50 stunning rooftop bars and restaurants

50 stunning rooftop bars and restaurants

Rooftops -- good for being under when it's raining, good for drinking on when it's dry
rooftop bars
Sugar, EAST Hotel, Hong Kong: Eating and drinking on top of the world.

If anything has the power to make one pause for a moment and consider that life didn't turn out so bad, it's a panoramic view accompanied by the carbonated nostril-tickle of a favorite beverage as it's lifted above the horizon and drawn into the gullet. 

For the best results, you need to select the best rooftop bars.

We tracked down travel writers, bar/restaurant pundits and some good old-fashioned worldly drinkers and eaters to find the best rooftop bars and restaurants around the planet. 

Combining fantastic views, great mixes, of the quaffable and auditory kind, and above all experiences you want to tell your friends about, we've come up with a pretty good list. 

We think. 

You no doubt have your own views -- we can't wait to hear about them in the comments box below.

Also see: World's 50 best beach bars

 

1. Coq D’Argent: London, England

coq d'argent londonGreen jungle in the concrete version.Don’t mind rubbing shoulders with hordes of pinstripe-besuited bankers, and have the bank balance to match?

Try Coq D'Argent.

Next to the Bank of England, St Paul’s Cathedral and Mansion House, this rooftop garden comes with lawns and ornamental box hedges.

There's a (very) pricey indoor restaurant, but a reasonably priced list of bar snacks. You can sit on the grass or gaze down on the suits hurrying along the streets far below. 

No. 1 Poultry, London, England; +44 20 7395 5000; coqdargent.co.uk 

 

2. Rooftop Bar, Hotel Raphael: Rome, Italy

Hotel RaphaelSun + open skies = sublime. In the heart of Rome, near the vibrant Piazza Nova, is the Hotel Raphael with its gorgeous roof terrace.

It's a great place for soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying panoramic views of the eternal city. 

You can spy the Vatican from the terrace and the surrounding patchwork of colorful roofs provide a neat, photogenic backdrop to your coffee or cocktail.

The food is also good.

Raphael Hotel, Largo Febo 2, Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy; +39 6 682 831; hotelraphael.it


3. Skyline, Hilton Molino Stucky: Venice, Italy

Hilton Molino rooftop barAll the romance of a gondola, without the wet. Perched atop a restored mill that is now home to the Hilton Molino Stucky Hotel in Venice, the Skyline Bar offers views over the Giudecca Canal as far as Piazza San Marco.

It’s beautiful by day, but especially alluring at night when the bar acts as a magnet to wealthy Venetians, attracted by the bar’s romantic ambiance. 

Giudecca 810, Venice, Italy; +39 41 272 3311; molinostuckyhilton.com


4. The Top Bar, Adriana Hotel: Hvar, Croatia

Adriana Hotel rooftopLook up, chill out.

This is the place to go if you want to meet Russian oligarchs and yachting types knocking back magnums of Champagne.

The aptly named Top Bar offers wrap-around views of the ancient city, the yacht harbor and Paklinski Islands.

It has sleek, low-slung sofas and areas to dance with Hvar’s jet set. 

Fabrika, Hvar, Croatia; +385 2175 0200; suncanihvar.com

 

5. 360: Istanbul, Turkey

360 IstanbulElegance and style from top to bottom.In a city replete with rooftop bars, 360 is still the most spectacular.

A spacious multiple-award winning restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows opens out onto a huge terrace where you can eat, drink or -- later -- throw some shapes on the dance floor when the bar turns into one of the city’s trendiest clubs.

Istiklal Street, Mısır Apartment, 8/F 163 Beyoglu, Turkey; +90 21225 11042; 360istanbul.com
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6. Uptown Bar, Jumeirah Beach Hotel: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Located on the 24th floor of Dubai’s iconic wave-shaped Jumeirah Beach Hotel, this elevated cocktail bar has a spacious terrace with views of the Burj Al Arab and the striking skyline.

Roads recede to vanishing point, and the Burj Al Arab glows on the horizon.

There’s an extensive drinks menu, but you’ll be too busy gawping at the view to pay attention to much else. 

Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; +971 4 406 8999; jumeirah.com

 

7. Kensington Roof Gardens: London, England

london rooftop gardenCan't afford a roof and a garden? Combine them. London’s oldest roof garden is still known to many as "Derry and Tom's Roof Garden," in memory of the department store that commissioned the garden in the 1930s.

Covering around 6,000 square meters the garden is 30 meters above street level and includes a fish-filled stream, bridges, walks, trees, shrubs and sitting areas, and three resident flamingoes.

There's an English Woodland Garden with nearly 100 species of tree, a Spanish garden with fountains and a walled Tudor garden. 

The Roof Gardens, 99 Kensington High St., London, England; +44 20 7937 77994; www.roofgardens.virgin.com 


8. Oloroso: Edinburgh, Scotland

oloroso edinburghNot as cold as it could be.Edinburgh is better known for its icy winds than its café culture, but on a fine day there are few better places to catch some Scottish rays than on Oloroso’s roof terrace.

It has unparalleled views to the castle and the city’s Georgian new town. 

Oloroso makes for a great al fresco lunch or sun downer, and when it’s too chilly for the terrace you can dine in the award-winning restaurant with two glass walls.  

33 Castle St., Edinburgh, Scotland; +44 131 226 7614; oloroso.co.uk
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9. Angels & Kings: Barcelona, Spain

MEBarcelonaFit for a king. Angels & Kings in Barcelona is the first European outpost of the eponymous New York bar.

Attracting a wealthy crowd, Angels and Kings has an intimate sixth-floor setting, stuffed with velvet curtains, black lacquer furniture and a stunning outdoor terrace complete with pool.

Hotel Me Barcelona, Pere IV 272–286, Spain; +34 93 367 2050; angelsandkings.com


10. The Terrace, Bairro Alto Hotel: Lisbon, Portugal

Bairro Alto HotelGood wine, nice company, perfect view.The Terrace is on the top floor of the Bairro Alto Hotel, where you can see the terracotta-roofed sprawl of Lisbon and the meandering River Tagus.

The hotel is in a restored 18th-century building and the rooftop bar could not be more relaxed.

Praca Luis de Camoes, 2, 1200–243 Lisbon, Portugal; +351 21 340 8288; www.bairroaltohotel.com
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11. Las Animas Puerto: Valencia, Spain

Las Animas Puerto is considered one of the best terraces in Valencia. It's situated at the entrance to the Americas Cup Port and is one of the coolest nightspots in town.

There are views over to the beach and sea, if you can drag yourself away from the so-cheesy-they're-good tunes from the 1970s and 1980s.

Docks Building, Paseo Neptuno, Spain; +34 902 108 527; grupolasanimas.com

 

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12. Hotel 3.14: Cannes, France

Hotel 3.14The height of French-style. Hotel 3.14, part of the Avant Garde hotel group, is only a stone’s throw from La Croisette.

Its rooftop pool terrace has a hamman, a Jacuzzi and offers massages alongside cocktails and organic lunches.

By night, the leafy terrace transforms into a bar with panoramic views over the Mediterranean. 

3.14 Cannes 5, rue François Einesy, France; +33 4929 97200; 3-14hotel.com

 

13. Cavalieri: Corfu, Greece

corfu-hotelsNot a favored holiday destination for nothing.There's more to Corfu than down-market resorts and a wilting economy.

Corfu Town has stunning Venetian architecture and cobbled streets and squares -- best looked down on from the rooftop bar at the Cavalieri Hotel.

It has spectacular views highlighting the Venetian and British influences that have made Corfu such an interesting town. 

4 Capodistrisou St., Corfu, Greece; +30 26610 39041; cavalieri-hotel.com

 

14. Park Hyatt Conservatory Lounge & Bar Terrace: Moscow, Russia

Ararat Park hyatt MoscowIn Moscow, even the indoor views are bling.For some of the best views of Moscow, with the Kremlin and the Bolshoi close by, come here.

To get a table at the rooftop terrace you’ll need to arrive early, but your efforts will be rewarded. 

If it’s too cold, or you're too late, there’s an indoor space too, complete with a glass wall so you can still see the view. 

