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Postcards with a View

Updated on August 13, 2017
Me Madrid
Me Madrid

You know about this fascination I have with rooftops, my own being a good preaching by example token. The views are what do it, the feeling they bring of flying over a city, a skyline, like a bird, of having a privileged perspective over the roofs at one's feet, of feeling at the top of the world, not unlike Di Caprio in Titanic, but quite more real for a city bird like me.

Here I present some wonderful rooftops I've visited. This isn't a comprehensive list, but it's a very chic one. Don't go calling me snob now, you'll know when I get all snob on you when I decide to do just that. Ahem.

Most of them I've chosen because I've been there very recently, but the NYC ones are featured because I can't take them off my mind. All, including the one my own city, I looked up in the net before visiting. Easy: Google rooftop restaurant, or rooftop club, or some such, and you'll find the hidden-from-view jewels. For me, I could say a city visit without a rooftop stop isn't quite a complete visit.

Note: I don't have personal photos from most of these places (who takes a shot when one's having a cool drink in a cool place? OK, that's snobbish), so we'll have to make do with the official websites and some other borrowed shots from the net.

Even though most of the photos aren't mine, this is still a Babbley, baby!

Leb-I-Derya, Instabul, Turkey

The peak of the Golden Horn on the right. Swoooon!
The peak of the Golden Horn on the right. Swoooon!
Yeah, I'm still swooning!
Yeah, I'm still swooning!
Pretty inside, too. In case you didn't know, Istanbul can get pretty cold in winter.
Pretty inside, too. In case you didn't know, Istanbul can get pretty cold in winter.

Official Website

Dress code: Smart casual, and cleaned-up casual does just fine

Best time for a visit: Sunset

What I had, aside from the views: Gin Tonic

360º Istanbul, Turkey

Yep, it's really a 360º!
Yep, it's really a 360º!

Official Website

Pasting these four shots together will give you the 360º view. They kid you not, a full circle view of Istanbul is what you get in this cool Istiklal street spot.

Dress code: Smart casual

Best time for a visit: Any time on their opening hours

What I had, aside from the views: Mojitos

Solar, Berlin, Germany

I sat on this very swing! Also on its brother on the west side!
I sat on this very swing! Also on its brother on the west side!
The cool elevator!
The cool elevator!
Yes, this one's mine, obviously...
Yes, this one's mine, obviously...

Official Website

Dress code: Smart casual for the restaurant, can be casual for the club upstairs

Best time for a visit: Personally, I'd say after sunset, but you can have a drink upstairs while the sun sets and then dine downstairs while the city lights up. The ride up the flashy exterior elevator is just dandy at any time of day!

What I had, aside from the views: Pre dinner Gin Tonic, and dinner, which was a lot better than we expected.

Kong, Paris, France

Ahem... I do have a couple of photos from this place, we caught it just before they opened the restaurant for the evening, and snap I went! Whoops! I'm posting just this one from my set, since the others feature people of stature... that'd be my SO!
Ahem... I do have a couple of photos from this place, we caught it just before they opened the restaurant for the evening, and snap I went! Whoops! I'm posting just this one from my set, since the others feature people of stature... that'd be my SO!

Official Website

This isn't what you'd call a genuine rooftop in the sense that you have a "full city view" from it, but I'll say, the view is monumental just the same, and on top of that it's the chicest place! For you aficionados of Sex in the City, this is the place featured in one of the last Sixth Season episodes where Carrie meets with the boyfriend's ex.

Dress code: Smart, and from that... to the nines :-) Really, for a drink smart will do, but for dinner you better dress up.

Best time for a visit: When they'll have you? Seriously, if you want to see the full swing atmosphere, I'd say around 9pm is a good time to get there.

What I had, aside from the views: Heineken

Please, take a gander at the cocktail photos, they are from the official website and you can see many more in there, but I borrowed a few to delight some sore eyes.

230 Fifth, New York City, USA

Who knew they had terraces in Manhattan, eh?
Who knew they had terraces in Manhattan, eh?
Well, they do!
Well, they do!
Boy, do they ever!
Boy, do they ever!
Who would want to be in the enclosed bar? Well, I would ... smack in the middle of winter!
Who would want to be in the enclosed bar? Well, I would ... smack in the middle of winter!

Official website

Dress code: Smart casual, but really, aside from sneakers or flip-flops, pretty much anything will do in the afternoon. The evening is a bit more dressy, but comfortable, casual dressy.

Best time for a visit: I'd say after sunset for a wonderful lighted up city view, but it's also fun in the afternoon, especially on a sunny day.

