With August setting itself up to be a scorcher, join us as we take a tour of Warsaw’s best rooftop bars…
Widok 9 (Puro Hotel)
Loreta channels the spirit of this design-led hotel brand through its funky décor and eclectic art. The terrace, though, is the clincher. As night falls, retreat to a deck signposted by a neon the color of bubblegum pink; here, amid bristling greenery and low-slung seating, join other cocktail hounds enjoying house sips such as the Loreta Cup – a sophisticated mix of whisky, agave, chili and lemon.
Good as these signature drinks are, the best bet is to challenge the gunslingers at the bar to make something a little more personal. Of all the rooftop bars in Warsaw, the view here is probably the worst, but for us it’s actually the best central sky bar of the lot.
Whereas Warsaw’s other sky bars fill with aspiring George Clooney lookalikes (y’know, big watches, white shirts, Merc keys jangling), you get the idea that Havana would be happy if Pete Doherty walked in with a crumpled hat and a cig dangling from his lip. The least dressiest of our selection, this neighborhood legend has a design that rhymes well with the 60s tower it’s found in. Indoors, find its atmospheric interior clad with retro-style, light wood finishes, poster art and plants.
Outdoors, find a L-shaped floor space, half of which is covered, the other half exposed and welcoming of smokers (woohoo!). The views are pretty uninspiring (a tramline and some kiosks), but the vibe is something special – and in an added plus, it’s got the best selection of drinks from the lot: a fridge of craft swigs, trendy bio wines, smoothies, specialty coffee, weird lemonades and interesting cocktails. It’s well worth travelling north just for a night out at this place.
Serving a triple function as a cocktail bar, restaurant and club, the number of good lookers that flock here is simply off-the-scale. Don’t dare use the words “you should be a model” as a chat-up line, for the answer you’ll receive is “actually I am”. Set on the top floor of a riverside development, the open terrace offers even more to feast your eyes on: right ahead, the twin sight of the National Stadium and Poniatowski Bridge steal the show. Although only four floors up, it feels so much higher. Watching the boulevards below teeming with life is a joy in itself, and unlike other sky bars you can actually have fun – you know, get drunk, smoke, laugh, dance and be crazy!
Rondo Daszyńskiego 2 (The HUB)
Perched on the 21st floor of one of Wola’s newest towers, The Roof offers thrilling views of the city down below and a backdrop that’s luxurious, elegant and yet tastefully restrained. Sleek furnishings, well-deployed plants and spherical lights cast a cool look that acts in concert with a setting that feels fantastically affluent – but as beautiful as the interior is, it’s the outdoor deck that’s easily the biggest draw. It’s debut last year was met with several complaints about ‘the attitudes’ of both staff and guests, but this seems to have been addressed to make for a far more comfortable experience.
ul. Dobra 42
Since launching late last year Dock 19 by Mateusz Gessler has become one of Elektrownia’s anchoring food and drink concepts, something considerably aided by a gorgeous design courtesy of the acclaimed set designer Boris Kudlicka, and a light, seasonal menu of sophisticated skill. But there’s more! Debuting in time for this summer, a stunning rooftop terrace has become one of the big magnets for people looking to eat, drink and chill whilst enjoying the city’s magic sunsets. Though it’s certainly the lowest rooftop we include (it’s on the first floor!), that’s by no means a bad thing – at this height, you’re at the level of the treetops and in touching distance of the crowds below. That alone adds an atmospheric edge to this upmarket space.
Al. Jerozolimskie 123
Celebrating their seventh year of operation, Level 27 have used that time to build a quite legendary reputation. Featuring a terrace space of 450 sq/m, the extraordinary evening views are every bit as stunning as the leggy clientele – it’s not essential to look beautiful, but it certainly helps!
Opening their gates late (10 p.m. on Friday and 11 p.m. on Saturday), that’s well in line with their club crowd focus. For something a little calmer, they’re also now open on Sunday from 6 p.m. – with Wola’s business district shimmering in the distance, there’s no better spot to judge how tall Warsaw is becoming. As for drinks, the cocktails are more modestly priced than many rival rooftops, though prices jump once you start looking at their prodigious champagne list.
Chmielna 71 (NYX Hotel)
Set on the 19th floor, expect seats to be snapped up fast; though for us, the biggest irritants are the lack of a smoking section and the absence of a toilet – for the nearest one, head back to Floor No. 1.
However, these annoyances are minor and are offset by what you receive in return. Importantly, the cocktails justify the rather steep prices, but most of all the view is something you would pay for. Positioned so you catch the best of Warsaw’s peachy sunsets falling over the Central Business District, watching the night slide in can be an almost empowering experience.