Looking for the best Rome rooftop bars?
Check out my top 10 faves (and many more). Plus, get my tips for where to eat afterwards!
When I first moved here in 2001, it was not really a "thing" to visit a rooftop bar in Rome. A few of Rome's luxury hotels had rooftop bars, but it was something special to go there. It felt posh and exclusive.
Now, thanks to social media, bloggers, vloggers and guides to Rome (like this one), the interest in visiting a Rome rooftop and having an apertivo overlooking some beautiful Roman vista began to soar.
Now there are scores of Rome rooftop bars.
Some AirB&B's, less fancy hotels, standalone restaurants and even a department store are all jumping on the bandwagon, and we are spoiled for choice.
Whether it's to take visiting friends and family, or to meet friends or colleagues for fun and aperitivo, I've done quite a lot of rooftop hopping in Rome.
So this page is fully researched by yours truly, and based on my own experiences visiting some fabulous Rome rooftop bars.
Now that there are Rome rooftop bars on just about every corner, I can be selective and tell you which are my top 10 favorites.
I am basing my list on several factors:
Speaking of snacks, most Rome rooftop bars serve only finger food or otherwise have a limited menu and don't really serve dinner food, so I'm including my recommendations for where to eat dinner near all the places I list on this page.
These are my top 10 favorite rooftop bars in Rome. For me, they all offer something special, and I'll tell you why.
If you want more choices for Rome rooftop bars, I've listed plenty more below.
I can't get enough of this rooftop bar.
I love the big open, welcoming space, the WOW (this one is big on the "wow"), the sunsets from here, and the friendly yet professional waitstaff.
From one side you can gaze at the roof of the Pantheon. From the other, you can sit at the bar and look out over a sea of Roman rooftops.
The free snacks are pretty good, but you can also order some simple foods from the bar menu, like a club sandwich with fries. (Sometimes we just order the fries!)
To eat a real meal here, you'll have to go to the restaurant inside (which I've never done).
I have wound up eating plenty of aperitivo snacks to wind up not needing a meal afterward, but if you do want to go elsewhere, you are right near many of my favorite Rome restaurants near the Pantheon, like Armando (book days in advance), Del Sostegno, and Pizzeria Emma.
I also like that it's open all day, which means if we want to have drinks at 5pm, we can! (There are umbrellas so if it's super hot and sunny, or even a bit rainy, you're literally covered.)
If you go before peak happy hour time (7-8pm), you almost always find a seat with a view, even when you just show up.
Details: Piazza della Minerva, 69. Tel: 06 695201. Open daily noon - 1am. Reservations suggested for peak cocktail hours.
This one is all about the Wow. There is no other rooftop bar like this anywhere in Rome.
You have a wide-open rooftop, with 360 degree views.
It makes for a stunning setting to enjoy drinks and a sunset. Did I mention you are sitting right next to the dome and bell towers of Borromini's church, Sant'Agnese in Agone?
They get high marks from me for the free snacks, which are healthy, light, and partly vegetarian (wild rice with chick peas, or couscous with shrimp, for example). They also have a pretty good bar menu with some raw fish and some limited cooked items.
The hotel does have a restaurant on the 5th floor (one floor down from the terrace), with amazing views of Borromini's church dome, and Piazza Navona below.
After aperitivo on this stunning terrace (usually after the sunset which is the big reason to come here), we always go elsewhere to eat nearby, usually to Pizzeria Emma, Grappolo D'Oro, or Cul de Sac.
This is one of the best Rome rooftop bars with a vibe - it's always packed and the ambiance is convivial, as people move around to take photos from all angles. They also have pop music playing, to create even more of a buzz. And, if you like, you can even attend a concert here!
Details: Via di Santa Maria dell'Anima, 30. Tel: 06 686 1425. Reservations A MUST. Open daily (in season, i.e. from April - October) from 6:30 or 7pm until 1am.
Most of my favorite Rome rooftop bars have stunning views involving St. Peter's Basilica. This rooftop bar is in a class by itself, with front-row seats to one of my all-time favorite churches in Rome, Santa Maria Maggiore.
This is another one of the Rome rooftop bars that's tops in the "Wow" department.
But they also get a lot of kudos from me for their friendly service, reasonable prices, and easy accessibility (you don't need to reserve, they open at 5pm, and there is pretty much always a spot with a view).
