As much fun as a few drinks in your local pub with a few friends is, there is something to be said for exploring and discovering new places to quench your thirst on a night out. For the adventurous type, there are hundreds of strange, quirky and incredibly cool bars around the world which provide a surreal setting for your evening. These are the type of places where you walk through the front door and feel like you have stepped into an alternate reality, and it is sure to be a memorable evening once the drinks start flowing.
9. CHILL Ice House – Canada
There are dozens of cool ice bars that have popped up all around the world and they are all a unique and fun drinking experience, but the greatest ice bar in the world is found in Toronto. At Chill Ice House, absolutely everything is made from ice including the walls, bar, furniture and even the glasses that you drink from. The interior changes regularly and beautiful ice sculptures will be created to reflect the current theme, and this makes it a unique experience every time you visit. It is a fun, family attraction during the day, but in the evening the drinks flow, the music blasts and it becomes one of the liveliest and best bars in all of Canada. Be sure to check the calendar to see what brilliant events and themes are coming up for when you visit.
8. Red Sea Star – Israel
If you have ever wanted to see beautiful fish, coral and other sea life without having to get wet, then Red Sea Star in Eilat is perfect for you. Found six meters underwater, Red Sea Star is a fantastic and unique aquatic experience where you can enjoy some fine food and several drinks underwater and with stunning views out into the ocean through large and strangely shaped windows. The inside is also marine themed, with jellyfish stools, anemone lighting and urchin cushions. The Red Sea Star is also the only night-time underwater observatory, where soft light is used to reveal the natural habitat without disturbing it. This means that Red Sea Star is a brilliant place to eat and drink both during the day and at night, and you will be in awe of the sights that you see out the window as you relax and enjoy a few drinks.
7. Floyd’s Pelican Bar – Jamaica
One of the best kept secrets in the world, Floyd’s Pelican Bar is almost invisible from land. Sat around a mile off the south coast of Jamaica in Parottee Bay, Floyd’s is reached by local fisherman taking you out on a boat trip which takes about 20 minutes. Situated on a small sand bar, Floyd’s is made entirely of drift wood which gives it a very natural and laid back atmosphere. You can either hang out in the bar with Floyd and drink beers, play dominoes and eat delicious lobster or fish, or alternatively you can have a few drinks and swim in the surrounding ocean water (it’s only waist deep) or sunbathe. Quite possibly the most chilled out bar in the entire world, you may even get to see some brilliant wildlife with stingrays and dolphins often spotted, and of course the occasional pelican.
6. Alux Restaurant Bar & Lounge – Mexico
Certainly one of the most unique and striking bars around the world, Alux Restaurant Bar & Lounge is found in Playa Del Carmen and is actually situated inside a cavern. Quite literally a hole in the ground, visitors must descend the stairs where you will then see the stunning chambers which you can walk through with lights that come on as you move around. The breathtaking stalagmites and stalactites are lit up a variation of colors, providing the perfect natural décor which almost feels like a nightclub. There is plenty to explore and see, but it is also an excellent restaurant and the lounge area has a great atmosphere with brilliant views of the stalagmites and stalactites. All of the coolest things happen underground, and Alux Restaurant Bar & Lounge is no exception. This place is a must-visit for anyone visiting Playa Del Carmen and looking for a memorable night out.
5. Baobab Bar – South Africa
If you are searching for a surreal drinking experience, Baobab Bar in Limpopo, South Africa, is a must-visit. The bar is contained within a beautiful 72 foot high Baobab tree which is 6,000 years old, and once you step in you will be amazed at what you find. With a 155 foot circumference, only a small amount of people are let in at a time which helps the bar to feel more personal and intimate. As well as beautiful surroundings once you step foot inside the tree, you will also find that the bar has its own cellar, a dart board, all kinds of fascinating historical items and facts about the tree, benches to relax on and its own ventilation which makes it the perfect place to escape the heat and enjoy a cold beer. It has understandably become a popular tourist attraction over the years.
4. Hobbit House – Philippines
Very heavily inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Hobbit House, which is situated in Manila, is a fantastic drinking establishment and possibly the friendliest pub in the entire world. The owner is such an enormous fan of the legendary books that his entire staff behind the bar are all friendly dwarfs who he saved from the slums and streets of Manila. They are always up for fun, and there are even Elvis impersonators, jugglers, dancers, flame-eaters and bands (it is a fantastic live music venue too). There are also murals, paintings and posters of all the brilliant characters from the story which add to the fun and slightly surreal atmosphere that you find here. There is an enormous range of beers to choose from, and the dark and smoky feel add to the mystery and strangeness of this odd yet incredibly friendly and fun pub.
3. Vampire Café – Japan
A must-visit for vampire fans, Vampire Café is situated in the swanky Ginza District of Tokyo and it certainly doesn’t suck. As you can imagine, the entire interior is blood red and black with low lighting to set the atmosphere. All of the food and drinks are vampire themed, such as “Iron Maiden – The Virgin’s Fresh Blood,” and the servers are vampire maids. It is the perfect blend of being fun and spooky, but without being over-the-top or scary. There are plenty of great little touches, such as the basins in the restroom being stained with blood (as well as the mirrors), the menu being in the shape of a coffin and the floor having giant red blood cells as a pattern. Although it is called a café, it is only open in the evening and is more of a restaurant and bar.
2. Skeleton Bar – Switzerland
An absolute must-visit for any horror fan, Skeleton Bar was designed by famed Swiss artist H.R. Giger, who is famous for working on the special effects in the Alien franchise (earning an Academy Award for design work). As soon as you step foot in this stunning bar, you will immediately feel as if you have stepped foot into one of the Alien films. The first thing you will notice is the breathtaking double arches of vertebrae across the ceiling, as well as the skeleton décor throughout. Although this may sound disturbing, it is more fascinating and actually a very comfortable and relaxing drinking spot (once you get used to the wall of strange alien heads). Even those unfamiliar with Giger and his work will have a great time because it is such a striking and unique design with a fun and friendly atmosphere.
1. Das Klo Bar – Germany
The quirkiness of this Berlin bar is reflected in its name, which translates to “toilet bar.” This is just one of the very odd and surreal parts of the bar, which has become a tourist attraction in recent years. You will also find that the bar stools randomly rotate, the bar will give you an electric shock, the drinks are served in jars or even blood transfusion packs, a hammer swings from the ceiling and you are greeted by a giant bear when you go to the bathroom. In addition to this, you’ll be sprinkled with water when you enter, an avalanche of paper mache rocks fall every 10 minutes, lightning flashes across the room and the seats are either coffins or toilet seats. As much a theme park as it is a bar, Das Klo Bar offers perhaps the most unique and quirky drinking experience in the entire world.