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worldwide club guide: dos and don’ts

rules for clubbers

Nightclubs may seem like places where anything goes, but appearances can be deceptive. Clubs are governed by written and unwritten laws which change from country to country but there’s a few etiquette rules applicable right around the world.

One is clothing. Clubbers sometimes spend hours choosing what to wear, to satisfy themselves and to impress others. If you’re going to a trendy nightclub, follow the club's dress code, which invariably means no shorts, ripped jeans, t-shirts, flip flops or sandals. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed – if you end up wearing one too many layers you can always coat-check the offending item once inside.

This brings me to getting inside. Frequently you’ll find a queue, (sometimes because the club is genuinely crowded, other times so it can appear crowded) so just accept it and be friendly and inconspicuous. DO NOT annoy the bouncer, as this is the one moment (possibly in their lives) where they are in a position of power and they’re not afraid to use it. At most, ask nicely how long the wait will be. It’s best to be in a mixed gender group as a large crew of guys is never going to be first through the door of a straight club, (the opposite rule applies for a gay bar).

Once inside, don’t go to a crowded bar en masse. Have one (or two) people grab drinks for the group and don’t push past other patrons or be rude to the bar people – they ’re not your servants. A tip on the first round will help get faster service in future and always have cash money ready when paying.

It’s wise not to mix drinks - don’t drink liquor followed by beer, by champagne, by cocktails, then back to beer. You’ll get ugly drunk and embarrass yourself. If you misjudge and feel ill, go home – in a cab. Drunk-driving and/or passing out anywhere outside the confines of your own home will not win friends nor influence people.

And finally – don’t wear fluorescent clothes or sunglasses. Sunglasses indoors are only OK for Anna Wintour or those who have just undergone Lasik eye surgery. As for fluorescent clothes, they’re just plain ugly – and may well be the reason people are still wearing sunglasses in clubs!

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