The free snacks are basic but nice and carby (mini-bruschette and pizzette), but you can order some other limited light items from their restaurant dinner menu, such as the simple Roman pastas, and some salads. To have a full meal, you'll need to go to the restaurant on the same floor.
Details: Mecenate Palace Hotel, Via Carlo Alberto, 3. Open daily in season from 5pm - midnight. Reservations for drinks not necessary.
This is one of my top five favorite Rome rooftop bars mostly because this is where we had our wedding reception in 1999.
I love it for the gorgeous views. They have a tippy-top-roof with plenty of seating, but with no shelter.
They also have another terrace one level down, with awnings. So when it rains, you can still watch the sunset and wait for the rainbow.
Their complimentary snacks are quite good, and include hot little pizzas.
It's been years since I ate here for our wedding dinner, so I can't speak to the quality of the restaurant, although I am sure it's good.
If it was me, I'd head to one of the restaurants on my list of places to eat near the Vatican. Thanks to my friend Joanne, I also recently discovered this amazing seafood spot nearby, Da Benito e Gilberto.
Details: Via Giovanni Vitelleschi, 34. Tel: 06 6873233. Open daily from 10am - 1am for lunch, cocktails, and dinner. Reservations suggested.
This is one of my favorite Rome rooftop bars for the zen, and for the location.
It's got a prime address between the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon, yet if you didn't know it was there, you would miss it entirely. The entrance to the hotel looks like a basic glass door to a pretty average-looking, small hotel lobby.
Take the elevator to the top, climb just a few more stairs, and you get a lovely, spacious rooftop, that's well divided into areas with different views.
A central bar with hip, friendly, mixologists finishes the ambiance perfectly.
Although none of the views are super-wow, I do love the view in the back, from where you can see the facade of one of my favorite churches in Rome, St. Ignatius.
The one thing sorely missing is a decent food/appetizer menu. They barely have any free snacks but have always been friendly about bringing some small foccaccia and potato chips.
So you will definitely need to go elsewhere to eat. And in this part of town, you are spoiled for choice. Check my pages for Where to Eat Near the Pantheon and Where to Eat Near the Trevi Fountain for ideas.
I'd personally go to Del Sostegno, Armando or Piccolo Arancio. Don't forget to book ahead!
Details: Via di Pietra 89/A. Tel: +39 06 6749701. Open daily 6pm - midnight. Reservations not necessary.
This rooftop bar gets my vote for the location. Being this close to Michelangelo's dome? Priceless!
But I also love it for the zen.
It's mellow and relaxing up on this roof, and I love the feeling of being in a kind of secret spot that not many people seem to know about.
To get here, go to the left-hand side of Bernini's colonnade, outside St. Peter's Square. You will see a small outside foyer that leads to a closed door.
Ring the bell there for "Residenza Paolo VI". It's actually a hotel, and it's owned by the Vatican. But anyone can come have a drink in their rooftop bar. You just have to know it's there.
Thanks once again to my friend Joanne, of Travel Angel, for turning me on to this amazing spot.
To eat nearby, check my page about Where to Eat Near the Vatican. Personally, I'd head to Sorpasso.
Details: Via Paolo VI. Tel: 06 68487550. Open daily from 4pm - midnight. Reservations not necessary.
One reason I love this place so much is that it feels cozy and even a little secret (it's not a secret, but it feels like it is!)
I also love that it's right near the Colosseum and Roman Forum, which makes it a great spot for a rooftop aperitivo after some intense sight-seeing.
There is no view of the Colosseum, but the views of Fori Imperiali are fantastic!
For places to eat nearby, you have tons of choices. Check my page about Where to Eat Near the Colosseum.
Many would suggest the La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali, almost literally next door to this hotel. If you go, make sure to book days in advance.
I personally would go to Brocoletti or Alle Carrette pizza.
Details: Via Tor de’ Conti, 25. Tel: 06.67.92.446. Open daily from March - October (call to see if they are open if you are in Rome in March or October.) from 11am until late in the evening. There are heat lamps for the cooler months.
This relatively new Rome hotel is in my top 10 Rome rooftop bars for one main reason - there is a front-and-center view of Campidoglio and the Complesso Vittoriano (otherwise known as the "wedding cake").
