The Best Rooftop Bars in Istanbul

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A trip to Istanbul would not be complete without a drink at a rooftop bar. The silhouette of Istanbul covers everything from high rises to historical mosques, bridges and seagulls flocking in the sky. Watching the sun go down behind this rich silhouette is a memorable experience and should not be missed during a visit to Istanbul.

We compiled a great list of rooftop locations that provides great atmosphere, good drinks and  amazing views. The locations range in variety, price and mood but are all frequently visited by locals.  

 

Vogue (Chic)

Considered as one of the world’s best bars, Vogue Restaurant has an outstanding view of the Bosphorus. The atmosphere is warm but sophisticated, the menu is rich with a full wine list of over 200 selections, creative cocktails as well as a cigar selection. The restaurant is also very well known for its excellent sushi bar. You can enjoy the views from three different terraces, one specifically for bar patrons. Location   

 

Gaja Roof (Chic)

Gaja Restaurant, located on the 16th floor of Swissotel The Bosphorus, stands out with its stunning views of the Bosphorus and the sophisticated menu prepared by French chef William Mahi. The bar also has a rich wine menu as well as fun cocktails. Try a Frozen Margarita, a Passion Fruit Caipirinha prepared with fresh exotic fruits or their signature cocktail White Chocolate Mint Martini. Location

 

Le Fumoir (Chic)

Le Fumoir is split into two different floors of Georges Hotel, located on the charming Serdar-ı Ekrem Street in Galata. You can enjoy the elegant French dishes in the lobby restaurant or go up to the rooftop terrace for drinks. Enjoy the soft jazz played in the background with views of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. Location

 

Raika (Chic)

This is another top-notch restaurant/bar in the heart of the city, Taksim Square. Take the elevator to the 20th floor of the Marmara Taksim Hotel and watch the city life go by underneath your feet. You can enjoy dinner here as well, but we suggest going for a drink and watching the light shows on the bridges connecting Europe and Asia. Location

 

A photo posted by @raikarestaurant on

Mikla (Casual, Lounge-ish)

Consider this as the crème de la crème of rooftop bars. Mikla is a Michelin star restaurant on the top floor of the Marmara Pera Hotel. Its rooftop bar is small but fully stocked. The service is genuine, the cocktails delicious and the 360 degree view of Istanbul is unbeatable. A stunning sunset over the Golden Horn is guaranteed year-round. Location

 

NuTeras (Hipster, Lounge)

Located on the same strip as Mikla, NuTeras is a hip spot with great food and cocktails. You can go here for dinner or just cocktails. Sit at the bar facing the Golden Horn and watch the beautiful colors of the sky as the sun sets. Dance to the DJ sets in the late hours of the night and rub your elbows with the young and the beautiful crowd. Location

 

ZeldaZonk (Hipster, Lounge)

Named after the nickname Marilyn Monroe used to avoid being recognized, ZeldaZonk is the rooftop bar of Gradiva Hotel in Karaköy. The bar is packed on the weekends with a young crowd  who flock here for the tasty cocktails and DJ sets. Come here early and grab a seat to catch the sunset over the historical peninsula. Location

 

Leb-i Derya (Casual, Lounge-ish)

Don’t get confused by the two locations of this well-known restaurant/bar. Go to the one in Kumbaracı Street, off of Istiklal Avenue for a casual atmosphere. In the summer nights enjoy the airy terrace, which turns into a heated indoor space with full-length glass walls all around that don’t disrupt the views of the Old City. There is a live DJ on Friday and Saturday nights. Location 

 

La Mancha (Lounge)

No visit to Istanbul should be complete without a night out in the waterfront Kuruçeşme district. La Mancha is part of the Soul Group, a successful food and drink management company. The location is both a Mediterranean restaurant and a full bar. Enjoy your drink at the bar facing the stunning Bosphorus and watch the talented bartenders create signature cocktails. Location

 

Mixo Terrace (Hipster)

Are you looking to be near the sky? Then Mixo Terrace is the spot for you. Situated on the top floor of Marti Hotel in Taksim, Mixo Terrace has the largest rooftop bar in the Taksim area. With panoramic views from the Old City to the Bosphorus, Mixo offers a chic ambiance, great music and good food. The bar stands out with its looks as well, designed by famous architect Zeynep Fadıllıoğlu. Location

 

A photo posted by RooftopGuide (@the_rooftopguide) on

360 Istanbul (Lounge)

360 Istanbul is has been in business for 10 years and is one of the most well known rooftop bars of Istanbul. It is located on the top floor of Mısır Apartment, a building where prominent art galleries are located, so expect to see an artist crowd here. 360 Istanbul has hosted many famous names as DJs such as Boy George, Roger Sanchez and Felix the House Cat. The bar proudly serves their award winning cocktails as well as virgin drinks and detox fresh fruit mixes. Location

 

A photo posted by 360istanbul (@360istanbul) on

Zoe Bar & Club (Lounge)

Just a few steps away from Ltera, Zoe is a rooftop bar that turns into a club after 23:00. Zoe can fit your mood any time of the day. Come here during the day for a relaxing coffee, have dinner in the evening and stay late for a late night. The fully stocked bar offers a wide selection of cocktails, beers and wine. DJ Yusuf Can Kurt spins until the early hours of the morning so come here prepared to dance. Location

 

L'tera (Casual)

The location of Ltera may surprise you, it is on the top floor of the Goethe Institut building in Taksim. They offer an international menu with an emphasis on Austrian and German cuisine and a short but sufficient drinks menu. Sip your drink and take in all the historic peninsula. You can easily see the prominent landmarks of Istanbul here, from the Topkapi Palace to the New Mosque. Location

 

5. Kat (Hipster, Casual)

In the heart of Cihangir, the hipster neighborhood of Beyoglu, is the best kept secret 5. Kat (literally meaning 5th floor). 5. Kat has a long history of famous performers playing here, themed parties and was even the subject of a film directed by its actor/director owner Yasemin Akkaya. Come here for a meal or a drink and relax against the panoramic views of Istanbul. Location

 

Balkon (Hipster, Casual)

This is the ultimate hipster bar of Istanbul. Right in the heart of the nightlife in Asmali Mescit, Balkon comes with panoramic views of Istanbul. Sit on a high bar stool and watch the sunset while sipping your beer and snacking on pistachios and nuts. The bar also offers food, but we recommend coming here for a drink. It’s the perfect spot for happy hour with reasonable prices and casual atmosphere. Location  


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Seza Bali

Born and raised in Istanbul, Seza lived in the U.S. for more than a third of her life. She's traveled through Turkey, U.S., and Europe, as well as Israel and Cuba. Seza is once again living in Istanbul and exploring her city as a local tourist. She is a travel buff and a photographer. Check her portfolio at sezabali.com

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