Best Bars With a View in Sydney

Updated 6 months ago


There's something about a good view that just makes things better. A sweeping vista helps gloss over awkward conversation during a first date, being high in the sky provides an epic backdrop special occasions, and being by the water makes that Margarita taste just that little bit more like your well overdue beach holiday.

It's a cold, hard fact: drinking is more fun when you have something nice to look at. Thankfully, bars and views are two things Sydney does particularly well.

Related Pages
Best Restaurants With a View in Sydney
Best Rooftop Bars in Sydney

  • This elevated vantage of Bondi’s sloshing surf is one of Australia’s great views – one a less conscientious restaurateur might easily lean on. Not Maurice Terzini, who’s been pushing his resplendent Italian diner to greater and greater heights since 2002.

  • This sprawling bar beneath the Opera House lays claim to one of the best harbour views in Sydney. But it doesn’t coast by on its good looks: come for creative cocktails and seafood-centric plates, and be sure to book ahead. This place fills up fast on a sunny day.

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  • Its million-dollar rooftop view across the harbour – taking in the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge – has made this old-school boozer a Sydney destination for decades. Toast those harbour icons with local beer on tap alongside magnums of champagne – your choice, depending on the occasion.

  • From The Butler’s large and leafy terrace you get an unbeatable vantage point to the city skyline above Woolloomooloo and The Domain. Throw in a zesty cocktail and some South American-inspired snacks and you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.

  • Located right next to northern beaches pub, The Collaroy, this breezy bar with smashing views of the surf is the perfect spot to hole up for the afternoon with snacks such as chilli-spiked yellowfin tuna tostadas and calamari fritti. Plus, a Pina Colada that’s “a thing of iced beauty”.

  • Up on the 83rd floor of Sydney Tower, this plush '70s-inspired cocktail lounge has the distinction of being the highest bar in town. The cocktails here are so good they’ll (almost) distract you from the 260-degree panorama.

  • This ritzy cocktail bar occupies the top two floors of the Hotel Palisade, a boutique pub and accommodation in the heart of The Rocks. The outlook takes in the Harbour Bridge through floor-to-ceiling windows – and the drinks are just as sophisticated as the setting.

  • Take in a magnificent panorama – while sipping on wine or craft beer – from the sunny terrace above the Mona Vale Surf Life Club. We’re talking about golden sand, wild surf and blue ocean as far as the eye can see.

  • One of our favourite things about this harbour-side gem is that you can hop a ferry to get there. It's non-stop views all the way, with the added reward of a postcard-worthy setting once you arrive. The terrace looks out over bobbing yachts towards the city skyline.

  • Located on the 22nd floor of Adina’s CBD hotel, views from this intimate cocktail bar are dominated by the city’s sparkling lights. An ode to mid-century Las Vegas by the Maybe Sammy crew, Dean & Nancy on 22 boasts an opulent, multi-sensory cocktail list and an appropriately indulgent menu – caviar included.

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  • To find this open-air oasis above the State Library's historic Mitchell Building, make your way through a grungy corridor and up a goods lift. You'll be met by a handsome bar serving cocktails and sublime views of the Domain and Sydney Harbour.

  • A visit to Mosman Rowers is best enjoyed after a spot of paddle boarding – but there’s no shame in skipping straight to a jug of Sangria and a bowl of prawn linguine on the glass-fronted terrace overlooking Middle Harbour. You’re practically on the water anyway.

  • This huge waterfront pub is a Pittwater classic. It's been a northern-beaches go-to for decades, but since being taken over by Merivale, it's reached a new level of popularity – and quality. You can come here for drinks and snacks or a full-blown meal. And no matter where you're eating or drinking, you're likely to have a view of the water.

  • The balcony on the second-storey bistro of this inner-city boozer has a charming outlook over Paddington. Head up one more level to the rosé-ready rooftop for unfettered views stretching out towards Rushcutters Bay.

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  • Slim's Rooftop is the pretty pink icing to Hyde Park House's extravagant layer cake. Head up to the fourth level for classic cocktails, Japanese-Mexican eats, and quality views over East Sydney.

  • This 26th-floor stunner from the team behind legendary cocktail bar Eau de Vie is a bold tribute to the roaring ’20s. Come for the caviar and champagne towers, stay for the knee-dropping views across Western Sydney from the open-air terrace.

  • Find the discreet ground-level entrance, then climb four levels of steep, narrow stairs to reach this hidden rooftop. It’s completely worth it – you'll be rewarded with a killer cocktail bar set against a backdrop of towering CBD highrises.

  • This sprawling mega-venue is Merivale’s most ambitious. Here you’ll find a family-friendly bistro, a tapas bar, a cocktail den and a fine diner that spiritually succeeds the now closed Est. Plus, there’s a killer rooftop bar on top of it all. Regardless of where you are, you're likely to have great views out over Coogee Beach.

  • We're giving a special mention to Will's, which is inside the Pavilion. It's a cocktail bar that's all about spritzes, Martinis and snacks. It's also got the best views – out over the sand and the water – in the house.

  • Though it’s in the heart of Kings Cross, this colourful rooftop four levels above the Potts Point Hotel feels partway between a beach club and a Mexican diner – serving a tight list of tacos, quesadillas and frozen Margaritas.

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  • The new-look Light Brigade has classic pub vibes on the ground floor and a bistro upstairs. Keep heading skyward to the 1920s-inspired cocktail bar, or the cherry on top: a Miami-inspired rooftop with epic views of the city skyline.

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  • Three different dining and drinking experiences in one slick seaside package. Though Manly Beach is visible from every floor, the rooftop offers the best outlook – along with a satisfyingly strong list of cocktails and spirits.