Just for the company and architecture of the main ground floor bar itself. A regular locals haunt, which accommodates visitors as well. There’s also a well-known venue for various folk and comedy clubs.
Corner of St Andrew Street and Exchequer Street.
(Aim for Brown & Thomas on Grafton Street, 200yards away or just ask a local)
A large cafe/bar/restaurant with a great atmosphere, cheap food and good service. It’s a lovely place to sit and watch people. I highly recommend their unique hot chocolate, it tastes like hot chocolate mousse. They have vanilla and hazelnut flavour as well. It gets very busy after concerts as all the performers go there. There’s frequent live music as well.
Prid Dvorom, by the clock tower at the end of the Stradum;
tel: 020 321 414
Small, completely unpretentious restaurant/bar serving a stunning selection of tapas, raciones, meals, including great ibérico hams, bull tail, lamb sweet breads etc. Good wines, and low prices.
C/ La Torre, 8 Jerez; tel: 32 29 15
This outdoor bar is situated on the banks of the Spree river, facing Bar 25 on the opposite side. But it is much more relaxed and far less posh and swanky. There’s a few different areas: a sandy beach to sit down with a cocktail, an open-air dance floor, a restaurant and even a pool table under one of the trees. At night, little chandeliers and a cosy campfire are lit and the whole place takes on an enchanted-wood-style atmosphere.
Köpeniker Strasse 48/49;
Viper Rooms is a bar-cum-nightclub with live bands.
This is just the coolest place to hang out in Dublin, you can chill at the bar or dance yourself dizzy underground in the club. A wicked night out on both Friday and Saturday.
5 Aston Quay, Dublin
This is a combined bar, cafe/deli, restaurant and club with an excellent location on the Esplanade. The punters can sometimes be a bit bland (office girls and suits on the prowl) but the food is good and the Kellobaari at the back is pretty cool.
Teatteri, Pohjoisesplanadi, Helsinki;
This casual place has a brilliant location right on the Esplanade. Downstairs is a self-service cafe; upstairs, the comfortable library bar and a restaurant serving Scandinavian/Continental food.
A Mexican bar/restaurant found on Broughton Street. The food is pretty basic fare, but is a reasonable price and the restaurant is always busy. It's a great place to go for lunch or a light evening meal or even just some drinks with friends, with a good atmosphere and a great location.
It's simple, but effective.
This gigantic new cafe bar is located just west of the main shopping area in Henry Street and is probably the classiest place to have a snack and a drink on the northside.
It’s located in an 18th-century baroque former church, which has been restored in a reasonably sensitive manner. The church has an interesting history, with associations with Wolfe Tone, the Guinness family, Jonathan Swift, Sean O'Casey and John Wesley. Its new incarnation as a bar (Wesley must be rolling in his grave) only started in December 2005 and has yet to really find its feet - the service and food were quite erratic on my two visits.
However, it’s well worth a look in, even if just to admire the architecture. If they get the food and service right, this could soon be one of the classiest venues in the city.
This spacious bar is in a former sausage factory. Bench seating makes it great for large groups of people to talk, as there is no TV or loud music. The amazing, tapas-style food is reasonably priced and excellent for both carnivores and vegetarians. The bar attracts locals and not too many tourists.
14a Fade Street, just a few minutes east of Grafton Street
A small - and always packed - bar in Gamla Stan. It's nominally gay, but always has a very mixed crowd with a real buzz. Like all bars in Sweden, it also serves food and here it's not just a thoughtless add-on to the bar: good, imaginative, fusion food. Your only problem will be finding a table.
Österlånggatan 7, Gamla Stan; tel: 08 206 055; nearest metro: Gamla Stan
Please be aware that the bar called Le Tof is as gay as Wetherspoons. It is full of overtly heterosexual punters who kept on reminding us that being gay is barely tolerated in France. Any self respecting gay person should avoid this place at all costs. Rather go to the Clubhouse, where being gay is accepted as a natural occurence.
The charm of this place overcomes its theme-park tackiness, despite the fake fairy-tale forest, waterfall and out-of-place four-poster bed which you’re frustratingly not aloud to lie on. Great for a first date as long as it's not a local.
Passatge de la Banca 7; nearest metro: Drassanes
Just behind the legendary Boqueria market, this is best practice in regeneration. It has an eclectic design, sunny terrace by day and discrete candle-light by night as well as best value multicultural dishes. Inclusive and yet trendy. Great brekkie and home-made milkshakes.
Plaça de la Gardunya 7; tel: 00 34 93 3014 163; nearest metro: Liceu
This is a small, atmospheric bar hidden in a side street just off the beaten track of the Fressgass. It has two floors and if you go upstairs there's a very novel way of getting your drinks. You lean over a railing to the bar below and shout down your order, which is placed in a basket on a rope. You then haul it up to access your beverages.
There's usually unobtrusive jazz playing, as the name suggests, and it's all very laid back and friendly. Don't go in large numbers though as there's limited space.
Kleinen Bockenheimer Str 12
This is a fun, cozy bar, filled with locals, with great live music (usually rock with a jazzy twist) in a funky neighborhood called Kitai Gorod. There are three 'mini' bars within the small cellar space, one of the bars is actually an airplane wing, hence the name. Dancing takes place in one of the small bar rooms, the other is for sitting and chatting, and the larger space has the band.
Proyezd Lubyansky 25, the Russian name of the bar is Kitaysky Lyotchik Dzhao-Da; nearesy metro: Kitai Gorod
A bar, a lounge and a swanky restaurant. From the summer through to mid-October, there is a gorgeous patio (blankets and heaters supplied for cool autumn days). The bar food includes one of the best hamburgers I've ever had, great chips, fresh salads and more.
7 Maly Palashevsky Per; nearest metro: Pushkinskaya; www.scandinavia.ru
An open air DJ bar with an underground flavour. Held every Friday and Saturday night in summertime (weather permitting) the DJs spin a plethora of discs ranging from electropunk to drum 'n' bass via goa trance, acid house and the occasionally rather commercial dance set. The party is held in what is known as the Royal Park opposite the Royal Palace and starts around 11 in the evening, steaming on until the early hours (6-7am, although the party ended earlier last summer).
It's best to have a meeting place in case you get lost as the crowds are thick and it's easy to misplace friends in the happy chaos. Drink prices are average for Brussels (ie cheaper than most expat bars).
Le Parc de Bruxelles, opposite the Royal Palace; nearest metro: Kunst-Wet/Arts-Loi;
Godzilla hostel is the only hostel in Moscow located inside the Garden Ring (the avenue that circles the centre of Moscow). Not many people know about it, but it's quite a nice place with dorm rooms, kitchen, shared bath and toilet. A bed is $25 (£15) per night.
Bolshoy Karetny 6, ap 5; nearest metro: Tsvetnoy Boulevard or Tverskaya; www.godzillashostel.com
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