One of the things that I enjoy the most when I travel to new places is to find a bar, restaurant, or any other spot that allows me to look over the city from the top.
In this way, I am able to look at what surrounds me from a different perspective and I believe it is totally worth it.
During our travels, my husband and I discovered this way of sightseeing from the rooftops in the early days. It started with a recommendation that a friend gave us while visiting Japan, where she mentioned that visiting a specific bar would have given us majestic views.
Since then, we almost always plan at least one rooftop to sightsee from on every trip.
In particular, we like to find nice bars or restaurants that are located on the rooftops of high skyscrapers: in this way, we are able to enjoy the view while having a drink or a full meal and basically combine two of the things we like to do the most.
Some of our most vivid memories from trips around the world are related to experiences on rooftop bars and restaurants.
I have decided to go through the most amazing bars, restaurants, and locations in general that my husband and I have discovered during our years of travel. You will definitely be able to enjoy stunning views from all of the locations that I will mention.
Hopefully, this list will give you some inspiration not only for new countries or cities to explore, but also for new restaurants and bars to try.
We visited the New York Bar at the Park Hyatt in Tokyo back in 2015. This is the renowned bar from the movie Lost in Translation, where the two protagonists met for the first time. Since then, this is one of the most vivid experiences I have had of enjoying a drink with a view. We arrived on a late afternoon after a whole day walking around Tokyo. We were quite tired, but most of all super excited to get to the 52th floor to enjoy the view and sip a drink.
When we arrived, the view was so stunning that it took us a while to settle down. The big floor-to-ceiling windows allow all the guests to enjoy the view from any table. Also, we were lucky to arrive when a musician was playing the piano, therefore the experience became even more magical.
We were lucky to stay at the Swissotel Nankai Osaka for a couple of nights during our second stay in Japan in 2018. Our room had an amazing view over the skyline of Osaka that we could appreciate as soon as we woke up.
We also had access to the executive lounge, with food and drinks to savor before or after dinner time. The lounge area was situated on the 33rd floor of the hotel and allowed us to look over Osaka and relax after a full day of discoveries.
Although these facts alone already impressed me (I never slept in a room in Japan with such a beautiful view and the food at the lounge was delicious, at no extra costs!), what I had the pleasure to see during breakfast was even more stunning.
The breakfast was held on the 36th floor of the Swissotel Nankai Osaka, at Tavola 36. Besides the quality and great variety of food that was offered, the views were just spectacular! The dining area has big floor-to-ceiling windows and the tables are located just in proximity, allowing guests to enjoy the view at all times while having breakfast.
At Tavola 36, it is possible to reserve a table for lunch and dinner, too. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a rooftop location in Osaka.
We happened to walk by the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower on a sunny day. It was our first time walking in this district in Tokyo. We were amazed when we saw the Mori Tower for the first time, so then we Googled it to read more about it.
We learned that the tower is one of the tallest buildings in Tokyo, with its 54 floors. Although the tower is mainly home to many offices, we were glad to learn that the Mori Art Museum is also located there, on the 53rd floor.
With no hesitation, we bought our tickets and took the elevator to the top: at the time, the museum welcomed the exhibition of Leandro Erlich, which was really impressive. After the exhibition, we accessed the observation decks on the 52nd and 54th floors. We had never been this elevated in Japan before! Although we did not stop at the restaurant and bar that are located on the 52nd floor, I would recommend that you try it even for just a coffee or a glass of wine. Afterall, with these views, who can be disappointed?
The Mori Museum also offers a great opportunity for adults and kids to appreciate art in Tokyo.
Odaiba is an artificial island in Japan that we visited in 2018. We were curious to see how this area had developed over the years, because we read that it was originally built for defensive purposes and recently became a residential and leisure area.
One of the main leisure attractions is Odaiba Daikanransha, one of the highest ferris wheels in all of Japan. We did not plan this, but when we arrived in Odaiba, the sun was just starting to set. We did not hesitate and we bought two tickets to jump on the ferris wheel to watch the sunset over Tokyo.
The colors were impressive and the ride was long enough for us to look at the skyline of Tokyo from Odaiba. For sure, this is an unusual location that is not a restaurant or bar, but Odaiba makes our list because it was really worth the view over the bay. If you can, we recommend taking a ride while the sun is setting because of the colors that you will be able to admire.
Fondaco dei Tedeschi is located in the Rialto district in Venice. Originally, it was a place where goods from Germany were stored (that’s where the name comes from), but over the years the building was also the home of a post office. In recent years, Venice invested in its renovation, and today Fondaco dei Tedeschi hosts luxury shops and a restaurant that offers great quality food and drinks.
The most peculiar feature of Fondaco dei Tedeschi is its terrace. From the ground floor, it is possible to access the top level with an elevator, after buying the tickets online or on the ground floor.
The views are some of the best you can find in Venice. The terrace has a panoramic 360 degree view over the canals, rooftops, and the crowds walking through the narrow streets.
The best part of the terrace at Fondaco dei Tedeschi is that the access is free of charge. If you would like to sip a drink or grab a small bite, don’t hesitate to stop by at the Amo Restaurant on the ground floor.
