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Photograph: Hein van Tonder

The 25 best rooftop bars in the world

Good drinks, great vibes and epic views: our global list of the world’s best rooftop bars covers Europe, Asia, the USA and beyond

Written by
Morgan Olsen
,
James Manning
&
Time Out editors
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The only thing better than sipping a cocktail in the sun is sipping a cocktail in the sun high above the city streets. The best rooftop bars in the world specialize in jaw-dropping vistas, great drinks and undeniably chill vibes. They're the kind of places that double as undercover attractions because they offer a bird's-eye view of notable architecture, must-see landmarks and everyday city life.

Some of the bars you’ll find below are undeniably swanky, but others are surprisingly down-to-earth (despite being a long way from the ground). From the USA to South America and Europe to Asia, you’ll find these awesome rooftop bars on top of car parks, hotels, factories, arts centres and shopping malls. Ready to get high? Going up!

The world’s best rooftop bars

  • Bars and pubs
  • Saint-Ambroise

The view A 360-degree panorama of the dreamy Parisian skyline: roofs, chimneys and the distant peak of Montmartre, topped by the Sacré-Cœur Church.

The vibe Le Perchoir is a victim of its own success: you won’t escape a small wait before the lift in the inner courtyard takes you up to seventh heaven. But once you’re there, it’s pleasantly unpretentious: cosy benches, mismatched cushions, raw wood tables, aromatic herbs and a trendy but never overdressed crowd.

The drinks The simple but well-made cocktails use homemade juices and high-quality booze. Try the acidulous Dark & Stormy, mixing orange-infused rum with ginger beer, lime and DeGroff’s bitters.

Don’t miss A selfie at sunset with Montmartre and the Sacré-Coeur in the background. Tina Meyer, Time Out Paris

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Sky Bar by Seen, Lisbon
©Duarte Drago

2. Sky Bar by Seen, Lisbon

The view The best of both worlds: the city of Lisbon on the left, with its coloured rooftops and the Castelo de São Jorge, and the River Tagus on the right. The sweet spot is at the top of the stairs on the ninth floor, before you descend to the terrace.

The vibe Less touristy than many of Lisbon’s rooftop bars, with sofas to relax on and a dancefloor in the central bar. The rotating lineup of guest DJs means the rhythm is constantly changing.

The drinks There are all the classics, but it’s worth looking at bartender Lucas Jacques’s signature cocktails – like Red Line (cherry liqueur, lime juice, mint tea and egg white) or Make a Wish (rum, white port, lemon juice and egg white).

Don’t miss The Seen tacos with king crab from Seen’s excellent restaurant. The bar snacks are great too. Inês Garcia, Time Out Lisbon

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The view Perched in a prime position overlooking Souk Madinat Jumeirah, folly has a picture-perfect vista of the sparkling Madinat waterways below and the Arabian Gulf beyond – not forgetting a glimpse of the iconic Burj Al Arab.

The vibe With a chic yet casual atmosphere, there’s always a friendly buzz at folly, especially come sunset, as the bar’s one of the best spots for sundowners in town. It’s unpretentious and friendly, and attracts everyone from residents seeking a happy hour with a view to tourists looking for that perfect snap for the ’gram.

The drinks An extensive cocktail menu shows off the flair that folly is known for, but don’t miss the famous folly pops – an ice lolly-cocktail mashup that comes in raspberry, black currant and blood orange and are the perfect cooling treat to accompany a balmy sunset. There’s also an excellent wine list.

Don’t miss Dinner at the renowned folly by Nick & Scott on the floor below – it’s a city favourite thanks to its innovative British dishes and top-notch cooking, so much so there’s now a new outpost – folly Workshop – at Time Out Market Dubai. Amy Mathieson, Time Out Dubai

🌇Discover more of the best rooftop bars in Dubai

  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Peckham

The view A breathtaking sweep of central London from the south, with landmarks poking out all over the shop. It’s hard to find a better spot for ogling one of the world’s most famous skylines.

The vibe Perched atop a repurposed multi-storey car park, Frank’s is a rough-and-ready wood-and-canvas structure that’s only open in summer. When the sun’s out, the roof is dotted with young, hip Londoners. But the space is so huge that there’s always room to spread out and admire the large-scale sculptures that pop up every year courtesy of Bold Tendencies, the art nonprofit that runs the place.

