Sydney undoubtedly has some of the most gorgeous skylines in the world.
With generally stunning weather, towering skyscrapers, impressive feats of modern architecture, and the gentle glimmer of water from Sydney Harbour, it makes sense to revel in these sights from a bird’s eye view.
Rooftop bars have become increasingly popular in the last decade, purely for the unique experience of sitting amongst the towering skyscrapers and striking buildings.
These bars are often high-end and fairly expensive. However, they offer a unique opportunity that everyone has to experience at least once.
Whether you’re on vacation or if you’re a local looking to fall back in love with the city, we’ve got you covered. Here are the 15 best rooftop bars in Sydney.
Location: 96 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, NSW 2000
+61 2 9395 5151
We’re opening our look at the best rooftop bars in Sydney with a belter if you wish to take in stellar Harbour views.
The Glenmore is one of the most prestigious, high-end venues in Sydney, purely for its rooftop bar that offers panoramic views of Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House.
Originally built in 1921 and later renovated in 2012, The Glenmore’s aesthetics blend colonial English architecture with a modern twist. This rooftop bar offers a range of cocktails, craft beers, and an extensive bar food menu.
Plus, on some nights the venue plays host to live music from local musicians.
This is the perfect place to grab a celebratory drink once you’ve completed the famous Sydney Bridge Climb.
L4 199 Clarence Street, Sydney Cocktail Bar, NSW 2000
+61 428 678 005
If you’re looking for a hidden treasure, make sure to check out Old Mate’s Place. It’s not the easiest rooftop bar to find, but this is for good reason – this venue is a modern speakeasy.
The building is a run-down office, but once you reach the rooftop bar, you’re met with a stylish 1920-style open-plan layout. This comes complete with green plants and awesome views deep within the city.
This is also the ideal location for craft cocktails, as you’ll be met with an extensive cocktail list featuring combinations you’ve never even considered.
Update: The coconut and strawberry gin based Pandan Airways at Old Mate’s Place came in 15th at the Boothby Drink of the Year Awards 2022.
169 Pavilion Street, Coogee, NSW 2034
+61 2 9114 7321
Not all Sydney rooftop bars are centred around skyscrapers and towering buildings. Sydney is ideally located by some of the world’s most iconic beaches. So why not transport yourself to the coast for an afternoon by the surf?
The Coogee Pavilion sits just off Coogee Beach and features a huge wrap-around balcony with four bars on the rooftop. It’s the perfect spot to take in the beach views while having a drink with friends.
Speaking of drinks, this bar features an array of beers, wines, and cocktails alongside a bar menu inspired by Eastern Mediterranean cuisine.
Get the party started with the AYAOQIANG Cocktail Making Set. With everything from a cocktail shaker through to a selection of bar utensils, just add alcohol and create away!
1 Notts Avenue, Bondi, NSW 2026
+61 2 9365 9000
Speaking of beach-front views, it would be impossible to talk of the best rooftop bars in Sydney without mentioning the Icebergs Dining Room and Bar. With direct views of Australia’s most famous stretch of sand, Bondi Beach, guests can relax in the glaring sun as they look out at the Pacific Ocean.
While you might be intimidated by the luxurious decorations inside the dining room, the bar is comparatively fuss-free and casual. Grab a beer and a burger and enjoy the rays!
Icebergs Sydney is the ultimate bar for beach babes and cool surfer dudes. And the people spotting can be pretty good too.
Level 12, 161 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
+61 2 8099 1234
If you want to treat yourself with the fanciest rooftop bar experience in Sydney, check out Zephyr. Zephyr is located at the top of the five-star Hyatt Regency, and features some of the most exquisite and luxurious decor you’ll find in the city.
The colour theme is nautical, the decor is sleek, and you get a direct view of Sydney Harbour. Use this bar as an excuse to wear your finest dress or suit and splash the cash on some delicious cocktails.
Level 26, 45 Macquarie Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150
+61 2 8646 4930
Nick & Nora’s is the best rooftop bar in Sydney for the lovers of champagne. Fortunately, a bubbles shortage isn’t likely to occur at this bar, as with over 50 champagnes available from across the world, they are very well-stocked.
If champagne isn’t your thing, Nick & Nora’s also specialises in whiskeys, cognacs, and other spirits. This rooftop bar isn’t a speakeasy, but the decor is inspired by the 1930s with its art deco theme.
Nick & Nora’s also has a sister bar in Melbourne. For more on the Best Cocktail Bars in Melbourne, see here.
319-325 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
(02) 9060 8888
Located in the Vibe Hotel, Above 319 is the type of rooftop bar Instagram influencers go to just to snap some shots of the stylish decor.
Complete with light tones and signature neon signs, Above 319 is vibrant, uplifting, and sophisticated. What’s more, it features stunning views of Darling Harbour with Sydney’s skyscrapers in the background.
The bar offers an array of beverages, from wines to jugs of cocktails. Moreover, if you’re feeling hungry, food comes from both the bar and restaurants kitchen.
81 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
+61 2 9262 5491
If you’re not bothered about finding a luxurious, high-end rooftop bar, make sure to check out The Bristol Arms. This venue blends the idea of a stylish rooftop bar with the atmosphere of a local pub, meaning you don’t necessarily have to dress up to fit in.
Indulge in some pub grub, guzzle local beers, and spend your afternoon watching the live sport on large televisions amongst the Sydney skyline. Plus, this venue features live music and DJs at the weekends for those who want a pub-come-club experience.
For the Best Bars in Sydney (and some great pubs too), click here.
