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People at Assembly bar

12 Best Rooftop & Outdoor Bars in Canberra

Canberra as a city gets a lot of flack. Whilst it might not be the most beautiful or most cultural city in Australia, there is a helluva lot of good things to do, eat and see in Canberra. Surrounded by nature and with a vibrant nightlife, if you find yourself in the nation’s capital it makes sense to take advantage of some of the outdoor and rooftop bars in CBR. Good wine, great cocktails and some truly exquisite food – there’s a lot worse you could do than any of the joints on our list of the 12 Best Rooftop Bars Canberra has to offer.

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1. The Howling Moon

After six months of refinement, Rex Hotel’s rooftop bar has finally reopened and it offers one of the greatest spots for sundowners in the city. Situated just off Canberra’s main artery, Northbourne Avenue, many Canberrans will have already spotted the eloquent slanted glass canopy that shelters The Howling Moon. Boasting delicious drinks, some quirky bar snacks and a view unlike anything else in Canberra, The Howling Moon is the ultimate place to kickstart a night out.

Address: 150 Northbourne Ave, Braddon ACT 2612
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 4PM to Late
Phone: (02) 6248 5311

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2. Assembly

The new kid in town, Assembly is currently the place to be for a night out in Canberra. Nestled in the heart of Canberra’s cultural epi-centre of Braddon, Assembly is the kind of bar that generally escalates into more of a club scene as the night progresses. The beer garden out the back is the heart of the venue. Inside, you’ll find live music and the footy on all weekend long. Epic reasonably priced drinks, decent pub food and a great vibe.

Address: 11 Lonsdale Street Braddon, ACT, 2612
Phone: (02) 6174 0440
Trading hours: Monday – Sunday 7:30Am to Late

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3. The Duxton

One of Canberra’s best kept secrets, The Duxton is home to a huge selection of local beers, wines and spirits in a subtle but sophisticated venue. On any given night you’ll find locals settling in for a game of footy or indulging in some seriously good pubgrub. Weekends call for live music and events in the unreal upstairs venue.

Address: 8 Macpherson St, O’Connor ACT 2602
Phone: (02) 6162 0799
Trading hours: Monday – Thursday 3PM to 11PM, Friday – Sunday 12PM – 12AM

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4. Kingston Hotel

As one of Canberra’s longest running establishments, the Kingo brims with a casual, rustic charm that draws people in from all over town. In addition to featuring craft beers on tap and a cook-your-own steakhouse, the Kingston also boasts a number of spacious courtyards that’s simply perfect for dining during the summer months.

Address: 73 Canberra Avenue, Griffith ACT 2603
Phone: (02) 6295 0123
Trading hours: Mon-Sat 10am-late, Sun 11am-late

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cocu public bar

5. Public in Manuka

A cultural touchstone for the inner south, Public is the place for after work drinks that’ll inevitably escalate in to a much larger occasion. Once the stomach starts to rumble, order some sophisticated pubgrub and watch the footy from one of a the screens scattered around the bar. With a huge range of spirits and a modest selection of beer and wine, there’s something for everyone down at Public.

Address: Corner of Flinders Way & Franklin Street, Manuka ACT 2603
Phone: +61 2 6161 8808
Trading hours: Weekdays 11am till late, Weekends 10am till late

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ostani hotel

6. Ostani

Located inside the luxurious Hotel Realm Canberra, the trendy Ostani offers up wood-fired pizzas, mouth-watering tapas, and an impressive wine and cocktail program. Nestle into one of their cozy leather booths or grab a seat outside in the garden bar. Proceed to drink away the day or night while munching on a variety of tasty creations.

Address: 18 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
Phone: +61 2 6163 1802
Trading hours: Mon-Fri 8am-11pm, Sat-Sun 11am-11pm

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7. Walt & Burley

Perched directly on the shores of beautiful Lake Burley Griffin, Walt & Burley gives any given Canberra rooftop bar a run for its money by flaunting an incredible 180 degree view across the water. Boasting a huge range of beers and an eclectic list of Australian wines, Walt & Burley is the kind of place where time simply passes you by in a flurry of great views and great conversation.

Address: 70/17 Eastlakes Parade, Kingston ACT 2604
Phone: +61 2 6239 6648
Trading hours: Monday – Sunday 11am-12am

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8. Burbury Terrace

The Burberry Terrarce could lay claim to Canberra’s best rooftop bar. The amazing rooftop view from Canberra’s leafy inner south is the perfect spot for after work drinks. Rub shoulders with pollies and business folk as you look out over the lawns of Parliament house. What’s more, it’s open for breakfast and coffee.

Address: 1 Burbury Close Barton ACT 2600
Phone: +61 2 6163 1894
Trading hours: Mon-Sat open 24 hours

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9. Lighthouse Waterfront Pub

Affectionately called the Lighty, this Belconnen pub is a haven for uni students and locals. Boasting live music and delicious pub food, enjoy a ice cold schooey on the shores of Lake Ginninderra. If you’re not lucky enough to score a seat in the beer garden, head inside for a no-frills setting where the smell of a good shnitty is never too far away.

Address: 78-80 Emu Bank, Belconnen ACT 2617
Phone: +61 2 6253 0390
Trading hours: Sun-Thu 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11am-3am

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10. The Dock

Another bar nestled down on the affluent Kingston Foreshore is The Dock. A sportsbar done different. With a view to die for and more screens then you can poke a stick at, Sunday footy really doesn’t get better than this. Head down with a couple mates and be prepared to get rowdy. The Dock often hosts some of the most passionate sports fans in the capital. It’s a ball.

Address: 7/81 Giles St Kingston, Canberra ACT 2604
Phone: (02) 6239 6333
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Thursday 4PM – 12AM, Friday – Sunday 12PM – 12AM

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11. Edgards Inn

The inner north is the place to be in Canberra at the moment and a locals favourite is definitely Edgars Inn. Perfect for families or an afternoon catchup with live music, Edgards Inn boasts traditional pub food, a wide selection of tap beers and knowledgable staff – when you’re done with drinks head next door to Mama Dough for some of the best Pizza in CBR.

Address: 1 Edgar St, Ainslie ACT 2602
Phone: +61 2 6249 6050
Trading hours: Monday – Sunday 7AM to 10PM

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12. The RUC

Canberra’s favourite spot for lawn bowls and rugby union, The RUC in the inner north is a vibrant hub suitable for people form all walks of life. Rub shoulders with the usual suspects in the Tab, or down some schooeys during a round of barefoot bowls. The food is exactly what you want and you’ll always find a game of sport on the screens.

Address: 54 McCaughey St, Turner, ACT 2612
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 11AM to Late
Phone: (02) 6247 7838

Check it out

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About the author

About the author

Mr Mark Jessen

Mark Jessen studied English at Brigham Young University, completing a double emphasis in creative writing and professional writing/editing. After graduating, Mark went to work for a small publisher as their book editor. After a brief time as a freelance writer, Mark entered the corporate world as a copywriter. These days, his hours are spent mostly in proofing and editing, though he continues to create content for a wide variety of projects. In 2017, Mark completed UCLA's Creative Writing Certification. A prolific writer, Mark has over 20 years of experience in journalism.