The rooftop bar opened in April 2018, and I found out about it thanks to my tour guide friend Elena, of Sognare Roma.
It's not a large rooftop, but it's comfortable, and best of all, it's got plenty of umbrellas and places to sit.
On one recent visit, it began to rain, so we moved from the view closest to the edge, to one under an umbrella, which was still really nice.
It's in my top ten list of Rome Rooftop Bars for the unique view. I also love the umbrellas and the very friendly service. Unfortunately, their snack situation is pretty limited. To olives. Seriously.
I hope their snack offerings will improve. In the meantime, you will definitely need to go elsewhere to eat. I would personally go to Pizzeria Emma in Campo dei Fiori, or Nonna Betta in the Jewish Ghetto. Both should be booked in advance.
Details: Via d'Aracoeli 11. Tel: +39 0640410547. Open daily HOURS . Reservations suggested.
If you're looking for Rome rooftop bars with a view, a vibe, great music and superb food, Zuma is IT.
Perched on top of Rome's Fendi flagship store, right near the Spanish Steps, Zuma has become a magnet for the young, hip, sushi-loving crowd.
They have the best ambient music of all the Rome Rooftop Bars (most have none at all), and by far the best food (as long as you like sushi, or at least Japanese-inspired cuisine).
The views are wonderful and unique - a peak at the top of the Spanish Steps (Trinità dei Monti), a very cool building from 1900 right next door, and a stunning baroque dome that makes for a killer sunset.
Details: Via della Fontanella di Borghese, 48. Tel: 06 9926 6622. Open daily. For lunch, you can go to the restaurant inside. For aperitivo outside, the terrace is open from 6pm - 1am (until 2am Friday and Saturday), while the restaurant is open from 7pm - 11pm.
This is actually my top favorite of all the Rome rooftop bars. Look at this view!
It's also just so urbane and sophisticated. I love the understated elegance and the sense of exclusiveness (ok that is a little snobby of me, sorry!)
So why is it down here at number 10? Because when I went to check their hours and contact details, I saw a note on their website that said "Total refurbishment, reopening March 2019".
So until then, I don't want to go on and on about them too much, and disappoint you when you find you cannot go in 2018. Stay tuned. I will be updating this page for the rooftop season beginning in spring 2019.
Details: Via Lombardia, 47. Tel: +39 06 478021. Reservations suggested. Open daily from 11am - midnight.
There are certainly more than 10 fabulous Rome rooftop bars. Here are a few more that I love too:
I love the bar on the top of Castel Sant'Angelo for one thing and one thing only - the view. It's a wow. It's not one of your typical Rome rooftop bars, because most of the time, the bar closes at 7:30pm, when the castle itself closes (the exception to this is in summer on weekends, when the castle is open late for visit, and then so is the cafe).
Also, since it's inside a monument, you need to pay (14€) to get in (unless you come on the free Sunday, which is the first Sunday of every month). The castle is part of the Roma Pass.
But it's still got that wow, so it's on my list. Pretty substantial snacks (to order), and friendly service round out the plusses here.
Details: Lungotevere Castello, 50. Tel. +39 06 6819111. Open daily 9am - 7:30pm
I really like this rooftop, and would probably even put it in my top ten list of Rome Rooftop Bars, except that most of the 2018 season, every time I called to check/book, they have been renovating this roof.
They are supposed to open mid-September. So, I'll write more about them once they actually re-open. Stay tuned.
Details: Via del Vantaggio, 14. Tel: +39 06 45617070
I have a soft spot for the roof of this hotel, because it was one of the first fabulous Rome rooftop bars to open in Rome and the one I came to the most before so many others opened.
You'll get nice views of the ancient Roman temples along the Tiber if you sit near the edge or lean over, and you can also gaze upon the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
The snacks are pretty good, but the service can be spotty. It's fairly close to some of the main tourist attractions like the Jewish Ghetto, the Mouth of Truth, and the Circus Maximus. To eat nearby, I'd suggest heading into the Jewish Ghetto and trying Nonna Betta or Beppe e i Suoi Formaggi.
Details: Via Luigi Petroselli, 47. Tel: 06 678 7816. Open daily noon -midnight. Reservations for drinks not necessary.
While this rooftop is destined more for their restaurant, the limited bar space does offer gorgeous rooftop views and a romantic atmosphere.