The drinks Stay true to Frank Boxer’s original ‘Campari Bar’ brief and order a classic Negroni. Otherwise there’s a solid selection of classy summer tipples including white port and tonic or Pimm’s, plus the inevitable Aperol Spritz.

Don’t miss The immersively lurid, Instagram-famous pink staircase that ushers you up from street level. James Manning, Time Out London

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The view Sandwiched between Table Mountain National Park and the Atlantic Ocean, Chinchilla overlooks Camps Bay Beach, a gorgeous stretch of white sand that's lined with palm trees. Though this rooftop is only two stories up, the views rival some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world.

The vibe Laid-back and loungey, Chinchilla sports a resort-chic vibe that'll make you want to while away an afternoon. (How could you ever get sick of that view?) A rotating cast of live DJs keeps things lively.

The drinks After spending the day on the beach, nothing sounds more appetizing than a Watermelon Mint G&T or a carafe of Peach Rosé Sangria. A bottle of crisp chenin blanc or lush chardonnay would do the trick, too.

Don’t miss Staring at the ocean for too long can make you hungry (or so we hear). Luckily, the seafood-centric menu at Chinchilla is rife with prawns, mussels, oysters and crayfish. Might as well toss in an order of fries while you're at it.

Wooloomooloo Steakhouse, Hong Kong
Photograph: Courtesy Wooloomooloo

6. Wooloomooloo Steakhouse, Hong Kong

Temporarily closed

The view Wooloomooloo is known for serving quality steaks, but the real winner here is its spacious open-air rooftop terrace that showcases jaw-dropping views of Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour, Happy Valley and the Wan Chai neighbourhood.

The vibe The rooftop terrace offers an easy-going yet lively atmosphere – perfect for grabbing a tipple or two during breezy afternoons or after-work drinks in the evening when you can enjoy the dazzling Hong Kong skyline.

The drinks Enjoy sippers from their classic or signature cocktail menu or peruse the wine list for something big and red to go with your filet mignon.

Don’t miss A reservation is essential if you want one of the best seats in the house, but you can drop in earlier in the afternoon for worthwhile happy hour deals and a seat on the terrace. Time Out Hong Kong

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Melbourne

The view Getting a front-row seat at this picturesque rooftop bar is like an Olympic sport, but those who succeed are treated to breathtaking views of iconic city architecture including the Princess Theatre, Parliament and St Patrick's Cathedral. It's like a tour bus, but with booze.

The vibe Don't be fooled by the white table cloths and secret-garden environs – Siglo is as welcoming as your best friend's backyard. Come for an afternoon Aperol Spritz in the sun or a flashy celebration with caviar, cigars and champagne – either way, you’re well looked after here.  

The drinks Sharing a cellar with Melbourne Supper Club has its benefits, namely a curt but excellent list of reds and whites. But there's no better way to kick off your rooftop romp than with flutes of champagne for the table. After midnight, switch to sipping cognac or barrel-aged rum.

Don’t miss If the smell of cigar smoke irks you, you'll want to skip the trip. Siglo is understandably proud of its humidor and its impressive selection of Havanas, which are puffed all night long.

🌇Discover more of the best rooftop bars in Melbourne

8. SkyLounge Amsterdam, Amsterdam

The view Amsterdam is an unusually flat city, so you don’t need to get up high to be above it all. From the 11th floor, SkyLounge offers unparalleled up-close views of the Basilica of Saint Nicholas and Amsterdam’s iconic canal houses, with sightlines stretching all the way out to Schiphol airport.

The vibe Perched on top of the DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station hotel, this breezy rooftop is usually buzzing with locals, expats and tourists alike bobbing their heads to the DJ’s tracks while planning out a weekend’s worth of mischief.

The drinks When you think Amsterdam, you naturally think tropical cocktails. No? Well, they’re in high demand here, though those with more refined tastes can always opt for something based on champagne or gin instead.

