While London and New York may be the most well-known for their private members’ circuits, a number of European cities also host some chic and secretive clubs that are worth a visit — if you can get through the door, that is.
From a royal haunt in Stockholm to an “independent universe” in Athens or a rooftop haven away from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul, Business Insider has scoped out the coolest and most exclusive private members’ clubs in 9 of the most stylish major European cities.
So if you’re wondering where to be seen on your next city break — or you frequently travel with business across the continent and are looking for the most exclusive place to set down your briefcase — scroll down to discover the best private members’ clubs Europe has to offer, ranked in ascending order by the price of an annual membership.
9. Noppe, Stockholm — from €290 (£260 or $343).
Noppe Bar was founded by Count Carl Adam “Noppe” Lewenhaupt, and is apparently the place to be if you fancy rubbing shoulders with Swedish royalty and local celebrities.
Membership privileges include events and concerts arranged at the club. The bar also organises an exclusive golf tournament in the country, a famous summer party, and a shooting cup for its members.
To become a member of Noppe Bar you need two current members as proposers.
8. Salon de Bricolage, Athens — from €500 (£445 or $590).
Founded in 2009, Salon de Bricolage now boasts 3,000 members who can also use a number of other private clubs across the world under their membership.
Its members are from the arts, publishing, fashion, film, and business industries, “who seek and appreciate superior quality, sophistication and understated glamour,” according to the club.
“Salon de Bricolage is a philosophy — a club dedicated to its own independent universe,” a representative told Business Insider.
The club has two art apartments which are filled with contemporary Greek and foreign art, and can be used for professional presentations, business meetings, and dinners. They were designed by architect Tasos Zeppos.
7. Silencio, Paris — from €600 (£535 or $710).
Founded in 2011 and owned by David Lynch, Silencio says it is a “new kind of members clubs dedicated to creative communities.”
Silencio describes itself as a place for encounters, and as “the successor to salons, 17th century Parisian literary circles, the clubs of 18th century London, the Dadaists of the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, and the existentialists of the Tabou in Saint-Germain des Pres, as well as cultural landmarks like Le Palace in Paris and Studio 54 in New York.”
It may sound a tad pretentious, but by the looks of its Instagram account, it’s where the cool crew hang — including the likes of A$AP Rocky and Caecilia Tripp.
The club boasts a photo gallery, a 24-seat cinema, library, smoking room, two bars, and a stage. It’s also open until 6.a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Recommended applicants are prioritised, and the sponsor then receives a free month’s subscription if the application is accepted.
Under 30s and those living overseas benefit from a discounted rate of €600 a year, or €50 a month. For everyone else there’s a standard membership or €900, or for €1,680 with extra benefits.
6. Soho House, Istanbul — from €650 (£580 or $765) plus €117 tax.
Located in the creative heart of the capital, the Beyoğlu district, Soho House Istanbul
opened in June 2015.
The house occupies four buildings: the Corpi Building, the Annex Building, the Chancery Building, and the Glass Building. There are two restaurants, a 49-seat screening room, a Cowshed spa, and a gym.
The Corpi is the former US embassy and consulate, and houses the private club spaces and a prohibition-style speakeasy, called The Embassy Club, which is open until late.
Membership costs €650 plus €117 tax for under 27s, or €1,300, plus €234 tax, for those unlucky enough to be a bit older.
As with all Soho House clubs, you can opt for the “every house membership,” which gives you access to all of its clubs worldwide and costs €1,800 plus €324, or €900 plus €162 tax for under 27s.
5. 5 Hertford Street, London — from €1,680 (£1,500 or $1,770), plus a €1,345 joining fee.
The London private members’ scene is the most prestigious in the world — but there’s one club that is renowned for being the hardest to get into.
When Business Insider wrote a roundup of the most exclusive members’ clubs in London, 5 Hertford Street said it was so secretive and protective of its members’ privacy that it declined to give even a ballpark indication on the cost of membership.
However, according to the Mail, it costs about £1,200 to join and £1,500 annually thereafter. That might not seem that much, but don’t get your hopes up — it’s supposed to favour A-listers and billionaires as its members.
Lupita Nyong’o, George and Amal Clooney, Mick Jagger, Leonardo DiCaprio, Prince William, and Princess Eugenie are all known to have partied at its downstairs nightclub called Loulou’s, which has its very own lifesize giraffe mascot.
4. Thirty Nine Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo — from €2,700 (£2,400 or $3,180).
Thirty Nine Monte Carlo opened in 2016. It’s founded by Scottish ex-Rugby International and Monaco resident Ross Beattie, and says it has a “unique wellness-focused concept.”
The club is an “oasis of calm for those wishing to escape the bustle of Monte Carlo,” and offers members access to high-tech sports equipment and training from sports professionals in a private-club setting.
Prince Albert is apparently a regular there, a source told Business Insider.
Membership costs €4,900 a year, unless you’re under 27, when it is reduced to €2,700.
3. China Club, Berlin — €2,000 a year (£1,785 or $2,360), plus a €10,000 joining fee.
China Club Berlin is located in the centre of the capital and apparently offers a “home from home” for its international members.
Precious Chinese antiquities, contemporary Chinese art, and exquisite Chinese cuisine form the basis of the “elegant but unpretentious, relaxed atmosphere” for the high society of culture, politics, media, and the economy.
Members must be proposed by at least one club member or endorsed by the club admissions committee. Private or company membership is available too.
On admission, a one-off fee of €10,000 is due, then an annual subscription.
2. The Carnegie Club, Scottish Highlands — €9,021 (£8,000 or $10,538) per year, plus a £25,000 joining fee.
The prestigious Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle, which lies in a secluded corner of the eastern highlands, is the most expensive of the European clubs surveyed in this list.
It was founded by one of the world’s first billionaires — American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie — who apparently “spared no expense in transforming it into a millionaire’s playground.” It sits on 8,000-acres and boasts a golf course and spa.
Membership costs £8,000 ($10,538) per year, plus an enormous £25,000 one-off joining fee. The club’s 350 or so members include CEOs, oil tycoons, and aristocrats. It’s also where Madonna married Guy Ritchie in 2000.
The club is understood to have a rigorous joining process.
1. 1930 Club Milano, Milan — by invitation only.
The Milan Club 1930 is so exclusive that it doesn’t even have a website, though Business Insider tracked down this photo of the club via Facebook.
According to magazine The Chic Fish, the club is not even visible from the road, but it is hidden under the guise of an ordinary bar, from where you can only gain access by invitation through a hidden door.
It’s apparently where supermodels chill out after Milan Fashion Week. It looks cozy, chic, and like they serve a good negroni.