Last Call Graphic | San Francisco, Berlin, Chicago, Stockholm, Austin

CULTURE | Last Call Around the World

You Don't Have to Go Home... But You Can't Stay Here!

Jeremy Joven Editor in Chief

by Jeremy Joven
Published November 2014 | The Night Issue

There are many countries with no established age limits on purchasing and drinking alcoholic beverages. Those that do, have similar rules but none as restricted and varied as the rules in the U.S.. There are dry towns, 24 hour drinking towns, and places you can’t drink on a Patio at an establishment. The one thing they all have in common, is that no matter what the restriction is, fun will always be had.

SF, California

San Francisco, CA

In San Francisco and the rest of the State of California, last call is at 2 a.m. Boring.  State-wide last call is 2 a.m., except in San Jose, where last call is 1:30 a.m. but where patrons can stay in the bars until 3 a.m.

NYC, New York

New York City, NY

In NYC, you can buy alcohol until 4 a.m. Beer is available 24 hours.  Almost every corner has a bar, so this should be easy.

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, CA

In Los Angeles, you can drink till 2 a.m.—unless, of course, you’re Lindsay Lohan. Currently there is a proposed legislation to extend alcohol sales to 4am in select cities.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, IL

The Windy City has odd rules when it comes to how late you can enjoy your alchy. On Saturdays, you may drink until 5 a.m. The rest of the week, cutoff time is 4 a.m. All this varies by establishment.

Austin, Texas

Austin, TX

In some cities in the Lonestar State, you can drink until 2 a.m. but you can’t buy alcohol past midnight at stores. But... to make up for it, you can bring your baby, and they will serve that baby alcohol as long as an adult is present. (Seriously though, minors can be served alcohol when accompanied by adults.

London, England

London, England

In London, you can drink hard liquor at the tender age of 18. Wine and Beer is perfectly okay for 16 year olds when purchased at licensed premises, as long as it is sold to an adult with a meal.  Long live the Queen!
NO LAST CALL


Paris, France

Paris, France

If it were 2009, a 16-year-old could have been drinking Absinthe to their heart’s content, but the law was changed to 18 soon after. Want to drink for 24 hours? Sure no problem. Viva La France!  NO LAST CALL

Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

16-year-olds can enjoy all that the Biergärten have to offer. But to have hard liquor you must be 18. Fermented alcoholic beverages may be consumed by minors at the age of 14, in public, in the presence of a legal guardian; drinking in private is allowed.
NO LAST CALL

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Alcohol laws in Tokyo are pretty relaxed. One can even buy alcohol from vending machines, which use the honor system for age verification. The rule says you must be at least 20 years old. Honor means a lot to the Japanese, so you better follow suit.
NO LAST CALL

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands

On your sweet-sixteen you can drink wine and beer in the Netherlands. Heck, you can go have your fun at the Red Light District 24 hours a day. When it comes to hard liquor, 18 is the magic number. If this upsets you, you can enjoy a doobie instead.
NO LAST CALL

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is a beautiful place to drink. The views are enough to get you drunk. It is illegal to buy alcohol, if you’re not 18. Consuming it, however, doesn’t phase them... Just how you get it.
NO LAST CALL

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

Longer nights mean more time for drinking, right? Yay, Stockholm! It is legal to purchase alcohol in restaurants at 18 and in stores at 20. The price tag here is the killer.
NO LAST CALL

Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei is a cosmopolitan paradise with very basic rules. You can drink at 18, as long as you’re responsible with your consumption.
NO LAST CALL

Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

Sangria, anyone? In Spain, you can enjoy all the tapas you can eat and all the drinks you want, at age 16. You can also drink with your parents... So it’s best to be nice to your mom. NO LAST CALL

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

In Capetown, you can drink at the tender age of 18. It seems, America is the only one with a 21 year old age drinking limit. Rules differ by location. In some, you can get alcohol all throughout the night, while in others only until 2 a.m..

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