Don’t miss Sunset, when the city glows with that unbeatable Dutch light. Just remember that the golden hour ranges from 4pm in December to 10pm in June. Christina Newberry

🍹Discover more of the best bars in Amsterdam

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The view Towering high above nearby rooftop bars, Westlight offers unbelievable views of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan from a wraparound terrace that's dotted with canary-yellow viewfinders that allow guests to get an even better look at the great expanse ahead and below.

The vibe When the elevator doors open, it's hard to keep your jaw from hitting the floor. Play it cool, collect yourself and settle into the warm, industrial space. It's impossible not to feel special while you're here – and the energy of the crowd only amplifies the positive vibes.

The drinks The classic G&T gets a jolt of energy from stinging nettle and hopped grapefruit bitters, while The Meadow blends tequila, Aperol, pineapple and lemon with a kick of chipotle to finish.

Don’t miss You're here for the drinks and the views, sure, but don't neglect the food, which somehow captures exactly what we want to stuff our faces with when we're tipsy: spicy chicken empanadas, shrimp dumplings and duck carnitas tacos. We'll take one of each!

🌇Discover more of the best rooftop bars in NYC

The Pulitzer Terrace at Hotel Pulitzer, Barcelona
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Ciutat Vella

The view This urban garden on the seventh floor of the Hotel Pulitzer might not offer the most dizzying views of the city, but few are as strategically placed as this. You get an aerial view from the nerve centre of Barcelona, a visual hinge between the mad meandering of La Rambla and the reasonable logic of the Eixample.

The vibe A pioneer in the craze of opening hotel rooftop terraces to the public, the Pulitzer Terrace is a classic of cool. Catch some of the best DJs in Barcelona spinning electronic music throughout the summer as part of the venue’s #BuenasTardesPulitzer sessions.

The drinks You can’t escape the Aperol Spritz: in fact, this terrace was one of the first to serve it in Barcelona. But you could also delve into the bar’s splendid selection of wines by the glass.

Don’t miss The cuisine by chef Olly Melhuish, from street food to barbecue, which deserves more than one visit. Ricard Martín, Time Out Barcelona

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The view What can you see from this luxe Four Seasons rooftop bar? The better question might be what can't you see from here? Stare at the glistening skyline or get lost in the never-ending bay. Don't worry – you certainly won't be the only one with your camera out.

The vibe Impossibly posh. Wonderfully chic. Breathtakingly stunning. How many ways can we say that this rooftop is a knockout? The limit does not exist.

The drinks Second only to the vistas are the boundary-pushing sippers. The Lucky Nut plays with coconut fat-washed scotch whiskey, while the Clarity incorporates clarified tomato and basil juice. Or, keep it simple with a glass of sauvignon blanc.

Don’t miss The sundowner specials, which gets you two-for-one craft cocktails daily. Trust us, you'll want to stay for a second round.

Smoke & Mirrors, Singapore
Photograph: Natasha Hong

12. Smoke & Mirrors, Singapore

The view Perched at the National Gallery, Smoke and Mirrors is a prime spot for breathtaking vistas of the city, from the Padang to the Bay. Roll through after dark to enjoy the night glow of the surrounding skyscrapers.

The vibe Sexy and secret, the dim lights set the tone for an undeniably romantic night out. Looking for something more casual? Request seats on the balcony for a view of the Bay.

The drinks There's nothing quite like the bar's The Real Art of Drinking menu, which presents a roster of cocktails inspired by famous works of art that are on display at the National Gallery Singapore. The Serenity, for instance, pulls from Chen Wen Hsi's eponymous painting with a calming blend of gin, almond, coconut jam and citrus.

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars

The view The elevator will pass 40 floors before you finally reach this ultra trendy rooftop lounge at the EAST hotel. Remain patient and soon you’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views of the city and surrounding waterways – all framed by lush greenery.

The vibe Sugar feels more like a secluded, storybook garden than a bar, but that doesn't mean that it's a hidden gem. During peak hours, there's a line out front to get in – and it only gets longer on Friday and Saturday nights. But once you're inside, perched on a plush couch with a drink in your hand, it's easy to let all your cares drip away.

The drinks Start with a specialty spritz before making your way to the Lychee Blossom (vodka, sake and lychee), one of the bar's most popular cocktails. Can't beat the heat? Switch to the Passion Fruit Margarita, a tequila-spiked sorbet.

