If you're looking for a lads/lasses holiday this is the place to go. Ayia Napa is certainly not the place to go if you're going as a family.
To start with Cyprus is really picturesque with it's beaches and sea, but ayia napa has been built purely for partying and clubbing.
There are bars and clubs everywhere, and in summer season it is packed. So if you like clubbing but dont like busy places this is not the place to go. You could walk for about 10 mins away from the strip and the pavements would still be packed on people, it really is so busy!
Bar wise it's brilliant, you can mind all genres from RandB to MOD it's fantastic the choice you get. Also if you're in a big group you will get lots of offers to go into bars for free drinks as the busier the bar, the more busier it gets normally. I found the clubs are very samey, they're very british and love english written songs but all the clubs sort of played similar music which wasnt brilliant, as sometimes you just want to go and listen to some 80's.
Overall i'd say that it is a brilliant place to go, its got a beautiful climate with beautiful scenery and a great party life.
Ayia Napa become with UK Grime, House & Garage artists/MCs for holidays and gigs in its clubs/venues. The Square, central to the town is seen as the focal point of the Agia Napa night-life. Ayia Napa is clubbers' paradise as a multi - cultural town predominantly playing House, Electro, Tech, R&B, Garage & 70's & 80's. This ravishing and all exciting nightlife change happened in 1995, a DJ called Nick Power who was basically from London's Kiss FM, started his own club called the Kool Club. This Kool Club has changed Ayia Napa's mainstream club style and which has brought out the underground style of House music to the resort's, and clubs and the trend followed, which also allured some best Guest DJs and events. DJ Nick Power gained the tag "Godfather of Ayia Napa". The clubbing capital of Europe has DJ Tiesto, Above & Beyond, Sander Kleinenberg, Ferry Corsten, John Digweed DJ Luck & MC Neat, Armand Van Helden and Boy Better visiting her to freak out the crowd. Pool-grogg/ Swedish water: a cocktail which was made famous here, it is Vodka and Sprite mixed in fifty-fifty. This cocktail made a boom in sale at all clubs and bars in Aiya Napa and then world over.
Ayia Napa has clubs, restaurants, bars which suits to everyone tastes but this is not for faint hearted or people who want quiet night, its all jammed packed and music blasting out and people going crazy and dancing all night with add of booze and may be beach sex. But if you want some romantic date or place where you can enjoy traditional nightlife then head out to fishing villages and island towns where there is a local feel and they will welcome you with open arms and their you can have great night with unforgettable moments and evening in Cypriot style.
I've just come back from a holiday in Ayia Napa and want to give my opinion of the bars there.
To start with, it's a really nice place. A small town in Cyprus, typically known for being a party lover's choice of holiday, you'd expect it to be full of English people throwing litter around, getting their boobs out and throwing up on street corners. This is completely wrong. Ayia Napa, when I went in early September, was full of a variety of people, not just youths wanting to drink lots. In the hotel we were staying in there were quite a lot of elderly people just wanting a relaxing break. There were people from all over the world too, and during my stay I heard German, French, Chinese, American, English and Irish accents.
Ayia Napa is actually a beautiful place, with gloriously blue seas, 5* hotels everywhere, loads of watersports activities, and just generally something to do for everyone.
The main reason I went to Ayia Napa was to party at night though, so here I'll try and give you an idea of what the bars and clubs are like.
There's an area called The Square where all these places are, and on the first night we had trouble finding it, until someone approached us and asked us if we were heading to the bars. We said we weren't sure where they were, and he kindly took us there, directing us to a bar called Marinellos. We realised he was a 'bar rep'/tout, trying to get us in particular bars.
Marinellos was a really nice place, mostly open air, with a small inside area for two bars, a dance floor, even a podium with a pole for adventurous dancers! The rep offered us 2 drinks, 2 shots and a free entry ticket for a club, all for Euro7. We didn't have a clue how much usual drinks cost, but it seemed like a fair deal, so we did it. Marinellos played RnB classics, as well as some modern pop songs. The kind of stuff you'd find in a club in England, so I felt fairly at home drinking there. The dance floor was always empty though, so we didn't do any dancing here. It was end of season so I didn't really expect the bars to be too packed out. It was a nice atmosphere.
