Soak up the sun from some of Sydney’s best rooftop bars. Bring on the cocktails!
Rooftop bars continue to pave the way as the most trendy, happening outings for Sydneysiders. With the warmer months upon us, it’s no wonder we gravitate toward open areas with plenty of sunshine. On a warm, sunny day, where would you rather be than on a rooftop bar sipping cocktails with your best friends? Here is our ultimate guide to the best rooftop bars Sydney has to offer. With more than 30 venues on the list, we challenge you to attend them all!
In 2022, Cabana Bar opened its resort-style playground in the new CBD precinct, 25 Martin Place. The new space boasts two bar areas, semi-private dining spaces and (drum roll), the city’s largest outdoor terrace spanning over 100m. Cabana Bar is open Monday to Saturday, all day long allowing Sydneysiders to escape the bustle of the city and operate on “Cabana Time“ from the light-filled Island Bar. From a quick bite to eat to boozy long lunches, wining and dining a special one and late-night cocktails, it’s a venue to suit all occasions. Find out more here.
Set on the top level of Barangaroo House and led by restaurateur Matt Moran, Smoke Bar is one of the chicest rooftop bars in Sydney. The innovative cocktail menu provides solace from the Aussie heat and is made to match the seasons. Enjoy drinks like the Barangaroo Fizz with citrus Hendricks Gin, Martini Bianco and Yuzu marmalade, and the Negroni Fraga with Poor Tom’s strawberry gin, strawberry infused martini Rosso and Campari. What’s better than drinking alfresco while taking in world-class waterfront views? Find out more here.
Barangaroo is home to a plethora of Sydney’s best rooftop bars, and the chic Untied is no exception. Untied welcomes the flavours and ambience of the tropics to the CBD. With the dim thud of tropical tunes, pick your way through a menu devoted to modern Australian cuisine. The slick urban outlook is almost as cool as the drinks menu which consists of classic and inventive cocktails. Our picks include the Sparkling Raspberry Negroni and the signature Flamin’ Galah, made with Gordon’s Gin, Triple Sec, watermelon, grapefruit and coconut. Find out more here.
Perch yourself in the heart of the city at Babylon, one of the CBD’s best rooftop bars. Taking inspiration from the ancient region of Levant, this bar-meets-restaurant delivers exceptional Middle Eastern flavours and hospitality. Expect an authentic menu of traditional dishes taking influence from Turkish and traditional Levantine cuisine. Make sure to nab a seat on the terrace for your choice of indoor or outdoor bar seating. They also offer bottomless brunch on the weekends starting from $68 per person if that’s your vibe; we highly recommend! Find out more here.
The heritage-listed Hotel Palisade has been standing since 1912. Though, its newly renovated cherry on top, Henry Deane, is a rooftop bar that oozes modern sophistication. It’s a comfortable cocktail lounge, decorated with cosmopolitan charm and provides 360-degree views of the city from the Harbour Bridge to Barangaroo and beyond.
Food and drinks are all available in their finest forms, from white caviar and marinated pipis to glazed pork and whole smoked spatchcock. We love the cocktails at Hotel Palisade, particularly their Fuzzy Peach made with don Julio Blanco tequila, frozen peach and spices, and the Fizzy Wine made with Tanqueray blackcurrant gin, chardonnay and citrus. For more info read our full review on Hotel Palisade here.
Sitting 83 metres above sea level, this rooftop bar provides an inner-city oasis, with a stunning view of the Sydney skyline. You’ll find a mixture of lounge and dining spaces, with a signature curved bar. Similar to a New York-style terrace, there is plenty of lush greenery with a casual Australian twist. Find out more here.
A little decadence never killed anybody! Located at the top of the Hyatt Regency Sydney, Zephyr offers city-slickers a sensational view of the CBD and Darling Harbour that is almost unmatched. Choose your own adventure with an impressive drinks list, from unique bespoke cocktails using exclusive luxury spirits to classic cocktails and an extensive wine list. Then sit back on the padded couches and watch as day turns to night, with the city buzzing brilliantly below. Share plates of seafood as you lose yourself in the distant swell of the ocean. Freshen up your evening with a taste of Sydney’s own rock lobsters, or just wander off with the view. Find out more here.
