Living the High Life: Rangoon’s Best Rooftop Bars

After a long day exploring Yangon, there is no better way to relax than on one of the city’s rooftop bars. From there, you can take in sweeping views of lush parks, decadent and colourful colonial buildings, and historic pagodas while sipping a tasty cocktail or two.  In the last few years a number of rooftop bars have cropped up around the city, and two favourites are Esperado Hotel’s rooftop and the Sapphire Lounge at Alpha Hotel. Despite its name, the Sapphire Lounge is an easy-going and unfussy establishment just steps from all the delicious restaurants in Yawmingyi. If you are looking for dancing, don’t miss Atlas Bar’s DJ nights. With more establishments opening monthly, there is no excuse to miss dining out while watching the sunset high above the city’s sprawling streets.

RANGOON — The best way to soak up Rangoon’s colonial architecture, leafy parks, waterways, and spangly pagodas is to rise above the city’s crowded streets and enjoy a bite to eat or a cool drink in the fresh air of a rooftop bar or restaurant. Burma’s commercial hub is amassing quite an arsenal of rooftop venues with a number of swanky options having opened in the last year or so. Always on the lookout for the latest developments in the city, The Irrawaddy brings you a handpicked guide to eating and drinking al fresco and at altitude.

Atlas opened late last year so is a relative newcomer to Rangoon’s rooftop bar scene, though the owners have wasted no time in making it one of the city’s go-to place for sundowners. Twelve-stories up on an unassuming street in Sanchaung Township, the bar has 360-degree views of the city. Looking West, the sun sets over the Yangon River while to the East, the Shwedagon Pagoda emerges from the foliage of its surrounding parks.

The bar regularly hosts jazz nights, DJ sets, and outdoor cinema evenings, adding to the chilled-out holiday vibe. The seating is arranged in large couches with tables in the middle making it more suited to large groups than a couple hoping for a cheeky romantic tipple.

The drinks menu is posh with a whole page of champagnes—including a 2004 vintage Dom Perignon for a whopping 500,000 kyats. More realistically priced are the cocktails, which hover around the 5,000 kyats mark and include some local takes on the classics. A concise menu includes a selection of flammkuchen—a sort of German sour-dough pizza.

84 Pan Hlaing Street, Sanchaung Township