4 Neglinnaya St., Moscow, Russia; +7 49 578 31234; moscow.park.hyatt.com

 

15. Roku Nana: Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan

Roku NanaDifficult to find, impossible to forget.The designer bar Roku Nana (Six Seven in Japanese) does not exist. Well it does, but it's a secret.

It's hard to find and the open-air setting is on-the-rocks cold in spring, which means it can be unusually peaceful.  

With almost non-existent furniture (Plexiglass tables with chandeliers inside, Plexiglas chairs) and toned-down lighting, Tokyo's skyline is the dominant visual feature. 

The effect is like being in a little space ship. 

To find Roku Nana's nondescript three-story white building, you have to call the bar and beg for directions. 

Roku Nana, Verde Roppongi 3/F, 7-16-11 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Japan; +81 (0) 3 6438 9915

 

16. The American Bar, Penz Hotel: Innsbruck, Austria

PENZ Hotel, InnsbruckLuxury in the Alps.The American bar on the fifth floor of the glass cube in the Penz Hotel is good for an al fresco summertime drink or two, but better for one of the moreish cocktails the bartenders can whip up.

It's like a gentleman’s club, with leather sofas and smooth jazz, but one with views of the snowcapped Alps.

It has a retractable roof, but no heaters, so only the hardy -- or foolhardy -- venture onto the terrace after the autumn chill sets in.

Adolf-Pichler-Platz 3, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria; +43 512 57 56 57; thepenz.com
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17.  Lounge 24: Tallinn, Estonia

Lounge 24 Keep those cocktails coming.Two-score floors above the medieval old town of Tallinn, the views from this terrace stretch to the Baltic Sea.

You can step inside for a simple supper behind the floor-to-ceiling windows.

The bar is part of the Radisson Blu Hotel, formerly known as the Radisson SAS, but non-residents are welcome.

Rävala pst.3, Tallinn, Estonia; +372 682 3000; radissonblu.com

 

18. Q Lounge, Grims Grenka Hotel: Oslo, Norway

firsthotelsTake a sip, stare at the sky. In Norway's new Grims Grenka hotel in the historic heart of Oslo, the Q Lounge rooftop bar is the hot destination for fashionable 30-somethings. 

The house mixologist can whisk up a designer cocktail while guests lay back and relax on the plump cushions and soak up views over Akershus Castle and the harbor. 

Kongens gate 5, Oslo, Norway; +47 2310 7200; firsthotels.com 

 

19. Spa Bar, Clarion Sign Hotel: Stockholm, Sweden

Clarion Hotel SignRooftop minimalism keeps it simple.Clarion Sign is the largest hotel in Stockholm -- a stylish and minimalist granite and glass affair bursting with Scandinavian design classics.

The super-stylish Spa Bar is on the eighth floor and there's a rooftop pool too.

35 ÖstraJärnvägsgatanStockholm, Sweden; +46 8 676 9800; clarionsign.com

 

20. Plunge at Hotel Gansevoort: New York, United States

Hotel GansevoortIt gets darker, and better, at night. The views of midtown New York from Plunge are memorable, with the Empire State Building and the Hudson River included in the 360-degree vantage point.

There’s also a heated pool, complete with underwater sound system.

The Meatpacking District's most fabulous mingle here, sipping stiff drinks and glancing over their shoulders at the celebrity scenery.

18 Ninth Ave. (at 13th Street), New York City, United States; +1 212 206 6700; gansevoorthotelgroup.com
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21. Sky Bar: Bangkok, Thailand

Tower ClubA bar that makes photographers of all of us.For some travelers, no night out in Bangkok is complete without a couple of cocktails at the Sky Bar in Sirocco restaurant. 

Perched on top of The Dome at State Tower, 63 floors above the city streets, this rooftop bar is the world’s highest al fresco restaurant, with 360-degree views of the city and the Chao Phraya.

The Dome at Sate Tower, 1055 Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok, Thailand; +66 2624 9555; lebua.com
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22. Two Rooms: Tokyo, Japan

two rooms rooftopBrunch at the bar. The terrace at this Omotesando fine-dining venue in the Ao building serves some of the best Sunday brunches in Tokyo, and great cocktails. 

The Bloody Mary is fiery and full of flavor -- the secret is in the sauce. Two Rooms is proud of its in-house mix, which can also be sampled with vodka as an oyster shot.