Details: Largo Febo, 2. 06 9480 6631. Open daily 12pm - 10pm. It's not possible to book the bar tables, but you can book for dinner.
The newly-opened flagship store of Rinascente right in the center of Rome has caused a big splash. It's got everything you could want in a modern, urban, hip shopping venue - all the best brands, a gorgeous, airy, open-space design, Roman ruins in the basement, and a rooftop bar.
What? Roman ruins in the basement? Well, maybe that's not something you find in every shopping center. So let's say that's one thing that makes this Rinascente so incredibly special (and by the way, there is a bar down there, too, so you can enjoy an aperitivo with your archeological visit).
The top floor of the complex offers a lot of excellent and varied options for eating and drinking,
But head all the way to the roof, and you've got a lovely spot to enjoy an aperitivo, complete with beautiful views and a fairly good appetizer menu. It's a bit of a bustle up there with people coming and going, and moving around to get photos of the rooftops and sunset.
Details: Via del Tritone, 61 and Via dei Due Macelli, 23. Tel: 06 879161. Open daily all day until 11pm.
You can have drinks right on/above the Spanish Steps, with a view mostly of the Steps themselves.
Don't expect dinner here, but you can order some pretty nice snacks. The sunsets can be amazing!
Details: Top of the Spanish Steps. Vicolo del Bottino, 8. Tel: 06 6993 4560. Open only in season, daily 4-10pm.
In researching Rome rooftop bars for this page, I went around to the various Michelin starred restaurants that happen to also be on top of luxury hotels. At these places (below), you will be treated to a phenomenal view if you dine there.
I believe that because they dedicate this view to their restaurant goers, these places are less inclined to have a real rooftop bar, let alone with a view, for just drinks/aperitivo.
So, if you want a very special, delicious, romantic dinner out in Rome, you cannot beat these. Just don't expect them to have one of those Rome rooftop bars that is the main subject of this page:
There are lots of Rome rooftop bars where you'll come for the ambiance but not so much for the view.
I love all these rooftops, and think they offer something special too. They can be an excellent alternative to some of the ones I list above, if you are looking to simply enjoy eating and drinking outside, but away from traffic and street-vendors. They are also great choices if you are staying at these hotels, or nearby, or if you want a pool.
The Corner is a lovely rooftop with separate spaces for drinks and for dining, and the 1* Michelin restaurant is excellent.
It's also a pretty romantic place to eat or drink, due to the beautiful mix of flower-filled trellises, cozy garden furniture and gazebo-like gathering spots dotting the rooftop.
Details: Viale Aventino, 121. Tel: 06 4554 8810. Monday - Saturday 6pm - 2am. Closed Sunday.
Hotel Victoria near via Veneto. They have a beautiful flower-filled rooftop.
Details: Via Campania, 41. Tel: 06 423701. Open daily.
Hotel Aleph near via Veneto. There is a lovely rooftop bar, complete with pool and comfy, chic furniture.
Details: Via di S. Basilio, 15. Tel: 06 422 9001
Radisson Blu Zest Bar near Termini station. There is a stunning rooftop pool and two places to eat on the 7th (top) floor, but only one of the restaurants serves drinks (Zest Bar), and it's not overlooking the pool.
Details: Via Filippo Turati, 171. Tel: 06 444841
Palazzo Naiadi, formerly known as the Hotel Exedra, in Piazza della Repubblica. They have a gorgeous rooftop bar, and some tables inside that overlook the pool. You will see some rooftops and part of Piazza Exedra when you have a drink there.
Details: Piazza della Repubblica, 47. Tel: 06 489381. Open daily 6pm - midnight.
I eat here often for lunch, and there is an outside that has both a covered part and a completely un-covered part. So you can have drinks on the roof, and there is a bit of a view if you go to the very top.
Details: Via Ludovisi, 15. Tel: 06 421551
There are some rooftop bars in Rome that you can only visit if you are a guest of the hotel, or are planning an event there.
While researching for this page, I came across an interesting site, The Rooftop Guide. This is really cool. These two Swedish guys have been building this amazing resource that gives you a super guide to rooftops around the world, from rooftop bars to restaurants to pools and more. Check them out here.
Also, my friend Livia Hengel just published her own map of Rome Rooftop Bars, in which you can see just about every rooftop bar in Rome there is.
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