The East Village Hotel was renovated back in late 2016, and the décor now harpers back to bygone days across its three-tiered bar. As you head to the terrace, escape to the American coast in the 1950s. Bathed in white with planter boxes and pops of green vegetation surrounding you, gaze at the city skyline in amazement. At 100sqm you have enough space to unwind as you sip on a Diablo Spritz or Pornstar Martini and soak up the sun splintering through the retractable roof above. Find out more here.
Pub-like casualness tends to be a reoccurring theme amongst the best rooftop bars in Sydney. Though, The Rook adds its own hint of class. That’s if you can find it. This hidden rooftop bar is located above an unassuming language school. Enter off York Street and hit ‘R’ in the elevator for Rooftop or Rook. Don’t get off on the wrong floor or you’ll be learning English rather than sipping cocktails. Their specialities are listed as ‘lobsters, burgers and liquor’. The cocktails are a major drawcard for The Rook, especially when gin is involved. The lobster rolls are an absolute must-try. Find out more here.
Taking inspiration from the relaxed and lavish style of The Hamptons, The Rooftop in Sydney’s CBD is a luxury garden terrace situated by the glorious harbour. As you relax in one of the plush hanging chairs, gaze through the retractable roof at the boats passing by on the water. Brought to life by the pops of tropical plants, graze on delicate share plates of seafood, premium meats, salads and pizzas. Find out more here.
An obvious favourite amongst online Sydney rooftop bars lists is the iconic Ivy Pool Club. Post-work drinks go down very well beside the refreshing pool and open skies, from Mondays to Fridays. If you’re feeling hungry, book a table at Italian restaurant Ucello and dine poolside. Inspired by the Italian coastline, this is an inner city oasis for when you need an escape from the hustle and bustle. The weekend scene embodies the summer essentials… sunshine, drinking and partying! Take your pick from the signature cocktail list and enjoy drinks like the Poolside Bramble, made with Hennessy VS, lemon, strawberries and Chambord. Find out more here.
This stylish gem is situated in the heart of the city, right beside the QVB, in the Hilton Hotel. Serving a consistently great rotating cocktail menu, they are internationally acclaimed as ‘one of the most cutting edge cocktail bars in the Southern Hemisphere. With a perfect location and dazzling views to match, there is no doubt this is one of the best rooftop bars Sydney has to offer. Find out more here.
This temple of craft beer passes off as a local corner-pub. Though, it is full of hidden gems. Firstly, the rooftop bar and garden is fit for all seasons. Umbrellas and an intimate bar encourage minimal movement on sunny afternoons. Whilst it remains a perfect location for winter beers, with a log fireplace, blankets and heaters to warm you up as the drinks keep flowing. Another aspect that sets them apart from the rest is their beer paddles. You can choose up to 5 x 90ml beers to try on one paddle. Find out more here.
Hola mi amigos! Welcome to Mexico in the heart of Kings Cross. Sweetheart’s Rooftop is a casual bar and eatery where plenty of people go for drinking, dancing and chilling high above all the hustle and bustle. You’ll find it located above the Potts Point Hotel. It’s perfect for an afternoon drink in the sunshine with fresh beats to match. Let’s be honest, any place with a ‘Siesta Zone’ is bound to be a good time! Find out more here.
It’s safe to say that Merivale has the rooftop bar scene down pat. Heading into more suburban locations, Coogee Pavilion is a favourite neighbourhood hangout in the Eastern Suburbs. Located on the shore of Coogee Beach, the open skies, ocean views, lush greenery and modern bars make this large space another must-go rooftop bar. The menu is inspired by the Eastern Mediterranean and the ancient techniques of cooking over charcoal. Share a selection of dishes from the charcoal grill paired with accompaniments and Lebanese bread. They also do a good Bloody Mary should you need a pick-me-up. That along with the ocean breeze should sort you right out. Find out more here.