After our two drinks and shots, we moved on. And then we realised. We were in a swarm of reps and touts. All eagerly trying to get people into their bars because it pays their (probably-)measly wages. We were still at the entrance of The Square where the bars and clubs are and we had about three people approach us, one after the other, offering us drinks vouchers.
After forcing our way up the road a little as we wanted to explore the area to start off with, another rep came up to us. He worked for a Hip Hop/RnB bar called Bazaar, and was so pushy he made us go inside! It was fairly empty, and the drinks offer wasn't great. I think we paid Euro6 each for one drink and one shot each. But because the guy was so good at his job, we felt obliged to go in. There were only a few people in there apart from us. The music was okay, it was quite underground hip hop compared to the other places we walked past. It probably would've been good if it had been packed.
After that we moved on. We found it strange that all these reps were so keen to get you in the bars, but once you've had a drink they don't keep you in there by offering more vouchers, they don't care after that!
We walked on a bit further and found a place called Heaven Rock Bar, which had a massive guitar front, with pictures of famous rock musicians on the front like Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl and the frontman of Greenday, I forget his name.
Now, we were in Ayia Napa, the place for garage and RnB enthusiasts, which we both enjoy hence why we went there. But our hearts were both made for Rock and Roll, so as soon as we saw this bar, we were immediately drawn inside! No reps were outside dragging people in, there weren't any drinks offers, but I think that made it even more friendlier and made me want to go in even more, the fact that they weren't desperate for customers. Once inside, there were a lot of people dressed in black downing Jaegermeister. Despite wear mini shorts and a revealing top, clubbing gear to the max!, but I felt immediately at home with these people, and the bar staff were majorly cool. The music varied, between modern rock and metal ranging back to the 80s glam rock and famous bands like Iron Maiden, Motorhead and Metallica.
It wasn't packed or even busy, but there was a fair crowd of people, mainly gathered by the bar in the centre of the room. The place contained three pool tables, which seemed to be popular and often used. It was a nice atmosphere in there and everyone seemed to get on with everyone else, either all singing the same heavy tunes together or doing shots of Sambucca together.
Prices in this bar were a bit extortionate. We first went in and asked for two Jack Daniels and cokes. In England, this would normally cost about £5/6 in a bar. In this Heaven Rock Garden bar, it cost Euro12! When the guy gave us back our change, he did give us two 'free' shots, but there weren't really free if we were paying so much to start with! Nowhere other than a touristy place like this could get away with this kind of misleading marketing, but in this town it seemed appropriate to be conned out of our money! Apart from the prices of drinks, it was a great little bar.
Others bars to go to:
Carwash - this is a great little bar playing classic music ranging through the genres. It has a mood for everyone, and quite a lot of people dress up in 80s neon gear, so it's a fun atmosphere. Prices are about the same price in here as they are everywhere else, about Euro6 a drink. There are no drinks deals (or there weren't when we went) but you can pick up free entry vouchers when you go to places like the Ambassaden bar. There's loads of dancing going on in this bar and everyone is just looking to have a good time. It's a little bit out of the way of the main Square, and we actually had to ask for directions because we couldn't find it! Once you do find it though you're guranteed an excellent night out.
The Ambassaden bar - This is the first bar you come across when first entering the Square, and the loudest too. It is two storeys, though generally everyone sticks to the bottom half by the bars. There are loads of touts for this bar trying to get you in, but they offer very confusing deals. When one rep approached us, he offered us buy one, get one free, on drinks. We obliged, assuming we'd get 2 drinks for Euro6, as the prices in the bar was Euro6 a drink. Once inside, we thought we'd make use of the offer and ordered two drinks each, with two free drinks each. However, the bill came to Euro18, meaning one drink was Euro9! So bit of a con really! The waitress did give us two free shots. But they were meant to be 'free', not included in the final bill. A lot of these bars do try their hardest to get money from you, by using the reps outside who are very pushy.
After a few days' experience of these reps, you find it easier to haggle with them. For example, outside one particular bar called Aruba, when the pushy sales rep came over and asked if we wanted a drink and a shot for Euro6, I told him (because I was already drunk!) I didn't want anymore shots and would prefer another drink instead, and he made it happen.. two drinks for Euro6 is pretty good for Ayia Napa bars. I did this on a lot of people, and some of the time it worked, sometimes it didn't, but if you're coming here on holiday definitely try haggling with the reps. Once you're a lot more feisty at this not as many bother you, too!
