A Drink with a View: Rooftop Terrazas and Bars

Bars and Cafes

by Julie Espinosa

El Viajero Terraza

Madrid is known for its sunny, chattering terrazas—open patios that cafés typically operate April through October.

Even more special are rooftop terrazas. Madrid has no skyline to speak of, but its buildings are still tall enough to hide you from the stares of passers-by and give you a unique view of the city.

Here, then, are my favorite terrazas with day or nighttime views:

1. Gaudeamus Café: Atop the church-turned-UNED building in Lavapiés, this place has a chill atmosphere and is the perfect place to share a drink or light lunch with friends.

2. La Casa Encendida: We’ve mentioned this art space’s rooftop before, and granted, while there’s no food for sale, you could reasonably try to bring a solidarity picnic or at least go to tomar el sol.

3. Casa Granada: Its views rank well above its menu. Marina recommends arriving before sunset to get both the before and after vistas.

Downtown Hotel Urban (La Terraza del Urban), Hotel de las Letras (Ático de Letras), and Hotel Puerta América (Sky Night) all offer swank rooftop bars—think cool jazz and cocktails—but I readily admit I’ve not yet visited any of them. Too high (class) for me. But perhaps you’ll find a special occasion that warrants a visit. Remember, you’re paying for the view.

(Ed. note: The above photo is the view of La Latina from another venerable rooftop in Madrid, El Viajero.)

Do you know of anywhere else to get a view with your drink or meal?

See map below for all locations mentioned above:

View Larger Map


Comment from ben
Date: March 17, 2008, 11:58 am

Great post, it’s hard to find a view over the rooftops in Madrid. Re Casa Granada, the food isn’t that bad!! And yes, get there really early to get a seat outside on the terraza.

Comment from 2Bhappy
Date: March 17, 2008, 5:54 pm

You forgot THE PENHOUSE at ME by Meliá’s newest hotel in the Plaza de Santa Ana. Sexiest view around.

Comment from Gary
Date: March 24, 2008, 8:14 pm

Beware the terraza in the picture – you need a very full wallet to drink on the top floor of Viajero – for a beer with a baccardi & cola think no change out of €15….

Comment from Nina
Date: March 29, 2008, 1:49 pm

I finally checked out Casa Granada after being urged to do so by my colleague and now reading your article. We got a grand spot right at the corner of the tiny terrace, and it was great-we got a huge portion of muscles in vinegar and veggies along with our beer and bottle of wine, yum!