Once that alluringly balmy weather settles in, locals love nothing more than eating, sipping and chatting in one of Budapest’s plethora of dreamy alfresco spaces. But there is something about rooftop locales in particular that is especially enthralling. Here are five with lively personalities, which overlook the city on high.
A stellar view of St. Stephen’s Basilica—so close it appears as if you can touch it—awaits at the High Note SkyBar, crowning the music-themed Aria Hotel Budapest. In the evenings it’s understandably packed, but try visiting on a lazy weekend afternoon, when you can curl up on one of the sofa’s pillows with a mellow Earl Grey iced tea.
You might be out of breath by the time you reach the seemingly infinite staircase’s end, but Corvin Club & Roof Terrace—formerly known as Corvintető—is worth the upward climb. Especially popular with the young, arty set, this hotspot set in a one-time Communist-era department store on Blaha Lujza tér has an underground vibe conjured by nightly DJ sessions.
As its name implies, a panoramic skyline is what draws the masses to 360 Bar, atop the old, classy Paris Department Store. After-work crowds take to the wooden deck for shots of pálinka and what just might be Budapest’s most picturesque sunset. Here, weekends also lead to upbeats events like hip-hop-fueled brunches.
Regulars at Buda’s historic Turkish-designed Rudas Bath know relaxation doesn’t end after emerging from its thermal waters. On the rooftop there is a Jacuzzi to relish—alongside staggering sightlines of the Danube—before a dinner revolving around the likes of pork confit and ratatouille at the downstairs restaurant.
Gozsdu Udvar, the 7th District’s boisterous maze of restaurants and bars, is home to the nightclub-like Gozsdu Sky Terrace. Beyond the heady surroundings, stylish imbibers linger for Aperol Spritzes and harissa-dressed burgers served amid pulsating electronic beats. Even in the winter, this heated lair offers sanctuary.