Edinburgh has quickly become one of the most popular city breaks in the UK, and for good reason.
With its sweeping architecture, luscious green spaces and countless things to do, Edinburgh has something for everyone.
And that’s not to forget the number of great bars and restaurants that the city plays host to.
With the rise in popularity of rooftop bars over the years, it’s no wonder that the stylish city has hopped on the trend.
So if you’re looking for somewhere new to drink with a view, read on to discover the 14 best rooftop bars in Edinburgh!
This article is written by Faraway Lucy writer, Alice Mason.
Address: L3, Princes Mall, 3/48 Princes St, Edinburgh EH1 1BQ
Phone number: 0131 378 2614
Offering a unique rooftop bar experience, Shout!’s rooftop bar is reminiscent of a festival, with tee-pee style canopies and live music.
Dubbed the ‘rooftop festival’, the bar area is decorated with antique-style rugs and beautiful fairy lights.
Located on the roof of the Waverley Mall, the bar has stunning views across Edinburgh’s cityscape.
However, if that’s somehow not enough, it’s also available to book seven days a week from 11 am-10 pm every single day.
Their drinks list is very reasonably priced too – you can buy one for a mere £3.
Get dizzy on their menu of classic and premium cocktails as well as other spirit-based and wine drinks.
Address: 4th Floor, 33 Castle St, Edinburgh EH2 3DN
Phone number: 0131 634 0023
Overlooking Edinburgh Castle, family-owned Chaophraya is one of my favourite rooftop bars in Edinburgh.
This is because it dishes up some seriously delicious Thai food, with meals being inspired by “the four essential flavours of Thai Cuisine”.
Its menu includes dumplings, noodles and rice, stir fry, and grilled Thai sea bass.
For drinks, choose from a selection of expertly made cocktails, wine, and spirit drinks with a Thai twist, including the Made in Thailand and Siam Smile cocktails.
Décor is smart and sophisticated with contrasting wooden furnishings – you don’t need a lot of fancy decoration when the streets below are your view.
3. The Lookout
Address: Calton Hill, Edinburgh EH7 5AA
Phone number: 0131 378 7990
From the people who created The Gardeners’ Cottage (a quirky eatery in the city) comes The Lookout, one of the best rooftop bars in Edinburgh.
A modern-traditional architectural infusion, The Lookout oversees the wonderful city below.
Floor to ceiling windows encase a Scandinavian-style interior.
Moreover, the food is equally as impressive, with the menu having been developed to reflect the restaurant’s beautiful location using simple and earthy ingredients.
Choose from a decadent menu, which includes Dunbar Crab and Goosnargh Duck.
Drinks include the classic selection of spirits, beer, whiskey, and wine, plus soft drinks.
4. Cask Smugglers
Address: Waverley Mall Rooftop, 3 Princes St, Edinburgh EH1 1BQ
Phone number: 0131 557 0129
As part of a collaboration with independent pizzeria Pizza Geeks, Cask Smugglers cocktail and whiskey bar has launched a rooftop bar atop Waverly Mall.
Favouring a clean concrete appeal, the bar has a spectacular view of Edinburgh’s architecture, including an unrivalled view of Edinburgh Castle.
Gorge on the likes of loaded fries, pizzas and mouth-watering sides as you take in the breathtaking scenes.
The drinks are equally as impressive, with colourful and sophisticated alcoholic bevs inspired by the prohibition era.
5. Cold Town House
Address: 4 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JU
Phone number: 0131 357 2865
Another bar with a great view, Cold Town House gives revellers the spirit of a classic Apres ski with a backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
And as if that wasn’t enough, the ample seating includes the chance to sit in one of the bar’s most famous features – their ski-gondola cabins.
Adorned with green garlands and soft lighting, the rooftop bar is a great place to unwind.
Drinks include everything from house brews to cocktails to wine, all of which you can order from a vintage Nissan van.
Additionally, there’s a great selection of dishes to match, including stone-baked pizzas from an Italian artisan oven, decadent burgers, and dessert churros.
