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FOOD & DRINK

Seven Rooftop Bars Where You Can Make the Most of Golden Hour in Sydney

Take an early mark to nab a spot at these coveted sky-high bars.
By Tamar Cranswick
December 22, 2020
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By Tamar Cranswick
December 22, 2020
  shares

SEVEN ROOFTOP BARS WHERE YOU CAN MAKE THE MOST OF GOLDEN HOUR IN SYDNEY

in partnership with

Take an early mark to nab a spot at these coveted sky-high bars.

We sometimes take for granted just how spectacular our harbourside city is, but from on high it's hard to deny. A rooftop bar at sunset is the ideal place to take in Sydney's views as day slips into night. With the help of our friends at Jim Beam, we've put together a list of seven of the best spots to enjoy a twilight drink, from bustling pubs to aerial gardens and beachside lookouts.

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    It’s something of an Olympic sport, the jostling for prime position on The Glenmore Hotel’s rooftop. With uninterrupted views out over the historic The Rocks to the Museum of Contemporary Art and over the water to Sydney Opera House, it’s little wonder that things can get competitive here. Bring your A-game, roll up your sleeves and limber up to secure yourself a spot at primetime: sunset. There’s nowhere else to be as the sun slowly melts into the horizon, except maybe the bar to grab yourself a Jim Beam with soda and lemon — just be sure to get a mate to mind your seat.

    Image: Alana Dimou.

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    Ivy Pool Club

    The Ivy is not the place to be for shrinking violets, but with looks like these you want the world to know it. The rooftop Pool Club is the pièce de résistance of the complex and it’s where the beautiful and the uninhibited come to enjoy a poolside frolic. The sky-high bar means the beauty extends beyond the crowd to the city skyline beyond. Come as the sun is setting and watch dusk turn into night with a drink in hand, such as a Jim Beam and peach iced tea. And, if you don’t want to mingle with the hoi polloi, you can get yourself a private cabana, complete with a personal waiter.

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  • 5

    Darlinghurst’s multilevel beer emporium, The Taphouse has more amber on tap than even the most dedicated drinker could hope to get through in one sitting: 60 in fact. It also boasts one of the most impressive rooftops in town without suffering from any pretentiousness. Come in the late afternoon and nab a table on the openair terrace. Relax into the night as you watch the sun slip away for another day and weigh up which beer to try next. Pooches are also welcome here — just make sure they’re not afraid of heights.

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  • 4
    East Village Hotel

    Not all pubs are created equal. With its gorgeous third-floor rooftop terrace, the East Village Hotel is a cut above the rest. The view from the apex of this much-loved Darlinghurst drinking hole takes in the city skyline and is the perfect spot to watch the sun go down as the light bounces off the skyscrapers. Rimmed by a wall of plants, striped umbrellas and timber finishing, the bar has a Mediterranean feel and there are even mist jets to cool hot heads during summer. While the space is pretty, it’s by no means large, so make your way upstairs early to secure a spot.

    Image: Brett Stevens.

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  • 3

    The jewel in the crown of the Republic Hotel in Tank Stream Way is Taylor’s Rooftop. Enclosed, with a verdant garden wall stretching down the length of one side, the third-floor bar opens up to the sky rather than out, but it’s still a beaut spot to watch the sun sink behind the city. There’s a strong after-work CBD vibe at Taylor’s, making it the perfect place to come and shrug off the shackles at the end of a long day as you watch the sky turn pink.

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  • 2

    No matter how you look at the futuristic design of Barangaroo House, one thing’s for certain: the view from the rooftop bar is one to savour. Smoke sits atop the waterfront site and boasts a wraparound timber balcony with spectacular views of the city. Come at sundown and watch as the sky fades from burnished orange to dark as you sip on a Jim Beam and soda. The bar boasts a 50-strong cocktail list, made with finesse to match the surroundings. There’s even table service, meaning there’s no reason to give up your prime position.

    Image: Kimberley Low.

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  • 1

    City bars often get all the glory when it comes to views from high, but the Manly Greenhouse on South Steyne gives the east a run for its money. An abundance of plants throughout, including a canopy on the third-floor rooftop, gives the venue its name and helps create a lush, coastal vibe. With spectacular views through the pines to the ocean, the rooftop’s a no brainer when it comes to sunset drinks. The retractable rooftop means it’s a safe bet no matter the weather, so grab yourself Jim Beam with soda and lime and settle in.

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Top image: Manly Greenhouse, Yasmin Mund

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