What I had, aside from the views: Cosmopolitan. No, just kidding! I had a Corona, or a few, if my memory serves me right.

Metro Hotel, New York City, USA

The rooftop seen from the top of the Empire State Building
The rooftop seen from the top of the Empire State Building
View from the rooftop, on a ESB dress up night. Awesome, isn't it.
View from the rooftop, on a ESB dress up night. Awesome, isn't it.

Official website

Dress code: Any, as long as you're dressed, you're welcome, especially if you’re a guest in the hotel, which I was :-)

Best time for a visit: Depends on how you like your overdose of the Empire State Building! If daylight is your thing, then go up from 4pm up until sunset. But if you like to be on the very feet of the ESB when it's all lighted up and pretty, then go up after sunset. Geez, what a good pick this hotel was!

What I had, aside from the views: A few drinks, one every day that we went up before taking off for the evening.

Note: I do have old-fashioned paper photos from this rooftop (I didn't get a digital camera so long ago, whaddaya know!), but my ancient scanner decided to die on me recently. Oppps!

Me, Madrid, Spain

Will you allow me to be proud of this rooftop on my very city?
Will you allow me to be proud of this rooftop on my very city?
Will you allow me to flash the fact that it's in the list of the 20 best rooftops in the world, according to Vanitatis?
Will you allow me to flash the fact that it's in the list of the 20 best rooftops in the world, according to Vanitatis?

Official Website

Dress code: Smart casual, and up

Best Time for a visit: The views are wonderful at any time of day. The atmosphere is more casual before sunset, and a bit more "sophisticated" in the evening. This rooftop, together with my own, are the best in the city. Ahem.

What I had, aside from the views: I've been there a few times, so it goes from beer to Gin Tonic back to beer and so on.

Me Madrid, by Jaime Noain @ http://11870.com
Me Madrid, by Jaime Noain @ http://11870.com

The End?

It's very likely that I'll add some other jewels to this postcard collection. For example, the rooftop at Hotel de las Letras in Madrid holds a special place in my heart, as does the rooftop at the Hotel Urban in Madrid. The list could grow and grow.

Please be assured, these fantastic places are open to all publics, in two ways:

1. The prices aren't disgusting --they are not, seriously, maybe add a dollar (or two, in some cities) for the view, but you don't really need to take a mortgage on the house to have a drink in them, honest! If you don't believe me, you can check all official websites, where price lists are available. All, except the Kong in Paris, are as affordable as any other bar or club at ground level! The thing with the Kong is not its exclusive nature, it's just Paris being it's usual expensive self.

2. None of these places have "guest lists", or A-lists as the cool kidz like to call them now. They live off customers that visit them. You don't have to be Beyonce or Brad Pitt to get in, really, just take off your sneakers and shorts, and put on clean pants and a pressed shirt and you're in and very welcome.

I hope you enjoyed, I certainly did!

© 2009 Elena.

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    • Elena. profile image
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      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Hello, Dolores, glad you enjoyed and that you "see it" my way :-) If I ever go to Baltimore, now I know what view to look for!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Beautiful pictures, Elena. You are so right abut rooftops, you can really see the city, understand it better and the views are fabulous. From a rooftop view in Baltimore, you can see pretty much the area of their great fire of 1904 - old buildings in the distance, new ones and high rises in the area of the fire.

    • Elena. profile image
      Author

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      De rien, Prasetio, glad you enjoyed :-)

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      nice picture. I'd love to see. thanks for share

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      It is a famous old hotel BTW

    • Elena. profile image
      Author

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      My pleasure, James -- and thanks for the TIP abut the Hay Adams, James :-) Never been to Washington, but if I ever make it there, I have one place to look up already!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      I enjoyed all of these fine views you provided us. I loved the 230 Fifth in The City. I will have to go there and see that view with my own eyes. The rooftop of the Hay Adams, across the street from The White House, has a beautiful view, too. Thanks for the trip.

    • Elena. profile image
      Author

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Hey, Feline! I think I lead a pretty regular life (work, read, work, sleep, eat, read some more... laugh), but maybe the difference is that instead of spending money on iPhones or the likes, I spend it mostly on traveling ;-) And yeah, these photos are to die for, aren't they!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 8 years ago

      Ever the wanderlust! What an exciting life you seem to lead Elena. Wonderful envy-provoking pictures as usual! :)

    • Elena. profile image
      Author

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      MindField, not too fond of heights, are you? Oh well, that's the good thing about photos, you can skip the vertigo :-)

      JamaG, I'm glad I took you there :-) And thanks for noticing about the dress code -- I included it because I've noticed people worry about 2 things it when they are told or see photos of these type of venues: price and dress code. Like I hinted, people tend to believe that they need to be "someone" to get into these places, plus have "someone's" bank account too, which isn't the case at all in my experience. Translation: I'm NOT someone and I get in everywhere, cool as you please. Laugh!

