Need a breather? We all do. And there’s no place like a balmy rooftop bar to shoot the breeze with your best buds, drink in hand, the cares of the world a million miles away.
From low-rises to skyscrapers, Singapore is packed with opportunities for a rooftop bar to perch upon. So whether you’re looking for a quaint low-slung hangout or a veritable space in the clouds, here are some of the newest or newly revamped spots in town you should check out.
Atico Lounge: For the highest vantage in Orchard
Look up from street level at ION Orchard, and chances are you won’t even be able to see what’s at its pinnacle. But travel up a mezzanine level from the highest floor the elevator takes you, and you’ll find Atico Lounge, a newly opened social space offering panoramic views and the highest viewpoint in downtown Orchard Road. Opened by the same folks behind 1-Altitude (the highest alfresco bar in the world), you’ll bet these guys know how to make best use of their natural sky-high allure. So take it all in while their rotating country-themed cocktails (all $25) bring your taste buds on a trip around the world.
Ce La Vi: For the quintessential Singapore view
Postcard perfect is not a superlative when used to describe the view from Ce La Vi. The place to see and be seen, its vantage right atop the famed Marina Bay Sands has been a coveted spot for flattering Instagram selfies and glamorous Hollywood productions (that final scene on Crazy Rich Asians, to name one) alike. With a newly revamped signature cocktail menu, now’s the best time to visit. Try the Golden Age ($25) for a daiquiri-like drink to bring on the tropical vibes, or get the Old Memories ($25) for a desserty twist on the old fashioned.
Kinki: For Japanese-influenced drinks
For a rooftop bar where you can better feel the pulse of the city, look no further than this edgy bayfront spot that recently went through a major revitalisation, a decade since it first opened. Sporting a more sophisticated look and feel, while still retaining its counterculture roots, Kinki offers some of the best Japanese-influenced tipples and nibbles in town. The new Tears of a Geisha ($22) is a great cocktail to kickstart the evening. Inside the Roku Gin-based concoction hides a lightly tart yuzu umeshu jelly, where you’re encouraged to have a sip, then take a bite.
Levant: For mezzes to go with your tipples
Modern mezzes, craft cocktails and an elevated perspective of Singapore’s CBD are all the reasons you’ll need to check out this newly opened rooftop bar in Tanjong Pagar. Its central location makes it the ideal buzzy, after-work joint to meet up with coworkers and friends, where you can then conveniently settle both dinner and drinks. The Smoky Baba Ganoush ($16) with homemade flatbread is a great appetiser, while the Beef Kofta Sliders is a crowd favourite if looking for something heftier. Pair them with the Amber Constellation ($22), a heady potion of gin, bergamot and star anise smoke, which you can upsize into a punchbowl ($118).
Smoke & Mirrors: For cocktails unlike what they seem
A desire to play with your senses seems to be the only thing not illusory about this terrace bar found atop the National Gallery Singapore. Their new cocktail menu features drinks that are either inspired by a famous artist or artwork, or pays homage to the artistic neighborhood it occupies. The Shocking Pink ($26), for instance, motivated by Thai photographer Manit Sriwanichpoom’s works, may look garish and dainty, but belies a stiff tequila- and mezcal-based drink with bittersweet character and plenty of depth. Bartending takes on new meaning as an artform here.
[Read more: Indulge in delectable sushi and beautiful, Japan-inspired cocktails at Chura Sushi Bar]