Never mind Istanbul’s heat and humidity or the risk of heavy downpours, the recent boom of rooftop bars are a great way to take in the view and enhance city’s dramatic effect: sunsets over the Bosporus, the day winding down in busy Istanbul, night lights painting shapes and figures in the sky.
Istanbul rooftop bars are also the best way to escape from the crowded streets of the city Istanbul, with its winding streets, Bosphorus-front location and eclectic blend of minarets and skyscrapers, offers one of the most interesting skylines in the world. Ascending to one of the city’s many rooftop bars, restaurants, or terraces is a great way to take in the view and enhance its dramatic effect.
With so many to choose from, though, it can be difficult selecting the right roof for the right occasion.
Here are the best rooftop bars to enjoy Istanbul’s spectacular skyline.
Gaja Roof, is a tribute to summer. Located at the 16th floor of Swissôtel, Gaja Roof offers you the Bosphorus at its best. Decorated with modern and minimalist style, Gaja Roof is the perfect place to relax, unwind and enjoy life. At Gaja Roof, you can savor summer delicacies from our regularly changing seasonal menu, paired with our finest selection of Premium wines and freshly made cocktails. With signature cocktails, live DJ Suat Ateşdağlı and his team mixing late into the night, Gaja Roof is the place to be seen this summer.
Don’t be fooled by the unimposing entrance to Cihangir’s 5Kat. Take the red elevator up to the fifth floor (hence the name, which means the same) and you’ll find yourself in a funky garden patio with a central view of the cityscape and the Bosphorus. With its open air, blue walls and ceiling, abundant plants and flowers, 5.Kat in Istanbul feels fresh and open, a world away from the bustle of nearby Taksim. On Sundays, they offer a brunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Modern and understated, with lounge music kept low enough for conversation, Vogue, located on the top floor of the Beşiktaş Plaza, is an ideal place to hold a business dinner. A bookshelf with magazines and coffee-table books greet patrons as they walk in, setting the tone for a sophisticated experience. From the attentive service, to the pre-shelled pistachios, hazelnuts, and stuffed olives served with drinks, to the sushi bar, Vogue goes all out to ensure guests are satisfied. The Zagat Survey and TimeOut Istanbul have both recognized Vogue’s food as some of the best in Istanbul. Vogue is open daily from noon until 2 a.m. and Sundays for brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Leb-i-derya offers three locations, but if it’s a romantic dinner and drinks you’re after, head to the top floor of the Richmond hotel on İstiklal Avenue in the heart of Taksim. Lebiderya in Istanbul was chosen one of the top 15 bars of the world by Sunday Times. The restaurant’s location means many lively bars and clubs are easily accessible post-dinner. A long, extravagant drink menu offers classics as well as unique creations, like the basil margarita or the pear and rosemary mojito, each for 27 Turkish Liras.
Located at the top of the Mısır Apartments on İstiklal, 360 is the place to go if you’re looking to experience some of Istanbul’s high-end nightlife, or if you want to dance. Enter the restaurant and weekend club from the sixth floor and be greeted with the panoramic view that earned 360 its name. It regularly attracts DJs, and on the weekends there are few better roof bars to go to dance. The dress code is strictly enforced; this is not the place to come in Nikes and shorts. Go for dinner during the week if you’re looking for a more low-key experience. 360 Istanbul is open from noon until 2 a.m., except on the weekends when it’s open until 4 a.m.
In Summer on the rooftop of the Nu Pera building, NuTeras Restaurant offers and elegant and upscale atmosphere and stunning views of the Golden Horn. People with diverse lifestyles shake off their prejudices with the unifying spirit of music and the spell of the venue and come together under the same roof. This was the first Beyoĸlu venue to lure posh Turks from their usual haunts in Etiler. Unlike other new venues that were crowded out then swiftly abandoned, Nu Teras is a survivor that can be considered a classic.
Leave a comment below if you know any other cool rooftop bars in Istanbul.