Bars are usually pretty basic hangouts, from the low key to the upscale. But there are an array of bizarre and unique bars out there if you’re looking for atmosphere along with your drink. For stunning views, there is the Northern Lights Bar in Iceland, whose name is self explanatory, along with the Tiger Leaping Gorge Bar in China. The Monkey Bar in Berlin also offers such views, so named after the animals you can take in from your vantage point at the bar. There is also a bar where you can literally have your drink inside of a tree – this is at the Sunland Pub in South Africa. Here, the pub is literally located inside of an ancient tree. If you’re into steampunk the Joben Bistro in Romania is filled with homages to the works of Jules Verne. The Ice Bar in Quebec City is made up of – you guessed it – ice. It melts every year and has to be rebuilt from scratch. The Blue Frog Lounge in India will definitely imprint itself on your brain with its futuristic design. And there’s the Giger Bar in Switzerland, filled with a strange aesthetic called “biomechanical.”
Keep reading to find out more about the 15 most bizarre bars.
15.NORTHERN LIGHTS BAR
The Northern Lights are a bucket list experience for many of us, and being able to imbibe while taking them in is just icing on the cake. Well, if you head to the Northern Lights Bar in Iceland, you can do just that. The Northern Lights Bar is located in the Ion Hotel, just outside of Reykjavík. The hotel/bar is located within the so called Golden Circle, named because this is where you can take in a circle of the country’s natural wonders, and the bar is situated perfectly for just this. Considering that its outside the city, the view of the Northern Lights is unimpeded by city smog.
Ever wanted to grab a drink — inside of a tree? Well, if you head to the Sunland Pub in South Africa, you’ll have your chance. The African baobab tree the pub is located in is a staggering 6,000 years old. The pub is situated in the hollow of the tree’s trunk, so only 15 guests can be served at once. You’ll find the street on Sunland Park in the Limpopo Province. It is now understandably a tourist attraction, beginning in 1993 when the owners of the farm set up the bar in the tree. So make your way to Sunland Pub for a unique libation experience.
13.TIGER LEAPING GORGE BAR
This creatively named bar is situated on the gorge it is named for — the Tiger Leaping Gorge. This gorge is a canyon on the Jinsha River, which is a tributary of the famous Yangtze River. You’ll find it in the southwest of China, 37 miles due north of Lijiang City. Of course this bar offers a dazzling view of the gorge, where you can sit and enjoy a drink after hiking through the gorge itself (if you’re feeling brave.) The hiking path is marked, but it can be narrow, and it is 14 miles long. Take in the sunset over the gorge while you take in this stunning view in a unique bar.
If you’re a fan of steampunk, you’ll love this Joben Bistro in Romania. This pub’s design is inspired by the works of Jules Verne. The design is definitely on the edgy side, with avant-garde elements that pretty much transport you into the author’s unique world. The bistro is split up into 3 rooms. The first is an art gallery — a vintage art gallery of course. The second features weird installations and concrete walls. The third is filled with a plethora of objects. This bar is perfect for those who like the vintage and the weird; it’s a perfect place to grab a drink and just soak up the atmosphere.
11.THE ICE BAR
If the cold doesn’t bother you very much, the Ice Bar in Quebec City would be your perfect hangout spot. This bar is made completely out of ice, and it even melts each summer — only to be rebuilt in its entirety the next year. Since the ice needs cold to exist, the bar is open during the winter months — January to March. This innovative bar receives over a million visitors, which is not surprising given how unique it is. You would definitely want to bring a coat, as temperatures are very cold, while you enjoy an array of drinks from the bar.
The Monkey Bar in Berlin is aptly names — it overlooks the Berlin Zoological Gardens, where you can see the animals that gave the bar its name. The bar is situated on the top floor of a boutique hotel. The hotel itself is pretty unique — the hotel lobby features a vintage car and hanging bikes. The bar itself features a stunning view of the gardens below. The drinks include traditional German libations and beer as well. You can take a seat with a cocktail and see if you can spot any of the eponymous monkeys in the zoo below.
9. BLUE FROG LOUNGE
In Mumbai, you’ll find the Blue Frog Lounge. This building, over 1,000 square meters, is more than just a bar — it also features a restaurant, club, sound stage, recording studio and sound lab. The cocktails include the Blue Frog, made with kaffir lime leaves, the Blue Curacao, with lemon and vodka, and various other types of martinis. It is the design of the club that makes it both unique and bizarre — high ceilings, mood lighting, projection screens. You can take in the design and the atmosphere as you enjoy one of the aforementioned cocktails, which also includes the creatively named Thai Mojito or Mahiki Treasure Chest.