Brunch is also a cocktail-cornucopia, should you want it. 

Two Rooms runs late -- offering classy nighttime views.

AO Building, 5/F, 3-11-7 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan; +81 (0)3 3498 0002; www.tworooms.jp

 

23. Condesa DF Rooftop Bar: Mexico City, Mexico

Condesa DFTop spot for lofty views.This chic 40-bedroom hotel boasts a rooftop bar offering more cocktails than most drinkers know exist, and a great place to watch the city’s spectacular sunsets.

It also has some very comfy couches.

Avenida Veracruz 102, Condesa, Mexico; +52 55 5241 2600; condesadf.com


24. Beiruf: Beirut, Lebanon

Beiruf’s thumping music can be heard several streets away from its location near the port and downtown Beirut, which suits its trendy, want-to-be-seen-and-heard crowd.

Revelers can admire the sea view and the cityscape. Given its popularity, it’s best to reserve a table in advance. 

Beirut Harbour Street, below Charles Helou Avenue, Gemmayzeh, Lebanon; +961 1 560 666; beiruf.com

 

25. Madame Brussels: Melbourne, Australia

Madame BrusselsEnter and enjoy the colorful charms of the Madame. Three stories above Melbourne’s busy streets, Madame Brussels has a terrace where you can soak up the sun on one of the loungers or cuddle up in a blanket if it turns chilly. 

Drinks specialties include rose, punch and Pimm's, and cupcakes and finger sandwiches also feature. 

Level 3, 59-63 Bourke St., Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; +61 3 9662 2775; madamebrussels.com


26. Skye Bar & Restaurant: São Paulo, Brazil

skye bar brazil rooftopQuaff a caipirinha, befriend a Brazilian. Fashioned like an enormous boat, the Unique Hotel is just one example of Brazil’s adventurous architecture.

On the eighth floor is the rooftop Sky lounge, with many places to admire the Sao Paulo skyline and a pool to cool off in.

It's also a perfect spot to indulge in Brazil’s most famous cocktail, the caipirinha. Come night, DJs entertain an international crowd.

Brigadeiro Luis Antonio 4700, Brazil; +55 11 3055 47; hotelunique.com.br


27. C View, MileNorth, A Chicago Hotel: Chicago, United States

best rooftop barsWhere Bruce Wayne would want to mingle. Minus the bat suit. Chicago's skyline doesn't come more accessible than at C-View, an outdoor rooftop terrace and indoor lounge on MileNorth, A Chicago Hotel.

Glass panels give views onto the urban jungle below and communal tables encourage mingling.

If you like beer you’re in for a treat as C-View offers a vast selection of local, domestic and imported brews.

166 East Superior St., Chicago, United States; +1 312 523 0923; c-houserestaurant.com


28. Panorama Terrace, Park Inn: Berlin, Germany

RADISSON BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATzEven the deck chairs look cool.In Berlin the best place to watch the sun set is at Panorama Terrace.

It’s as popular with locals as with tourists, who want to enjoy an alternative vantage point of their home city.

Situated on the 39th floor of the Park Inn Hotel, it’s Berlin's highest open-air lounge, with a 360-degree view. There’s a €3 (US$3.70) entrance fee. 

Alexanderplatz 7, Berlin, Germany; +49 302 3890; parkinn-berlin.com


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29. The Galaxy Bar, Hilton Hotel: Athens, Greece

galaxy bar greeceEastern food, Western view.East meets West at the Galaxy bar in Athens, where you can chow down on dim sum while gazing at the ancient Parthenon and Acropolis.

The open-air terrace, which on a clear day takes in panoramic views of the sea and the island of Aegina, offers an Eastern rather than a Greek snacking menu. 

46 Vassilissis Sofias Ave., Athens, Greece; +30 210 728 1000; hiltonathens.gr


30. The Joule: Dallas, Texas, United States

The Joule Hotel, DallasAn infinity pool, into oblivion.It might seem like a good idea in the blazing Texan sun to take a dip in the Joule’s rooftop infinity swimming pool, but you’ll probably need a stiff drink afterwards -- it juts out 2.5-meters beyond the building, giving the illusion that you're about to swim over the edge. 

