Rooftop bars in Melbourne aren’t unique to this city, but they are infamous never-the-less. Kind of like New York’s pizza or Greece’s islands. They’re just better here. During the summer months, rooftop bars are thriving with locals and tourists a like, but even in winter months many will brave the cold for the reward of stunning vistas.
Combining my love of cocktails with my adoration for the Melbourne skyline, rooftop bars are my favourite type of bar in town. For years I have sought out the most perfect ones around the Melbourne area and I guess I should share them with you. You’re welcome.
Naked In The Sky – Fitzroy
I like to brag that this is just a short tram ride away from my humble abode. The views of the city from this rooftop can not be beat. The whole Naked for Satan bar just oozes funky vibes that match the neighbourhood it resides. Did that rhyme? Copper detailing, wooden decor, cool wallpaper and mood lighting fill the inside but outside find colourful mismatched outdoor chairs that bring the rooftop to life.
COOL FEATURE ALERT: They have a tasty selection of tapas at the downstairs bar. Help yourself and when you’re done, just take your toothpicks to the bar and they charge you $1 a pop.
Curtin House Rooftop Bar & Cinema – CBD
This bar is famous for its rooftop cinema from December to April, but it is also noted as a pretty dope place to have a beer on a sunny afternoon. It comes alive at nighttime as the close proximity to high-rise buildings mean the view of city lights leaves you awestruck. The rooftop sits a top the popular Curtin House building on Swanston Street, so you couldn’t find a more central location if you tried and it shares the building with super popular Cookie Bar.
Transit Rooftop Bar – CBD
Gaze over the Yarra River to the Alexandra Gardens, the spiralling Art Centre building and the Eureka Tower on one side and marvel at the Rialto Tower, Federation Square and St Paul’s Cathedral on the other. This bar is situated opposite iconic Flinders Street Station, above the Transport Bar.
Easey’s – Collingwood
When I heard about this place, I thought “surely there aren’t real trains perched on a roof decked out as a diner and bar”. I was so very wrong. You’ll spot the three graffiti covered train carriages from a mile away and be amazed once you’re sitting in diner like seating, staring across the horizon through a train window. Then, after your famous Easey burger, head to the next carriage for a beer. It has to be seen to be believed.
Loop Roof is a fun, vibrant space with some of the best panoramic views of the city. Its colourful decor and bouncy atmosphere mean it is always packed to the rafters and good luck finding a seat. But it’s worth the tight squeeze amongst fellow patrons. Added bonus: they serve cocktails in tiki cups or watering cans and pot plants!
Mt View Hotel – Richmond
Situated on bustling Bridge Road, this four level bar/pub has a lot to offer. But at the top, find the distant views of the city with the MCG in the foreground. The cosy bar with wooden panelled seating and floor to ceiling glass windows will soon have your heart.
The Emerald Peacock – CBD
The first thing you will notice when arriving at this bar are the odd, green felt covered roofs sitting smack bang in your viewing space. But once you get over that, there are a number of gorgeous buildings to catch your eye. The sophisticated space is gorgeous, with hanging gardens and wooden panelling that matches the elegance of the cocktail lounge downstairs; which with its colourful detailing and funky wallpaper, looks straight out of the 1920’s gangster era.
Goldilocks – CBD
Noted as the best rooftop bar in Melbourne in 2014, this fairly-new-comer is setting a high benchmark for rooftop bars. Just a few doors down from Curtin House, it’s another in a great location with a space that changes with the seasons. Roof covers for when the rain hits, cool water steaming systems for the hot summer days and outdoor heaters in winter. Check, check, check.
The Hills Rooftop – CBD
The hipsters had to have a rooftop bar in here somehow. This colourful and chilled out spot – part of funky Tuxedo Cat – is everything I love about Melbourne. It’s artsy, unique, laid back and has a BYO BBQ. Do I need to keep selling this place? Didn’t think so.
Captain Baxters – St. Kilda
Whilst it is only a second story rooftop, the views are unlike any others in this list, simply because you get an ocean view. Watch over the busy St. Kilda Beach Boulevard by day and take in the sunset and enjoy the busy crowds by night. It’s a popular spot during summer, but beautiful sunsets happen all year round.
Madame Brussels – CBD
Alice in Wonderland meets a day at the races at this beautifully themed bar. The bar prides itself on their girly style and host garden parties for groups of ladies wanting a special day out. Unlike most bars whom specialise in small cocktails, Madame Brussels specialties are large jugs of fruity concoctions.
Siglo – CBD
One for the architect marvels, this sophisticated bar overlooks stunning buildings such as the Parliament House and St Patricks Cathedral and sits against the Princess Theatre building. Grab a wine and indulge in this popular hotspot.
Palmz @ The Carlton Club – CBD
Goodbye Melbourne. Hello Fiji. Be transported to a tropical oasis, right in the heart of the city. This colourful themed bar is quirky, fun and can double as a quick getaway after a hard day at the office.
What’s your favourite?