Down an amber ale in the afternoon sun or see the city from on high with a drink at dusk in Sydney's best rooftop bars


A friendly neighbourhood bar that is not much wider than its moniker suggests, they do long necks, local wines, a few craft beers, simple cocktails and a few snacks. Prized real estate is the open rooftop overlooking Newtown's backstreets.

Darlo Bar

There's a bit of an Alice in Wonderland, garden party feel to the Darlo patio, with astro turf on the floor, chintzy white metal lawn furniture and Chinese lanterns, big citrus green walls and pink flamingos scattering the 'lawn'. Warning though: if you don't like breathing a few clouds of Marlboro Light, avoid.

Gaslight Inn

Upstairs at the Gasso there are pool tables on high and the outdoor area, with it's bleached back boards, white bucket seats and built-in benches, is totally no-fuss and as laid back and beachy as you could find in Surry Hills.

Hotel Sweeney's

Getting to the roof of this bar is like an Olympic event, but it's worth it when you get there. Make your way to the top of this tower and be rewarded with tooth-freezingly cold Peronis and great views over the big city canopy.

Ivy Pool Club

Everyone has an opinion about the Pool Club. But when you get down to it, the fact that you can get your gills wet up high in the heart of the city, cold drink in hand, is undeniably awesome. And there's usually a hot bod or two to gawp at.

The Local Taphouse

Craft beers are all the rage in Sydney right now and there’s no better place to try a bunch of weird stuff all in one go than the Local Taphouse. Head upstairs to the rooftop bar, sit back in the warm sunshine, order a tasting paddle and really make a day of it.

The London Hotel - Paddington

Slinging a beer, having a chat and sharing a pizza with some friends is a great way to enjoy the front bar at the London, while upstairs it’s about kicking back on lounges (or standing on weekends) with a spirit.

Sweethearts Rooftop BBQ

When you think you're at the top – keep walking. That's what you need to know if you're taking the stairs to the peak of the Sugarmill, where you'll find new barbecue joint and rooftop bar, Sweethearts. Cheap backyard party drinks (shandies!) and big-boy barbecue food from chef Robert Taylor.

The Terrace

Following a shakeup at the Woollahra Hotel, the old Moncur Terrace is now known simply as the Terrace and brings the finery down a notch to create a more relaxed spot for dinner and drinks.


Sometimes you can turn an average drinking session into something special just by adding a flight of stairs. The sunny Cloud 9 bar at ZanziBar is decked out with wrought-iron furniture, spiky potted plants and terracotta tiles – squint (hard) and you could almost be drinking in Marrakech.

Zeta Bar

You'll get an exceptional cocktail here – the crew behind the bar make all their own syrups. The list can get a bit la-di-da with all kinds of vanilla- infused hooey, but stand out on their deck overlooking the QVB with a Moscow Mule and be happy.

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First published on . Updated on .

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