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Top 10 Most Interesting Bars in the World

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
These are so much more than your local watering hole. Welcome to MojoTravels and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Interesting Bars in the World. For this list, we’re looking at the most unique and cool bars, which are often restaurants as well, across the globe.
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These are so much more than your local watering hole. Welcome to MojoTravels and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Interesting Bars in the World.

For this list, we’re looking at the most unique and cool bars, which are often restaurants as well, across the globe.

#10: The Lockup
Tokyo, Japan
If you’re looking for crazy theme bars, there is perhaps no better city to visit than Tokyo. There are bars there celebrating any number of bizarre things, and offering niche experiences you won’t find elsewhere. So if, for example, the idea of spending time in prison excites you, you won’t want to miss visiting The Lock Up. This jail-themed bar and restaurant mini-chain is pretty out there, and even offers up a “monster show” at intervals throughout the night. It can actually be pretty scary, so it’s best to leave the kids at home.

#9: Subsix
Huluwalu, Maldives
If you’re in the Maldives, you have to pay a visit to this truly unique club, located off-shore from the Niyama resort in the Dhaalu Atoll. The bar’s name comes from the fact that it’s located about 20 feet below the surface of the ocean. The space is sparsely decorated, offering simply floor to ceiling windows that look out into the reef, where you can see tropical fish and a myriad of sea life. The bar was actually build on land and then sunk into place. Who knew that was even possible?

#8: Monkey Bar
Berlin, Germany
When you hear the name Monkey Bar, what type of establishment do you imagine? Maybe some sort of adult playground with a jungle gym? Well, try again, but get a little more literal. Yes, this Berlin bar is so-named because of actual monkeys! On the 10th floor of the 25hours Hotel you’ll find this chic space, which overlooks the zoo below, and has a particularly good daytime view of the monkey exhibit. (Sorry, no monkeys in the actual bar, sadly). In 2015 it was even voted Europe’s best hotel bar at the European Hospitality Awards.

#7: Kayabukiya Tavern
Utsunomiya, Japan
Speaking of monkeys...yeah we’re going to feature another primate-centric izakaya on this list. And this time, it’s a little more up close and personal. At Kayabukiya Tavern, located in Utsunomiya, a couple of hours outside Tokyo, you can actually be served by monkeys. Now we’re talkin’! As tips, patrons are asked to give the monkeys boiled soya beans as a reward for their hard work. And for those of you worried about animal rights, you can rest easy that according to Japanese law, the animals are only allowed to work for two hours a day. That makes it okay...right?

#6: Smuggler's Cove
San Francisco, California, USA
This California rum bar is known for its excellent tiki style drinks, but also for its out of this world atmosphere. Located in San Francisco is Smuggler’s Cove, a bar which is designed to look like a pirate ship. The decor is totally effective, with a great attention to detail that has been described as looking like a movie set. While some theme bars put the focus so strongly on how they look that they seem to forget about the drinks themselves, nothing could be less true here. The cocktails are award-winning, and make the trip even more worthwhile.

#5: Carousel Bar & Lounge
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
You may feel like you've already had one too many after sitting down at this bar. No, you don't have the spins, this bar is really spinning! Located inside the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans is the Carousel Bar & Lounge, which opened in 1949 and lets patrons sit on a working carousel while they indulge in one of their expertly made cocktails. In a city full of vibrant nightlife, you have to do something truly unique to stand out! There is only room for 25 customers at the bar, so be ready to wait if you want to ensure you get a seat!

#4: Joben Bistro
Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Lots of hip spots sport a little brass and copper in their design, but not nearly like this. Inspired by the richly-detailed Victorian fictional worlds of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, this immersive Romanian steampunk destination is simply awesome. Part watering hole and part curio museum, you'll enjoy quaffing a few under, say, a moose head wearing a monocle, or light fixtures shaped like top hats or an old-timey blimp. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen would definitely drink here.

#3: H. R. Giger Museum Bar
Gruyères, Switzerland
If you’re a fan of the epic movie “Alien,” you’ll recognize the styled biomechanical decor of this Swiss bar. And the similarities aren’t a coincidence: H. R. Giger is a world-renowned artist and was part of the design and special effects team for “Alien”; and this museum watering hole was also designed by him. It’s located beside the H.R. Giger Museum in Gruyères, and features a sinister feeling design, featuring bones as a primary focal point. You’ll feel like you’re on the set of a sci-fi film as soon as you enter the doors.

#2: Alux Restaurant Lounge
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
If you go to Mexico to visit an all inclusive resort, we beg you to leave the grounds to go get some legitimate local food. If you’re in Playa del Carmen, there’s no better pick for excellent cuisine and atmosphere than Alux Restaurant Lounge. It’s built into a cave, and the moody ambiance makes for a once in a lifetime meal. And the reviews are incredible! Now do you think they only serve paleo food here? The caveman diet?

#1: ICEBAR by ICEHOTEL
Stockholm, Sweden
We’ve been in prison, underwater, in a cave and now it’s time to head north for something a little chillier. Icebar by Icehotel in Stockholm is a very (VERY) cool place to grab a drink. In the spring, huge pieces of ice are taken from the Torne River and are then molded into the shapes that make up the bar. Not only is the space itself made out of ice, the glasses that you drink out of are too! So be sure to dress warmly and pack some mittens if you decide to pay this bar a visit.
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