1. Bound Bar, Paris

49 Avenue George V, 75008 Paris, France

bound bar   The Best Design Bars 2013 bound

Discover one of the best nightspots in Paris: the Bound Bar. Decorated with a groovy rock style, this contemporary chic set has as its masterpoint the pink metallic bar. Around we can see bead curtains, crocodile leather bar stools and postmodernist artworks displayed on plasma screen TVs – in fact, it’s a splash of decadent New York in the heart of Paris. The terrace, overlooking the celebrated Avenue George V, is a perfect spot to enjoy drinks or sushi during the summer months. At night the bar completely transforms itself into a buzzing house club complete with atmospheric lighting making it a popular haunt for the city’s cultural and financial elite.

2. Milk&Honey

61 Poland St, London, Greater London W1F 7NU

milk&honey  The Best Design Bars 2013 milk1

Milk & Honey – which can also be found in New York – has high standards in terms of its décor, atmosphere and clientele. The quality of the drinks is visible: the ice for your drinks doesn’t come from a chugging machine in the corner but rather from a large block of frozen mineral water from which your ice-cubes are cut away by hand with a small ice pick…

The bar staff have everything organized and truly in hand. Non-members are permitted to drink there until 11pm, after which time the club is only open to members who have, of course, announced their intention to drop by first. But as a small consolation, at least you have the chance to visit London’s Milk & Honey at all; after all, the main bar in New York is exclusively for the use of members.

3. Berlin’s Riva Bar

Dircksenstraße 142, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Berlin's riva bar  The Best Design Bars 2013 riva

Riva Bar is one of Berlin’s most glam location: a real mix of the old and the new.  Situated in the nouveau riche district of Mitte, surprise yourself with the origin of its name: it is from legendary 70s soccer star Luigi Riva. Centrepiece of this establishment is the elegant oval-shaped bar which is adorned with thick, dark drapes. The bar is especially attractive in summer as it has its own terrace – perfect for sipping a lazy cocktail.

4. Sky Bar, Tel Aviv

14 Abba Hilel St, Tel Aviv, Israe

sky bar   The Best Design Bars 2013 sky bar

The aptly names Sky Bar, high above the Mediterranean coastline, provides a spectacular location for panoramic views of Beirut. The bar is a local living legend and even its recent move from the Palm Beach Hotel to the glamorous Biel high-rise did nothing to damage its reputation. A glittering mix of local celebs, TV stars and Western tourists descend on the Sky Bar every weekend where the champagne flows and the electro beats get the crowd pumping. One thing to bear in mind; if you’re planning to visit here after 9pm it’s advisable to book to ensure you can get in.

5. Velvet Lounge, Shangai

913号 Julu Rd, Jing’an, Shanghai, China

velvet lounge  The Best Design Bars 2013 velvet

If it’s the excitement and decadence of Shanghai you want to experience then the city’s Velvet Lounge is the place to be. The former Casanova Restaurant has transformed itself into an elegant and atmospheric lounge bar which attracts a curious and diverse mix of locals; important businessmen, local hipsters and underground musicians are likely to mingle here among the warm red and black décor with a generous helping of Western tourists (mostly Europeans). The prices here are relatively moderate and the weekend music programme is mostly made up of house music courtesy of the guest DJs.

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