Some of the world’s most iconic buildings have one thing in common: spectacular terraces! Here’s a look at eight from around the world.
Climbing up to the rooftops for panoramic views of the following European monuments will put the cherry on top of an unforgettable cultural experience. Here are eight of the most incredible outlooks and monument rooftops in Europe.
1. The Duomo of Milan
If you travel to the Lombard capital, the first thing you will probably do is visit the famous Duomo of Milan. Located in the city’s main square, this iconic Gothic cathedral is the result of six long centuries of construction. From its magnificent rooftop, which you can access by climbing 251 steps or–for an additional cost–via elevator, you can admire the architectural details such as the pinnacles and sculptures up close. You will also enjoy a spectacular view of the square and all of Milan.
2. Casa Batlló, Barcelona
As one of Spain’s most popular monuments, Casa Batlló in Barcelona receives a multitude of visitors every day who are interested in discovering the secrets hidden by this emblematic modernist building designed by Antoni Gaudí in the early 20th century. Its most striking aspects are its sinuous shapes that evoke marine life and the top part of the facade which was inspired by the back of a dragon—you can see this up close by climbing to the rooftop. Here you will also find four groups of chimneys in a space that is used as the stage for Magic Nights at Casa Batlló, which are a magnificent way to discover the building on summer nights.
3. Casa de les Punxes, Barcelona
Also in Barcelona, Casa de les Punxes is another modernist building whose rooftop will not let you down. Designed in 1905 by architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch for the Terradas family, this Barcelona monument has a 6,458 square-foot rooftop. Live concerts are hosted there during the summer. Similarly, you see the space anytime you visit Casa de les Punxes to learn about its history and symbolism.
4. St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice
In Venice “la Serenissima” will enchant you and its incredible cathedral, St. Mark’s Basilica. Located in St. Mark’s Square, it is one of the most emblematic places in the city. The Byzantine basilica is characterized by a Latin-cross-shaped floorplan and gold mosaics. Amongst its mosaics, those in the Ascension dome and the atrium stand out. Once you have admired the interior, go up to the balcony through the Loggia dei Cavalli stairs for a view over the square. From here, you will be able to admire the campanile and clock tower, among the other beloved sites of Venice.
5. Reichstag, Berlin
The Reichstag, the headquarters of the German parliament, is one of the most prominent buildings in Berlin. Beyond its political importance, the monument has a transparent dome with two ramps and a terrace that allows for a beautiful panoramic view of the city. On the rooftop of this parliamentary building, you will also find an elegant café called Käfer, where you can have a drink when you finish your visit.
6. Castel Sant’Angelo
The Castel Sant’Angelo, a museum as well as an archeological site, is emblematic of Rome, a museum. In fact, it was constructed as a mausoleum for the emperor Adriano and his family. Later, it evolved from a funerary monument to a prison, residence, and, finally, a museum in which you will find interesting collections. You can’t end a visit to the Sant’Angelo Castle without going to its incredible rooftop with views of the fabulous Eternal City.
7. Vittorio Emanuele II Monument, Rome
Continue on in the Italian capital to enjoy panoramic views from the rooftop of another iconic building—the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument, which is also known as Altara della patria (altar of the fatherland) and II Vittoriano. Located in Piazza Venezia, this neoclassical monument was constructed in commemoration of the first king of unified Italy. Its rooftop is one of its strong points because, from it, you can see all the way from the Tiber River to Quirinal Hill, as well as the old town and the Jewish quarter.
8. Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid
We have mentioned the Círculo de Bellas Artes on previous occasions. In fact, it is on our list of the most Instagrammable places in Madrid. From the rooftop of this cultural building, situated at 184-feet tall, you can experience a 360-degree view of the Spanish capital’s best sunsets. Complete with a seating area, café, and restaurant, it’s a wonderful place to spend the evening.