Rooftop Bars in Sydney
A beer, but add a view. Tasty food, but serve it outside. A sweet bar, but on a rooftop.
When the weather is nice, it's hard to beat a rooftop bar if you're looking to meet up with friends for a few drinks or a bite to eat. Whether it's the scenic surrounds, the sunshine beating down or the gentle breeze blowing around you and your crew, Sydney's best rooftop bars make it easy to turn a fun afternoon into a late night. With awesome rooftop bars in Sydney CBD and its surrounds, you're never too far from outdoor fun.
From schooners to spritz, pints to pinos and schnitties to small plates, here are Sydney's best rooftop bars.
The Glenmore Hotel
Location: The Rocks
Great for: Out-of-towners or locals looking for classic pub vibes and an iconic view in one of the most historic areas of Sydney
When it comes to views from the best rooftop bars in Sydney, you'd be hard pressed to find a better one than this. Offering one of the most photographed vantage points in Sydney, The Glenmore Hotel lets you look out over the magnificent Sydney Harbour and Sydney Opera House with a schooner in one hand and a burger in the other. Unlike its equally wonderful but more buttoned-up (in more ways than one) cousin Opera Bar across Circular Quay, The Glenmore serves up much more laid back pub vibes.
Open all year round, this is the place to grab a few jugs and some classic pub fare (think burgers, fish and chips, schnitties and parmies). The view doesn't discriminate, as you'll find everyone from suit-and-tie professionals hitting happy hour to sunburnt tourists looking to quench their thirst after a long day exploring The Rocks.
Nick & Nora's
Great for: Drinking with a pinky up way up above the thriving Parramatta CBD
Think all of Sydney's best rooftop bars call the CBD home? Think again. Nick & Nora's towers above most other rooftop bars in Sydney. Resting on the 26th floor of the V by Crown, those with vertigo might want to look away.
It's not just the physical heights that make this rooftop bar so amazing. The experience is of the highest quality, as well. Taking inspo from 1934 detective novel The Thin Man, this isn't your average bar. A celebration of the lively party culture during Prohibition, the opulent decor, classy service and fancy cocktails and champagne list will transport you back to the days of flappers and dapper gents. Been confining your rooftop fun to postcodes in the Sydney CBD? It's time to change that.
Great for: Putting on a linen shirt, sundress and sunscreen and sipping cocktails overlooking the ocean
An institution in the East, Icebergs is a long-time favourite for locals and visitors to the iconic Bondi Beach. Situated on the southern end of the beach, this is an ideal spot for a bottle of champers or rose, an ice bucket and a few glasses.
While the inside of Icebergs Dining Room and Bar provides a more formal go-to for celebrating milestone birthdays, anniversaries and other special events, the outdoor terrace is great for an afternoon in the sun with some friends. Although it received an upgrade in 2019, don't expect an over the top extra space. Do look forward to breezy seaside bliss, complete with lightly shaded wooden furniture and beautiful greenery. A limited menu featuring delectable seafood and sharing staples provides plenty to tide you over while you watch the tide come in and out.
Location: Sydney CBD
Great for: Letting the tunes and vibes wash over you as a late night turns into an early morning
A relative newcomer to the rooftop scene, Taylor's Rooftop atop The Republic Hotel provides some open-air escape in the heart of the city. Those looking for expansive views of the city skyline or endless ocean horizon that come with other rooftop bars in Sydney might be disappointed, as scenery isn't high on the list of priorities at Taylor's. But those wanting a wicked time should definitely make some time for this inner city hotspot.
With a retractable roof, Taylor's can even accommodate a bit of bad weather. But for the most part you'll have complete exposure to Mother Nature, which is excellent for when she's cooperating. Tall, green walls surrounding you set the tone for some evening drinks, snacks and tacos. They provide the fuel you need to get down to bangin' sets from some of Sydney's best DJs on Taylor's Saturdays. We dare you to stay off the dance floor.
The New Brighton Hotel
Great for: Blending your two loves (the pub and the beach) in one of Sydney's most famous coastal spots
When the sun's shining, there are few places in Sydney you'd rather be than Manly. But sometimes, whether it's because you can't be bothered cleaning sand out of your toes and ears for days or because you can't carve out a good metre or two for your own towel, you might not feel like planting your flag at the beach. Fear not, as The New Brighton Hotel has you covered.
From its Rooftop Garden Bar you can people watch the thousands that pass under you on the busy Corso, or stare out at the ocean over Manly Beach. Kick back and relax in a range of seating, as you can swap your standard bar stool for Balinese day beds, cabanas and other comfy chillin' spots. Choose from a deep list of beers and wines, or have one of the top-notch bartenders whip you up a cocktail to match your beautiful surrounds. And if you want a change of scenery, the pub's other floors offer everything from refined craft beer options to sports bar feels and a hip nightclub area.
Great for: Those craving quality craft beers before the cricket or footy or somewhere civilised to drink while the sun goes down
Craft beer has exploded in popularity around the world, and Sydney's craft beer scene is certainly no different. But The Taphouse got in on the ground floor and has been celebrating Sydney's brewers for years. With a rotating list of brews that reaches up toward 400 options by year's end, there's bound to be something for beer aficionados and novices alike. The Taphouse serves up classic, rustic pub vibes across its three floors, but the welcoming rooftop is the pick of the bunch.
You're not going to find live and loud sport or thumping tunes on this rooftop, and it doesn't even have the same majestic view of others on this list. But you'll get a hearty experience in all aspects, with wooden tables and benches, framed photos on the walls and music at a volume you won't need to shout over. With pints pulled from more than 60 taps and an English pub-inspired menu, you can pretend every day is Sunday with an amazing roast all week long. This is a great rooftop experience across the board.
The list of excellent rooftop spots in and around the city doesn't stop there. Here are some of the other great rooftop bars in Sydney to check out if you've already ticked all of those off your list:
- Zephyr at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Darling Harbour
- Coogee Pavilion, Coogee
- Sweethearts Rooftop, Kings Cross
- Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, Watsons Bay
- The Royal Hotel, Leichhardt
- SoCal, Neutral Bay
- Smoke, Barangaroo
- Hotel Palisade, Millers Point
- The Golden Sheaf, Double Bay
- Bridgeview Hotel, Willoughby
- The Workers, Balmain
- Untied, Barangaroo