Istanbul is a city that never fails to impress, and its rooftop bars and restaurants are no exception. With panoramic views of the city’s iconic landmarks, delicious food and drinks, and a laid-back atmosphere, Istanbul’s rooftop bars and restaurants are the perfect place to relax and soak up the city’s unique charm. From historic rooftop terraces to modern rooftop bars, this city has something to offer for everyone.
In this blog post, I will take you on a journey to discover the best rooftop bars and restaurants in Istanbul. You can enjoy a drink, a meal, or just the view while you experience the city’s beauty.
“I want to caution you that rooftop bars are typically located in upscale buildings, whether they are part of luxury hotels or rented out by independent establishments.
As a result, many rooftop bars have higher prices compared to regular bars on the street. To avoid any surprises, I recommend doing some research beforehand on websites or platforms that provide restaurant and bar ratings and pricing information.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that alcohol can be particularly expensive in Turkey, so it’s best to be prepared and budget accordingly. Most of the Rooftop Bars & Restaurant have a limited seating capacity and reservations before visits are highly recommended.”
Many rooftop bars feature live music on weekends or certain days. If you are looking to enjoy live music while visiting, be sure to inquire about the availability of live music on the specific date you plan to make a reservation. Here you can watch a fine example of Rooftop live music:
Istanbul Rooftop Festival
The Istanbul Rooftop Festival is an annual event that takes place in September and highlights some of the top rooftop bars and restaurants in Istanbul. During the festival, attendees have the opportunity to visit a variety of rooftop venues featured in this list. If you’re visiting Istanbul during this time, it may be worth considering purchasing a ticket to the festival to experience the city’s best rooftop views and venues.
At the same time, the unique views of the city will reflect the nostalgia of September and offer festival-goers an unforgettable and extraordinary experience. The 2024 Edition of the event will be around September this year.
Here is the list of the 2023 Rooftops in the festival:
- Klein Garten (In our List)
- The Roof At The Ritz – Carlton (In our List)
- Kastel Teras
- Swissotel The Bosphorus 16 Roof (In Our List)
- Los Altos
- W İstanbul Secret Garden
- Rixos Pera
The iconic Rooftop Festival, known for its stunning city views, returns for its 9th annual celebration on Saturday, September 9th 2023. With a single ticket, Rooftop Festival offers all-day and night access to breathtaking terraces. You can enjoy live performances by local and international artists, creative workshops, signature cocktails, and delectable specialties.
The highlights of the 2019 Istanbul Rooftop Festival can be watched here:
Best Rooftop Bars in Istanbul
Istanbul offers a wide variety of rooftop experiences, from bars and restaurants to pools and terraces with stunning views. Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening, a night out with friends, or a relaxing day by the pool, there’s something for everyone on Istanbul’s rooftops.
It’s worth checking out at least one of these rooftop venues during your visit to Istanbul. Let’s take a closer look at the list.
14. Summit Bar & Terrace
Summit Bar is located at the Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus. Although it may not officially carry the “Rooftop Bar” label due to its location on the top floor rather than the roof, the Bosphorus view it provides is unquestionably among the city’s best. Notably, the cocktail prices at Summit Bar stand out as reasonable when compared to other rooftop and cocktail bars of comparable quality. I strongly recommend setting aside an evening to indulge in the delightful experience of sipping cocktails at Summit Bar.
13. The Bank Roof Bar
Nestled in the heart of historic Karakoy, The Bank Hotel boasts a truly unique gem in its crown.
Ascend to the rooftop, and you’ll discover a beautifully adorned bar area offering breathtaking vistas of Istanbul’s Old City and the Asian side across the Bosphorus. Here, you’ll be pampered by attentive staff who present an impressive array of libations, ranging from exquisite champagne to both classic and contemporary cocktails, along with a diverse selection of whiskeys and wines.
For those seeking a taste of Turkish authenticity, indulge in homemade delights like tangy, refreshing lemonade or freshly brewed Turkish Tea.
It’s the perfect spot for a swift drink and delectable cuisine any time of day. However, I’d highly recommend visiting during sunset or at night when the ambiance becomes truly magical, accompanied by unforgettable rooftop vistas of the city.
