The World's 10 Most Iconic Bars

cafe central bar

Iconic bars, more than just a place for a drink, are like time capsules. Some have seen distinguished patrons discuss quotidian life and politics over an Old Fashioned, while others have been local legends in their own light. Some have been recently renovated to keep up with changing times, while others have retained their old-world charm. Nonetheless, they are all famous for whipping up storms in shakers.

Here are our picks for the world’s 10 most iconic bars:

American Bar, London

American Bar at The Savoy is a fixture in cocktail culture for being the longest-surviving cocktail bar in London. However, it is not just about the cocktails here, even though Ada Coleman’s genius creation, the Hanky Panky, was first poured here. It's the light hum of jazz hum in the background and the noise of cocktail shakers, each drink a story in itself.

Harry's Bar, Venice

harrys bar venice

Harry's Bar in Venice might seem small, but it is mighty in its history. Giuseppe Cipriani, founder and barman, created the first Bellini here on a hot summer day in 1948. The walls could tell a thousand tales, some as old as the early 1930s, complemented by the magic of old Venice.

El Floridita, Havana

Over in Havana, the two-century-old El Floridita is more than Ernest Hemingway's favourite spot. It's a lively testament to Cuban culture that the author was blown over. His drink of choice at the bar, the daiquiri, is particularly famous because it matches the vibrancy of the streets outside.

Bar Hemingway, Paris 

Speaking of Himingway, in a bar in Paris, literary charm finds an unlikely partner in the art of mixology. This cosy haunt at The Ritz serves up drinks both classic and contemporary. And since it’s nearly impossible to be in Paris and not find yourself surrounded by literary memorabilia, enjoy the photos and manuscripts that adorn the walls of the establishment.

Cafe Central, Vienna

Deep in Vienna's heart, Café Central lures you in with its historic charm. The grand arches seem to harbour secret tales of intellectual figures. In this Central European nook where the majestic Danube follows tourists everywhere they go, coffee and conversation are sacred.

The Dead Rabbit, New York

dead rabbit bar

Across the Atlantic and on Manhattan's famed Lower East Side, The Dead Rabbit has been entertaining guests for over 10 years. Here, the old soul of an Irish pub marries the pulsating rhythm of New York to create one of the world’s best watering holes. This is where tales of the city come to life in glass, displaying the ever-evolving spirit of New York itself.

Sky Bar, Bangkok 

At 820 feet in the air, Bangkok's Sky Bar soars above the city. Here, you will see bartenders mixing drinks against the backdrop of a stunning skyline. It's a dazzling blend of glamour and breathtaking views, an experience completely different from the city’s bustling tuk-tuks and neon-lit night markets.

PDT (Please Don’t Tell), New York

And in New York, PDT (Please Don’t Tell) has been the epitome of speakeasy charm for over a hundred years. Hidden behind a phone booth in a hot dog joint, it's where the past meets the future in a glass. Don’t be surprised by its secrecy; it still strives to keep the reputation of being one of the most frequented bars during the Prohibition era.

The Long Bar, Singapore

the long bar singapore

The Long Bar at Raffles in Singapore is the birthplace of the Singapore Sling, the city’s national drink. This historic venue will draw you in with decor that is reminiscent of the colonial past of the island nation. The air, filled with the heaviness of fans and the crunch of peanut shells, takes you on a journey back in time, but not without the company of a Singapore Sling.

Dukes Bar, London 

To come back to where we began, Dukes Bar in London offers a quiet corner where the cocktails do the talking. Soak in the splendour of London in this quintessentially British bar, known for making the strongest and dirtiest martini in town.
 

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