Bars can pop up in some weird spots: under the ocean,in a public bathroom—if you can fit a bottle of whiskey and a cocktail shaker into a space, someone will certainly cram a bar in there. But the bars that take advantage of their natural surroundings are truly something special. Built into caves and onto cliff sides, these seven bars offer up drinking locations unlike almost every other watering hole you’re likely to encounter.
The grandest restaurant/bar on this list, the Grotta Palazzese has played host to banquets, parties and revelers since Italian nobles began going there in the 18th century. A stop in the well appointed (white tablecloths only, please) establishment offers up breathtaking views as the cave opens directly out in the Adriatic Sea. If you stay late into the evening you can see the moonlight reflecting off the water, lighting your way.
Located inside a 2,000-year-old stone tomb in the ancient city of Petra, where they filmed Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the Cave Bar offers simple cocktails but lots of nightlife. DJs often spin until 4 a.m. and colored lights projected on the walls of the tomb make for a haunting evening.
Buza Bar — Dubrovnik, Croatia
There are actually two bars just beyond the walls of Dubrovnik, and locals refer to them as “the holes in the wall” (Buza means hole in the old Dubrovnik dialect of Serbo-Croatian). The drinks are basic here, but if you’ve managed to find your way to this cliffside bar, you’ve probably come for the view and maybe the cliff diving. The cocktails are just a nice bonus.
Dragon Dream – Busan, South Korea
A cave bar with water dripping from the walls is an unlikely establishment to find in the middle of a city of more than three million people, but that’s exactly what you’ll get with Dragon Dream, which is referred to by the locals as simply “Cave Bar.” Finding your way here is no easy task, though (Google Maps and Four Square do not put it in the same place—your best bet is to follow detailed directions from someone who has been there). Once you do find the mysterious bar, throw back a bottle of dongdongju (rice wine) and escape the city for a while.
Alux drops a modern lounge directly into a 10,000-year-old cavern. The expansive cave is one of the biggest, with nine “vaults” or caves within the cave where you and your friends can have some private time. The drinks menu is as expansive as the cave itself, with cocktails like the Chaneque made with mezcal, Ancho Reyes, mango pulp, orange juice, lemon and chapulín (roasted grasshopper) salt.
Cova D’en Xoroi is more than just a cave bar, it’s a full on dance club carved into the side of an ocean cliff on the Spanish island of Menorca. The cave regularly hosts the kind of live music and dance parties that have made this part of the Mediterranean a favorite for the jet set.
Krypt isn’t in a cave—it isn’t even a real crypt—but it is subterranean and damn cool. During a building renovation, an architecture firm opened up a bricked off area to discover a massive basement area dating back to the 1700s, which actually served as a questionably legal jazz club in the decades following World War II. It’s since been reimagined as a sleek, modern space. If boutique bomb shelters were a thing, Krypt would be the prototype.