Rome is blessed with a stunning skyline, featuring the iconic outline of St. Peter's dome. And on a day when the sunset looks like this, my favorite place to enjoy a rooftop aperitivo is . . .
Check out my top 10 faves (and many more). Plus, get my tips for where to eat afterwards!
Rooftop Bars in Rome Spoiled for Choice
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.
The breathtaking 360 degree views from the Eitch Borromini terrace make this one of the top 10 Rome rooftop bars.
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.
How Do You Rank the Rooftop Bars in Rome? Here's How I Rank Them:
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:
The "wow" - self-explanatory
Location - Is it easy to get to, in a nice environment, and easy to find a place to eat nearby afterwards? Also, is it close to other stuff you might want to do in Rome?
Easy access - How hard is it to visit without booking in advance, or how hard is it to book at all? What are their opening hours? How much space is dedicated to the bar?
The Zen - Although it might seem anathema, sometimes I actually want my rooftop experience to be quiet and mellow.
The snacks - This applies to both the complimentary stuff they bring out with your drinks, and to what's available to order. The offerings around Rome rooftop bars are really varied.
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.
My Top 10 Favorite Rome Rooftop Bars
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.
1. Minerva Roof Garden at Grand Hotel de La Minerve
I can't get enough of this rooftop bar.
The sunsets I've seen on the Minerva rooftop bar are some of the most amazing I've ever seen in Rome.
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.
There is nothing like seeing the Pantheon from this angle, and this up close and personal! That's why the Minerva rooftop bar is one of my all-time favorites in Rome.
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 views from the Hotel Minerva rooftop bar are spectacular no matter where you sit. This is the view if you sit along the bar. The rainbow is just a bonus.
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.
The Minerva is a 5* luxury hotel, and their roof is a magnet for weddings and other special events, so you might find it wholly or partially closed to the public (it's a really big space, so often, even if there is an event, they only take up part of the terrace).
Either call ahead to be sure it's open to the public, or have a backup plan.
Details: Piazza della Minerva, 69. Tel: 06 695201. Open daily noon - 1am. Reservations suggested for peak cocktail hours.
2. La Grande Bellezza at Hotel Eitch Borromini
This one is all about the Wow. There is no other rooftop bar like this anywhere in Rome.
This was an actual sunset one evening, as seen from one of the most central Rome rooftop bars, the Eitch Borromini. Can you believe these colors?
You have a wide-open rooftop, with 360 degree views.
Looking down on Piazza Navona from the Eitch Borromini terrace is one of my favorite things about this bar.
With wide-open skies and an unobstructed view of St. Peter's dome, you get some pretty spectacular sunsets up on this roof.
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?
Right up close to 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.
Nice healthy snacks come with your drinks at the Eitch Borromini.
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.
Dinner with a view - of Piazza Navona, Bernini's fountain in the middle, and this ancient Roman obelisk.
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!
A couple of caveats
They don't open until 7 pm (although it seems sometimes they open at 6:30 pm). On some levels this makes sense, since they don't have any umbrellas and in the hottest summer months, you would not want to head up before 7pm anyway.
Also, it's become such a hot ticket, you cannot just go on a whim. It's always fully booked, so you need to reserve in advance. Sometimes you can book same day, but if you can, book 1-2 days in advance to be safe.
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.
3. Terrazza dei Papi at the Mecenate Palace Hotel
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 view of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, from the roof of the Hotel Mecenate Palace, is one of the most stunning in Rome.
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).
These are the perfect seats to enjoy this amazing view of Santa Maria Maggiore.
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.
They serve some basic nice snacks when you order drinks at the Terrazza dei Papi. You can order a few other (limited) items from the dinner menu.
But my suggestion would be to eat dinner at one of my two favorite places nearby, Trattoria Monti(book ahead!) or Da Danilo (book ahead for this one too!)
Details: Mecenate Palace Hotel, Via Carlo Alberto, 3. Open daily in season from 5pm - midnight. Reservations for drinks not necessary.
I love getting a hot little pizza with my drinks at Les Etoiles. Definitely one of the better Rome rooftop bars where complimentary snacks are concerned!
Details: Via Giovanni Vitelleschi, 34. Tel: 06 6873233. Open daily from 10am - 1am for lunch, cocktails, and dinner. Reservations suggested.
5. 9 Hotel CESARI
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.
I love this quiet and sweet rooftop bar and it's lovely view of the facade of Saint Ignatius church.
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.
At the 9 Hotel dei Cesari, there are comfy places to sit in different spots all around the roof, making for varied viewing, and a more intimate feel than some of the Rome rooftop bars that are more wide-open.
A central bar with hip, friendly, mixologists finishes the ambiance perfectly.
The cocktail bar is right in the center of the roof at the Hotel Cesari.
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.
8. Otium Hotel
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").
Drinks with a view at the Hotel Otium near Rome's Capitoline Hill.
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.
Love the vibe and the views from Zuma, but their aperitivo options for eating are some of the best of the Rome rooftp bars!
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.
10. La Terrasse at Sofitel
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.
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.
Up Sunset Bar at Rinascente
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:
A Few More Rome Rooftop Bars (with less of a view)
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 - Marco Martini cocktail bar
The Corner is a lovely rooftop with separate spaces for drinks and for dining, and the 1* Michelin restaurant is excellent.
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
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.
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.
Rome Rooftop Bars - A Map
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