With most of the world working 9–5 jobs, personal downtime is sacred, and where better to have some than in the world’s most interesting hot spots? For those visiting the US, Europe, South America, Asia, or Canada any time soon, we’ve got the lowdown on which locales (in no particular order) to put on your artsy tourist map.
Beverly’s, New York, New York
This Chinatown bar is the go-to place for all Lower East Side gallery opening nights. Always packed with artist types, Beverly’s also has rotating art exhibited and a Chris Domenick #2 sculpture towards the back of the bar.
Kappo Masa, New York, New York
Underneath Gagosian’s Madison Avenue gallery, the newly opened Kappo Masa, by superstar chef Masa Takayama and dealer Larry Gagosian, will be the perfect spot for deep-pocketed art world sushi lovers.
Max Fish, New York, New York
The legendary divey art bar in New York’s Lower East Side that shuttered in July 2013, reopened its doors in a larger venue on Orchard Street. In its heyday, the bar showcased many local artists and boasted many movie stars and musicians among its patrons—among them, Ethan Hawke, Johnny Depp, Moby, and the Scissor Sisters.
Wynwood Art District, Miami, Florida
The Miami hot spot has over 70 galleries, museums, and art collections within its roughly 16 block radius. With Art Basel Miami garnering more visitors every year, the Wynwood Art District also houses Wynwood Walls, an impressive outdoor mural space that is a permanent exhibit. We suggest grabbing a beer at Brick House beer garden, stopping at Argentine restaurant Bunbury for a bite to eat, and then heading to Bardot for a fun night out.
Mandrake, Los Angeles, California
Tucked away in an emerging local arts neighborhood, this local bar has reasonably priced drinks, friendly staff, and even a gallery space for art exhibits.
Hyperion Tavern, Los Angeles, California
At this laid-back LA bar, artists moonlight as DJs, cool chandeliers hang from the ceiling, and old library books line the wall.
The Patterson House, Nashville, Tennesse
Known as the first speakeasy in Nashville, Patterson House can definitely make a good drink. With minimal lighting and lots of mahogany wood, the vibe very much feels old-school English.
21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
Voted 2013 #1 Hotel In the United States by Condé Nast Traveler readers, 21c Museum Hotel is a 156-room boutique hotel located in the heart of Cincinnati’s Backstage District, adjacent to the Contemporary Arts Center and across the street from the Aronoff Center for the Arts. There is a 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, and in Bentonville, Arkansas, and now one is being built in Durham, North Carolina.
No Name Bar, Montreal, Quebec
“No name bar” actually has no official name, but locals sometimes call it The Emerald Bar (for its green-tinted inside). Located in the city’s Mile End neighborhood, this speakeasy bar has great drinks, bartenders with stylish mustaches, and an old-world feel.
Datcha, Montreal, Quebec
Complete with an intimate dance floor and smoke machine, so you can really let your freak flag fly, Datcha is a hip nighttime hot spot for the artsy Montreal crowd. Dark and moody, this venue also has some great nights with some of Montreal’s best DJs.
Benesse Art Site, Naoshima Island, Japan
Naoshima Island is not just a stop, it’s a destination. Known for its many contemporary art museums and site-specific art installations, including one by contemporary American artist James Turrell, the Japanese island is a cultural oasis that also has a magnificent hotel and spa.
Ando, Seoul, South Korea
This massive industrial furniture store is built in an emerging arts neighborhood. Complete with a café indoors, the space is also frequented by film industry and art patrons because of its intimate and private setting.
798 Art District, Beijing, China
The 50-year-old district in Beijing, studded with decommissioned military buildings, has now been converted into a popular arts community district. With a number of galleries, cafés, and shops, the 798 District is a definite hot spot for all artsy types in Beijing.
Sketch, London, England
The multistory eclectic London townhouse has five different themed spaces for dining, afternoon tea, or drinks. Its Gallery restaurant was recently redesigned by artist David Shrigley, and features plush light pink art deco chairs and booths complete with hand drawings by the artist himself. The venue is also known for its famous egg-shaped bathroom stalls.
Peckham, London, England
Londoners are calling Peckham “the new Shoreditch,” as in the new artsy area to hang out, eat, drink, and shop. Stop by South London Gallery’s No67 for a quick breakfast or brunch, then hop to Bold tendencies, a nonprofit summer art project that also has a café called Franks. However, the car park–turned art space–cum-café-cum-bar is only open from June to September, so make sure to mark your calendars for next summer.
Catacombs, Paris, France
The name of this underground network of tunnels and chambers comes from the small, legal, and public part of the vast space when in the 1780s six million Parisian skeletons were transferred from the city’s overflowing cemeteries. Although a tourist attraction, a large part of these underground tunnels are home to a network of abandoned galleries, where a secret community of street artists, history buffs, and other people gather to hang out and drink. Over 170 miles of tunnels and chambers comprise the “catacombs” and has been off-limits to laypeople since 1955.
Pauly Saal, Berlin, Germany
The restaurant, located in a former Jewish girls school, shares its space with another restaurant, museum, and several galleries. The Michelin star–rated contemporary German hot spot features an outdoor patio, an art deco style dining room and bar adorned with taxidermy, chandeliers, and several enticing works of contemporary art.
New Theater, Berlin, Germany
A bar and DIY theater space, New Theater is run by artists Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff. If you’re looking for a local spot to hang out, not just for drinks, it’s a great place to mingle with artists and theater lovers.
Viña Vik, Millahue, Chile
This hilltop art-filled hotel, located on an 1,000 acre vineyard, was opened by husband and wife Alex and Carrie Vik. The hotel connoisseurs and art collectors worked with architect Marcelo Daglio to create 22 suites that all house site-specific artworks. Guests can also enjoy a spa that includes treatments using the vineyard’s own grapes and then get busy with hiking, biking, and horseback riding excursions.
Colomé, Colomé, Argentina
This vineyard and private museum sits on a mountainside in Argentina. The museum is the only museum dedicated solely to James Turrell. Bought in 2001 by Swiss tycoon Donald Hess, Colomé is the oldest winery in Argentina and the highest vineyard in the world.