1. Oblix at The Shard, London, UK
Nowhere does killer views like The Shard, but you don’t need to take the paid-for lift to the viewing platform at the top of the skyscraper to enjoy it. Simply rock up to Oblix on the 32nd floor and grab a seat at the bar. When London lights up across the Thames through the floor-to-ceiling glass window, the spectacle is cinematic – and the cocktails are pretty epic, too.
Address: 32nd floor, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 | Tel: +44 (0)20 7268 6700
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2. Le Perchoir, Paris, France
Looking for the perfect view, but can't face the hordes at the Eiffel Tower? Venture out to the 11th arrondissement for this hidden gem, a roof-terrace bar that's unmarked at street level, but boasts 360° views. With a bohemian, tent-covered bar and fire pits in massive oil drums, this is the Parisian hipsters' answer to Soho House. Heat lamps, blankets and coloured fairy lights are available as the nights draw in.
Address: 14 Rue Crespin du Gast | Tel: +33 1 48 06 18 48
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3. Hotel U Prince, Prague, Czech Republic
Everyone comes to Prague to navigate the streets of the Old Town and see the Castle, but for the best overview of the city, install yourself at this NYC-style cocktail bar with an Old Fashioned in hand. Situated atop the Hotel U Prince, it’s where the posh sleep and the clued-up party.
Address: Staroměstské nám 460/29 | Tel: +420 224 213 807
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4. Bar Longhi, Venice, Italy
Although it can rain surprisingly often in Venice during the winter, the outdoor terrace of this decadent hotel bar is worth getting wet for. After all, it's on the Grand Canal itself. Enjoy incredible views across Accademia Bridge while gondolas glide by within touching distance.
Address: The Gritti Palace | Tel: +39 041 794611
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5. Hotel Miramar, Barcelona, Spain
The Catalan capital has a reputation for being hectic 24/7, but not here. It may only be minutes from Barcelona’s buzzing city centre, but up on the roof of this renovated 1920s palace, you'll feel above it all, as you sip cocktails and Champagne while observing the action below.
Address: 3 Plaça de Carlos Ibáñez | Tel: +34 932 81 16 00
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6. Azotea del Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain
Hanging above an Art Deco gallery, this bar's location means you can get your culture fix downstairs before heading up to lounge on sunbeds with a cocktail and soak up the panoramic view over Madrid’s rooftops. No sunshine? No problem – just wrap up warm, as it's open all year round.
Address: 42 Calle de Alcalá | Tel: +34 913 60 54 00
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7. Park Rooftop Bar, Lisbon, Portugal
Based in a car park, this bar may not sound like the most glamorous of locales, but it’s become the coolest hangout in town. Think wooden benches, simple drinks and a calendar of everything from cinema nights to live shows. But the view across the city, river and bell towers of Santa Catarina Church, is entertainment enough for us.
Address: 58 Calçada do Combro, Bairro Alto | Tel: +351 215 914 011
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8. City Space, Moscow, Russia
The drinks alone are worth the visit to this much-hyped cocktail lounge – it regularly ranks in the upper echelons of the world’s best bar lists – but sitting 140m above Moscow's pavements, it also provides a unique perspective of the Russian capital, with the Kremlin lit up in the distance.
Address: Kosmodamianskaya nab, 52, стр. 6 | Tel: +7 495 221-53-57
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9. Top Mountain Star, Obergurgl, Austria
Seeing is believing with this architectural phenomenon: anchored 3,082m up along an incredibly narrow, rocky ridge, high in the mountains overlooking the Austrian ski resort of Obergurgl, it looks like it might topple off at any minute. Suspend your disbelief long enough to take in the scenery and enjoy a beer after a morning on the slopes.
Address: Top of the Hochgurgl cable car, Obergurgl | Tel: +43 (0) 5256 6396
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10. A for Athens Rooftop bar, Athens, Greece
The appeal of this bar can be summed up in one word: Acropolis. The timeless icon of Ancient Greece is in plain sight as you sip cocktails from the tiny terrace, and there are also pleasant views across Plaka and Monastiraki Square.
