THE INSIDER’S GUIDE TO EUROPE’S COOLEST BARS

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MUNICH

Schumann’s Bar, Odeonsplatz 6 – 7, 80539 Munich

You can while away a whole day at Schumann’s – an elegant collection of drinking holes under one roof. The Camparino bar has a television, a selection of international newspapers and a dedicated Italian barman while, next door, the eponymous Schumann’s Bar transforms from restaurant to bar after midnight. Upstairs, Les Fleur du Mal is a glamourous cocktail bar where you can order a drink designed just for you.

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MADRID

Terraza Cibeles Bar, Palacio de Cibeles, Plaza de Cibeles, 28014, Madrid

The only way is up at this city centre bar. Housed on the sixth floor of Madrid’s former post office, Terraza Cibeles Bar is the place to be when the sun goes down and the city lights up. Kick back and sip on expertly mixed mojitos and margaritas while the world bustles by, far below.

BARCELONA

Bloody Mary Cocktail Lounge, 3 Carrer de Ferrer de Blanes, 08012 Barcelona

When it comes to the signature cocktail, the clue is in the name at this trendy Gracia-district bar. More than ten variations of the Bloody Mary keep the devotees coming (try the Bloody Cesar with a hint of clam juice), but for those with a difference craving the full cocktail list embraces classic mixes, a gamut of G&Ts, and even alcohol-free cocktails.

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PARIS

Golden Promise, 11 rue Tiquetonne, 75002, Paris

If whisky is your tipple, this subterranean temple to the water of life is a must-visit. The bar menu alone offers 200 whiskies as well as a cocktail menu. Real whisky fanatics should head to The Lounge, an inner sanctum with more than 800 whiskies from around the world, plus a whole room dedicated to whisky made in Japan.

MILAN

Octavius Bar, Piazza Gae Aulenti 4, Milan

Based within The Stage, one of Milan’s top eateries, Octavius is a true gem that’s always dressed to impress thanks to glamorous interiors with curvaceous art deco styling. The cocktails are equally sophisticated, with everything from sharing punchbowls and ‘Gintos’ gin cocktails to aperitifs such as the ‘Verynaiss’ – a funky twist on the Aperol spritz – and whisky cocktails.

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BRUSSELS

La Pharmacie Anglaise, 66 Rue Coudenberg, 1000 Brussels

Part cocktail bar, part cabinet of curiosities, this is one bar you won’t forget in a hurry. Located in a former pharmacy that still has all the original wooden fittings, La Pharmacie Anglaise is steeped in history and offers a quirky atmosphere like no other. Its unusual cocktails are a world apart too.

DUBLIN

The Blind Pig Dublin, theblindpig.ie

Inspired by the Prohibition era, this city-centre bar – like any self-respecting speakeasy – keeps its exact location secret (all is revealed when you receive your booking confirmation). Once inside the bootlegger theme continues with a candlelit, vintage interior and wittily named concoctions such as ‘Emerald Isle’ and ‘Imbriaghera’ (‘hangover’ in Sardinian dialect).

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FRANKFURT

Pearly Gates, Kleine Hochstraße 20, 60313 Frankfurt

Edgy urban styling and creative mixology are sure to attract the cocktail cognoscenti to this hip drinks spot. Its signature drink is the Frankfurt Spice Trade (a divine fusion of gin, pink pepper, ginger, lemon juice and basil) but an ever-changing list of specials means there’s always something new and delicious to try.

LONDON

Mr Fogg's Residence, 15 Bruton Lane, W1J 6JD, Mayfair

Inspired by Jules Verne's adventurer Phileas J Fogg and kitted out like his imaginary home with all manner of outlandish knick-knacks, this bar is great fun. The 80-strong cocktail list takes its cue from Fogg’s round-the-world adventure, with each drink representing a stop-off en route. A Rangoon Ripple or a Nocciole Night Train anyone?

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