The Top 10 Rooftop Bars in Europe

Want to know the best rooftop bars in Europe? Or rooftop restaurants in Europe with a great view? From a rooftop bar in Prague to a secret rooftop cafe in Venice, these are the top 10 rooftops in Europe not everyone knows about. When the sun is shining in a beautiful European city there’s nowhere better to be than a rooftop bar. With a drink in one hand and a local delicacy in another, see Paris, London and Amsterdam from a whole new perspective. Whether it’s the top floor of a department store or a secret hotel rooftop bar in Venice, these are some of the best rooftop bars in Europe. Rooftop hideouts provide the perfect respite from the bustling streets below and some do a pretty good Spritz too.

 

1. Kotva Department store rooftop bar, Prague

 

Rooftop bars in Prague View

 

Prague’s Gothic architecture makes it one of the most unique cities in Europe. From above it’s spires jut out from the old town like proud everlasting symbols of the city. One of my favourite places to see Prague’s skyline from is the cafe/bar on the top floor of the Kotva department store. Great food, drinks and friendly service at reasonable prices.

 

If you’re in the west of the city head to the ‘Dancing House’ where you can get a different skyline view of the city, drinks are pricier though and it’s definitely more well known.

 

2. Sky Cafe – Rooftop Cafe in Vienna

 

Rooftop cafe in Vienna

 

Vienna is opulence defined. Whether it’s a night at the Opera or hitting the assortment of Europe’s finest stores on the main street you are sure to spend a Euro or two. However high above the main drag, with spectacular views of St Stephens Cathedral, you can find a cheap brunch in Vienna. The prices are worth the trip alone. Sky Cafe is located inside department store Steffl, on Karntner Strauss.

 

 

3. Hotel A La Commedia – Rooftop Bar in Venice

 

 

Venice is a treasure trove of hidden gardens and windy streets leading to nowhere. You have to get lost in Venice to appreciate it’s character. One of the best kept secrets is the rooftop bar in Hotel a la Commedia. The concierge are strict here and will not let large groups (or anyone not looking the part) to enter the lift to the top. But if you manage to get in, a blissful oasis awaits. Grab a Spritz and watch the crowds fill the alleyways below.

 

For an easier city top view head to T Fondaco Dei Tedeschi department store next to the Rialto bridge. Pre book a free time-slot online and snap away like mad, as you only get 15 minutes, but the views are astounding.

 

Venice Grand Canal
The Grand Canal

 

4. Rinascente Firenze – Florence

 

 

Florence, home of the Renaissance, has so much culture to drink in you may just find yourself needing a drink break of the Aperol variety. Rinascente Firenze department store offers just that with a top view of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. It can get very hot in the summer though. So grab a table in the shade and marvel over the rooftop views over Florence in comfort.

 

Piazzale Michelangelo Florence Rooftop views of Florence

 

Be warned this spot is becoming very popular with the Insta’ crowd and the prices are increasing. Head over to the Oblate library rooftop instead. Wind your way up through the books and the students to the top floor where a spacious, shaded and much more affordable cafe awaits. The Oblate cafe is a hidden gem in Florence on a hot afternoon.

 

Cathedral Florence Rooftop Cafe Library Oblate

 

5. Galleries Lafayette – Paris

 

Galleries Lafayette, Paris rooftop view, Paris from above

Paris is pretty from any angle. The city of love shows off at every turn with the towering Eiffel, the insane roundabout of the Arc de Triomphe and the stunning Sacre Coeur. But a top one of the most famous shopping centres in the city you get a close up view of just how elaborate the architecture is. Palais Garnier steals the view with it’s Baroque style and golden statues. The gallery itself is worth a look inside too, as it houses some of the biggest names in fashion.

 

Palais Garnier Paris
Palais Garnier

6. The Sky Garden – Rooftop bar, London

 

 

Escape into nature in the very centre of London. At the top off the oddly shaped ‘Walkie Talkie‘ building is a greenhouse full of tropical plants. Get panoramic views of central London including the Thames and the Shard. Why not take in the best  views over London from above while sipping Prosecco? Entry is free, but a time slot must be pre-booked online and sometimes sell out days in advance. Click here for tickets.

