca, abuela [Where is the library, grandma?], never did get me any phone numbers.
A typical weekday for the residents of Madrid consists of getting up late, going to work or school, eating lunch, taking a siesta (very necessary in the summertime to avoid the scorching daytime heat), going back to work or school, then out for tapas (small dishes of food served at bars), then dinner, then out to the bars until around 2 am.
From Thursday 'til Sunday, the schedule is slightly modified. They'll take a nap after dinner, hit the bars around 12 am and the discos around 3 am, and then possibly after-hours clubs. That's right. I said 3 am! If they have to work the next day, they'll often just go straight from the clubs to work. This explains why the women who ride the subways in the morning oftentimes look like they just stepped off the pages of Vogue or Cosmo.
If you're actually awake during the day, check out Retiro Park, Puerta del Sol, Plaza de Santa Anna, Plaza Mayor, Placio Real, and the Prado Museum, which like the Louvre in Paris is packed with hot tourist booty, mostly from the US and Australia. Alternatively head to the shopping districts around the Calle Princesa and the Gran Via where you'll find the women shopping for even hotter outfits. Don't forget the local college girls at the University of Madrid in and around Arguelles and Moncloa. Higher education never looked so good!
The best places to go early evening are the streets off of the Plaza Mayor (especially Cuchilleros Street for its famed cave bars, which are cheap, cool, and fun), Puerta del Sol, and Plaza San Martin. The students hang out in the cheaper bars by the university, especially in Arguelles, Malasana, Chueca, and Bilboa.
Later on head to the many bars and clubs in Malasaria, Huertas, and Salamanca Districts. The names and decor change year to year, so just follow the noise or ask the locals. Try Revolver on Calle Galileo, Parador de la Moncloa on Calle Isaac Peral, Autores on Calle Campoamorum, Mykonos on Principe and Cerveceria Ratskeller, if you don't know where to start.
The discos are where everyone goes late at night, or more appropriately early in the morning. They are among the best in the entire world, as far as the quantity and quality of the patrons is concerned. Don't show up before 2 am or you will be alone sipping on $12 drinks to pass the time. The best of the best are Joy Eslava on Calle Arenal, Archy on Calle Marques de Riscal, and Club Andy Warhol's on Calle Luchana. Katmandu on Senores de Luzan, Aqualung on Paseo de la Ermita del Santa, Villa Rosa in Plaza de Santa Anna, Theatro Kapital on Calle Atocha, and Morocco on Calle Marques de Leganes are all close runner-ups. If you have a car or have access to one, check out Megacity, a huge club, which is actually outside the city limits on Centro Comercial Parque Corredor, and draws an enormous amount of people on the weekends.
Unlike other cities in Europe, it is better to stay at a hotel rather than a hostel, unless you are planning to hit on other tourists. The hotels here are generally inexpensive, and you will definitely get more for your money and a lot more privacy. Hotels anywhere around the Plaza Mayor or the Puerta del Sol will put you right in the middle of the action.
You can't go wrong visiting this country no matter what time of year it is, but be aware that things slow down just a tad in the summer months.
Rotterdam is a much more laid-back place than Amsterdam. People here like to hang out, listen to live music, kick back with a beer, and chill.
This used to be a large port town. These days the biggest imports tend to be drugs like heroin or ecstasy. I was walking along the pier one night and saw a bunch of people trying to step around this guy lying face down on the pavement, whacked out of his mind on drugs. I decided to play doctor and went over to see if I could help out. His sister was standing over him trying to revive him. An ambulance came. I got an IV started and gave him a shot of naloxone, and he perked right up. His sister thanked me, gave me her number, and we spent the rest of the weekend together!
Check out Oude Haven and Nieuwe Binnenweg and walk the streets in search of your very own Dutch goddess in the stores, restaurants, and cafes so numerous in these areas. Head to Westerpaviljoen on Matheneserlaan, Night Town on West Kruiskade, or Beat Corner on Gravendijkwal - you won't be disappointed.
