The best way to cool off on a hot day in Madrid is to head to the Emperador Hotel on the Gran Vía which has one of the best rooftop swimming pools and beach club bars in the city. Enjoy one of the largest rooftop pools in Madrid with lots of space to relax and incredible views of landmarks like the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral and famous statues.
The Emperador Hotel rooftop swimming pool is open to the public and is probably the most beautiful azotea in Madrid with a stunning bar and restaurant. While this might not be the most affordable place in the city it’s a must-do on a hot day to treat yourself after you’ve gotten all the sightseeing out of the way.
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Where can you swim in Madrid?
Madrid is located in central Spain and unfortunately nowhere near the ocean. If you want to cool off during a hot summer day in the city you’ll have to make do with a pool.
If your hotel or Airbnb in Madrid doesn’t have a rooftop swimming pool and bar you might want to try one that is open to the public. Since the selection of swimming pools in Madrid close to the city centre is limited you’ll have to head to the top floor above the roofs of the Gran Vía.
What better way to relax than in a rooftop beach club with a swimming pool and bar all located in one of the best hotels in Madrid, the Emperador.
What is the best rooftop swimming pool and bar in Madrid?
Madrid is known for its incredible rooftops which range from affordable hostels to luxurious hotel bars. However, only a small number of places in Madrid also have a rooftop swimming pool and even fewer of those are open to the public. Most rooftops that have a pool and bar are attached to hotels and only allow their guests to have access.
The Emperador Hotel on the Gran Vía in central Madrid is one of the few places in the city with a rooftop pool bar that is open to the public. It’s also one of the largest rooftops in the city.
Even visitors who are not staying at the Emperador Hotel in Madrid can use the public swimming pool and rooftop facilities including the restaurant and bar for a fee. While this is definitely not a very budget-friendly place to visit it’s worth it for a day of relaxation and splurging.
If you’re looking for a luxurious pool in Madrid that is open to the public, the Emperador Hotel rooftop La Terraza is a fantastic choice.
Where is the Emperador Hotel (La Terraza) in Madrid?
The Emperador Hotel in Madrid is located on the Gran Vía in the city centre. The hotel has a very central location and you can walk to a lot of important landmarks in the city within less than 10 minutes.
The Gran Vía in Madrid actually has a lot of rooftops but the Emperador Hotel is one of the largest and most popular. It’s one of the few places in Madrid that actually feels like a beach club.
The full address of the Hotel Emperador is: Calle Gran Vía, 53, 28013 Madrid
How to get to the Emperador Hotel in Madrid
Since the Emperador Hotel Madrid is located on the Gran Vía in the city centre you won’t have any trouble getting there by public transport. However, if you’re staying somewhere close by you should definitely walk there so you can explore parts of Madrid you might not have seen otherwise.
Renting an e-scooter or bike is also a good option if you’re confident enough to drive in busy traffic.
The Emperador Hotel is located right by the Santo Domingo metro station. If you’re coming by public transport this will be the best place to get off. The stations Callao and Plaza de España are also located close by.
- Santo Domingo, 1 min walk – Line 2
- Callao, 2 min walk – Lines 3 and 5
- Plaza de España, 5 min walk – Lines 3 and 10
If you’re coming to the hotel by bus you can conveniently get off at either Santo Domingo or Callao. Both of these bus stations are located close to the Emperador Hotel so you can walk there in only a few minutes.
- Santo Domingo, 1 min walk – Lines 001, 1, 2, 3, 46, 74, N16, N18, N19, N20 and N21
- Callao, 2 min walk – Lines 44, 147 and 133
Is the Emperador Hotel rooftop swimming pool and bar in Madrid open to the public?
The rooftop swimming pool and bar at the Emperador Hotel in Madrid is open to the public. You don’t need to be a guest at the hotel to use the pool. However, non-hotel guests need to pay a fee to access the rooftop terrace.
In the evenings the rooftop bar can be visited for free although there is a minimum consumption of €10 per person.
How much does it cost to go to the Emperador Hotel rooftop pool in Madrid?
Visiting the Emperador Hotel public rooftop swimming pool in Madrid isn’t cheap. The hotel charges non-hotel guests a sizeable fee to be able to access the pool. Since the selection of public rooftop pools in the city is very limited people are willing to pay the price.
Monday to Thursday you need to pay €45 per person to use the rooftop. Friday to Sunday and on holidays they charge €63.
These prices will give you access to a sun lounger but if you’re looking for a more luxurious option you can rent one of the Bali beds. These are available for €170 from Monday to Thursday and €220 from Friday to Sunday and on holidays. This includes two people. To add two more people you can pay a further €100 making the total price for four people €270 during the week and €320 on weekends.
The Bali beds are definitely made for two people and fitting four will be a bit tight. You might be better off booking one Bali bed and two regular tickets for the Emperador Hotel rooftop.
Emperador rooftop Madrid review – is it worth the price?
If you’re travelling to Madrid on a budget the Emperador rooftop might not be an option for you. However, if you have some money to spare this is an absolute must-do especially if your hotel or apartment doesn’t have a communal pool or rooftop terrace.
The Emperador is spacious and much larger than any other rooftop terrace in Madrid. Most other pools in the city will be much smaller.