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I don't care if you didn't take all the pics!  It takes a special talent to find the "right" ones on websites and then assemble them soooo beautifully as you did here.  Fabulous!

      As for Madrid, it's rooftops are every bit as gorgeous as NYC, just in a different way.  However, it occurs to me that if I ever do get to your great city, I won't recognize any of it because of the steady diet of rooftop shots you share with us here!

      Oh, and thanks for the tips on acceptable dress at the various bars/restaurants.  I'll add them all in my "Trips Tips" file!

    • MindField profile image

      MindField 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      A lovely tour but glad I could do it from the ground, Elena!

    • Elena. profile image
      Author

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Thanks, ripple! And yep, I'm rather proud of the one in Madrid, it CAN compete with the views of the Bosphorus and the Empire State.... I think :)

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Elena, so beautiful...thanks for sharing. :-) The rooftops are breathtaking esp. your very own Madrid. :-)

    • Gin Delloway profile image

      Gin Delloway 8 years ago

      nice hub!!

    • Elena. profile image
      Author

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Glad you enjoyed, fortunerep! Being in those places is even better that looking at the photos, I can assure you ;-)

    • fortunerep profile image

      fortunerep 8 years ago from North Carolina

      I love the pictures, beautiful.

      dori

    • Elena. profile image
      Author

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      G-MA, I wish that you do, Manhattan is insanely wonderful :-) Besos!

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      All were wonderful but my favorite was the one in Manhattan .  I would love to go to NY just once in my life...Great hub sweetie...:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • Elena. profile image
      Author

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Hello, Anthony! Are you the anthony I knone who lives around Alicante? Good to see you if you are, and nice to meet youif you aren't :-)

      Along the same lines: If you are the Anthony I know, then Madrid is a stone's throw away, come on over!!

    • profile image

      Anthony James Barnett - author 8 years ago

      Another interesting Hub from you, Elena. I've never been to Madrid... Yet one more thing to do before I die.

    • Elena. profile image
      Author

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Hi, Iphi!  That shot from the Empire isn't mine, it's from the hotel's website, maybe given to them by a guest, but not this guest! :-)  I do have a similar shot on paper, though!

      And baby, a Mojito with you sound good anywhere, Madrid or any other fabulous city! ;-)

    • profile image

      Iphigenia 8 years ago

      I loved all of these - a mojito in Madrid tonight, if the gang here could just all turn up. Wouldn't that be something ?

      I felt a wee bit dizzy looking down from the Empire State Building - it looks like you leaned over almost too far to take that shot.

    • Elena. profile image
      Author

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Thanks, Haunty! I hardly think I'm on the system's A-List, but your comment made me smile anyhow! :-)

    • Haunty profile image

      Haunty 8 years ago from Hungary

      Well, I guess some people simply deserve more credit than the others. And the system is aware of that. :) Very pretty hub! Thanks.

    • Elena. profile image
      Author

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Hello, nazishnasim! Dreaming is not only free, but good for the soul, so dream on! Plus, dreaming about it is the first step in the right direction :-)

    • profile image

      nazishnasim 8 years ago

      WOW, that was something. My biggest dream is to travel the whole world in one go. Grating and tiring but dream is a dream, yeah? Awesome hub

    • Elena. profile image
      Author

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      De nada, Cris! I was Patsy Clining it over at your hub while you were oggling the world from these fabulous rooftops :-)

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Thanks for making good on your promise for some of the pictures are spectacular! Nothing beats looking down on the world from rooftops. And rooftops with gardens - well now that's the bestest things ever!

      Thanks for sharing :D

    • Elena. profile image
      Author

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Yeah -- don't think I wasn't of a mind to have a photo of my own pride and joy :-) But that featured profusely in another couple of hubs, sooooo :-)

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 8 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Love rooftops -- but I gotta admit, I like the rooftop gardens the best (and your own balcony rates in there!).

    • Elena. profile image
      Author

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Errr... sorry that I'm the first to comment on my own hub... but this was "born" with a score of 71.... beats me! I'll never in a million years understand the hubscore!