 

7. A’Dam Lookout – Amsterdam from above

 

Amsterdam Canal, Rooftop views Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a great city to just wander in. It’s laid back attitude has opened it up to some of the most offbeat things to do in Europe. The A’Dam lookout is no exception. Grab a drink at the bar or go for a giant swing over the IJ Canal. At around 20 Euros for entrance and two drinks it’s not the cheapest view of the city, but it definitely is one of the best things to do in Amsterdam.

 

Amsterdam Nemo Building

If you’re looking for something a bit more wallet friendly head over to the NEMO science museum where you can enter the FREE viewing platform over Amsterdam. Visit the NEMO museum cafe for a coffee with some of the best views of Amsterdam’s canals.

 

8. Gallery Rooftop Bar – ESG – Berlin

 

 

Berlin is hipster cool. Quirky bars, Vegan restaurants galore and enough history to enlighten even the most hapless of travellers. One of the best spots in the city is the East side Gallery. A section of the Berlin Wall left as an adaptive art installation showcasing thought provoking street art. Grab a cocktail at the Gallery Rooftop Bar for a panoramic view of the ESG and the River Spree that once divided the city.

9. Buza Bar – Dubrovnik

 

View of the Dubrovnik city walls Croatia
The city walls of Dubrovnik

 

Dubrovnik’s walls are one of the best things to see in Croatia. Known for their role as King’s Landing in Game of Thrones, they encircle the limestone city with an impressively impenetrable boundary. But for those in the know the best spot is to be found by sneaking through a small passageway that takes you just outside the walls. Buza bar is nestled in the rock face, offering sweeping views of the Adriatic Sea. Now that’s not technically a rooftop I hear you say. Well no, but its a really great bar with good views in one of the coolest cities in Eastern Europe. So yeah.

 

10. Pierre Loti Roof Pub – Istanbul

 

Hagia Sofia Istanbul
The Hagia Sofia

Last on the list is possibly one of the most unique cities in Europe. Istanbul is awash with sights, smells, flavours and sounds that overwhelm the senses. It isn’t comparable to any other European city which is exactly why you should visit Istanbul. The Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque are stunning landmarks that can both be seen from the friendly Pierre Loti Roof Pub. It’s one of the best rooftop bars in Eastern Europe. And if you’re still asking why should I visit  Istanbul? The reason is the food is cheap and pretty much always delicious.

 

Sultan Ahmed Blue Mosque Istanbul, Why visit Istanbul?
The Blue Mosque

 

Ten of the top rooftop bars in Europe, a few secret rooftop cafes, bars and a couple extra for good measure. These are places not to miss in Europe. You really can’t go wrong with a local drink and a view over these great cities to visit in Europe. If you’re headed to Europe soon check out my post “Touchdown – What to do when you land in a new city – Europe”.

How to travel better for less

Skyscanner – For flights at the best prices this is my go to site. I have also started using them for car hire and they can’t be beat!

Booking.com – I always book with this site if looking for cheap accommodation as the filters are so easy to use. Become a genius member after five bookings and get great discounts too!

Air BnB – Sometimes you can find great local places to stay on Air BnB. In some countries, like Cuba, it’s the only way to book!

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Monzo – A similar travel card to the above with additional features like joint accounts and bill splitting.

World Nomads – Travel insurance is one of the most important things you can have while travelling. Don’t leave home without it! World Nomads provide the very best cover.

Ethical Superstore – My go to site for cleaning products, eco clothing and even groceries. All ethically tagged and delivered free from plastic packaging. Plus eco friendly alternatives to your toiletries.

Omio – The place to go for all of your public transport needs in Europe. Save a bundle!

G Adventures – A sustainable, fun, responsible travel company. I’ve travelled with them many times and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any of their amazing trips.

Contiki – The day job. Group travel for 18/35 year olds and memories to last a lifetime.

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