Illustration by Sam Taylor
Hi. This is the VICE Guide to Europe 2014, a travel guide featuring pork, anarchists, bicycles, politicians, fishermen, racists, tear gas, cocaine, pizzas, techno, beer, football fans, bands, and waiters.
So, in no real order at all, here they are:
"The techno DJs are still pricks, the waiters are still rude, and the big nightclubs still suck… But we know where the good shit is." READ
"The German capital is one of the planet's great party cities, where your every dream and darkest desire has been turned into a three-story nightclub with a merciless door policy." READ
"Everything you need to know about the best and worst city in the world." READ
"Edinburgh might have the castle, the parliament, the Japanese tourists, the neo-classical architecture and the advantageously low murder rate, but Glasgow has all the fun." READ
"The Dutch capital is a compact museum city being sunk into its canals by rich Americans staring at Rembrandts and the revolving cast of perverts and drug addicts who infest the red light district. Here's how to not be awful in Amsterdam." READ
"Gaudi, Messi, the Mediterranean, and parties that go on all night, every night. The only problem is the riots." READ
"A place where you can smoke indoors, a bottle of vodka costs a quarter of what it does back home, and where the closing time is whenever the last person stops celebrating the end of communism." READ
"A city full of meat, weed, sex and anarchists. What's not to love?" READ
"A Greek city that always knew how to party and has spent the last decade learning how to fight." READ
"We've spent 25 years embodying the totally mindless hedonism that capitalism encourages." READ
"The most attractive people wearing the best clothes eating amazing food and each other." READ
"Here in the Portuguese capital it's so hot we have to party on the streets, we go until dawn, and we've decriminalized all drugs. WAHEY!" READ
"Fuck Barcelona, we're better." READ
"Blessed by beauty, history, gay-friendly vibes, and a relaxed attitude to drugs. Cursed by British bachelor parties." READ
"The best way to piss off a Swede is to jump a line. Seriously, if you want to get punched in the face, walk into a McDonald's and go straight to the front. READ
"Basically, Conchita Wurst has replaced Mozart." READ
Fourteen of VICE's European offices contributed to this to help loutish visitors turn their capital cities into theme parks full of booze and piss. (Plus Barcelona—Spain did two. There's also Milan—we chose not to include Rome for some reason I now can't remember—and Glasgow. The UK office's Glaswegians did that one. Also, apologies to Ireland, Belgium, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Slovenia, Serbia, all cities that aren't capitals, and Rome. This is not a slight on your sovereignty, we just ran out of time.)
As ridiculous as it is to try to sum up a city in three to eight thousand words, I think they're pretty good tools for anyone traveling around these places with dreams of being thrown out of nightclubs, staring at landscapes, or getting involved in a riot they have nothing to do with.
From now on we'll be updating it every year, so come 2015, make sure to check back otherwise you could end up hanging out in last year's coolest Viennese lesbian bar, and you'll look like a prick.
Here's some basic shit we've learned about Europe from this process:
– Everyone thinks the cab drivers in their cities are crooks.
– Nearly everyone believes that their town is relatively crime-free, so long as you're not a total idiot. Which sounds borderline psychotic now that it's written down.
– The sign of a truly bourgeois town is bike theft.
– It's hard to get drugs in Central Europe, but every nation reckons they're heavy drinkers.
– People in those bourgeois cities with bike-theft problems are real assholes about tourists getting confused by bike lanes.
– Some squats offer you a bed, others throw rocks at your face.
– No one likes heroin addicts.
– There's no such thing as a happy red light district.
– Lots of places seem to believe they invented meat and potatoes.
– Ultimately, every nation's idea of a perfect evening boils down to drinking in the street.
– European radio pop is still shitty.
– There are so many more hamburger restaurants in the Western world than there were a decade ago.
– Weirdly, the Swedish word for "you're welcome"—Varsågod—is pronounced "war-so-goooood".
Sam Taylor, Kevin EG Perry, Barry Nicolson, David Georgi, Daphne Kokot, Julie Le Baron, Julien Morel, Alice Rossi, Andi Galdi Vinko, Juanjo Villalba, Alejandra Nuñez, Thanasis Troboukis, Ioana Moldoveanu, Mihai Popescu, Ian Moore, Caisa Ederyd, Adam Pesek, Markus Lust, David Bogner, Mikołaj Maluchnik, Rui Marcal, Loes Koster, Thijs Roes, Raymond van Mil, Paul Geddis, NTS Radio, Neymar, Red Dog Saloon, Joe Bish, Lauren Martin, Jo Fuertes-Knight, Elektra Kotsoni, Simon Childs, Jamie Clifton, Kev Kharas.