Bars with a view of Sydney

Dining at Opera Bar in Sydney

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Sydney’s gorgeous weather, iconic skyline and, of course, the stunning harbour make it the perfect place to enjoy a rooftop drink. You certainly won’t have any trouble finding a venue – there’s a fantastic selection of rooftop bars in Sydney to choose from.

Updated: 6 July 2019

The best rooftop bars in downtown Sydney

From grunge-y hideaways to ultra-glamorous haunts, there’s somewhere for everyone to enjoy a drink with a view in Sydney. Here are some of the best.

Are you looking for a rooftop bar amidst the shiny buildings of downtown Sydney? You’ll be spoiled for choice.

Opera Bar

Opera Bar Sydney seating

If you’re looking for the ultimate in Sydney rooftop experiences, you can’t look past the Opera Bar.

Perched atop the Sydney Opera House (carpark), the views don’t get much more iconic than looking out from the ‘sails’ of the Opera House, with the Sydney Harbour Bridge glistening not far away. The food and drink here are great, but let’s be honest – it’s all about the views.

There is live music several days a week, and the vibe is a mix of relaxed locals and visitors.  It’s also a great spot to book for your NYE party.

Tip: While the drinks and views are paramount here, it’s worth knowing they do a late night menu starting at 10 pm and weekend breakfasts.

Address: Sydney Opera House, Macquarie St, Sydney
Check their website to view the menu and events calendar

 

Zeta Bar

It’s all about the skyline views and the cocktails at stylish Zeta Bar above the Hilton. Great spot to check out the beautiful green domes on the Queen Victoria Building and spy Sydney Tower up close.

The expertly mixed drinks are particularly popular with the after-work crowd, although the good vibes can be enjoyed all day. They also do mean antipasto and cheese platters, so if you’re looking to splash out – book a private booth and settle in for the evening.

Tip: Live music every Friday from 6pm-9pm then DJs till late.

Address: Hilton Sydney, Level 4/488 George St, Sydney

 

Smoke Bar

If you’re looking to join the well-heeled Sydney crowd, then you’d best make for the uber-stylish new Smoke in Barangaroo.

Launching in 2018 to rave reviews, this bar is ultra-sleek. Just looking up at the egg-shaped architectural delight that is the Barangaroo House is an experience. But, sipping a cocktail on top while enjoying the sumptuous views is even better.

Tip: The share plate menu has plenty you should try starting with the artichoke hash brown.

Address: Barangaroo House, Level 2/35 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo

 

O Bar and Dining

The views are indulgent, but the food is healthy and fresh, meaning O Bar and Dining is a (mostly) guilt-free rooftop experience.

O Bar at Australia Square
O Bar and dining at Australia Square is a great sunset spot.

The restaurant is a total delight, but if you’d rather just sip a cocktail and take in the views then the bar is where it’s at. With over 400 hand-selected spirits, sleek and elegant décor and truly jaw-dropping views, O Bar is sure to impress.

Tip: Save money on the viewing platform at Sydney Tower and spend the entry fee on a cocktail here. The bar rotates very slowly and offers fantastic views of the entire city.

Address: Level 47 Australia Square, 264 George St, Sydney
Check their website for the menu and opening hours.

 

Ivy Pool Club

A glamorous cocktail bar with a glistening pool to boot? There are few better ways to escape the Sydney sun than with a visit to Ivy Pool Club.

With a design inspired by 1960s Californian resorts, it’s part-glam, part-kitsch, and all great fun. Even if you don’t dip your toes in the (surprisingly shallow) pool, you can still enjoy the drinks list, summer vibes and delicious pizzas.

Tip: The Velvet Sangria is our favourite here.

Address: 320 George St, Sydney NSW 2000

 

Café Del Mar

For a little bit of European chic in the heart of Sydney, there’s Café Del Mar. Although it’s open throughout the week, it’s particularly famous for its ‘Sunday sessions’.

Serving up a delicious Mediterranean-inspired menu accompanied by fabulous cocktails and beats from some of Australia’s top DJs, there’s no better place to be on a Sunday – or any day, really.

Tip: If you can’t make the Sunday sessions hit up Aperitivo Hour on the Terrace 4-7pm Tuesday to Friday

Address: Rooftop Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf, 35 Wheat Rd, Sydney

 

Ching-a-lings

Many of Sydney’s rooftop bars are all about the glamour. If you’re looking for something a little grungier, you’ll love Ching-a-Lings.

