The experience of Amsterdam’s Xtracold Icebar begins with the chance to enjoy some of the best cocktails in the city in the – normally heated – bar lounge. From there, a 3-D movie transports visitors back to the 16th century, where they find themselves aboard the ship Mercury, captained by explorer Willem Barentsz as it sails into the frozen north. After donning thermal ponchos and mittens, it’s time to enter the ice bar itself, a magical world of polar bears scattered on an icy Arctic coastline, where even the vodka shots are served in frozen glasses.
The design of the Icebar is remodelled every year, using 60 tons of ice imported from northern Europe. The temperature inside the bar is kept at a consistent -10 degrees Celsius and everything, from the walls to the bar and the bar stools, is fashioned from ice. A light show reflects all the colors of the rainbow off the sparkling blue walls and a pumping sound system keeps people moving around.
Amstel 194-196. Open Sun–Fri 12.30pm–1am; Sat 12.30pm–2.40am. Tickets adults €19.50; children €12.50. Three free drinks are included in the entry price. Take trams 9 or 14 to Waterlooplein.