The Best Rooftop Bars of New York
Where are the best rooftop bars in New York? On this list are my favourite rooftop bars in the city, where you can have a drink, get some food and enjoy the views of Manhattan. The rooftop bars in NYC are great for a night of partying and meeting people.
New York Rooftop Bar Tour
If you want to experience the best rooftop bars in New York, then I suggest taking the rooftop bar tour. On this hassle-free tour, you will visit two of New York’s popular rooftop bars. Enjoy a night out in New York and the two drinks that are included!
Note: This tour is available on Tuesdays and Fridays and starts at 18:45. This means that between April and October you will have views of the sunset over Manhattan. The tour is a great introduction to the city’s nightlife and a good way to meet new people who are for the same reason: to have a good time.
The Panorama Room on Roosevelt Island is the only rooftop bar on the island and therefore offers unique views over Manhattan and the Queensboro Bridge. Grab a cocktail or a beer and head outside to the terrace. The bar, which feels like a lounge, also offers small bites, mostly seafood. To complete your experience, with your MetroCard, you can take the Roosevelt Island Tram to or from this rooftop bar. Remember to bring your ID and dress neatly.
The Gansevoort Rooftop is the place to go to for various occasions. If it’s been a long day and time to unwind with some drinks and snacks then this rooftop is certainly the place to be. It is also the place to party on weekends and meet people. This rooftop bar is very popular, so make a reservation if you want to visit during the evenings or on weekends. Otherwise, take into account that you might have to queue. During the day you might be able to get into the lounge club without a passport, or if underage, but after 19:00 this won’t be possible. Keep in mind that you’ll need to dress neatly.
The Roof (at PUBLIC hotel)
The Roof at hotel PUBLIC is one of New York City’s rooftop bars and also boasts one of the best views. It’s located in the Lower East Side and the views of Downtown and Midtown are, therefore, also unique. The Roof offers a 360-degree panorama over New York. From here, you can see all the tall Manhattan buildings, including the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center. This view makes watching the sunset from The Roof phenomenal. Between 17:00 and 19:00 you can get in pretty easily, without having to comply with very strict dress codes. Later in the evenings and especially during the weekends, it is one of the city’s hippest hot spots so there are much stricter door regulations, you can expect a queue.
When you enter hotel PUBLIC don’t take the very obvious escalator to the upper levels. Instead, head to the lifts behind and they will take you up to The Roof.
RH Rooftop Restaurant
RH Rooftop Restaurant is located in a rather unusual place: on the roof of a furniture store! Restoration Hardware is a chic home furnishing store in a beautiful, old building in Meatpacking District. You can make a reservation before your visit. To get to the rooftop you first have to walk through the shop, where you can also find several bars. If you go here in the afternoon, you can have a snack and a drink at the rooftop bar without a very strict entrance policy. Part of the rooftop bar is covered. Inside is reserved for food, in the outdoor area you can have a drink with a view over the Meatpacking District.
JIMMY at ModernHaus SoHo
JIMMY is located in the hotel ModernHaus SoHo. You have to take the stairs and a lift to get there. The rooftop is small but it’s a nice place to enjoy your poolside drink. There is an indoor bar as well. From the rooftop, you have views over Downtown and Midtown Manhattan. It is a chic and hip place, so dress neatly and always bring your passport. Entrance only from 21 onwards.
When you enter 230 Fifth, walk all the way to the back where you can take a lift to the top floor. The lift opens on the Penthouse Lounge, a very large lounge that looks hip and trendy. The entire lounge is fitted with windows which gives you a spectacular view of Manhattan.
The lounge is open all year round from 14:00. After seeing this amazing lounge, go upstairs to the Rooftop Garden. You won’t know where to look! You’ll see, among others the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building). On the other side of the rooftop, you’ll see Downtown and the Freedom Tower. If it’s a clear day you might even see the Statue of Liberty. The Rooftop Garden is huge, feels accessible to everyone, and is a nice place to relax. During the weekend it can get very busy and there will be queues in front of the door, especially after 23:00. Dress neatly, always with a shirt and dress shoes.
5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar
If you are in the Times Square area looking for a place to get a drink, you can go to 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar. The bar is located in Margaritaville Resort. This hotel has two bars; there’s one on the sixth floor with a pool. But I like the 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar better, even if it has less fuzz, the views are better than from the other bar. You can see Downtown Manhattan and you can even catch a glimpse of Times Square. Enjoy your drink inside or head outside on the terrace.
The Top of the Standard
Temporarily closed: The Top of the Standard is one of the hippest clubs. When you arrive upstairs you will need to hang your coat before you are escorted to your table by one of the waitresses who are aspiring models or actresses. If they think you are cool enough you will be seated in a beautiful place. You won’t know where to look in the beginning: at the spectacular interior or the splendid view. There is also an outside bar in the summer. Do you feel like dancing? Head over to Le Bain on the other side of the lift. On Friday and Saturday, it’s very hard to get in, especially if you are a man alone. Up until 17:00, it’s easy to get in if you are 21 and dressed neatly. The club is very exclusive and there is a good chance that you might run into someone famous.
Tip: Go ahead and use the bathroom, it’s certainly peeing in style!
Temporarily closed: In the middle of Manhattan, close to Times Square, you will find Sky Room. This bar is located on the 33rd and 34th floor of the Fairfield Inn and Suites Hotel. You just know that the view of Midtown will be great here, with the highlights being the Hudson River and the Empire State Building. Even so, it’s less touristy here than, for instance, 230 Fifth. The nice thing is that this rooftop bar actually consists of several bars, which are located at different ‘levels’. There are indoor and outdoor spaces, including a ‘cube’ that serves as a smoking area. It’s fun to wander around a bit because from each level, you’ll have a different view.
Bonus – Rooftop Terrace for Kids
If you went to Bryant Park or shopping on Fifth Avenue during the day, you can head to the rooftop terrace of this branch of the New York Library. This library is free to visit and fun to go to with kids. From the terrace, you can look up to the buildings around you and see the famous New York Public Library. When entering the library, you can take the elevator up. If the cafe on the same floor is open, you can get something to drink and grab a bite to enjoy on the terrace.
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