Flat white or cappuccino?
Double espresso or skinny latte? It’s not important how you drink your coffee. What matters is where you drink it. From a hilltop cafe in Lisbon to the middle of the Cambodian jungle, we’ve picked 10 of the best spots to sit and sip.
Serving what is arguably the best coffee – and cake – in the world, a visit to a Viennese coffee house – Kaffehaus – is more than a caffeine fix, it’s a complete sensory experience. The cafes of Vienna are an elegant affair, an integral part of society where you can read a newspaper, chat, play a game of chess, listen to music and really relax. Many famous Viennese institutions – including the opulent Café Sacher, which serves its irresistible Sachertorte, and the gorgeous, art-nouveau Café Sperl – have been welcoming visitors for more than a hundred years. Enjoy!
Foodies will flock to Budapest’s Central Market Hall, one of Europe’s largest and most spectacular indoor food markets. Located in a grand Gothic building, it’s the perfect place to get to know Hungary’s cuisine. The ground floor is a feast of colour and tastes, selling everything fruit and veg to spices and salamis. Head up to the first floor for the cafes, where you can enjoy a rich, restorative coffee – just what you need for the second round of exploring.
You don’t need to be a Van Gogh fan for this place to make an impression. The Café Van Gogh (or Yellow Café) on the Place de la Forum is the place to channel your inner artist. He famously painted this quintessential French café in 1888, during his stay in Arles. The perfect spot to soak up the atmosphere.
Gateway to Angkor Wat, with its ancient, UNESCO-listed temples, Siem Reap has grown into a resort centre of hip hotels and world-class food and drink, and that includes world-class coffee. The town boasts more than one chic cafe where you can savour a coffee just the way you like it. Here, in the heart of Cambodian jungle, you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
THE AQUAVIT TERRACE
For a brew with a view you can’t beat the Aquavit Terrace on the Viking Longships. This fabulous alfresco space gives you a front row seat of Europe’s stunning riverside towns, cities and scenery. Best of all, you can help yourself to a cup of coffee (and other hot drinks) anytime, day or night, for free.
The capital of cool, you would expect Berlin to be bursting with great cafes and great coffee, and it certainly delivers. Berlin’s coffee scene is thriving, with names such as The Barn and Double Eye ranking among the favourite haunts. Near the Berlin Wall Memorial is Bonanza Coffee Roasters, one of the first and one of the best.
Russia is famous for many things, great coffee isn’t one of them. However, there are a few cafes and restaurants in Moscow’s ornate GUM department store that serve very passable кофе (kofe). It tastes even better if you find a seat outside on Red Square. In front of you is the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral is to your left and the State History Museum to your right. And the echo of centuries past right at your feet. Incredible.
In a country where people watching is a national sport, you want the coffee to be just as good. And in Paris, you won’t be disappointed. Sitting and sipping in a Parisian café is one of the many simple pleasures in this glorious city. To call the waiter, simply say ‘Monsieur’ (not ‘Garçon’). Pain au chocolat?
Lisbon’s picture-postcard cobbled streets, pastel-coloured houses and white-domed cathedrals are reason enough to pause for refreshment and take in the views. Then there’s the pastel de nata, the sweet and scrumptious Portuguese custard tart that’s the perfect accompaniment to a cup of rich coffee. Thanks to its Brazilian connections, Portugal has long enjoyed the best coffee beans – and the best baristas. Try stopping at just one.
If coffee really isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll feel right at home in China. Tea is at the very heart of Chinese culture and the Chinese tea ceremony represents an important ritual of healing and spirituality that has been handed down for centuries.