Recently, my boyfriend and I decided to go inter-railing around Europe as a budget (but brilliant) impromptu holiday. After visiting Berlin, Prague, Krakow, Budapest, Zagreb and Zadar I can confirm that each location boasts culture in droves, must see landmarks and unique entertainment available on a shoestring.
Despite going on countless tours and cultural visits (which we enjoyed immensely) I am going to share with you my top 3 places to drink instead of listing tourist attractions you can find at the click of a button; finding bars and restaurants with the right atmosphere away from the crowds of tourists can be difficult so I want to make your job a little easier…
1) Let’s start with Berlin, and a bar. Barbie Deinhoffs to be precise. Everyone is welcome at this place. Vibrant, fun and full of quirky locals, this bar carries an extensive cocktail menu ( all very generously measured!) and has bags of character. We shared some hilarious conversations with the bar tenders who speak English as well as German, Italian and more. The bar itself is small and teaming with strip lighting, strange lampshades, plane seats and hotch-potch furniture. So if you are after a relaxed and brilliantly camp place to have a drink, head to Kreuzburg- you will not be disappointed!
2) After Berlin, we moved on to Prague which is where we discovered Blue Light, a cocktail bar with a difference. Situated in the old town away from the hen parties and lads of the main square side, this bar is tucked away down a side street in a cave-like structure. Locals flock to this place in their dozens and there is a lively atmosphere, particularly when customers start playing the piano which is left open in the corner. The distressed walls covered in music posters and black and white photographs are dimly lit by strings of old bulbs and candles in the nooks and crannies of the building, making the vibe relaxed and comfortable. Most importantly though, the cocktails are delicious, varied and cheap… so very cheap. This is definitely your place if you like a local spot and a bargain (and lets face it, who doesn’t!).
3) Despite both Krakow and Croatia boasting great bars and restaurants, none stuck out as much as Szimpla Kert in Budapest… this is a bar like no other. No words can do this place justice as it is not just a single collection of drinks with some trendy seats, but a collection of Wineries, Cocktail artists, Breweries and snack bars thrown together in the ruins of several different buildings. Every room in this colossal watering hole is smothered in strings of lights, old car tyres, TVs, exposed pipes, toys, robots, wires, fairground rides, sofas, hoovers, wheels and anything else you can possibly think of. It is impossible to describe this place and do it justice, so you are just going to have to pay it a visit and thank me later!