Good vibe, great atmosphere. The candlelit interior of this bar is a perfect place to chill out in Krakow. You’ll find it in a little courtyard just behind Rynek Glowny. The decor is burgundy and red punctuated by Indian and Asian artefacts. Find yourself a seat, order a beer or vodka from the friendly staff, take a sip and relax. Perfect!
Rynek Glowny 6;
tel: 12 421 6522;
A cafe at the junction in a one-horse town is an entertaining place to see other adventurers stop and decide whether to turn right or left. Half the vehicles return to take the alternative whilst the other half simply go back from whence they came. The more chilled out have refreshment first.
Santa Innes (also called Saint Agnes) is accessible by car.
I know ... why go to an Irish bar when on holiday in the South of France? But, to be honest, there are not too many Irish people about, and not much Irish music either! A good mixture of music, from chart music to 1980s French rock, its a great place to spend your Saturday night/Sunday morning.
Vieux Port - 17, Quai de Rive Neuve;
Metro: Vieux Port
Cafe Panam is a small French Bistro and one of a kind in Chengdu. While it doesn't serve the local cuisine it is a hot spot for French speaking Chinese, and those who just want a nice glass of wine.
143 Kehua Bei Lu, 2nd Floor, next to the Good Wood Coffee House;
tel: Chloe, +86 13880271515 or David, +86 13438094591
Cafe Mambo is a legend in it's own cocktail hour. Expect to rub shoulders with the celebrity set while taking in Ibiza's legendary sunset. It's also where to catch the world's biggest DJs playing their warm up sets before heading on to Pacha.
This July it will be hosting guest DJ sets from Satoshi Tomiie, Hector Romero, Wally Lopez, Lisa Lashes (exclusive Dirty Breaks set), Axwell, Roger Sanchez and special guest Tom Novy. Be there and be the envy of your mates back home.
C/ Vara de Rey, San Antonio, Ibiza;
Novocaina is a traditional Italian restaurant, newly opened in the heart of Wroclaw's market square.
It's a unique experience; a balance between outstanding tradtional cuisine and a stylish contemporary approach to interior design... not so modern in style... you can find there a mixture of Baroque and Art Nouveau, simply feel the rhythm of wood, brass, patina gold and the majesty of claret filling the view.
All the flavours are a link between fully organic ingredients, ancient recipies, hard work and passion. Created in a tradtional sandstone stove eg. pizza rustica.
The menu is quite colorful, still growing and changing the flavours, love the pasta menu... a dinner menu for 2 (with wine and drinks) is about £20-30, a pint of beer is only £1 !!! A really rich selection of drinks and cocktails (cheap as well)... my favourite NOVOCAINA (whiskey, amaretto, espresso, cream).
A place for people who love Italian cuisine, great ambience with a hint of chillout and lounge music... it's a fab place to be, to meet and to enjoy...
Rynek 13, Wroclaw, Poland
Tel 00 48 71 3436915
Two restaurants side by side in Gamla Stan (the old town): the Grill serves great steaks, burgers, beers and cocktails, the Bistro excellent modern French and Swedish food and good French wine. I've been countless times and always been utterly charmed by the food and people.
Österlångg 14, Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden
Norrmalm isn't the most interesting or pretty area, but it's the main shopping district and good department stores such as NK, PUB and Åhlens are here, and so is the Central Station. There's a nice bar/brasserie at the top end of the main shopping street, Drottninggatan, called Grill.
Designtorget is a great design shop at the bottom of Sergels Torg, which is a big square near the central station. Kulturhuset – called 'the living room in the city' - is here, with interesting exhibitions/plays, nice café/restaurant with great views, and a good shop downstairs.
Another good cafe is Vetekatten, which is on Kungsgatan. Hötorget has a good outdoor market selling lots of nice things including handicraft. Kungsgatan is a long long street with lots of shops, and leads down to Stureplan which is a major meeting place. Kungsträdgården has many cafes and restaurants, and leads up to the Opera, the Royal Castle and the Parliament.
