5 Amazing Bars in Europe to Visit
The recipe for a decent bar is simple enough. Mix equal parts atmosphere, location, crowd, and good vibes, add a dash of reasonably-priced booze, and chances are you’ve got a pretty good place to reflect on a day of travels or to meet a few friends. The recipe for a truly epic bar is less obvious. It sometimes costs a little extra, and is much more subjective. But if you walk into one of these 5 great bars in Europe, you’ll know you’ve arrived someplace special.
Bars in Europe
Candelaria – Paris, France
Paris may have started out with a more traditional approach to alcohol consumption. But these days, it’s easy to track down some of Europe’s most trendy bars in most of the city’s 20 arrondissements. Standing head and shoulders above most, though, is Candelaria. This hip bar burst onto the scene as the adventurous newcomer. Several years later, it’s still one of the most progressive bars in Paris.
Expect: A constantly changing cocktail menu that challenges your senses and taste buds, set in a cosy taqueria-style atmosphere.
Find it: 52 Rue de Saintonge.
Nevermind – Barcelona, Spain
Picking the best bar in a city whose first three letters form the word itself is not an easy task. Barcelona has dozens of legendary places to kick back and enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two, from classic absinthe bars to stunning panoramic rooftop terraces. If you want to cut through the glitz and glamour and dabble only in the punkish and unpretentious, push through the nondescript doors of Nevermind. Inside you’ll find a fantasy world that operates on its own terms, in one of the most absorbing bars in Europe.
Expect: Cheap alcohol, loud music, lots of tattoos, and plenty of skateboards (including a skateable bowl in the back).
Find it: Carrer dels Tallers 68 (there’s also another Nevermind bar at Carrer d’Escudellers Blancs 3).
Website: Nevermind Facebook
Park – Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is hardly spoilt for choice when it comes to nightlife, beautiful people, and beautiful views. You can combine all three at one of the city’s famous rooftop bars, which are dotted throughout the city. Park, situated at the top of a stark multi-story parking lot, gets the mix just right. Get there early for the late afternoon sunset views, and hang around ’till late as popular DJs set the tone for an all-night party.
Expect: Toned down hipsters, plenty of foliage, a laid-back atmosphere, and stunning 180-degree views over the city below.
Find it: Calçada do Combro 58.
Website: Park Bar Facebook
Szimpla Kert – Budapest, Hungary
Budapest’s ruin pubs may no longer be the secret of the well-heeled traveler, but that’s no reason to avoid them. These laid-back atmospheric speakeasy style bars are dotted throughout the city’s once neglected buildings, and each local has his or her favourite. While many will turn a nose up at the thought of heading to the best known of the city’s ruin pubs, there’s a charm and appeal to Szimpla Kert that absorbs you from the moment you set foot inside. Though it’s not uncommon for a rowdy foreign bachelor party to ruin the vibe, on most nights Szimpla finds a good balance between unpretentious, authentic, and welcoming that’ll keep you coming back for more.
Expect: Mismatched chairs, broken television sets, sticky bar counters, cheap booze, rickety spiral staircases, plenty of chatty tourists, and a healthy mix of local revellers.
Find it: Kazinczy u. 14, 1075.
Buck & Breck – Berlin, Germany
Berlin’s bar and nightlife scene is constantly evolving in an attempt to beat out the strong competition. But not the insanely popular Buck & Breck. This speakeasy style bar has barely changed its winning formula since it opened. And that’s a good thing. The small, windowless bar has no obvious entrance – you’ll have to ring for entry and hope for the best. But once inside, you’ll find an atmosphere and drinks menu so enthralling that you’ll be torn between Instagramming it to the world, or keeping it all to yourself.
Expect: Cosy and traditional speakeasy vibes with a mature list of cocktails and alcoholic beverages.
Find it: 177 Brunnenstrasse.
There’s no shortage of great bars in Europe. It’s true that on your average Eurail trip, many of your best nights out won’t be at a legendary bar that everyone’s talking about – they’ll be at a small, dimly-lit dive bar tucked away far from the main tourist drag. But every now and again, it’s nice to go to a popular venue, treat yourself to an expertly mixed drink, and reflect on the good life decisions you made that got you through those doors.