The Costa del Sol is kind of like the Jersey Shore. If you've ever been to this area of the US you'll know what I mean. As Lionel Richie might say, "It's cheesy like Sunday morning." This place is not for the lactose intolerant!
Nonetheless, Marbella and the Costa del Sol attracts sun-worshipping Scandinavians, Spaniards, and other Europeans year after year. If you look good in a bathing suit, you will really do well here. After a few minutes on any Spanish beach, you will realize why you had so much trouble trying to find a weight room in Seville; Spanish men do not work out. If you've got some pecs, blonde hair, and a six-pack, you may find a group of Spanish or European girls looking over at you, whispering to each other and checking you out. But remember, no proper Spanish girl will ever approach a man she doesn't know. However, when they congregate into little groups, their collective testosterone may be enough for them to muster up the courage to say hello. You'll have to do the work from then on and run the sortie.
There's a lot less attitude here as compared to places like Ibiza and a lot more people like you who just want to get tan, drink, hang out, and have a good time.
Hotels are expensive here, so stay at hostels. My favorite is Hostel del Pilar on Calle Mensoncillo. There you will find the best group of young adults in all of Marbella. Everyone here wants to have a good time. It's located in the old town where there are lots of bars and old cobblestone streets which remind me of South Street Seaport in New York but acts like South Beach, Miami, Florida.
Here's what you do: From 10 pm to midnight, head to the bars around the Puerto Deportivo. From midnight to 3 am head to the small bars and discos down by the waterfront by the Old Marbella Piers. If you want, head to the next town over, Porta Venus (about $10US for a taxi ride), and to the bars by its peer. Here you'll find an older and more expensive scene, but the babes abound. From 3 am to 9 am head to the biggest and best disco "Old Marbella" located in a huge hotel. This is the place. There are tons and tons of people here ready to dance and grind the night away, and a private beach to boot!
After Amsterdam and Rotterdam move onto the better university towns of Utrecht, Gronigen and Leiden. All of which are big university towns packed with beautiful and reasonable friendly Dutch chicks you have to stand on your toes to talk to. My favorite city in Holland by far is Utrecht. This place rocks in contrast to the "let's hang out and drink, talk and get stoned" mentality of the rest of Holland (save some good clubs in Amsterdam). There are some damn beautiful women here, mostly students and young professionals. The best bars and discos are situated down by the canal on Oudegracht Weerdzijde and Ouderkhof. The Shira and Sheeva Clubs here are perennial favorites, which are absolutely packed on the weekends. Like in Spain, every girl is smokin' hot, dressed well and is debunking every conceivable gravitational theory known to man, out there shaking them things on the dance floor. Wu! There is also a huge mall that is actually part of the central train station just west of here where you can scam during the day. The university is actually way out in the boon docks surrounded by farm country. Don't bother unless you are going to stay for a while. Unfortunately, the only youth hostel in this town is also way the hell out here. By you never know. You may get lucky and take a roll in the hay with one of the many fine farm girls turned collegiate coeds who are so numerous out there! The thing that struck me about this town was that fact that I had never seen more squids with gorgeous women for girlfriends anywhere else in my entire life. I met this 15-year-old Turkish kid who showed me around town one night. (The Turks are damn hospitable people by the way.) He brought me to all the good clubs, introduced me to his friends and took it upon himself to make sure that I had a good time, which of course meant I had to get runkled by one of the local chicks. We went through many gorgeous candidates that night or more accurately that morning, all of whom were eventually joined by their boyfriends who looked like they (had they lived anywhere else on Earth) should feel lucky just to masturbate while fantasizing about girls who looked this good. My new buddy, Amir, facilitated all interactions with the females out that night by making the first move on all sorties in my name. He arranged back-up, took care of many would-be Mother Theresa's guarding the entrances to their beautiful friends and also talked me up like a champion copilot. Thankfully, we met several worthy, unattached Amazon-sized, Zeena types, one of which decided to step up to the plate and make my decision of who to runkle an easy one. But hooking up with her meant that I would miss the last bus back to that damn youth hostel! Amir said, "No problem my friend!" At 4:30 in the morning, this kid rode his bike two miles out of town, picked up my stuff at the youth hostel and pedaled three miles to this chick's apartment to drop it off. It took him about an hour. He even waited patiently outside the door until the squealing stopped, mine— not hers. Remember how big these girls are. Now that my friends, is a wingman! The best time to visit is on the weekend during the school year. But there will always be plenty of booty around no mater when you visit, as there are also a ton of young professionals working in Utrecht year round.
