Sitting in a bar, high above the streets below, cocktail in hand watching the sun go down on a stunning view – is there anything better than that in the entire world? Maybe add a less horse-shaped head and I’d pretty have the perfect life.
We all know that there are some great Rooftop Bars in Manchester, but what about elsewhere in the world? Well, I’ve found a website which lists the world’s best rooftop bars – perfect for when you’re on your holidays and you want a slice of the good life.
Their lists also contain Rooftop Infinity Pools – which just look sublime. Here’s a selection of some of my favourites…
Electra Metropolis Roof Garden
I bloody love Athens. Sure, it’s big, it’s dirty and it’s really busy – but it’s also A LOT of fun! Oh, and cheap as chips. There are an abundance of bars and truly excellent restaurants dotted about all over the place, but for a bit of a rooftop treat, you can’t go wrong with the Electra Metropolis. It’s your usual posh(ish) cocktail and restaurant venue but the view of the Acropolis is truly wonderful, and some would say ‘magical’.
Electra Metropolis Athens, Mitropoleos 15, Athina 105 57, Greece
Terrat at Mandarin Oriental
There is a wealth of rooftop bars dotted around Barcelona and I’ve only ever been to about 2 – and I struggle to remember much of what went on, never mind what the view was like. One time I went here though, Terrat at the rather swanky Mandarin Oriental hotel. Make sure you wear some decent threads, and take a shit-ton of Euros with you too. The views are outstanding though and if you want food – Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio will knock you up something truly memorable.
Terrat, Passeig de Gràcia, 38, 40, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Le Bain Rooftop at the Standard
There are hundreds of rooftop bars in New York and it’s neighbouring Boroughs, and that’s probably because the city is home to quite possibly the most famous skyline of all time. I’ve certainly not visited more than a handful of these, including the great fun Berry Park over in Williamsburg and this one at the Standard in the Meat Packing District of Manhattan. A firm favourite with my mate Darren Beattie, it’s equally excellent during the day as it is at night – when it turns into a proper good party venue.
Le Bain Rooftop, 444 West 13th Street New York, NY 10014
Limão Rooftop Bar
This rooftop bar is a bit more relaxed and casual than your usual hotel-based fare and the panoramic views of Lisbon and the sea are outstanding. There’s plenty of cocktails on offer, as well as Portuguese tapas, but the best thing to do is to grab as many bottles as Sagres as you can handle and watch the sun go down over the city.
Terraço Chill-Out Limão, Av. Duque de Loulé 83, 1050-089 Lisboa, Portugal
Rio de Janeiro
Fasano Rooftop Pool Lounge
One of the most famous skylines and views in the world, any visit to Rio must include a trip up to that Jesus statue or a trip on the cable cars or a few drinks on a rooftop bar. Or all three if you like. I was fuming when I went because I put off getting up high until the very last day and it was cloudy. I couldn’t see a bloody thing. So, my advice – don’t wait. Anyway – head on up to the top of Hotel Fasano for some truly stunning views of the city. There’s even an infinity pool up here too.
Hotel Fasano, Av. Vieira Souto, 80 – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22420-002, Brazil
The one thing that I didn’t do during any of my visits to Hong Kong was to head on up to a rooftop bar. I was just too skint if I’m being honest. I’d also been living in mainland China for ages too and so looked an absolute mess. If you’re on your hols though, grab your glad rags and there’s LOADS of rooftop venues to try. Try to pick one on the Victoria side of the city like the EyeBar – then you can see the skyscrapers light up across the harbour.
Eyebar, 63 Nathan Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
You might be thinking – when am I ever going to go to Panama City?! Well, you might be right, but it’s certainly well worth a visit if you fancy the extra-long flight to get there. This boutique hotel in the increasingly trendy Casco Viejo area, the city’s old quarter, has a truly brilliant rooftop bar that’s almost too easy to spend hours and hours in and end up in a ditch somewhere. There’s usually some kind of live music on up here too.
Numen Gastro Lounge, Av. Central con Calle A y, Calle B, Panama City, Panama
I was sat up here a few months ago, sipping on gin and juice slowly getting redder than a lobster’s arse, and it was absolutely glorious. The views of downtown LA are really rather lovely, and there’s a great bar with some dead good bar snacks on offer, as well as a pool which you can dangle your feet in while you chat to your mates. The hotel it’s on the top of, the Freehand, is one of the best in the city too.
Broken Shaker at Freehand LA, 416 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014, United States