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9 Must-Visit Cities For House & Techno Music Enthusiasts (Europe And North America)

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Must-Visit House & Techno Music Cities - EU, UK, NA

Since their birth in the United States, house and techno have established themselves in many cities around the world. This article examines the best European and North American cities for house and techno music enthusiasts. Get ready to plan your next vacation!

House and techno music cities in Europe And North America - a travel guide

House and techno music are among the most appreciated and widely known electronic music genres. What makes them popular is not only their danceable, engaging rhythms but also the broader culture in which they are situated.

Since their birth in Chicago and Detroit, house and techno have established themselves in many cities worldwide. Such places are especially interesting to music enthusiasts and those who have built their careers around the genres, including DJs, producers, event organizers, promoters, graphic designers, and writers.

Are you eager to plan your next trip around your love for music or career ambitions, yet trying to figure out where to go? No worries. Today, we will examine some of the best European and North American cities for house and techno music enthusiasts. We are aware of the many other stunning cities with solid house and techno music scenes. However, we decided to limit our list so as not to overwhelm our readers. To make up for this, we mention a few more places that can be easily accessed by train from our cities of choice and will update the article in the future.

Before we start, keep in mind that which city to visit depends on your priorities, the length of your trip, your financial situation, and how much it should revolve around music vs. other activities. Our article offers insight into which city makes sense for whom and why.

Let’s look into some of our suggestions!

1. Detroit, Michigan, USA

As the birthplace of techno, Detroit is the ideal travel destination for those passionate about the history of the genre. Fortunately, local artists are committed to keeping the city’s techno scene alive, giving people the opportunity to learn more about the genre’s cultural roots.

To learn more about music history, book a tour with the local techno museum Exhibit 3000 or explore the Motown museum dedicated to the legendary soul music label Motown. Next, stop by a record shop, such as People’s Records or Third Man Records, and see what rare gems or new artists you can find.

To experience Detroit techno first-hand, visit one of the local clubs and venues, such as V Lounge, The Majestic Theatre, Temple Bar, Marble Bar, or Spotlite. If traveling around the end of May, do not miss out on the Movement Electronic Music Festival, which celebrates Detroit and its artists for their contributions to electronic music.

Yet Detroit has much more to offer than just its music scene. To get a feel for the city, take a walk through some of its neighborhoods, such as Woodbridge, Corktown, Eastern Market, Midtown, or Royal Oak. Next, visit Lincoln Street Art Park, Dabls MBAD African Bead Museum, the Detroit Artist Market, or Trinosophes to get acquainted with the works of local artists.

Travelers from overseas should keep in mind that although Detroit is considered somewhat walkable and offers some public transportation, they may still need to use ridesharing services to get around.

2. Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago is a must-visit place for those who want to learn more about the history of house music and experience it in its most authentic form. As the birthplace of the genre, the city is full of landmarks reminding us of its roots. Visit Stony Island Arts Bank to look into the vinyl collection of the legendary Frankie Knuckles. You can listen to some of the records during one of the regularly hosted public shows.

Next, take a look at the Warehouse (206 South Jefferson Street), the building in which house music was developed. Unfortunately, the rooms were transformed into office spaces after the building was sold. Yet, its status as a Chicago landmark protects it from being demolished, allowing house music enthusiasts to stop by and get a glimpse of the past.

Those seeking to immerse themselves in Chicago's vibrant house music scene should put the annual Chicago House Music Festival, Chicago House Music Conference, and Chosen Few Picnic on their list. The three multi-day events, which all take place during summer, aim to celebrate the genre and highlight local artists and DJs. If visiting during a different time of the year, you can spend a night out at Spybar, Radius, The MID, Smartbar, or Podlasie Club, which are among the popular venues mentioned by locals. Alternatively, you can always hop on Resident Advisor to discover more events hosted by local collectives.

Because Chicago is a big city, there is much more to experience. A visit will surely be a multifaceted experience, so ensure you make time for exploring Chicago’s neighborhoods.

