What Time Do Bars, Pubs, Clubs Close Around the World?

I'm not much for being a country-basher, but I feel very strongly about this particular topic. Why must our bars and clubs close at 2am!??!?! Is this not outlandish, coming from a country who touts its freedoms and democracy? Not only are we subject to the least amount of vacation days in the industrialized world, but we also must face caps on the time we are allowed to enjoy ourselves!

To get you started and riled up to join the Extended Drunk Hours to do Stupid Stuff Movement (and to get me placed on an FBI watch list), take a look at the vacation days granted to people in other countries:

Denmark: 31 days
Austria: 30
Finland: 30
France: 25
Norway: 25
Germany: 24
Brazil: 22
Belgium: 20
Ireleand: 20
United Kingdom: 20
Netherlands: 20
Switzerland: 20
Australia: 20
Colombia: 15
New Zealand: 15
United States: 10

Those countries seem to be doing just fine. Heck, InBev, a Brazilian beer company, just bought Anheuser-Busch! That extra 12 days of vacation must have really helped their beer consumption and revenue.... You see the circle of life here? If only we had had 12 extra days, we may have outdrank them and saved our American beer company, but the FOOLS in congress made us work AND go home at earlier hours! Now Budweiser is a Brazilian beer - happy?

Let us now continue with the hours of closure for alcohol serving establishments around the world. While hours may vary in countries depending on cities and residential areas, below is a non-scientific list. It's also worth noting that when I say a bar 'never' closes, that means they close when the bars die down, meaning anywhere from 5 to 8am, but can stay open for as long as they choose.

United States: 2am (with the exception of a few places like Vegas, NYC, Miami, etc.)
Mexico: Never
Canada: 2am
Brazil: Never
Argentina: Never
United Kingdom: 11pm (pubs), 5am (clubs)
Australia: 5am
Italy: Never
Russia: Never
Belgium: Never
Dominican Republic: 2am
Norway: 3am
Vietnam: Midnight
India: 2am
China: Never
Afghanistan: Midnight
Iraq: No bars
Chile: Never
Thailand: Never

Really!?!? We're about as "free" as India and the United Kingdom?!?!? We might as well have a King and Queen, stop fixing our teeth, and start playing cricket as well!

There are two ways to think about this extension of alcohol-serving operating hours: 1. The extension would lead to more havoc, chaos, and criminal activity from drunkards. 2. The liberation of our freedoms and rights to truly honor our Founding Fathers would lead to a crush of economic opportunity that would bring this country out of a recession.

I don't know about you, but I'm all for #2!

The other day, I went to Union Street Fair in San Francisco and started drinking in the daytime. I felt no rush to get drunk. I was paced, calm, and genuinely tired, but having fun. The lack of a deadline to stop drinking kept me from going off the charts, like I might normally do when going out at 11pm. When faced with only 2 hours of drinking time (before last call), people binge drink in mass quantities - thus taking shots (a very U.S. thing to do) - and "blacking out" more frequently than someone who knows they have all night and the morning, if they choose.

Let's think about this - a country that is synonomous with hooligan activity (U.K.) shuts their doors at 11pm. Logically, people are pounding drinks because they know they have an impending deadline. Then they wreak havoc because they don't want to go to bed yet in a "free" country. When you do have the option to party all night, you're too tired after the clubs to get into fights, loiter, smash windows, and tip over cars. You just want to go get some food (economic activity: restaurants!) and then go home (taxi drivers! prostitutes!) and sleep.

Maybe, JUST maybe if we didn't have limitations on our bars and clubs, we could've saved our beer company...... It's still not too late to save our economy. Please, join my cause and write to the President. Tell him that Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Somali Pirates, the Auto Industry, the Banking Industry, Michelle, Malia, and Natasha can wait - our economy is in need of a boost - and Viagra just won't cut it this time...

The Silicon Valley Bachelor

P.S. Please let me know what time your country's bars/pubs/clubs close and I will update the list.

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  1. I agree with you, but some of your facts are a little wrong. At least for Australia. Our bars close at 5 a.m. with a 3 a.m. lock out. So if your not in by 3 your outta luck. As for our vacation days, I get about 6 weeks off a year and another 2 weeks sick leave, not 30 days like you said. I'm sure there are companies out there that only give a measly 30 days, but the government over here gives quites a lot. Love the blogs keep em coming!

  2. Thanks Scott! Changed it.

    Your English is really good for an Australian!

    I get 3 weeks vacation a year - that's how you know you've made it in the U.S. I like to look at the commoners while on that 3rd week of vacation and laugh, while frequently mentioning to anyone within hearing distance that "this is my 3rd week."

    "Don't know if I told you ladies.... (pause for dramatic effect and look around as if what they hear would endanger their lives), but this isn't my first or second week of vacation (pause)- it's my third."

    Lean in for make-out session.

    End scene.

  3. For the UK, if you know what bars/clubs to go to, you can start partying on Thursday night through to Tuesday morning without stopping. I don't know of any places that stay open late on Wednesday though...

    And as for vacation, I had 32 days this year. Somehow it still does not feel like enough!

  4. @Tom D - that's a LOT of cocaine to keep you going!

  5. Austria is almost certainly 25 business days. Otherwise I've been screwed by my employer pretty badly for the last several years ;-)

  6. By the way, it depends in Canada on the province. In Quebec, the bars are definitely open until 3am. In BC and Ontario, it's 2am. I'm not sure about the others, but saying they all close at 2am is like saying you can only drink at 19.

    Just to clear things up and all.

  7. Just stumbled across this now (almost a year later)

    In Ontario, the bars/clubs have to stop serving alcohol at 2, but close at 3am. There are a small number of after-hours clubs.

    - In New Zealand it varies a lot depending on the liquor license. Most places seem to be open 'til "late" and there are 24-hour bars/clubs; however, the government is in the process of instituting a lock-out, so no entering a bar/club after 2am. If you're already in you'll be sweet.

    P.S. Why did you compliment an Australian on his ability to speak English? Was that a joke? Did you maybe confuse Austria (German-speaking) with Australia (English-speaking)?

  8. pubs close at 1.00am on fridays and saturdays in england, and like you said bars close at 5am you colonial cunt. Go and make you're own language and culture. I suppose you can't do that though, because in effect you are just descendants from Europeans and have adopted a very similar culture, one that isn't distinct from us at all. Go fuck yourself fatso.

  9. pubs close at 1.00am on fridays and saturdays in england, and like you said bars close at 5am you colonial cunt. Go and make you're own language and culture. I suppose you can't do that though, because in effect you are just descendants from Europeans and have adopted a very similar culture, one that isn't distinct from us at all. Go fuck yourself fatso.

  10. In the UK bars no longer have to close at 11pm, that law was done away with on 24/11/2005, technically we now have 24 hour drinking but this is practically nowhere to be found (as you need a 24-hour license which councils are reluctant to give out and are expensive), but mostly now bars will shut at midnight or maybe 1am or Fridays and Saturdays... although they're still some bars that close at 11pm (lazy landlords really!) Still though, 2am is hardly a bad time, I'd kill for that time as norm over here

  11. I see the random ass drunk calling the OP a colonial cunt for absolutely no reason has so many balls that he chose to by anonymous.

    In the US you can drink until 2:30 on Fridays and Saturdays.

    And in the state of Wisconsin you can drink at a bar all night long on New Years Eve. (;

  12. America is falling behind in a bunch of areas? That unfortunately is all too common. If there's one thing that America doesn't have an understanding of or appreciation for, it's quality of life. Then, the low quality of life that they create does actually cause real problems... It works like that all too often. Such a shame..


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