Luckily the attentive bartenders are on hand to serve up any number of creative cocktails to calm your nerves.

1530 Main St., Dallas, Texas, United States; +1 214 748 1300; thejouledallas.com 

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31. Vue Bar, Hyatt on the Bund: Shanghai, China

Hyatt on the BundLeo DiCaprio wannabes, now's your chance.Vue grants a near-aerial view over one of the world’s most famous skyscraper zones and is one of the few places you can see the land carve of Lujiazui, the protruding tip of Pudong.

It’s also the best place to stage the "I'm-the-king-of-the-world" scene in Shanghai.

After a few glasses of wine by the floor-to-ceiling windows, guests can head up to the outdoor hot tub and relax under the stars.

Tip for ladies: bikinis are for sale under the name of “Vue Jacuzzi Wear” on the drink menu. 

32/F, West Tower, Hyatt on the Bund, 199 Huangpu Lu, near Wuchang Lu; +86 21 6393 1234; www.shanghai.bund.hyatt.com

 

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32. Sugar, East Hotel: Hong Kong 

Sugar rooftop bar Hong KongFewer neon signs than you expect.It's rare to find a high-octane cocktail joint with a killer view in the lesser-known parts of Hong Kong Island, and Sugar's view contains fewer garish fluorescent billboards than you might think.

The scene is made up of ocean-going vessels floating in the harbor with a backdrop of the old airport, Kai Tak.

It's best to visit the loungy outdoor deck before sunset to enjoy the coastline by the soft light of dusk. This way you can also avoid Sugar's garish pink and purple lighting that becomes apparent once it's dark. 

32/F, EAST, 29 Taikoo Shing Road, Tai Koo, +852 3968 3738 www.sugar-hongkong.com

 

33. Ozone Bar: Hong Kong

Ozone bar hong kongScared yet?Ozone Bar is kryptonite to vertigo sufferers.

On the top floor of the world's highest hotel, this super-stylish bar gives the feeling of being on a plane, with a bird's-eye view of Hong Kong harbor and the streets far below.

Colored lights illuminate the stylish interior, while pretty young things flit like butterflies.  

International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong; +852 2263 2263; ritzcarlton.com

 

34. Fasano: Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Hotel Fasano Rio de JaneiroRedeem yourself ... with one of Rio's classiest cocktails.The hip Fasano Hotel Rio de Janeiro is leader of the pack in a city blessed with fine hotels.

While guests' palates are attended to by tasty sundowners, their gazes can waft from beautiful people by the pool, to the sea and sky as sunset colors melt into view under the gaze of Christ the Redeemer.

The bar Londra downstairs also stages an ultra cool "pocket show" from DJs and musicians.

Avebye Vieira Souto 80, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; +55 2242 00000; fasano.com.br


35. Vista Bar, One&Only Resort, Cape Town, South Africa

best rooftop barsThe one and only, if you discount the 49 others on this list.The Vista Bar in Cape Town’s One&Only Resort gives panoramic views over Table Mountain through its floor to ceiling windows.

Here you can sip a cocktail inspired by the spice route of the Cape of Good Hope, while DJs educate your ears. 

Dock Road, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront Cape Town, South Africa; +27 21 431 5888; capetown.oneandonlyresorts.com


36. Aer, Four Seasons Hotel:  Mumbai, India

four seasons rooftop barSuddenly you're corner office doesn't look so grand.There can be few better places to enjoy not being in the middle of Mumbai's urban sprawl than from the city’s highest rooftop bar.

Safely away from the traffic, the noise and the seething mass of humanity at street level, Aer bar is on the top floor of the city’s Four Seasons hotel.

114 Dr. E Moses Road, Worli, Mumbai, India; +91 22 2481 8000; fourseasons.com/mumbai

 

37. The Literary Terrace, The Grand Hotel Timeo: Sicily, Italy

Genius LociThe romantic side to staring out into the distance.It’s not difficult to see why authors including DH Lawrence sought inspiration on the Literary Terrace of the glamorous Grand Hotel in Sicily.

The views over to Mount Etna and Taormina should cure the most stubborn case of writers’ block.