Don’t miss On the same floor of the hotel, tucked away behind a back door, you'll find the Tea Room, a super-sexy speakeasy where you can enjoy night brunch and bottomless bubbles on select evenings. And yes, the views are just as stunning from here.

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Terrasse William Gray, Montreal
Photograph: Terrasse William Gray

14. Terrasse William Gray, Montreal

Temporarily closed

The view From the eighth floor of the William Gray Hotel, you'll get an eyeful of the bustling Place Jacques-Cartier, the meditative St. Lawrence River and the city's massively whimsical Ferris wheel. And maybe – if you get really, really lucky – you might just catch some fireworks.

The vibe She's elegance and taste! The modern surrounds lean laid-back while the lunchtime crowd noshes on beef tartare and plump shrimp cocktails. Come sunset, the energy gets turned all the way up, and the terrace vibrates with anticipation.

The drinks There's a lengthy menu of expertly crafted cocktails as well as a shorter (but equally intricate) lineup of spirit-free sippers, like the Carmen, with raspberry purée, berry berry tea syrup, lime and ginger beer. Wine fanatics will be giddy about the selection of pours from around the globe, including a few from Canada.

Don’t miss Four floors down, you'll find Terrasse Perché, another alfresco deck that deals in healthy eats and easy, breezy, rooftop-friendly libations. Choose your own adventure!

🌇Discover more of the best rooftop bars in Montreal

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Ginkgo Sky Bar at VP Plaza España Design, Madrid
  • Bars and pubs
  • Hotel bars
  • Centro

The view Cast your gaze over Madrid’s splendid Plaza de España or admire the sunset over the rooftops of the historic neighbourhood of Los Austrias with the imposing Royal Palace as a spectacular backdrop.

The vibe When the sun sets on this 12th-floor terrace, it’s all about the live music – expect a mix of jazz, funk, ’80s and ’90s hits and Ibizan house throughout the week. If you're looking for a bit of calm, make an afternoon reservation to sip a spritz in the sun.

The drink The ginkgo was the only tree to survive the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, so just imagine what the cocktail that bears its name – concocted with gin, shiso leaf, lemongrass, Jerez sherry and pink pepper tonic – can do for you.

Don’t miss The pool is exclusively for guests of the hotel (sorry!) but if you sneak a peek at its glass bottom, you can catch a glimpse of a stunning waterfall sculpture by Pere Gifre. Gorka Elorrieta, Time Out Madrid

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Mahanakhon SkyBar, Bangkok
  • Restaurants

The view At what is currently Bangkok’s highest bar, you get a bird’s-eye view of everything great about the city in one glance: the lit-up streets of Silom, the gleaming skyscrapers of Sukhumvit, the majestic Chao Phraya River and the deep green jungle of Bang Krachao.

The vibe French designer Tristan Auer has interpreted ‘Thainess’ in the form of curved wooden chairs, supple leather couches and soft lighting, coupled with the luxurious aesthetics of the Orient Express. Outdoor seats are best reserved on a clear and breezy day.

The drinks A lineup of classic cocktails finds balance in some delicious mocktails. Reach for the St. Tropez (watermelon, passion fruit and vanilla) by day and the Rooibos Sour (bourbon-vanilla tea, lemon, honey and bitters) in the evening.

Don’t miss The trip up a few more floors to the building’s observation deck, currently Thailand’s highest. Top Koaysomboon, Time Out Bangkok

Want more? Here are the best rooftop bars in Bangkok.

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Downtown

The view Sure, you can see Paris Las Vegas, Caesars Palace and even the mountains in the distance from up here, but your eyes will mostly likely be transfixed on the pool and the stage, which hosts the likes of 2 Chainz, Future and Gucci Keyshia Cole.

The vibe There's no ifs ands or buts about it: This 25,000-square-foot rooftop club in the Cromwell Hotel is a scene. We're talking confetti, bottle service and pyrotechnics. The next morning, it starts all over again as Drai's transforms into a dayclub filled with swimsuit-clad guests frolicking in the sunshine.

The drinks Credit cards at the ready! Bottle service starts small and goes big – like, really, really big. For the cost of a car, you can get a bottle of Dom Perignon and a 30-second firework display. And it only goes up from there.

