Rooftop bar in Mumbai

AER spans the entire roof at Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai and is open year round.

13 of the Best Rooftop Bars in the World

From Doha to Dubai, Los Angeles to London, we're raising a glass to the top spots for sipping cocktails in the sky.

When the weather is warm, rooftop bars and restaurants become playgrounds for city dwellers. Nights are hot, sunsets are radiant and drinks always taste better when sipped in the sky. But to make our list of the best rooftop bars in the world, these 13 hot spots had to offer more than dreamy views.

Paris: Les Ombres

Recommended by the Concierge team at Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, this rooftop restaurant occupies the top floor of the Jean Nouvel–designed Musée du quai Branly in the 7th district, and is an easy jaunt from the Hotel. Take a tour of the museum’s exhibitions, or skip the culture and proceed directly to the celebrated menu of French classics. A restaurant for travellers and locals alike, Les Ombres boasts unmatched views of the Eiffel Tower from the terrace. Plan your experience around sunset to watch the Tower’s lights begin to glitter as the sun sinks below the horizon.

Singapore: 1-Altitude Gallery and Bar

1-Altitude Gallery and Bar is the grande dame of rooftop bars – the world’s highest al fresco bar sits atop the triangular One Raffles Place building almost 1,000 feet (304 metres) above Singapore’s business district. The 360-degree views look out onto the Singapore River, Marina Bay and twinkling cityscape, but with a sunken dance floor, small-plates bar menu and creative cocktail list, 1-Altitude is far more than just a viewing platform. DJs The Funkman and Leonard T man the decks most nights, so plan for drinks plus dancing.

Dubai: Mercury Lounge

On the rooftop of Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Mercury Lounge offers more than its head-turning views of the Arabian Gulf, city skyline and Burj Khalifa. In-house attractions include a Champagne bar, shisha lounge, resident DJ and traditional majlis seating areas for the city’s glitterati. Happy hour kicks things off early, and the small-plates menu – with caviar, oysters and truffle duck parfait, naturally – sustains the crowds until the wee hours. The dress code is smart casual, but in Dubai that means your highest heels or sharpest button-downs.

New York City: The Skylark

Concierge David Harney at Four Seasons Hotel New York says The Skylark is an after-work favourite for a ritzy Midtown crew. Views are of movie-set New York, from the Empire State Building to the Chrysler Building and out to the Hudson River. Lauded New York mixologist Johnny Swet is behind signature cocktails like the spicy Jalapeto and the Skylark, an other-era concoction with gin, Saint- Germain and brandied cherry. This sky-high spot is only open to the public only during the week, so don’t wait until the weekend to visit.

Hong Kong: SEVVA

In a city with a thriving rooftop bar scene, the concierge team at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong recommends SEVVA, a crowd-pleaser with 360-degree city views atop the Prince’s Building in Central. Pronounced “savour,” the bar caters to imbibers both at night and during the day. Daytime patrons can enjoy afternoon tea and sweets, while night owls can expect a lively DJ and the occasional saxophonist.

Miami: Juvia

Hanging out on top of a parking garage might not sound like the most glamorous of nights, but this Miami rooftop hot spot does things differently. Recommended by the concierge team at Four Seasons Hotel Miami, Juvia is the creation of acclaimed architects Herzog & de Meuron. In the kitchen, alums of Nobu, Boulud and Ducasse dish up Peruvian, French and Japanese favourites with a 305 twist. The Miami Beach views make the perfect backdrop to an evening of libations.

Mumbai: AER

The jewel in the sparkling crown of Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai, AER towers 34 storeys above the bustling Worli district and is one of few rooftop bars to be open year round. The sleek, modern décor takes its cues from the city’s superfuture skyline, on full display thanks to the knockout 360-degree views. Visit at sunset for one of the best views in Mumbai – and to secure your seat – or come during the late-night hours to gaze at the stars.

Istanbul: A’YA Rooftop Lounge

At A’YA Rooftop Lounge at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet, the city’s signature sights are on display. Admire the Hagia Sophia’s giant buttress, the Blue Mosque’s distinctive six minarets and the brilliant blue Bosphorus over a bottle of local wine. Ask the staff to treat you to a raki balik experience, a favourite way for locals to imbibe a bottle of their national drink (an aniseed liqueur) paired with seafood. A calm oasis in the middle of a hectic tourist area, this is not the spot to party until dawn. Go for a low-key evening spent appreciating Istanbul’s grandest treasures and the sounds of Old Town below.

Los Angeles: Perch

To be in with LA’s hip and handsome crowd, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills Concierge Barbara Reyes recommends Perch. Located in Downtown LA, the 16th-floor rooftop bar has unmatched panoramic views of the buzzing neighbourhood plus classic Parisian cocktails, live jazz nights, ornate fireplaces and an oyster-shucking cart. On a hot day, try the Spicy Concombre, a combination of Greenalls Gin, St-Germain, lime juice, cucumber and jalapeño – refreshing with a touch of heat.

Beirut: The Roof

A 26th-floor gem atop Four Seasons Hotel Beirut, The Roof is the highest open-air lounge in the city and packs a punch with seasonal outdoor seating for 200, nightly live DJ sets and an Asian-inspired tapas menu. Not to mention that the bar offers pick-a-vista views of Beirut’s downtown, surrounding mountains, a nearby marina and the Mediterranean Sea. Expect to share a banquette with the city’s brightest, who know to book in advance for a seat at the window, dress way up and dance until the lights go on at 2:00 am.

Bangkok: ZENSE

With a heart-of-the-action location atop the CentralWorld shopping mall, ZENSE is a prime perch for admiring the neon lights of downtown Bangkok. The look is artfully futuristic, with high-design canopies over tables, vertical gardens and mood lighting across the mezzanine bar and outdoor dining areas. Better for sundowners than for a late-night party, the cocktail menu serves all the classics, plus fruity seasonal cocktails.

London: Forest Restaurant and Bar on the Roof

Forest Restaurant and Bar on the Roof is a seasonal pop-up on the top floor of Selfridge’s, one of London’s best-loved department stores. The rooftop restaurant is transformed each year, and the current urban forest features branches and fairy lights. Décor echoes the forager-focused menu, and there’s a secret garden with two “sheds” for cosy drinks or a group celebration. Book in advance to score a table during the popular afternoon tea service, and order a round of Rhubinis – a quintessentially English concoction with homemade rhubarb and sparkling local wine.

Doha: Nobu Doha

In a tri-level, 26,000-square-foot (2,415-square-metre) space resembling an oyster shell, Nobu at Four Seasons Hotel Doha is the world’s largest Nobu restaurant. Perched in the middle of the bay, the rooftop terrace has just 38 highly coveted seats. Claim your spot when the bar’s doors open at 6:00 pm, and settle in with an order of the 28 Punch – a decadent mocktail with fresh ginger and acai black. Sip on your drink and admire views of the Arabian Gulf and the yachts docked at the Four Seasons Marina next door. For a sweet treat to round out the night, try the raved-about caramelised vanilla cake.