Best European Cities for Live Music

Sing along!

7 min read

Experiencing live music in a foreign city is an authentic way to experience life as a local. Being around local music and international music that they love provides you with an extra dose of culture.

This article will not only share the best EU cities to listen to live music in but also where to find live music events.

Paris, France

The romantic capital of Europe is a fantastic place to catch “yet to be discovered” bands. Paris is full of bars, clubs and even restaurants that provide regular live music of almost every genre. Le Grand Rex, which hosts every kind of concert imaginable, for example, loveable pop artists of past and present and orchestral movie-themed performances. For free live music from homegrown pop, electric and rock bands and artists visit Les Trois Baudets.

If you travel with your dancing shoes spend the night at L’Alimentaction Générale for some beats from a local DJ. They have an affordable entrance fee, which includes a drink.

micmkael Photo Credit: @micmkael

For established and international artists, the Accor Hotels Arena is a common addition to a musician’s European tour.

angeloizb Photo Credit: @angeloizb

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels is becoming an increasingly popular destination for music fans. This could be due to them hosting one of Europe’s largest outdoor festivals, Tomorrowland. The world-famous annual festival Tomorrowland is located between Brussels and Boom, you can get there by shuttle bus. This is a bucket list event for every electronic lover, due to its stellar line-up and fantastic staging. Previous artists in attendance have included David Guetta, Eric Prydz and Marshmello.

festivalforfun Photo Credit: @festivalforfun

For smaller live music event we suggested spending the night at places such as The Ancienne Belgique that hosts the up-and-coming names of contemporary music. The Black-Eyed Peas performed there before making it to the big leagues.

hpvv Photo Credit: @hpvv

The small but charming Bonnefooi is open throughout the night until the early morning. So, when you find an act, you like you won’t be forced to leave when they put the lights on as the sunrise will do that for you. You can literally dance the night away.

b.lyubomirova Photo Credit: @b.lyubomirova

Stylish L’Archiduc is home to jazz and cocktails. This is the place to be for the finest brass players in town. Simply sit back and listen, with a fancy cocktail in hand, to be transported back to the 1930s.

insideoutside.bxl Photo Credit: @insideoutside.bxl

Madrid, Spain

In addition to being a city that attracts art lovers and culture buffs, Madrid is also a top pick for music fans. Madrid offers many medium-sized theatres and clubs for intimate live music shows. We've prepared three great choices for an entertaining night in the capital.

First up is Sala Caracol – Once famous for its flamenco shows, in recent years the Sala Caracol has turned to rock music as its genre of choice. Nowadays, the club provides an electric atmosphere, where performers and their fans can truly connect.

yocivi Photo Credit: @yocivi

Next is Sala Calmores – To experience true art head to Sala Calmores for a Thursday, Saturday or Sunday night of live music. While they are known for jazz music, there have become increasingly more eclectic, by including acoustic, classical and soulful acts.

peter_fi Photo Credit: @peter_fi

And last but not least a place worth visiting is Galileo Galilei – This concert hall has it all! Their calendar is filled with all kinds of singer songwriters. If you simply love music and want to find someone new to appreciate this is the place to go.

liglesia Photo Credit: @liglesia

Rome, Italy

Italians love a relaxed night out with friends, this is reflected in their live music venues, which are usually in bars. As the largest city in Italy, Rome is the melody HQ.

For a particularly cozy and entertaining night visit Etabli Wine Bar as you may be the only tourist there. From Thursday to Saturday, they are open until 2 am. Live music isn’t available daily, so it’s best to check their website or social media for dates.

retable_shop Photo Credit: @retable_shop

Other great options include the vibrant Fonclea Pub, which has been open for more than 30 years. They have two basement rooms to appeal to the clientele, which ranges from 18 to 70. One is usually an up-tempo band, maybe rock, while the other is more soulful like folk or jazz music.

naogente Photo Credit: @naogente

When you find yourself in Rome during the summer don’t miss out on Rock in Roma Festival, which has multiple dates and artists. Both popular Italian and international artists will be on the stage. Past artists have included Green Day, The Chemical Brothers and Guns n Roses’ lead guitarist Slash.

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