Simply the best views in town, on the 60th floor of the Lebua Hotel the keyboard offers 360 degree views of Bangkok and the Chao Praya river, get there before sunset and watch the city change from day to night in front our eyes, cocktails are amazing, dress to impress and don't forget your camera, not for people that suffer from vertigo!
1055111 Silom Road, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
+66 2 624 9999
Google map: bit.ly/Tt8Vaj
Anything even vaguely Latin American is super hot in Hong Kong right now. Perhaps it’s not entirely surprising - who doesn’t love the winning combo of tacos and tequila? The latest Latino opening is brand new tequila bar, Ted’s Lookout.
Part slick, New York-style cocktail den, part favela chic dive bar, Ted’s is gritty glam with a generous side of cool. Nestled in a deserted corner at the end of Moon Street, exposed light-bulbs spelling out the bar’s name beckon you in with whispered promises of debauchery and ill-advised dancing.
Sip your liquor alfresco, propped on a high stool by the hurricane lantern illuminated bar hatch, or head inside and settle in to a leather banqueted booth while you watch the barmen shake up what’s sure to be the first of many liquor-laden concoctions. Feeling peckish? Keep the cocktails flowing while you chomp on a round of bite-sized Chorizo tacos and nibble on a plate of prawn ceviche.
Very clearly designed with misbehavior in mind, there’s even a ‘Hiding from Wife’ telephone affixed to the wall. And when naughtiness is expected then you’d better behave accordingly, after all it would be a waste for the night to end before the tequila bottle’s empty…
G/F Moonful Court, 17A Moon St, Wanchai,
Google maps: bit.ly/YKwj6U
* Natalie is our local for Hong Kong. You can read all about her here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/hong-kong-local-natalie-robinson.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/natalierobinson
She also has her own blog at: www.3badmice.com/
Started a few years ago, Noah's Yard is the new 'it' place to go in the Swansea/Gower area. Every Monday night there is live jazz from local bands with a small entry fee of £2 and the ever-changing magnetic sign over the door is a great conversation starter for all the new people you will meet inside. On the weekends, Noah's is heaving with everyone from students to local millionaires. Owner Noah Redfern's eclectic taste in music and Swansea-based artists gives everyone something to talk about, along with a feel-good vibe from the lovely bar staff. Along with the extensive list of drinks, bar snacks and art gallery, Noah's Yard is definitely the biggest success to hit South Wales in the past decade.
38 Uplands Crescent, Uplands, Swansea, SA2 0NE
Google map: bit.ly/Ti0BY8
I found this little cocktail bar just off the Ramblas during my last summer in Barcelona. My best friend Lucy and I loved it here. There are no drinks menus, you just tell the suit-clad barmen what you like and they'll invent it for you. It's the perfect place to escape the soaring heat and rat-race of central Barcelona, without walking too far. There is no strict dress code, but it's probably best if you don't wear trainers here. The low jazz music keeps a comfortable mellow vibe running through this small bar and has kept my interest for years.
Carrer dels Tallers, 1, 08002, Barcelona Spain
+34 933 18 95 92
Google map: bit.ly/S9QZ3g
McCarthy’s Bar* says this is the best bar in the world. Outside it looks like my old cub-hut, inside the floorboards are bare. The pictures tell the stories: a young Queen Elizabeth II; framed WWI dreadnoughts; and, still arousing, a fifties-era Vargas pin-up girl in a negligee. Noël Coward, Kipling and King George V drank here. No longer a colonial capital, Levuka is quiet now; offshore is Wakaya, the hideaway island where the unfortunate Keith Richards fell out of a tree.
Royal Hotel. Sensational! Genuinely unchanged since colonial days. Fiji's oldest hotel. In the snooker room you can easily imagine the joking and laughter of long-departed flying-boat crews - their pictures are still on the walls. Real value - a few £s a night.
Good local dishes. Try breadfruit here, it’s good.
Ovalau Club, Totogo Lane, Levuka, Ovalau, Fiji.
(No findable phone number, or website, or email - it's that kind of place!)
Robbies Lane, Levuka
Phone: + 679 344 00 24
Beach St. Centre of town.
