Category Archives: madrid

16 Roof Terraces Worldwide You Have To See!




Where’s Your Dream Summer Destination?

Poolside, Caribbean cocktail in hand, surfing across beautiful, frothy waves in Hawaii, or whiling away a sunset on a roof terrace overhanging city lights? I could happily indulge in all three, but found myself with plenty of opportunity to sample the latter last year, hopscotching from roof terrace to roof terrace across Madrid. 

What’s So Heady About Being On A Roof?!

The best thing about rooftops is the sense of space and freedom that you find high above the crowds of craziness down below. Peaceful, glamorous (and sometimes with a price tag to match), these treasures really are some of my favourite places on Earth. What’s more, they usually come with cracking views over beautiful cityscapes and warm, starlit climates to match. Romance at its best.

Searching For A Cure For the Monday Blues?

This is a beautiful slide show from Architectural Digest, featuring some of the world’s best designed rooftops. From Miami and Mumbai to Madrid, Chamonix and Paris, these are high points in more ways than one.

I seem to be doing a pretty good job of following them around the world and look forward to sampling Le Panoramic in Chamonix very soon :)



Lateral, Las Huertas

Lateral, Santa Ana

What’s Lateral?

One of the most well-known tapas joints in Madrid, Lateral’s terrace in Plaza Santa Ana is a truly pleasurable place to while away an evening. A top of the range chain with a distinctly ‘unchainy’ feel, Lateral is located throughout Madrid, including the popular Calle Fuencarral in Malasaña. Understated, chic and well-run, Lateral is great value with a diverse choice of tapas to boot.

Lateral, Malasaña

What of the food?

While it may be known for its top quality Tortilla, there are many other delicious dishes to choose from, from the Murcia Blood Sausage (a personal favourite a bit like black pudding), the OxTail, the Avocado and Salmon or the Pork with Melted Brie. Add a Tinto de Verano or a generously sized Gin and Tonic to the mix and you have the perfect feast.

Lateral, Arturo Soria

What’s the decor like?

If al fresco’s your cup of tea, this is the crème de la crème. Slatted wooden tables sit beneath a discrete cream canopy with flame heaters to keep you snuggly. With buzzers table-side, there’s no escape for lazy waiters who are, quite literally (or perhaps more aptly, laterally), at your beck and call.

Lateral, Santa Ana

What’s nearby?

If tapas isn’t enough for you, you can chose from an array of desserts and cocktails. Situated in the heart of possibly the prettiest square in Madrid, there are bars aplenty for after dinner digestifs or rooftop glamour atop the famous ME Hotel (next door).

In short…

Well-located, scrumptious and beautiful, this is a great stop for visiting friends and family.


Address: Plaza Santa Ana, 12


Tel: 914201582

Nearest Metro: Anton Martin / Sol

La Rosa Negra, Las Huertas, Madrid

What’s La Rosa Negra?

If you like cheap and cheerful Mexican food in vibrant surrounds, give La Rosa Negra a whirl. Think rainbow decor, statement sombreros and a menu to make your mouth water and you’re on the right track. Sandwiched between Calle del Prado and Calle de las Huertas just a stone’s throw from Anton Martin Metro, this is an easy to reach little gem.

What of the grub?

The menu is full of Mexican classics with dishes ranging from smaller bites such as Guacamole and Nachos to larger meals of Burritos and Tacos. There’s also a delicious range of cocktails on offer from Caipirinhas and Daiquiris to Mojitos and Margaritas. I love their delicious Tacos and Passionfruit Daiquiris and would also highly recommend their zingy Margaritas alongside the scrumptious Chicken Burritos - the ideal mix of the spicy and refreshing.

What do they say?

Jamie Oliver would probably describe this as good, honest food. The presentation is simple but it tastes great, is good value and is served with mega-watt smiles. I’d definitely recommend this joint if you’re after a vivid, fun-filled break from tapas.


Website: Here

Address: Calle León, 16, 28014 Madrid

Tel: 914 20 30 68

Nearest Tube: Anton Martin

“La Infinito, café-libros-arte”, Anton Martin, Madrid

Where is it?

Tucked away in the quiet backwaters of Anton Martin and Lavapiés, La Infinito, café-libros-arte is a book-filled, bohemian musical-café on a sunny corner. Like walking into the cosy lounge of a really interesting journalist-musician hybrid, this is the sort of place you can settle down into for an afternoon.

What of the grub?

Whether coffee, tea or brunch, the food, prices and service are stellar. Juice, tea, toast with nutella and a giant bowl of cereal with yogurt and fruit will set you back a mere 4.5 euros with the priciest item on the breakfast menu being 6 euros.

If music be the food of love play on..

