The average building height in downtown Madrid (5-6 stories) may not be as high as in Chicago (30-40 stories) but it is exactly for that reason than any building with more than 4 stories often hide a potentially interesting spot on its top floor. Madrid is full of, sometimes unknown, rooftops so hopefully you’ll discover some you didn’t know before.
Last week I published 5 Skyline Photographs of Madrid and this post comprises most of the locations from which I took the pictures.
What do I mean by best rooftops? I mean the ones that combine the best architectural value by its building and context with the ones that offer the best views (in addition to amazing cocktails and service)*. If you only have a chance to visit limited places in the capital, you would be able to see Madrid completely (N-S and E-W) with this selection. Nevertheless, if you have a little bit of spare time, check out all the other interesting points close to these rooftops in this map.
Which one has the best views in your opinion?
If you had to choose the best one overall, which one would it be?
*See end for other amazing rooftops.
Name: “Tartan Roof”- Círculo de Bellas Artes
Location: Calle de Alcalá, 42 (7th Floor)
Best Views: Metropolis building, Plaza de la Cibeles, City Hall
Best Drink: Red Wine (6€)
Brief Description: In my opinion it is the best one of Madrid, it has amazing skyline views. The access is 3€ and includes the inner stair exposition (always interesting). The restaurant is very recent and the food is good. Bring your sketch book here.
Name: La Terraza del Urban- Urban Hotel
Location: Carrera de San Jerónimo, 34 (7th Floor)
Best Views: San Jerónimo church, Congreso de los Diputados
Best Drink: Priscilla (11€) non alcoholic, Caipirinha (13,50€)
Brief Description: One of the best rooftop’s of Madrid. Chic and quiet. Views are nice but the building is the best part. Outstanding service. There is a swimming pool which opens during the day.
Name: The Penthouse- ME Hotel
Location: Plaza de Santa Ana, 14 (7th Floor)
Best Views: Plaza de Santa Ana, Retiro Park, Sol
Best Drink: ME Mojito (15€)
Brief Description: Access is through the 1st floor elevator located on the right side of the building. It has just been restored and it now offers higher and more private spots. The only disadvante is that you’ll have to go yourself to get the drinks to the bar and then bring them to the terrace, not fun given the menu prices.
Name: Skynight- Hotel Silken Puerta de América
Location: Avenida de América, 41 (13th Floor)
Best Views: Panorama of Southern Madrid, Torres Blancas
Best Drink: Caipiroska (12€)
Brief Description: Amazing panoramic views of Madrid’s skyline. The bar is designed by Jean Nouvel which should be a reason itself for coming here. This is one of my favourites. Free parking from 21.00-1.00.
Name: laterrazadeoscar- Room Mate Óscar
Location: Plaza Vázquez de Mella 12 (8th Floor)
Best Views: 360º of Madrid’s skyline
Best Drink: Coronita 7€
Brief Description: The best views of Madrid, definitely worth a visit. However, the atmosphere may not be so good. People can be very loud. Swimming pool service (40€/day 20€/ half day) includes a towel, tequila and Cava drink.
Name: La Terraza del Ada – Hotel ADA Palace
Location: Calle Gran Vía, 2 (7th Floor)
Best Views: Círculo de Bellas Artes, Plaza Cibeles, Town Hall of Madrid, Metropolis Building
Best Drink: Apple Vodka Tonic (15€) Ada Cocktail (18€)
Brief Description: This is the best place to enjoy Madrid’s sunset. While having one of the most impressive views (the Metropolis Building is just in front), the brand new cocktail selection makes it a completely delightful experience. You shouldn’t miss this spot.
Name: Gourmet Experience – El Corte Inglés
Location: Plaza de Callao (9th Floor)
Best Views: Capitol Building, Gran Via
Best Drink: Lemon Iced Tea (3,5€)
Brief Description: Inside a shopping mall and organized like a market (buy an ice cream/drinks and then bring them outside) you may think it doesn’t look so good, right? Wrong. It is from here where you’ll get the best shots of the über famous Capitol Building and Gran Via street. Sunsets from this rooftop are among the best ones of Madrid. And the good thing is that it opens all year-long.
Name: Gaudeamus Café- Edificio Escuelas Pias (UNED)
Location: Calle Tribulete, 14 (4th Floor)
Best Views: Capitol Building, Gran Via
Best Drink: Mojito (7,5€)
Brief Description: Located on one of the most relevant and historic places of Madrid: Las Escuelas Pias. Its reknown architect, Linazasoro, was in charge of restoring this monastery built in 1729 and turning it into a library in 2004. In this case you shouldn’t face your chair towards the skyline, but towards the cupola. Amazing architecture, make sure you visit the inside of the building.
Name: Hotel de las Letras
Location: Calle Gran Vía, 11 (7th Floor)
Best Views: Gran Via Street
Best Drink: Natural Juices 4,50€, Rum 14€
Brief Description: Nice views and amazing atmosphere. It is now very famous and it attracts a lot of tourists. Be patient, it is small and it may take a while to sit down. At lunch is less crowded than at dinner. If you want to conquer the heart of your date, bring him/her here.
Name: Terraza Cibeles
Location: Plaza de Cibeles, 1 (6th Floor)
Best Views: Gran Via Street, Plaza Cibeles
Best Drink: Desperados 6€, Cibeles Colección 12€
Brief Description: Located on the Town Hall of Madrid. The views from the rooftop (access 2€) are spectacular but it closes al 8.00 p.m. If you want to get amazing night shots this terrace is the alternative, but its 2 stories beneath the regular rooftop.
Name: Terraza Mercado de Moncloa- Hotel Exe
Location: Calle Arcipreste Hita, 10 (9th Floor)
Best Views: Sierra de Guadarrama, El Escorial and West Madrid
Best Drink: Heineken 6€
Brief Description: This rooftop is in conjunction to “Mercado de Moncloa” located on the 1st floor of the Exe Hotel. It is like a small version of “Mercado de San Miguel” Market. It is part of the “Heineken Afterwork” events, so you know you’ll have fun. Young atmosphere. Amazing sunsets.
Note: The other amazing rooftops were: Hotel Vincci Via 66, Hotel Santo Domingo, Hotel Vinci Capitol, El mirador del Thyssen, Roof Garden (Hotel Emperador), La casa de Granada, La terraza del Casino, The Picnic Experience (CC ABC Serrano) and El Viajero.
Check these and other amazing buildings of Madrid on the map below or download my Free Architecture Guide of Madrid.