A square in Prenzlauer Berg district just north of the perhaps better known Kollwitzplatz. The square is dotted with bars and cafes which continue off along Raumer-, Lychener-, and Dunckerstraße (where I live as it happens). It's a great summer hang out. Plus there's a youth hostel on the North side of the square.
Nearest stations are Schoenhauser Allee and Prenzlauer Alle (both S-Bahn), and Eberswalder Straße (U-Bahn)
Very cool, reasonably priced boutique hotel in the Bleibtreustrasse just off the Ku'damm. Handy for the sights and the S-Bahn, lots of bars and restaurants in the vicinity
Bleibtreustrasse, www.bleibtreu.com, nearest S-Bahn station is Savignyplatz, bus stop on route from Tegel airport is called Bleibtreustrasse
A combined hostel/hotel, the Gershwin is a good option for budget accommodation right in the heart of the Flatiron district. Handy for lots of attractions - a short walk to the Empire State Building. It's also very trendy and attracts a fun bunch of international travellers.
Enjoy feeling part of the New York scene, especially early evening on a weekday, overlooking the beautifully elegant concourse of Grand Central Station and watching the world go by. Ideal for people watchers!
Grand Central Station - on the balcony. Not sure of the name - Metrazour??
This place has definitely the best coffee in town and the breakfast is fantastic. They also do delicious lunch and dinner, with a daily changing menu, that never disappoints. There is a great welcoming unpretentious atmosphere and it is somewhere to just lounge for a few hours (using their free wireless internet), or book a table for dinner and cocktails.
Stargarder Strasse 3, Ubahn Schoenhauser Allee www.fellas-berlin.de
A small bar popular with the locals, between the main shopping area and the market. The Oud Arsenaal specialises in Lambic and Trappist beers; it's probably your best bet in the city if you want to try the rare Westvleteren Abt (deservedly voted the world's greatest beer in 2005.) This is a very friendly bar, the couple who run it have amazing memories for faces; the first time I visited Antwerpen I spent an evening there, then when I came back six months later they recognised me at the Beer Passion Weekend and came over to say "hello". Guest beers change frequently and there are often special offers (I had a wonderful evening here drinking bottles of Hercule at only EUR2.20 each.) They also have a special beer, Arsenaaltje, brewed for them by the local De Koninck brewery. The only downside to the Oud Arsenaal is its opening hours. It closes early in the evening (about 7:30 or 8:00) but it's worth a visit while it's open.
Maria Pijpelincxstraat 4, Antwerpen Tel: 03/231.84.76
My favourite bar in Antwerpen, 't Waagstuk may not have the most extensive beer menu in the city, but what's on the menu never disappoints. There's always a good selection of Lambics and Trappist beers and a regularly changing guest beer on tap. Decent food too, with a reasonable selection suitable for vegetarians.
Stadswaag 20, Antwerpen, about 5 minutes' walk from Meir, the main shopping street. Telephone: 03/225.02.19 Website: www.proximedia.com/web/waagstuk.html
Beer Mania offers over 400 Belgian beers to sample on site, buy and drink at home, or order online. Open 11am to 9pm, Monday to Saturday. The owner, Nasser Eftekhairi, is usually there and is fount of knowledge on all things to do with Belgian beers.
174-176 Chaussée de Wavre, 1050 Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium. www.beermania.be Tel: 00 32 2 512 17 88 Nearest metro, Trone or Porte de Namur
An Island in the Oslofjord. There used to be a camping site there (The Rough Guide 2002 gives a phone number but it no longer exists) but now you just catch the ferry out and do your own thing. It's safe as houses. Frequented by overnight school expeditions and work parties, it's still big enough to avoid them all and enjoy great views of Oslo and the surrounding hills. Plenty of tracks for walks as well. A nice break from the city which all feel the same after a while. Bring your own food and drink.
Catch the Vippitengen bus outside the train station. This brings you to the docks where you get the ferry. You can get a special city travel pass that covers all of this. It's fairly cheap for Norway.