12. Snog Roof Bar
For those seeking a laid-back rooftop experience, Snog Roof Bar is a fantastic choice, conveniently situated just a stone’s throw away from one of Istanbul’s most iconic and frequently visited landmarks – the Galata Tower.
Don’t be fooled by its unassuming street-level entrance – a narrow corridor leads you to an elevator that whisks you to the top, unveiling a chic and vibrant modern space. From the terrace, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas that encompass the Bosphorus, Hagia Sophia, and the Golden Horn. Plus, its proximity to the Galata Tower makes it arguably the best spot in the entire city to capture a stunning picture of this iconic structure.
While the drinks here may lean towards the pricey side, the awe-inspiring view of the Galata Tower might justify the experience.
11. A’YA Rooftop Lounge (Süreyya Teras Lounge)
For another rooftop bar adventure, hop on the elevator and ascend to the top floor of the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet. Here, you’ll be treated to what might just be the most breathtaking view of Istanbul’s crowning jewel, the Hagia Sophia.
Stepping onto the open-air terrace, you’ll be enveloped in an ambiance of moody, soft lighting, instantly setting a tone of sophistication and allure. It allows the grandeur of the Hagia Sophia to steal the spotlight. Take a load off and sink into the plush, traditional Turkish furnishings, cocktail or whiskey in hand, and simply soak in the awe-inspiring view – because it’s nothing short of extraordinary.
With live music gracing the atmosphere every Wednesday and Thursday, along with a menu of delicious cocktails, the A’YA Rooftop Lounge easily secures its spot as one of the city’s premier nighttime destinations.
This place easily deserves a higher spot on the list due to its top-notch quality and remarkable view. The only drawback is its location. During the day, Sultanahmet is swarmed with tourists as it hosts the city’s main attractions. However, it’s not the go-to destination for nightlife.
Unless you’re staying at the Four Seasons Sultanahmet (Which is one of the best hotels in Istanbul in my opinion) or another nearby hotel, there’s little reason to return solely for the rooftop bar experience. Neighborhoods like Karaköy, Beyoglu, and Besiktas offer far more vibrant nightlife options.
10. Soho House İstanbul
Soho House Istanbul, also included in our list of the best luxury hotels in Istanbul, boasts impressive architecture and an unbeatable location. The Soho House Istanbul Building (The Palazzo Corpi) is a 19th-century palazzo in Istanbul.
Italian architect Giacomo Leoni built The historical building for Genoese merchant Ignazio Corpi between 1873 and 1882. Located in the Beyoglu neighborhood, the Soho House offers breathtaking sunset views of the Old Town of Istanbul.
Soho House is a highly sought-after rooftop spot in Istanbul, known for its impressive music and event program. The city is home to many rooftop bars, but Soho House is the one where locals want to be seen at night. The hotel’s rooftop restaurant, Apheleia Terrace, offers an unforgettable dining and views experience. Enjoy one of their signature cocktails while taking in the stunning sunset over the Bosphorus, with seagulls and the city’s minarets as a backdrop.
Editors Note: Due to some licensing problem, the rooftop pool was closed a few months ago. I am not sure if the issue has been resolved. If you want to use the rooftop pool, it would be best to contact the hotel and inquire about its availability before your arrival.
9. Sky Karaköy
Located on the top of JW Marriot Bosphorus Hotel the Sky Karaköy boasts a 360-degree panoramic view of the Bosphorus on one side and the historic city on the other. The venue offers a unique experience throughout the day.
The bar serves original cocktails crafted by a skilled bartending team, and the food menu features a selection of hand-picked seafood and homemade snacks.
8. The Roof
The Ritz-Carlton, a luxurious five-star hotel in the heart of Istanbul, offers a refreshing escape from the bustling city with its rooftop pool and breathtaking views. The hotel’s rooftop bar, The Roof, is a true urban oasis with a modern and comfortable lounge, sleek bar, and an infinity pool surrounded by lush greenery.
Open from morning to night, The Roof offers a wide range of food and drinks options, including a French Brasserie-style menu and signature cocktails, as well as the opportunity to soak up the views of the Bosphorus and Istanbul.