Named after an infamous New York biker gang, the décor at Ching-a-lings is suitably gritty. There’s an underground bar, as well as the rooftop (of course). The rooftop is a little brighter but still has that cool, industrial edge.

Tip: Music is a feature here so if you fancy some tunes with your drinks this could be your spot.

Address: Level 1/133 Oxford St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia

 

The Glenmore

Don’t be fooled into thinking all of Sydney’s rooftop bars are new on the scene – the Glenmore has been delighting Sydneysiders for nearly a century.

Glenmore hotel rooftop bar the rocks

It was built in 1920 and has been a favourite of locals ever since. Things only became more spectacular when the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge was constructed just a stone’s throw away – giving the Glenmore some of the city’s best views.

Even still, heading up to this rooftop feels like entering the house of an old friend, and the menu is refreshingly affordable.

Tip: Sunday afternoons acoustic sessions from 3-6pm where you can get an antipasto plate and a bottle of red for $38

Address: 96 Cumberland St, The Rocks

 

Old Mate’s Place

This stylish bar ticks all the boxes: glamorous rooftop, divine cocktails and friendly service. There’s even the quirky name – Old Mate’s Place – to boot.

As well as fabulous cocktails there’s an impressive selection of wine, beer and spirits. A food menu is also on offer, with tasty platters and some indulgent steaks. What more could you need?

Tip: It can be a bit hard to find but persevere and enter the dark bar via a lift and a fire stairwell, you will know you are there when you see the security guard. The rooftop bar is open from Thursday to Sunday.

Address: Level 4/199 Clarence St, Sydney

 

Henry Deane

If it’s views that you’re after, then Henry Deane won’t disappoint. On top of Hotel Palisade, this sleek bar offers panoramic views of both sides of Sydney harbour.

Nab a spot at the sofa’s by the windows and what the sunset while you sample the drinks.

The menu and cocktail list are suitably fancy as well. Here, you’ll find delicious and well-presented mains, as well as tempting small plates. If cocktails aren’t your thing, there’s also a selection of wine and craft beers on offer as well.

Tip: If you are looking for a special spot that will impress book the Flying Fox on level 5!

Address: 35 Bettington St, Millers Point

 

The Rook

There’s something to love about a bar with a bit of a gritty edge, and The Rook’s décor choice – think street art-inspired murals and neon signage – gives it that.

Not one to do the expected, however, they then offer up a menu that’s heavy on lobster. Yes, if you’ve ever wanted to chow down on lobster while in the shadow of some fabulous street art; here’s your chance. Don’t let the uninspiring entrance fool you; The Rook is one of our favourite Sydney rooftop bars.

Tip: The Rook does some of the best gin cocktails in town and is launching at Bottomless G&Tea Party on Saturday afternoons from 13 July.

Address: Level 7/56-58 York St, Sydney

 

Untied

Despite their swoon-worthy cocktail creations, Untied is a decidedly unpretentious Sydney rooftop bar. The décor has a slightly industrial edge, but the bar staff are all smiles.

It’s the kind of place you can grab your friends and have a few laughs. Drink in hand, of course. The views over Darling Harbour and Barangaroo are great, particularly in the afternoon sun, making this a perfect spot for a long lazy lunch.  Can I suggest you start with a Flamin’ Galah, it’s my favourite!

Tip: There are two brunch menus (with drinks) well worth checking out, including a vegan option on Sundays.

Address: 400 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo
Check the website for their menu and more

 

Taylor’s Rooftop

Another favourite amongst after-work drinkers, Taylor’s Rooftop is the kind of place to forget all your worries with the first sip of an ice-cold rosé.

Although by both day and night you’re likely to spot plenty of suits, it still keeps a fun and light-hearted vibe. On the weekend, Taylor’s party side is revealed, and this is the kind of place to dance into the early hours of the morning.

Tip: it’s Happy Hour every day from 5-7pm with $6 house wine, beer & spirits

Address: 69-73 Pitt St, Sydney
Check out the menu here

 

Blu Bar on 36

If you’re searching for a glamorous Sydney rooftop bar, then Blu Bar on 36 is a classic choice that’s been delighting locals and visitors for years.

