With summer still here and evenings light, you can combine a rooftop view of beautiful Budapest with a top cocktail in hand. Here are nine of our favourites!
The lift beside the Párisi Department Store takes you to the top of the tallest building on elegant Andrássy út, which offers an unparalleled 360-degree panorama of the capital. Get here after six and the sun should set just over Parliament, bathing the city in gorgeous pink light. It’s no surprise that the 360 Bar is the go-to destination for lovers of rooftop bars in Budapest. Homemade lemonades, signature or classic cocktails and delicious burgers may accompany the view.
This hidden cocktail bar sits atop of the newly renovated Matild Palace hotel. Following the sign of the key, you enter a side door, perhaps sneak a peek at the cakes baked in the kitchen through a small window, and then reach the roof by Budapest’s very first lift. You then arrive at a sultry and lavish Art Deco bar to discover an unparalleled panorama. It is as if you’re floating above Elizabeth Bridge, watching the small boats on the Danube and the wonderful vista of Gellért Hill. On the roof, you can sample wonderful cocktails prepared according to the gastronomic guidelines of the elegant Spago by Wolfgang Puck restaurant below, which will soon provide great bar food, too.
High Note SkyBar
The High Note SkyBar above the music-themed Aria Hotel awaits hotel guests and destination drinkers alike. Via reception in downtown Hercegprímás utca, the lift whisks you up to the rooftop for unparalleled views of Buda Castle. You’re also at eye level with the dome of St Stephen's Basilica, whose wonderful ornamentation, usually inaccessible, can be perceived from an entirely different perspective. You can heighten the experience with quality bar food, bistro dishes, low-alcohol cocktails and cocktails to share with friends. There’s even a raised bar area, for the full 360-degree panorama.
Intermezzo Roof Terrace
The roof of Hotel President, previously used as a helipad, has been given a new, more egalitarian feature on downtown Hold utca. The view of Buda Castle and Parliament is framed by the Zsolnay-tiled roof of the Former Post Office Savings Bank, designed by Art Nouveau master Ödön Lechner, its organic floral motifs adorning the peaks springing to life in twilight. The venue is also conducive to a more relaxed atmosphere and groups of people. Fun get-togethers are helped along by the bartender’s special cocktails, plentiful champagnes and the summer snack collection with a Mediterranean feel.
At the top of the Hotel Clark and the foot of Castle Hill, the Leo Rooftop awaits with a magnificent panorama of Chain Bridge, the Danube, the riverside and Buda Castle. While the bistro down below offers exciting international cuisine, here on the roof the focus is on excellent cocktails and premium spirits, accompanied by more simple but divine bar food. There’s plenty of time to take in the wonderful panorama and surroundings day and night, as Leo Rooftop opens at noon, its shade providing relief from the sun, while the evening is when the fun begins.
The rooftop bar above the Hotel Memories Oldtown, in the immediate vicinity of focal Kálvin tér, offers unparalleled views of Citadella and the pink rooftops of the area. You can peruse the long list of cocktails both classic and signature, including the house special, the MemoRise Martini with Grey Goose, passion fruit and grenadine conceived by expert mixologists. Dishes are mostly based on domestic, small-batch produce, and the chef has his favourite suppliers at Fény utca market, key source for organic fruit and vegetables in town. Occasional live music entertain guests in the evenings, making MemoRise a convivial choice for family events, anniversaries, dates and even weddings.
St. Andrea Wine & Skybar
Rising above central Vörösmarty tér since 2017, this supremely elegant bar offers discerning drinkers unparalleled views of Gellért Hill and St Stephen’s Basilica. In addition to the Eger wines from the St. Andrea estate, there are international labels and elegant cocktails, accompanied by sophisticated snacks. An apt choice might be Icons of Budapest, commemorating the city landmarks you can also admire from the roof while you imbibe. Leave the T-shirts and training shoes at home and opt for an elegant evening here.
Sky Garden Rooftop Terrace
Above the Mystery Hotel on Podmaniczky utca, surrounded by lavender, you can watch the twinkle lights of Nyugati station, the gliding trains seen but not heard. Beyond, Buda Castle and Citadella equally sparkle. The upper VIP terrace is currently under renovation, but in the rest of the bar area allows you to take in an undisturbed view in the company of Mystery Mule mixed with Ketel One, a Sky Fashioned with Glenfiddich IPA or a Banana Daiquiri with Angostura Reserve rum. Meze and salads feature feta-stuffed peppers, chorizo and smoked salmon.
Based on proximity to nature and the rediscovery of traditional ingredients, the little sister of housemate SALT, which introduced a Scandinavian gastronomic approach to Hungarians, has opened as a wine bar above the restaurant on downtown Királyi Pál utca. International champagnes and wines can be ordered by the glass, while the bar food is concocted by the acclaimed chef from SALT, with specialities from Satu Mare. A single large screen elegantly divides the space while a removable roof protects guests from the last of the summer sun.