The 10 Best Rooftop Bars in Istanbul
After a long hard day at work or exploring the city, all you need is a place to enjoy some drinks and let your hair down. This is where Istanbul’s rooftop bars come in handy. Given Istanbul’s location, that also means that you’ll get to do that in the presence of its history. Monuments and buildings such as the Galata Tower, the Hagia Sophia, the Galata Bridge and the urban sprawl of this metropolitan city of 15 million people, from a mere
Raise a glass to spectacular views of the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and its bridges and numerous monuments, mosques, churches and historical building! Whether you want to just forget your troubles or spend a romantic date gazing down on Istanbul and its waters, some of the following rooftop bars will help you do just that!
From exclusive cocktails in one of Istanbul’s most posh neighbourhood to fancy views from sky-high hotels, the following bars showcase Istanbul’s glitz and glam on either side of the Bosphorus. Some are located on top of hotel buildings and offer a premium view, while others are in some interesting locations such as Bebek and on the Asian side. As such, include some or at least one of these rooftop bars in your to-do list when you visit Istanbul!
However, if dinner or lunch is more your style before drinks, then be sure to first check out the best rooftop restaurants in Istanbul too — some even have a bar attached!
1. A’YA Terrace
Enjoy sunset views and mingle in the open beautiful terrace lounge of the Four Seasons Hotel with a glass of Turkish wine.
Offering some excellent choices of craft cocktails, gin, vodka, liqueurs, imported beers and mocktails, the terrace is the place to be at sunset if you want to watch the Hagia Sophia Museum light up! Very few places in Istanbul offer such an amazing view of one of the best monuments in the city. On Thursdays and Wednesdays, there’s also live music.
Additionally, on the menu, you’ll find a variety of hot and cold beverages so the terrace can also be enjoyed during the colder months or during the wet season (subject to hotel management’s discretion).
Date martini, the A’YA spritz with strawberry-infused Aperol stand out on the drinks menu. For non-alcoholic drinks, one called ‘Courtyard crush’ with pineapple, orange and orange juice, as well as #tbt childhood with banana, strawberry puree, vanilla ice cream and baby biscuits sound delicious! To accompany your drinks, order an amazing cheese platter with Kars ‘Gyuere’ cheese, fried calamari and a special platter of mezze.
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 2 PM AND 11 PM (subject to weather conditions)
ADDRESS: Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul At Sultanahmet, Cankurtaran, Tevkifhane Sk. No. 1, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul
TRAMWAY STOP: Sultanahmet
2. 16 ROOF
The rooftop bar of the Swissotel The Bosphorus situated beside Maçka Park offers a unique view of the Dolmabahçe Palace, its Clock Tower, its mosque and beyond.
From here the shimmering lights at sunset with lively music, as evident in the photo above, will delight as you grab one of the many drinks and signature cocktails on the bar menu. “Bosphorus Refreshers” such as Pisco sour, spicy watermelon & cucumber margarita, and so on. These go well alongside some bar snacks such as shrimp crackers and tempura, seafood wontons and Kokoreç. A long list of sushi options, hamburgers, farmers’ and Turkish cheeses are available.
An incredibly long list of wine, champagnes, whiskeys, rakı, ouzos, sakes, for example, are listed on the menu. Different kinds of beers individually mentioned from many countries — alongside Turkish ones — is unique to the bar, as they might not always be available in other bars in the city!
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 5 PM AND 2 AM
ADDRESS: Visnezade Mah, Acısu Sokaği NO 19, 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul
funicular/ferry STOP: maçka/Kabataş, Beşiktaş
3. Mikla Bar
Attached to Mikla, the stylish rooftop restaurant serving “New Anatolian Kitchen” dishes in the Marmara Pera Hotel, is the terrace bar with an unbeatable view overlooking the Golden Horn, along with a rooftop pool.
Just a few minutes away from the Galata Tower, you can enjoy your cocktails here after a long day exploring the area and let it all hang. As such, this is the place to be on hot summer nights so enjoy a drink or two after a world-class dinner at the restaurant below. A live DJ will help lift your spirit and the view will melt all your troubles away!
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 6 pM AND 2 AM
ADDRESS: Asmalı Mescit, The Marmara Pera, Meşrutiyet Cd. No:15, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
METRO/TRAMWAY STOP: Şişhane
4. Witt Istanbul Roof Garden
Witt Istanbul’s almost secret rooftop garden that’s actually a permaculture initiative is an oasis in the city! Created with sustainability and community involvement in mind, the staff and even guests have participated in cultivating it. The idea is to help bring awareness to sustainability, vermicomposting, permaculture and urban green space design. As such, the hotel’s efforts in this matter is commendable given the city’s increasing concrete jungle. Since a few decades, Istanbul has seen an onslaught of construction often at the expense of its green spaces!
Enjoy the cosy corner reading, enjoying some drinks in hand and of course, being mesmerized by the views of Bosphorus, Topkapi Palace and Galata Tower. Enjoy some well-deserved downtime here with your (travel) books and not only admire the views but also the beautiful urban rooftop garden!
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 2 PM AND 11 PM (subject to weather)
ADDRESS: Kılıçali Paşa, Defterdar Ykş. No:26, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
TRAMWAY STOP: TOPHANE
5. Vogue Restaurant & Bar
An accompanying full bar in the Vogue Restaurant is the trendiest spot in the city in Araketler. It’s the only restaurant of the Conde Nast Group and operates out of a BJK Plaza’s top floors in Istanbul.