There are a lot of great things about this city, but by far my two favorites are that there are beautiful women here and it's cheap as hell to eat, sleep, and party. Many believe that Portuguese women are as beautiful as the neighboring Spanish, so I doubt you'll be disappointed when visiting. English is not spoken widely except in Algarve, but if you do OK with your Spanish, the locals will probably understand you.
Most of the Portuguese population is centered in Lisbon, but in the summertime, the favorite destination for international partygoers is definitely further south.
Here's some helpful advice: remember your manners when visiting Portugal. Portuguese men are often just as aggressive as Italians. Lots of times they get their kicks out of groping strange women in bars and clubs, which is why some Portuguese women avoid the club scene and men they don't know altogether. If you come off like a nice guy, you may get a better response. Like any other country, if you head out of the big cities where people all mistrust each other (especially foreigners) into the smaller towns, you will find more friendly and occasionally more beautiful women. If you have the opportunity to go exploring with a local who knows the area, do so and satisfy your curiosity.
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. It's a big, crowded, dirty city with poor public transportation. Skip the sightseeing and save your strength for nighttime revelry.
Speaking of your strength, you can replenish your body's glycogen stores and the vitamins and minerals you pissed away following those bouts of drunkenness in Spain by eating some damn good food here in Lisbon. Restaurants are ridiculously cheap here, especially in Alfama, where local seafood dishes will make you forget about all of the skipped meals you had to endure in Paris. Avoid the touristy areas where restaurants charge inflated prices in exchange for the English-speaking staff and international menus and head off to the restaurants the locals frequent. The food and prices will be much better, although you may have to physically go into the kitchen and point to what you what, if you can't decipher the menu, or the waitress can't understand what the hell you are saying.
Lisbon comes alive in June with its numerous festivals and night fairs. It's a great time to meet the local girls while they're happy to be off from school and the summer is just starting.
There was a beer festival down by the port while I was here one year. It didn't compare to the sickness of Octoberfest, but all the same European beers were featured. It was something like $1.50 to gain entry, get a beer glass, and your first beer. After that, it was about $0.75 a beer. Needless to say, everybody got sloppy drunk and great times were had.
Most of the best women in this city can be found in the Bairro Alto. Walk along Rua do Carmo and Rua do Garrett to check out the babes shopping during the day.
Come nightfall, the streets in and around the Rua do Norte, Rua da Atalaia, and the Rua Diario de Noticias are the places to be. Every summer someone else decides what's hot. As in San Sebastian and Lagos, most all the nightlife is central and easily accessible, so follow the noise and check to see where the chicas are.
The best dance clubs and bars in the city include La Folie Discoteca, Tres Pastorinhos and Cena de Copos on Rua da Barroca.
Leiden is a small town, but a big destination for youthful Dutch who want to attend Holland's oldest university, located within the city limits. Even better, it is a popular place for a lot of international students to study.
The bad thing is that a lot of the social life centers around the exclusive fraternities and societies of the university, which are open to members only. They remind me of the parties in the finals clubs at Harvard, only with better-looking girls.
The best bars are mostly on Bree Straat and its side streets, such as Vismarkt Botermarkt.
Weeknights are awfully quiet, so the best time to party is on the weekends. Haarlemmerstraat is packed with girls shopping, department stores, and places to eat.
There are tons of great girls here, so don't let the quiet and shy demeanor of the town discourage you. Look around and ask a local dude where to find the finest women.