Where Is the World’s Best Rooftop Bar?

We’ve made it our mission to locate the best rooftop bars around—one cocktail at a time. Is your favourite on our list?

Jul 29, 2013
  • Outdoor table at 5.Kat Rooftop Bar and Restaurant in Istanbul
  • Seating at THE dec rooftop bar above the Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel)
  • Outdoor tables at Sky Bar at Sirocco in Bangkok
  • Outdoor tables at Gallow Green Rooftop Bar in New York City
  • View from the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin
  • View from Aer Rooftop Bar Above Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai
1/6
5.Kat, Istanbul, Turkey
If Istanbul’s flashier nightlife venues aren’t really your scene, 5.Kat offers a welcome respite coupled with fantastic views of the Bosphorus. Not only is 5.Kat one of Istanbul’s most elegant rooftop bar-and-restaurants, it also happens to be the city’s first. If you’re up for a bit of dancing later in the evening, stick around past 10:00 pm, when the DJ turns up the music and the bar is transformed into a nightclub.
Photography courtesy 5.Kat Restaurant Bar
2/6
THE dec, Chicago, Illinois
Located high above Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, THE dec is one of the city’s newest rooftop bars. Above the Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel), this brand-new lounge serves barrel-aged cocktails and features a rotating list of craft beer. Sleek, illuminated cocktail tables epitomize the posh décor, but we go for the soaring city views. Ready for the proverbial cherry on top? THE dec also boasts its very own old-fashioned ice cream cart.
Photography courtesy Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
3/6
Sky Bar, Bangkok, Thailand
When it comes to rooftop views, the higher the better, right? If it’s a jaw-dropping vista you crave, look no farther than Sky Bar at Sirocco. This Bangkok hot spot is the world’s highest open-air restaurant, perched atop the 63rd floor of The Dome at Lebua. Its illuminated cylindrical bar appears to be floating above the skyline, a sight made even more dramatic by its constantly changing colours.
Photography courtesy Sky Bar
4/6
Gallow Green, New York, New York
Chic rooftop bars are a staple of summer nightlife in New York City. With extra points for theatricality, our top pick is Gallow Green, a lush and dreamy rooftop restaurant and bar above the McKittrick Hotel, an abandoned 1939 hotel-turned-interactive-theatre venue and home of the popular show Sleep No More.
Photography courtesy Gallow Green
5/6
Gravity Bar, Dublin, Ireland
A trip to Dublin's Gravity Bar at the famous Guinness Storehouse is an absolute must for beer lovers. It may not be an open-air venue like the rest of the places on our list, but with unobstructed 360-degree views of Ireland’s capital city and a fresh pint of Guinness in hand, we doubt that'll be much of an issue.
Photography Victor Lucas/Alamy
6/6
Aer, Mumbai, India
Mumbai’s sleekest—and highest—nightlife outpost is most definitely Aer. This futuristic lounge covers the entire rooftop of Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai. Here you can enjoy breathtaking sea and city views from 34 storeys above street level, along with an extended Sunset Happy Hour menu that includes all cocktails at half price every evening. We’ll toast to that!
Photography courtesy Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Updated, August 1, 2013—The promise of fresh, open air has a way of calling us out in droves, especially on sunny afternoons and warm evenings. Festive gatherings and intimate dinners come alive when they’re hosted in the grand, inviting home of Mother Nature—and what a fabulous host she can be.

If you ask us, summer isn’t complete unless we’ve spent sufficient time outdoors at a variety of bars and restaurants, each outfitted with perfectly landscaped terraces, cosy seating areas, and refreshing drink and menu options. To help you find the best in al fresco nightlife, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite rooftop bars, from New York to Mumbai.

What could be better than catching up with friends or meeting new people beneath the warm night sky, surrounded by stunning views, with an ice-cold beverage before you? You’re right—better make that two.

Many of you shared your picks for the world’s best rooftop bar on Facebook. Here’s what you had to say:

“Sevva in Hong Kong!”
—Daniel Birkner

“Easy—Hotel Danieli, Venice.”
—Sean Taroli

“My favorite is The London, West Hollywood, CA.”
—Jamie Fryer

“Conrad in New York”
—Ryan Christensen

“Concorde La Fayette, Paris”
—Waleed A. Alghamdi

“Jimmy’s in Aspen.”
—Rod Thompson

“Casa del Camino rooftop in Laguna Beach”
—Ashley Bruno

“At.mosphere Restaurant and Lounge at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai”
—Roderick Murré

“Hotel de Rome—Berlin, Germany and Waldorf Astoria Berlin—Berlin, Germany”
—Simon Behrens

“Four Seasons Istanbul with amazing view of Blue Mosque!”
—Heidi Schuster Helfst

“My husband insists it’s 360 Istanbul!”
—Lillian Agola Wood

“The Roof at Four Seasons Hotel Beirut”
—Rosemarie Saad

“Four Seasons Hong Kong”
—Gurung Bindu


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3 Comments about Where Is the World’s Best Rooftop Bar?

  1. Ronald D says:

    Four Seasons Beirut’s rooftop bar is a class on its own. Sitting on the 26th floor, overlooking the Mediterranean sea and the Beirut Marina, you can enjoy guaranteed the best sunsets along great drinks and food in a lounge atmosphere till late evening!

  2. The Penthouse at Hotel ME Madrid Reina Victoria in Madrid, Spain. This ultra-chic rooftop bar at Hotel ME Madrid Reina, has one of the best views of Madrid. Often frequented by Spanish celebrities – the crowd is exceptionally swish.

    Plunge Bar and Lounge at Gansevoort Hotel in Miami. Centered by a 110-foot long swimming pool, and 18 storeys above the ocean, this bar is OMG!!!

  3. Michael DeFries says:

    The Pavilion Rooftop Bar, at The Market Pavilion Hotel on Charleston Harbor is THE BEST ! Great drinks, great food,fabulous view, and stellar service. The Crown for one of the finest hotels in the USA, the hotel also houses Grill 225, one of the finest steakhouses in the world !

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