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Can you keep a secret? Well, hopefully not when there’s a fantastic party involved…

If the Jazz Age taught us anything, it’s that the best events are usually held after-hours and behind closed doors. But while speakeasies have been co-opted by every nightlife impressario under the sun — or more accurately, moon — the hottest parties around the globe are now even moreso out of reach, some even requiring a password or unique proof of invitation to get in.

In Barcelona, night owls who aren’t ready to dormir can head to an elusive little watering hole known as El Armario Bar, where the party doesn’t start until 3am. Adventurous travelers head to Carrer de la Riereta in Raval, enter through a hole in the wall (seriously), wander through the owner’s wardrobe (still not kidding) and then finally reach a speakeasy-esque spot free of tourists. Reminiscent of The Chronicles of Narnia, only with fantastic drinks.

Not to be outdone in all things secretive, NYC has a fantastic underground organization called The Night Heron, notable for recently hosting a speakeasy inside a water tower. While the opportunity for disaster was high — pun intended — The Towering Inferno this wasn’t, thanks to a serious screening process. Creatively presented in the form of a pocket watch (very Alice in Wonderland), the event’s bespoke invitations could only be obtained through a previous attendee.

It’s a bit easier to keep secrets in Paris, where buzz overkill is the true sign of somewhere being passé. Enter: underground electro parties at the Nomade Club, which brings frenzied fêtes to a random assortment of the City of Light’s venues, from empty loft apartments to swanky nightclubs. The location details are released a day in advance, so make sure to have your ears alert and your most fabulous ensemble at the ready.

For more of my jazzy speakeasy favorites and to read about the equally undercover cool city of Berlin, check out the latest issue of Travel Curator.

Happy Journeys!

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