When the temperature rises in the city, it’s hard to beat a rooftop watering hole for an awesome view and glass of something chilled.

Here are ten of Bristol’s best rooftop bars:

The White Lion Bar 

Home to one of the most iconic views in Bristol, The White Lion Bar (part of the Avon Gorge by Hotel Du Vin) is a sun-worshippers dream. Perched on the edge of the Avon Gorge, the huge terrace has prime viewing position of Clifton Suspension Bridge on the right, Leigh Woods across the way and out to the Mendip Hills on the left - pretty unbeatable on a hot summery day. If you can’t get enough of the backdrop, stay a while – many of the hotel’s rooms have the same awe-inspiring vista.

People sat at tables on terrace overlooking the Clifton Suspension Bridge at dusk - credit The White Lion
Image - White Lion Bar


While away a sunny afternoon on one of the biggest sun-trapping terraces in central Bristol, Bambalan. Serving up summery cocktails, Mediterranean bites and regular DJ beats, there’s a touch of Ibiza about this lively bar. Play ping-pong, toe-tap to the music or just lap up the views over the centre to the bustling waterfront.

People sitting under the sun on the roof terrace at the Bambalan restaurant, central Bristol - credit Bambalan
Image - Bambalan

360 Cafe at Clifton Observatory

Below the historic Clifton Observatory, Cliffside caves swirl with legend of Bristol’s giants and one of the UK’s last remaining camera obscuras holds one of the city’s most prime positions. Above, an open air bar spoils it customers with one of the most breath-taking views in the world – a 360 degree panoramic view over the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Avon Gorge and North Somerset countryside beyond. An alfresco drinking spot for the bucket list.

Nearby in Clifton Village you'll also find a popular terrace at Barrelhouse, located next to the University of Bristol Student Union and popular with students, this pub home to a snug seating area on the roof.

Exterior of Clifton Observatory, Bristol - credit Clifton Observatory
Image - 360 Cafe at Clifton Observatory

Grain Barge

Bask in the sunshine on the top deck of a converted 1930s barge while admiring Brunel’s SS Great Britain just across the water. Run by Bristol Beer Factory, you can expect flavoursome craft beers, heavenly pies, lagers and ciders from some of the UK’s best independent breweries and lots of local produce. Boats busy themselves in the Floating Harbour, while you soak up rays and harbour views.

An exterior view of The Grain Barge - Credit The Grain Barge
Image - Grain Barge

The Old Market Assembly

This exciting cultural space wears many hats – a restaurant, artisan bakery, café, live music venue, home to The Wardrobe Theatre, a cocktail bar and its very own sun-catching roof terrace. Catch some sunshine while sipping on tipples from Bristol’s finest local brewers, winemakers, cider producers and distillers. They’ve even got their own gin – it would be rude not to!

Outdoor seating area at The Old Market Assembly - Credit Old Market Assembly
Image - Old Market Assembly


To feel the sun on your face while gazing over city rooftops, make your way to one of Zerodegrees’ three pint-sized balconies within their gigantic industrial-style bar. Being a microbrewery, beer is a big draw for drinkers here, with their seasonal Mango flavour ruling the roost in the summer thirst-quenching stakes.

Under the Stars

Another bar on a boat, this time with a tapas restaurant underneath! Watch the ferries go by while you sup your drink in the sunshine.

A roof terrace on a boat on the river - Credit Visit Bristol
Image - Under the Stars


Cross-artform venue Watershed’s Café/Bar sits smack bang on Bristol’s Floating Harbour. With boats to-ing and fro-ing, passing entertainment-seeking hoards, busy commuters and city sun-seekers, to call this area ‘buzzing’ is an understatement when the weather heats up. Bag a spot on the al fresco sun terrace to drink in the waterfront views and vibrant atmosphere when summer strikes. There’s also organic food to feast on and the odd gin giveaway!

An exterior view of Watershed - Credit Watershed
Image - Watershed

Mud Dock 

Mud Dock sits in a former warehouse, right on the water’s edge. Its outdoor terrace has glorious views across to Redcliffe’s multi-coloured houses (and Blackbeard’s former hideout in the caves below), St Mary Redcliffe ChurchM Shed and the Floating Harbour. Super cycle-friendly thanks to the Mud Dock Cycleworks below, it’s a great spot to refuel after a hot ride. Make the most of the outdoor space for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner when the weather is fine or just pop in for drinks in the balmy evening sun.

A women wearing a black tank top serving people on a terrace - Credit Mud Dock
Image - Mud Dock Café Bar

The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer

Also know as 'The Volley', this historic King Street pub has a small roof terrace tucked in among the surrounding buildings, which manages to fit in several large tables and a big screen TV for live sports.

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