Bangkok, from the rooftops

Bangkok, from the rooftops

  Get a whole new perspective on the Thai capital, while discovering a wide range of rooftop restaurants and the best rooftop bars in Bangkok.


Turbulent, hyperactive, in perpetual motion, Bangkok is a lively city. The metropolis is made up of a collection of neighbourhoods that continues to spread, housing more than 8 million inhabitants. Nearly everyone has a smile on their face, inspired by Buddha, the most important influence in the country. Until recently, visitors

would discover Bangkok on foot, weaving between sellers' stalls, street food vendors and busy crowds. Or perhaps on boat trips along the klongs, the canals of Bangkok, on board ' long tail ' boats. Equipped with a motor and a large propeller, these boats cut effortlessly through the sheets of water hyacinths floating on the Chao Phraya and its countless offshoots that stretch into the different neighbourhoods. Waterways where you can pass by wooden shacks on stilts, a temple, a floating grocery store, a carpenter's workshop, a cook spinning his wok before serving the passengers of a taxiboat, a petrol station moored to a twisted pontoon… this is a special way to see the city.

Sala Rattanakosin

In recent years, Bangkok has taken its nightlife to a whole new level. Quite literally. Following a trend that's taken over most cities in the world, the city is enchanting locals and visitors with a fine selection of rooftop bars and terraces. They offer breathtaking panoramic views and a chance to be part of Thai high society.

Bangkok currently has about twenty of these rooftop bars and restaurants. Discover an elegant atmosphere, a soundtrack worthy of Manhattan with a DJ often on duty, sometimes even a swimming pool. All that's left to do is to admire the ocean of lights below, feeling on top of the world in the best rooftop bar while hoping that the weather remains dry. As many of the best rooftop bars in Bangkok are located on the top floors of major hotels, a restaurant may adjoin the bar, so drinks can become dinner. Dining here will cost around 40 euros, a lot compared to what you can find at street level, but worth it.

One of the best rooftop bars in Bangkok is Lebua, 63 floors above the Chao Phraya (Silom road) river. Some scenes from the movie The Hangover with Bradley Cooper were shot here. The top of the State Tower stands out with a kind of bandstand topped with an eye-catching golden dome, and a circular bar with illuminated walls. A whisky bar is set up in the corner.


Another exclusive hotel is the Banyan Tree (South Satorn Road), with its Vertigo rooftop bar on the 61st floor. This venue is spread out over three levels, including a bar and restaurant. There's a magnificent 360° view, and Lumpini park is down below. The third essential address has a certain Gallic elegance, found on the roof terrace of Sofitel So, one of Bangkok's finest hotels (North Satorn Road). The hotel deserves a visit even if only to check out the interiors, designed by Christian Lacroix. Then head up to the 10th floor, where you'll find the swimming pool (with music streamed underwater !), right next to a rooftop bar that buzzes with energy every weekend. There's a less spectacular view than elsewhere, but the incredible atmosphere provided by the fashion-conscious crowd makes this one of the best rooftop bars in Bangkok. On the last Saturday of every month, the bar hosts a night with a DJ at the decks and a mandatory white dress code.

We also recommend the rooftop bar on the 45th floor of the Marriott Hotel (Sukhumvit Soi). Octave; a rooftop bar and gourmet restaurant has magnificent views of the city to be appreciated to a soundtrack by the resident DJ on the third and upper level. The scene couldn't be any more romantic, where guests take to the dancefloor under the stars. Head for Charoennakorn Road's Hilton Millenium and its Three Sixty Lounge, another of Bangkok's best rooftop bars, with 360° views. On the 31st floor of the tower, the rooftop dazzles with jazz concerts and a beautiful glass covered section. During tropical storms, the whole spectacle is even more beautiful.