Ready to discover the best rooftop bars in Oxford? Nab the best views of the City of Dreaming Spires at these gorgeous spots.
We all know that when it comes to jaw-dropping views, Oxford’s hard to beat. Let’s face it, it’s not known as the city of dreaming spires for nothing.
Only problem? It can be surprisingly difficult to find spots where you can appreciate those views in their full glory.
These rooftop bars in Oxford combine stylish drinking spots and gorgeous views. What’s not to love?
Best Rooftop Bars in Oxford
The Varsity Club
The Varsity Club is the ultimate rooftop bar in Oxford, right on High Street in the city centre. Anyone from undergrads to professors to parents on a night off will enjoy its combination of modern decor and traditional features.
We’d rate the actual view at The Varsity rooftop bar number one in the city since it boasts 360-degree views.
The rooftop isn’t all this spot has to offer, though. With four levels, The Varsity rooftop bar in Oxford has a restaurant, bar, and nightclub, so we’d recommend going all in and committing to a night of it.
Start off with their delicious classic food and drinks, and then dance the night away with a view!
The Alchemist Oxford
We can’t write a guide to stellar rooftop bars in Oxford without mentioning The Alchemist. One of the most popular and creative chains in the UK, The Alchemist has become a go-to spot for the young and hip across the country, and the Oxford location at the Westgate Shopping Centre is no different.
Nothing beats a good-themed bar, but sometimes a stellar aesthetic can take the place of quality drinks—not this place!
As the name suggests, master mixologists at The Alchemist make all sorts of alchemy-themed drinks, which are as theatrical as they are delicious.
The Alchemist also boasts great food, and is one of the best spots in Oxford for bottomless brunch, a triple threat!
Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant
While not your typical rooftop bar – it’s really more of a restaurant, although there’s nothing to stop you from rocking up for a couple of drinks, we couldn’t write this guide without including this classy and beautiful space atop The Ashmolean.
Once you’ve got over the fact that the Ashmolean’s rooftop space is not a bar per se, you’ll have to acknowledge that very few bars are as evocatively located as this one, which is housed in the University of Oxford’s art and archaeology museum, founded in 1683.
Not only does it boast unbeatable views, but this space steeps you in all of the amazing culture and history Oxford has built over the centuries.
PS – the Ashmolean also do a rather winning afternoon tea – go off-piste and opt for the star of the show – a delightful gin-infused cake. It’s even better when accompanied by a glass of something boozy and bubbly.
Not only does Victors boast a jaw-dropping view of Oxford’s rooftops and canals, but the bar itself is a perfect spot for a stylish picture!
Enjoy expertly crafted cocktails and stylish plates under a light-washed wood pergola with winding plants and purple flowers all over.
This is the perfect spot for brunch with the girls or a special occasion drink, make sure you wear your most Instagrammable outfit (or don’t, we won’t tell)
While Victors aesthetic usually oozes “spring day in a flower-laden pergola”, they transform their space into a stylish après ski area during the winter.
Dirty Bones Oxford
Yeah, yeah, another rooftop spot in Oxford that is clinging onto the definition of a bar by its fingertips but with views like these, who cares?
The total opposite of Victors, Dirty Bones at Westgate Shopping Centre sports dark wood, low lights, and a smooth atmosphere, with craft cocktails and classic American food.
Dirty Bones is a chain inspired by the 1970s Brooklyn bar scene that has taken the UK by storm, and for good reason.
Dirty Bones is versatile and classy, perfect for any occasion. The outside rooftop is relaxing with great views, and their inside portion takes us back in time with old-school funk and soul music.
They have dancing at night and a stellar happy hour with well-priced signature cocktails.
Their Aperol Spritzes and Negronis are the perfect accompaniment to their classic pizzas, which we enjoy on their casual but cute rooftop terrace.
They have a variety of pizzas, and we especially love their ample vegan and vegetarian options, which are just as delicious as the meat-topped pizzas. Don’t miss our favourite hidden gem, the Nutella Pizza Ring.
Nothing is better to share as a dessert with a delicious Espresso Martini.
Malmaison is definitely the most unusual rooftop bar on our list because this striking space was once a prison! It’s now a sophisticated hotel with gorgeous views, but we still enjoy the spooky thrill that comes with a visit.
While the Malmaison’s rooftop space is rarely open to the public, it is a popular private rental space and would be perfect for anything from a wedding to a graduation party. You can still enjoy the gorgeous views from one of the other bars in the hotel.
Practical Tips for Exploring Rooftop Bars in Oxford
We all know that British weather can be unreliable AF. Depending on the time of year you visit, you’ll need to dress accordingly. There’s nothing sadder than freezing your a** off for the sake of a pretty view.