Stumbling into new watering holes – A sneak peek at some of the world’s pub crawls

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Photo by Boshika Gupta

By Boshika Gupta

A group of excited strangers begin their journey at night. They find a common meeting point, talk, drink together and make merry until it’s time to leave for the next bar. They will continue doing this for a few hours, hopping from one charming bar to another, dancing and laughing with each other, making friends and even falling in love somewhere along the way.

Pub crawls bring together a group of individuals from all kinds of backgrounds for a just a little while, offering them a chance to explore some of the city’s best hotspots at a nominal fee. They also let attendees escape long queues and unaffordable cover charges, taking away safety concerns and making partying in a new place super easy.

The largest pub crawl in the world that made it to the record books witnessed 4,885 participants who visited ten pubs in Missouri, USA on June 1, 2013.  The attendees wore an eclectic selection of costumes ranging from rainbow colours, tutus and grass skirts to cows, cats, baseball players and more.

The first time I visited a pub crawl, I was a student in Hong Kong pursuing a story for one of my classes. The event had plenty of enthusiastic participants and as the night progressed, things got steadily crazier and happier. Highlights from the night included finding someone’s forgotten shirt on a chair, stepping over broken glass from a beer bottle, waltzing through unexpected shortcuts in the area and killing time on a really long elevator ride with extremely excited folks.

I got a chance to speak to people from several countries and even exchanged numbers with a guy who eventually became a friend. It was a safe, warm and welcoming space that let people be exactly who they wanted to be in that moment.

Here’s a list of a few pub crawls across the globe that are worth checking out the next time you’re in the area:

  1. Prague Pub Crawl, Prague

This is a huge name thanks to Prague’s reputation for hosting absolutely mad pub crawls. Expect to be taken to popular bars and clubs plus take advantage of unlimited drinks in the first hour of the event as you get to mingle with other crawlers. You’ll also be greeted with complimentary shots at each location and will have supportive party guides with you throughout. You can’t get away without getting sloshed at this bash thanks to the amount of free drinks you’ll get to have. The list of selected venues is generally top notch (it includes famed club Karlovy Lázněand which has five stories and is in a former spa from the 15th century).

  1. Monopoly Pub Crawl

If board games are your thing, this should be right up your alley. London’s Monopoly Pub Crawl doesn’t give you the chance to feel bored or weary as you’re taken to bars on 26 streets that were featured in the British version of the game. It all began in 2007 when a bunch of friends decided to do something off the beaten track.  After a bit of research and experimentation, the Monopoly Pub Crawl was born. Several interesting activities are included in the crawl to keep everyone entertained. You’ve got to admit, finishing the route itself is a bit of a challenge and something to brag about to your friends later.

  1. Hong Kong Pub Crawl

Founded in 2010, this event has managed to attract travellers from different parts of the world. They focus on giving visitors an unconventional experience in a safe and accessible manner. Every Thursday, a huge group of nightlife enthusiasts get together in Central, exploring Hong Kong’s wildly popular party area, Lan Kwai Fong (LKF). These guys also host other pub crawls but LKF is their signature offering. Expect to be greeted with free shots in each bar and a pose for a professional photographer at each venue, who records everything from start to finish.

  1. The Backpacker Pub Crawl, Dublin

These guys promise its attendees a fun tour of the best places that are a hit with the locals.  They also intend to keep you far away from the tourist traps and offer free shots and welcome drinks, drinking games, entry to a VIP club and great discounts. The Backpacker Pub Crawl also hires super friendly local guides to help guests feel at ease. By the way, they’ve been around since 2001!

  1. Singapore Pub Crawl, Singapore

This pub crawl lasts for four hours and crawlers meet their leaders near the Singapore River in Raffles Place in the evening.  It is held twice a week and comes with lots of complimentary shots, a chance to mingle with people from different walks of life and fun times at extremely popular bars and pubs in Singapore. Drinking games and good vibes are aplenty here. They finish things off at a nightclub, promising free admission to all crawlers, lots of dancing and an easy way to skip all those queues.