Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right Check out 21 of the planet's most spectacular rooftop bars

Check out 21 of the planet's most spectacular rooftop bars

Enjoy a taste of the high life with our pick of some of the world’s most jaw-dropping rooftop bars
Flair, Hong Kong
Photograph: Chris Cypert

If stunning rooftops, Insta-worthy sunsets and alfresco cocktails don’t get you excited for warm weather, we don’t know what will. Fancy topping up your tan at a beach-side boozer in Melbourne? Or perhaps you’d rather sip martinis on an actual helipad in Kuala Lumpur? From sun-drenched views of the Hollywood Hills to sipping amongst Shanghai’s sexy skyscraper-studded skyline, there’s a rooftop bar for all occasions (and all weathers). So if you’ve got a head for heights and like your drinks served with a 360-degree panoramic view, get ready to rise up: Here are 20 of the world’s most spectacular places to get high.

Set your expression to wow...

Sugar at EAST, Miami
Photograph: Courtesy EAST
Bars, Cocktail bars

Sugar, Miami

Towering 40 feet above the city and sheltered by luscious, green shrubbery, this bar is one you’d never realize existed if someone didn’t tip you off. But views like this deserve to be shared, so we don’t mind letting you in on Miami’s worst kept secret—particularly when there are delicious Asian-themed cocktails involved.

Alfresco 64
Photograph: Kaan

Alfresco 64 - A Chivas Bar, Bangkok

Chivas thinks its whiskey tastes better at a height, and we’re inclined to think you’ll agree. Designed like a luxury yacht and rising 800 feet above the bustling Bangkok streets, Alfresco 64 is said to be the world’s highest whiskey bar. It serves the spirit in specially selected carafes, but you’ll probably be too absorbed in the view to notice.

Frank's Cafe
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Ania Mendrek
Bars, Cocktail bars

Frank’s Café, London

Wondering where Londoners flock to when the sun finally decides to show up? Just follow the hip crowd to the top of Peckham’s finest multi-story carpark, where you’ll find the masses snapping that gorgeous sunset while sipping Aperol spritzes underneath the bar’s striking red tarpaulin cover.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Ania Mendrek

Mama Shelter Los Angeles
Photograph: Courtesy Mama Shelter Los Angeles
Restaurants, Contemporary American

Mama Shelter, Los Angeles

icon-location-pin Hollywood

Sun seekers come to this rooftop restaurant for the rustic, home-cooked comfort food and stay for the sun-drenched views of the Hollywood Hills. Cancel that date with Netflix and spend the evening sipping signature cocktails on Mama Shelter’s comfy striped sofas instead for guaranteed vacation vibes.

Photograph: Dick.L
Restaurants, Steakhouse

Wooloomooloo, Hong Kong

icon-location-pin Wan Chai

A firm fave among expats and locals alike, this chic rooftop bar with its huge terrace overlooking Victoria Harbour and the Happy Valley race track certainly has the Woo! factor. An extensive and worldly wine list should keep you occupied for the evening—if you can tear your eyes away from that powerful vista.

Mikla Restaurant'ın Terası

Mikla, Istanbul

Shimmering sea views over the Bosphorus aren’t the only reason this rooftop bar is regularly packed out (though it probably has something to do with it). The mouthwatering Mediterranean menu secured it a place on 2017’s World’s Best Restaurants list and the bar serves up a banging martini.

Gallow Green
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Bars, Cocktail bars

Gallow Green, New York

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Who said rooftop bars were just for summer? The verdant Gallow Green with its fairy-lit, flower-woven trellises transforms into The Lodge during winter months, so you can still catch those stunning West Side views without catching a chill. The McKittrick hotel, on top of which the bar sits, doubles as a theatrical performance space, so prepare for your Sleep Bowmore punch to come with a side of (welcome) drama.

Flair, Hong Kong
Photograph: Chris Cypert

Flair, Shanghai

As far as stunning rooftop views go, it really doesn’t get much better (or higher) than the sight that greets diners from the 58th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Pudong (the highest alfresco dining venue in China). With the Oriental Pearl Tower looming close by and the glittering city lights laid out before you, you can instantly forgive the steep drinks prices.

California Academy of Sciences
Photograph: Tim Griffith
Museums, Science and technology

California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

icon-location-pin Golden Gate Park

Thursday nights at this science museum are all about booze, experiments and access to the vast ‘living’ roof, which offers splendid views of the M.H. de Young Museum, Sutro Tower and Golden Gate Park. The rolling terrain actually represents the seven hills of San Francisco and is planted up with bird- and butterfly-luring native plants—so you can soak up the nature alongside your seasonal cocktails.

Le Perchoir © C. Griffoulières - Time Out Paris
Bars, Beer bars

Bar Le Perchoir, Paris

At the slightest patch of blue sky, trendy Parisians flock to this handsome rooftop in Menilmontant—and with that 360-degree view over the capital, it’s not difficult to see why. Order the cocktail of the day, settle down on a cushion-strewn sofa and watch the sun set over the Sacré-Coeur for the ultimate romantic Parisian experience.

Four Seasons, Mumbai - Bar - AER
Photograph: Jaideep Oberoi

AER Rooftop Bar at The Four Seasons, Mumbai

As soon as it hits 5:30pm, a well-dressed crowd leaves the bustle of Mumbai 34 floors below and beelines for AER’s Sunset Happy Hour, where two-for-one cocktails and regular DJ sets have guests partying into the wee hours. The bar encompasses the entire roof of the Four Season’s hotel and there’s even a handy canopy for monsoon season.