When the bars started closing one night at 2am, we were undecided whether to go back to the hotel or to go to a club. On our walk back down to The Square, a rep approached us out The Castle Club. I'd heard of this bar but we hadn't experienced it yet. He told me he could get me and my boyfriend in for half price. I was very intoxicated at this point and wasn't even sure what I was saying, but I basically said to him I didn't want to pay to go in anywhere, and anywhere I went I wanted a drinks offer. He said again, half price entry. I said I didn't want to pay and went to walk away, then he quickly changed his mind and said we could get in for free. Brilliant.
The Castle Club is supposedly Ayia Napa's most popular club. It consists of three floors, the top floor playing Disco music, which was fairly empty with only a few people dancing when we entered. The middle floor was RnB which was completely packed, everyone was dancing to popular British and American RnB music, all singing together. The bottom floor was House music. Had some fairly cool music but not too busy. It was very nice looking though, everywhere was white, and the strobe lights were pink and purple so everywhere seemed to look really heavenly, if only it wasn't for the loud pumping music! The middle floor seemed to be the most popular, and since it was about 3 in the morning everyone was only there to have a good time before they head home, back to their hotel. It was friendly and fun and you really felt welcome in these places, despite being full of varied people from all over the world. Drinks were expensive here, no drinks offers to be seen, but it was a club so I didn't really expect any less.
There were a couple more places I've left out:
The Pirate Bar - this bar was opposite the Rock Bar I was raving about above, and had an incredible atmosphere, playing modern music and pop and rock from the 90s era, it was really busy, there dance floor was full of people. There was a podium in the centre with another pole (they clearly loved to encourage pole dancing out here!) and, yes, much to my embarrassment when I remembered the next morning, I did get up on that pole and dance. It wasn't anything weird though, everyone was doing it and it was just there to have fun, not how a pole dancer would be seen in England!
There were some good drinks deals, with another deal that was BOGOF, with two drinks for Euro6, as well as free shots. This is an ideal bar for someone not 100% keen on garage and RnB music as it really did play a range of stuff from different genres and eras.
We went to a British bar called Linekar (wonder why!) that encouraged beer-drinking and crisp-eating.. typical British stylee. It wasn't the most fun bar and music wasn't very loud, but there were football games on big screen, comfy sofas, and a really sophisticated inside area that looked as clean as anything! It looked like a nice restaurant rather than a bar. Drinks were average priced, about 6 euros for one drink, including a shot.
The bars in Ayia Napa are, on average, fun, loud and full of people dancing. Yes, they are expensive, but if you're going to go on holiday to a party island you have to expect pricey drinks, especially on specific drinks like Jack Daniels or Malibu because they have to be imported. If you choose local whiskey or local beer prices decrease sharply. Keo was the local beer and you could get a pint of this for 2/3 euros in most bars, maybe 4 euros in clubs.
I strongly recommend going to Ayia Napa, whether you're young or old, even if you don't like drinking, as there's plenty of restauranty places and pub type bars where you can just have a few. But if you're really up for some hardcore drinking and dancing, The Square is where it's at, with some nightclubs even open until 7 the next morning!