 

Ticking off everything you need for a fabulous rooftop bar, Blu Bar offers perfectly crafted cocktails, elegant décor and excellent service. Oh, then there’s the enchanting views of Sydney’s most iconic attractions – including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House – flickering just outside the window. It’s hard to beat.

Tip: There is a dress code here after 5 pm, so check the website before you visit.

Address: Shangri-La Hotel, 176 Cumberland St, Sydney

 

Sweethearts Rooftop

For those times when you just want a welcome and inviting space to share some good times with friends, there’s Sweethearts Rooftop in Potts Point.

 

Stylish but unpretentious, this rooftop bar doesn’t take itself too seriously. With a calendar of events with everything from pizza parties to live music, life is indeed good – and fun – atop the Sweethearts Rooftop.

Tip: Order a pitcher of Alison’s breakfast punch no matter what time of day it is!  If it’s Sunday get a $10 pizza to go with it.

Address: Level 3/33-35 Darlinghurst Rd, Potts Point

 

Rooftop bars a little further out

Willing to venture a little further beyond the Sydney CBD in search of the perfect rooftop bar? Here are our best picks.

 

SoCal Sydney

Bringing the best of Southern California’s surf culture to the north of Sydney, SoCal is one of those effortlessly cool places you could stay for hours.

 

If the bright and colourful rooftop can’t bring a big smile to your face, then the delicious tacos and quesadillas surely will. Add in an enviable drinks list and staff that just seem to love their venue, and you’ve got one of Sydney’s best rooftop bars.

Tip: Your money goes a long way on Taco Tuesdays with $3 tacos all day & night.

Address: 1 Young St, Neutral Bay

 

Henry’s Rooftop at the Hotel Steyne

Another of Sydney’s rooftop bars that boasts both beautiful views and history, Hotel Steyne’s Henry’s Rooftop is a favourite for good reason.

 

Originally built in 1859, a fire caused its temporary closure. However, you can’t keep a good venue down, and 150 years after it first opened its doors, it remains a Manly classic. While you can enjoy a pint indoors, for us, it’s all about Henry’s Rooftop, a gorgeous space with stunning views of Manly Beach.

Tip: Live music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Address: 75 The Corso, Manly

 

Glass House

Looking for another rooftop in Manly? You won’t have to go far to find the Glasshouse. In fact, you can even bring your drink. The Glasshouse is a ‘separate yet linked’ space at Hotel Steyne.

 

The reason for the name is apparent as soon as you set eyes on the botanic-inspired decor. While there’s a selection of drinks to please everyone, the emphasis is on gin. You can even create your own combinations, or leave it in the bartender’s capable hands. The space is bright and inviting, with a fabulous Manly location.

Tip: The menu here has lots of variety and is well priced and great for sharing

Address: 75 The Corso, Manly

 

Light Brigade

Light Brigade has been a popular Sydney pub since the 1920s, but things were really dialled up a notch with the addition of a stylish rooftop bar.

Looking out over the beautiful skyline of Sydney, there aren’t many better places to enjoy a refreshing beverage and watch the sun go down. As well as a good selection of beer, wine and spirits, the Light Brigade also whips up a mean pizza too.

Tip: These guys have a bunch of great specials – check their website for details.

Address: Corner of Oxford St and Jersey Rd, Woollahra

 

Coogee Pavilion

There’s no doubt that Sydney is synonymous with the beach, and you certainly can’t forget that at the stylish Coogee Pavilion.

 

This rooftop bar is a favourite among the cool crowd in Sydney, thanks to the panoramic views of the sea and tempting menu. Whether dropping in for a late-afternoon cocktail or perhaps to enjoy a boozy brunch, you’re sure to join the fan club of “the Pav”.

Tip: The shared menus are epic, so find three friends and get there stat!

Address: 169 Dolphin St, Coogee

 

 

You might also like to check out our list of the best small bars in Sydney or our Sydney locals favourite places to eat and drink (with a map)

Want more tips?  Join our Sydney Expert Facebook group and ask a local for advice. 

 

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1 Comment

  1. If you can only make it to one bar in Sydney I’d say definitely make it the Harbour Bar. Get a great view of Sydney and a view of the water too!

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