Exploring Some of Spain’s Historic Rooftop Bars

All you need to know.

October 11, 2023

Over the years, Spain has remained a very popular tourist destination, with travelers visiting from all over the world. This summer, data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) reported that Spain welcomed a record 10.1 million international tourists — a significant increase of 13.9% compared to August 2022. Likewise, tourism spending grew 19.9% compared to the previous year.

It's no wonder that travelers yearn for city breaks in Spain, what with the vast cultural and geographic diversity the country has to offer. Between the many Roman ruins and its Moorish architecture at the Alhambra, Spain is home to many historic sites and cultural attractions. There are also incredible beaches, such as the Costa Brava's golden stretches and Ibiza's glittering shores.

However, one of the best ways to experience Spain's landscape of nature and history is by indulging in the country's many rooftop bars. While these typically promise good food and beverages, some may offer an interesting history lesson. Below, we'll explore some of Spain's historic rooftop bars:

Terracotta at Hotel Antigua Palma (Palma de Mallorca)

In a previous post on rooftop bars in Spain, we mentioned the Hotel Antigua Palma, located in the historic center of Palma and set in a completely renovated noble house from the 17th century. At the hotel's top floor is a rooftop terrace — a 180 sqm open space where a rooftop bar and restaurant called Terracota awaits.

The spot provides an authentic and beautiful view over Palma's historic center and Sant Francesc. The rooftop bar is open daily to all, offering a selection of cuisine adapted to any time of the day and a fine array of wines, vermouths, and cocktails. For the best view, try to visit around sunset.

Azotea del Circulo at Círculo de Bellas Artes (Madrid)

Another hot spot is the Azotea del Circulo, a local favorite among tapa and brunch enthusiasts. Azotea is considered the best rooftop bar with the best view in Madrid, offering almost 360 picturesque degrees of panoramic view over the capital's rooftops.

Installed on the roof of the Círculo de Bellas Artes, one of Europe's most important private cultural centers, the restaurant boasts classic Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine with an international touch. Visitors can enjoy the view at night while enjoying some cold beer or a glass of sangria. You can also pop into the cultural center, built in 1880, to check what's on at its exhibition rooms, concert halls, lecture halls, artists’ workshops, and more.

Ena at Hotel Alfonso XIII (Seville)

Seville is known for its many historic luxury hotels. One is the Hotel Alfonso XIII — considered the city's most prestigious hotel. The hotel has impressed dignitaries, celebrities, and travelers with its Andalucian design and grandeur since 1929. The 148-room landmark reopened in 2012 after a renovation of its facilities and now combines regal decor with contemporary tastes.

The highlight of the historic luxury hotel is Ena, a restaurant on the terrace that overlooks the hotel's beautiful garden. Ena specializes in tapas and sharing plates, but visitors who want a more formal dining experience — and authentic Andalusian cuisine — can also visit the restaurant, San Fernando.

The Hat (Madrid)

Finally, one open secret in Madrid is the new hotel concept behind The Hat. It's located in a former palace of the 19th century that had been closed for years. The Hat defined itself as a new accommodation concept for "smart travelers," playing with a blend of modern open space set in the architecture of Madrid's rich history and culture.

The Hat's best feature is undoubtedly the hidden rooftop terrace where travelers can enjoy drinks and typical Spanish dishes such as the tostas, salmorejo, and tortillas. The Hat is also the first hotel in Madrid to use biomass energy, making it an appealing destination for more eco-conscious tourists.