Bars, Hotel bars

Downtown MĂ©xico Rooftop Bar, Mexico City

icon-location-pin Cuauhtémoc

Located on top of one of Mexico City’s best boutique hotels, Downtown’s mixture of contemporary architecture and retro furniture oozes laidback charm. Locals head here for a fancy breakfast, the awesome live DJ pool parties and, of course, those gorgeous views of Mexico City’s most beautiful buildings, such as Casino Español and Torre Latinoamericana.

Living Room
Photograph: Shannon

Living Room, Johannesburg

Sprouting from a rooftop in inner-city Joberg, the Living Room is an urban oasis in the sky that’s all about those relaxed vibes—that is, until Sunday afternoon, when the hammock-swinging locals hit the overgrown, fairy-lit patio for an evening of DJs and cocktails.

Skye Bar, Sao Paulo
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/nydiscovery7

Skye Bar, Sao Paulo

This glam bar perched atop the luxurious Unique Hotel comes with uninterrupted sweeping vistas of the Sao Paulo skyline. A stylish crowd heads here to sip on wasabi martinis and dip their manicured toes in the open-air pool, where an underwater sound system ensures fully immersive party vibes.

Palmz Melbourne
Photograph: Chris Sutherland
Bars, Cocktail bars

Palmz Rooftop bar, Melbourne

icon-location-pin Melbourne

At this tropical-inspired rooftop above Melbourne’s Carlton Hotel city-dwellers prop themselves up on bamboo-lined tables while sipping tiki cocktails underneath giant palm fronds. This is Melbourne via the Bahamas and it’s worth climbing every step for.

Photograph: Chris Sutherland

Heli Lounge Bar - PR shot

Heli Lounge bar, Kuala Lumpur

icon-location-pin Bukit Bintang

After-work drinks on a helipad? Why not! When level 34 of Menara KH isn’t hosting helicopters, it’s serving up stunning 360-degree views of KL city to snap-happy tourists. And there’s no barriers to interrupt those Insta-perfect sunsets, so probably best not to go heavy on the booze.

ME Madrid Reina Victoria, The Penthouse
Photograph: Courtesy

Radio at ME Madrid Reina Victoria, Madrid

icon-location-pin Centro

You’ll know you’ve hit the jackpot when those elevator doors open and you’re met with stunning views of the Plaza de Santa Ana. Low-slung Balinese beds, candlelit table tops and a heavenly tapas and cocktail menu add Latin flair to this swanky penthouse bar, while local and international DJs keep late night revelers on their toes long after sunset.

Lighthouse Bar Durban
Photograph: DOOK

Lighthouse Bar, Durban

It’s all about those glittering Indian Ocean views at this coastline bar atop the star-studded Oyster Box Hotel. Once you’ve secured a table, order an Umhlanga Schling served with fresh pineapple for maximum chill factor. This place shouldn’t be too hard to find: Just head for the candy-striped lighthouse out front.

Coogee Pavilion
Photograph: Courtesy Coogee Pavilion

Coogee Pavilion, Sydney

Want to top up your tan, get sloshed on fruity highball cocktails and enjoy blissed-out beach views? Of course you do! Just follow the throng of sun-kissed Sydneysiders to this lovely waterfront venue at popular Coogee Beach, where you can bask in the sea breeze thanks to the two fully retractable walls. Genius.

40 Kong

40 Kong, Dubai

Rising out of Dubai’s business district, 40 Kong is a stylish rooftop bar bordered by nothing but glass screens. Nab a high-bar seat, curl up under the free blankets and take in the bright lights of the city. When the dress code is Smart Elegant, you know you’ll be clinking glasses with some high flyers, so better dig out your Sunday best for this one.

Photograph: Thomas Hart Shelby
Restaurants, Contemporary American


icon-location-pin Loop

Cindy’s rooftop at the Chicago Athletic Association is the city’s crown jewel watering hole. Perched on the 13th floor of the restored hotel, the space boasts killer views of Millennium Park, fire pits on the outdoor terrace, incredibly balanced cocktails and family-style food options. If you have time for just one drink in Chicago, this is the place to have it.

More amazing rooftops across the world

Radio Rooftop Bar

The best rooftop bars in London

Find swish cocktails, plush lounges and gourmet bar snacks galore, not to mention a front-row seat to the sexiest skyline on the planet. 

Sugar at East
Photograph: Courtesy Sugar/Michael Weber
Bars, Lounges

The best rooftop bars in Miami

Kick your night off at one of the best rooftop bars in Miami, where you can watch the sky transform into a pink- and orange-streaked work of art.

Photograph: Courtesy Jones
Bars, Bars

The best rooftop bars in San Francisco

Of all the places where you can kick back with a drink (cocktail spot, brewpub, wine bar), those with a killer view always come out on top. See for yourself at the city’s best rooftop bars. 

View of the city skyline from Fitzroy bar Naked in the Sky
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Bars, Cocktail bars

The best rooftop bars in Melbourne

Melbourne may not have the greatest weather, but when the temperature rises and the sky is clear, it always delivers on the outdoor drinking front. 

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