Don’t miss The star-studded calendar of musical guests is worth keeping an eye on and planning your visit around.

18. Saigon Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City

The view A thrilling vista across one of Asia’s most vivacious cities, with the sun dipping behind ramshackle streets dotted with colonial-era landmarks and neon-lit towers.

The vibe Drenched in history, this atmospheric terrace bar on the ninth floor of the Caravelle Hotel hasn’t changed much since it served as a media centre for the world’s press during the American War. Happy hour here is the perfect time to recharge amid Ho Chi Minh City’s sensory excesses.

The drinks Pretend you’re a 1960s war correspondent and grab an ice-cold, tailor-brewed Caravelle Terrace Draft beer. Or if cocktails are your thing, a Miss Saigon makes for a colourful production.

Don’t miss Look out for another famous rooftop, a block or so away, at the Pittman Building. It’s where the last American chopper to flee Saigon was photographed by Hubert Van Es in April 1975, from this very terrace. James Brennan

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • West Hollywood

The view The Hollywood Hills somehow look even more glamorous from all the way up here, especially at night. L.P., the rooftop bar of Southeast Asian restaurant E.P., gives you a tantalising glimpse of one of the world’s most exclusive neighbourhoods – not to mention the surrounding streets of West Hollywood, which come to life when the sun goes down. Grab a seat along the edge for the best views.

The vibe Part breezy tropical hideout, part Instagram bait, the lush hanging plants and inviting neon make L.P. something of a go-to for L.A.’s young and fashionable. That's not to say all aren’t welcome, but you might want to put some thought into your outfit beyond sweatpants (unless, of course, they’re designer streetwear).

The drinks L.P. keeps pace with the eclectic, bright flavours downstairs, serving boba cocktails (complete with massive straws), cocktail pitchers, frosé and vibrant combos such as mescal with passion fruit and Thai chilli.

Don’t miss Pad your belly with crispy eggplant tacos, carne asada skewers and lemon pepper chicken wings. Stephanie Breijo, Time Out Los Angeles

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Loop

The view Millennium Park is Chicago’s front yard, and Cindy’s is the place for a bird’s-eye view. It looks out over the park’s world-famous Cloud Gate sculpture (known universally as ‘The Bean’) as well as many of the city’s notable architectural marvels – and Lake Michigan, glittering beyond.

The vibe The crown jewel of the Chicago Athletic Association hotel, Cindy’s is the kind of place that’s universally beloved by locals and tourists – even in winter, when the outdoor fire pits keep visitors warm. You’ll find groups of friends catching up over oysters and rosé at the communal tables, and a steady stream of people ogling the skyline from every angle.

The drinks The perfect thing to sip on the sprawling outdoor terrace is Mama's Garden: a juicy blend of gin, Luxardo Bitter Bianco, cucumber, basil and lemon.

Don’t miss If you've blown your budget on cocktails, there's no shame in grabbing a burger and fries to go from Shake Shack, located on the ground floor of the hotel. Morgan Olsen, Time Out Chicago

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21. Trade Skybar, Buenos Aires

The view Buenos Aires vistas come two for the price of one at Trade, which houses watering holes on both the 19th and 22nd floors of the Argentinian capital’s famous Comega building. Head to the Art Deco tower’s outdoor rooftop to soak up views of regenerated docking area Puerto Madero, the River Plate, the iconic Obelisk and, on a clear day, all the way to Uruguay.

The vibe The chocolate-brown leather booths and lime-green window seats at the nineteenth-floor bar hint at yuppie glory days, attracting suits and model types, while the roof draws the lunchtime office crowd and sunset selfie-hunters.

The drinks Consultant bartender López Davalos has taken influences from the Japanese stock exchange, of all places. Try the Chivas Mizunara-based Three White Soldiers, infused with wagyu beef and topped with jerky.

