Drinks with a view, anyone? Milan’s rooftop bar scene is thriving at the moment. The city is dotted with endless lovely top-floor venues that are brilliant for an Apertivo in the evening while soaking up a breathtaking urban panorama.
Nothing is more satisfying for me than towering over somewhere like the Duomo di Milano with a Campari in hand, having chats with my nearest and dearest, and reveling with other like-minded people.
If you want to elevate your northern Italian holiday sky-high in style, you can do so by checking out my picks for the 8 best rooftop bars in Milan.
LiQuido Rooftop Bar
Located in the trendy iQ Hotel Milano, the LiQuido Rooftop Bar is a lively, chic, high-rise venue only three minutes away from the Milano Centrale Station, so you don’t have to worry about how you’ll get home.
I had never heard of LiQuido Rooftop Bar until I stayed at the iQ Hotel one summer weekend. When I checked in, I popped upstairs to have a look, and I was immediately impressed. The vibe was incredible, between the dimmed blue lighting and the helpful mixologists.
Straight away, I snagged a seat by the window for happy hour from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm every day. The signature cocktails were all themed with country and city names like Thailand, Taiwan, and many more. The New Zealand cocktail was jumping at me, so I ordered that.
Its main ingredient was vodka, with some kiwi juice that gave it sweet and tangy notes. There was also some lime juice added, which gave it a citrusy kick, and the drop of eucalyptus infused a refreshing menthol aftertaste.
LiQuido Rooftop Bar (€€€) – Via Giovanni Battista Pirelli, 5B, 20124 Milano MI, Italy – Every day, 5:00 pm to 12:00 am
One of the more upmarket rooftop bars I’ve been to in Milan is A’Riccione Terrazza12. This sophisticated venue breathes lavishness and often attracts those with finer tastes. It’s right in the heart of the city center, where you’ll get to catch a vista of Piazza San Babila and the Duomo.
The first time I went here was when I was having dinner at the restaurant on the 9th floor, and I popped in for an apertivo beforehand. The interiors really blew me away, from the stylish pendants suspended over each table to the floor-to-ceiling windows offering outstanding views.
There were so many drink options on the menu here that I felt slightly overwhelmed when it came to order. One of the drinks I had never tried before was the oyster martini; I was curious, so I asked the bartender how briny it was, and he assured me that it was fine.
That was a sign to me that I should order it. I won’t lie; it exceeded my expectations. The base was quite salty, but the gin gave it a healthy balance, and there were herbal notes from the vermouth, adding depth to the flavor.
A’Riccione Terrazza12 (€€€) – Via Durini, 28, 20122 Milano MI, Italy – Every day, 12:00 pm to 2:00 am
Set atop the five-star Armani Hotel in the stunning Brera neighborhood, the Armani/Bamboo Bar is another incredible skydeck lounge. The panoramic views you get of the Milan skyline from here are breathtaking, and the number of skyscrapers I saw utterly amazed me.
The inner decor was focused on providing a contemporary look with refined wall patterns, a minimalistic bar area, cozy couches, and square-shaped lamp shades throughout. It gave me the feeling that I was walking through a modern art museum.
The staff here really added to the experience; they went above and beyond throughout my time here. The server looking after my table was always nearby, asking if I needed anything, and the head bartender even explained some of their favorite cocktails to me.
The Armani/Bamboo Bar boasted two cocktail menus, one with seven standard cocktails and another with premium options. Since it was close to my birthday at the time, I couldn’t help but opt for the latter.
I decided on the Sunset Cock; it was so refreshing after a solid five hours in 30-degree heat. The tequila was a delightful Ocho Tequilla mixed with grapefruit soda, giving it a bubbly texture and making the flavors pop. I enjoyed the lime juice, too; it made it slightly sour.
Armani/Bamboo Bar (€€€) – Armani Hotel Milano, Via Alessandro Manzoni, 31, 20121 Milano MI, Italy – Sunday to Wednesday, 11:00 am to 12:00 am, and Thursday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 1:00 am
Take a lift to the top of the Excelsior Hotel Gallia, and you’ll find one of my favorite rooftop bars in all of Milan, Terrazza Gallia. This place is a sight to behold, particularly the outdoor seating spaces; I got to sit right in front of the Piazza Duca d’Aosta.
Terrazza Gallia gets really busy, especially on the weekends and summer, so reserve your table in advance. I was lucky enough that I went during the week, so I managed to get one of the few outdoor seats available.
Terrazza Gallia has it all. They provide gorgeous seating areas for all kinds of parties, a beautifully decorated cigar lounge that would lure in even nonsmokers, and a library for those looking for a quieter drink away from the Milanese chaos.
I wasn’t in the mood for a cocktail when I got here, so instead, I ordered a Jameson Original Whiskey. With every sip came a mild sweetness mixed with oaky goodness and a light spice. I ordered another one afterward and went into the cigar lounge to try it out; it was amazing!
Terrazza Gallia (€€€) – Piazza Duca d’Aosta, 9, 20124 Milano MI, Italy – Every day, 12:30 pm to 12:30 am
The Roof Milano
For some of the best views of the city, you need to go to the Roof Milano. It’s an exceptional spot whether you fancy a bite to eat or a couple of beers after dark. From the Duomo, the walk is less than ten minutes, so if you can get up there just before the sun goes down, you’re in for a treat.
