You’re in Madrid on a sunny weekend and after a long day of sightseeing, shopping and eating all you want is to relax on a beautiful terrace with a view. Well, luckily for you the Spanish capital has some pretty amazing rooftop bars. With extremely hot summers, where temperatures can rise above 40 degrees Celsius, madrileños tend to stay inside during the day, but once daylight starts to fade people head out for a stroll, tapas, or indeed a drink on a lovely terrace or rooftop bar. Because, let’s be honest: what’s better than ending your day on a roof terrace watching the sunset? Not much, right? Here are 12 of the best rooftop bars in Madrid where I believe you should be heading on a hot summer night (or a sunny spring or autumn afternoon for that matter).
Azotea del Círculo
Every local (and quite a few tourists) will know this one, and for a reason. Because Azotea del Círculo arguably has the best view in town. Located on top of the Círculo de Bellas Artes – a cultural institution just off the wide Calle de Alcalá avenue – the vistas from this rooftop bar are unrivalled. On a clear day you can see pretty much the entire city, up to the snowed mountain peaks of the Sierra de Guadarrama. Yes, it’s a shame that they started charging a €4 entrance fee as of lately and food up here can be quite expensive, but for a one-off drink (or two) it’s more than worth it.
Azotea del Círculo: Calle del Marqués de Casa Riera, 2
My personal favourite because it’s young and übercool without being pretentious. The Hat is a hip boutique hostel and hotel with a gorgeous intimate roof terrace that’s open for non-guests as well. The view may be limited, but set in the heart of old Madrid overlooking church bell towers and rooftops, it’s a wonderful spot to spend your night sipping away beers or gin tonics. And the drinks are pretty affordable too. What’s not too like about this place…?!
The Hat: Calle Imperial, 9
In the heart of the vibrant LGBT-district Chueca you’ll find Room Mate Hotel Óscar, which is home to one of the most fabulous rooftop bars in Madrid: Oscar’s Terrace (La Terraza de Óscar). Complete with a small swimming pool and sun beds, this is a perfect place to chill AND party whilst watching the sun set over the skyline of Madrid.
Oscar’s Terrace at Room Mate Hotel Óscar: Plaza de Pedro Zerolo, 12
Plaza Santa Ana in the Barrio de las Letras (also known as Huertas) neighbourhood is one of the prettiest squares in central Madrid, which is partly because it’s flanked by the stunning ME Hotel Reina Victoria. With its elegant little tower that is beautifully lit at night, this hotel is a real eye catcher. Probably the best place to admire all this beauty is on top of the building, from the hotel’s large roof terrace, called Radio (formerly ‘The Roof’). The décor is modern, the cocktails are great and the views… simply wow!
Radio at ME Hotel Reina Victoria: Plaza de Santa Ana, 14
If you’ve read my travel guide about Madrid you’ll know that La Latina is one of the best neighbourhoods in Madrid to go out for beers and tapas, especially on a Sunday afternoon, at the end of the weekly local flea market El Rastro. El Viajero is one of the many bars in the area where you can find nice tapas. It’s one of the few places, though, with a roof terrace. Although it is located on top of the second floor and hence not very high, the views from here are beautiful nevertheless. With dreamy pastel-coloured buildings in front of you and the hustle and bustle of lively La Latina just below, this is a brilliant spot to enjoy a beer and a bite. If you manage to get a table, that is.
El Viajero: Calle de la Cebada, 11
It’s quite a mouthful, but if you manage to pronounce the name of this place (try to say it as quickly as the Spanish do) and ask a local to direct you, you’re in for a little treat. El Paracaidista (meaning: the parachutist) is a super-duper cool small concept store with a rooftop bar in a narrow street in Malasaña. The bar is especially popular among young and hip madrileños who love to come here for a drink and a snack on a sunny afternoon or evening. It’s not at all a fancy place and the views are not the most spectacular ones, but the vibe here is relaxed and authentic.
El Paracaidista: Calle de la Palma, 10
I haven’t actually checked this one out myself, but it’s probably one of the first things I’ll do when I’m next in Madrid. Because judging from the pictures, this roof terrace looks magnificent. Part of Hotel Las Letras, Ático 11 is a little green oasis in the middle of the city. Wooden floor boards, lots of plants, a little bar and, of course, stunning views – this (not-so?) hidden gem seems to have it all!
Ático 11 at Hotel Iberostar Las Letras: Gran Vía, 11
La Terraza Magnetica at La Casa Encendida
La Terraza Magnetica is a bit of an odd one in the list, because it’s not a full-time licensed rooftop bar. Instead, it’s a series of cultural events hosted on the beautiful roof terrace of La Casa Encendida, a social and cultural institution in Lavapiés, Madrid’s most multicultural neighbourhood. Every summer weekend (from June till August), La Terraza Magnetica organises thematic open air cinema screenings and concerts during sunset. Drinks and snacks are available, so you’re guaranteed to have an engaging cultural experience here!
La Terraza Magnetica at La Casa Encendida: Ronda de Valencia, 2
La Terraza del Urban
It doesn’t get much more luxurious than this. On top of the five star Hotel Urban, with its incredibly sleek and modern design, is La Terraza del Urban. The terrace has a private pool and a bar area with unique views of central Madrid. If you want to indulge yourself, this is the place to be.
La Terraza del Urban at Hotel Urban: Carrera de San Jerónimo, 34
Nice to Meet You
The roof terrace of Dear Hotel Madrid is what Instagram dreams are made of. This four star hotel on Madrid’s iconic Gran Vía avenue not only has some very comfortable, homely and light rooms, it also boasts a stunning rooftop bar called Nice to Meet You. The terrace is not very big, but it has a 360 degree view of Madrid. There’s also a tiny little pool overlooking the city. True, the drinks are a bit overpriced, but you’d quickly forget about that with such views…
Nice to Meet You at Dear Hotel: Gran Vía, 80
La Cocina de San Antón
Over the past couple of years, a range of inner-city indoor markets in Madrid have been renovated or rebuilt. And some of them have been extended with entire (street) food courts and even rooftop bars, as in the case of the Mercado de San Antón in Chueca. La Cocina de San Antón is located on the upper level of this nice indoor market and is open until after midnight. It has a small roof terrace where they serve brilliant GTs.
La Cocina de San Antón: Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 24
The Mint Roof
Another one on Gran Vía, but this one is far from your average roof terrace. The Mint Roof is part of Vincci The Mint hotel which, after an extensive refurbishment has a fresh, young feel. The same goes for the spectacular rooftop bar. With relaxing chairs, a fun colour scheme and a food truck, going for drinks here is surely an experience.
The Mint Roof at Vincci The Mint: Gran Vía, 10