The 7 Best Rooftop & Patio Bars In Budapest, Summer 2020

These panoramic outdoor bars offer sweeping views of Budapest, many of them from up above. Expect a lively crowd of trendy people along with pricey wines and cocktails. Being indoor-outdoor spaces, many of them are open year-round, but they're most enjoyable during the al fresco season. For more locals and lower prices, try these casual outdoor bars, too.

#1 Kiosk

Kiosk is a hip restaurant and cocktail bar in the heart of Budapest, favored by trendy locals and tourists. Kiosk has at least two things going for it: a stunning view of the Danube and the Elisabeth Bridge from its outdoor patio, and a dramatically high-ceilinged, industrial-chic interior. (The building houses a Roman Catholic high school upstairs, in fact, there's a chapel right above Kiosk.)

#2 360 Bar

With panoramic vistas of Budapest, 360 is one the hottest rooftop bars in the city. Trendy locals peppered with tourists nibble on sliders and sip cocktails here, perched atop one of the tallest buildings along Andrássy Avenue, also known as Budapest's Champs-Élysées. From Thursday to Saturday, hip-hop and R&B ooze from the DJs booth. During the colder months, heated igloo structures prevent the winter from interfering with the year-round fun. The regular, open-air season usually begins on May 1st and runs through October. Advance booking is recommended.

#3 High Note Sky Bar

High Note Sky Bar offers some of the most impressive rooftop views in Budapest. To get to the bar, you'll need to walk through the polished lobby of the five-star Aria boutique hotel and take the elevator to the top floor. The panorama is truly stunning: the Liberty Statue, the Buda Castle, and the St. Stephen’s Basilica all appear within arm’s reach, which in case of the church is practically true.

#4 Leo Budapest (Outdoor Only)

A rooftop view in Budapest can amount to an impromptu 20th-century history lesson of Hungary. Scan the Danube's bank from atop, and you'll see classically-proportioned, grand buildings alternating, seemingly randomly, with glass and concrete boxes. Those modern structures, not all of them visually pleasing, sprung up during the communist era (1947-1989) to replace what's been flattened by WWII bombings.

#5 St. Andrea Wine & Skybar

St. Andrea is a Hungarian success story: starting as a small winery in northeastern Hungary's Eger wine region, they've become a nationally recognized label now also involved in a Budapest fine dining restaurant and, since 2017, this posh rooftop bar towering over downtown's Vörösmarty Square. Often the best strategy for a rooftop bar is to simply let the view do the talking while ensuring that drinks are on point, and this is exactly what they've done here.

#6 Esetleg Bistro

It's tough to beat the location of Esetleg Bistro, a trendy, partially outdoor bar and restaurant situated on the Danube's bank, inside a dramatic, whale-shaped contemporary building in District 9. Esetleg offers sweeping views onto several Budapest landmarks, including the Liberty Bridge, Gellért Hill, and the imposing building of the Budapest University of Technology right across the river. This lively space is ideal to wind down with an afternoon drink during the warmer months.

#7 Tereza

If Mexican food isn't your first choice in Budapest no one will blame you for it. But if the craving for tacos and margaritas strikes, Tereza is unlikely to disappoint as long as you remain mindful that Mexico (and California and Texas) is half a world away. Tereza — whose moniker is a playful latinization of Terézváros, the name of its neighborhood — is run by the owners of Mazel Tov, a comparably hip and chic restaurant just blocks away. Although there's a below-ground indoor section, Tereza comes into its own in the al fresco season when the open-air courtyard transforms into a lively night-time hangout lit by lanterns and the occasional tongues of flame leaping from the grill station.

Rankings are based on a combination of food/drink, atmosphere, service, and price. To remain unbiased, I visit all places incognito and pay for my own meals and drinks. I also never accept money in exchange for coverage. But this means I must rely on readers to support my work. If you've enjoyed this article, please consider making a donation.