Phone: + 679 344 0235
Built in the 14th century, the 67m high, nine storey Galata Tower dominates the Istanbul skyline and has recently been completely refurbished to include a bar/restaurant and viewing balcony on its top storey. It was the tallest structure in Istanbul at the time, and now you can see the city that straddles two continents in a 360-degree panorama from the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace to the Bosphorus and Sea of Marmara. Enjoy a cappuccino and quick snack throughout the day, or book a table for a lively evening of fine international cuisine, great beers and wines and exotic but tasteful belly-dancing.
Large octagonal bar, TV's all round, emphasis on sport, choices of beers, pizzas and other traditional food, spectacular views of the Aber seafront and Cambrian coastline, and from the autumn to spring thousands of Starlings swooping to their roosts below the Pier.
When sightseeing in Prague’s gorgeous Old Town, it’s tough to find somewhere for a coffee and a sit-down that isn’t a tourist trap. K4 is an underground student hangout – literally – housed in the basement of the Faculty of Arts on Celetna Street, a stone’s throw from Staromeskske Namesti. Push back the vast wooden door at number 20, descend the stairs on the left opposite the porter’s glass booth and you’ll find a cavernous collection of rooms replete with lounging undergrads pouring over their lecture notes or playing chess. Prices are super reasonable (as you would expect given the clientele) and there’s a small gallery too with free exhibitions featuring local up-and-coming artists. There’s no table service though – make your way to the bar in the back room and then take your pick from coffee, draught beer or a shot of that infamous Czech spirit Becherova to fortify you before continuing your wanderings.
Celetna 20, Prague 1
Google map: bit.ly/UQEFU5
* Lisette is our Been there local for Prague. You can read her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/prague-local-lisette.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/LisettePrague
On the top floor of the cerulean tower lies a cafe-by-day, bar-by-night space ideal for a first date, an indulgent coffee, or a moment alone with a cocktail and your thoughts. Here you are at once secluded from the city and it’s enchanted voyeur as it sprawls below you like a miniature model village.
The live evening jazz at the weekend is so soothing as to seduce you into a sweet sleep, with the soft lights of the city the only thing discernible against an impenetrably back sky.
The drinks from this dazzling vantage point overlooking Shibuya and Shinjuku don’t come cheap, so save this place as an inspired pre or post dinner drinks location for a date you want to impress.
26-1 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-8512
+81 33476 3398
Google map: bit.ly/S6FoTO
* Hollie is our Been there local for Tokyo. You can check out her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/tokyo-local-hollie-mantle.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/HollieMantle
Something about this place brought me back night after night. No pretensions, great cocktails, and immediate friendliness with the other revellers that could fit in.
124 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040
+1 (305) 509 2904
Google map: bit.ly/TSwMhK
Bar "Posaune" offers a different and innovative touch to pub food in Austria. You have freedom of creating your own meal for as little as €3, and the basic choices are pizza, pasta or traditional "kartofel". You can choose from a wide range of toppings and make a great combination of food and flavours for the same money or adding just €1. In this way, one adds a personal touch to it and transforms the art of eating into indulging without concern of spending too much money. The pub atmoshpere also contributes to a relaxing meal out! Enjoy!
Zinzendorfgasse 34, 8010 Graz, Austria
Google map: bit.ly/YoTUHG
Grizzly's is a bar in Val Claret. The whole bar is made out of wood hand crafted by Grizzly himself. The designs are amazing and have an almost Native American vibe to it. It is cosy and beautiful and there are wood carvings of animals to look at with seats in different nooks and crannies always close to a roaring fire.
Not only that Grizzly (the owner) is a sight. Everyday he will shovel snow topless wearing a large turqoise pendant and is incredibly welcoming. It is the most unusual bar I have ever been to in the Alps and its decor and vibe is not something you expect to find on the snowy mountain.
Place des Curlings, 73320 Tignes, France
+33 (0) 479 06 3417
There are a few gems from medieval Berlin if you're up to searching for them. Not much is left after the bombs and the DDR but enough for the city to be taken very seriously. This is old Berlin - the two settlements of Berlin and Colln.