8.H.R. GIGER BAR
Step into this bar and you’ll immediately feel a bit out of sorts. That’s due to the bizarre design of the bar — it is filled with vertebrae that cross the ceiling of an old castle. Giger Bar is named after and modeled after the work of the Swiss artist H.R. Giger. They are themed to mirror his style, called “biomechanical” akin to the Alien films, which makes sense when you look at the design aesthetics of the bar and the film. Even the design of the chairs, which are high backed, was supposed to be for a Dune film project.
7.THE LAUNDROMAT CAFE
Doing your laundry and getting a drink aren’t often synonymous, but the clever Laundromat Cafe in Iceland combines a boring but necessary chore with the fun act of drinking. There is an active laundromat on the premises, so if you’re dreading doing your laundry, why not make it fun and get a drink while you’re at it? The cafe was started by four Icelandic friends back in 2004, and it has been in business ever since. In addition to a drink, you can also enjoy a hearty and enjoyable menu of food, making the chore of laundry even more fun.
6. ALUX LOUNGE
In Playa del Carmen Mexico you’ll find the Alux Lounge — a lounge that isn’t your typical one. Alex Lounge is situated in an underground cave. In fact, the bar is a system of connected caves. Each cave features a different form of entertainment that you can decide upon. It is most definitely one of the most scenic bars you’ll find, with stalactites and stalagmites adding to the cavernous atmosphere. Order yourself a tequila based drink that Mexican bars are famous for and wander from room to room, enjoying the oddity of literally being in a cave bar.
5. RED SEA STAR
This bar/restaurant has the unique distinction of being underwater. It sits sixteen feet below the Red Sea. The windows, which are made out of plexiglass allow you to take in a stunning view — fish, coral, the waters, and other details of marine life. There is a more standard bar above surface, called the Metro Bar, which overlooks the Gulf of Aqaba. But the Red Sea Bar is truly the most bizarre of the two — and definitely one which offers the more singular experience. The Red Sea Star is so named because the underwater area resembles a star. The bar was once the first and only underwater restaurant.
4.THE WHITE RABBIT RESTAURANT & BAR
This bar is high in the sky in Moscow, overlooking the city. What makes it strange and unique is not only its great height — it’s located on the 16th floor of the Smolensky Passage — it’s also surrounded by a glass panel that offers those stunning views of Moscow. The White Rabbit itself is quite prestigious, being the only restaurant in Russia to be named as one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The restaurant features traditional Russian ingredients and cuisine. But you can also sit in the bar, and enjoy a drink as you take in the view.
In Milwaukee Wisconsin you’ll find the Safe House, which is a bar with a spy theme, tucked away behind a red door. Having a spy theme, you of course would need to know the password to gain entrance. Safe House was opened back in the ‘60s. Inside, you’ll find spy memorabilia which was collected by owner David J. Baldwin. There are even a multitude of secret passageways to check out. It is now known for its strange and unique design elements, having been featured in a multitude of magazines. So if you’re in the mood for some spy themed libations, head over to Safe House — just make sure you have the password.
2.THE CLINIC BAR
The Clinic Bar in Singapore is definitely a strange bar to visit. Given its name it is a medical themed bar in Singapore’s Clarke Quay district. The medical theme was a tribute to artist Damien Hirst. The chairs were wheelchairs, and hospital beds were provided for a relaxing dining opportunity. The drinks are cleverly served in test tubes. Operating lights shone in the bar. The staff even don a hospital uniform in order to serve their customers. The food is shaped like pills, and the IV cocktail drips are amusing. This is definitely one of the more bizarre bars you could check out.
It’s hard to believe that family friendly Disney has a bar, albeit a strange one, but its true. In fact, it is the only place where you can get alcohol in the park. The original Club 33, as now they are located in three of the parks, was in the New Orleans Square area of Disneyland. It used to be secret, but now it is more of an open secret. It allegedly got its name from the address — 33 Royal Street in New Orleans. To enter the bar, a guest has to press a secret buzzer on a hidden panel. Inside is Le Grand Salon and Le Salon Nouveau.