Address: 2 Miaouli | Tel: +30 21 0324 4244
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11. The Monkey Bar, Berlin, Germany
On top of the trendy 25Hours Hotel Bikini, this Tiki hangout will have you drinking out of coconuts and swinging in hammocks for some sky-high monkey business. If all else fails, the primates in the zoo below should keep you entertained.
Address: 40 Budapester Strasse | Tel: +49 30 120221210
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12. Sassa Bar, Munich, Germany
Tegernsee Lake, just an hour’s drive from Munich, is one of Upper Bavaria’s most stunning spots and there is no better place to admire its glistening beauty than from the bar at Hotel Leeberghof, which is perched on a pretty hillside. Take a seat on the terrace, gaze over the wine list and lose the day to that view.
Address: 10 Ellingerstrasse, Tegernsee | Tel: +49 (8022) 1 88 09-0
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13. Bains des Pâquis, Geneva, Switzerland
Relaxed vibes, classic food and simple but on-point drinks are just some of the things that make this waterside bar a hit. It's especially magical when the water has iced over, but be prepared to stay late, as this all-day, all-night hangout knows how to party.
Address: 30 Quai du Mont-Blanc | Tel: +41 22 732 29 74
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14. Manchester House, Manchester, UK
From the ground, it looks like yet another office block, but once you're whisked up to the 12th floor, you’ll discover a retro-futuristic lounge bar with 360° views. Work your way through their lengthy drinks list, or just go for the delicious, honeyed Manhattan and let yourself be drawn into the late-night shenanigans.
Address: Tower 12, 18-22 Bridge Street | Tel: +44 161 835 2557
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15. Wanderlust, Paris, France
If you thought being by the Seine was a recipe for overpriced tourist traps, think again. This sprawling riverside terrace is perfect for al-fresco partying. As the largest of its kind in the city, the sprawling space includes a restaurant, open-air cinema, club and live-music venue, meaning that, despite the name, it's unlikely you'll be wandering anywhere far from here.
Address: 32 Quai d’Austerlitz | Tel: +33 (0)1 70 74 41 74
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16. Raphaël Hotel Roof Terrace, Rome, Italy
Perhaps the finest way to see the ruins of Rome is on the terrace roof garden of the Raphaël Hotel. Order a flute of Champagne and look out over the old roofs of the Eternal City, then across to the Pantheon and the Piazza Venezia. After all, there are plenty of well-heeled locals doing the same of an evening and when in Rome…
Address: 2 Largo Febo | Tel: +39 06 682831
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17. The Twenty Third Bar, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Dutch capital has its fair share of hip and downright dirty basement bars, where craft beer and shorts are the order of the day. But if you want the city’s best view, then you’re going to have to modify your order – and possibly your outfit. The Twenty Third Bar in the Hotel Okura is the highest open-air bar in the city, and the best way to enjoy the view is with oysters and Champagne.
Address: 333 Ferdinand Bolstraat | Tel: +31 20 678 7111
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18. Ceresio 7, Milan, Italy
With its designer looks, the Enel Building is a fitting home to haute fashion brand Dsquared2 and its rooftop bar and restaurant is one of the most stylish places in town. Tasty aperitivos before dinner or killer cocktails after – or maybe both? – along with the fantastic views over the city will make this a night to remember.
Address: 7/9 via Ceresio | Tel: +39 02 3103 9221
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19. 360 Bar, Budapest, Hungary
This one does what it says on the tin, with panoramic views of the city and its historic skyline. Open from 2pm every day, this is where the city’s cool cats come to down shots of palinka, the local spirit, and get down to nightly DJs.
Address: Andrássy út 39 | Tel: +36 702 595 153
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20. Perlan, Reykjavik, Iceland
You can hardly miss Perlan (which translate as ‘pearl’). This massive glass dome sits on the top of one of the city’s water tanks, overlooking Reykjavik and its cocktail bar offers a pretty good view. Come for the sunsets or – if you’re lucky – watch the Northern Lights put on a show. Even in winter, this is a cosy spot to sup one of the signature cocktails – a Kermit, anyone? – because the whole space is warmed by harnessed geothermal activity and, if you get peckish, you can stay for dinner in the rotating restaurant.
Address: Öskjuhlíð, Reykjavík | Tel: +354 562 0200
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