The best rooftop bars in Geelong for beautiful views and sky-high drinking

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The best rooftop bars in Geelong for beautiful views and sky-high drinking

Soak up city views with a drink in hand with Geelong's best rooftop bars.

There’s just something so alluring about a rooftop bar. Whether it’s drinking with some of the most beautiful views of the city, the high altitude and fresh breeze, or the feeling of the warming sun on your face, these stunning open-air destinations are always a favourite to hit up when it’s time for a drink (or two).

Lucky for us, Geelong has a few that will help you make the most of this stunning regional city all year round.

Keep up with the latest food and booze news across the region here.

Sailor’s Rest

Overlooking the iconic Geelong waterfront, Sailor’s Rest is the triple threat of rooftops in the city, offering dinner, drinks and a view!

With the venue shaking it up from an all-day brunch spot to a certified good time as the sun goes, their incredible rooftop bar provides the perfect spot to enjoy the breeze and beauty of Geelong with a cocktail in hand. Providing the ultimate laid-back summer vibes all year round, there’s a walk-in area, offering relaxed seating and space to have a dance at their iconic rooftop parties or just settle in for good vibes thanks to their DJs.

If the rooftop itself is packed, there’s also a lounge bar that offers a second-story view over the Geelong Waterfront, making it a great second option for after work drinks at Fizz Friday’s, pre-event gatherings or for functions if you’re set on a view.

The rooftop area is open Friday and Saturday from 3pm to 1am and Sunday 1pm until late.

Address: 3 Moorabool Street, Geelong


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Formerly Irish Murphy’s, Murphys has a rich history in Geelong as one of our oldest pubs. Established in 1855, this charmer is also linked to football, with the Geelong Cats Football club having originated there. It went on to become a stereotypical Irish pub that served loud live music and dancing of a night, trivia nights and a lovely Sunday lunch for the family. Murphys has since evolved into a more modern space with a gorgeous stained glass enclosed, rooftop bar showing a stunning view of Geelong, however they have not lost the original pub charm, boasting a Dublin-meets-Fitzroy sort of vibe.

It’s the vibrant rooftop bar and third level sky garden that has earned Murphys a place on this list though. With huge windows and plenty of spots to bask in the sunshine, the Rooftop bar is an all encompassing gathering space with great live music, a selection of the finest craft beers and cocktails, great foods and panoramic views of Geelong Waterfront, the You Yangs, Melbourne’s city skyline and the country that surrounds. Truly these amazing views must be seen to be believed. The open-air spot is the place to party or just relax at the end of the day while you sit above the rest of the city and take in the scenery.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s even the Sky Garden which sits above the Rooftop as a third level and is the perfect quiet space for catching up and taking in the view.

Address: 30 Aberdeen Street, Geelong West 


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The National Hotel

Ah, the National Hotel. To many this historic building is plastered with stories of wild nights, untame fun, legendary live performances, and heartwarming community. The Nash was trash and so were the people that lined the bar (it was a self-proclaimed nametag), but these days the National Hotel has cleaned up and has a sparkling reputation.

Now a seated pub with three modern, yet homely areas (including a fireplace in the middle section) split across three stories, The National Hotel boasts a warm classic pub menu and tanks of Carlton on tap. Of course, it’s their all-weather rooftop terrace that is a standout feature from the redevelopment and often has acoustic live music.

Complete with a retractable roof, this spot is suitable for all conditions and for all days of the year. There are magnificent skyline views, easy lift access and on offer are a collection of tasty seasonal cocktails.

Address: 191 Moorabool Street, Geelong


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Belmont Hotel

This 1920’s establishment is located at the top of town on High Street. A favourite pick as a function venue, Belmont Hotel has embraced their art-deco interior with complimentary classic pub meal meets fining dining selection and their wide cocktail range.

Here, the open-air rooftop is the perfect spot for a Sunday session or to gather the mates to watch sport over a pint. Arguably Geelong’s biggest rooftop beer garden, there’s a dedicated bar (so you don’t have to go far for drinks or meals), plenty of seating, a marquee, festoon lighting and usually a DJ providing the good vibes and the good tunes. Relax in the sun or under our large umbrellas in the warmer months, or kick back in front of the huge flat screen TVs to watch the footy and all other sporting shows.

There’s never a bad time at the Belmont!

Hot tip: If you love an amaretto sour, these guys do the best in town!

Address: 77 High Street, Belmont


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Telegraph Hotel

Sitting pretty right at the top of Pakington Street, the Telegraph Hotel has long been dubbed ‘the perfect place to meet’ for families, friends, couples and colleagues since opening in 2006. With an unmistakable and iconic Art Deco façade, the Tele is renowned for its a la carte dining, comfortable spaces with full service and a seasonal modern Australian menu. Open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday, you’ll find everything from grazing boards, salads and cheese, to beef cheeks, housemade gnocchi, burnt basque cheesecake and even crème brulee.

