Best Rooftop Bars in Edinburgh: Drinks, Dates & Castle Views

Cocktail from Edinburgh rooftop bar, small plates and beer in front of Edinburgh Castle

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Rooftop bars in Edinburgh are a relatively new development that the Everything Edinburgh writing team cannot get enough of! 

Whether you are browsing for romantic date ideas, cocktails with pals, special occasion drinks or city views, this guide recommends the best bars in Edinburgh with rooftops and includes details on what they offer.

Looking around Scotland’s capital, you might be surprised to see that while the layered spires and roofs are interesting, they aren’t actually that tall! 

Since the city has kept natural heritage at the heart of planning, you won’t find skyscrapers like in London, in fact many of Edinburgh’s coolest bars are underground and in basements! 

Since the number of bars with views in Edinburgh is limited, be sure to make reservations to avoid disappointment.

Rooftop Bars in Edinburgh Old Town and Southside 

Nor’ Loft for Scott Monument Views & Small Plates

Nor’ Loft Rooftop and Champagne Bar (6 Market St) is located at the top of Market Street Hotel, which is across from the back exit of the Waverley Train Station.

This is ideal for those who don’t want to stumble far! 

The small and slender rooftop offers views over to Princes Street Gardens and the Scott Monument.

There’s an aptly named cocktail on the menu dedicated to Sir Walter Scott. 

Nor Loft rooftop bar cocktail cheersing Edinburgh skyline

Nor’ Loft is a nod to the Nor’ Loch, which used to sit where Princes Street Gardens is today. 

The inside bar is relaxed, simple, and chic. 

The menu includes small plates such as mussels, pork, and salad, perfect for soaking up the alcohol without feeling horribly full.

A great choice of rooftop restaurants in Edinburgh for date night or pal time.

Rooftop 51 for Edinburgh Castle Views & Festoon Lights

Rooftop 51 at Fountainbridge (2 Freer Gait) is an indoor and outdoor bar at the top of the Moxy Hotel that attracts a young(ish) audience.

The trendy interior has cool cushions worthy of Etsy shopping. 

Whisky print on cushion at Rooftop 51 at Marriott Hotel Edinburgh

Various seating options (booth-like, group tables, and a corner sofa) are laminated with festoon lights strung together, a pretty romantic place when visiting after dark.

During the day you can see Edinburgh Castle.

The menu includes craft beer and cocktails, such as the sweet Barcelona.

Small plates are also available. 

This is a cool addition to Edinburgh’s rooftop bars and is a 10-minute walk to Haymarket Train Station in the West End

Rooftop 51 Marriott Hotel window into bar

SKYbar for an Exclusive Rooftop Edinburgh Experience

SKYbar Edinburgh at Doubletree Hilton (34 Bread St) is predominately an events and wedding venue that opens to the public a couple of days per week.

You know what they say: scarcity breeds desire, so you have to reserve a table a couple of months in advance.

On Sundays, you can enjoy afternoon tea with sweeping views of Edinburgh Castle from those West End windows. 

Cold Town House for Craft Beer, Frose & Pizza

One of the coolest and most relaxed rooftop bars in Edinburgh is Cold Town House (4 Grassmarket), where craft beer is brewed and pizzas are stone-baked.

Drink the afternoon away under the shadow of Edinburgh Castle while sitting in a ski lift or around a bothy-style fire. 

If there’s a chill because, let’s face it, it’s Scotland, hit the heater button for a wee glow and toasty rays. 

Cold Town House Pint in front of Edinburgh Castle

If visiting in a beer-loving group, go for the tower, which packs in six pints. 

The frose is decent, too. 

Cold Town House is also featured in our beer garden guide

Rooftop Bars in Edinburgh’s New Town 

Juniper Bar for Edinburgh Christmas Market Views

Juniper Bar is across the road from the Princes Street exit of Waverley Train Station.

At 20 Princes Street, Juniper is a secret bar people walk past daily.

It shares an entrance with the Twenty Twenty and Hotel Indio.

However, this hidden gem has Old Town views that are unbeknown to them, so if you don’t like the crowds at the Edinburgh Christmas market but still enjoy looking at the festive lights, reserve a window seat.

Juniper has a cocktail menu and does a mean espresso martini.

Believe me, I’ve tried many in Edinburgh! 