A few good bars/restaurants:
KGB Bar and Restaurant on Malmskillnadsgatan – nice friendly bar with classic Soviet theme.
Halv Trappa plus Gård on Lästmakargatan – good food, good tunes, good cocktails.
Operakällaren/Bakfickan in Karl XII’s Torg near Kungsträdgården – food in the main restaurant is very expensive, but Bakfickan is good value with excellent food.
Sophies Bar on Biblioteksgatan – usually a good nightspot for some good cocktails, but sometimes full of people with way too much money, which tends to affect the atmosphere.
Fasching on Kungsgatan is a great night out - it's a jazz club that's been around for ages, and has a great soul night on Saturdays if you're up for some dancin'.
If you're after Asian food, a good bet is to check Luntmakargatan, which runs parallel to Sveavägen, which is like a mini-Chinatown. There are a couple of good Korean and Japanese restaurants there.
Gamla Stan is the old town of Stockholm, with narrow cobbled little streets. Lots of medieval history and the Royal Castle, Storkyrkan (oldest church in town), and Stortorget (where the bloodbath of Stockholm took place in the 16th century. Check out the red brick building with white stones on one side of the square - the white stones denote how many people got their head chopped off. Nice!).
There are plenty of medieval cafes to head into for lunch or fika (morning or afternoon tea/coffee break) - sitting sipping hot chocolate in a medieval stone cellar complete with arches and stuff is exciting for most people. Chokladkoppen on Stortorget is always good, and so is Kaffegillet on Trångsund.
Västerlånggatan is the main drag, but sadly quite touristy these days. But if you're in the business of getting some reindeer slippers or the like, this is where to go. Österlånggatan is nicer, with little antiques shops and galleries. Next to Gamla Stan is Riddarholmen, which also has lots of history. The Parliament and the beautiful Riddarholmskyrkan church are located here.
Good places for food/drink:
Pontus in the Green House on Österlånggatan (good for lunch) - traditional Swedish cuisine but with an exotic twist.
Pontus by the Sea on Skeppsbrokajen (good for lunch) - see above.
Grill Ruby on Österlånggatan (lunch) - brasserie.
Källaren Movitz on Tyska Brinken – doesn’t look that special, but the restaurant downstairs is good for Swedish food.
Järnet Matsal & Bar on Österlånggatan is cosy and does good food.
Engelen/Kolingen on Kornhamnstorg - a nice old-school type of place where you're pretty much guaranteed to get a good night out.
Walk from Norrmalm along Drottninggatan towards the Houses of Parliament, or northwards from Slussen.
Södermalm (normally just Söder) - old working class area that has seen a revival in the last 10-15 years or so and is now oh so trendy. It's a very expensive area to live, but a good place for going out. The district commonly known as SoFo (south of Folkungagatan/east of Götgatan, two of the main roads in Söder) has many funky shops, good bars and nice restaurants, especially close to Nytorget which is a cute little square.
Folkhemmet on Renstiernas Gata is a nice bar/restaurant and generally the streets around Bondegatan and Skånegatan are filled with shops and places to go out. Götgatsbacken (leading up from Slussen) also has good cafes, bars and shops. A nice walk is to start at Mosebacke Torg and walk along the waterfront to Fjällgatan for spectacular views and a bit of cultural heritage.
Or turn the other way (i.e. westwards) and walk along Söder Mälarstrand and end up in Skinnarviksparken which has one of the highest points in Stockholm from where you can take some great touristy photos of the view.
Also, a must! Gondolen is a very posh restaurant at the top of Slussen, which is between Söder and Gamla Stan. You take the Katarinahissen lift up to the restaurant from Slussen, and the views are spectacular. The food is excellent but quite pricey, but I normally take people there for a drink just to admire the view. Vinbaren, which is downstairs from Gondolen is a good little place offering a more reasonably priced menu, especially for lunch. At the top bit (i.e. where Gondolen is) there is a place called Mosebacke (in Mosebacke Torg), which is a great club/hang-out place. Most Saturdays, there's a club there called Blacknuss which is really good. Kind of jazzy/funky. Great views as well if you sit outside. They also do jazz brunches on Sundays.