A molecular cocktail menu, international and Turkish cuisine and a good cellar of imported and Turkish wine, the place offers outdoor and indoor seating. What’s more, live DJ performances on weekends accompanies your dinner or drinks, so make your reservations! Furthermore, enjoy over 70 different varieties of sushi here — probably the only place in the city that has so many sushi options!
Bonus tip: It’s nearby one of the best-loved bookstores of the city: Minoa Bookstore & Cafe. As such, the area is worth exploring, given it’s close to main Beşiktaş area. Make it a day-long sojourn starting with breakfast. First at Pişi Breakfast & Burger Beşiktaş!
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 12 PM AND 1 aM
ADDRESS: Vişnezade, Akaretler Spor Cad. No:92 D:A BLOK, 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul
ferry/funicular STOP: Beşiktaş/maçka
Master Chef Wolfgang Puck’s place at the St. Regis is Spago with a gorgeous open terrace bar and restaurant year-round — an excellent upscale addition to the city’s bar scene. Located in the posh Nişantaşı neighbourhood overlooking Maçka Park, the ambience, live music, views and world-class food is an excellent choice for a beautiful night out with a special someone. This is also the best area to meet other foreigners as the neighbourhood has the highest concentration of foreign residents!
To go with your drinks, order from the menu: woodfire oven pizzas (Puck’s signature House Smoked Salmon Pizza is on the menu!). Other options include fresh fruit cocktails and of course, Puck’s seasonal/local ingredients based lunch or dinner. All in all, the whole experience along with the views make Spago in a league of its own in this cosmopolitan city.
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 3 PM AND 12 midnight
ADDRESS: Harbiye, Mim Kemal Öke Cd. No:35, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul
metro/ferry/funicular STOP: osmanbey/Beşiktaş/maçka
7. Shine Terrace (Asia)
Overlooking Kadıköy’s waters and its main public park, Shine Terrace is a casual but cosy space with distant views of Haydarpaşa Terminal on one side, European and historical Istanbul with the blue of the Marmara Sea on the other. Three floors offer different music and concept, but head to the top floor for the views.
Sunset drinks are unbeatable here as few places on the Asian side of Istanbul offer such views, other than the Hood restaurant at DoubleTree by Hilton. They also offer late Turkish breakfast platters after 12 noon on weekends and a reasonable selection of salads, mains and desserts. After that, quench your thirst by ordering one or two from the long list of international and Turkish beers, a variety of cocktails and other drinks. Accompany them with typical Turkish bar food with fried sausages, potato wedges instead of fries, chicken nuggets and the like. Service is excellent, the view along with the atmosphere and the clean air is refreshing! If you’re ever on the Asian side of the city, do make some time to visit this cool bar!
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 12 pM AND 4 AM
ADDRESS: Caferağa, Misbah Muayyeş Sk. No:9/4, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul
METRO STOP: Kadıköy
8. Citylights Restaurant & Bar
Situated in Taksim, Citylights is the perfect spot to unwind with some music and drinks. It’s located inside the swanky InterContinentale and its central location in one of the transportation hubs of the city is a good choice, after a long day of sightseeing in Taksim, for instance. Moreover, the panoramic view includes most of the city’s top sights such as the Maiden’s Tower and the first Bosphorus (15 July Martyrs Bosphorus) bridge.
Bartender’s specials are such as a saffron martini, golden negroni and a special Citylights martini stand out. The bar offers free cheese platter between 5 to 9 pm when you order a bottle of wine, along with some light appetizers and some desserts.
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 2 PM AND 11 PM (subject to weather)
ADDRESS: INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL, Gümüşsuyu, Asker Ocağı Cd. No:1 D:kat 15/a, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
metro STOP: Taksim
9. Alexandra Cocktail Bar
A tiny but popular bar among the residents of the historic Bebek and Arnavutköy area, it’s the place to be seen and be seen! This upscale cocktail bar stands out as the one with some of the most exclusive cocktails in the whole city and prices to boot! If you want to get to the rooftop, then best plan to get here a bit early as it gets crowded!
Expect candlelit tables, a cosy but moody atmosphere and patrons dressed to the nines here. This trendy bar is unique from the rest of the rooftop bars on our list, as it offers you a great night out until 3 am! In the end, expect an amazing view of the first Bosphorus bridge, the lit-up hills of the city with some great cocktails, some in copper cups!
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 3 PM AND 1 am mon-fri/3 pm and 3 am (weekends)
ADDRESS: Arnavutköy, Bebek Arnavutköy Cd No:50 D:A2, 34345 Beşiktaş/İstanbul
bus/ferry STOP: arnavutköy
10. Summit Bar & Terrace
Drinks from around the around, aperitifs, international food and live jazz are what you’ll get to have at Summit Bar & Terrace. On a colourfully decorated open terrace, as well as a full bar indoors, you’ll get stunning views of the Istanbul skyline here. In the distance, you can see the first Bosphorus Bridge and the Galata Tower.
On Wednesdays and Saturdays, a few singers/bands are playing popular songs. Whereas weekends and Fridays on the terrace can be spent with a DJ snipping out tunes!
On the other hand, a good selection of mains is on the menu here such as butter chicken, Cuban-style salmon with pineapple and a Summit sampler with a Turkish twist — that’s Dolma, lentil soup, grilled Halloumi, meatballs/kofte and artichokes. Their cocktail offerings include mint julep, spicy strawberry and a tequila-based cocktail called ‘Cactus’.