They are also known for their smoking teapot tipsy teas—a scroll-stopping hit for social media fans. 

Juniper Bar Christmas decor

Harvey Nichols Brasserie and Bar for St Andrew Square Views

The Forth Floor Brasserie (30-34 St Andrew Square), and no, that’s not a spelling mistake, it’s a pun celebrating the Forth River, is a casual bar and restaurant.

Guests enjoy food and drink from 11am, including popular afternoon teas

Rooftop views peer over St Andrews Square, a thoroughfare from the upmarket Multrees Walk to George Street. 

On warm days, locals laze on the grass in this garden, hiding tinnies under coats, and you can people-watch them from the Forth Floor Brasserie. 

Indoor and roof-covered outside seating is available. 

The Forth Floor is open to corporate and event bookings. 

St Andrews Square Statue with Cherry Blossom Tree

Harvey Nichols Window Bar for Forth Views & Private Parties

The Window Bar offers a different type of view compared to the other Edinburgh rooftop bars!

Uniquely, you can see over to the Firth of Forth so if you don’t want to hike up Arthur’s Seat or Calton Hill to take in these sights, head to Harvey Nics instead. 

The Window Bar is available for private hire.

W Hotel’s Lounge

Take the elevator up to the 11th floor for floor-to-ceiling windows that curve the ribbon-shaped hotel, ushering in views of every Edinburgh landmark.

The bar feels so close to the Balmoral Clock; it’s as if you could touch it!

A Scottish drinks menu leans into local creatures, and cocktails feature items such as Scottish abysnth.

Once you’ve ordered drinks, take a quick trip up to the 12th floor, the outdoor rooftop, for unobstructed views over Edinburgh and Fife.

Joao’s Place

W Hotel’s sister bar is a speakeasy that goes by the name Joao’s Place.

The decor is brighter and exudes energy, giving off a bit of a 90s teenage bedroom feel.

The secret bar is inspired by the Liberdade neighbourhood of São Paulo, Brazil.

The menu includes their take on an espresso martini, which features a huge slab of honeycomb for dunking.

Drinks are delivered with an entire bowl of seasoned nuts and crisps.

There’s no skimping on views either that stretch over to Calton Hill.


It’s not quite a bar as Chaophraya is a stylish Thai restaurant, but it deserves mention for being one of the very few rooftops in the city before thirsty social media fans demanded prime location views!

Reserve a table on the rooftop and add in the notes that you’d like Edinburgh Castle views if possible.

Pad Thai on plate at Chaophraya Thai restaurant in Edinburgh

Dine on Pad Thai or Massaman curry, and don’t forget to order a cocktail from the extensive menu with cute drawings. 

Chaophraya is the perfect date night dining experience and features in our guide to the most romantic restaurants in Edinburgh and hen party ideas.

Johnnie Walker Rooftop Bar, Edinburgh’s ‘Living’ Rooftop

The 1820 rooftop at the Johnnie Walker Experience (145 Princes St) is a bar that represents the saying ‘no holds barred’.

The rooftop is a living space where flowers encourage biodiversity by attracting bees.

So while you sip on the sweet nectar of the gods, the sedum rooftop is summoning nature around you.

Johnnie Walker Experience building

Naturally, the menu introduces patrons to Johnnie Walker, and while you might not love the nation’s drink, whisky, there is a highball cocktail for everyone.

1820 puts on events such as Hogmanay on New Year’s Eve.

They do sell out, so reserve a ticket if anything takes your fancy.

Why not combine a rooftop visit with an immersive tour of the property? 

Learn about the Johnnie Walker story and try three whiskies or highballs before finishing the day with Edinburgh Castle views at 1820.

Johnnie Walker is also featured in our guide to whisky experiences in the city.

The Lookout for Fine Dining & Drinks on Calton Hill

If you’re looking for a really special rooftop experience, climb to the summit of Calton Hill and dine at The Lookout (38 Calton Hill).

The seasonal menu is curated and cooked by the team at Gardner’s Cottage.

Indoor seating has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking St James Quarter and beyond.

The kitchen is open, so you can see chefs preparing your meal. 

There’s also a summer terrace for dry-day dining.

Customers feel that breakfast is worth the price point. 

Reserve a table for a unique foodie experience suspended, partially, over of one of Edinburgh’s seven hills. 

Views over Edinburgh from The Lookout

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