I struggled to find the Roof initially; I didn’t realize you had to enter through the Square Hotel to get up there, so be aware of this before you arrive.
Try to reserve your seat for the rooftop’s outdoor terrace area, or you could find yourself too far inside and not have a nice vantage point. The number of places you can see up there is mind-blowing. Don’t forget to bring your jacket in the winter because it can get super cold.
The bar’s design has a sleek modernity and characterizes the true fashion that Milan is known for, with the expansive walk-out terrace and gleaming tables lined with stylish seating. Make sure you dress nicely because I found a genuine feeling of exclusiveness about the place, so you’ll want to blend in.
There’s a nice selection of drinks here, too. I had a couple of ice-cold Peronis, and they went down smoothly; they had a nice crisp taste with a light, hoppy bitterness. If beers aren’t your thing, you can indulge in some of their fruity cocktails, like the Apple Martini or a glass of white from the wine list.
The Roof Milano (€€€) – Via Alberico Albricci, 2/4, 20122 Milano MI, Italy – Sunday to Thursday, 12:00 pm to 1:00 am, and Friday and Saturday, 12:00 pm to 2:00 am
Radio Rooftop Bar
Dress up as fancy as possible and get yourself up to the Radio Rooftop Bar, a part of the Melia Hotel at the Piazza Della Repubblica. I like to describe this place as more of an elevated living room; it’s so warm and snug, and the sweeping views of Milan provide the perfect backdrop.
The bar itself is on the 10th floor, which gives you enough height to see some of the nearby skyscrapers clearly. I loved how there was a DJ playing when I was there; it added to the mood creating a nice vibe.
When I arrived, I had a quick look at the menu, and without hesitation, I ordered a nice glass of Prosecco. I was craving some bubbles, and this sure satisfied it; the fruity apple-flavored notes were an extra bonus.
Although the Radio Rooftop Bar is mainly for drinks, they do a brunch service if you’re feeling peckish during the day. I didn’t get the chance to try it, but some of my friends have, and they said the calamari with red pepper marmalade was so delicious.
Radio Rooftop Bar (€€€) – Via Marco Polo, 18, 20124 Milano MI, Italy – Sunday to Wednesday, 9:00 am to 12:30 am, and Thursday to Saturday, 9:00 am to 1:30 am
SunEleven Rooftop Bar
Pull up a seat at the iH Hotel Milano Ambasciatori’s high-end rooftop bar, the SunEleven Rooftop Bar. Open in winter and summer, the 11th floor of this property comes alive as darkness creeps in and provides visitors with unmatched scenes looking out over Milan.
I enjoyed how the SunEleven was incredibly hip, with colored seating spaces and lush greenery planted across the patio. If you’re sitting along the railings, you can spot the Velasca Tower and Porta Nuova in the distance.
Some nights, they even have a saxophone player perform at the bar. He was incredible when I was there, especially when he played Quando, Quando, Quando; it added a touch of class to the venue; it’s rare to see something like that in Milan.
On the menu, you’ll find a nice mix of cocktails, beers, wines, and spirits. I was a fan of their Aperol spritz; it was served in a huge wine glass and tasted slightly orangey; the prosecco made the mixture extra refreshing.
The drink itself wasn’t too strong either, so you could easily have a few not feel too much of the effects from the alcohol.
SunEleven Rooftop Bar (€€€) – P.za Cesare Beccaria, 20122 Milano MI, Italy – Sunday to Friday, 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm, and Saturdays, 5:00 pm to 12:00 am
What better way to experience a rooftop bar in Milan than to visit one that’s Aperol-themed? Terrazza Aperol lies on the second floor of Il Mercato Del Duomo, I often visit this bar if I’m in the mood for a cocktail.
The design of the terrace here captivates me every time; I don’t know if it’s the elegant tables protected with parasols or the way the bar is housed in a palace-like building directly in front of Milan’s Cathedral. Whatever it is, it has some sort of hold on me.
Terrazza Aperol has a reputation for always having queues; after all, it is in the same area as the Cathedral (Duomo), so it’s expected. But once you’re inside and spending money, you can stay as long as you like, which I like because other rooftop bars in Milan want to rush you out.
Obviously, the Aperol Spritz here is the star of the show, but I advise you to try the Smoker cocktail. The creaminess from the vanilla blends excellently with the smokiness of the Glen Grant 10 Year Old Whisky. The lemon juice adds a nice zest to the flavor profile, too.
Another great thing about going for drinks here is they serve side snacks with every drink, so you can have a nibble while also taking in the view with some cocktails.
Terazza Aperol (€€€) – Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, 20121 Milano MI, Italy – Sunday to Friday, 11:00 am to 11:00 pm, and Saturday, 11:00 am to 1:00 am
In a city notorious for its fashion, innovation, and artwork comes all of these fabulous rooftop bars. I hope there’s one or two that catch your eye next time you want to sip with some views.
Wake up nice and early the following day for one of our food tours in Milan, see the sights, and sample some delights with a local guide!