Madrid has magnificent rooftop bars, and you’ll find them perched atop unexpected places. Here’s round one of my favorites. What’s more, all of these places are within walking distance from one another, so you could turn this list into a rooftop bar crawl if you had the whole day to spend atop buildings, watching the sky change colors.
1. Gau&Café: on top of a university
Considered one of 8 Hidden Gems in Madrid by the Guardian newspaper, this rooftop bar truly deserves first place on my list. Tucked away on a side street in Lavapiés, Gau&Cafe rests atop one of UNED University’s historic campus buildings. As you enter the university and walk up four flights of stairs, you’d never imagine that Gau&Café would be so chic, inviting and beautiful–you’d never even know it was there. The space is divided into two sections: one for drinks, and one for dinner. In the drink section, you can order a delicious 8€ hamburger. If you’re looking for a sit-down dinner, do make a reservation (the menu features lots of local, seasonal products, namely zucchini, cous cous, eggplant and hummus dishes).Address: c/ Tribulete 14, 4th floor
2. Casa de Granada: on top of a residential building
At home in the sky, this rooftop bar holds a special place in my heart as it will always be the first rooftop I ever went to in Madrid. Casa de Granada is essentially a regular Spanish restaurant, situated on a roof that has outdoor seating and an enclosed area. Nibble on traditional Spanish dishes as you look out on Madrid’s short-story buildings, plazas, and terracotta-tiled roofs. You may also catch women hanging clothes out to dry and maybe even listen in on the neighbour’s telephone conversation. Although Casa de Granada has recently renovated, it’s maintained its nonchalant style which is what makes it fun. When it comes to food, you should stick to the Spanish staples—croquetas, huevos rotos, pimientos de padrón, calamares, you name it.Address: c/ del Doctor Cortezo, 17, 6th floor
Metro: Tirso de Molina or Sol
3. Mercado de San Antón: on top of a gourmet market
This gourmet market is the hipper version of its uber-upscale pedestrian competitor, Mercado de San Miguel. In other words, Mercado de San Antón is infinitely cooler and more enjoyable. First of all, it’s in Chueca (enough said). Secondly, it has three floors and therefore much more seating area. And then there’s a stunning rooftop bar, perfect for people-watching! What’s more, the rooftop bar’s prices are reasonable; a glass of wine costs the same as at any other bar on street level. So why not pop up to the roof and have your drink there? Sometimes they have free live music too.Address: C/ Augusto Figueroa 24, 3rd floor
4. Tartan Roof: on top of Círculo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Building )
The sky is the canvas atop this fine arts institution. Overlooking the Castellana and Plaza de Cibeles, and perched on top of the exquisite Circulo de Bellas Artes building, it’s no wonder why Tartan Roof has the most breathtaking views out of all on this list. For 3€, anyone can go up to the roof to have a look. The fee is waved if you have dinner reservations (an absolute must). My friend’s earlier post says it all here. This is also a really popular place for cocktails, though slightly expensive, you’re paying for the view, not the drink itself. The first time I went to this roof was on Día de la Música (Music Day). The Azotea (rooftop) was participating by holding a free swing and tap dance performance. It was incredible to be up there looking out on Madrid’s skyline.Address: c/ Alcalá 42
Metro: Banco de España or Sevilla
Madrid’s best roo
If you’re looking for more, here’s Madrid’s best rooftops, Round 2 and Round 3!
And feel free to let us know about your favorite Madrid rooftop bars!