8 mins

8 bizarre bars from around the world

From 6,000-year-old Baobab trees to abandoned 747s, are these the most surreal drinking spots on the planet?

HR Giger Bar

1. Museum H R Giger Bar, Gruyères, Switzerland

This cavernous skeletal is set in the bowels of an ancient castle, with double arches of vertebrae crisscrossing the vaulted ceiling. One section features children's skulls. A fitting tribute to H R Giger then, the man who designed the sets for the Alien movie.

Patrons say that it's like having a drink inside the belly of a fossilised, prehistoric beast. Better than a prehistoric beast having a drink in your belly, I guess.

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Boabab Bar

2. Baobab Tree Bar and Wine Cellar, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Knock back a stein of Castle Lager. Play a game of darts against men in short shorts. Watch a bit of Rugby. This bar, surrounded by the Sunland farm, could be any bar in South Africa. Except that it's set in the hollow trunk of a huge 6,000-year-old baobab tree.

The tree has provided shelter for wanderers for centuries. The current owners, the van Heerdens, discovered ancient Bushmen artefacts when they were putting in the bar. The sound system, however, is a new addition.

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Red Sea Star

3. The Red Sea Star, Eliat, Israel

Twenty feet down in the Gulf of Eilat, surrounded by undulating walls and windows designed to invoke the movements of the sea, barflies sit on stools that resemble jellyfish, under lights that are plump like anemones.

Just outside the windows the owners have cultivated a coral reef, teeming with butterfly fish, angelfish, and other brightly-coloured fauna that become even more dazzling the more house cocktails you drink.

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4. Faraday Bar, Antarctica

The Faraday Bar forms part of the Vernadsky Ukrainian Research Station on the Antarctic island of Galindez. Perfect for those who'll go to the ends of the Earth for a drink.

The bar was built with wood the British government sent to build a new boat dock. Some expedition cruises, such as Lindblad’s Antarctic voyages, drop by for a drink. But most of the time it's homesick Ukrainians, propping up their ill-gotten bar, knocking back vodka.

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Jumbo Stay

5. The Jumbo Stay, Stockholm, Sweden

Set in a decommissioned 747, just at the end of the runway at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport, the Jumbo Stay Bar lets you enjoy life at the pointy end, literally, for the price of a beer.

It's also a hotel, so if you over-indulge you can fall into one of the tiny capsule-sized rooms and get some economy-class shut-eye.

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Vampire cafe

6. Vampire Cafe, Tokyo, Japan

Say what you will about the Japanese, but they don't do things in half measures. The Vampire Cafe in the Ginza district of Tokyo is a full-on Gothic blast of velvet curtains and blood-stained sofas.

The rooms are themed after classic Vampire traits or accessories, such as "Coffin", "Alter", "Victim", and "Cross" rooms. Twilight fans will be disappointed to learn there isn't a dedicated Robert Patterson room... Yet.

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Depeche Mode Bar

7. Depeche Mode Baar, Tallinn, Estonia

Whether you're looking for your own Personal Jesus, or you're just a big fan of Depeche Mode, this dark corner of Estonia is a loving tribute to Basildon's finest. Order a Master & Servant or Violator cocktail. Check out the autographed photos, DM artwork and tour memorabilia line that line the walls. And see how long it takes before the continuous loop of Depeche Mode videos has you scurrying for the door.

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Zetor Bar

8. Zetor, Helsinki, Finland

Named after a Czech tractor, the Zetor is a summery dairy barn right in the heart of Helsinki. Grab a bite sitting at a sturdy farm table or to quench your thirst astride a real tractor. The food and drink menus convey the true spirit of Finland. Especially the aptly-named Cliché Soup – a heady combination of smoked reindeer, cheese soup, vegetable butter and crispbread.

Welcome to Hicksville. Finn-style.

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