With 283 days of sunshine a year, it makes sense that Brisbane is home to an impressive line up of sun-drenched rooftop bars. After all, it’s a city best enjoyed in the sunshine (on a rooftop, with an Aperol spritz in hand, to be more precise—don’t argue with us on this one).
We’ve done some intensive ~research~ to pull together this list of local favourites, new gems and an all-round cracking list of the best places to make the most of the Sunshine State’s capital.
If you’re salivating at the thought, we won’t keep you waiting any longer. Notepads at the ready: here are the absolute best rooftop bars in Brisbane.
1. The One With The Pool And City Views
Picture this: you, by the pool, cheese board in front of you, an icy jug of Sangria and nothing but time ahead of you. Bliss, right? See you there.
Free of stuffy interiors and full of fresh air, Emporium Hotel’s rooftop iteration, The Terrace, needs to be on your weekend line up.
Sitting pretty at 21 floors high and open from 6:30am The Terrace makes for one hell of a breakfast, the perfect backdrop to sunny afternoon drinks, and the best view of Brisbane come sunset.
2. The One That Looks Like A Work Of Art
There’s a reason that one of the world’s coolest hotel chains, the W Hotel, picked Brisbane to be it’s only Aussie home.
Brisbane is the perfect backdrop to this larger than life rooftop-slash-pool-area that is surely home to the highest density of Instagram posts per meter in Brisbane. Like, surely.
The wet deck itself actually wraps around to pretty much 360 views of Brisbane from the W’s prime position on the north quay. The cocktail list here also calls on plenty of inspiration from Brisbane, with pineapples, magpies and more iconic Brisbane moments getting a nod in the cocktail list.
3. The One In The Heart Of The Valley
If a hefty dose of vitamin D, a cocktail in hand and 180-degree stellar views of the Brisbane skyline sound ideal right about now, you should probably hot foot it to Fortitude Valley hot spot, Eleven Rooftop Bar…like, now.
Think decadent details like sandstone walls, Mediterranean cabanas, glossy wooden features and seamless glass details and you’re halfway there. Just don’t forget to add in the share plates boasting confit duck leg, Mooloolaba prawns and gin and tonic oysters.
Yeah, gin and tonic oysters. Seriously, get there now. We’ll meet you there.
4. The One With The Swim Up Bar
It feels fitting that Australia’s tropical capital is home to a swim-up bar in the heart of its CBD, really.
The aptly named Nautilus is the crown in the 300-square-metre rooftop at the Westin Brisbane. While this spot isn’t open to the public, it’s well worth booking a stay-cay or using the swim up bar as the key decider in choosing your Brisbane accommodation. Either way, you can’t do Brisbane without ticking this one off your list.
5. The One In The Middle Of Queen Street Mall
Name a better way to spend your day than by splitting your time between taking a dip in the above pool and trying every cocktail on the list at NEXT Hotel. This hidden gem is such a well-kept secret, fairly few locals even include it in their bar roster.
If you’re browsing the mall below, keep your eyes peeled on the skyline above and look out for the pool, ride the lift up to the pool deck and boom, you’re into one of Brisbane’s best-kept secrets. Tell them we sent you, okay?! You won’t regret it.
6. The One That’s Made Out Of Shipping Containers
X Cargo is just that, a sprawling foodie paradise in the heart of Fortitude Valley that’s home to Brisbane’s coolest collection of shipping containers. This spot is entirely open air, so it’s perfectly made for enjoying a looonngg afternoon in the Brisbane sun with your mates.
The VIP Bar is a super modern iteration of the classic rooftop bar…think champagne, ceviche, and chicken ribs served in atop a surprisingly luxe shipping container.
Honestly, that’s not a sentence we’d ever thought we’d be writing, yet here we are—classic, Brisbane.
7. The One Named After Its Signature Drink
If you’re yet to try a Sazerac, the best place to do it is absolutely in its namesake bar that sits 30 stories above Brisbane in the Four Points by Sheraton. (In case you’re wondering, a Sazerac is a delicious combination of cognac, absinthe, bitters and sugar that originated in New Orleans, and tastes damn good in Brisbane, too).
If ridiculously good cocktails aren’t enough to convince you to check out Sazerac, the panoramic views of Brisbane’s skyline will have you hook, line and sinker. Plus, we’re willing to go out on a limb here and say that cocktails taste much, much better at least thirty floors above Brisbane. Right?