Crowned the winner of the Best Rooftop Experience by the  Australian Hotels Association, Victoria (AHA Vic) two years in a row, the award-winning Rooftop Terrace has been a drawcard for the venue since arriving, boasting the perfect spot for a few cocktails with your pals. We spy a cocktail list with espresso martini, telegraph tiramisu, and a berrylicious mojito.

And while drinking on a rooftop is at least 20 per cent more fun than drinking at street level, this rooftop bar and terrace has a lot more going for it with heaters to keep you toasty if there’s a nip in the air, skyline views, beautiful decking, stacks of trees and plants, a retractable roof and festoon lights, all further elevated by the sophisticated monochrome colour palette, live music and various seating options – from dining tables to enjoy a feed to couches to slink into as the sun goes down. Head in on a weekend and you’ll usually catch live music on the terrace too.

Address: 2 Pakington Street, Geelong West

Novotel Grey Goose Summer Pop Up Rooftop Bar

Courtesy of Novotel Geelong, the new Grey Goose Summer Pop-up bar is gifting locals and tourists alike another picture-perfect rooftop drinking destination.

Taking over level 2 of the beloved lavish central hotel, the new bar space has a beautiful large terrace with a gorgeous view of the bay, offering classy coastal vibes, with all day drinks and delightful local produce featured on its tapas-style menu (think arancini, oysters, charcuterie and cheese boards, Pork Belly Bao and more).

Teaming up with Grey Goose, the weekend pop-up bar feature mouthwatering Grey Goose cocktails (available in glasses or jugs), plus Bombay Saphhire Cocktails and a selection of more classic concoctions. Our picks include the Strawberry Fields, the Sunset Negroni and the passionfruit sour. Options from local wineries, distilleries and Bells Beach Brewery also feature on the pop-up menu.

Well-equipped for hot days with icy-cold cocktails, plenty of shade and proximity to water, this new space will feel like a retreat, with fairy lights, plenty of lush vertical gardens and bright foliage, live DJs, a killer tapas menu and the best views in the city.

Address: Novotel Geelong, 10-14 Eastern Beach Road Geelong


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Caledonia Shores

Taking over the upstairs level of The Pavilion – a spot that has always had the potential to be a game-changer for locals and visitors alike – Caledonia Shores is a relatively new spot that captures the waterfront’s unique energy and inimitable soul, giving diners a cosily lit front-row seat to the breathtaking views of Geelong’s Eastern Beach.

An abundance of timber tables and rattan chairs fill the space, while the high ceilings, soft ambient lighting, exposed rafters, fresh foliage and simple crisp bar only further make this a standout among quality dining destinations in the region. As for the food, the menu offers unique Asian Freestyle dishes combined with impeccable presentation. Think thinly sliced Kingfish, the fall-apart Beef Rendang, Xin Jiang-style lamb ribs, dumplings and so much more. 

Caledonia Shores places itself as a unique dining experience, you can sit out on the balcony and eat, drink and breathe in the fresh air and bask in the beautiful sunshine, all while taking in the sweeping views of Geelong’s favourite beach.

It’s a real charmer.

Address: 95 Eastern Beach Road, Geelong.


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Recess Bar 

Recess is Central Geelong’s only Gluten-Free Restaurant offering you a space to run around, have a snack, play with friends and make new ones! While their food is A+, it’s also one of our favourite places to go for rooftop cocktails on a balmy summer night (or any night really).

This cocktail bar impresses from the moment you head upstairs. You’re struck with a stunning beer garden (aka rooftop courtyard) with sweeping views of the beautiful St Mary’s church. With fairy lights, bar stools, umbrellas and greenery, the rooftop is a real beauty and is the perfect place to sip on their playfully named cocktails. From the classics like espresso martini and French Kiss, to the Risky Rumour, Naughty Nomad and the First Base. You’ll have a blast trying all the different concoctions.

Pair your rooftop visit with Drag + DJs, which perform every Friday and Saturday night, hosting ‘Fabulous Friday’ and ‘Saucy Saturdays’ with Queens in Sequins for Geelong’s Only Free Drag Show.

Address: 247 Moorabool Street, Geelong.


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Geelong Hotel

As with many of the pubs on this list, Geelong Hotel has had many names, including the unforgettable Bended Elbow, and seen many faces. With a much needed facelift, Geelong Hotel (better known to locals as GH), is a Friday and Saturday night go to for a classic pub meal, standout cocktails, beats galore and the occasional live music act in their dedicated upstairs bandroom.

And what would a killer pub be with a killer rooftop?!

Featuring a retractable roof and heating, this space vibrates good vibes all year round, especially when paired with fresh punchy cocktails, sunshine and craft beers. If you time your visit right, you’ll usually be able to take advtange of the epic deals the GH put on, like 2 for $20 cocktails or 3 for $30 sharing plates, just to name a few.

Address: 69 Yarra St, Geelong


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