Planes, Trains and Yaks: Five of the World’s Most Remote Bars

Photo by Yuriy Shepeta / Courtesy of Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition

There are old bars. There are haunted bars. But what about bars in remote corners of the world?

To access some of these locations, you may have to hike through the wilderness, journey by boat or even ride a yak. If you have a thirst for adventure, these far-reaching bars just might slake your curiosity.

Faraday Bar at the Vernadsky Research Base

Marina Point, Galindez Island, Antarctica

During election season, this bar functions as a voting station / Photo by Yuriy Shepeta
During election season, this bar functions as a voting station / Photo by Yuriy Shepeta / Courtesy of Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition

Faraday Bar is located at the Ukrainian Antarctic station, Vernadsky, on Island Galindez, which is inhabited by around 3,000 penguins during each Antarctic summer, as well as seals, fur seals and a variety of bird species. The station’s human population, on the other hand, doesn’t normally exceed 30.

Named after the former British moniker for the station, Faraday Bar was first constructed and opened by British Polar Engines in August of 1980. Before the onset of the novel coronavirus, the pub saw around 4,000 visitors a year.

Drinks at Faraday Bar cost around $3
Drinks at Faraday Bar cost around $3 / Photo by Oksana Savenko

Faraday is considered to be both the world’s most southern and remote bar. It has just seven seats, where you can enjoy shots of house-distilled vodka, wine and beer for around $3 each. The pub’s specialty is a liqueur infused with herbs, a special recipe concocted by Ukrainian polar scientists.

On the bar’s walls you’ll find gifts and souvenirs from tourists. There’s also a £1 silver coin mounted on the bar counter. Ukrainian base commander, Gennady Milinevsky, jokingly gave it to British base commander, Duncan Haigh, as “payment” when Ukraine acquired the base in 1996.

On Saturdays, polar scientists use the bar for parties, because even scientists need to blow off a bit of steam. And during Ukrainian President and Parliamentary races, Faraday acts as an election office.

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Albatross Bar

Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, Tristan da Cunha, Saint Helena

Are you thirsty enough to journey to a bar that’s nearly 1,800 miles off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa on the island of Tristan da Cunha?

Before you embark on your journey to Albatross Bar, you’ll need permission from the local government. Then, you must book a fishing boat roughly a year or more in advance to go on the six-day journey across the Atlantic Ocean to the island, which is home to less than 300 people.

Situated in the middle of a lush green village with rocky hills, the Albatross Bar has been greeting customers with its white stone facade since 2001. The pint-sized bar (pun intended) has a generous wine, beer and spirits offering, plus a pool table.

The island, which is also home to an active volcano, is named after a Portuguese sailor named Tristão da Cunha, who arrived there in 1506. Great Britain later took control of the island in 1816. And Tristan da Cunha remains a British territory today. The village where Albatross Bar is located is named after Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Birdsville Hotel Bar

Birdsville, Queensland, Australia

If you roll up to this pub you might be parked next to a horse or plane
When you roll up to this pub you might be parked next to a horse or plane / Photo courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland

Sitting on the edge of the Simpson Desert, the Birdsville Hotel Bar is a two-hour drive from the nearest town, Bedourie, and a 17-hour drive from Brisbane, Queensland’s capital.

The city has 100 residents, a fuel station, hardware store, one shop, a campsite, tour operator, visitor information center and the Birdsville Hotel Bar, which was established in 1884.

In the bar’s parking lot, you’ll find cars parked alongside horses and even planes.

If you want to hang your hat on the wall, you need to live in the area for at least one year
If you want to hang your hat on the wall, you need to live in the area for at least one year / Photo courtesy Tourism and Events Queensland

Birdsville is decorated with event flags, photos from locals and visitors, and license plates and road signs from all over Australia. The ceiling, also known as the Hat Wall, is covered in visitors’ cowboy hats. But not just any tourist can hang their hat here—you must have lived for at least one year in Birdsville.

There are four beers on tap and a wine list as well as lunch and dinner service.

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The Irish Pub

Namche Bazaar, Nepal

You can still get the familiar comforts of an Irish pub 11,290 feet above sea level on Mount Everest.

The Irish Pub has a neon green sign and turquoise exterior, which matches many of the buildings in the colorful village of Namche Bazaar, home to about 1,600.

The pub is so remote it is not accessible by car and the nearest airport is a two-day hike away. While The Irish Pub is currently closed due to the pandemic, the town historically saw around 55,000 visitors a year.

Supplies are flown in from Kathmandu, Nepal, to the tiny airport of Lukla, which are then carried on foot, or via yak or mule, by Sherpa couriers.

Owner Dawa Sherpa decorated the pub with autographed photos of rock bands, plush couches and a pool table, which also had to be carried to The Irish Pub on foot.

This is one of several high-altitude Irish bars worldwide; Paddy’s Irish Bar in Cusco, Peru, sits at 11,200 feet above sea level.

Huuva Hideaway Bar

Liehittäjä, Swedish Lapland

Fancy a mocktail? Bartender Emil Areng mixes up drinks with ingredients foraged nearby /
Fancy a mocktail? Bartender Emil Areng mixes up drinks with ingredients foraged nearby / Photo by Hakan Stenlund courtesy of Visit Sweden

This bar is located in an old reindeer corral, where the Samí, Sweden’s indigenous people, have been gathering for centuries. Nestled in the middle of a forest, the Huuva Hideaway Bar is about 22 miles south of the Arctic Circle and 87 miles north of Luleå, the regional capital and home to the nearest airport.

The village has 19 inhabitants, 14 of whom are members of the Huuva family who own and operate the bar and inn. Visitors can take a 1.5-hour flight from Stockholm to Luleå or a 12-hour night train ride. From Luleå it’s a nearly two-hour drive according to Henry and Pia Huuva, hosts, nature guides, chefs and bartenders at Huuva Hideaway. They provide travelers with instructions and a roadmap to find the bar.

Opened in 2021, the bar has no electricity or running water and there’s space for about 12 guests. This dry bar serves mocktails and traditional Sámi cuisine amid the fresh air. But guests can bring their own alcohol and add them to the mocktails if they like.

When welcoming guests around the fireplace, Pia Huuva serves a Guksi, or a Sámi wood cup, filled with steaming hot homemade glögg (mulled wine) that’s made from locally picked blueberries, lingonberries and black currants.

Published on October 4, 2021
Topics: Travel