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Rooftop Bars in Istanbul: 8 Places to Drink with a View

Published by: Bounce21 September, 2022
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Although not the capital of Turkey, Istanbul is a city that most people know about. It has something for everyone, whether you're interested in history, culture, food, or just taking in the sights. When you need things to do, head to the Hagia Sophia, a former church-turned-mosque with beautiful mosaics and artworks, the Blue Mosque, and the Topkapi Palace, which was once the home of the Ottoman sultans. And no visit to Istanbul can be considered complete without a trip to the Grand Bazaar. This massive covered market is one of the largest in the world, and it's undoubtedly one of the best places for shopping in Istanbul.

With all that there is to do in this exciting city and the potential chaos you might encounter at the Grand Bazaar, you'll need to carve out a little time for some relaxation. There's no better place to relax than at one of the rooftop bars in Istanbul. Some of Istanbul's rooftop bars are located atop hotels and might have a rooftop pool to lounger near, while others are rooftop restaurants with full menus that include great cocktails and Turkish food. From trendy bar locations to top-floor dining with incredible international cuisine, you can't go wrong when you visit the best rooftop bars in Istanbul.

After you've had a few drinks, the last thing you want to worry about is your luggage. Before you head out and explore all the rooftop bars in town, store your bags at a Bounce locker in Istanbul for some peace of mind. We'll handle the bags while you devour a meal and a few drinks with an impressive view. Just make sure you take out your bathing suit so you can make the most of the rooftop pool!

Sunset views in Istanbul

The Best Rooftop Bars To Visit in Istanbul

Mikla Rooftop Bar at The Marmara Pera Hotel

What it's like:

The rooftop terrace bar at the Marmara Pera Hotel is not to be missed on your next trip to Istanbul. It offers sweeping views out to the Marmara Sea and unparalleled city views. It's really the ideal spot to watch the sunset over the city while sipping on one of their delicious classic cocktails. The rooftop pool is available for hotel guests, and that alone might make you consider staying at this luxurious four-star accommodation.

As for the decor, Mikla Restaurant is decorated in beautiful furnishings from the 50s through to the 70s for a classic and retro feel while still keeping it classy. The menu takes inspiration from the chef's Anatolian kitchen and offers you a twist on this western Turkish cuisine.

Our recommendation:

This Turkish restaurant is extremely popular, so make sure to call ahead for a reservation if you can. The dress code is smart casual, so try not to show up in anything too ratty. Get here early to watch the sunset and stay all night until they close at 2 am.

Location:

Asmalı Mescit, Meşrutiyet Cd., 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey

Alexandra Cocktail Bar

What it's like:

There is arguably no better place in all of Istanbul, Turkey, for a meal with a view. The views of the Bosphorus Strait are phenomenal from this location, and the menu is as incredible as the view. You will be treated to an extensive wine list as well as some delicious local favorites and fusion dishes when you sit down to dine here. Make sure to get a reservation and ask to sit near the edge of the balcony for the best views.

Our recommendation:

Start the night out here with a filling meal and some excellent cocktails, then stay in your seat as this rooftop restaurant transforms into a nightclub with a lovely chill vibe. There is live music almost every night at this location, and this is one of the most happening bars in Istanbul for nightlife as the evening wears on. Watch boats on the strait below and enjoy the twinkling of the city lights around you as you dance the night away.

Location:

Arnavutköy, Bebek Arnavutköy Cd No:50, 34345 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey

Drinks with a water view in Istanbul

16 ROOF - Swissotel The Bosphorus, Istanbul

What it's like:

This cool and intimate rooftop bar is one of the best in the city, and you will love the amazing views of the Bosphorus bridge and the city below. This rooftop bar feels like it is floating in a sea of light above the city and you will feel whisked away to a place where you get the VIP treatment. If you are looking for a trendy rooftop bar that offers excellent bar snacks as well as delicious food, you will have come to the right place at the Swissotel.

Our recommendation:

You can choose to come here in the afternoon or the evening, and you will be treated to the same excellent menu. The wine list is extensive, and the cocktails are creative as well. This is one of the smaller rooftop restaurants in the city, so be sure that you call for a reservation before you show up expecting to be seated. In the afternoons, you will be more likely to get a seat without a wait, but a reservation never hurts.

Location:

Visnezade Mah. Acisu Sok. No:19 Swissotel The Bosphorus, Istanbul 16th Floor, Macka, Besiktas, Istanbul, Turkey

Spago

What it's like:

This is a Wolfgang Puck restaurant with incredible views. You will want to choose this rooftop restaurant for access to a prefectly cooked steak and some incredible appetizers. You will also be treated to classic and signature cocktails and some excellent wines to pair with your meal. This is a place that is best enjoyed for a full dining experience, and due to the price, you might want to plan this stop for the fancy meal of your trip.

