Break the ice on a first date or enjoy your booze on the rocks at one of the coolest ice bars (of both the pop-up and permanent varieties) around the world, from New York City to the beaches of Barcelona.
Throw on your trusty Fjallraven Parka (the best winter jacket in the world), and stash an extra hand warmer in your pocket. Admission to many of these ice bars include a jacket and gloves, but come prepared to freeze your ass off and have a cool time doing it.
If you’re wondering why we’re suggesting you go to an ice bar in the winter, the answer is simple — why not? It is literally the coolest option. We’ll leave it at that. Don’t make us make more ice-related puns.
Shotski? Check. Shot glasses made of ice? Check. Senior discount? Check. Toronto’s Chill Ice House is open year-round and stands as one of the only permanent ice bars around the world where everything from glasses to seats are made of ice. Pricing is low compared to other ice bars and since it’s Canada, you can enter when you’re 19. Forgot your coat? Insulated capes and gloves are provided with admission.
Obviously, Sweden has a badass Nordic ice bar (it’s also obviously located inside a cozy hygge hotel). Order a massive round of neon-colored “Viking Shots” like the Thor, Odin, and Loki served on the rocks in blocks of ice. If you’re feeling energized from the cold, complete a tispy “Ice-Scape” escape room. Celebrate with more Viking Shots.
The only ice bar in Paris is a post-apocalyptic frozen netherworld where a transformed wartime shelter home of the first member of La Résistance is frozen over and packed with brilliantly cool cocktails. Normally a tropical bungalow bar, Ice Kube Bar’s winter expression feels like entering an art installation and is great for people who dig bizarre drinking experiences compared to safe sports bars or dance clubs. Let’s get icy and weird. Make it a weekend and stay at the Kube Hotel — possibly the coolest hotel you’ll ever visit.
Prague, Czech Republic
Even the walls are made of ice at Ice Pub Prague, and the place gets packed year-round. Visits are divided into 30-minute drinking slots, which works out not only for your freezing extremities, but because Ice Pub only serves three vodka cocktails (“ice sweet, ice sour, and ice bitter”) and super-cold Heineken beer. The space is intimate and small so go with a group of fellow yetis.
New York City, New York
A seasonal pop-up at 230 Fifth Rooftop in NYC running November through May lets city-dwellers escape to transparent (heated) igloos. No need for a reservation — the igloos are first-dibs and fit an intimate 12. The drinks are hot (Kahlua Hot, Bailey’s Boozy Hot Chocolate, and Godiva Peppermint Hot Chocolate) and the mood is bright, with neon lights illuminating the open space. Feeling fancy? Get a VIP Igloo package with a s’mores station, food platter, and bottle service.
Same arctic ambiance as the NYC spot, but set up overlooking the Seaport District of Boston at the rooftop of the Envoy Hotel. The cocktails at this Igloo Bar, however, are crafted by Envoy’s master mixologist Brain McDougal.
Literally one of the coolest ice bars around the world (-10 degrees Celsius or 14 Fahrenheit), Icebar Xtracold is more than a place to stop in for an ice-cold beer. The bar takes visitors on an Arctic voyage that recreates the epic adventure of Nova Zembla, a freezing island where Dutch explorers became stranded during their journey to find the Northeast Passage. Although there’s ice-cold beer, too. Bask in the freezing history of 1500s explorers and pretend you’re stranded at the North Pole.
Ice bar on the beach? Yes, please. Head to Spain’s Icebarcelona. If you’re too chilly inside, warm up on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. This ice bar is also fully accessible to kiddos and tickets for the whole fam include a jacket, gloves, and cocktail (adults only, duh). Plan your visit on one of their theme nights, like “Back to the 80s” with movies, music, and video games inspired by the 1980s. You can help the DJ by adding to the collective playlist. (Bangers only.)
Las Vegas, Nevada
While the temperatures soar on the strip, drop down into the chilly Minus 5 Experience set up during the winter at the Venetian and Mandalay Bay. Super kitschy and perfect for your bright aqua-colored puffy, this ice bar is complete with ice chandeliers, walls, and seats. You can’t take the Vegas out of the bar, though — Minus 5 boats a cool LED light show and upbeat music to match the city’s general ambiance.