10 ‘can’t miss’ rooftop bars around the world

 

There is nothing that compares to the feeling and excitement that overwhelms you when you arrive in a new city. The excitement and anticipation to try new foods, interact with new people and new ways of life, and experience things that you never knew existed. So, to start planning all of these great things you’re about to do, why not go above the clouds and take in the city from a bird’s eye view? From your new perspective, visually plot out each area and see the landmarks from a distance you’re dying to see up close. It’s as if the places on this list were made just for this reason! And while you’re up there, you might as well do all of those things over a cocktail and some dishes synonymous with the city. It only makes sense.

Sky Bar, Bangkok

63 floors up (yikes!) you might need a cocktail or two just to ease your nerves when you get there. Lucky for you, in addition to one of the best views of the city, there are plenty of fancy cocktails for you to choose from. But really you should just go for a Siam Sunray, Thailand’s official signature cocktail.

Sky Bar, Bangkok

1-Altitude, Singapore

With a 360-degree view of Singapore, there’s nothing quite like experiencing the city like this. Take a walk out onto the triangular edge and look for the 20 landmarks located in all directions around you. They even provide each landmark’s history through the use of an interactive technology platform. So really, coming here is like your official introduction to Singapore.

Radio Rooftop Bar, London

If you can’t see it from here, it’s not worth seeing. Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but you get where we’re going with this. London Bridge, the Shard, Big Ben, the London Eye – basically every essential London landmark is at your fingertips when you’re here. This place is extremely popular with locals, so expect a queue and a trendy London crowd.

Radio Rooftop Bar, London

Salvation Taco Rooftop Bar, New York City

Everything about Salvation Taco at the Pod 39 Hotel packs a big punch, especially the rooftop bar. With Edison lights, exposed brick and an incredible view of the city, this place looks like it’s right out of a movie. The crowd here is a good mix of locals and tourists, and a surprisingly good place to meet people. Expect great music, stiff drinks, fantastic tacos and a good time, just like out of your favorite romantic comedy.

Salvation Taco Rooftop Bar, NYC

The New York Bar, Tokyo

Live jazz, an incredible cocktail and wine list and a magnificent city view. What more could you want? Come at dusk to experience the sun setting over the city as it lights up with life. Plus, by getting there early you’ll avoid the cover charge and you’ll be able to grab a good seat. Both things you’ll thank us for later.

New York Bar, Tokyo

Ozone Bar, Hong Kong

One of the chicest and most modern rooftop bars on this list, Ozone bar is also the highest bar in the world. A mere 118 floors up, the view of Victoria Harbor and the surrounding city are ones that will stay with you forever. Try to grab a seat on the open roof terrace if you can.

Rooftop Terrace at Hotel de Rome, Berlin

It is almost as if you can reach out and touch the essential Berlin landmarks that surround this lovely rooftop terrace. Landmarks that include the Berlin Cathedral and the State Opera House, just to name a few. Sip on a champagne, vodka or a fruit based cocktail while lounging around at this very classic European terrace and take in the old world meets new world vibe like a this is where you were always meant to be.

Hotel de Rome Roof Terrace, Berlin

Mikla, Istanbul

Istanbul has one of the most remarkable skylines in the world. The architecture, the sounds, the life, it all comes across so effortlessly for this remarkable city. Spend an evening at Mikla and take it all in over some of the city’s best Mediterranean-inspired dishes.

Mikla, Istanbul

SE•STO on Arno, Florence

The Ponte Vecchio! The Duomo! The Italian hillside! Authentic Italian food! Need we say more? Bellissimo!

SE-STO Rooftop, Florence

Northern Lights Bar, Iceland

We’ll preface this by saying that calling this a rooftop bar is a little bit of stretch, but we think it’s still worthy of this list. Located inside of the ION Luxury Adventure Hotel, a truly unique hotel in itself located just an hour outside of Reykjavík, this bar is perfect for taking in the Northern Lights. But the name already told you that. In fact, we think this is the most unique bar on our list, which of course means you have to go there immediately.

Northern Lights Bar, Iceland

Whether you prefer a view of the city or just a view of the stars, these rooftops all have something special to offer. If we’ve left any essential rooftop bars off of our list let us know in the comments below.

Comments (21)

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  1. katherine says:

    So happy to see your number one feature there! Thoroughly enjoyed drinks there this past Saturday evening and well worth (gulp) the drinks tab of around €120 for 4 drinks! I would have loved to see Cafe Renaissance, Marrakech on the list too – although only on the 6th floor those familiar with Marrakech will know this is legally one of the highest buildings in the city after the Katoubia Minaret and the views are amazing of ‘the red city’ here at sunset. Thanks for a super blog.