SoCal brings Southern Californian vibes to Neutral Bay. Expect sun, sangria, tacos, Coronas, fried chicken, margaritas and so much more. They have several different types of margaritas on offer along with classic cocktails, original creations and shared jug cocktails. You can order light drinking snacks like guacamole, salsa and chips through to more substantial dishes including snapper ceviche, roasted lamb, soft shell crab and pan-fried snapper. They also offer one of the best bottomless dining experiences in Sydney, with their 2 hour Bottomless Fiesta Lunch starting at $89. Find out more here.
Looking for more bottomless brunch venues? Read our guide to Sydney’s best bottomless dining experiences here.
Venture to the idyllic Northern Beaches and find the Ivanhoe Hotel oasis located in the heart of The Corso in Manly. It’s a popular destination amongst locals with multiple levels and sophisticated seating areas. The Ivanhoe Hotel’s interiors channel a Hamptons-inspired coastal beach vibe while retaining the relaxed atmosphere of a local pub. The rooftop balcony is a great spot to perch for a few drinks after a swim in summer. Grab a casual bite while you’re there or reserve an area for a catch-up with friends and make a day of it. Find out more here.
Websters Bar is one of the most iconic pubs in Newtown, with its three levels of food, fun and ever-flowing drinks. High up on their rooftop that overlooks the streets of Newtown, enjoy a slice of 1950’s backyard Australiana. Late-night cocktails, late-night pizzas and late-night vinyl DJs under the stars are all on the cards until 4am. Find out more here.
Watsons Bay’s Beach Club is one of our favourite rooftop bars in Sydney. With the sparkling ocean in the foreground and beautiful harbour views, this is the ideal location to sip summer cocktails in the afternoon sun. Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel are renowned for its quality food and drink offering and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the rooftop. Find out more here.
Kings Cross Hotel is a landmark in ‘The Cross’ and almost as iconic as the adjacent Coca-Cola sign. This multi-level venue caters for a wide variety of clientele. From late-night party-goers to those just wanting a nice casual drink after work. They also house a number of live entertainment and theatre productions. You’ll find the rooftop bar at the top of this seven-tiered hotel, serving a seasonal food menu and a drinks menu that caters to all. When you arrive you’ll be rewarded with a great view high above the hustle and bustle. Kings Cross Hotel has happy hour deals daily, and free entry before 10pm on the weekends. Find out more here.
Old Mate’s Place is smack bang in the heart of the city, snapping up prized real estate. The 40 person space is enticingly light and breezy, decked out with plenty of vibrant plants and a scattering of bookshelves for some solo time. Offering anything from vodka to beer, any drinker will be pleased. For snacking, be surprised by the roaring menu that includes a delicious selection of Philly cheesesteaks. Find out more here.
Happy hour, fried chicken, fairy lights, and an open rooftop, what’s not to love? White Horse has everything a rooftop bar needs and is located in the heart of Crown Street in Surry Hills. Ever noticed those really pretty fairy lights on the rooftop of the pub across the road from Shannon Reserve? This is the place! They host daily happy hour from 4pm-6pm and fried chicken gods, Chicken and Sons run the kitchen downstairs. Good drinks, good chicken and good vibes? It’s a no brainer addition to our Sydney rooftop bars checklist. Find out more here.
Another beachside Manly pub that is perhaps one of the lesser known but popular Sydney rooftop bars is The New Brighton Hotel. The newly renovated pub does dining, drinking, dancing and an intimaterooftop bar is the cherry on top. Look down onto the lively Manly Corso and people watch or stare straight ahead at the beautiful ocean. Find out more here.
The Glenmore is one of the original rooftop bars in Sydney. Since 1921, The Glenmore has stood tall in The Rocks, facing the beauty of The Opera House and Harbour Bridge for years. It still carries its old colonial English tradition, with a recently renovated edge. The Glenmore is the perfect location for a relaxed pub dinner, a post-work drink, or a weekend cocktail. On the weekends when the sun is out it’s hard to get a table so if you’re heading there with a group of friends we suggest getting in early. Find out more here.
The most recent addition to the rooftop bar scene is Aster at the InterContinental Double Bay. Opened in September 2022, Aster allows you to experience lavish living yourself without the price tag of staying the night. Enjoy elevated dining and drinks while taking in the stunning views of the sparkling harbour. Find out more here.
