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10 Amazing European Watering Holes You Must Drink In

Sick of seeing the same old bar stool every weekend? Swap it for one further afield! European flights with British Airways from London Gatwick from as little as £39? Sounds like a weekend to us...

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1. Calle Ocho, Bordeaux

Brad Cerenzia / Flickr (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: bradcerenzia

Best For: Cuban-themed blow-outs

If you’re looking for provocative conversation over a quiet tipple, this three-story bar is not the joint for you.

Calle Ocho is a boisterous spot most nights of the week, specializing in hip-shaking Cuban music and amazing mojitos. Bordeaux is a university town, so lively nights out are all but guaranteed.

Check out Calle Ocho's site

2. L’Entresól, Barcelona

Courtesy of L’Entresól

Best For: Gin and tonics

This up and coming spot in the city’s Gracia district has become a favourite of both neighbourhood hipsters and celebs alike thanks to its cool minimal design, laid-back pub vibes – and its legendary gin and tonics. We know which we’re more interested in…

L’Entresól on Facebook

3. Bar Necci, Rome

Sean McEntee / Flickr (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: smemon

Best for: Retro Roman style

The Pignetti district is to Rome what Williamsburg is to New York, or Hoxton to London: very hip, a little edgy and full of people who foreswear the wearing of socks.

Bar Necci’s kitsch 70s décor and awesome selection of drinks and nibbles (an English chef is among the owners) insure its place at the heart of the district’s rep.

Pop over of an evening, get a plate of posh bar snacks, hit their massive outdoor terrace to soak it all up.

Check out Bar Necci's site.

4. The Butcher Bar, Amsterdam


Best For: Exclusive speakeasy vibes

Sneak down the back of the hip The Butcher burger bar, press the buzzer and – if you’re lucky – a secret door will whoosh open to let you into one of Amsterdam’s best-kept secrets.

This dimly lit haven features prohibition era-style cocktails, friendly barmen and subdued décor that’ll make you feel like an old timey gangster, right in the middle of bustling Amsterdam.

Check out The Butcher's official site.

5. The Pub, Malta


Best for: Salty sea dogs

Fair warning: this is an English pub, albeit one tucked away in a crumbling corner of Malta’s Valletta neighbourhood. So far, so ‘Meh’.

However, the aptly-named The Pub is notable for being a genuine old haunt of British sailors and retains much of its salt-eaten charm. Perhaps that’s why it was a favoured haunt of famous tippler Oliver Reed, who supped his last at The Pub while filming Gladiator nearby in 1999.

Our tip: take in the pub’s charmingly mad shrine to Reed, enjoy a frosty pint and pretend you’re in Pirates Of The Caribbean. Arr, that’s good.

6. Cantina Azienda Agricola, Venice

Rebecca F / Flickr (CC BY-ND http://2.0) / Via Flickr: reblf

Best For: Escaping the tourists

Blink and you’ll miss it, but this little pub in Venice’s distinctly un-touristy Cannaregio neighbourhood is known as one of the city’s finest.

A traditional Venetian bacaro or inn, the pub has no chairs – it’s standing room only – and the décor hasn’t changed in over 40 years. That said, a glass of wine is less than a Euro and there’s a massive amoury of spirits behind the bar.

Grab a glass, mix with the locals and tick this off the list.

Location: Rio Tera' Farsetti, Venice

7. Le Scandale, Geneva

Florent Darrault / Flickr (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: workflo

Best for: Pretension-free fun

A huge hit with locals, this self-described 'creative lounge' is a mad mash-up of restaurant (awesome pizza in the evening) and bar (banging tunes by night) that draws a lively and mixed gay-and-straight crowd most nights.

Get there early before the locals rush the bar and you'll see exactly how 'hip' is done on the continent.

8. Kruger's American Bar, Vienna


Best for: Impressing your other half

In the heart of what was once Vienna's red light district, it's easy to imagine local gangsters drinking in this untouched 1920s cocktail bar. That vibe might be the reason it's currently one of the city's hottest nightspots.

Sit back in a leather armchair, sip a signature Kruger rum cocktail and listen to one of the regular live jazz bands play the classics as your night's romance rating goes through the roof. Oh, and they specialise in cigars. So gangsta.

9. Café Buza, Dubrovnik

Katie Hunt / Flickr (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: scubagirl66

Best for: Amazing views

Follow the ancient sign marked 'Cold Drinks' through a gap in Dubrovnik's ancient city wall and you'll find yourself in Buza, an amazing bar built right on the same jutting rock as Dubrovnik itself.

It's pricy, but there's no denying the astounding view: sea, sky and nothing else. Get a table in the evening and you're guaranteed romance.

Location: Od Margarite, Dubrovnik

10. Moog, Barcelona

icanteachyouhowtodoit / Flickr (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: icanteachyouhowtodoit

Best for: Cutting edge dance tunes

Moog, named after the early synthesiser, more than lives up to its name as one of Barcelona's few clubs genuinely dedicated to playing the coolest new electronic music around.

If you can, squeeze into the red-tiled room upstairs where local scene kids bop to Balkan hip hop. If that's too cliquey for you, just hang at the bar and enjoy the artsy, dancy buzz.