As much as we love Bangkok’s big-name rooftop bars, sometimes it’s nice to not have to worry about whether you’re wearing the right shoes or whether there's enough credit on your card to pay the bill at the end of the night.

    The good news is a whole bunch of smaller, secret rooftop bars have been popping up across Bangkok for the last couple of years. You still get the good views, summery outdoors atmosphere and quality drinks – just all at a lower height, and often half the cost. From jazz bars overlooking the Skytrain to hipster-hangouts 5 floors above the Old City, here’s our list of the best alternate rooftop bars in Bangkok.


    Roof 409 Bar & Bistro


    Sitting on the 4th floor of Mercury Ville, views from Roof 409 are surprisingly good, considering its modest height, looking out over Chidlom BTS as well as the surrounding skyscrapers of Siam and Langsuan. The French-born owner has stayed true to his roots, with the swanky indoor bar taking on a Parisian brasserie feel, complete with white tiles and plush chrome installations. Cocktails are good, (if a little on the pricey side), while specialties from the modern European bistro menu rotate daily.

    Location: 540 Ploenchit Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11am to midnight (open at 1pm on Sundays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 658 5655


    Skytrain Jazz Bar

    Victory Monument

    This hippy-student hangout wins us over every time with its unique view of the Skytrain rattling past, as well as some great live jazz sessions in the evenings. Mismatching retro furniture, empty whiskey bottles from the night before and overly casual service all make this feel more like a rooftop garden on top of a student flat, rather than one of Bangkok’s famous glistening rooftop bars – but that’s all part of its charm. Drink options are limited, with local beers, spirits and classic cocktails only, but there's also a long list of Thai dishes which are cooked in the tiny kitchen downstairs and brought up. One word of warning: it’s on the 6th floor and there’s no lift.

    Location: 46 Soi Rang Nam, Phaya Thai Rd, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 5pm to 1am

    Phone: +66 (0)2 640 0303, +66 (0)89 895 4299


    Nest Rooftop Lounge

    Sukhumvit Soi 11

    Nest has long established itself as one of the coolest places to drink on the nightlife-centric Sukhumvit Soi 11, thanks to its cocooned bed-like seating arrangements, quality live DJ sets and an open alfresco terrace. The well-stocked bar does an impressively long list of cocktails, though beer choices are limited. Look out for themed parties and DJ events on their Facebook page. Find Nest Rooftop Lounge on the top floor of Le Fenix Hotel, a short taxi ride up Sukhumvit 11 from Nana BTS.

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    Location: Le Fenix Hotel Bangkok, 33/33 Soi Sukhumvit 11, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 6pm to 2am

    Phone: +66 (0)2 305 4000


    Wanderlust Rooftop


    Wanderlust bar follows Bangkok’s obsession for fake plastic grass so much that they’ve even slapped it on top of some of the tables – nice eye-candy for your Instagram followers, though maybe not so good for balancing that cocktail glass. Bright artwork covers the walls, while the rattan chairs and dangling light bulbs complete the hip student bar vibes.

    Pub food like fish 'n’ chips, burgers and ribs are available alongside a modest choice of beers and cocktails. Find it on the 5th floor of the Nakiya Japanese Restaurant Building on Thonglor Soi 13.

    Location: Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor 13), Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 6pm to 2am

    Phone: +66 (0)88 696 9445


    Jham-Jun Pranakorn

    Old City

    This once-hidden gem is becoming more popular by the day, with the Khao San crowd gradually realizing that you don’t have to travel across town to experience a decent rooftop bar. Views from the top are nice (you can see the impressive Rama VIII Bridge and Phra Sumera fortress) along with plenty of other perks.

    The cute fake-grass lawn at the very top is a nice gimmick with some comfy floor seating, and an in-house band play local covers as the sun sets over the Old City. To find it, enter Fortville Guesthouse just around the corner from Phra Arthit Road and take what seems to be the world’s slowest elevator to the 5th floor.

    Location: Phra Sumen Rd, Chana Songkhram, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 6pm to 1am

    Phone: +66(0)2 282 3933


    Desi Beats


    This Thonglor favorite has a distinct Middle Eastern/Bollywood theme, with the décor, menu and never-ending supply of shisha all helping to create the exotic vibes. Most of the space is inside, with the large room offering comfy floor seating, tables designed specifically to fit the shisha pipes and, more importantly, air conditioning.

    Move outside and you’ll actually realize this is a rooftop bar. The views from the 7th floor are good, looking towards the high rises of Sukhumvit in the distance. Desi Beats is part of the Opus Building on Thong Lor Soi 10, also home to the similar Bombay Blues Bar on the 3rd floor.

    Location: 139 Soi Thonglor 10, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 6pm to 2am

    Phone: +66 (0)81 683 8889


    Sky Moon Bar & Bistro

    Rama 3

    A short taxi jump from Sathorn, Sky Moon Bar & Bistro on top of the Vanilla Moon community mall is about as Thai as it gets. This means an almost exclusively local crowd, a menu full of local dishes, pretties refilling your glass, and bands playing indie covers. Views from the 10th floor are good if you grab a city-facing table, and the whole outside patio area makes a good spot for cocktails.

    Venture inside, however, and things get a bit weird. The small room resembles a cheap nightclub, with tacky plastic seating, florescent cityscapes painted on the walls and an overall color scheme that’s almost tear-inducing. That said, we still think it’s worth a visit if you’re looking for a fun, cheap place to drink where you won’t be surrounded by tourists.

    Location: 37 Thanon Chan Rd, Wat Phraya Krai, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 5pm to 1am

    Phone: +66 (0)62 719 9303

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveler

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