Apart from the deliciously kooky decor, one of the best bits of La Infinito, café-libros-arte is the musicians you can watch here. With a little glass stage, it’s home to intimate gigs such as Celia Carballo’s recent performance, mixing soulful classics and brunch for a mere 12 euros! To see the sort of quality we’re talking about, check her out performing with the Black Bones here. Incredible.

Why visit?

If you like literature, character, cosiness and great value food, give this whirl. La Infinito, café-libros-arte is super cute, super cool.


Address: Calle de Tres Peces, 22

Nearest metro: Anton Martin

Events: Check out the Facebook pages of “La Infinito, café-libros-arte” and Celia Carballo via “The Tribulettes”

Opening Hours:

Mon – Thurs: 11am – 12am

Fri: 11am -1am

Sat: 11-2am

Free Wifi


Librería “La Central de Callao”

Where is it?

Situated a stone’s throw from El Corte Inglés and Gran Via, this place is completely unique. A mix of academic-chic, La Central de Callao is a 3 floored treasure chest combining over 70,000 volumes of specialized books in philosophy, history, social science and literature and a super cool bistro to boot.

What’s it like?

If unpretentious Bohemia is your thing, the bistro is a real find. Open until around midnight most nights, it boasts a great selection of cakes and savoury treats and would be an original substitute to grand alternatives.

Surrounded by books a-plenty, La Central’s bistro has a unique energy. Combining the soulfulness you find tree-side, the inspiration you find in bookshops with a cosmopolitan cosiness typical of Madrid, this little eatery is a real treat.

What else is on?

The lectures and presentations on offer are fascinating ranging from this month’s GRAF presentation dedicated to comics and illustration to Yasmina Khadra (one of the most important and famous writers of Algerian literary scene, with work published in more than forty countries) speaking next month.

Why go?

If you’re a creative type who gets excited by books and new places, try La Centrale. It’s good for the soul.


Dirección: Calle del Postigo de San Martín, 8, 28013 Madrid


Teléfono: 917 90 99 30


Horarios (El Bistro):

Lunes, martes y miércoles - 9.00 – 00.00

Jueves, viernes y sábado - 9.00 – 01.00

Domingo y festivos - 10.00 – 22.00

Las Carboneras, Madrid

Reputedly the best-known flamenco bar in Madrid, Las Carboneras is a once in a lifetime experience.

Where is it?

Nestled behind Mercado de San Miguel in a jazz-club like hideaway, this is a world away from the classic ‘one-man band’ flamenco show. Featuring a quartet of dancers (flanked by two singers and guitarists), they dance one by one in dimly-lit surrounds, their focus broken only by applause. The intensity of their footwork builds skyward through the wooden stage, interrupted occasionally by a pit-pat of cheers from their comrades.

What is it?

Flamenco may seem flamboyant, but this is a serious affair. Uniting passion and control, severity and seduction, the alluring and the disarming, this is mind-boggling, soul scratching stuff. The dancers’ rhythmic movements are mesmerising, enrapturing the audience in a trance-like state whilst keeping them at a distance all at once. For no matter how musical you may think you are, this is a beat you can’t catch. The singers’ soulful wailings may capture your soul but there’s an eerie divide between audience and performer that cannot be crossed. Like a witch casting a spell, it’s engaging and alienating all at once. Eerie, powerful, elusive, it’s about feeling, not thinking. Even the Rastas stage-side, renowned for their rhythm, couldn’t get the beat.

Why go?

With personas as different as chalk and cheese, from the flamboyance of the opening dancer throwing her peach train around the stage in peacock-like fashion to the terrifying severity of her velvet-clad counter-part, flamenco at Las Carboneras is a sight to behold. A feast for the senses if ever I saw one, it’ll leave you changed. Go.



Address: Plaza del Conde de Miranda, 1, 28005 Madrid

Tel: 915 42 86 77

Hours: 19:30-24:00


Drink and Show - 33.40 euros

Tapas and Show - 65 euros +


Iroco, Madrid

A cross between A Midsummer Night’s Dream and an Italian arte fantasy, the outdoor terrace at Iroco is the stuff of fairytales. With tables nestled between overhanging trees, dimly-lit lanterns adorning low-hanging branches, this is the perfect setting for a romantic rendez-vous.

Typical of the upmarket Salamanca district, the menu and service are understated and classy. From sashimi and seafood risotto to steak tartar and fresh tuna, these are foods for sophisticated palates.

With prices ranging from 13 to 24 euros for a main and 8-10 euros for cocktails, this really isn’t bad value for money for the priceless surroundings and stellar service. If you can stretch to a bottle of the Marques de Murrieta Reserva, the most delicious Rioja around, you’ll be in heaven.