Kvarnen on Tjärhovsgatan is a classic old beerhall with good food, and has two good bars/clubs at the back and downstairs.
Other good places:
Pelikan on Blekingegatan – reasonably priced Scandinavian food.
Hannas Krog on Skånegatan – good lunch menu and good DJs after dark.
La Cuccaracha on Bondegatan is a good Spanish restaurant with good atmosphere.
WC Bar & Diner on Skånegatan – good food and good drinks. Gets very busy so get here early.
Street Restaurant by Hornstulls Strand (Hornstull tube) - bit of a trek, but worth it. Street itself is 'Stockholm's version of Camden Lock' so there's lots of fun things going on. It's just by the water which is nice and the food is good too.
South of Gamla Stan/Old Town, above the Slussen area, or take the tube to Medborgarplatsen.
This is a real gem away from the hordes on Broad Street. The Custard Factory is an arts complex with a very large and very nice bar inside. Hoxton ish vibe (if a bit glossier and friendlier), Hoxtonish prices too, sadly. Outdoor events around the emptied swimming pool are fun, but it's always pretty crowded.
The area just outside of the Custard Factory has evolved alongside it, and now has shisha bars for post party chillouts, and nice looking hangouts.
In Digbeth (Gibb Street).
This very friendly gay/lesbian bar has a wide selection of wines and other drinks. Generous portions of freshly-prepared snacks are also available.
Also worth a visit for the super murals on the wall, and it offers a showcase for local artists working in various media.
Clientele is mainly, but not exclusively, lesbian and gay.
5 rue Halévy, 06000 Nice
Tel +33 04 93 87 07 04
A very swanky bar which boasts a fantastic view over Stockholm. It is quite pricey and gets very busy in the evening, but go there for an afternoon drink and you can enjoy the magnificent view pretty much alone.
Tranan serves old-fashioned, home-made meatballs with lingonberry jam and pickled cucumbers, at a very reasonable price. If they're not on the menu, just ask for them. After dinner you can go downstairs to the bar and enjoy cool music while rubbing shoulders with trendy media-types.
Karlbergsvägen 14, T Odenplan
0046 8 527 281 00
An excellent institution, which sometimes confuses European visitors. The acronym means "bring your own", i.e. alcohol when you dine at a restaurant.
Formerly almost ubiquitous, the practice is becoming less common - some say even dying out - no doubt to the pleasure of many Sydney restaurateurs.
It makes dining far more affordable than when you have to include the restaurant's alcohol mark-up, which is usually greater than on anything else you consume.
It also means you can occasionally splash out on a very nice bottle - of Hunter Valley Semillon, say - to accompany a spread of Sydney seafood without worrying about your starving bank account.
BYO is more common at medium range and casual restaurants.
Behind the bars and cafes that front Barcelona's marina in the redeveloped old port, the five and six storey blocks, once home to seamen and dockers in the nineteenth century, now house a mix of workers, students and a few self-catering tourists, like us.
Vaguely uneasy on our first evening in the dark narrow streets, we heard the jazz from "el fil Ferr" and went for a beer in the lively bar. Run by an energetic young trio, it offers light meals - meat if you want it, but try the deliciously varied vegetarian plate.
The wall posters speak of leftish politics; the clientele seemed to be doing the same, but exchanged smiles and a few friendly words in English in return for our attempts at Catalan. No other Brits in sight.
Two minutes from Barceloneta beach; closed Mondays; el fil Ferr, carrer Sant Carles 29, Barceloneta; Tel 93 221 98 36
Dar Cherisa is a lovingly restored town house that is a wonderful place to have a tea/fruit juice or even lunch. You can sit in the courtyard, one of the rooms or on the terrace. There are also art exhibitions and books on Marrakech to leaf through. Well indicated, it's in the Mouassine part of the Medina.
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