Catania, Sicily’s second-largest city, is known for many things, from its gastronomic tradition and bustling markets to its fine architecture and centuries of history. But one of the things that this city is proud of is its lively nightlife, highlighted by a good selection of clubs, cafes, and bars for all tastes and styles.
If you want to enjoy a magnificent view of its beautiful streets from above and witness the towering buildings and old churches, check out the rooftop bars in Catania. It’s also an excellent opportunity to get a clear view of the majestic Mount Etna overlooking the city and dominating its skyline.
As soon as the sun goes down, the rooftops of Catania’s hotels, restaurants, and entertainment facilities become alive with music, entertainment, and tasty cocktails. They also offer excellent Italian food and local delicacies to pair with your favorite Etna wines. Some even feature outdoor pools and lounges to create a nice setting to mingle and socialize.
So when you’re done sightseeing or shopping in Catania, bring your friends and head to one of its exciting rooftop bars. Just don’t forget to leave your bags at Catania luggage storage so you can party and dance the night away without worry.
Etnea Roof Bar & Restaurant
What’s it like:
Etnea Roof Bar & Restaurant is a stylish rooftop bar and restaurant perched on the seventh floor of the Palace Catania | UNA Esperienze hotel. It’s a wonderful go-to place if you’re looking for spectacular Mount Etna views, great food, and excellent service.
The hotel is centrally located along Etnea Street, the main street in the historic center that links Piazza Duomo to Mount Etna, between numerous tourist spots, cafes, and shops. Some of the charming buildings you’ll find here are the Cattedrale di Sant’Agata, a massive cathedral boasting a baroque façade, Palazzo Gioeni, Palazzo delle Poste, and more. These make it an ideal stop after visiting Catania and seeing the city's churches, palaces, and other cultural attractions.
The panoramics over the city rooftops are truly breathtaking. You also catch a glimpse of the sea to the south and enjoy the vistas from Etnea Roof Bar & Restaurant while making the most of the elegant setting and comfortable seating. You have the option to sit on the comfy lounge chairs or fine dining tables on the open-air terrace or inside the restaurant.
Besides the breakfast, lunch, and dinner served at the restaurant, the Etnea rooftop restaurant offers local food. You may find a serving of something listed in our guide What to Eat in Catania. On the other hand, the bar serves exclusive and carefully prepared cocktails, including a lovely wine selection and different dishes for appetizers. Happy hour starts from 7:30 to 10:30 PM, but you’re welcome to stay until midnight.
Pick from a special menu with a selection of the chef’s specialties. If you're hungry for something sweet, you’ll love their yummy Italian hot chocolate and ice cream. Of course, you can always stop for a sip of wine or enjoy the cocktails meticulously prepared by their expert barman.
Via Etnea, 218, 95131 Catania CT
First Lounge Bar
What’s it like:
First Lounge Bar is a hidden gem tucked away in a small central square in the San Berillo district. Though located in the heart of the city center, this lounge bar isn’t easy to find. Surrounding it are buildings decrepit and barred and abandoned structures left falling into decay, which adds to its old-world charm.
Although it’s not one of the hip rooftop bars in Catania, it deserves to be included in the list for its cozy outdoor seating where you can relax after a long working day. When the weather allows, customers can enjoy the décor inside and the open-air setting.
At First Lounge Bar, you can order craft beer, wine, and cocktails, plus sandwiches and charcuterie boards in a vintage room or on a homely patio. You also can’t help but notice its distinct bohemian feel due to the old buildings and infrastructures encircling the small square.
Go ahead and order their tasty and fresh pizza or awesome chocolate cake for dessert if you’re here to dine. Nothing much happens before 8 PM. But after that, the real fun begins! So if you want to experience its lively, party vibe, come later in the evening. It is open daily until 1 AM.
Via Martinez 13, Catania
What’s it like:
If you’re not at Etnea roof bar, you might be enjoying the waterfront view at Cutilisci. While it’s not exactly located on a rooftop bar, visitors here are rewarded with a relaxing harbor-like atmosphere while savoring seafood or pizza with a glass of beer or cocktails.
Cutilisci is a beloved waterfront restaurant nestled in the harbor of San Giovanni Li Cuti. It’s a convenient space where you can be face to face with the sea while having lunch or dinner or drinking with a friend until midnight.
However, Cutilisci is unlike other restaurants in the city. Locals and visitors love coming here not only because of its pleasant setting and friendly open-air atmosphere but also due to its delicious dishes. Every meal is prepared using fresh ingredients and they have an excellent selection of drinks and cocktails to satisfy your palates.
It is open every day, from 9 AM to midnight, so you can come anytime to enjoy their Sicilian cuisine and ocean views. But make sure to book a table to reserve a spot, as it can get busy, especially during hectic lunch and dinner hours. Why not spend some time here planning a wine tasting excursion or a day trip to Siracusa?
Via San Giovanni Li Cuti, 69. Catania
What’s it like:
During the day, Afrobar is a place for families and beach-goers to chill and bask in the sun. But at night, it transforms into a nightclub and bar with fire dancers, bonfires, and unlimited drinks and entertainment. It is open 24/7, giving visitors an opportunity to enjoy endless fun at the beachfront venue.
