Europe has always been a sophisticated continent when it comes to food, culture and above all, serving really good drinks. As the birthplace of so much superb wine, beer and spirits, we wanted to pay homage to one of the most important watering holes of all…the cocktail bar.
With social media playing a huge part in food and drinks trends (a search for ‘cocktail’ on Instagram returns more than 10.7million hashtags), bars are going above and beyond to have cocktails that taste as good as they look, with a stylish interior to match.
50 Best Bars in Europe:
Not only is this one of the best restaurants in the small country, it’s also a tailor and a speakeasy with drinks that are superbly grand.
A team that makes you feel instantly welcome with a drink to match whatever your . taste might be. Simple elegance meets perfect cocktail making.
A cocktail bar that is as elegant, grand and spectacular as the city that houses it. You’ll . never want to leave once you sink into their luxurious seats with cocktail in hand.
A bar where the focus is on creating fun drinks with lots of flair in the creativity and recipes. No stiff formality or traditions here. Anything goes and it’s always a fun night.
If ever a city was made for having a romantic aperitif or digestif then Venice was it. Sit into the plush armchairs here and enjoy cocktail perfection after a long day out on the canals.
Cocktails that come with a heavy dose of theatre; when matched up with their exciting and vibrant food menu you’re in for an assault on the senses in the most positive way imaginable.
Given the wild popularity of gin of late, we think it would be foolish not to appreciate this West End bar that has over 90 unique varieties available. Add in lots of creative tonics and gin cocktails and it’s a foolproof choice.
A wonderfully dark and seductive cocktail bar where the design and lighting makes it feel as if you’re in a movie, as the cocktail is pushed across the counter and you speak in hushed tones.
A cross between a Harry Potter movie and being brewed up some sort of potion in a chemists workshop. Superb drinks that mean you’ll never want to leave.
Why not have a boozy drink in this retro space-inspired bar? The cocktail menu is based around four symbols inspired by special places in Bulgaria. Unique ingredients used include cuttlefish ink and the local liqueur, Rakia.
While most of our list feature indoor bars, the stunning islands of Croatia would be wasted without a cocktail bar of this magnitude. Hard to decide if it’s the view or the cocktails which are more spectacular.
Malta’s first ever prohibition style bar has pulled out all the stops to make this an absolute winner. Great atmosphere, superb drinks and super knowledgable staff.
Not only do they have drinks that rival any in the world, they also have cocktail tasting sessions to help educate guests and expand their palate. An absolute gem of a bar.
FIX is an ingredient-led cocktail bar in central Bucharest with a focus on Eastern European botanicals and other local ingredients. A breath of fresh air and wonderful place to spend time.
A place where cocktails are meant to be fun, exciting and part of a great night out rather than a stiff and awkward experience. A super fun menu with something for absolutely everybody.
A classy bar where the staff make you feel seriously special. The drinks are made with such precision and perfection that you’d never want to order a cocktail anywhere else ever again.
They have some of the best bartenders in the city here, who’ll whip you up some of the old classics with new twists. Want to fit in? Locals shorten the name to ‘HPS’.
The Happy Pig is a funky, bright space that does both food and cocktails of incredible quality. A glass ceiling makes you feel like you’re in a greenhouse and drinks menus change seasonally. Cocktails are served in the prettiest glasses – you’ll soon see why this place is so beloved.
The sort of place where you come for a really good night out and let yourself go. Some wonderful drinks selections and a lighthearted and fun atmosphere that always goes late into the night.
You’ll find this bar in one of the oldest parts of the city – Kolibri pays an elegant homage to the area’s distilling heritage. Old recipes for tinctures, bitters and herbal remedies inspire their cocktails, as well as their homemade cordials and infusions.
A low roofed bar with a brilliant atmosphere as the night goes on. The bar staff are seriously talented mixologists who will always have a crafty suggestion for you.
Balderdash is a cosy bar nestled in the centre of old Copenhagen with whimsical and classic cocktails. Do keep an eye on their opening hours though, as they only open Wed-Sat 5pm-3am.
A fun bar where although the cocktails are made with super precision by the highest quality staff going. It never feels stiff or serious and is always seriously good fun – the sign of a great bar.
Come for the fun drinks made with passion and flair and stay for the late night dancing and general great vibes that this place always has.
A genuinely fun bar to spend time in, where there is the perfect balance of high end cocktails but with a casual and relaxed vibe that means you’ll never want to leave.
A super comfortable bar where the focus is on the quality of the liquids that they put in your glass. Tweed Bar stocks a huge range of wonderful drinks and you’ll be advised by staff who know exactly what they are talking about.