Address: Calle de Velazquez, 18, 28001


Nearest Metro: Velazquez

Tel: 914 31 73 81


Pulcinella, Chueca

Pulcinella’s is a top of the range Italian with the perfect mix of sophistication and cosiness. Dimly-lit with tables nestled in snug nooks, this is the ideal venue for a date or a quiet meal with friends. Whether sitting street-side watching the world go by or in the main restaurant with its striking display of black and white photography, the ambience is spot-on here.

With prices averaging 12 euros and a delicious range of options from meat and cheese Antipasto to Quattro Formaggi Pizza and Spaghetti alla Carbonara, you really can’t go wrong with the food. The Tiramisu is heavenly and the limoncello, the perfect way to round off the evening.


Address: Calle de Regeros, 7, 28004

Nearest metro: Chueca


Tel: 913 19 73 63

La Musa, Malasaña

La Musa is my favourite. A kooky restaurant extraordinaire tucked away on Calle de Manuela Malasaña, this is a full-proof hit with guests.  An intimate venue bedecked with a variety of hanging glass lights, you can’t help but be drawn in as you pass by at dusk.

La Musa’s focal point is the marble-topped bar which serves every type of gin you could imagine and even Amaretto Disaronno (major brownie point).  Your pre-dinner tipple is usually served with a scrumptious tapas treat (always top-notch) by a bartender who will, guaranteed, lift your mood.  The waiters are delightful, their casual charm befitting their stripy shirts and braces while the wooden slatted tables and cool pictures add to La Musa’s chilled-out picnicky vibe.

The food is to die for.  Simple as.  You really can’t go wrong – whether sampling the Californian Sushi Rolls, La Bomba (a delicious, scotch egg-like pork and potato creation) or the divine Guacamole which comes with its own pestle and mortar, this really is a feast to behold.  La Musa also serves breakfast ranging from a Full English to a variety of toast and jams.

The prices are really reasonable, with a meal for three and several liquid treats coming to a mere 22 euros each.  And for those who live a little further south, do not fear – La Musa can also be found in La Latina on Costanilla de San Andrés, 12.

But be warned, if you sample this gastronomical hidey-hole, you’re likely to become a regular (and likely a little heavier than you were before).


Address: Calle de Manuela Malasaña, 18, 28004 Madrid

Nearest metro: Bilbao


Tel: 914 48 75 58

Wifi Access

The Top Roof Terraces in Madrid

1. Circulo de Bellas Artes Roof Terrace, Gran Via

Located on Calle de Alcala just off Gran Via, the roof terrace at Circulo de Bellas Artes is a not to be missed. If there’s one place you should take a visitor, it’s here. A spectacle extraordinaire, the wow factor is on a par with stepping onto the observation deck of the Empire State Building.

This is a truly panoramic experience, with views stretching over the cityscape as far as the eye can see. The terrace is vast with various sub-sections, from the chic canopeyed restaurant hub and sophisticated high-tabled drinks area to a chic sunken zone with low-lying sun loungers and fluorescent mushroom-like tables.

If you come before 9:30pm you’ll avoid queuing and catch the sunset. At 3 euros a pop, an evening a-top Circulo de Bellas Artes is a steal.


Address: Calle de Alcala, 42, 28014, Madrid

Nearest Metro: Banco de Espana


Tel: 913 60 54 00

2. Cibeles Root Terrace, Banco de Espana

Cibeles Palace roof terrace comes a close second. Standing majestically in front of the famous Cibeles Fountain, it oozes gravitas and splendour.

The Palacio Cibeles Restaurant, on the sixth floor, has pretty lovely views but the eighth floor is something else. With horizon wide panoramas of the city from a 70 metre high look-out point, this is well worth a visit. The terrace is top-end chic, with striking black surrounds and dim-lighting which gives it an exclusive edge over some of its counterparts.

If you count yourself a bit of a sophisticat, give this a whirl.


Address: Plaza Cibeles 1, 28014, Madrid

Nearest Metro: Banco de Espana


Tel: 917 40 06 68

3. La Terraza de Óscar at Room Mate Óscar, Chueca

Situated on Plaza de Vázquez de Mella, between Gran Via and Chueca, the rooftop bar a-top the swanky Room Mate Óscar hotel is a must. If you’re struggling to find it, you can’t miss the bold, over-sized sign hanging from its exterior which reads: “Do you want to sleep with me?”  How continental.

With comfy white cushions, sun-loungers spread around to laze on and drinks ranging from Gin and Tonics to Mojitos, you’d have to try pretty hard not to like this place.

And while it’s a top of the range spot with a distinctly exclusive vibe to it, it’s not overly expensive. Chic, light and airy, Room Mate Óscar mixes the luxurious and unpretentious with ease.