Translates as "At Little Glen's", owned by the guy who set up Bohemia Bagels and the Museum of Communism. Excellent jazz bar at Karmelitska 23 118 00 Prague 1 - Mala Strana, but get there early as it's tiny downstairs & fills up quickly. Highly recommend Rene Trossman on a wednesday night. Word of warning: don't get in the way of the waitress - she's a rottweiller!
Karmelitska 23 118 00 Prague 1 - Mala Strana; www.malyglen.cz/
Friendly, laid-back hostel chain Home now has three excellent branches in Valencia. The vast Backpackers, at Calle Santa Cristina s/n, has dorm rooms from around €13 per person per night or doubles for around €16 per person. The original and more cosy hostel at Calle La Lonja, 4, is similarly priced. The newly refurbished Home Deluxe at Calle Cadires, 11, offers themed double rooms for around €40 a night.
Popular with the Hollywood North set, the list of celebrities who stay here reads like a Who's Who, and even the doormen look like movie stars. If you can't afford to stay here, head over to the Opus Bar for cocktails and pretend you can.
322 Davie Street; Tel: 642 6787; www.opushotel.com
The World of Suzie Wong, near the west entrance of Chaoyang Park, is as notorious as it is famous. But the mix of opium den-style curtained alcoves, terrace views across the park and thumping beats ought to be experienced at least once.
West gate of Chaoyang Park (above Mirch Masala); Tel: 6593 7889
Restaurant - we had a table for 17 at the back - lovely food and an excellent atmosphere
I would also recommend Ultramarin - Ostrovni 32, Prague 1 | 224.932.249
Both are superb for big groups.
Kaprova 5, Prague 1 | 224.813.922 | latin music and food
Brussels annual beer weekend - held in the first weekend of September. Enjoy sampling a huge range of beers in a great atmosphere surrounded by the wonderful Grand'Place. Beers are cheap and served chilled in the appropriate glass (of course).
If you're not into ping-pong and darts - and let's face it, it's really best avoided - Patpong does have lots else to offer. Check out the much-loved Elvis and Tom Jones impersonators at Radio City instead: the most fun you'll have with the performers' clothes on.
Patpong 1, Silom Road. Saladaeng BTS Station.
A quintessential Lower East Side bar. Cool but not in a too-cool-for-school sense. Trashy but in a retro suburban American living room way. A top mixture of locals, visitors, workers and hipsters all quenching their thirst on $1.50 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon at the tiny bar. Very fond memories of working downtown during a harsh New York winter and venturing out in a balaclava to brave the elements in search of a drink. This bar was always the first port of call. Great jukebox, great characters.
123 Rivington Street (between Essex and Norfolk St)
The Harry’s Restaurant & Lounge Bar is set in an ideal location, along the promenade of Oludeniz. The views from the rooftop are amazing especially during the evening when you can watch the sunset and enjoy a few cocktails and some music. During the daytime, The Harry’s Restaurant is a great place if you want to watch the adventurous tourists and co-pilots land their paragliders while you eat. Worth a visit!
The Chiringuito-with-No-Name at El Palmar beach, located half-way between Tarifa and Cadiz on the Atlantic coast is my favourite beach bar in all Europe.
This modest, unassuming shanty serves tinto de verano, a refreshing red wine and soda mix, boquerones (delicious deep-fried anchovies) and other tasty snacks. The charm of this secret gem lies in its unspoiled nature and totally undeveloped facilities. El Palmar is a deserted stretch of sandy, wind-blasted beach that goes on as far as the eye can see. There are no high rise concrete hotel blocks, no fancy restaurants, no lager louts demanding full English breakfasts.
Almost everyone in the bar is a local: either a crusty old fisherman taking a break from putting out the nets to discuss the tide and have a cold beer, surfer dudes or youngsters who come to watch the last 'golden ray' of the sunset while listening to local rock bands. It's always very, very windy here and there is little shade from the intense sun, except in the bar!
The bar can only be reached by car on route A-48 (autovia de la Costa de la Luz)
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