After petrol, coffee is the second most commercialised product in the world that, moving over 80 billion dollars every year. In fact, there is a reason it is know as “black gold.” Of course, in a society so hooked on coffee, we can’t avoid having a coffee shop in every corner, but… which are the most inspiring coffee houses in the world? Which are the coffee shops that intellectuals holding a cigar, and wearing a tie and a bowler hat, mingling with the young generation of thinkers, poets and artists, like to hide from us? Take a lot at them with these recommendations from the travel community minube.

Café Majestic, Porto (Portugal)

Since its opening in 1921, this charming café began to gain popularity in the Portuguese city of Porto amongst the writers, politicians and artists of the time. Under its original name “Elite”, the coffee shop began to receive visits from personalities of all shape and form, even women! If there was something that the Café Majestic did well in its time was admitting women in their venue, being the first one to do so in the city.

Photo by David Martín

Café Florian, Venice (Italy)

It’s the most famous coffee shop in the whole of Venice and probably in the whole of Italy. Situated in the Piazza San Marco, the venue evokes the glorious Véneto region and makes a point of remind the visitor that they are sitting in the same spot as Lord Byron, Goethe, Balzac, Proust or Twain, to name only a few. With so many references, Café Florian () is packed on a daily basis. Many tourists pay cappuccinos at a price of a full menu, 9 euros is pretty standard. That is where is looses a bit of its charm.

Photo by Jesús Sánchez

Café de la Paix, Paris (France)

It’s one of the most famous coffee shops in the city: Paris, the city of light. The Café de la Paix has a spectacular location a few feet from the Opera; therefore many of their clients frequent both venues. Visits from personalities such as Tchaikovsky, Émile Zola, Guy de Maupassant or Henry VII have made this coffee shop to be considered a historical monument by the French government.

Photo by Gonzalo Moreno

Café Gijón, Madrid (Spain)

The well-known Café Gijón, founded in 1888 by a native of the northern Spanish region of Asturias, is a part of Madrid’s history. It’s always been a place for thinkers, a place of debate and literary, political, artistic and sociological gatherings. The walls of Café Gijón have listened to all kinds of artists, literary figures and all sorts of personalities. From Canalejas, to Ramón y Cajal, Benito Pérez Galdós or Valle-Inclán, to exotic dancer Mata Hari, passing by stars such as Truman Capote, Ava Gardner and Orson Welles. And for those authentic Madrid natives, singer and songwriter Joaquín Sabina has always been a regular.

Photo by Rodrigo Nieto

New York Café, Budapest (Hungary)

Be sure not to miss out on all this architectural beauty since it is probably the most luxurious coffee shop in Hungary with a very long history and cultural tradition and a reference point for the nobility and the aristocracy of Buda and Pest. All the same, the travellers with Euros in their pockets will have an advantage since the prices are set in Hungarian forints. For some 1,000 forints you will be able to enjoy a coffee in a unique venue with a stunning architecture of the New York Café. The equivalent in Euros? 3.30. It’s not that expensive, really.

Photo by Sofía Santos

Confeitaria Colombo, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Although it’s always packed with people, there is something that enables the most famous coffee shop in Rio, la Confeitaria Colombo, to maintain its refined belle époque ambiance. The unique building in which it stands makes the visitor stare wide eyed immediately. Of course, the more than 100-year old history of Colombo has made this a point of pilgrimage for tourists, but it still well deserves a visit.

Café A Brasileira, Lisbon (Portugal)

Over 100 years old, this iconic café is one of the oldest and most famous in the Portuguese capital. Never empty, Café A Brasileira greets coffee-lovers under one motto: the best Brazilian coffee, taken straight to Lisbon. This required stop on your trip to Lisbon is, officially, the thinking corner.

Café en Seine, Dublin (Ireland)

I am sure that thinking of coffee never makes your mind wander to Dublin, the capital of the Guinness beer and malt Whisky. However, in the central Dawson Street of Dublin is the Café en Seine, one of the most inspiring and beautiful coffee shops in the world. It might seem otherwise, but the prices are not that high, and wandering through all the nooks of this café is a must on your visit. When it seems like you have finally found the end, there is a staircase that takes you to an even bigger salon that ends in an indoor patio and many other hideout spaces. With an exquisite décor and guest service, this café looks like it was taken out from a 50s movie.

Photo by Ana Asuero

These are the most inspiring coffee houses in the world but there are still many more to discover. If you are looking for inspiration, you can start here.