A new trend is slowly emerging with the arrival of several rooftop bars in Myanmar. Like their swanky Yangon counterparts, these venues are attracting both locals and foreigners from sunset until the late hours of the evening. But unlike the Yangon scene, Mandalay’s rooftop bars are laid back and, up to now, affordable with drinks priced similar to other casual watering holes around town.

Ned KellySituated on top of a funky 37-bed hotel, Ned Kelly is Mandalay’s first and only Irish bar. True to form, it has a solid selection of booze (yes, it has Guinness!), a meat-heavy menu and a convivial vibe with friendly staff. Thankfully they have forgone the usual Irish bar formula in terms of style! The open-air rooftop has a high sloping tent covering, making it airy and light compared to the dark cave-like pubs from the Emerald Isle. Ned Kelly has two pool tables in its air-conditioned side room and a foosball table, all free of charge for guests. If you prefer watching sports to playing them, fear not—the pub shows all major events on its huge screen.

Address: 28th Street between 74th x 75th streets
Open: 4pm-12am
Pint of Tiger Draft: 3,000 kyats

Apex Bar
Mandalay’s highest rooftop bar is perched on the 12th floor of the Apex Hotel and is currently THE place to go for sunset selfies… and drinks. The focus is on beer and whiskey, but they also offer cocktails and a huge menu of tasty Asian and Western dishes. Apex is split over two levels, comfortable tables for dining and some bar-style seating along the perimeter for those who wish to enjoy the view. The lower level has a live band every night and a small covered area to retreat to in case of the odd rain storm. Casual, breezy and open until 1am, Apex is a great place to start the evening or to wrap up a night out on the town.

Apex Sky bar (Facebook).

Address: 35th Street between 58th x 59th streets
Open: 5pm-1am
Large bottle of Myanmar Beer (660ml): 3,000 kyats

Brolly Sky Bar (Facebook).

Sky Bar at Brolly
One of Mandalay’s mainstay cafes—Brolly—closed in 2017 much to the chagrin of its regular patrons. But the owners have brought the crowds back, building a hotel and rooftop bar in the original location. Sky Bar is smaller than its competitors but offers great views of Mandalay Hill, the moat and the Shan mountains. Popular with the 20-something crowd, the bar features lots of colorful shots (3,000 kyats), sweet cocktails by the bottle (25,000 kyats) and Shisha (20,000 kyats). The well-priced food menu runs the gamut from beef steak to fried rice. Another plus for Sky Bar is that its indoor air-conditioned area has huge glass windows, meaning you can enjoy the view even if it is raining.

Address: 22nd Street Between 65th x 66th streets
Open 11am-11pm
Large draft Tiger beer 3,000 kyats

Sky Bar at Ayarwaddy River View Hotel
Ayarwaddy River View Hotel is located on Strand Road at the edge of the Ayeyarwady River and its 6th floor is home to Sky Bar, a large open-air dining and drinking venue. Although the decoration is stark, the breezy bar is ideal for watching sunset over the river. Get their early and grab a table on the western edge of the bar for best viewing. The beers are cold and the bartenders mix up a good range of cocktails, although the rum sours stand out. Perhaps due to its location on the edge of town, the bar is rarely busy and normally hotel guests are the only customers. But it is worth your time to venture to Ayarwaddy River View Hotel for a sunset drink—the views can’t be beat!

Address: Strand Road between 22nd x 23rd streets
Large bottle of Myanmar Beer (660ml): 3,000 kyats

Special Mentions:

Eastern Palace Hotel
The spartan concrete floor and banquet-style tables get a zero for atmosphere but the bar wins big points for its views. Thanks to its location and elevation, you can enjoy a cocktail with the Shan hills as a backdrop to the east and Mandalay Hill to the west.

Address: 19th Street, Between 57th x 58th streets

Ostello Bello Hostel
The legendary Ostello Bello Hostel’s bar is, well, just that: a hostel bar. It just happens to be on the roof which means guests can enjoy a gentle breeze and nice views while competing in quiz night, singing karaoke, mingling with backpackers and eventually partaking in the inevitable drunken antics that happen at a hostel.

Address: 28th street

The Hangover Sky Bar
The 9th floor Hangover Sky Bar has view of both the Irrawaddy River and Mandalay Hill, making it a great place for photos. The prices are reasonable but, sadly, the loud club-like music detracts from what is otherwise a nice, breezy place to have a sundowner.

Address: Hotel Yi, Corner of 22nd and 86th streets

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