Don’t miss The chance to dine like a president: Dante Liporace, chef to Argentina’s head of state, also oversees the menus at Trade. Meaty hits include his steak tartare and ribeye burger. Sorrel Moseley-Williams

Sixty, Moscow
Photograph: Shutterstock

22. Sixty, Moscow

The view Despite its name, Sixty is located on the 62nd floor of the Federation Tower (Sixy-Two just doesn't have the same ring to it). The floor-to-ceiling glass windows frame some of the city's most iconic sites, including the winding Moskva River and the twisted Evolution Tower skyscraper.

The vibe Sixty is the kind of place you want to go when someone else is paying – and preferably with an expense account. The crowd is exquisitely posh, while the service is impeccable. Every hour, the windows open to let in some fresh air – a welcome treat when you're this high in the sky.

The drinks Cocktails are the way to go. The expansive menu ranges from fun and playful (the Bitter Raspberry mixes sorbet and prosecco) to sophisticated (the Japanese Negroni incorporates plum wine and herbal liqueur). Not drinking? The homemade aloe lemonade is perfectly refreshing.

Don’t miss Chef Sergei Kondakov's menu, which includes tantalizing dishes like ossobuco with fragrant saffron risotto and a cloud of crunchy pavlova crowned with a mess of fresh berries.

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Greater Philadelphia

The view Philadelphia’s ever-evolving skyline holds court to the north, looking especially dazzling at night with all its twinkling lights. Spot the Benjamin Franklin Bridge jutting up to your right and gritty West Philly to the left.

The vibe Stretching across the roof of an enormous former high school in South Philadelphia, the Bok Bar offers plenty of space for its crowd of well-dressed young scenesters to spread out and enjoy the epic skyline view. Colourful, blocky furniture mimics the days when the Bok was an actual learning institution and good tunes keep the vibe going till close.

The drinks Choose from a roster of beers – some of which, like the Victory Summer Love, are Pennsylvania-brewed – and a handful of wines from across the globe. A pair of rotating but reliable cocktails rounds out the menu.

Don’t miss A visit just before the sun goes down on a clear night will reward you with a spectacular sunset over the City of Brotherly Love. Josh Middleton

🌇Discover more of the best rooftop bars in Philadelphia

Turtle Bay Bar & Grill, Abu Dhabi
Photograph: Courtesy Rotana Rewards

24. Turtle Bay Bar & Grill, Abu Dhabi

The view A stunning vista out to the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf. You’ll overlook the protected sands of Saadiyat Island, home of the Emirati capital’s resident hawksbill turtles.

The vibe It’s a rooftop bar overlooking the sand and sea, so things are pretty chill. Come early for sundowners, or you’ll be fighting for a seat near the edge – at least until the crowd begins to thin, once dinner service is underway at the rather good surf and turf restaurant downstairs. (Oh, and like most rooftop bars in the UAE, this one closes for summer.)

The drinks Skip the liqueur coffees (it’s going to be hot, after all) and try one of the bar’s speciality juleps. Our pick is the Makers Mark option, with the bourbon, orange bitters, mint and cane sugar.

Don’t miss The dolphins! The coast off Saadiyat is famous for being home to pods of them. Keep an eye out and you’ll eventually be rewarded. Paul Clifford, Time Out Abu Dhabi

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25. The Maze, Rio de Janeiro

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The view In a city blessed with a disproportionate number of breathtaking views, it’s hard to choose a favourite. Yet the lofty viewpoint at The Maze that looks out over the Guanabara Bay and the iconic Sugarloaf mountain is a strong contender.

The vibe Perched at the top of Tavares Bastos, one of Rio’s safest favelas, The Maze’s unusual location makes it a hotspot for adventurous backpackers and locals. As the name suggests, it’s an intriguing labyrinth of corridors and multi-level spaces that heave with visitors on the venue’s popular jazz nights.

The drinks Caipirinha, of course! When in Rio, there’s no cocktail quite as refreshing as this classic mix of lime juice and cachaça. The ones at The Maze are the perfect blend of sweet and strong.

Don’t miss The handmade mosaic of palm trees, people, and birds tiled throughout, which transforms the building into a vibrant piece of storytelling art. Sarah Brown

Now discover the world’s best bars

The Time Out DRINK List
  • Bars and pubs

Time Out’s local experts scour their cities every day for the freshest, most inventive, most memorable and downright tastiest places to drink on Planet Earth right now. Raise a glass with us to the best bars in the world.

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