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Text by Minna Nyrhinen.
Photos by Maija Astikainen.
1. Three-sixty degrees
For an entrance fee of €3, the roof of the Fine Arts Circle offers a breathtaking 360-degree eyeful of Madrid’s classic tourist attractions, famous streets, skyline and mountains to the North. You can visit the terrace just to admire the view, but if you’re feeling peckish, the Tartán rooftop restaurant serves an extensive menu from breakfast to dinner.
Tartán roof/Circulo de Bellas Artes
Calle de Alcalá, 42
2. Between you and the chef
La Cocina de San Antón invites hungry visitors to buy fresh fish or meat from the San Anton Market below and bring it up to the kitchen. For a €5 supplement, the cook will custom-prepare your dish and serve it with a variety of garnishes. The terrace is perfect for a sun-downer, too. Try the mojitos and carajillo, famous Spanish-style coffee laced with rum.
Mercado de San Antón
Calle de Augusto Figueroa 24
3. Chill in the clouds
Gymage is where young people gather year-round for divine yet reasonably priced cocktails, smoothies and great eats in good company. The terrace is sun-drenched all day, but the air stays cool thanks to a vaporised water system. If it still isn’t wet enough for you, dive into Gymage’s own swimming pool.
Calle Corredera Baja de San Pablo 2
4. Relax deluxe
Though situated on top of a luxury hotel, the roof terrace of Las Letras is open to everyone. The chillout music and lush jungle of plants guarantee a laid-back atmosphere for drinks and tapas on one of the busiest streets of Madrid. With its long opening hours, the rooftop bar is a great spot to visit especially on hot summer nights. If you are spoilt for choice deciding what to drink, try the bar’s specialty, Gin litchi.
Hotel Las Letras
Calle Gran Vía, 11
5. An open secret
The old Escuelas Pías building in the bohemian Lavapiés neighbourhood has plenty to boast about: probably the city’s most beautiful library and an adorable top floor terrace, Gau & Café. The aerial hideaway attracts food-lovers with its delicious but affordable Mediterranean and Arabic-style dishes. When the terrace first started ten years ago, its fame grew by word of mouth. Today it is the much-loved crowning jewel of Lavapiés.
Gau & Café
Calle Tribulete 14
This article was first published in the March 2015 issue of Finnair's monthly in-flight magazine Blue Wings.