I apologise to whoever actually reads my posts about not writing anything for what seems like a decade – there’s no excuse, I’ve just been enjoying Madrid too much! But on the upside, that means lots of places and experiences to share with you all.
The first post I have decided to write after my 4-month absence will be all about the best rooftop bars for the tastiest tipple. Me being me, I have managed to get myself to a fair few, and have generally ended up staying there long enough to get hungry and order tapas too. So here is your list of what I consider the best terrace bars I have come to find in the city.
Círculo de Bellas Artes
Located just off Calle de Alcalá, the Círculo de Bellas Artes is perhaps the most well-known terrace bar due to its panoramic view of Madrid that you can experience as soon as the elevator doors open. The famous photos of Gran Vía and Calle de Alcalá where you see the prominent Metrópolis building are all taken from the same angle on that rooftop terrace. I have probably been to this terrace more than any of the others, with only a €4 entry fee, however the cocktails don’t reflect the cheap entry price. With a glass of wine also at €4, I was pleasantly surprised at how I was able to enjoy such a view without delving far into my pockets. Although I have never dined there myself, there is also a sophisticated-looking restaurant that overlooks the city, and on a clear day, as far back as the Sierra de Guadarrama.
Unfortunately with rooftop bars, cocktails don’t tend to be low-priced, and here we must have paid around €8-9 for a margharita. However I found this bar trendy and modern, with a maximum clientele age of around 30. On hot summer days, the terrace pool is buzzing with people, so be sure to bring your friends or just lounge poolside with a drink and good book.
Jardín Salvador Bachiller
I have to admit I have never seen drinks like the ones served here at Jardín Salvador Bachiller. A more enclosed terrace, it makes up for it’s lack of view with the beautiful surroundings you sit in while enjoying your cocktail. Green plants climbing up the walls, wooden and thatched furniture with pillows to ensure comfiness, and drinks served in various Mayan-looking wooden skulls, as well as other beautiful crystal glasses. The bartenders here tend to go OTT with the production of their cocktails, with glowing ice cubes and floating edible flowers, but I feel that’s what makes it even more unique.
I visited this terrace restaurant/bar with a couple of friends and we ordered tinto de verano and tapas. Sheltered from the sun, you are offered a full view of Sol, one of the main plazas in the city that is always heaving with people until the early hours of the morning. It tends to be busy up here, but the prices are reasonable and the food tasty. The patatas bravas are definitely worth trying.
El Corte Ingles Callao
This was maybe the first rooftop I visited in Madrid and it is still one I enjoy going to often. I’ll admit it’s downfall is that there is not enough space for the capacity of people that are usually there, however it depends on the day of the week, time of day and also how hot it is, as there is no cover for when the sun is out, so people will tend to enjoy a drink there in the evenings when it’s cooler. Also rather over-priced (a plate of nachos is €12 – not very Madrid) although again, great views looking down on the Callao square and across to the mountains.
Do be sure to check out my other posts, and I will be keeping you updated with other info and places to go to help you plan your trip to Madrid!