7. Alexandra Cocktail Bar
For those who want to look at the Bosphorus not from a distance but close, Alexandra Cocktail Bar is waiting for you in Bebek. Alexandra is more than just a rooftop bar, it is a whole building with a rooftop terrace that offers a stunning view of the Bosphorus as an added bonus.
They offer not only the view but also their dozens of different types of cocktails. Their Cocktails “Knock! Knock!“, “Passiflora“ and “Amor Duro“ are highly recommended. I suggest arriving in Bebek a bit earlier and enjoying a coffee or light meal while strolling along the Bosphorus. Once it gets dark, you can head over to Alexandra and continue the evening there.
Klein, a brand that has become well-known in everyone’s mind with its nightclub, offers an incredible experience of summer and music with KLEIN.garten.
Visitors can listen to different performances every day of the week on this terrace which takes you away from the stress of the city and transports you to a different place with dance and music.
Opened with the dream of a sky garden, Klein Garten accompanies Istanbul’s nights with a view of the Golden Horn and is located in Beyoglu, where the culture of Istanbul has its roots. A breathing spot in the challenging conditions of Istanbul, Klein Garten focuses on good and quality music, and is one of the points where dance and entertainment meet the sky. They also have a restaurant section if you feel hungry
The most attractive aspect of Firuzende Galata, located on the terrace of Anemon Galata Hotel, is undoubtedly the view that allows you to see the Istanbul Bosphorus and Galata Tower together. Its delicious dishes and cocktails make everything even more perfect and offer a truly classic Istanbul experience.
I highly recommend that you take a break during your shopping trip on Istiklal Street and enjoy a delicious lunch and refreshing drinks at Firuzende Restaurant. Afterward, you can resume your shopping spree and explore the cultural sites of Istanbul.
It is also an excellent spot to view the light shows that take place on Galata Tower (video linked below). The prices are relatively more affordable compared to most of the rooftop bars in 5-star hotels on this list. This rooftop bar is highly recommended for its features.
Located in Sishane, Monkey is currently one of the most trendy spots in town. It is a bit off the beaten path, and one must pass through the lobby and take the elevator to the top floor to access it. Once there, you’ll find a rooftop terrace with a stunning view of the Golden Horn.
It’s best to visit during sunset hours. The menu features the typical classics such as mojitos, margaritas, and cosmopolitans. Prices are steep and seating is limited. There are also evenings where a DJ plays and the bar transforms into a club-like atmosphere. It is an ideal spot to try delicious cocktails, and take in the breathtaking views of the Bosphorus and Istanbul.
3. 16 Roof
The 16 Roof, located on the rooftop of Swiss Otel Bosphorus, offers a unique experience that combines a top-notch restaurant with an exciting nightlife scene. With a panoramic view of Istanbul, it is one of the best spots in the city to take in the sights while enjoying a meal or a drink.
The atmosphere, service, music, and menu all come together to create a truly memorable night out in the heart of the city. Whether you’re a hotel guest or just looking for a great night out, the 16 Roof is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a taste of Istanbul’s vibrant nightlife.
At 16 Roof, where entertainment meets pleasure, you will feel as though you are getting away from the chaos of the city while watching the sunset in the afternoon, and later in the night, you will be accompanied by fantastic music.
The popular DJs of Istanbul nightlife take the stage and host unforgettable parties. Don’t forget to indulge in your favorite local and foreign wines and cocktails while letting yourself be carried away by the rhythm of the dance.
Mikla is a renowned restaurant located on the rooftop of the Marmara Pera Hotel in Istanbul. The restaurant is known for its modern Turkish cuisine and is run by the renowned chef Mehmet Gürs. Mikla has received a Michelin star and is considered one of the best restaurants in Istanbul. The restaurant not only offers delicious and unique dishes but also boasts an incredible view of the city and the Bosphorus, making it a popular destination for those looking to experience a fine dining experience with a stunning view.
The Restaurant is there for quite some time and it was always a well-established and highly-regarded restaurant in Istanbul, Mikla received recognition as one of the top 50 restaurants before and is on the 86th spot in the 2022 edition of the list. Following the introduction of the Michelin Guide to Istanbul in 2022, Mikla was awarded one star, further increasing its popularity. To ensure a spot at the restaurant, it is recommended to make a reservation well in advance, particularly during peak seasons.