Having just been to the amazing Ayia Napa for the second year running I thought I could offer a few tips on nightclubs - what can I say, I think I went to most of them! As the acclaimed home of 'UK Garage' it lives up to it's reputation but don't panic if that's not your scene. The good news is that there is something for everyone. People try and draw comparisons with Napa and Ibiza but I think that the variety of styles on offer puts Ayia Napa miles ahead. If you like cheese ( which lets face it most of us have the odd night when we want to hear some old tunes) then Carwash is the 'must do' club. It's small and very busy with the dj encouraging bar top dancing - how can you resist when it belts out everything from abba to belinda carlisle. Upside down.... Inside out..... the classics are to be heard and a good time is to be had. It's alittle bit out of the square and the pubs round about are cheaper than the busy square but I promise you will come out grinning to yourself and remembering school discos. Other clubs like Grease offer a similar playlist but if you only do it for one night then make sure it's Carwash. A special mention must go to Starsky and Hutch in the disco category - it's fantastic inside and the glitter certainly rubs off. With a high rise podium in the middle and a viewing gallery you will not be disappointed! Starskys sells all sorts of merchandise like big disco wigs, spangly stetsons and seriously funky shades. This is the place if you're there in a big group and want to be noticed. Go dressed to kill and make a spectacle of yourself. This club also hosts a weekly audition for Man-o-man in a bid to find the resorts most eligible bachelor. Watch ou for special nights featuring the one and only Huggy Bear! For those of you old enough to remember Huggy Bear, then club mythology hosts a night called Old Skool where all those dance classics you thought were store
d in your loft come out to play. Devotees swear by this as unmissable. Black and White is the serious R&B venue with free passes and discounts available at Bar Havana. Generally it is pretty non-commercial but at the end of the night the residents can't help but play the chart R&B we all know and love. It's a pretty mixed crowd but wort a visit. The castle is one of the places you must do. It's varied and you have to watch out for the special nights. It ranges from Drumm and Base ( Fabio and Grooverider) to Jeremy Healy who we thought was a bit disappointing. It also has a chill out terrace with a bloody good view and a R&B room. Big Names play tthe castle. As a rule, the touts keep you right and offer discounts on tickets but there a stack of other clubs : The Abyss, Gas, Rise( Miss Moneypenny's - top night), Pzazz for faom parties and Cream, Ice Ku and loads of scandinavian discos!!!! you really have to watch out for the nig nights because sometimes you go to a great place and it's dead because. Pre club you've just got to do the square. it's daunting at first but after a night or two you'll have got the hang of it and found a couple of places that suit. There are so many to choose from. worth mentioning is the fact that when the clubs shut, the afterparties start. There's insomnia and River Reggae. River Reggae is a bit out of town but worth a visit. Set on a hill, t has swimming pools, beach type bars and a chilled out atmosphere. When it shuts at 7am it's just about time to skinny dip on your way home and get your towel on a lounger. Enjoy!
I'm beginning to understand the love of water that nautical types have. Perhaps not quite the reaction you'd expect whilst largin' it in Ayia Napa, Cyprus. Most reports talk of this small town as the "New Ibiza" - Dance capital of Europe for Garage worshippers. So here I am, paddling my ocean kayak round the sea caves, somewhere off Grecian Bay. Out of view of the garishly-clad tourists, flipping themselves every half-hour within a soupcon of well-done, the sea is calm, clear and tranquil. The occasional snorkeller or tourist boat does little to spoil the overall scene; while the jet-skis churn up their white plumes half a mile off shore. Their faint buzzing to and fro like bees, forever leaving and returning to the hive. It's close on 35 degrees - it feels it - and I can't help but wonder if everyone that conquers the sea feels the same sense of satisfaction. I circle and wave to the swarthy skipper of a nearby anchored yacht - he grins back in the dozy afternoon shade. For a split moment, I am a pirate, and his "ship" is my unsuspecting prey... By day, Ayia Napa is like any other tourist resort for sun-seekers. Golden sand, rows of tightly packed holidaymakers tanning to impress. The hotels are ugly - but I'm not here to look at the hotels - and their air-conditioned rooms are an essential haven. Situated toward the east of Cyprus, and not far from the Turkish area, Ayia Napa isn't best situated for exploring the island. You'd be best placed further along the coast - Limassol - for such pursuits. But there are some local villages that offer cheaper shopping, and splendid views to be had from Capo Greco - just a few miles up the road. Walking is not an option however - not in this heat - and car hire, with insurance, is affordable- though you pay extra for air-conditioning. Scrimp on this at your peril. By night, Ayia Napa is not ordinary. And it is not for the fain
