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Written by Luke Bull - 09 October 2023

Manchester's 5 best rooftop bars

Manchester's skyline encapsulates the central dialectic of the city. Converted warehouses and Gothic churches cram for space, whilst newly built skyscrapers and tower blocks rise up from the rain-strewn streets. "But that's not the true Manchester,, we're not London!" cries the Mancunian purist, Pret a Manger in hand. Well, sorry bud, but that's the modern truth, and you better get used to it.

Enjoying this varied skyline is best done, like anything, with a drink in hand. These rooftop bars, terrace bars and just high-up bars in Manchester will have you climbing steps and jabbing at elevator doors in no time at all.

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Yes bar manchester 1
Yes bar manchester 2

1. The creative hub of summer: YES’s rooftop bar


Craft beer in hand, you’re going to want to take your time exploring YES’s four floors. A creative safe haven for music discovery, you’ll discover a different vibe on every floor - with a chilled-out vibe in the afternoons and ticketed live music by sundown.

The roof terrace has been cut out of the original roof and rocks a suitably industrial vibe. Sloth in amongst the ivy, under the original roof frame, opened up to the sky, it’s a lively spot on a summer evening. You never have to leave (well, not before closing time). When you get peckish, YES has you covered with a changing roster of independent food stalls serving proper food. Think pizza or vegan junk food.

Hire out the Pink Room or get in touch to enquire about exclusive use of the rooftop bar.

terrace NQ manchester rooftop bar 1
terrace NQ manchester rooftop bar 2

2. The year-round roof garden: Terrace NQ


What else would you expect from a bar that’s called itself ‘Terrace’? Heading up the Northern Quarter as one of the new cool kids on the block, Terrace NQ is a hidden outdoor space for every season.

Stepping out onto the roof, you’ll soak in the reclaimed industrial vibes and classic Manchester red brick, with only a few neighbouring tables in the intimate space. Beer garden brollies keep you cool and dry, and strings of unshaded lightbulbs take you into the darker evenings.

Alongside the usuals, they have a thoughtfully seasonal menu of cocktails and mocktails, plus limited edition beers. Tropical summer tastes give way to warming flavours for the colder months. We particularly enjoyed the sloe gin Prickly Martinis… And when cocktails aren’t enough, table service food from the popup chicken shack will keep you going.

Contact the management to enquire about private hire.

20 stories manchester conference
20 stories manchester spinningfields bar 2

3. Drink and dine in sky-high luxury: 20 Stories


The first thing that strikes you when you enter 20 Stories is the sweeping view overlooking the Town Hall and the Central Library. The second thing you need to know is that there’s not just one, but two Champagne menus. Stay calm, this is a classy place.

Out on the Nyetimber Terrace - basically Manchester’s ultimate rooftop - you can accompany your drinks (fizz, let’s be honest) with a couple of small plates from the globally-inspired menu. The soft-shell crab with sriracha mayo is something out of the ordinary.

20 Stories are well set up for event venue hire. Roof terrace tables are bookable for groups of 6 or more. Downstairs, the private dining room seats 18, and large parties of up to 60 can be accommodated in the main restaurant.

cloud 23 manchester rooftop bar
cloud 23 manchester rooftop bar

4. Drink amongst Manchester's clouds: Cloud 23


Perched high up in the Beetham Tower, nestled amongst the city centre’s skyscrapers, Cloud 23 affords panoramic views of the skyline. Stay cosy inside, enjoying the Manchester weather from behind the safety of the floor-to-ceiling windows, or step out onto the terrace.

With the full force of the experienced Hilton staff behind you, you can hire out the room and terrace and put on anything from a board meeting with a view for 24, a wedding for 40 or a standing drinks event for 60. Bring any style of furniture and décor into the space to make it into your own.

ivy manchester rooftop bar
the ivy manchester spinningfields 2

5. A trusted fave goes outdoors: The Ivy Roof Garden


Crossing the threshold of the Ivy always feels like a special experience. You know you’re going to get looked after. Make your way through four uniquely themed floors to the Roof Garden, and you’ll be greeted with what looks surprisingly like an exotic, chintzy dining room.

Under the sky(lights), you can drink and dine from breakfast till late, with tables or private dining or events up to 50 available in the aptly named Skylight Terrace. Luxe service continues with seasoned event planners on hand to ideate and orchestrate your event.

You know what to expect when it comes to food and drinks at the Ivy. A classic club-style bistro. Make the most of it with the White Onion and Truffle soup to start, and leave room for the creamiest Crème Brulée to finish.

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

Who doesn't love a rooftop bar? Views of Manchester's cityscape, a drink in hand, the setting sun... and we have the very best of Manchester'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 Manchester
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How to hire a rooftop bar in Manchester

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 Manchester.

Frequently asked questions

For rooftop bars in Manchester, you're spoilt for choice. Here is an extra special one that we vouch for:

King Street Townhouse - A chic and cosy rooftop bar with an amazing view of Manchester's skyline.

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

There are lots of ways to book a Manchester 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 Manchester and let you enjoy your free time. Easy.

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