Address: Plaza de Vázquez de Mella, 12, 28004, Madrid

Nearest tube: Banco de Espana/Gran Via


Tel: 917 01 11 73

4. ME Hotel Roof Terrace, Las Letras

Think understated chic under the stars. Not unlike its glamorous Covent Garden counterpart, the roof terrace at the ME Hotel in Plaza Santa Ana is a super stylish hang-out with views to die for. With wooden decking lining the floors, stylish glass surrounds and chic taupe umbrellas, it has an air of exclusivity which more than justifies the 10 euro entry fee by night.

Though previously a little put-off by the latter, it’s a small price to pay for the ambience and complimentary cocktail of your choice.

If you really can’t bring yourself to shell out, the terrace is free by day and is a lovely spot for afternoon digestifs after lunch at Lateral southward.


Address: Plaza de Santa Ana, 14, 28012, Madrid

Nearest Metro: Anton Martin


Tel: 902 14 44 40

5. St Anton Market, Chueca

My sister’s favourite of the lot, this roof terrace combines markety buzz and casual chic.  Located on the top floor of Mercado San Anton (one of Madrid’s most authentic tapas markets), it’s an eclectic mix of flora, fauna and cocktails set in the heart of Madrid’s gay district.

If you don’t fancy the restaurant sitting alongside the bar, or sampling the market treats below, there are top of the range restaurants a-plenty southward. If you like character, you’ll love this.


Address: Calle Augusto Figueroa, 24. 28004, Madrid

Nearest metro: Chueca


Tel: 91 330 07 30

6. El Corte Ingles Roof Terrace, Callao

Feast your eyes on this one.  The gourmet section of the well-known department store has moved skyward, where it combines forces with a variety of bars and restaurants. From Japanese and American to tapas and tortellini, this is a gem of a find with spectacular views of the city to boot. Whether you’re after a full-blown meal or a light snack after a day’s shopping in Sol, this is a wonderful spot to unwind. Not often you find similar offerings atop department stores in London…


Address: Plaza de Callao, 2, 28013, Madrid

Nearest Metro: Callao


Tel: 913 79 80 00

7. Rooftop Bar, Hotel de Las Letras, Gran Via

Located in the heart of Madrid on Gran Via, this is a classy 4* Hotel with a twist. As its name suggests, Hotel De las Letras has a literary thread, with walls decorated with silk-screened texts of different authors. If poems and short stories aren’t your bag, venture up to the 7th floor rooftop bar, otherwise known as Ático De las Letras and discover a relaxed, jungular wilderness overlooking the city heights.

The decor is understated but snazzy, with slatted wooden flooring and high neon green perspex tables. Food includes a range of salads, tapas, grilled sardines and beef tartare. There’s also an impressive range of booze on offer with varying types of rum, vodka, gin, brandy, whisky and champagne as well as mojitos, caipirinhas or a range of fresh juices.

Come nightfall, you can enjoy the starry lights of the cityscape alongside a live DJ who plays into the wee hours. Open from 13:00 to 12:30 Sundays to Wednesdays and 13:00 to 03:00 Thursdays to Saturdays, this is a great spot to enjoy a break from the city.


Address: Calle Gran Vía, 11, 28013, Madrid

Nearest tubes: Gran Via/Sevilla


Tel: 915 23 79 80

8. Hotel Urban Roof Terrace, Sevilla

A stone’s throw from Gran Via, Hotel Urban is a minimalist 5 Star experience worth a visit. The roof terrace is understated, modern chic, with white seating and views over Madrid’s city centre. While the outlook is a little more ‘urban’ and less far-reaching than some of its counterparts, this is an elegant spot with a uniquely metropolitan twist.

The menu is extensive with generous lashings of gin typical of Madrid and the drinks are served with popcorn – a novel touch for a novel experience. Open from around 8pm, this is a lovely spot for a pre-dinner drink.


Address: Carrera de San Jerónimo, 34, 28014, Madrid

Nearest Metro: Sevilla


Tel: 917 87 77 70

9. Ildefonso Market, Malasana

This new market in Tribunal is a must-see.  While sampling the culinary delicacies here is the main feature, the roof terrace on the second floor with its outdoor watering system is super buzzy and fun.  The only reason why this ranks lower than the others is because there is no view – but the atmosphere is second to none.

Grab yourself a mouth-watering burger, a plate of pulpo and a glass of vino for 2 euros and you’re in bliss.  Throw a chocolate crepe in for good measure and life really doesn’t get much better.


Address: Calle Fuencarral, 57, 28080, Madrid

Nearest metro: Tribunal


Tel: 915 59 13 00