t-hearted. The regime is straightforward: eat at nine, find a bar at eleven, hit the clubs. The bars stop their music, and then their drinks somewhere between one and two, so that's when those who are warming up, are swarming up to the clubs. Bed?... what's that? On the stroll into town my companion points out an "English" bar that did good steak last year. We poke our noses in, and the owner, a stout well-worn local, remembers last year's patronage and welcomes us as if we are his prodigal children. One chicken and one pork kebab later we are sorely disappointed. I ask him about his food and his business. He is a local farmer and the lack of rain for the last three years has made farming a struggle. He tells me he has "downgraded" his menu, so that it appeals to the younger up-fer-it types who now frequent this place. He is glad the way the town has changed, because without it, he couldn't pay his bills. And he proudly gestures towards his nine year old daughter as if to make a point. We begin to leave, but courteously accept a lemon liqueur on the house. It's sweet and sticky - at least things can only get better. We continue our townward stroll, dodging the dishevelled and incomplete pavements. They bemuse me; and they will probably claim me on the way back, if I return tipsy. Finally, "The Square" - odd, because it isn't square, and even moreso, because it's co-located with a ruined monastery. It's quite a sight and sound to behold. It creates a sense of dizziness and disorientation the moment you stand still - far better to keep moving, pushing past hot bodies. It is a melee, a crowd, a huge crowd, crushed, standing, drinking, chatting - indeed shouting - over the pounding sub-bass of the surrounding bars. Each establishment is competing to see whose PA will distort first - don't even try to pick out a tune. Too noisy to think, but if you stop and allow yourself to fe
el for a moment, then you will sense you're at the centre of an ants' nest. Utter chaos on the surface, and yet everyone with a purpose - lines of ants pushing their way through the mass, forging onwards - and not a drop of beer spilt! My colleague turns to me and shouts: "Every time I come here, I lose my faith in mankind and the future of the planet". In a subconscious way I understand exactly, but I quickly turn and say "Don't you get it!? That's the point. While the rest of us are saving the planet, we keep all these people busy here!...". Perhaps we're getting old. Bar after bar runs some kind of alcoholic promotion - buy one, get one free. Buy one, get two free. The most impressive was buy two, get ten free! Ten what? I'm not sure, but it was sweet and sticky, and very dilute - unlike the local beer, KEO, which was surprisingly pleasant, and pleasantly cheap. The number one premise here seems DRINK. And presumably inebriation is what seduces us into the night clubs - after all there's nothing overtly memorable about the music that's the mainstay of this place: UK Garage playing master to House. All the clubs promote "big-name" DJ's making appearances, but personally I don't get too worked up - I just keep reminiscing of my hospital radio days. In the bars there's a wider aural selection, with some M.O.R Pop, and a smattering of R&B, Hip Hop. I even saw an Irish Folk Pub: but there were more people in the band than in the pub. What you won't find is Jungle, that's for sure. We were laughed at when we asked. For a trek through the 80's and 90's, take a trip to the pinkly-neoned Jasmin Bar; where the cockney gaffer sings along, takes his top off and encourages his punters to dance on the bar and tables. And remember, someone just ate their food on that table! "Oy Oyyyyyyy!" Before the rush (at 4am) - we head over to River Reggae club to
wind down. This outdoor bar sports palm trees, mellow music, and a u-shaped swimming pool. Additional entertainment is in the form of a large 'telephone pole' strapped across one end of the pool. It begs drunken males to attempt to cross, and impress the onlookers by remaining dry. On my first attempt, my weary dancing legs are so pathetic, I can barely balance a few seconds. Amazingly, soaking wet underwear, four in the morning, and it still feels warm. This is sufficient to encourage a second and no-less foolish attempt! Within a metre of completing my challenge and suddenly I feel unsteady, and so I leap for home, onto the slippery tiles of the pool edge. It's a lesson well-learnt in impressing onlookers. I slip backwards, and crack my head down on the poolside. I'm sure eighty-thousand people go "oooohhhh". Next thing, I hear twinkling and some bloke is pulling me up saying "YOU DIDN'T WANT TO DO THAT!". How astute. I wibble gratefully. River Reggae is a compelling way to spend the last few hours of darkness, despite the inherent perils of beams, concrete pool edges, water, alcohol and exuberance. It transports you to some kind of state of mind, where nothing matters, and time is irrelevant. My kind of holiday. ...After a pause, this pirate grins back. Capture will be another day - it's addictive out here on the water - I will be back! For now I must seek some shade, water and factor 60. I weave among the lilos, with their roasted occupants meandering on the tide, and head beachwards. I must build my strength for tonight's trip into town...