Best party destinations for adults: Have your own schoolies

No one wants to be a toolie. Well, maybe some people do, but they shouldn't. Turning up to schoolies celebrations when you're clearly several years over school-leaving age is not something anyone should aspire to.

However, that doesn't mean the schoolies groups who will be partying hard in the next few weeks get to have all the fun. Maybe it's just me, but I've always been a bit jealous of the kids on the Gold Coast. It looks like they're having a ball.

So if you're far too old to pass as a school-leaver but still want to let loose and party like you've just finished your final exams, these are the places you want to travel to.

Hvar, Croatia

About the closest you can come to recreating schoolies for slightly older people is on this Croatian party island; a beautiful place filled with everything from dirty backpacker bars to exclusive (and expensive) nightclubs. Sometimes it can feel like pretty much all of Western Europe has arrived in Hvar to celebrate anything that comes to mind. This is not the place for a quiet, relaxing holiday.

Las Vegas, USA

Travellers have been coming to Vegas for an adult schoolie experience since long before there was a proper schoolies. There's the feeling that you can do whatever you want in Sin City. Drink, gamble, dance, see extravagant shows, eat great food, shoot guns, drive go-karts, smoke cigars, go on roller-coasters, see live bands… This is schoolies the way it always should have been.

Medellin, Colombia

If you don't know how to dance before you get to Medellin, there's a good chance you will know by the time you leave. This is a city that likes to move, whether that's in the form of salsa, pop, rock or reggaeton. Once considered too dangerous to visit, Medellin is transforming itself into a tourist-friendly destination with some of the best nightlife around.

Bangkok, Thailand

Head down to the notorious Khao San Road area and you'll find plenty of backpackers – mostly Australian – having themselves a little adult schoolies right there on the streets. It's a little seedy (OK, very seedy), but if you're looking for something classier don't despair: choose from one of the many rooftop bars in areas like Sathorn or Sukhumvit.  

Amsterdam, Netherlands

There's so much more to Amsterdam than the Red Light District; however, if it's the schoolies experience you're trying to recreate, then it is this den of sin you should be visiting. Go on, go crazy: visit a coffee shop, go to a sex show, wander the seedy alleyways and duck into canal-side bars. You certainly won't be the only one doing it.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

While not as internationally renowned as its beachside neighbour, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo is still a city that knows how to throw a party from salsa clubs to rock bars and everything in between. Paulistas are supposed to be the hard workers of Brazil but once you see them in party-mode you'll soon realise there's two sides to the story.

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Buenos Aires, Argentina

Things kick off late in BA. If you don't want to be in a bar filled entirely with tourists then there's no point going out before midnight. After that, however, this city comes alive, with everything from tango "milongas" to dark little cocktail bars and heaving mega-clubs. You'll need far more stamina then you ever had on the real schoolies.

New York City, USA

There's always something to celebrate in New York: a band you like is playing, a bar you like is opening… um, the sun has gone down. This is one of those cities that caters to all tastes and desires, and puts a friendly face on it. You just have to know where to look.

Glasgow, Scotland

The Weegies like a drink – that's no secret. They also love live music (check out venues such as King Tut's Wah Wah Hut and Mono) and don't particularly like going home, which results in a city with a thriving, affordable and surprisingly safe nightlife scene.  

Miami, USA

Miami is a great place to recreate schoolies because it's basically the Gold Coast on steroids. Visit during American spring break and you'll find a glitzy beachside locale filled to bursting with partying students and those who just want to hang out near them. It's certainly not classy but it is a lot of fun. Just be sure to bring your beach body.

Ios, Greece

While you could safely find that schoolies vibe on just about any of the Greek Islands, it's Ios that really excels. This is an island that attracts plenty of young (and wannabe-young) backpacker types with its affordable and always busy clubs and bars in old towns like Chora, and plethora of cheap accommodation. You could spend a long time in Ios.  

New Orleans, USA

Visit during Mardi Gras and you have a readymade mega-schoolies for people who are old enough to know better. It's a street party and a bar crawl, a booze-a-thon where everyone ditches their inhibitions and occasionally their clothing in the interests of having a good time. You can't do this stuff when you're 17 or 18.

Cape Town, South Africa

From Camps Bay to Long Street, Clifton to Green Point, there's plenty of nightlife to keep revellers amused in this cosmopolitan city. You might even feel like you're back on the Gold Coast as you swan around the beachside bars and clubs with Cape Town's beautiful people.

Ibiza, Spain

I'm not a fan, but hey, if you really want to party like a school-leaver in some place foreign, you'd be hard pressed to find a better destination than Ibiza. The island is all about clubs and bars, about dancing long nights away to electro and house, about hanging out with about a million of your new English mates and doing all the things you wanted to do back home but couldn't find an acceptable venue in which to do it. Good luck.

Where would you travel to for an "adult schoolies"? Let u know by leaving a comment below.

Email: b.groundwater@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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