7 Must-Visit European Cafés for Coffee Lovers

There’s really only one way to start your day when on your Eurail trip. And that’s with an authentic cup of coffee in one of the continent’s legendary European cafés. Whether it’s an exotic blend served in the ultimate hipster hovel, or a functional double espresso slapped down on the standing-room-only counter in front of you, it’s sure to get your day of traveling off to the right start.

European cafés

Bar Mexico | Naples, Italy

There’s something remarkably direct and yet wildly theatrical about Bar Mexico‘s café. With its solid reputation, I expected queues of Yelp-checking tourists cocking an ear to frustrated staff. Instead, I got a room full of functional Neapolitan coffee drinkers on their way to work and a straight up piping hot espresso slid onto the bar counter in front of me, pulled by a focused elderly man wearing a crisp uniform and two-point white side hat.

Insider tip: Order an espresso con panna. The cream takes the edge off the potent cup of coffee.

How to get there: Caffè Mexico is located on Via Toledo. It’s opposite Piazza Dante-port’alba and a short walk from the Dante metro station serviced by the L1 train.

La Bicicleta Café | Madrid, Spain

There’s only one neighborhood to get a coffee (or beer) in Madrid these days, and that’s in the vibrant Malasaña. The effortlessly cool La Bicicleta Café is at its epicenter. You can expect a variety of expertly poured coffees, though the flat white is the winner here. And as Madrid’s first cycling café, you’ll be drinking it beneath vintage fixies, bicycle-related artwork, and amongst the city’s coolest caffeine addicts.

Insider tip: Bring your laptop to catch up on emails or plan your trip. The WiFi is good, plug points abound, and the staff are very cool about you setting up camp.

How to get there: The café is in the Plaza de San Ildefonso 9 on the corner of Colón, Barco and Corredera Baja de San Pablo.

Satan’s Coffee Corner | Barcelona, Spain

A photo posted by SATAN’S (@satanscoffeecorner) on

Barcelona has had a recent surge in outstanding coffee shops, including the likes of Federal and Granja Petitbo. But there’s something about Satan’s Coffee Corner that makes it instantly likeable. The relaxed, laidback atmosphere, minimalist décor, and friendly staff set the right tone. The potent coffees and perfect location in the heart of the Gothic Quarter finish it off.

Insider tip: Go hungry at all times of the day – the food is as good as the coffee.

How to get there: Make your way to Carrer de l’Arc de Sant Ramón del Call 11. It’s a short walk west from La Rambla and the Liceu metro station.

Sankt Oberholz | Berlin, Germany

A photo posted by Sankt Oberholz (@oberholz) on

Choosing a favorite coffee shop in Berlin is nigh impossible. Dozens of so-called Third Wave establishments rival the best cafés in the world on selection, quality, atmosphere, and the all-important European Cafés Hipster Scale (I’m looking at you Distrikt, Five Elephant, and The Barn). But there’s something about Sankt Oberholz that spoke to the nomadic traveler in me. Perfect coffee aside, the remote-working, laptop-centric atmosphere is as addictive as the caffeinated beverages they serve at an alarming rate.

Insider tip: If you’re in town for a few days, take things to the next level by renting a desk in their buzzing co-working space.

How to get there: There are three branches in the city. The main branch is at Rosenthaler Strasse 72A, a few feet from Rosenthaler Platz U-Bahn station.

Winkel 43 | Amsterdam, Netherlands

While Amsterdam may have a completely different interpretation of the traditional coffee shop, it’s not to say the city doesn’t know how to make a good cup of java. Despite the arrival of several popular coffee roasters, including the celebrated Screaming Beans, there’s something about the vintage no-frills atmosphere of Winkel 43 that still wins over hearts, minds, and tastebuds.

Insider tip: The coffee is good, but you’re really going here for the apple pie.

How to get there: Winkel 43 is at Noordermarkt 43 and walking distance from Nieuwezijds Kolk tram stop.

Drop Coffee |Stockholm, Sweden

A photo posted by Hostelworld (@hostelworld) on

Drop Coffee serves up a cup of liquid gold in true Swedish style and to exacting standards. The owner-run café has a strong community and fair-trade focus, and they combine this with a passion for pouring the perfect cup. Of course, being Stockholm, the interior is as pleasing as the coffee. There’s also a good chance you’ll be tempted to stay for breakfast or lunch when you see the menu.

Insider tip: Purchase a bag of beans to go – they sell most of their varieties in store.

How to get there: You’ll reach Drop Coffee at Wollmar Yxkullsgatan 10 in Södermalm. Take the metro to Mariatorget.

Tamp and Pull | Budapest, Hungary

Budapest has seen a steady rise in quirky eateries, bars and coffee shops. The cozy Tamp and Pull takes their coffee very seriously. The passionate barista uses a wide range of techniques and beans to create caffeinated masterpieces. And whether you choose to settle in for a few hours, or take your coffee to go, you’ll be sure to schedule in a return visit before you leave the city.

Insider tip: Get your coffee to go and find a spot along the nearby Danube to enjoy it.

How to get there: You can find Tamp and Pull on Váci út 85. It’s a short walk from the Great Market Hall and the Danube.

Few experiences are as satisfying as unfolding your rail map on the café table and deciding where to go next. If you arm yourself with a Eurail Global Pass, there’s no reason why you can’t visit the best European cafés in a single journey.

If you liked reading about European cafés:
Top 10 wine regions in Europe by train
Central Europe’s top 10 beer destinations
Unexpectedly great foodie cities in Europe