Go west and south of the Fernsehturm, across the busy Muhlendamm/Grunerstrasse road from Nikolaivertel's reconstructed old squares (and the magnificent Nikolaikirsche, the oldest church in the city), you seem to be in a characterless quarter with nothing to recommend it. But search out Klostersrasse, then Waisenstrasse and you find Zur Letzen Instanz, an old, much repaired bar/eatery in a narrow leafy street, built in 1621 and with a fine reputation for German cuisine and a history of serving Napoleon and Beethoven among many others. Some say it's the oldest restaurant in Berlin. There's a small beer garden to the side and just beyond that a genuine stretch of old Berlin wall from the 13th Century. A bit further past two bronze sculptures to the left there's the magnificent Gothic ruin of a Francescan monastery from the 14th century set in trees, but not far from the roaring traffic where you'll find a number of circular exhibition spots celebrating the city's 775th anniversary, with detailed info on the Berlin beneath your feet (English translation). Great to find such quiet gems amid so much noise and ugliness, just across a six lane highway from Alexanderplatz.
One of the few places in Wadi Musa that you can get a drink (alcoholic). Not cheap in that a pint of beer costs between 5JD - 6JD. Annoying that the price on the menu does not include the 26% tax and the service charge.
Having said all that it is a great location for a bar, occupying a 2,000 year-old Nabataean tomb only a stone's throw from the entrance to Petra.
Just near the entrance to Petra (on the right hand side as you face the Petra entrance).
Part of the Crowne Plaza hotel complex.
P.O. Box 30,Wadi Mousa Petra 00000, Jordan
+962 (0)3 215 6266
Google map: bit.ly/Vi0peR
Good place for food and drink on a buzzing corner on Dizingoff street. We ate and drank here twice during our time in Tel Aviv.
Had two mains, three beers, two wines and one coffee for 240 NIS.
Later in the evening queues form, a testament to the popularity of the place. An added bonus is that there is free wi-fi. Some seating outside with more seating inside.
Dizengoff 306, Tel Aviv, Israel
Google map: bit.ly/RtZoib
La Gloria claims itself as a gastro bar and had a relatively interesting collection of international-inspired tapas providing a refreshing change to frito. We tried the red de pescadores (fisherman's net) filled with prawns and scallops in leek sauce, mango chicken with aromatic rice and Almadraba tuna cooked in soya sauce - a must-try in Conil, as the beast is fished in its port.
Pascual Junquera 2, 11140 Conil de la Frontera
Google map: bit.ly/PiTYnA
* BecomingSevillana is our Been there local for Seville. You can read her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/seville-local-kim.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/BecomingSevillana.jsp
She also has her own blog: becomingsevillana.blogspot.com/
This street really reveals the hidden cafes and restaurants favoured by Madrileños such as La Brocense which is on this street.
Do not miss the 16th century pharmacy on the corner of calle Lope de Vega and calle León. On the outside of the pharmacy there are azulejo tiles and inside at the back of the shop as you go into it is an old till from when the pharmacy originally opened. On calle Lope de Vega itself there is also the convento San Ildefonso (which can be easily missed as it does not stand out from the buildings around it) where Miguel Cervantes is buried (the convent is not open to the public but a plaque on the outside of the building telling us that Cervantes is buried here is what you need to look for). Do not be fooled into thinking that this street is where Lope de Vega lived. The house where he actually lived is preserved as a museum and can be found on the next street on the right called calle Cervantes. Calle Lope de Vega is also a short cut to the Prado museum from Antón Martín metro station. If you follow calle Lope de Vega to is end it will bring you onto the paseo de Prado and the Prado museum is in front of you across the boulevard.
Nearest metro station: Antón Martín
Exit Antón Martín metro station and turn left onto calle Atocha. Cross calle Atocha and take the next street on your right. This is calle León. Go up calle León
and take the third street on the right which is calle Lope de Vega (you will see the pharmacy on your right hand side on the corner of calle Lope de Vega)
Calle de Lope de Vega, 30, 28014 Madrid, Spain
+34 914 29 00 99
Google map: bit.ly/UCdgcY
The square of the Irish - named after the Irish pub in the square and St Patricks college (or Irish College) which backs on the square. During the afternoon it is completely quiet and practically deserted.
Google map: bit.ly/Tusf9y
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