Lvl 4/400, Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo, NSW 2000
+61 2 8322 2099
Teleport yourself to North Queensland’s lush rainforests by visiting Untied’s rooftop bar. Untied’s decor is all about incorporating vivid and natural colours into Sydney’s skyline with a variety of plants and natural wood-coloured furniture.
This is a beautiful venue to visit as the sun is setting. Something about the dying of the light really adds to the places laid-back atmosphere.
The menu also reflects Australia at its finest, with an array of tropical cocktails, craft beer, and a plethora of sharing platters, barbecued food, and contemporary plant-based dishes.
When you’re next in the Harbour City, check it out – it’s without doubt one of the best rooftop bars in Sydney.
Location: The Civic Hotel, Level 1/388 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW 2000 Ph: 0499 815 218
If you have a passion for the retro charms of 1970s Hong Kong movies and nightlife, then Ni Hao Bar is the spot for you.
Yes, the decor is rather kitsch in parts. But what’s wrong with that? The food showcases smart twists on Cantonese fare, such as their popular Bone Marrow with Sweet Soy Glaze & Crispy Wonton Chips. Meanwhile, the cocktail list continues the play on HK pop culture. Personally, we love the Jackie Chan. This exotic tipple features Tequila, Triple Sec, Lemongrass, Kaffir Lime, Galangal, Passionfruit and Chilli Agave.
All this and more can be found on the Rooftop of the fabulous Civic Hotel.
For a fun night out, this is one of the best rooftop bars in Sydney.
Check out our guide to the Best Restaurants in Barangaroo
1 Macquarie Place, Sydney, NSW 2000
+61 2 8964 1622
Circular Quay is one of the busiest areas in Sydney, especially for tourists, which is why it’s so nice to escape to the chilled vibe of Bar Ombré Rooftop.
This rooftop bar exudes simplicity and intimacy, with a gorgeous palette of colours that blends Australian decor with an Italian vibe.
To emphasise the Italian inspiration, the bar menu features pizzas and house-made cheeses (not to mention a variety of beverages). There isn’t a dress code for this venue, so come to relax with your friends!
1 Young Street, Neutral Bay, NSW 2089
+61 2 9904 5691
Teleport yourself from the heart of Sydney directly to the relaxed atmosphere of southern California. It’s easy to do. Simply book a seat at SoCal’s rooftop bar.
With tasteful decorations (including lots of bright blues and an abundance of plants) alongside a Californian-inspired menu, this place will get you in the mood to go surfing.
Why not upgrade your plant pots with something from this attractive and budget-friendly selection?
Apart from local selections, you’ll find yourself surrounded by Mexican and Californian beverages, including an abundance of cocktails (most of which include tequila).
133 Oxford Street Level 1, Sydney, NSW 2010
+61 2 9360 3333
If you want something more intimate and lesser-known, check out Ching-a-Lings. This rooftop bar is inspired by New York loft rooftop venues and only has a capacity of about 100 people, which is why it’s so hidden away and hard to find.
However, once seated, you’re met with a mixture of urban and artistic decor, but this isn’t the place to come for skyline views. It’s enclosed and quiet, which is ideal for those looking for an intimate drinking experience.
If intimate is what you prefer, see our recommendations for the Best Wine Bars in Sydney.
429 New South Head Road, Double Bay, NSW 2028
+61 2 9327 5877
Like with Ching-a-Lings, sometimes you just need a rooftop bar experience that’s about the people you meet rather than the views.
The Golden Sheaf is surrounded by greenery and countless bars, so while it doesn’t feature views of the city’s skyline, you’re bound to meet new people at every turn.
This venue is constantly alive, either with a DJ or live sporting events being shown on large televisions. This is a great late-night venue for those who want something a bit more lively.
Should you find yourself in the Queensland capital, here are our top Rooftop Bars in Brisbane
Level 7 Rooftop, Westfield Pitt Street Mall, Surry Hills, NSW 2000
+61 2 8014 5663
Continuing one with our look at the best rooftop bars in Sydney, we have the exotic Babylon Rooftop with its exotic evocation of the Levant.
Babylon Rooftop is a rooftop bar that blends Sydney’s skyline with Middle Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean vibes.
From the decor, furniture, large wood-fired oven, and Middle Eastern-inspired menu, you’ll find yourself in an immersive and unique venue not often found in Sydney. Plus, this place is huge – featuring two bars, a restaurant, an outdoor terrace, and the rooftop itself.
488 George Street, Level 4, Sydney, NSW 2000
+61 2 9265 6070
If you’re looking for sophistication, Zeta Bar is the place for you. With direct views of the Queen Victoria building, Zeta Bar is a chic cocktail bar with a dark yet stylish atmosphere that truly comes alive at night.
The standout feature of this bar is its extensive and experimental cocktail list, which is constantly changing thanks to the award-winning mixologists. Zeta Bar is quite pricey, but it’s worth every penny to indulge in the luxurious vibe.
In Hyde Park House, 47/49 William St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010 Ph: (02) 8377 3650
It’s pretty hard to not be impressed by the views that Slims Rooftop bar commands.
Perched on top of Hyde Park House at the edge of Darlinghurst and looking out over Hyde Park and across at the CBD, Slims Rooftop is a pink and orange wonderland.
With an Asian fusion-inspired food menu and frilly umbrellas to keep you shaded on a hot day, this is a great spot to kick back with a spritz at the end of a long week.
And if you find yourself at a loose end on a Saturday or Sunday, you could always treat yourself to a couple of hours at the Slims Brunch Club. For $75pp. it’s bottomless Rose and Prosecco and some favourites from the regular menu.
Whilst we are talking of Bottomless Brunches, here are some more Sydney ones to try.