All night long: top 10 after dark experiences

Walk on the wildside: Top 10 after dark experiences

For many of us, one of the best things about travel is the chance to break free from the nine to five. So why do we tend to confine our explorations to office hours?

Words by Ute Junker

Originally published in Traveller

In most destinations, there is plenty of exploring to be done even after the sun sets. From moveable feasts to night-time rainforest walks, discover a different side to your favourite destination with one of these nocturnal tours.

1. Berlin’s moveable feast

When you arrive in a new city, the one thing better than having a friend who picks you up at the airport is having a friend who takes you out to all the hot new restaurants. The nice folk at Berlin-Agenten don’t run a chauffeur service; however, their brilliant Gastro Rallye delivers not just the restaurants, but also a built-in friend. Gastro-Rallye guests are accompanied by an in-the-know local to not one, not two, but three restaurants, enjoying a different course in each restaurant. The concept is perfect for solo travellers, but also works well for couples and groups.

New restaurants are continually added to the roster, and there are different itineraries in different parts of town. For those who love creative cooking, the Gastro-Rallye East is recommended. Looking for something quirkier? Gastro-Rallye The Wall takes a time-travel approach, from old East German favourites such as senfeier (mustard eggs) and Muckefuck coffee to today’s cutting-edge cuisine.

2. Night snorkelling on Lord Howe Island

There is a reason snorkelling is usually a daytime activity. The joy of snorkelling lies in admiring darting fish and colourful corals, all of which are hard to see in the dark.  At Lord Howe Environmental Tours, however, they have a found a way around that.

On their Night Snorkelling Tour, participants are issued with underwater torches equipped with special filters that create coral fluorescence, a somewhat uninspiring name for the phenomenon by which corals reflect vivid neon colours.

Find the thought of swimming in the dark a bit challenging? They have that covered, too. Tours take place in the sheltered lagoon, with illuminated boundary markers indicating the limits of the snorkel site so you won’t accidentally get lost.

3. Jazzing it up in Harlem

Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Thelonius Monk and Miles Davis: even in New York, few neighbourhoods have as rich a soundtrack as Harlem. Music lovers who want to explore this fascinating neighbourhood, taking in both the legends of old and the best of the new, will love Harlem Spirituals’ Soul Food and Jazz Tour.

Visit the Apollo Theater, where Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan were discovered, and the site of the legendary Cotton Club. Tuck into a soul food dinner of fried chicken, collard greens, cornbread and black eye peas at local landmark, Sylvia’s Diner, before kicking back in one of the neighbourhood’s buzzing jazz clubs. That’s what we call a great night out.

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