3. Berlin, Germany

Berlin, the capital of Germany, is globally renowned for its vibrant nightlife and club culture. Electronic music is deeply ingrained in the city's culture of freedom and self-expression. Thanks to its seven-day-a-week nightlife, it is a popular travel destination for electronic music enthusiasts and career-oriented creatives. In fact, its electronic music scene is such a significant incentive for visitors that locals sometimes refer to the phenomenon as 'techno tourism.'

Berlin is home to over 200 clubs, many of which can be found on Clubmap. The city does not impose official closing times, with most stretching into the early morning or noon hours. In fact, some clubs stay open for several days in a row, and it is quite common for people to show up after 2 a.m. So, make sure you are prepared for a long night out. While the most popular and renowned clubs may sound appealing, they usually have long queues and rather strict door policies. To minimize the risk of rejection, look into an event's lineup and dress code. Avoid showing up in large groups and being loud or visibly intoxicated while waiting in line. Once inside, ensure you respect a venue's rules (e.g., no pictures or filming), as they exist to ensure the privacy and comfort of all guests.

Lastly, Berlin's club culture is much more than Berghain, Tresor, and other "big" venues, especially for those eager to explore the local music scene. We recommend using Resident Advisor to find the lineups and types of events you resonate with rather than solely focusing on a few specific venues. And, if you're not in the mood for clubbing, there's tons of other stuff to do. You can stop by a listening bar like Refuge Worldwide's Oona bar, check out some live performances, or walk around and explore the city's vibrant neighborhoods.

Cities to travel to from Berlin: Leipzig (1h 20min), Hamburg (2h).

4. Montréal, Québec, Canada

Montréal is a Canadian city in the French-speaking province of Québec. It is known for its blend of European and North American architecture, bilingualism, and culture and music events. It is also considered North America's number one host city for international events, making it an appealing traveling destination for people from all walks of life.

Although less known than other electronic music cities, Montréal has much to offer for people involved in the genre. Those wanting to go out can choose from many recommended venues, including Stereo, Le Salon D'Aomé, and SAT. During summer, you can check out one of its many outdoor events, such as Piknic Eletctronik or the music fest Osheaga. The city is also home to many local collectives that regularly host raves at warehouses and unique locations throughout the year.

Montréal offers a long list of attractions beyond its vibrant music scene. You can observe the city's intriguing and multifaceted architecture, explore its art galleries, and immerse yourself in events that cater to your interests. If you prefer warm weather, a summer visit is ideal, as the cold typically sets in from mid-November to April. Yet, if you want to experience winter to its fullest, Montréal is undoubtedly a great choice.

Cities to travel to from Montréal: Toronto (6h 15min).

5. London, UK

London is a relevant city for electronic music enthusiasts and industry members. It is home to various renowned electronic music brands, including Boiler Room, Mixmag, and Attack Magazine.

Visitors eager to go out can choose from many venues, including Fabric, Village Underground, Corsica Studios, Venue MOT, or XOYO. Although it is said that most venues tend to close a bit earlier, this is definitely not always the case. You can find events that run until the break of dawn on Resident Advisor and discover some local collectives on the way. The capital of the UK is also an excellent choice for those interested in music history, as the city played an important role in the globalization of many genres.

When visiting, make sure you take time to explore the city and the many things it has to offer. Among some of the exciting neighborhoods are Hackney Wick, Shoreditch, Tottenham, Canning Town, Brixton, and the London Borough of Haringey. However, London is also quite expensive and a very large city. Thus, make sure you consider your finances and the time you will spend commuting.

That said, the UK as a whole is well-known for its contributions to rave culture. If you want to stay longer, why not hop on a train or bus and check out a different city? This way, you can get a different perspective on the UK's music culture and see more of the country.

Cities to travel to from London: Manchester (2h), Bristol (1h 40min), Brighton (2h), Leeds (2h 30min), Liverpool (3h 10min), Glasgow (5h).

6. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Although a somewhat smaller city, Amsterdam is considered one of the most popular European places for house and techno music. Thanks to its many musical facets, it is ideal for ravers and creatives alike. Amsterdam is home to various clubs, including Radion, Lofi, Het Sieraad, or Shelter, and globally renowned festivals, including Dekmantel, Amsterdam Dance Event, or DGTL. Although the city's venues do enforce door policies, it is said that they are less strict than in Berlin. This can make it more appealing to those who do not feel comfortable with a higher level of scrutiny.

