Day trips to Swiss cities are currently very popular. And if you want to enjoy the panoramic view of the city you visited after a busy day of shopping or sightseeing, you should definitely consider these ten rooftop bars, which were recently featured in Encore! magazine. You’re never closer to heaven, they say, slightly exaggerated, but not too far from the truth.
Roof terraces are “ideal spaces for collective use”, writes Bruno Marchand, professor of architecture at EPFL Lausanne. But they are nothing new. In the early 1920s, LeCorbusier equipped the flat roof of the “Petite Maison” in Corseaux on the north shore of Lake Geneva with a spacious roof terrace. And even the ancient Romans had flat roofs. In Switzerland, flat roofs became established rather late, as our architecture is traditionally characterised by pitched roofs, mainly for climatic reasons.
According to Encore!, these are the ten most popular rooftop terraces in Switzerland:
Waves in Neuchâtel
The panorama bar Waves on the roof of the Best Western Premier Hotel Baulac is characterised by noble teak and beige furniture and offers not only an extensive drinks menu but also a range of interesting dishes. It’s a great place to sit down and enjoy the view of Lake Neuchâtel.
Restaurant Izumi in Geneva
The terrace of the Izumi restaurant on the roof of the Four Season Hotel des Bergues seems to float above the city. It serves dishes from the currently very popular Nikkei cuisine, which fuses elements of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine. It also offers a unique view of the entire city. Be sure to book in advance.
Montana Beach Club in Lucerne
The Montana Beach Club above the Art Deco Hotel Montana is not – as the name promises – directly on the beach of Lake Lucerne, but its unspoiled location with a palm tree front easily makes up for this shortcoming. In addition to long drinks, cocktails and mocktails, there is also something for the hungry in between. By the way, the Hotel Montana is also a great place to stay.
Sky Terrace in Berne
Sky Terrace, the roof terrace of the venerable Hotel Schweizerhof, offers a special exclusivity. Probably no other roof terrace offers its guests such an unobstructed view of the dome of their country’s parliament building. In the comfortable lounges or at the cosy tables, you can enjoy “Spritz” in all possible variations and fine food from Jack’s Brasserie on the ground floor of the hotel. The proximity to the railway station also allows for a short break during a train journey through Switzerland.
Sky Lounge in Lausanne
The Sky Lounge may not be the highest point of the castle-like Hotel Royal Savoy, but it is the place with the most beautiful view of Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps – especially recommended at sunset. Fine drinks and fusion cuisine are served in small bites.
Hiltl Dachterrasse in Zurich
The Hiltl roof terrace, this little oasis, is located near the station and above Zurich’s busy Bahnhofstrasse. Surrounded by lots of greenery, in comfortable armchairs and illuminated by small lanterns in the evening, you can really “chill out” here. You should also enjoy the vegetarian snacks and the fine drinks and fruit juices. Then it’s easy to forget that this paradise is located on one of the most expensive pavements in the world.
Baltazarbar in Basle
The Baltazarbar is not easy to find, as it is well hidden on the fourth floor of a rather inconspicuous building. Here, everything revolves around gin – and so that it doesn’t have to be drunk on an empty stomach, one of the countless tarte flambées is recommended. There is no view here, but it is a well-integrated oasis of well-being with a hip crowd and a bit of jazz in the background.
La Muña in Zurich
A glass lift takes you up to the La Muña roof terrace. And then a unique view of the Zurich lake basin opens up. The drinks menu is extensive to say the least, and you can also enjoy Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei delicacies here. The restaurant and terrace were designed by star designer and architect Philippe Starck. Here you feel far away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city and yet you are almost in the middle of it.
Met Rooftop Bar & Lounge in Geneva
Geneva connoisseurs say the Met Rooftop Bar & Lounge on the roof of the Hotel Metropole offers the most beautiful sunset over Lake Geneva. Here, too, the drinks menu is dominated by gin varieties from all over the world, and tapas, ceviche or quinoa croquettes are available for small appetites. And the monstrous Jet d’Eau splashes between the parasols.
Sichtbar in Baden
The Restaurant Lemon’s Sichtbar is perched on top of the sky-blue Blue City Boutique Hotel. On simple pallets, between rustling reeds and a cosy beach chair, you feel like you’re on a North Sea island – on Sylt or even better on Amrum. A rich drinks menu and nachos or Zvieriplättli with meat from the region complete the enjoyment. The “Nordic beach” is located above the busy Bahnhofplatz with a view of the ruins of Stein Castle.