When it comes to a place to enjoy a tipple or two, the quirkier, the better. There are some truly unique bars in this world and we’ve made it our mission to find them. Like the best things in life, it comes as no surprise that the world’s most insane bars come in all shapes and sizes.
From Christmas-themed drinking dens and Hobbit holes to crafty cocktail dens and rooftop wonders, here are some of the best bars in the world. Think of it as your drinking bucket list.
- Satan’s Whiskers theme is slightly confusing but it works. This London bar combines taxidermy, hip hop beats and killer cocktails.
- Sucker for secrets? Anonymous Bar in Prague is where you need to go. Featuring a secret cocktail menu, interactive drinks and mixologists wearing Guy Fawkes masks, this bar won’t disappoint.
- Alux Caverna in Mexico let’s you drink in a 10,000 year old cave. It’s complete with candle lighting and a fresh water cenote and it’s awesome.
- Not recommended for sun lover’s, Sweden’s ICEBAR requires guests to brave negative degree temperatures, don jackets and gloves while sipping cocktails from ice cups and sitting on ice seats.
- Still not cold enough? Make your way to Faraday Bar in Antarctica, the world’s southernmost bar. Situated in the Vernadsky Ukrainian Research Station, this bar was actually built by British scientists because they simply couldn’t imagine finishing their day without a trip to the pub.
- Why should Christmas come just once a year? At Lala’s Little Nugget in Austin, Texas, Christmas is a 365-day occasion. The bar is decked out with Christmas trees, fairy lights, fake snow, tinsel and Christmas hits blasting from the jukebox.
- Combine a city tour with a couple of bevvies thanks to the SparaKOFF pub tram in Helsinki, Finland. The bright-red old school tram can seat up to 30 people and has bar staff who will keep the drinks flowing.
- There aren’t many bars where you can jump into the ocean before enjoying a cocktail on a cliff. Buza Bar in Dubrovnik is exactly that.
- Something called the Hobbit House sounds like it’s meant to be in New Zealand but, nope, this drinking establishment calls the Philippines home. The bar is staffed entirely by little people, decorated with LOTR and Tolkien memorabilia and the front door is circular, naturally.
- Squeamish? Give this bar a miss. The H.R. Giger Bar in Switzerland is lined entirely with vertebrae. Y’know...bones. Yep, it aims to make guests feel like they’re “literally in the belly of a fossilised, prehistoric beast.” Fun times.
- Willy-T off Norman Islands in the British Virgin Islands is literally a beach bunny’s dream. This floating bar let’s you jump off the top floor into the warm, crystal clear water.
- You may be surprised to find that Berlin’s Monkey Bar doesn’t actually have a monkey theme. Rather, the 10th-floor bar got its name from its stellar view overlooking the zoo.
- Another Berlin Gem is Madame Claude. Perhaps limit yourself to one or two drinks because being wasted in this bar would be a nightmare. Everything is upside down. We’re talkin’ furniture, candles, lamps on the roof. Oh, and it used to be a brothel.
- Lagoon Bar in Iceland literally sounds like the most relaxing place on earth. Feel yourself unwind as you sip a cocktail in 1.6 million gallons of thermal, healing waters. Bliss.
- BYO floaties because this bar is in the ocean. Perched on...well...a rock, The Rock in Zanzibar requires you to doggy paddle, walk or boat to it (depending on the time of day) and serves us no-fuss food, ice-cold drinks and cruisy island vibes.
- Perched 3,000-metres-high on a snowy ridge in Austria is Top Mountain Star, a magical alpine bar with insane views. Tuck into fine Austrian fare and a mulled wine and you’ll be toasty in no time.
- This Aussie outback bar is literally in the wop wops. The Birdsville Hotel has been keeping punters hydrated since 1884 and with the resurgence of the roadie, is showing no signs of slowing down.
- Artesian in London sits high in the world’s best bars lists and deservingly so. While the decor is gorgeous, it’s the cocktails that need your attention. Their bartenders show no boundaries when it comes to innovation so prepare to experience some truly phenomenal beverages.
- No trip to Budapest would be complete without a drink or five at Szimpla Kert. Known as a ‘ruin pub’, Szimpla is a huge space decorated with bric-a-brac, art, graffiti and hosts all sorts of events. There’s frequent markets, movie screenings and gigs so you can be sure that no visit will ever be the same.
- Cruises ain’t for everyone but Harmony of the Sea’s Bionic Bar is enough to reel anyone in. You use a tablet to select a drink and then the robot gets to work, shaking up a cocktail and delivering it to your table. This, our friends, is the future.
- Arrrr, me hearties! Smuggler’s Cove in San Fran is the perfect combo of quirky and cool with a kitschy pirate theme and more than 200 varieties of rum.
- Set high above the hustle and bustle of Mumbai, the Four Seasons’ Aer is a rooftop bar like no other. It oozes luxury with a world-class tapas menu, amazing cocktails and DJs.
- There’s nothing swanky about La Capilla, Tequila’s oldest bar but holy moly are the cocktails something else. Be sure to try the Batanga cocktail created by Don Javier Delgado Corona, the bar’s owner, during the ‘50s.
- If whisky is your tipple of choice, make a beeline for The Baxter Inn in Sydney. This speakeasy-style bar is home to more than 600 whiskies proudly on show behind the bar, with the top-shelf stuff having to be reached by an old-school wooden ladder.
- The Dead Rabbit in New York is exactly what you want from a bar. It merges quality Northern Irish hospitality (thanks to its owners), next-level cocktails and buzzing vibes for an unforgettable drinking experience.
- Hands down one of the best rooftop bars in the world, Couleur Locale lets you make your way through its stellar cocktail list while gazing at the lit-up Acropolis.
- Walk into a particular Paris laundromat and you’ll be welcomed into one of the world’s quirkiest bars. Lavomatic is definitely hidden but instead of a dark, mysterious atmosphere like most secret bars, it radiates with bright colours, funky swing chairs and neon lights.
- Once home to pesky pirates and ladies of the night, De Doctor in Rotterdam conjures up “potions, elixirs and medications” aka. some of the world’s best cocktails. Sounds like our kinda doctor.
- Book lovers, we’ve found your bar. The Library is a Wellington institution where you can drink innovative cocktails surrounded by hundreds of books. The actual dream.
- Karaoke and booze is a match made in heaven and it doesn’t get much better than Lucky Voice in Dubai. Book a private room (complete with blow up guitars, wigs and a ‘more drinks, please’ button) and belt out the tunes before heading downstairs for live music.
Want to keep it closer to home? Check out these hidden bars in Sydney.
Image Credit: Top Mountain Star, Culeur Locale, Alux Caverna, Monkey Bar, Lagoon Bar