  2. Nick says:

    Wow, there’s some nice places on this list. I was hoping I would have seen a few of them but then I remembered I don’t frequent rooftop bars! Still, can’t believe I still haven’t been to SkyBar in BK, been wanting to since our first trip there in 2008.

    If I was going to be cheeky I’d say add The Calgary Tower, but it’s not quite chic enough to make this list and I’d just be saying that because it’s my home town.

    Cool article.

  3. Lisa says:

    Great tips. My fave in Rome is at the First Art Hotel off P. del Popolo. Great crowd and lobby bar in rain

  4. Ana says:

    I score a ridiculous 1/10. I love rooftop bars, and miss the fantastic summer evenings. I could add a few to this list!!

  5. Katie says:

    Wow, I have my work cut out for me. What a sad showing at only 1 too. Sky bar was great. Need to check out the others!

  6. Elaine says:

    Planning a Wellness Retreat in Istanbul for sept. 2015. The Mikla looks interesting. How’s the food there? Looking for locally sourced and organic if possible.

  7. Kathryn says:

    These all look fabulous – great places to relax and enjoy the view, day or night. I’d love to visit them all, sample a cocktail or two and photograph the views – stunning.

  8. Tam Gamble says:

    I have so much catching up to do. We have only visited one of these to date and surprisingly it’s not the one in my home city. We recently stayed at the ION adventure hotel in Iceland, a gorgeous hotel pretty much in the middle of nowhere. The bar is fantastic with a wall of glass and luxurious fittings for you to lounge around on waiting for those infamous Northern Lights to appear.

  9. Krysti says:

    I’d love to visit all of these! Prague, with it’s beautiful views, also offers some great rooftop bars, such as the Aria Hotel with views of Mala Strana and the Intercontinental with views of Old Town’s skyline and Prague Castle.

  10. Bradley Sumner says:

    Hard to beat but omitted is Athens Hilton looking over Athens to the Acropolis/ Parthenon. Real history

  11. Sara Hardman says:

    I can’t believe I missed the Sky Bar while I was in Bangkok, it looks incredible. I’ll be in London again soon so I’ll try the Radio Bar instead.
    If you’re in Sydney, The Ivy pool Bar is always worth a look.

  12. Greer says:

    Have just come back form the fabulous Sky Bar at the Tivoli hotel in Lisbon. Well worth the trip, and the drinks are reasonably priced too!

  13. Marisa says:

    Thank you for sharing! I will be visiting NYC this summer and am moving to Hong Kong in August so I will be sure to check out Salvation Taco Rooftop Bar and Ozone! :)

  14. Mark says:

    All of these places looks great but i think one stands out more and that is the Sky Bar, Bangkok – it it looks really high.

  15. Amy says:

    Awesome, I love them but I think I’ve only been to one, in Barcelona.

  16. Gill says:

    Only scoring one point so far – the Radio Bar in London, but about to make that two after reading this. Am off to Florence as part of a cruise trip in two weeks and have just booked lunch at SE-STO thanks to this article! Looking forward to it. Can’t believe I missed the Taco Bar in NYC when I was there the other week – found most of the others (Refinery Rooftop, Upstairs at the Kimberley, Plunge at the Gansevoort, 230 Fifth) but not this one. Drat, will have to go again!

  17. Annie Marie Peters says:

    Spectacular list of rooftop bars around the world! My sister lives in New York City, and she recently sent me a photo from the Salvation Taco Rooftop Bar. What a view!

  18. KG says:

    Highly recommend the Ritz-Carlton rooftop bar in Shanghai. Flair on the 58th floor. It faces the Bund and has a spectacular skyline view. If it’s chilly they’ll even give you a blanket! Spectacular drinks too.

  19. Thibault says:

    Having lived around the world for more than 15 years, the best I have been to is the Ozone in HK! Incredible bar and ambiance! This is a “must do” if in the area!

  20. Anna says:

    Out of this selection I have visited Sky Bar and can understand why it made it on the list. Very nice cocktails!

    For the view and the atmosphere I would also add Kong in Paris.

  21. Toni says:

    I recommend Sir Elly’s on top of the Peninsula in Shanghai. Full length views of the Bund and across to Pudong.
    Also the O2 Lounge on top of the Ritz Carlton in Moscow with views across Red Square/Kremlin.

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