Sydney's bar scene has something for everyone, whether you want a beer with a view in a waterside pub or a knockout negroni at a rooftop cocktail lounge. Then there are the secret small bars down hidden laneways, craft breweries in bright warehouses and late night clubs. Choose your venue, chat to the locals and cheers to a good time.
Bars with a view
You can't beat a drink at Sydney’s most famous address. Opera Bar sits right next to the Sydney Opera House and looks out to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Glenmore in The Rocks gives you a rooftop view of the harbour at pub prices. At Bar 83, perched atop Sydney Tower, the retro-futuristic 70s style is outdone only by the views. In Parramatta, Nick and Nora’s is a sleek cocktail bar with views over the city and to the Blue Mountains.
Head up for stylish drinks and breathtaking views at the city’s best hotel bars. Try Blu Bar on 36 at the Shangri-La, Zephyr at the Hyatt Regency, Zeta Bar the Hilton, Hyde Hacienda at the Pullman Quay Grand, Level 7 at Primus Hotel and the Champagne Bar at Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.
Sydney has undergone a small bar revolution in recent years, with tiny drinking dens that are big on creativity. Bulletin Place at Circular Quay is one of the best, Baxter Inn is an underground whisky lair in the CBD, Jacoby’s is a Tiki bar in Enmore and Dear Saint Eloise in Potts Point has an epic wine list. The blush-toned Maybe Sammy in The Rocks was the only Australian bar to make the prestigious World’s Best Bars list.
Breweries & distilleries
Have a drink at the place where they make the stuff. The inner west is full of craft breweries such at Grifter and Young Henry's, as is Brookvale on the Northern Beaches where you'll find Nomad and 4 Pines. Urban distillery bars are also a big thing, you can do rum tastings at Brix Distillers in Surry Hills or blend your own gin at Archie Rose in Rosebery.
You’ll find plenty of classic Australian pubs around the city, too. Local favourites include The Royal in Paddington, Hotel Palisade in Millers Point, Courthouse Hotel in Newtown, The Dolphin in Surry Hills and The Imperial in Erskineville. For drinks by the beach, head to The Newport and the Harbord Hotel on the Northern Beaches, or Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel and Coogee Pavilion in the east.
Looking for a bar that suits your style? There’s one for you somewhere in the Harbour City.
- Sydney City for quirky small bars, creative cocktails and heritage pubs.
- Inner Sydney for boutique breweries, hipster haunts and live music.
- Sydney East for rooftop bars, ocean views and beautiful people.
- Sydney North for sprawling pubs, waterfront beer gardens and small batch breweries.
- Sydney West for multicultural flavour, underground small bars and glamorous rooftops.
- Sydney South for classic Aussie pubs, beach bars and tropical cocktails.