6. Harvey Nichols Forth Floor Brasserie and Bar
Address: 30-34 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2AD
Phone number: 0131 524 8350
Situated at the top of the luxury department store, The Forth Floor Terrace is the perfect suntrap – being the same height as the city’s taller buildings.
The rooftop bar stretches out over thirty metres across the roof and is filled with smart, sophisticated seating.
Floor to ceiling windows mean that you can easily see inside the restaurant from the outdoor seating – and it does not disappoint.
The roof is adorned with quirky orange lighting fixtures, and as the building is so tall, the views are second to none.
You can see right across the city and can even glimpse the rolling hills and loch in the background!
However, please note that this hotspot is very popular so bookings are essential to get in.
Speaking of which, the food is served seven days a week and includes the likes of Salmon Beetroot Gravadlax, Pan-fried stone bass, and chocolate cremeaux. A very decadent menu!
Afterwards, wash all that good food down with a bev from their drinks menu.
Choose from their selection of sparkling cocktails, in-house creations, and of course the classic drinks.
7. SKYbar Edinburgh
Address: 34 Bread St, Edinburgh EH3 9AF
Phone number: 0131 221 5555
Situated on Bread Street, Edinburgh’s SKYbar oozes contemporary sophistication, with sleek seating and lighting.
Perfect for big night outs, the bar has breathtaking views of the city.
Their menu is equally as impressive – gorge on dishes like their chocolate fondant, spiced cauliflower steak, and haggis spring roll.
Or, if you’re feeling extra fancy, go all out and order their freshly made afternoon tea. It’s delicious and very Instagrammable!
Finally, wash down their delicious food with one of their Signature Serves – a selection of the tastiest cocktails around.
And for the non-cocktail drinkers, there are thirst-quenching mocktails and spirits to choose from.
8. Nor’ Loft
Address: 6 Market St, Edinburgh EH1 1DE
Phone number: 0131 322 9229
As one of the most popular rooftop bars in Edinburgh, Nor’ Loft knows how to pack a punch.
Overlooking the jaw-dropping cityscape and Princes Street Gardens, the rooftop bar is a great place to sit at night, when the city really lights up.
The bright and airy bar is decorated to a high standard, with bright beams cascading across the ceiling.
And luckily for us, the rooftop bar is equally as impressive.
Set out on a smart patio terrace, it’s the perfect place to sit back, relax and watch the sun set over this amazing city.
The bar lives by the philosophy that you don’t need to wait for a special occasion to enjoy champagne, and they certainly deliver.
Their drinks menu consists of different classic champagnes, along with their eclectic mix of exciting champagne cocktails.
However, if champagne isn’t your thing, then there are other taste-bud tantalising options to choose from, including their single malts and wines, as well as the staple classic (non-champagne) cocktails.
For food, the bar offers a mix of small plates and afternoon teas.
Served between 1:30-4:30 pm, their afternoon tea menu is every bit as decadent as their drink menu, with options including fillet steak, jalapeno and pineapple marinated pulled pork shoulder tostada, with fruit Mille Feuille included in the dessert menu.
It’s hard to choose between this impressive menu and the equally as delicious-sounding small plates menu.
With dishes including caviar and salmon roe blinis, and smoked mackerel pate, who can resist?
9. One Square
Address: 1 Festival Square, Edinburgh EH3 9SR
Phone number: 0131 229 9131
Well-known amongst Edinburgh locals for offering high-quality and fresh Scottish produce, One Square’s menus are thoughtfully created to change with the seasons and showcase all that Scotland has to offer.
The food, as expected, is equally as thoughtfully prepared, with the catering team delivering hand-cut chips to go alongside their main dishes.
These main dishes include a delicious variety of small plates, sandwiches, large plates and sweet treats.
But it’s their drinks collection where they really shine – the bar proudly owns 105 (and counting) different varieties of gin, including ones locally sourced from Edinburgh.
