Nothing beats a summer sunset; the orange-gold sky stretching far and wide behind the backdrop of the city skyline, the evening sun casting a warm glow on your surroundings. All your problems seem to disappear at the sight of the magnificent view in front of you. So, how do you get the most out of the summer sky? Well, you enjoy it with a side of cocktails, bites and spritzer at a rooftop bar.
Whether you prefer your aperitifs at an altitude or a more grounded garden haven, the appeal of a rooftop bar and the panoramas it offers are hard to beat. These experiences have an air of glamour to them and provides the perfect combination of a relaxing ambience and jaw-dropping views of the city.
Today, bar-goers and travellers alike have their choice of several rooftop spots to hit around the world. From spectacular skyline bars, to chic restaurants that guarantee stunning views (and the culinary treats to match), make the most of the summer with our guide to some of the best rooftops in the world.
L’Ouiseau Blanc at the Peninsula Paris, France.
Parisians for example, are abuzz about L’Ouiseau Blanc. The vintage, aviation-themed rooftop bar is perched on the top of The Peninsula Paris. With live music on Sundays and house music on Saturdays, the lounge is perfect for those looking to enjoy a drink with a side of class and glamour. The interiors (which include an actual plane) and the cocktails (fittingly called the Aviation and the Take Off) pay homage to French pilots Charles Nungesser and François Coli, who attempted the first transatlantic flight between Paris and New York, making it an avid place for both tourists and aerophiles alike.
Ozone at the Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong.
In Hong Kong, one of the world’s highest rooftop bar sits on the 118th floor of Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. Ozone provides unbeatable views of Hong Kong Island with its floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the city skyline. Designed by Masamichi Katayama, its marble bar, slouchy lounge and eclectic decor make it stand out from the other bars in Hong Kong. Accompanying the modern interior are their inventive signature cocktails — like the Wan Chai cooler (with vodka-infused liquorice, mint tea, lemon and hibiscus syrup). Expect to share a drink with the city’s brightest, who know to book in advance for a seat at the window, dress way up and dance until the lights go on at 2:00 am.
Read more: 19 Best Cocktails to Enjoy This Summer
Sugar at East, Miami.
If you prefer drinking in a haven of botanicals, you can head to Sugar in Miami. Inspired by Chinese and Hong Kong roots, Sugar brings an Asian-influenced restaurant and bar experience to the heart of Miami’s Brickell district. It’s set in a lush garden setting that serves as an untraditional hideaway located high in the sky above urban downtown Miami. Accompanied by DJ sets bumping house and a stunning backdrop of the Miami sunset, it is the place to meet and be seen.
AER at Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai.
Experience Mumbai’s skyline like no other at the AER. Mumbai’s highest rooftop bar lies 34 floors above the busy streets of India’s most populous city and boasts an impressive view of the Arabian Sea. Their menu offers an interesting concoction of Mumbai mixology, with their signature drink, the Mumbai Kiss, being a super-sweet fusion of Bacardi Superior, pineapple juice, maraschino cherries, and cardamom. Streamlined white seating and low-key shrubbery create a comfortable, stylish vibe fit for every occasion, from relaxed business lunches, friend reunions or romantic dates, catch the sun setting over Haji Ali Bay in Mumbai’s hottest rooftop bar.
Gingko Sky Bar at Plaza de España, Madrid.
Move further east and you’ll be met by Madrid’s latest urban gourmet destination — the Gingko Sky Bar. In an unbeatable location on the Plaza de España, the flexible and multi-character rooftop terrace includes spectacular views of Madrid (including the Royal Palace and Debod Temple) and an equally spectacular food and drinks menu. The Gingko Sky Bar celebrates the best of Spanish cuisine through its octopus carpaccio and Jamón Iberico served with pan con tomate, pair it with their house special — the “Daiquiri of the Rising Sun”, featuring Bacardi rum, yuzu juice, ginger jelly and egg white — and you can enjoy the Spanish sunset with ease.
The Ready Rooftop at Moxy East Village, New York.
To be in with Miami’s hip and handsome crowd, head to The Ready Rooftop. Located on the top floor of the Moxy East Village in New York, the bar is the perfect place to mingle and meet modern and trendy individuals. The retractable glass walls and roof allow for all-season panoramic views of the Lower Manhattan skyline and with string lights, a vine strewn mural and a bar made of plastic milk crates, the eclectically decorated bar feels like a coveted New York backyard. The Ready Rooftop features six cans from local breweries and both frozen and fresh cocktails to accompany you this summer, attracting both the local beer enthusiasts and IPA-loving individuals.
Baba Nest at Sri Panwa Resort, Phuket.
Travelling to resort-paradise Phuket, one has to visit the Baba Nest — a bar located within the Sri Panwa Resort. Situated 60 metres above sea level, it includes an amazing 360° view of the Andaman Sea and the surrounding islands. Once the sun begins to set, the panoramic views, stylish decor and fresh cocktails make it the perfect chill-out spot to relax into the night. It’s an ideal venue for lovers.
Folly Rooftop, Dubai.
Our world tour of rooftop bars end in Dubai, where the Folly Rooftop is located. Created by British star chefs Nick Alvis and Scott Price, it’s the perfect place for individuals who want to experience both gourmet cuisine and inventive drinks. With a prime location in Souk Madinat Jumeirah, the rooftop boasts impressive views of the city’s waterways and the Burj Al Arab. Other than the classic cocktails it has to offer, the standout feature of the bar is the experimental tasting menu personally crafted by the two renowned chefs. Inspired by the multiculturalism of Old Dubai, their signature dish includes the Crispy Hen’s Egg with Pancetta and maple syrup, sweet potato, chestnut and oregano and delicious meaty Eryngii mushroom with cashew nut curry leaves. In Folly, Daytime patrons can enjoy afternoon tea and sweets, while night owls can expect a lively DJ and the occasional saxophonist.
So, if you’re looking to chase the sunset with a drink in hand and a view in the other, pack your bags and get ready to travel to these 8 iconic rooftop bars. Jet, set, go.
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