There’s a certain romance that comes with rooftop bars. Whether it’s sipping on champagne while overlooking an exotic city or drinking your favourite beer above your own backyard, nothing compares to having a drink just a little bit closer to the clouds. So pack your bags, choose your Instagram filters and take the lift to the top floor, because here are 10 of the world’s most amazing rooftop bars you need to visit.
1. 230 Fifth, New York City
New York’s largest rooftop beer garden, 230 Fifth is a massive tree-lined bar in the middle of Manhattan. Located on the lavish Fifth Avenue, this bar fills up with the young guns of the corporate world and those that have just been given access to their trust fund. With views looking out over midtown and the Empire State Building, it’s little wonder that this is not only one of New York’s most popular rooftop bars, but it is also one of the world’s greatest.
2. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Singapore has one of the world’s most impressive skylines, and the big city has a small footprint which means buildings go skyward. This bar sits atop the Marina Bay Sands hotel, 57 storeys up. Looking over the water and across to the port city’s wall of skyscrapers, it’s the perfect place to sip in the view and, of course, a Singapore Sling.
3. Klunkerkranich, Berlin
From corporate New York to hipster Berlin, Klunkerkranich embodies a slice of today’s Germany. The bar looks out over the city of Berlin, with the business district cutting a silhouette on the near horizon. The bar has a distinctly urban feel, sitting above a car park and fitted out with recycled timber. Klunkerkranich lets Berlin do the talking for it, whether that be the people, the live music or the views.
4. White Rabbit, Moscow
Although more restaurant than bar, and technically indoors, we couldn’t go past Moscow’s White Rabbit as one of the world’s most stunning places to eat and drink. Enclosed under a glass dome sixteen stories up, White Rabbit escapes Moscow’s brutal winters while taking in all of its beauty. Named one of the world’s best restaurants, White Rabbit now also finds itself on The Trend Spotter’s prestigious list.
5. Four Seasons, Mumbai
Not the typical rooftop bar, this Mumbai vantage point sits atop a hotel. The clean, stylish feel combined with Mumbai’s propensity to produce spectacular sunsets means this bar makes our list. The bar offers an entirely different perspective than you might gain on the streets of Mumbai, bringing some tranquillity over an otherwise chaotic city.
6. Rooftop Bar, Melbourne
Another slightly different take on the concept, The Rooftop Bar opens up as a cinema over the summer months. With a view from the top of Curtin House that looks up to Melbourne’s CBD, you could be forgiven for your eyes wandering away from the film you’ve paid to watch. Unpretentious and very Melbourne, head to the rooftop cinema and bar for a chilled out summer night.
7. Rock Bar, Bali
When you think of rooftop bars your mind usually wanders to thriving mega cities with views of skyscrapers stretching to the horizon. That being said, the island retreat of Bali has plenty to offer up in the air. Rock Bar is situated at AYANA Resort and brings a uniquely Bali twist to the traditional rooftop bar, in that it’s situated on the top of a cliff. Sitting 14 metres above the Indian Ocean, this bar’s views are breathtaking.
8. Sky Bar Lebua, Bangkok
You might recognise this bar from The Hangover 2 and Chow’s classic switcheroo. But this rooftop bar was famous before it was a movie star. The Sky Bar—and the attached Sirocco restaurant—is a must-see for many visiting Bangkok, so it gets busy. But jostling for a bit of elbow room is worth it just to take in the views of one of the world’s most vibrant cities.
9. Wooloomooloo, Hong Kong
The Hong Kong skyline is a masterpiece in its own right. Buildings rise up in almost impossibly small spaces. The city is dense and tall, so it makes sense that Hong Kong would have some incredible rooftop spaces. Wooloomooloo looks over this densely populated metropolis with views from the CBD to the Harbour. This bar looks amazing, plus we like to think that its name was inspired by Australia’s own Woolloomooloo.
10. 40 Kong, Dubai
It’s fair to say that Dubai is a city better viewed in panorama than at ground level. With so much spectacular architecture it makes sense to get up high and have a better look. 40 Kong is a fairly new addition to Dubai’s rooftop scene, and it has made an immediate impact. With its modern decor and a perfect mix of bar and lounge vibes, this 40th-floor nightclub makes for awesome memories and better photos.
11. Le 360, Cannes
Perhaps this bar makes it on to our list entirely because of what surrounds it. It doesn’t matter because Le 360 is one of the most breathtaking places in the world to have a drink. Situated on top of a Cannes hotel, this bar overlooks the sea, the mountains and the city of Cannes. Everywhere you look is another postcard shot.
12. Mama Shelter, Los Angeles
One of the more colourful entrants to this list is Hollywood’s Mama Shelter rooftop bar. Situated above a trendy boutique hotel, Mama Shelter’s rooftop bar is a bright reprieve from the streets of L.A. With plenty of places to lounge and dine, you can spend all day here looking out over the Hollywood Hills and the expanse of L.A.
13. Long Island Summer Lounge, Frankfurt
If you’re following a map to find this place, you could be forgiven for thinking that you’ve got the wrong address. The Long Island Summer Lounge sits atop an unassuming seven storey parking station in Frankfurt. But the vibe is positively summer with a sun deck and swimming pool you will forget about the stacked cars beneath you. With views over the ‘Mainhattan’ skyline, it’s the rooftop to find in a Frankfurt summer.
14. Radio, London
The idea of a rooftop bar in sunny London may seem like a crazy notion, but when the sun appears Londoners flock to sun soaked spots. Radio sits ten storeys above The Strand and takes in views of The City to Westminster.
15. Grace Santorini, Santorini
There are few words that can aptly describe the beauty of Santorini. The almost exclusively white buildings on the Greek Island overlook some of the bluest water you’ve seen. Everywhere is the scene from a postcard. Grace Santorini lets the picture perfect landscape do all of its talking for it.
16. W, Hong Kong
This rooftop bar and swimming pool is the centrepiece of this chic, high-rise Hong Kong hotel. Choosing to stay at W is a risk if you want to see some of Hong Kong, because with views like this, it’s going to be difficult to pull yourself away from the rooftop.
17. Skye Bar, Sao Paulo
Another bar situated on the rooftop of a major hotel is Sao Paulo’s Skye Bar. Often rated amongst the world’s best, this bar gives you 360-degree views of Brazil’s biggest cities. The bar doubles as the hotel’s pool deck, so if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Brazil, book yourself a room and take advantage of one of the most picture perfect swims you’ll ever take.
18. Grand Hotel Central, Barcelona
A rooftop bar above a heritage hotel in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, it’s almost surreal how good that sounds. The bar gets busy for dinner and drinks, opening up to the general public after 9 o’clock. But the infinity pool is the place to be to take in the views of the old town at the slowest pace possible.
19. Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai
Not too long ago, this rooftop bar may not have made this list. It’s easy to forget how much Shanghai’s skyline has grown over the past 25 years, but today it’s one of the brightest and most impressive business districts in Asia. With the best views of the Oriental Pearl Tower, and the greater Bund area, Ritz-Carlton’s rooftop offering is a must-visit whenever you find yourself in the Paris of the East.
20. Ghostbar, Las Vegas
The word ‘vibrant’ would be an understatement for this city; Las Vegas is the home of electric nightlife. The city’s skyline paints a picture of what to expect, adorned with everything from pyramids to Eiffel Towers, anything goes in Las Vegas. Ghostbar is a 55th-floor nightclub that screams ‘Las Vegas’. With panoramic views of the strip, Ghostbar lets you drink in the luminescence of Las Vegas, while partying like you only can in Las Vegas.