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Cheers to that: 9 of Brisbane’s best rooftop bars

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 friends, an Aperol spritz in hand, to be more precise).

We’ve done some intensive “research” to pull together this list of the best places to share impressive drinks – and even more impressive views – with your crew.

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?

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 an unforgettable 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

Photo by @olliv_mf

There’s a reason that one of the world’s coolest hotel chains, the W Hotel, picked Brisbane to be its 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 metre in Brisbane.

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 Under The Bridge

Fiume Bar | rooftop bars Brisbane

Local riverfront hotspot Howard Smith Wharves has it all – a brewery, overwater bar, award-winning restaurants. And if you’ve been there, sipped that, it’s time to ascend above the crowds to the rooftop of resident Art Series hotel The Fantauzzo to meet Fiume.

The views are A+, the infinity pool is just daring us to jump in, and we’re loving the local touch with liqueurs from Mt Tamborine Distillery leading the buzz behind native-inspired cocktails. Wild plum spritz or wattle toffee espresso martini, anyone?

4. 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.

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.

Yes, gin and tonic oysters. We’ll meet you there.

5. 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. Open to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it’s well worth booking a stay-cation 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.

6. The One In The Middle Of Queen Street Mall

Photo by @nextbrisbane

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. You won’t regret it.

7. The One With The Private Cabanas

Altitude Bar Brisbane

Photo by @altitude_bar

New kid on the Brisbane block, Altitude sits six floors up in a heritage listed Art Deco building nestled into the Valley‘s Brunswick Street.

Cocktails here are (literally) next-level (think salted caramel espresso martinis and Bushfire negronis) but if you’re looking to let your hair down with a little more swish, book in for bottle service in your own private cabana.

8. The One By The Clock Tower

For the perfect city-slicker knock off – and a birds eye view of King George Square and City Hall, head to the sixteenth floor of the Pullman for leafy rooftop vibes at Sixteen Antlers.

Our advice? Order big with the tapas menu and settle in with a strawberry mojito.

9. The One Named After Its Signature Drink

Sazerac Bar Brisbane

Photo by @paulalipaula

If you’re yet to try a Sazerac, the best place to do it is absolutely in its namesake bar that sits 30 storeys 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 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 – as well as the Latin DJs on Friday nights. Plus, we’re willing to go out on a limb here and say that cocktails taste much, much better at least 30 floors above Brisbane. Right?

If you don’t agree, come back down to earth with this list of Brisbane’s best bars – plenty of which sit on terra firma).