And Lawrence was clearly in good company, as the terrace was also reportedly a meeting place for screen sirens Audrey Hepburn and Sofia Loren. 

Via Teatro Greco 59, Taormina (ME), Italy; +39 0942 627 0200; grandhoteltimeo.com


38. Sevva: Hong Kong

Sevva hong kongGlowing chairs match the glowing scenery. Sevva is the banker and corporate lawyer's hangout of choice.

Someone's closed a deal -- they'll head to Sevva to toast associates facing the champion view. Someone's lost a court case -- they'll head to Sevva and sink low in the outdoor couches, get drunk and angry on old Bordeaux then rant at the HSBC building close by.

Watch out for disappointing food at Sevva's restaurant and avoid the below par service on busy weekends. 

25/F, Prince's Building, 10 Chater Road, Hong Kong; +852 2537 1388; www.sevva.hk


39. Top Mountain Star: Wurmkogel, Austria

While not strictly a rooftop bar, this bizarre construction, vaguely resembling an air traffic control tower, is situated high in the Austrian Alps and provides a setting for weary skiers to stop off for a cup of hot chocolate or some glühwein.

The futuristic restaurant and bar, with 360-degree glass walls, offers views of the slopes of Obergurgl with 23 Alpine peaks stretching out over the Oztal Alps and the Dolomites. 

Over 3,000 meters high in the Wurmkogel, Hochgurgl, Austria; tophotelhochgurgl.com

 

40. Rock Bar, Ayana Resort & Spa: Bali, Indonesia

AYANA Resort and Spa BaliLooks good from a distance, even better when you're there.This is one of Bali’s most glamorous sunset and after-dark destinations.

Precariously perched 14 meters above the crashing Indian Ocean at the base of Ayana Hotel, the open-top bar sits right on the spot-lit water’s edge and at high tide the waves crash just a few feet from guests' feet. 

A DJ booth is carved into the cliff face. 

Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia; +62 361 702 222; ayanaresort.com
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41. Vertigo & Moon Bar, Banyan Tree: Bangkok, Thailand

Banyan Tree BangkokBreathtaking and palpitation giving. On the roof of Bangkok’s Banyan Tree Hotel is Vertigo, specializing in barbecued seafood, though it also grills a mean steak and has a good vegetarian menu.

Walk a few steps and you're at Moon Bar, which has a solid cocktail and wine menu and a small seating area. 

The stomach-churning views at this 61st floor venue are rivaled only by those at Sirocco (also on this list), which has sparked many a fiery debate between die-hard fans of the two hotels over the years. 

21/100 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok, Thailand; +66 (0)2 679 1200; www.banyantree.com

 

42. KU DÉ TA, Marina Bay Sands: Singapore

Ku De Ta singaporeLights, cushions, cocktails.Singapore’s youngest architectural icon, Marina Bay Sands, is the only structure standing 200 meters high in its immediate vicinity.

This means KU DÉ TA, its party bar, has spectacular views into the city and over the waters and of Marina Bay Sands' infamous infinity pool. 

Arrive at sunset to reap the full experience. 

If you're unable to tear yourself away from the fancy night lights, stave off hunger with the platter of five Wagyu mini burgers and the chopped tuna tartar and flatbread while enjoying the nightly laser show.

Marina Bay Sands SkyPark, 1 Bayfront Ave., Singapore; +65 6688 7688; www.kudeta.com.sg

 

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43. Char, Hotel Indigo: Shanghai, China

Hotel Indigo ShanghaiOne view no one can disagree with.Occupying the top three floors of the 31-story Hotel Indigo Shanghai, Char provides a 270-degree outlook sweeping across downtown.

To your left are the pointy roofs and narrow streets of the Shanghai Old Town; your front the unbeatable colonial architectural strip on the Bund; and on your right stands the breathtaking Lujiazui skyscraper spectacle. 

The visual extravaganza is complete with cargo and neon sign-bearing cruise ships drifting down Huangpu.

Inside, the 100-seat grill and bar serves Blackmore’s Wagyu beef and seafood from Australia.