The first bar to serve cocktail creations inspired by exclusive perfumes. Fragrances is “dedicated to the art of cocktails in combination with the world of perfume and aromas”.
How does it work? Choose your favourite scent from a range of designer perfumes. Then, the bartenders will create a personalised cocktail using essences, flowers and herbs.
Disrepute is an intimate Soho members’ bar & cocktail lounge. A hideaway for luxury libations, high jinks & late night liaisons. Non-members are also welcome if they reserve, so don’t feel excluded.
This innovative bar started back in 2015 and what began with a monthly cocktail tasting grew into a nomadic cocktail bar after a few months. It’s now home to some of the best drinks in the entire city.
Multi–award winning venue where the drinks are as close to the works of art in local museums as you are ever likely to see. Nearly too pretty to drink. Well, nearly. You can’t not sip something this delicious.
A tiny unassuming room which when you enter, ends up being a wonderful cocktail bar and restaurant spread over several floors. Here’s where you’ll find some of the best mixologists in Dublin.
Cocktails that are so spectacular, vivid and imaginative that they seem to come alive as you drink them. A simple yet elegant room that is perfect for intimate conversations.
One of the most stunningly designed bars you will ever walk into and things don’t change when you start with the drinks. Incredibly, they also taste even better than they look, which is hard to believe.
Stepthe secret bookshelf and down the hidden staircase to the alchemist’s laboratory to taste cocktails made with Black Basalm, a traditional Latvian black liqueur.
An old world cocktail bar that has been kitted out to absolute perfection and to the highest levels of luxury. A wonderful place in which to lose a few hours drinking simple but perfect cocktails.
A super small speakeasy that even locals in the city like to keep to themselves and under wraps. Once you do find it, you are in for a real treat – for an extra bonus sign up to their cocktail making classes.
This wonderful cocktail bar has recently been renovated which only adds to the charm of the old building that houses it. The drinks are absolutely unreal and only matched by the friendly and affable staff.
Their drinks feel like the liquid version of Michelin star food and you’ll be taken on a pleasure rollercoaster here. A wonderful setting and the drinks are so pretty you nearly don’t want to disturb them.
Multi award winning bar driven on by the passionate owner who is constantly innovating and pushing the standards higher. A wonderful place to spend a couple of hours.
11th. Cravan – Paris, France
This beautifully French cocktail bar is a charming neighbourhood gem that has classic cocktails (try some from the recipe book of “French Modern Cocktails from the 1920s &1930s”) as well as modern creations.
One of those super atmospheric rooms where great nights seem to happen organically. Their food menu is where you’ll probably start off, but it’s the cocktails and the quality of them that will keep you coming back.
A former confectioner’s shop, La Confiteria is a trendy cocktail bar that does unusual recipes and a great G&T. It’s open until the early hours so you can sip on a cocktail and soak in the buzz for as long as you like.
Door 74 is an exclusive little cocktail bar in speakeasy-style, hidden away in the busy centre of Amsterdam, with background music that leads to charming conversation. A . nice step away from the other madness you see in Amsterdam.
One of Berlin’s oldest cocktail bars, the Rum Trader (a.k.a ‘Institute for Advanced Drinking’) is a uniquely classy drinking experience. There’s no menu – the owner, Mr Scholl, will make you the perfect tipple. Barely room for 25 people, the world outside seems very far away once you walk through these doors.
A cocktail bar that is nestled into Edinburgh’s West end which has tapped into the current obsession with all things gin. There’s many more strings to their bow, but with so many gins to choose from you’d be foolish not to take their advice and try some new ones in a cocktail form.
Tucked away in the luxurious five-star Hotel María Cristina, this elegant cocktail bar creates cinema-themed cocktails that pay homage to the city’s film festival. Try the ‘Lost In Translation’ for a whiskey kick.
A beautiful bar founded by three friends who are absolutely obsessed with the drinks industry. It’s won countless awards and once you taste their perfectly balanced cocktails it’s not hard to see why.
A small bar where – unusually – they specialise in both cocktails and hot dogs. Both treats are spectacular and make for a great starting point or end point to a night out.
A bar where the drinks are the absolute star of the show (and that’s alongside everything else being perfect, too). A cocktail here will ruin you, as you’ll never want one from anywhere else every again. It’s a beauty.
Dogma opened in 2013 and has been changing not only the cocktail scene in Belgium, but across the whole continent. They focus on super high-end ingredients and the stellar drinks are all the more enjoyable for the relaxed ambience.
This is one bar truly pushing boundaries and is sure to inspire countless others.