7 Skyscraping Bars From Around The World

Conquer your fear of heights with a stiff martini

Touristy as it may be, a trip up to a skyscraper's observation deck in a new city is irresistible. But we don't always love shelling out hard-earned cash for a glorified elevator ride. Thankfully, many of the world's most famous soaring landmarks have admission-free bars hiding just a few floors below that crowded top level. And although the drinks might cost you a pretty penny, these seven sky-high bars' sweeping views make all those fancy cocktails well worth it.

① Aqua Shard (London, United Kingdom)

The Shard's impressive three-story glass atrium bar pleases an array of beverage enthusiasts with its impressive wine list, dedicated roster of classic British drinks—go for the Bobby Burns, mixed with Johnnie Walker Gold—as well as inventive pick-me-ups like the Peanut & Corn Old Fashioned, a nutty blend of homemade popcorn syrup and peanut fat-washed Bulleit Bourbon. 

Photo: Courtesy of Aqua Shard

② Bar SixtyFive (New York, United States)

Since 1934, tuxedoed mixologists have been stirring up lively, reimagined classics like the Guy with a Tie, a spirituous libation of rum, Grand Marnier and nutmeg syrup, at Rockefeller Center's renowned 65th-story bar. Just remember to ditch the flip-flops in favor of your classiest cocktail attire as you relive Gotham City's golden era in the shadow of Manhattan's epic skyline.

③ The Signature Lounge (Chicago, United States)

Visitors and local cocktail connoisseurs alike take in stunning views of the Windy City at the John Hancock Center's 96th-floor lounge, located in Downtown Chicago. The menu focuses on all-American drinks, including a punchy Long Island Iced Tea and an excellent old-school Manhattan, complete with a maraschino cherry. 

④ Lui Bar (Melbourne, Australia)

The top floor of the Rialto, which looms over Australia's second most populous city, is home to Lui Bar, a tourist hot spot whose cocktail menu draws inspiration from the country's colorful history. Try the Spider Dance, a fizzy Champagne sipper named for infamous erotic dancer Lola Montez, or the Leatherwood Old Fashioned, made with Tasmanian honey and served over hand-cut ice.

⑤ At.mosphere (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Tallest on our list, the Burj Khalifa's opulent bar and restaurant sits an astounding 122 floors up. The popular cocktail hour destination incorporates regional flavors into its drinks program, churning out stimulating concoctions like the Passion Pearl, a combination of yuzu juice, chamomile-infused gin, passion fruit caviar and red peppercorns. And if liquor doesn't seem appealing that far above sea level, At.mosphere also plays host to a luxurious High Tea menu, featuring a selection of custom-blended teas.

Photo: Courtesy of At.mosphere, Burj Khalifa

⑥ EON Heli Bar (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Located on the Bitexco Financial Tower's 52nd story, drinkers at this modern bar enjoy broad vistas of Vietnam's metropolis while beating the heat with refreshing cocktails like the Champ Lullaby, an invigorating mix of ginger, tequila and lychee juice. Nightly live music, ranging from sultry blues to acoustic Vietnamese pop, means you'll always have an excuse to stick around long enough to order another round.

⑦ Sky Bar (Bangkok, Thailand)

Perched atop Bangkok's State Tower, Sky Bar holds the title as the world's highest open-air bar. (You might have seen its gilded dome make an appearance in The Hangover Part II.) During the summer, resident mixologist Valerio Politano offers a series of poptails, fun, classic cocktails served with ice pops for dipping. Opt for the Japanese Slipper, loaded with tequila and sweet melon liqueur, and garnished with a tart melon-raspberry pop.