Slims Rooftop makes the promise of being unlike any other rooftop bar in Sydney. Offering one of the only uninterrupted views of the glorious Hyde Park, Slims is a rush of vibrant pink and cacti. Fitted with sleek timber flooring, contrasting the pops of white furniture, Slims is a funky hideaway on the city fringe. The menu is made to share, and their signature cocktail list will keep you hydrated on sunny days, from the Passionfruit Martini to the Aspon Sour.
If you want to upgrade your experience, we recommend Silms Brunch Club bottomless brunch offering, starting from $75 per person. Find out more here.
As far as Sydney rooftop bars go the Bristol Arms rooftop has one of the most relaxed, homely vibes in the heart of Sydney’s CBD concrete jungle. White picket fencing, timber panelling and casual décor bring a friendly and comforting element to Sydney’s skyline. You can also book this space for functions- hello rooftop birthday! Find out more here.
This bar embodies everything we love about Sydney’s rooftop bars. Lush greenery, open skies, comfortable lounges, live music and a casual yet sophisticated bar. Feel like it’s too much like your backyard? All you need to do is take a look at the incredible skyline, twinkling city lights and reflective skyscrapers. With a gentle summer breeze and refreshing contemporary cocktail, you’ll feel that summer excitement within seconds!
A Paddington favourite, The Royal Hotel rooftop welcomes young and old for a traditional pub experience and a classic nod to the frivolity of the eastern suburbs. Enjoy a cocktail in the glorious afternoon sun on the fourth floor of this local icon. Offering a 2 for $35 cocktail happy hour everyday from 4-6pm, The Royal is the ideal place to kick start your evening. Find out more here.
Situated at the top of the Quarryman’s Hotel in Pyrmont, The Rooftop emits uber cool Palm Springs vibes. Contrasting the craft beer institutions in the bar below, The Rooftop is all about the Californian cool with the chic venue providing a relaxed atmosphere of a pool-side lounge. The signature cocktail menu offers a selection of funky twists on shaken and stirred classics. And for when you get hungry, dine on a food menu nodding to modern American cuisine with poke bowls and tacos. Find out more here.
Cruise Bar at Circular Quay is a great spot to grab drinks and dinner. We really like their restaurant on the second floor, Junk Lounge. The rooftop bar is in an iconic location, overlooking the Sydney Opera House and Cruise Ship terminal. This location is specifically for private events and hosts up to 400 guests. With day beds, ottomans, high tables, as well as all the technical stuff like DJ booths, microphones and projectors…this is one of the most WOW private locations in the whole of Sydney! Check out pics from the Vino n Vinyasa event we supported in the space.
Did you know that one of Sydney’s best venues for a dance also houses a buzzing rooftop bar? An ode to disco, cocktails and Italian food, Imperial UP serves a selection of delicious share plates and pizzas, and an extensive cocktail and wine list; perhaps one of the best rooftop bars in Sydney to start your night out. Find out more here.
Located 26 floors above the Crown’s waterfront location, CIRQ offers world-class views of the Sydney harbour and a dining experience you don’t want to miss. Relax on the luxurious light-filled terrace while you enjoy an expertly crafted menu of bespoke cocktails and share plates. Find out more here.
Frequently asked questions:
What are the best rooftop bars with a view in Sydney?
For cocktails with a view, visit Smoke Bar, Untied or CIRQ in Barangaroo, Henry Deane in Millers Point, The Light Brigade in Woollahra, Coogee Pavillion in Coogee or Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel.
What are the best rooftop bars that do bottomless brunch in Sydney?
For the best bottomless brunch rooftop venues, visit SoCal in Neutral Bay, Babylon in the CBD, or Slims Rooftop in the CBD.
What are the best rooftop bars in Sydney CBD?
The best rooftop bars in the CBD include Cabana Bar in Martin Place, Babylon Rooftop, Henry Deane in Millers Point, and so many more.
What are the best rooftop bars north of the Sydney Harbour Bridge?
In the North, visit SoCal in Neutral Bay, Ivanhoe Rooftop or New Brighton Hotel in Manly.