Barcelona has many attractions, and in addition to the food, architecture, and wine, there is the weather. The city enjoys eight—sometimes, even nine—months of fantastic climate, with lots of sun, nice breezes, and comfortable temperatures, even at night. There’s no question that many visitors come looking for this great weather when they come to Barcelona, and the city itself has taken notice of its appeal: over the past 15 years, many open-air, roof-top venues have opened, offering good food, cool drinks, and spectacular views of the city. Some have pools, while others host live music, but all them let you see Barcelona from above—a perspective not to be missed. Hotels tend to put the most effort into creating these spaces, and some of them have raised the bar to a very high standard in a city that competes fearlessly with Paris, Madrid, and Lisbon. Here are my five favorite rooftop views around the city:
Hotel Barceló Raval
The rooftop at Hotel Barceló Raval is one of the coziest and warmest—at least in terms of human interactions—in Barcelona. The neighborhood, a rich mixture of cultures and communities, helps visitors instantly feel at home, and the space offers incredible 360-degree views of the whole city. This hotel is a great place to start a visit to Barcelona: The food is good and the cocktails well made—but my personal favorite amenity is its fantastic outdoor pool.
Classic, discreet, and extremely elegant, Hotel 1898 boasts one of the city’s best rooftops. The hotel’s on-site restaurant, La Isabela, offers a 360-degree view of Barcelona, including a unique overhead perspective of the famous Las Ramblas. Be sure to stop by the terrace bar, where live music accompanies the house cocktails three days a week.
Terrasa Alaire is an excellent choice for an outdoor dinner on a budget, with its excellent tapas menu and a well-chosen list of wines, but even better than the food is the view. The vistas of modernist Barcelona—mostly in Passeig de Gracia—are incredible. They also offer live music every day in the summer.
These may be the best views in the city because the restaurant is actually up in the mountains—but don't worry, it’s only 15 minutes by cab from the city center. You’ll want to book in advance (it’s usually very crowded) and accept the fact that they charge twice the usual prices in Barcelona, just because of this astonishing environment. That being said, the food is excellent and I highly recommend it.
Claris is one of my favorite hotels in the city. It’s well located—within walking distance of Passeig de Gràcia, Las Ramblas and the historic Gothic Quarter—but still nicely far from the noise and activity of Barcelona’s main streets. The service and rooms are top-notch, but the real standout is their rooftop, which serves a remarkable menu of cocktails and food to pair with the expansive city views. Go there for lunch and ask for the prix-fixe menu: it’s just $35 dollars per person, and you’ll enjoy every bite.