Our recommendation:

The steaks are incredible here, but there are also some really good Italian dishes on offer. Make sure to ask about pairing suggestions if you want to get the perfect wine or drink to go with the meal that you have chosen. The staff here are top-notch and well-versed in the menu, so they can be trusted to offer advice about what to choose if you're unsure. While spendy, this is a really enjoyable place to get a meal with a view, and it offers one of the best menus in the entire city.

Location:

Harbiye, Mim Kemal Öke Cd. No:35, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey

Nightlife in Istanbul

Restaurant 24 at Georges Hotel Galata

What it's like:

This truly stunning location offers access to some of the best views in the city. You will also be treated to truly authentic Istanbul cuisine along with the delightful atmosphere that feels like traditional Istanbul combined with an elegant and modern bar. There is no bad seat in the house here, and this is a large bar located in the Golden Horn area of the city. While it is advisable to get a table reservation due to the Golden Horn location of this rooftop bar, you might be all right if you are willing to wait a little bit to be seated.

Our recommendation:

This is the kind of place just made for a romantic dinner, and it is one of the best bars in Istanbul to be treated to authentic cuisine as well. You will love the top floor view from this rooftop bar that offers partial cover for days when the sun is hot in the late afternoon. The seating is cozy and comfortable, and the service is excellent here. Be sure to ask about local wines that have been grown near the city and inquire about the best traditional dishes to try. You will miss out if you do not try the traditional fare on offer here.

Location:

Müeyyedzade, Serdar-ı Ekrem Cd. No:24, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey

360 Istanbul

What it's like:

The name of this venue says everything about what you can expect from this rooftop bar. You will be treated to incredible 360-degree views here, and the traditional meze cuisine is excellent. There are many fusion dishes and international cuisine offerings on the menu if you're traveling in a group with varied tastes. The wine list is comprehensive, and there are always new and interesting craft cocktails.

Our recommendation:

This location walks the line between restaurant, bar, and dance club, and the transition between the various kinds of service happens slowly as the evening wears on. You can sit down for a late lunch and then check out the drinks menu as the evening stretches into the night. Watch the sunset and then get drawn into the fun vibe of the nighttime personality of this cool location as live music starts and the lights come on all over the city.

Location:

Tomtom Mah. İstiklal Cad. No:163 K: 8, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey

Istanbul rooftop bar views

Seven Hills Restaurant

What it's like:

While not in the very heart of the city like some of the other locations on this list, this spot offers you access to views of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum, and the Bosphorus. This trendy and peaceful dining location is one of the nicest in the city if you love a leisurely meal and don't want to feel pressured to hurry up and eat and then leave. This spot offers all three meals of the day, so keep this in mind when you want a meal with a view early in the morning. It's relatively uncommon for rooftop bars to open early.

Our recommendation:

If you love seafood, ask what the daily catch is from the Marmara Sea, and you can usually also get a suggestion for a wine pairing or a cocktail that will be perfect for adding to this dish. You can also enjoy Turkish cuisine and international food here. This is one of the most versatile locations in the city when it comes to the menu, and everyone in your group will be able to find something to eat here. If you want to visit but have evening plans elsewhere during your stay, this is also a great place to order a Turkish coffee and a pastry and enjoy the early morning light glittering on the water and shining over the city below.

Location:

Cankurtaran, Tevkifhane Sk. No:8 Kat:3, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey

Vogue Restaurant

What It's Like:

The theme of this restaurant is certainly fun. It's decorated with Vogue magazine covers when you walk in, and then the seating area is comfortable and chic with white linens on the tables and a fine dining feel. You will get excellent service here, and you can stop in for lunch or dinner. The drinks menu is varied and creative, and you can also pick wines to pair with your meal.

Our recommendation:

This is European dining, but there are some Turkish dishes on offer, as well as great appetizers and even better desserts. This is also a great option if you want to dine in partial cover so that you can avoid the hot sun (or the rare rain). Vogue Restaurant is a solid choice for a romantic dinner, and planning to see the sunset from here is a must-do. This is definitely one of the better spots in the city for sunset drinks, and you might want to call to get a reservation on the terrace to enjoy the setting of the sun to its fullest potential.

Location:

Vişnezade Süleyman Seba Caddesi No:134 A Blok Bjk Plaza, Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey

Best rooftop bars in Istanbul

Conclusion

If you want to enjoy signature cocktails in the sun with amazing views or have an incredible and unforgettable meal while in Istanbul, you just need to pick from this list of the best rooftop bar options in town. From rooftop restaurant locations that offer delicious local dishes and fusion dining to secret rooftop gardens that feel like you are transported to a new world, there are many incredible rooftop bars in Istanbul.

In our humble opinion, your biggest issue with the rooftop bars in Istanbul is going to be attempting to try them all. While you're unlikely to succeed at this, depending on your time and budget constraints, you're sure to have a wonderful time trying.

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