Amsterdam is also home to Kiosk Radio, an electronic music radio station that streams international DJs' live sets. Because the city is relatively small, it has a stronger sense of community and provides more opportunities to run into the same people. This is especially beneficial for artists looking to network with locals. Those looking to learn more about music history should stop by the interactive electronic music museum, Our House.

If you want to relax and unwind, you can grab some food, sit at one of the city's many canals, and enjoy the city atmosphere. Or you can rent a bicycle and ride around Amsterdam's bike-friendly neighborhoods. However, keep in mind that Amsterdam is quite expensive and that a trip may eat away at your savings.

Cities to travel to from Amsterdam: Utrecht (30min), Rotterdam (45min), Eindhoven (1h 20min).

7. Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Great weather, access to beaches, beautiful architecture, and long lists of events make Barcelona an ideal travel destination. Its variety caters to all, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a multifaceted journey.

The city’s active electronic music scene provides access to many house and techno music events, and it is not uncommon to come across a solid line-up with high-profile DJs. Among the most frequently recommended venues are Moog Club, Macarena Club, La Terrrazza, Les Enfants Brilliants, Input, or Razzmatazz. After recovering from a night out, step outside and explore the city, its food options, and its many local businesses. Because Barcelona lies at the sea, it provides direct access to the beach. So, make sure you pack your swimming apparel to spend some time at the water.

That said, Barcelona is a popular tourist destination, which has led to a phenomenon called overtourism. Planning your trip outside the peak tourism season allows you to avoid overly large crowds and heatwaves, making your vacation more enjoyable. When you visit, pay attention to the locals, contribute to small businesses, and treat the city respectfully.

Cities to travel to from Barcelona: Zaragoza (1h 30min), Madrid (3h), Valencia (3h).

8. New York City, New York, USA

New York City is one of the most sought-after travel destinations in the United States. Its multifaceted character is perfect for those who want to experience a unique city culture and combine it with their love for sound. Because of its significant contributions to music, NYC is an excellent place for those interested in jazz, soul, R&B, funk, blues, or hip-hop history.

Yet the city also has an active house and techno music scene, providing electronic music enthusiasts with many options. Jupiter Disco, Public Records, Basement, and Bossa Nova are mentioned as some of the venues worth visiting. As always, apps like Resident Advisor will help you wrap your mind around where to go.

When visiting New York, stop by MOMENT, a museum dedicated to the history of cultural diversity and music in NYC, or shop at a local record store. Looking to update your wardrobe? Explore the city’s thrift stores, and you will surely find many unique pieces. Lastly, make sure you see Times Square, where locals and tourists from all walks of life come together. However, NYC is quite expensive and may not be the best option for those on a budget.

Cities to travel to from NYC: Philadelphia (2h).

9. Prague, Czech Republic

We highly recommend visiting Prague for multiple reasons. First, it is a beautiful city with stunning architecture, great food options, versatile art, and a rich history. It is large enough not to get bored yet small enough not to get lost, allowing visitors to explore and unwind. Prague is also known for its many relaxing spas and relatively affordable prices (depending on where you travel from).

Secondly, although Prague might not be the first place that comes to mind regarding house and techno, it sure is an excellent place for music. The city has a quite active electronic music scene that has been around since the 90s. Events continue until the early morning and can be experienced at venues like Ankali, Fuchs2, Cross Club, or Altenburg 1964. If you are looking for a multifaceted trip, Prague may be the right choice.

Conclusion: Best European and North American House and Techno Music Cities To Visit

Since their birth, house and techno music have established themselves in many different places worldwide. Those aiming to plan their next trip around their love for electronic music or career goals are far from limited in their choices. We hope that our list of European and North American cities helps you decide where to go next. We will continue updating the article to include further places and publish a part 2 dedicated to electronic music cities outside the West — stay tuned!

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All You Need.
All in One Place.

Get tips on How to Succeed as an Artist, receive Music Distribution Discounts, and get the latest iMusician news sent straight to your inbox! Everything you need to grow your music career.