29-31/F, Hotel Indigo Shanghai, 585 Zhong Shan Dong Er Lu, near Dongmen Lu, Shanghai, China; +86 21 3302 9995; www.shanghai.hotelindigo.com

 

44. Capital M: Beijing, China 

Capital M rooftop barAn exclusive angle for a unique place. Housed in a historic building on the centuries-old Qianmen Dajie, Capital M is somber on the outside but inviting inside.

The atmosphere is cashed-up bohemian -- inside are a Van Gogh-esque mural, fresh flowers and views of Qianmen, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. 

The menu is inspired by local produce, but contains elements from Europe and North Africa. 

Wines are taken seriously at Capital M. Their own label has been supplied by the same South Australian vineyard for 20 years. 

3/F, 2 Qianmen Pedestrian St., Beijing, China; +86 (10) 6702 2727; www.m-restaurantgroup.com

 

45. Penthouse Terrace of ME Madrid: Spain

ME MadridMany famous derrières have sat here.The Penthouse bar on the rooftop of the ME hotel in Madrid is owned by supermodel Cindy Crawford’s husband, Rande Gerber, and the place acts as a magnet for celebrities in town.

The queues to get in are testament to its popularity, so it's best to get here early, order your drinks and bag a seat for a spot of star spotting -- of both the celestial and Hollywood kind. 

Plaza de Santa Ana, 14 Madrid, Spain; +34 902 14 44 40; memadrid.com

 

46. Le Grill, Hotel de Paris: Monaco

Situated on the eighth floor of the Hotel de Paris, the Michelin-starred Le Grill is an elegant rooftop eatery offering views over the French Riviera.

On a clear day you can see all the way to Corsica, while the rest of the time it provides dizzying views over Monaco’s glittering harbor dotted with sailing boats and gin palaces. 

In the summer, the roof is opened at the flick of a switch and at the merest hint of inclement weather can be closed again.

Place du Casino, Monte Carlo, Principauté de Monaco; hoteldeparismontecarlo.com

 

47. Rufxxx: Seoul, Korea

rufxxx seoulOut with the posh, in with the cool.Rufxxx, tucked away in a nondescript alleyway, was originally a studio for photographer and director Kim Hyoung Nam.

It's now a convivial wellspring for photography, film, music, dance and fashion.

It's split into three floors: a lounge floor for food and drink, a small performance area upstairs, and the rooftop with the best view in Seoul of N Seoul Tower and Namsan. 

If you didn't think a rooftop bar could be down-to-earth, Rufxxx makes you think again. 

5-27 Itaewon 2-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul; +82 2 511 2570; www.rufxxx.com

 

48. Hotel Duquesa de Cardona: Barcelona, Spain

The rooftop Brisa del Mar space of Hotel Duquesa de Cardona is divided into two areas by scented lavender bushes.

One part is reserved for dining and drinking, the other is for sunbathing and swimming.

Try the house special, the Cardona, a blow-your-head-off cocktail of rum, pineapple juice, grenadine and Malibu, while trying to focus on the views to the church of La Merce to the rear and the Port Vell marina at the front. 

Passeig de Colom 12, Barcelona, Spain; +34 93 268 9090; hduquesadecardona.com

 

49. The Laison Capitol Hill, an Affinia Hotel: Washington D.C., United States

Liason Capitol HillIf it's good enough for yoga, it's good enough for cocktails.This is Capitol Hill's only open-air, rooftop pool and bar, and it lays on great breakfasts, yoga classes right next to the pool and heroic cocktails. 

Guests not lodging in the hotel, which went through a three-month renovation, can enter free of charge after 5 p.m. 

415 New Jersey, NW, Washington D.C., United States; +1 202 638 1616; www.affinia.com

 

50. L'éléphant: Ibiza, Spain 

L'elephant ibizaA more refined and elegant side of Ibiza. L'éléphant stacks up more than the usual Ibizan late-night parties, bars and cocktails.  

Located in the foodie village of San Rafael, the minimalist, retro bar is a place for a quick drink before hitting the dance floors. Expect good cocktails and indulgent, Mediterranean food.

The rooftop offers views of the old Ibiza Town to give a sense of nostalgia about the area. 

Plaza Iglesia, San Rafael, Ibiza, Spain; +34 971 19 80 56; www.elephant-ibiza.com

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