However, if gin isn’t your thing, then the bar staff can also whip up some pretty impressive cocktails with their premium ingredients.
Sit outside and enjoy the magnificent views from their contemporarily designed terrace.
Colourful scatter cushions add a pop of colour to this slick arrangement, making for a smart-casual space.
10. Festival Village
Address: Waverley Mall Rooftop, Edinburgh EH1 1BQ
Exclusively opening up for visitors just once a year, Edinburgh’s Festival Village is a beer-garden-meets-street-food hotspot.
Located on Wavery Mall’s rooftop along Princes Street, the “village” enjoys magnificent views of the Scott Monument, Balmoral Clock, and the iconic castle.
Catch the stalls selling locally sourced food and drink from 11 am- 10 pm every day, including Pizza Geeks, Say Cheese toastie stall, and Butcher Boy – a stall selling indulgent burgers, including their haggis-topped “Highlander” burger.
The organisers have not skimped out on decorations, either.
As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted with a hanging canopy of flowers and a tastefully made sign.
11. Johnnie Walker 1820 Rooftop Bar
Address: 145 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 4BL
Phone number: 0131 376 9494
As the self-proclaimed “ideal spot for a tranquil interlude”, Johnnie Walker’s stunning rooftop views go hand in hand with their delicious cocktails.
Sip on their world-class drinks as you take in the historic city below; they have a drink for every taste – including wintery maple and nutmeg, or their autumnal cherry and Douglas Fir.
Moreover, the bar also has an impressive range of whiskeys and non-alcoholic options.
The newly opened bar’s outside rooftop area is as sophisticated as their drinks list, with a dazzling roof overhanging comfortable, contemporary seating and luscious greenery.
However, don’t worry if the weather’s not on your side because you can still enjoy the amazing views from inside.
It’s one of the best indoor activities in Edinburgh for good reason!
12. Bar 50
Address: 50 Blackfriars St, Edinburgh EH1 1NE
Phone number: 0131 524 1989
Decorated with classic pub accessories, including parasols and bunting, Bar 50 is a bright and breezy rooftop pub.
Complete with fake grass, the outside seating area is perfect for catching up with your pals.
The food menu boasts the ultimate comfort food, including very reasonably priced pizzas, burgers, and cheese-based dishes.
Why not try their intriguingly named “Edinburger”?
The bar also serves the staple drinks, including beers and ciders, wine and prosecco, and short drinks.
There’s something here for every taste bud!
13. Rooftop 51
Address: 2 Freer Gait, Edinburgh EH3 9FR
Phone number: 0131 378 2013
Located on Freer Gait, Rooftop 51 is brand-new and yet it’s already earned its spot as one of the best rooftop bars in Edinburgh.
Decorated with twinkling fairy lights and copper-style chairs, it’s an inviting, modern place – perfect for after-work drinks.
Overlooking the impressive cityscape, the bar is a great place to bask in natural sunlight during the day.
On top of this, the bar specialises in craft beer and cocktails, so there’s a drink for every occasion.
Food is also served here until 9 pm and ranges from their Crispy Calamari to their Beetroot Falafel Bites.
14. The Glasshouse
Address: 2 Greenside Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3AA
Phone number: 0131 525 8200
Once a Lady Glenorchy Church, The Glasshouse Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel that also serves up food and drinks.
Its rooftop bar is set over two acres of garden and offers guests a smart rooftop experience.
Their menu boasts a Scottish twist on classic dishes, where, rather impressively, the meat is supplied by the Campbell Brothers, who have been issued a royal warrant as providers of meat to royalty – so you know you’re getting quality food.
To wash it all down, choose from their 100-strong collection of Scotch whiskies.
As well as being a breathtaking city, there’s an impressive selection of rooftop bars in Edinburgh.
Each one is wonderfully unique – so whichever ones you decide to visit, you can be sure that it will be an amazing experience.
A great way to hang out with friends, these rooftop bars in Edinburgh offer a quirky take on the classic pub get-togethers.