San Gimignano is a famous medieval village in Tuscany that people from all around the world come to visit every year.
I have been to San Gimignano many times over the years, mainly because I love the Tuscan countryside, but also because I truly believe San Gimignano is a gem.
I wanted my husband to experience the same with his own eyes. We planned our day trip to this city on a hot summer day: the city was crowded with tourists, but what a beauty!
San Gimignano is known as the Town of Fine Towers since the city has 14 towers that originate from the medieval time and are still intact today.
It is possible to visit Torre Grossa, which is one of the towers that is located in Piazza del Duomo in San Gimignano. You will have to climb about 200 steps to reach the top, but the view of the Tuscan countryside will be worth your efforts. There are no other views like this one! My husband and I really enjoyed the view, but the top of the tower also offered a cooler breeze that refreshed us on such a hot day in Tuscany.
We discovered Capri during our honeymoon in 2017. What a beautiful island. Since the first second I stepped foot in Capri, my heart was taken by the beauty and chic style of its beaches, the terraced gardens, and the villas. Even the taxi cars are not the usual ones you would find in any other Italian city: the cabs are convertible!
Since 2017, we have been lucky to visit Capri and its beautiful people at least once per year, even if it is just for a long weekend.
During one of these stays, we happened to discover the Capri Rooftop Lounge Bar.
The Lounge Bar is just 5 minutes away from the iconic Piazzetta of Capri, on the rooftop of Hotel Luna. The majestic views over the Faraglioni and the blue water makes Capri Rooftop Lounge Bar a unique spot where to sip a drink with a view.
The Lounge Bar offers a great variety of drinks, cocktails, and also finger foods to enjoy before dinner. It is also open for lunch, in case you would like to stop here earlier in the day.
Milan is one of the most visited cities in Italy. The city not only offers great museums and exhibitions for art lovers, but also is the place to indulge in authentic Italian style shopping. Possibilities never end in Milan.
On top of that, the city offers a great variety of restaurants and bars where it is possible to enjoy the very famous Italian Aperitif (happy hour), or a dinner with family and friends.
We traveled for a weekend to Milan to celebrate the birthday party of a friend. She organized an aperitif and dinner party on the rooftop of the Hotel Milano Scala with approximately 50 people.
This is a boutique hotel located in the district of Brera, which is very close to all the attractions you might want to visit in Milan. The terrace is on the 7th floor and offers a view over Milan and its red roofs.
This is a great location for a happy hour, especially in the summertime.
New York, USA
I visited New York for the first time in 2015. My husband organized a surprise for our anniversary and I found myself flying to the Big Apple in November.
One of the things he planned for our first night there was to have some drinks at Bar Sixtyfive, which is situated on the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Of course, the views during the night left me breathless. It is possible to admire the iconic New York skyline from the large floor-to-ceiling windows and, on top of this, it is possible to order some of the best cocktails and drinks in New York.
We had a great time at Bar Sixtyfive, where I also met some of my husband’s best friends for the first time. I would definitely recommend it, either to enjoy some cocktails, or even for dinner.
We now visit New York at least once a year. My husband and I normally choose what to do, see, and eat together, but we still enjoy surprising each other here and there.
During our last visit, I planned a surprise lunch with a view. I reserved a table for two at Robert, a restaurant located at 2 Columbus Circle, which is very renowned among New Yorkers.
We were lucky to arrive at 12:00 when most of the restaurant was still empty. We could walk around to look at the view without disturbing the other guests. Also, we sat at a table with the perfect view that I was hoping to get at Robert’s. On my left, the large windows allowed us to look over Columbus Circle, Central Park, and the Manhattan skyscrapers.
Additionally, the lunch was exquisite. We told each other that we would come back to Robert for sure!
Dusseldorf offers the very best view of its nature and surroundings from the top of the TV tower, which is located in the harbour district.
Here, on the top floor at 168 meters, Qomo Restaurant welcomes its guests in a very stylish dining area, where the floor-to-ceiling windows give you a 360 degree view of the city. Yes, this is a restaurant and an observatory at the same time!
Qomo offers the opportunity to try Japanese fusion style cuisine, but it is also possible to just come by for some drinks.
Over the years, we have visited the restaurant to have dinner as well as to have some drinks. Both experiences have been great, but the view was the part that we liked the most.
Of our memories of Hong Kong, hiking to the Peak and capturing the stunning views from there are some of the best ones.
Whether you want to hike to the top or just reach the Peak by tram, don’t miss the opportunity to look over Hong Kong and its Victoria Harbour from here. You’ll be able to walk around and look over the skyscrapers from the highest top.
Once you arrive at the top, you will also find Peak Tower in stylish architecture that is home to many restaurants, too.
Here, there is also a Sky Terrace that is 428 meters above sea level and from where you can look at Hong Kong with a 360 degree view.
But I would say that it is not necessary to visit the Sky Terrace to enjoy the stunning views over Hong Kong. You’ll be able to do so for free once you have reached the Peak.
The Peak is definitely a main attraction for us in Hong Kong and we would recommend anyone to visit it at least once!