With its hilly terrain and ancient monuments, the picturesque skylines not to mention the sparkling waterways, Istanbul is a beautiful city. Such beauty deserves to be admired, and the best way to do so is from one of the many rooftop bars this city has to offer. From casual to swank there is a guaranteed fit for what you desire. Stop in and have a drink, relax and enjoy the views.

Banyan Restaurant
Chic and upscale this restaurant located near the Ortaköy Mosque offers fantastic views of Sultanahmet and the Bosphorus as well as the beautiful mosque. There is a full bar with creative cocktails, as well as Asian fusion cuisine. Don’t worry, if it is winter time you can warm yourself by the indoor fire pit.

Nu Teras
This trendy upmarket establishment delivers stunning views of the Golden Horn. Sit and admire the scenery while you nibble on an appetizer, enjoy dinner or come only for a drink. Fancy cocktails and a full bar will get you ready for when the dj starts to spin his set. Test your moves on the glass dance floor.

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Located above the Goethe Institute just off Istiklal, this bar rewards your walk to the top with views of Sultanahmet, Bosphorus and even the Asian side. Glass walls and a 4 season environment allow you to enjoy the sights in any weather. They offer drinks, a classic Turkish menu as well as various fusions including of course German. It is a casual environment with a dj on the weekends.

For an entirely different perspective and for those who are feeling adventurous, hop on a private boat and head over to the Maiden’s Tower or Kız Kulesi as it is called in Turkish. Kuledebar is located between the Asian and European side at the top of Maiden’s Tower and has a rich history waiting to be discovered. Come for the view, stay for a drink. There is also a restaurant located on site.

Leb-i Derya
This bar is located just off Istiklal on Kumbaracı Yokuşu and is a little challenging to find, there are two locations, so be aware. But once located the views are well worth the effort. This is a great place to enjoy a cocktail and watch the sunset over the picturesque skyline. However, as an alternative, consider starting your Sunday here with brunch.

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Balkon is a great location to enjoy a beer with friends. It has a very casual somewhat hipster atmosphere, where the music and conversation is flowing. You will find a mix of mostly locals and some tourists as well. Enjoy the panoramic view and have a  snack off their menu. Fun fact, their pizza’s have actual pork options, a rarity in Istanbul.

360 Istanbul
Arguably Istanbul’s premier and most well known rooftop bar, 360 Istanbul is located on central Istiklal in the Mısır Apartment building. From the roof of this upscale space you can see everything from the top of St. Antoine Church’s tower to Sultanahmet and all the way to Topkapi Palace. Come have a signature mixed drink and mingle with the chic and artsy crowd.

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5. Kat
The bohemian neighborhood of Cihangir is home to one of Istanbul’s first rooftop bars, 5 Kat was opened over 2 decades ago and is still holding strong. In the winter drinks and dinner are served in the enclosed restaurant. In summer the rooftop is opened for people to enjoy Istanbul’s wonderful weather. No matter what the season the view will always be amazing and the crowd quite unique.

Prepare to spend a pretty penny if you are lucky enough to dine at Mikla. Award winning Turkish-Finnish chef Mehmet Gürs picture worthy creations can only be matched by the views themselves. With a 360 degree terrace, there is not a bad seat in the house. Come in and let the Mikla team treat you to a meal you will never forget. Reservations strongly suggested.

Vogue is another very upscale and sophisticated restaurant and bar which has been an Istanbul favorite for over 20 years. Known for their impeccable service and a brilliant wine list and cigar selection, Vogue offers a memorable experience. A large part of which comes from the views off their 3 terraces. Enjoy a whisky and a cigar and watch the Bosphorous Bridge lights dance.

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