Since I moved to New York City in June I’ve had numerous incredible experiences every day! The city is unlike no other: dynamic, ever-changing and so pulsating that I usually need at least one day each week to find myself and my own pace.
There are so many opportunities to have a fantastic evening out in the city that it actually can become a bit tricky to decide what exactly you want to experience. However, the one thing that keeps taking my breath away is the Manhattan skyline. Which is why Rooftop bars is the first thing I would like to recommend you to see! I’ve chosen some of my favourites that are all unique in their own way, so you can pick and choose one or another from your personal taste.
Actually, it is not allowed to take pictures at Output, which is a genius strategy to make this spot an even more exciting experience. However, the first time I went to this beautiful location I was unaware of this so I grabbed the opportunity to sneak a photo. Output is a club located close to Williamsburg’s waterside. The club has big DJ lineups and many people in line, but in my taste you should only go to experience the view especially during sunset – a known rule which generally applies to all NYC rooftops and which all tourists and New Yorkers follow, so make sure to be there in good time to skip the long lines. There is no dress code which strongly appeals to locals from Manhattan and Brooklyn, and this is, in fact, the only rooftop bar where I’ve met native Americans and not tourists or internationals. The guests are generally casually dressed and the age 21 and older.
The beauty of this bar is the cosy decorations with light chains, artificial grass and pillows to sit on which gives a vibe of a New Yorker garden party.
There is an entrance fee and an average drink costs 15 US dollars + tips.
The address is: 74 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249
2. Spyglass Rooftop bar at the Archer Hotel
If you are more into formal dress codes and a high-class and sophisticated drinks menu I would recommend you to go uptown to the Spyglass Rooftop bar. The rooftop has the most beautiful view of the Empire State Building which is lit up by spotlights at nighttime. The setting is very sophisticated and the guests are well-dressed, the age 25 and older and sipping their cold drinks while talking softly to dates or friends.
The drinks are a bit more expensive but very strong so don’t worry about getting your share.
In the summertime, there is a queue to go to the rooftop outside the Archer hotel, and you can be denied access because the bar is full since it is a small space. We queued about 15 minutes but I know the wait can be longer. The view is undeniably beautiful and I would strongly recommend the wait.
There is no entrance fee and an average drink costs 20 dollars + tips.
The address is: 47 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018
Of course, I wouldn’t make a list of NYC rooftops without including a rooftop pool! Mr Purple is a casual rooftop setting where you can enjoy the beautiful view from lower Manhattan while enjoying a bite or a cold beverage in the warm summer heat. It is necessary to know a good rooftop pool when staying in New York through the summertime because it gets so unbelievable hot and there is an hour transport to the nearest beach.
Even though Mr Purple has a casual dress code and atmosphere, it is a more expensive alternative than going to the beach. However, it is an extraordinary experience to be in a chilled pool while looking over the beautiful skyline. In the afternoon the relaxed vibe transforms into a more lively atmosphere with lounge tones and cool drinks.
It is a great way to get a nice afternoon tan followed by an afternoon buzz and the best way to relax in your lazy weekends.
You only have to show up to get access to this gem. Entrance is free. You may be charged for table reservations.
An average drink costs 20 dollars + tips.
The address is: 180 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
4. Northern Territory
If the high-class scene isn’t really your thing but rooftops definitely are, you can get cold beers and a great chatty atmosphere when you visit Northern Territory in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
The bartenders look like real Aussies, there are Australian flags everywhere, and the bar is definitely a destination for the more laid back crowed. The music is great and there is definitely an opportunity for a great party. You can also eat brunch and dinner at the rooftop and I’ve heard that they also have great yoga sessions in the morning.
The dress code is relaxed and so are the prices. The beers start at 6 US Dollars and wine at 9 Dollars + tips.
The address is: 12 Franklin St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
5. Le Bain at The Standard Hotel
Le Bain is a very cool and popular club that has the craziest setting inside and a beautiful view outside. Underneath a big disco ball an even bigger jacuzzi fills the room and adds a steamy and sexy 80’s retro atmosphere to the club. The drinks are strong and the music is great. At midnight the dance floor is already buzzing and outside there is a more relaxed and chatty atmosphere with big lounge sofas and a beautiful view of the meatpacking district. It is possible to take a dip in the jacuzzi, but you will definitely become the center of attention and an easy target for admirers instantly. The dress code is a bit more formal, but feel free to express your inner hipster and add a bit edge to your outfit. If you don’t want to seem like a complete New Yorker rookie remember not to pronounce this club in French. The name is pronounced very American by the local New Yorkers.
The queue can be long so I recommend to come before midnight. My memory from these evenings are a bit faded I must admit, but I think the drinks was about 15 US dollars + tips. They were good, for sure!
The address is: The Standard, High Line, 848 Washington St, New York, NY 10014.