Afrobar isn’t a bar perched on the top floor of a building. Instead, it’s a remarkable outdoor setting in an enchanting location where you’ll have the sea as the background and the white sandy beach as your dance floor. A full day spent here is a day away from stress and worries.
The Cucaracha Lounge bar is open in the morning to serve Sicilian pastry specialties and continues with dinner until mid-morning. It also boasts a fully-stocked wine bar. It’s where you can get the best quality wines from the traditional Catania Vittoria, Nocera, and the rare, fruity Frappato to wines from all over Spain, Northern Italy, and more. It also offers DOC spirits, craft beers, cocktails, and even milkshakes.
Afrobar is a famous bar and beachfront venue, so it often receives high volumes of visitors, especially in the high season. Therefore, be sure to call before visiting to reserve a spot at the bar and the restaurant.
Via Presidente Kennedy 47, Catania
What’s it like:
BarnAut is one of Catania's top-rated bars and pubs near the stunning Castle Ursino, a historic landmark built between 1239 and 1250. It boasts a laid-back and friendly atmosphere, with great old-school music and retro interiors, making it an ideal place for a relaxed afternoon drink.
Many first-time visitors come across this place when walking to the castle or en route to the Piazza del Duomo. Then they keep coming back due to its outstanding service, hospitable staff, eclectic music selection, and great vibe. Plus, it has an excellent selection of wines, spirits, and beers at reasonable prices.
While far from being a rooftop bar in Catania, BarnAut offers an open-air area outside where you can appreciate the city street and old neighboring buildings. The street seatings are comfortable and refreshing with all the trees and greeneries around.
Due to its location between Castello Ursino and Piazza del Duomo, BarnAut tends to become very busy in the evening. Fortunately, the bar accepts reservations, so make sure to call ahead of time to reserve a spot, especially if you plan to come late at night. It is open daily, serving lunch and dinner, from 10 AM to 3 AM.
Via Auteri, 27/29, 95100 Catania
Oliva.co Cocktail Society
What’s it like:
Whether you’re craving some good beer, still and sparkling, or red and white wines, Oliva.co has everything for your tastes and budget. It’s a cocktail bar that prides itself as a laboratory of flavors where you can try different drinks from real masters, complemented with simple yet tasty foods.
Oliva.co offers an informal and elegant environment that invites visitors to drink and dine in a hidden location. It boasts a refined and modern design that remains unintimidating. It’s a bar where you can enjoy company or spend some pleasant hours alone with your favorite beer or a glass of Etna wine. While the bar isn’t perched atop the highest hotel floor or at the top of the building, Oliva.co has outdoor seating with a lovely view and a cozy setting.
You can ensure that every cocktail bottle you’ll have at the bar is made by skilled hands using fresh ingredients and fine labels to craft high-quality, original drinks. Each glass is a burst of flavors, taking customers to distant areas in one delicious sip.
Apart from giving guests access to a good selection of wine and beer, this establishment also hosts food pairings and tastings, as well as themed events organized by cocktail experts. They have a comprehensive food menu that goes well with any drinks you order, including smoked salmon, Russu Mazara, and more.
Always check their calendar of events and join one of the wine tastings at the bar. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and expand your knowledge about wine and beer. But if you only want to spend the night with your friends over a bottle of Italian wine or beer, contact them first to book a table. It is open seven days a week from 6 PM to 12 midnight.
Via delle Scale, 3, 95124 Catania
What’s it like:
If you’re looking for a typical Sicilian bar brimming with a unique Italian character, Bar Mazzini is the place to go. The warm and friendly staff will welcome you as you enter, ensuring you feel right at home and comfortable. It’s a great breakfast and brunch spot for tourists and locals where you can order delicious pastries, desserts, all sorts of biscuits, and Sicilian delicacies.
Come during happy hours and you’ll be delighted to find a wide range of wines, cocktails, and liqueurs. There’s also coffee and rich cappuccino, as well as other cold drinks for non-alcoholic guests. For veggie-eaters, you’ll be delighted to find its comprehensive vegan options, including vegan cornetto and vegan chocolate cannoli.
Bar Mazzini is a must-visit café and bar if you plan to go on a food tour in Catania. Due to its location at the center of the historic center, it’s only a short walking distance from some of the most interesting attractions and points of interest that the city has to offer. It is a stone’s throw away from the Castello Ursino, Fountain of the Elephant, and Basilica Catedrale Sant'Agata.
Don’t expect a wild party vibe at the bar, as it’s mostly chill and calm here. Unlike most rooftop and outdoor pubs we’ve mentioned here, it closes early, at around 8 PM.
The cipollina and cannoli at Bar Mazzini are to die for if you’re here for breakfast or a snack. If it’s too early for an alcoholic drink and too hot for a cup of cappuccino, try their granita for something new.
Via Auteri, 6, 95121 Catania
Enjoy the atmosphere
Although there are not many rooftop bars in Catania, unlike other major cities in Sicily, there’s no shortage of pubs and bars with outdoor areas and open-air settings where you can chill and enjoy the cool summer breeze while having a sip of wine or cocktail.
They may not offer the same panoramic views of the city and Mount Etna from above, but they make up for what they lack with their inviting indoor spaces and outdoor locations, whether it’s out on the street, the beachfront, garden, or the harbor area.