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Written by Luke Bull - 14 October 2022

5 righteous rooftop bars in Bristol

Bristol might not be famed for its glittering skyscrapers, but determined altitude-seekers can still find a few rooftop bars to drink upon - if they know where to look.

Head towards Clifton, and you'll find two epic roof terraces with sweeping views over the local Downs; but if it's Bristol city centre you're headed for, you'll have to settle for a second-storey terrace - just high enough to confer king-of-the-castle privileges, and catch a few sunbeams on a summer afternoon.

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A view of the Clifton Observatory, a bar on a Bristol roof terrace
Guests at an event at the Clifton Observatory roof terrace

1. Clifton Observatory

Clifton Downs, Bristol

Built in 1766, this Grade II listed stunner has previously served as a windmill and artists studio. Luckily for us, however, it's since been transformed into a unique rooftop bar offering stunning views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the River Avon.

Open daily to all visitors - including dogs - it offers 360° panoramic views of the Bristolian landscape, a delicious, locally-sourced selection of drinks, excellent service, and plenty of seating.

Available for private hire all year round, this is an eye-popping venue guaranteed to elevate any event to something truly remarkable. Located right by the Clifton Suspension Bridge, it also makes a great stop after an evening stroll on the Downs, or for weekend plans with friends and family. So, why not head to north Bristol this weekend, grab a chilled drink, and take in the beautiful cityscape and beyond?

A panoramic view of the rooftop bar at White Lion, a roof terrace
The private rooftop bar at the White Lion in Bristol

2. The White Lion Bar

Clifton, Bristol

Perched on the edge of the Avon Gorge, the White Lion Bar boasts a huge terrace with uninterrupted, panoramic views of Clifton Suspension Bridge, Leigh Woods, and the Mendip hills of Somerset beyond.

Open from midday to late, seven days a week, this contemporary hotel bar serves a straightforward range of local draught beers, international wines and cocktails, all much enhanced by the atmosphere of the spacious outdoor terrace.

A smaller private terrace can be booked for private dining events, but the public bar does not accept table reservations, so for casual gatherings, arrive early to avoid disappointment.

The sunny rooftop bar at Bambalan Bristol
Guests enjoy the roof terrace at Bristol's Bambalan

3. Bambalan

City Centre, Bristol

If you’re searching for a livelier rooftop bar in Bristol, Bambalan is the venue for you. Located in the City Centre, Bambalan offers one of the biggest sun-trapping terraces in central Bristol and boasts unrivalled views of the city skyline.

They have an amazing selection of summery cocktails (available in the daily happy hours), draught beers, and wines, coupled with the sounds of some of Bristol’s best DJs, making Bambalan one of Bristol best-loved rooftop bars.

Whether you’re looking to play a spot of ping-pong with friends, dance to summery beats, or just lap up the views of the city centre and the bustling waterfront - Bambalan brings a touch of Ibiza to Bristol this summer.

Rooftop dining at a Bristol restaurant
Grab a drink on their rooftop terrace

4. Cargo 2

This snappy stack of shipping containers is home to 35 independent businesses, among them some of the best little restaurants in Bristol. Thoughtfully laid out to offer plenty of outdoor dining space, you'll need to order dinner to sip a drink at one of these roof terraces, but with food this good, who's complaining?

Options include Harbour & Browns (for brunch & a compact modern European menu), Michelin-plate winning Gambas (for top-notch tapas) and Seven Lucky Gods (serving up Asian small plates and sushi).

Some venues also offer full private hire for events.

People drinking on the terrace at ZeroDegrees, bristol
The rooftop bar at Zero Degrees' Bristol location

5. Zerodegrees

Round out our list of Bristol’s rooftop bars is Zerodegrees. Perched on the corner of Park Row and Colston Street, Zerodegrees is set in a converted tram shed which has been lovingly restored and transformed into a funky, industrial-chic microbrewery.

Among Zerodegrees’ best assets are its three terraces, which provide plenty of outdoor seating to relax with a chilled pint, and take in the view of Christmas Steps and the city skyline beyond.

Being a microbrewery, beer is a big draw for visitors to this bar. Zerodegrees serves craft beers that are crisp, clean, and full of flavour. Their seasonal mango flavour beer is currently available and is sure to quench your thirst on a hot day.

Zerodegrees is Bristol’s most, quirky, and interesting rooftop bars so is definitely worth a visit. Their Bohemian Room is also available for private hire.

Enjoy sky-high views from the best rooftop bars in Bristol

Who doesn't love a rooftop bar? Views of Bristol's cityscape, a drink in hand, the setting sun... and we have the very best of Bristol's rooftop bar offerings, ready for you to browse and book. Looking for a shaded, heated rooftop terrace or a view looking out over the clouds? If this sounds like the perfect backdrop to your next event, you're in the right place. We've scoured the skyline for the best rooftop bars near you. Search, match, and book easily with HeadBox.

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Where to hire a rooftop bar in Bristol
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Bristol city centre

How to hire a rooftop bar in Bristol

We know that finding a venue the old-fashioned way (where you trawl the internet, contact 10 venues or set your heart on one, only to find that they're out of your price range and not even available on your dates) is a pain, and there are a few pitfalls between you and booking your perfect rooftop bar. Getting the venue finding process down to a professional art is what we’ve made our mission ever since we took on the events industry. We often get asked the same questions, so here's what we recommend to quickly and easily hire a space in Bristol.

Frequently asked questions

For rooftop bars in Bristol, you're spoilt for choice. Here are a few extra special ones that we vouch for:

Clifton Observatory – Open daily, this rooftop bar offers 360° panoramic views of the Bristolian landscape, delicious drinks, and plenty of seating.

Bambalan – With summery cocktails, draught beers, and wines, some of Bristol’s best DJs, and of course, views of the city skyline – it's no wonder Bambalan is one of Bristol's best-loved rooftop bars.

There really is no one answer to this question: so many variables come into play when understanding the cost of exclusive hire of a bar or a private space in a bar. How many guests are you planning for? Is the venue for the day, an afternoon, or the night? The good news is that you can find a venue for pretty much any budget (okay, almost any budget). Instead of letting the venue dictate the price, our advice is to be proactive and set a budget that you feel comfortable with – this way the right venues can reach out to you through HeadBox.

There are lots of ways to book a Bristol rooftop bar. You can do the old-fashioned thing and pick up the phone, or email the venue directly. Unfortunately, lots of venues are busy and may not get back to you in time. That's where we come in. Give us your enquiry and we'll reach out to the best rooftop bars in Bristol and let you enjoy your free time. Easy.

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