The rooftop of the Marmara Pera Hotel offers a luxurious experience with its rooftop terrace featuring a pool, bar, and the restaurant, all while boasting breathtaking views of Istanbul in every direction. I recommend visiting the Marmara Pera Hotel’s rooftop terrace earlier in the day to take in the sunset from the rooftop pool and enjoy some cocktails. Later on, you can dine at Mikla and indulge in a world-class meal.
Chef Fatih Tutak, owner of Istanbul’s only 2-Michelin Star restaurant, TURK by Fatih Tutak, has unveiled Gallada and Topside Bar, a captivating Turk-Asian dining destination in the city. Taking inspiration from the historical Eurasian trade routes of the Silk Road, this new restaurant and bar grace the rooftop of The Peninsula Istanbul, providing stunning views of the Old City and the vibrant Galataport waterfront.
Gallada claims the top spot on this list for several compelling reasons. Firstly, the undeniable influence of Chef Fatih Tutak, coupled with its prestigious location atop The Peninsula Istanbul Hotel, one of the city’s finest accommodations. Additionally, its proximity to the Bosphorus adds an extra layer to the dining experience, creating a fantastic ambiance.
Bonus: Pierre Loti Hill
- Location: Eyüp
Pierre Loti Hill is a popular destination located in the Eyüp district of Istanbul. It is named after the French author and naval officer, Pierre Loti, who was known to frequent this hill during his visits to Istanbul.
Pierre Loti Hill is not a rooftop restaurant & bar but the hill offers stunning panoramic views of the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus, and the city of Istanbul. There is a funicular railway that takes visitors to the top of the hill, where they can enjoy a coffee or tea at the Pierre Loti Café with much more affordable prices than most of the rooftop bars in this list, or take a stroll through the gardens. The hill is also a popular spot for locals and tourists to relax and enjoy the views.
It is also a perfect place for photography and sightseeing. Pierre Loti Hill is a great place for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and for a different perspective on Istanbul.
As a rooftop bar enthusiast, I’ve discovered that rooftop bars offer some of the most spectacular views in Istanbul. There’s no better way to cap off a day of exploration in this vibrant city than by unwinding in a hidden gem of a bar, where you can soak in breathtaking views beneath the starlit sky while enjoying refreshing drinks.
I understand that rooftop bars are pricier than regular bars, and at times, they might even seem unnecessarily expensive. However, I believe that during your vacation, it’s perfectly acceptable to treat yourself a little. Sipping a cocktail or a Turkish tea while witnessing a mesmerizing sunset or gazing at the city skyline at night, all in the company of good friends or the backdrop of great music is a truly delightful experience.
Whether you’re looking to impress a date, enjoy a night out with friends, or simply indulge in a drink or two with a view, when it comes to the finest rooftop bars in Istanbul, you’ll discover an abundance of options to suit your preferences.
Map Of The Best Rooftop Bars in Istanbul
FAQs about Best Rooftop Bars in Istanbul
Istanbul has many great rooftop restaurants to choose from. Some of the best include Mikla, 16 Roof, Sky Karaköy, and Firuzende.
Yes, several rooftop restaurants in Istanbul offer stunning views of the Bosphorus. Most of the Rooftop Bars & Restaurants in this list have a bosphorus view
Rooftop restaurants in Istanbul typically serve a variety of cuisine, ranging from traditional Turkish dishes to international fare. Some of the most popular items on the menu include meze, kebabs, fresh seafood, and creative cocktails.
Prices at rooftop restaurants tend to be on the pricier side compared to other restaurants in the city. Generally, their stunning views and upscale atmosphere costs much more rent.
It’s highly recommended to make a reservation in advance, especially for popular rooftop restaurants. Some restaurants even require reservations for lunchtime dining. I would advise you to call the Restaurant or Bar and especially ask for tables with view.
Many rooftop restaurants in Istanbul have indoor seating options, so they can be enjoyed year-round. However, it’s important to note that some rooftop restaurants may close during inclement weather or for renovations.