As temperatures rise in Madrid, one excellent way to cool off – as well as enjoy spectacular vistas – is to head to one of the city’s rooftop bars. From the most glamorous see-and-be-seen haunts to markets with fantastic rooftops, we take a look at the best rooftop bars to visit the next time you’re in Madrid.
Four euros will gain you entry to one of Madrid’s most impressive rooftops, the Azotea del Círculo de Bellas Artes (Bellas Artes Rooftop), a sizeable space at the top of the Bellas Artes cultural centre. The panoramic views are incredible; look out for Madrid‘s business district skyscrapers, the Prado Museum, Retiro Park and the iconic view of the Metropolis Building on Gran Vía. The rooftop has two bars, a restaurant and comfy bed-like seats, where you can recline with a cocktail. It can get very busy, so head there in the early afternoon to beat the crowds.
The small terrace of El Viajero affords visitors romantic views over the domes of La Latina, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Madrid. The leafy terrace at the end of Cava Baja is a great resting stop when exploring the area’s many tapas bars. Go for one of El Viajero’s specialities, a mojito, order a few tapas to go with it, and enjoy the laid-back summer vibes.
On the ninth floor of the Corte Inglés department store on Plaza del Callao, just off the Gran Vía, is the Gourmet Experience, a range of food stalls and a gourmet supermarket ideal for a stop-off while shopping. Best of all, there is an outdoor terrace running the length of the Gourmet Experience with views across the city. Make sure to get a photo of the famous Schweppes sign, an iconic Gran Vía landmark that appears on many postcards of the city.
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One of Madrid’s most glamorous rooftops is the bar of the ME Reina Victoria Hotel, the grand, white building on the beautiful Plaza de Santa Ana. Get your glad rags on and enjoy a cocktail with spectacular views of the city’s rooftops and – who knows? – you might even spot a celebrity or two.
This slightly off-the-beaten-track option is well worth seeking out for its stunning views of Madrid’s Royal Palace. It is located on the rooftop of the Jardines de Sabatini Apartosuites Hotel, named after the picturesque Sabatini Gardens next to the Royal Palace. The rooftop is dotted with comfy, white seating, ideal for a relaxing evening drink while watching the sun set. Cheers!
This ‘hidden’ rooftop bar is increasingly well-known thanks to its cool, laid-back vibe and the huge popularity of The Hat Hostel, where it is located. This boutique hostel is arty and stylish and attracts a cool crowd of young travellers. Locals too enjoy the rooftop on the fifth floor of the building, which is strung with cute fairy lights. Sip on a beer or a cocktail-in-a-bag (new-craze alert?) and, when you get peckish, order a few bits from its classic tapas menu that features toasts, tortillas and the like.
The third floor of the San Antón market, in Chueca, is dedicated to this lovely little terrace, an oasis of laid-back cool in the heart of this bustling barrio. Once you’ve explored the food stalls downstairs, head up to the roof for a refreshing beer or tinto de verano (summer wine), one of Madrileños’ favourite summer drinks. If you’re feeling peckish, La Cocina de San Antón restaurant does full means, weekday lunchtime menus, and nibbles including croquettes, nachos and cheese plates.