A stand-out bar wedged in between the Grassmarket and the go-go bars of the West Port. The best cocktails in town cosy up to flock wallpaper, choice pieces of furniture, friendly and unpretentious service, uniquely decorated walls, and a carefully programmed iPod. The icing on the cake is the grand’s worth of collectable adidas trainers topping the best stocked bar in Edinburgh. She's a peach, but is also very small, and it can be tough to get a seat. Mine’s an Ape Expectations.
52 West Port, Edinburgh, EH1 2LD;
tel: 0131 228 4543;
This converted prison on the small island of Langholmen was home to Stockholm’s most notorious criminals until 1975. It now serves as an inexpensive hotel/hostel where the former cells have been turned into rooms, complete with original doors and small windows (minus the iron bars). Rooms are pretty basic, as you’d expect, but the building itself is impressive and has retained loads of authentic features. It’s absolutely vast, and has a restaurant, bar, cafe and museum. The traditional Swedish breakfast is worth paying extra for but we were disappointed not to see porridge on the menu.
Langholmsmuren 20, Gamla Kronohaktet, Langholmen; nearest station is Hornstull;
A great restaurant-cum-bar-cum-gig venue overlooking the island of Gamla Stan and beyond. We visited on a Friday night and dined in a cosy alcove with a buzzy atmosphere and saw a Swedish blues band perform live in front of an arty/folky audience. The venue also plays host to comedians and magicians, which can make for an evening of random fun.
Walk up the hill from Slussen or take the Gondala lift for about £1 and walk accross the Mosebacke bridge;
Mosebacke torg 3, 116 46;
tel: 08 5560 9890
Decorated with a fully wooden interior and resembling the original Cotton Club, this wonderful and cosy bistro awaits you from early in the morning for coffee until late at night. It's food menu is also exquisite. Every night there’s live music.
3 Kolokotroni Street (shopping arcade) opposite the Old Parliament, next to Habitat; nearest metro station: Syntagma. tel: 210 331 4915
One of the friendliest places in Athens and maybe the only venue for great live jazz music in this city by some of the world's most renowned jazz musicians. The place can be packed on Saturday nights and if Milo Z happens to be around with his band it's going to be just another crazy party!
Trivonianou Street, Mets;
Tucked in Panormou Street, it's a hipster, slightly left-of-centre hangout that would probably suit a Guardian reader just fine. Some of the best funk music you can find in Athens and drinks that would probably count as quintiple portions over here.
Nearest metro station: Panormou
This year's swinging bar in the Kolonaki area of Athens is called (Perfect) TEN, by the same people who brought us Sol y Mar in Myconos (or so I am told). Uplifting music, very friendly service despite the fact that you can't move in the place. Cool fun but avoid it on Saturdays if you can.
Ploutarchou Street, Kolonaki
This area is a little warren of streets radiating out from Iroon Square. It’s close to Monastiraki, but being just a fraction further from the Agora and Acropolis, it’s a bit cheaper. There are lots of restaurants, bars and cafes all close by so you can just pick whichever place looks most tempting on the night.
Just north of Metro Monastiriki
The closest you’ll get to an authentic Irish pub in Peru – crowded, noisy and fun, it’s a far cry from the pre-packaged, Guinness pie and Irish stew-serving theme bars that usually masquerade as such. What with the smoke hanging in the air, it may in fact be more Irish than the Irish pubs themselves.
Next to the Cathedral, on the corner of Calles Triunfo and Arequipa, up the stairs.
Address: Calle Triunfo 124, Plaza de Armas, Cuzco
On the Hilton Hotel's top floor this is one of the hippest and most elegant bars in Athens. A huge variety of cocktails and tasty finger food at somewhat high prices in Wallpaper-like surroundings. Bonus: a stunning view of the Acropolis that will impress you unless you are an Athenian and used to it.
Hilton Hotel, Athens
One of the very first bars to open in the up and coming area of Gazi, Nipiagogeio (as its name suggests) used to be a kindergarten, before it turned into one of the most renowned freestyle bars in Athens. Decoration still keeps a kindergarten theme, particularly in the bar's cosy courtyard (open in summer). People are generally unpretentious and in the mood for dancing, whatever is on offer by the guest DJ.
8, Kleanthous Street and Elasidon, Gazi;
tel: 210 345 8534
A great place in busy Kyriazi Street in Kifissia, close to stores such as Celine, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, Zara and Tsouderos (ah those fabulous and oh-so-reasonably-priced shoes and DKNY bags). Great drinks, beautiful people, amazing music in this hip bar in one of the most beautiful leafy suburbs in Athens.
Kyriazi street, Kifissia
Apart from the good-value hearty portions of delicious food (the best stoemp in Brussels) and good beer, this laid back cafe bar is really worth visiting for the friendly staff who will really make you feel at home despite being rushed off their feet!
Rue des Chartreux. Near Bourse
As far as nightlife is concerned, I would recommend the above three bars. The first is situated in the area of Galatsi, to the north of the city centre and very close to a green hill called Alsos Galatsiou, with stunning panoramic views of Athens, which you can enjoy at Zeppelin Bar. Galatsi Hill also boasts a summer open air cinema snuggled among the pine trees.
I also recommend Thirio bar in Psyrri for lovers of funk, electronic "ethnic" and rock sounds and would suggest Bar Guru Bar (a trendy multicultural area behind Sophocleous str) for its great Thai decor and lovely cocktails (also serves Thai cuisine).
Kibubu - on Galatsiou ave
Thirio - Psyrri, very near Iroon sq just ask
Bar Guru Bar - Theatrou Sq, Athens (centre)
There are lots of places to get a decent beer in Copenhagen, from bars to cafes, bodegas to basements, but there aren't many places with something other than Carlsberg and Tuborg on tap.
The Lord Nelson is a relatively new bar in a cosy basement on Hyskenstræde, just off Strøget. They have many different beers from micro-breweries all over Denmark, including dark and fruit beer. Definitely the place to go to break away from the city wide lager monopoly.
In a basement on Hyskenstræde, just off Strøget
Trendy gay bar in the buzzing Gazi area. Large windows which are opened up in the summer allow the gorgeous folk of Athens to spill out across the pavement and talk, listen to the music and watch the world go by. There is table service for your drinks too. An ideal place to start your night out (from 11pm!)
Konstantinoupoleos 84, Gazi
A very cool rooftop bar with open-air pool at this design hotel, great views of the city skyline. Good DJs (look out for resident DJ Sacha) and great drinks. They even project stylish films onto a neighbouring tower block. Go after dark, and enjoy.
Habita, Avenida Presidente Masaryk 201 Colonia Polanco 11560 México, DF; tel: +52 (55) 5282-3100
A well-established Shoreditch favourite that consistently manages to remain just the right side of cool to keep the style-conscious local crowd happy, yet relaxed enough to still be welcoming to out of town incomers to EC2. Inventively taking the name from its previous incarnation as a leather goods store, this bar has ever-changing murals inside which keep the decor evolving. It’s a fairly small place with an additional bar and seating area downstairs. Local DJs ensure things are busier and more lively on the weekends.
34 - 36 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch
(Nearest tubes: Old Street or Liverpool Street)
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