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Understanding The History Of Bar Crawls


Social Scene bar crawl event

Social Scene bar crawl event


Are you a fan of bar crawls? Do you hop around bars most of the time with friends and have fun until sunrise? Well, you might want to check out this Social Scene article, where you’ll learn and understand the history of bar crawls. Let’s get to it.

First, what’s a bar crawl? Bar crawls, or otherwise known as pub crawls, are events in which participants go from one venue to the next either by foot, by car, or fancy rides such as in party buses or limousines, as they party and slay the night away.


Social Scene president and co-founder William Holdeman writes in the blog, “For us, the infamous bar crawl symbolizes access and options, being able to have direction on where to go, access to a variety of venues, options on what to drink and do while creating memories with new or friendly faces. You get to choose your own adventure and receive some great perks along the way!”


How did the tradition of bar crawls begin?

How did the tradition of bar crawls begin?


Join us in a variety of cities for our New Year's Eve Bar Crawl. Save 20% with code DWF (drink with friends) and see all the perks of the event and great venues by clicking below.

NYE Bar Crawl


History Of Bar Crawls


The history of bar crawls is quite sparse and diverse, since the stories vary depending on the location where it happens and the crowd that becomes part of it. According to website Annapolis Tours and Crawls, the term “bar crawl” originated in Great Britain where small bars, pubs and taverns are lined up usually within short walking distances apart. The habit of jumping from one tavern or bar to the next has grown into a group thing, until organizers thought of making it into an event.

“You can imagine that by the end of the evening, some of the folks were ‘crawling’ rather than walking!” the website says. Each bar will have its own liquor offers -- and experiences, too! -- so attendees can really get to enjoy many perspectives. Drinks include beers, tequilas, whiskeys, wines, and more.


Pub crawls are also considered a very contemporary affair, specifically popular since the turn of the 20th century, coinciding with the rise of airlines, air travels, and tourism. In Europe, there are several cities that have started to make pub crawls as meetup events for local expatriates and tourists. This follows the idea that these types of events are created for people to socialize and formulate new bonds. Expatriates usually find themselves alienated in a specific foreign location, and it is important for them to adapt to the changes through the help of these gatherings.

Today, bar crawls have grown to be much more than the traditional bar hopping and going around. Several organizers have formulated various ways in order to make these events one of a kind. Participants are taken on a ride in luxurious limousines, huge party buses, and even ride bicycles for a more outdoor experience. Keep reading, to get to know bar crawl traditions across history, around the world.


Bar Crawl Traditions


The definition of bar crawls may center on a bucket list or must-do’s for them to be called such. First, there needs to be a high-energy crowd, there should be a list of venues, and there should be food and drink specials. However, various cities across the globe have thought of creative ways to make these events more fun and to tell you honestly, these presentations are also embedded in history. From the U.K. to New York, here are some tidbits that are worth the read.


Nightlife in London

Nightlife in London


United Kingdom

Bar crawls in the U.K. are generally informal and grew out of the need for a group of friends to find new spaces and explore more options. Pub crawls in the area spring from the strategic locations of bars almost next to each other along streets, not to mention secret rooms found in alleyways. Friends, co-workers and college buddies decided to meet somewhere and make the night memorable by trying out many different bars. Sometimes, there are also birthday bar crawls or send-off celebrations in this format since traditionally, the crawls grew out of the support of the community’s expatriates.


Pub crawls in Prague

 Pub crawls in Prague




In Prague, bar crawls are deemed as “mother of all pub crawls.” With their own distinct styles and twists, this Czech Republic capital also has a vibrant nightlife in the city along with fantastic venues to make the events more unforgettable. Plus, entrance to all the bars on the itinerary are free.

The night starts with the first venue, but before the party even begins, organizers provide opening beverages for attendees who want to start socializing. Prague locals call it the “power hour” with drinks that include Czech beer, wine, Bohemian absinthe, and who would forget -- vodka shooters, famous in the area. Crowd is a diverse mix of travelers from around the world, forming an international community. This opening mix lasts for one full hour.

Then, the actual bar hopping kicks off around the capital with participating venues each welcoming the attendees warmly. The pub crawl does not end without a visit to the world-renowned Karlovy Lázně, a club spanning high at five stories located in a former spa famous during the 1600s. It is located near Charles Bridge, and is touted as the biggest bar in Central Europe.


Bar crawls in Dublin

Bar crawls in Dublin


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These events in Dublin are a different scenario. The home of St. Patrick’s Day, this Irish city houses over 3,000 pubs and is built away from apartments and villages. In the previous decades, the pubs served a practical purpose for providing warmth and a good ambience for men to drink affordable liquors and quench their thirst, not to mention deadening the hunger, the Dublin Pub Crawl website explains.

This number of pubs that grew in the city was reduced and regulated after laws were enacted. Today, the city has around 850 licensed venues to operating, each with their own unique style and market. The Irish pubs also became the haven for journalists and literary editors left after many of their colleagues flew away from Ireland due to the censorship laws in the late 1920s. The Irish pubs served as catalyst for them to re-establish connections and discuss revolutionary ideas.


“Pub crawling was a way of life for them,” the Irish pub crawl website adds. “A team of actors leads each group on a trail from bar to bar; no props, no lights, no make-up, just the voice and personality of the actor within prompting distance of the audience.”


Manhattan in New York

Manhattan in New York


New York

In New York, the venues give justice to a great experience. Looking at the landscape today, Manhattan for instance is a blend of old-fashioned alehouses and some contemporary ones that have now co-exist. Some of the bars, include The Porterhouse at Fraunces Tavern, White Horse Tavern, Fanelli Café and Old Town Bar have been existing since the 1800s. They were followed by others that came in just at the turn of the next century, including Mulberry Street Bar and Ear Inn.


Party in Spain

Party in Spain



How about bar crawls’ Spanish touch? In the Basque Country located north of this European nation, bar crawls were known as “chiquiteo,” a tradition where groups of male friends began to hop around pubs and drink short glasses of wines, sometimes even singing traditional songs. The distinctive characteristic of these bar crawls is that, some are held during the day. It was only by the end of the 20th century when women began to be accepted into the scene and the gathering was known as “poteo.”

Today, bar crawls in Spain have grown to be more modern and more open, even for the youth. Tourists from across the globe visit particular cities such as Ibiza to party and have a good time.


Join us in a variety of cities for our New Year's Eve Bar Crawl. Save 20% with code DWF (drink with friends) and see all the perks of the event and great venues by clicking below

NYE Bar Crawl


About Social Scene


Social Scene creates a “scene” an environment to connect people, build relationships and create memories through online campaigns and on-premise social events; focusing on providing exposure to our partnering brands, venues and clients to connect with a great social audience - Experiential Marketing.Social Scene builds brand awareness for partnering venues and brands, connecting them with a targeted audience to build relationships and create memories. Visit BeSocialScene.com for the most up to date events and to partner on an upcoming experience.Want to build a live or online experience around your company’s brand or venue? Email info@besocialscene.com or send a message directly at BeSocialScene.com. Be Social. Be Seen.












Jon Lindley Agustin

Professional Content Writer

Social Scene


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