Ah yes, the glory of rooftop bars. I can understand the fascination with them: you feel like you’re on top of the world and you confirm this feeling with classy drinks and gourmet meals. Oh, and the view! It’s simply breathtaking to look over an entire city from your restaurant or bar seat and let the wind gently blow past your ears. I’ve found some great bars and restaurants in Istanbul, some of them belong to hotels, so you can move from the bar right to your comfy bed!
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Romance over the rooftops
Hotel Eresin Crown’s Mosaic restaurant terrace is practically made for events or romantic dinners. On hot summer nights, watch the sun go down slowly over the horizon. Now add a glass of wine and a great steak to it, maybe a little live music, and the picture is perfect! When you’re up there, you really get the ‘zen’ feeling, as they have a miniature pond up there which I think really helps you relax! The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, and I can’t tell you which is the better choice: there always are both local specialties and international favorites available and while dinner is romantic and dreamlike, lunch is refreshing and a brilliant way to take a break on a hot day. However, note that the prices are quite high: We are talking over €4 for a Cola.
The hotel itself is a five star property, praised especially for its service, gastronomy and location right by the Sultan Ahmet Mosque in Istanbul. From here you can really reach everything very easily! The rooms are a little old-fashioned but comfortable and functional! The bed is extremely comfortable and you sleep like a baby in there! There is not much in terms of sport or spa, but you get more than enough all around the hotel in one of the many Hamam baths!
A gastronomic highlight
For really fine dining with a marvelous view over Istanbul, 360 Istanbul is a restaurant and bar with an inside area as well as a terrace. Their menus are filled with fantastic meals inspired by both international cuisine and Turkish treats. It is especially great if you’re out with people with different tastes, as you can get sushi, steaks, pizza, or pasta, and so much more in one and the same place. Make sure to look at the wine menu and let them give you advice, as they are truly masters at combining food and wine! For a night out, this is a great start, too, as the bar of 360 is home to many original cocktails. On the weekends, the restaurant becomes a nightclub with live performances of dancers, DJs and other artists. The atmosphere is quite trendy and elegant, and if you visit Istanbul I think this is practically a must. In the evenings, the city is full of lights and quite a sight to see.
In the Hotel Ceylan Intercontinental, right on top, there is the City Lights Restaurant & Bar which truly lays all of Istanbul at your feet. From entertainment to atmosphere and fine dining with an excellent wine selection, you will feel like the king of the world, or at least Istanbul. The restaurant and bar was newly opened last year and has been incredibly popular ever since. It’s quite an experience to stand against the windows and watch the sun go down and the lights light up all over the city. The menu of the bar of this elegant, stylish restaurant is filled with great, delicious cocktails, wines, and drinks of all sorts. The hotel is quite popular and well rated as well! The rooms range from functional to luxurious, and the service is just excellent. The waiters are very friendly and always ready to help. The breakfast is also a delight – clean and neatly set up with delicious fresh fruit and breads as well as pastries and sweets!
I love visiting Istanbul and every time I go the best part of my stay is overlooking the city with a nice drink in my hand and meal in front of me. It’s a unique feeling, really! On sunny days the view is priceless!
Flavio works on the marketing team of a leading online travel company where he shares his passion for travel and photography. He is also a regular blogger, blogging mostly about travel and business. At present, he resides in the town of Kreuzlingen on the northern Swiss border between Switzerland and Germany.