Closing Time: which cities have cafés that stay open the latest?

New York may claim to be the ‘city that never sleeps’, but is it really? Apparently not when it comes to late night cafés! Many cities also allege to be ‘sleepless cities’ boasting a fabulous ‘nightlife’, but often, finding an open café after a night at the theatre, a sporting event or a movie, can be challenge, more so for those looking for a caffeine fix after enjoying that so called nightlife — that is, well after midnight or after 2am.

In a recent study, home advice site Simple Ghar analysed the average closing times of cafés (as well as of restaurants and bars/clubs) for major cities around the globe. They then ranked them to reveal the cities with the latest closing hours.

The chart reveals the 50 cities where cafés stay open the latest, with Cairo, Egypt and Belgrade, Serbia topping the list. Quite intriguing, and surprising, are three cities in India that rank low for having late open hours overall but are in the top ten for late-night cafés – Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Chennai – which all have average closing times between 10 and 11pm (22:00 & 23:00). According to SimpleGhar, the café culture is booming in India with the rise of the youth and middle classes set against a backdrop of low alcohol consumption.

Cairo is the city with the latest ‘late-night action’, with an average closing time of 12:26am (00:26) — four hours later than the average global closing time. The café culture there, evidently, has existed since the 16th century, and the tea is always served the same way: hot, very black, and very sweet.

SimpleGhar finds that the Egyptian capital has the world’s latest opening cafés and second-latest restaurants. On aggregate, that makes Cairo the latest-opening city in the world. Lonely Planet reports that the climate and culture of the city have made late-opening the norm, with shops often open until midnight and entertainment lasting until dawn.

While Zagreb, Croatia is the 42nd latest-opening city per SimpleGhar’s overall list, it ranks thirteenth for cafés with an average closing time of 10 to 10 (22:00).

The SimpleGhar study finds that the top twenty cities with the latest closing times for cafés are:

  1. Cairo, Egypt (closing time: 00:26)
  2. Belgrade, Serbia (closing time: 23:23)
  3. Karachi, Pakistan (closing time: 23:22)
  4. Athens, Greece (closing time: 22:58)
  5. Hyderabad, India (closing time: 22:56)
  6. Istanbul, Turkey (closing time: 22:46)
  7. Mumbai, India (closing time: 22:37)
  8. Dubai, United Arab Emirates (closing time: 22:36)
  9. Chennai, India (closing time: 22:06)
  10. Moscow, Russia (closing time: 21:59)
  11. Seoul, South Korea (closing time: 21:53)
  12. Jakarta, Indonesia (closing time: 21:49)
  13. Zagreb, Croatia (closing time: 21:48)
  14. Madrid, Spain (closing time: 21:41
  15. Bengaluru/Bangalore, India (closing time: 21:36)
  16. New Delhi, India (closing time: 21:33)
  17. Minsk, Belarus (closing time: 21:33)
  18. Havana, Cuba (closing time: 21:29
  19. Kyiv, Ukraine (closing time: 21:27)
  20. Montevideo, Uruguay (closing time: 21:20)

According to SimpleGhar, closing times for cafés (including coffee shops) and restaurants were gathered from OpenStreetMap (closing times for bars and clubs were taken from the first four pages of ‘Bars & Clubs’ and ‘Dance Clubs & Discos’ listings in each city’s TripAdvisor Nightlife section). In instances where the opening hours varied based on days of the week or months/seasons of the year, closing times were averaged across all the times available for each establishment. The city rankings were compiled based on the score assigned to each city based on how late, on average, bars & clubs, restaurants, and cafés close.

Now that international travel has resumed, I am trying to decide which city on the list to visit first, but there are so many great choices…

For the list of all 50 cities where cafés stay open the latest, as well as the full report on ‘sleepless cities’ and the study’s methodology, visit:

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