You’ll get to feel like you’re in a beach club but with some of the most stunning views of Madrid. I would definitely say a trip here is worth it.
If you’re travelling as a pair or couple consider renting a room at the Emperador for a night so you can use the rooftop. Room prices tend to be around the €100 mark so you might get a better deal if you stay at the hotel.
The Bali beds are most likely not the best value for money at the Emperador Hotel rooftop in Madrid. While they’re great for taking photos they won’t give you too many other benefits compared to the regular sun loungers. Unless you really want to splurge save your money instead.
What’s included in the price?
For €45 (or €63 on weekends) you’ll get access to the Emperador Hotel rooftop pool, their bar and restaurant and all the associated amenities. This is what’s included in the price:
- Keycard that takes you to the top floor
- Towels (one per person but more can be picked up if needed)
- Use of one sun lounger
- One glass of Moet ice (€14 if bought seperately at the bar)
For €170 (or €220 on weekends) you’ll get a Bali bed and access to the rooftop for two people. Included in the price is:
- Keycard that takes you to the top floor
- Towels (one per person but more can be picked up if needed)
- Use of one Bali bed (four people maximum)
- One bottle of Moet ice (€85 if bought separately at the bar)
- One plate of seasonal fruit
In my experience, the regular tickets are the better value for money.
Where can you buy tickets for the Emperador Hotel rooftop pool in Madrid (La Terraza)?
You can buy your tickets for the rooftop at the reception of the Emperador Hotel. This is the only place you’ll be able to purchase the tickets on the day when you’re planning to go.
Opening hours of la Terraza at Hotel Emperador Madrid
The rooftop pool beach club is open from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM every day from May to September. The connected bar, restaurant and lounge area (La Terraza) is open from 7:30 PM to 00:00 AM from Sunday to Thursday and 8:00 PM on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays.
The Emperador Hotel Madrid rooftop pool and La Terraza are not separate and kind of blend together so once you are at the rooftop you’ll essentially have access to both.
When is the best time to go to the Emperador rooftop pool in Madrid?
The best time to visit the rooftop pool and beach club at the Emperador Hotel in Madrid is during the week. This is when the tickets will be at their most affordable and you’ll have the best chances of getting a good spot in the shade.
On weekends and holidays, the rooftop tends to be a bit more crowded although still manageable if you come early. However, you’ll pay more with no real added benefit.
Try to come before 11:00 AM to get one of the best spots on the rooftop. The earlier you come the more the ticket price will be worth it.
There is usually a slight breeze on the rooftop making it the perfect place to go on a hot day when you might not be up for sightseeing.
Can you reserve a space at the Emperador rooftop in Madrid?
You cannot currently reserve a space at the Emperador rooftop. Access to the pool is on a first come first serve basis although hotel guests are prioritised. They will only sell as many tickets as there are sun loungers available.
You can reserve a Bali bed though which is a good way of making sure you’ll get a space on the rooftop. Reservations are available through email or directly at the reception of the Emperador Hotel. Make sure to reserve Bali beds a few days in advance if you’re planning on visiting the Emperador Hotel in Madrid on weekends to secure a good spot.
Find up to date information on the hotel website.
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Is the Emperador rooftop usually sold out?
The Emperador Hotel has one of the most popular rooftops in Madrid so it can get quite crowded on sunny days or weekends. However, if you come between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM you’ll be almost guaranteed to get a good spot.
Around lunchtime, the best sun loungers will usually be occupied and on weekends the rooftop will sometimes sell out. Keep in mind that the Emperador always needs to reserve enough seats for its own guests.
Emperador Hotel rooftop Madrid (La Terraza)- All you need to know
Once you arrive at the Emperador Hotel head straight to the reception to get your ticket for the rooftop. You’ll be handed all sorts of papers including a wristband that distinguishes you from hotel guests, a hotel key card, a ticket for the rooftop stamped with the date and a drink voucher for your complimentary glass of Moet ice.
In the elevator head up to the 10th floor where the rooftop and the terraza of the Emperador Hotel Madrid are located. You’ll walk through the restaurant before reaching the outdoor area.
The rooftop is distributed across several different towers, one of which only holds the swimming pool. You can also go up another level where a separate area with sun loungers and Bali beds is available. This is my favourite part of the rooftop as it has the best views.
The Emperador Hotel Madrid rooftop is quite large with around 8 Bali beds, 20 sun loungers in the shade and a further 50 without shade. There are around 20 bar seats as well as both open-air and indoor restaurant seating.
Close to the pool, you’ll find restrooms, changing rooms and a little stall passing out free towels to guests.
The pool is large enough for swimming laps and even plays underwater music.
Emperador rooftop pool menu (carta)
La Terraza is the upscale restaurant and bar of the Emperador Hotel in Madrid. You can have food or drinks at the restaurant in the evenings without having to pay for tickets at the rooftop. Keep in mind there is a €10 minimum consumption fee (not applicable if you bought a ticket for the rooftop).
A meal at the Emperador Hotel Madrid terraza costs around €12 to €16 which is expensive even for a rooftop. You can find an up to date menu on the Emperador Hotel website. Keep in mind that this menu is only available after 5:00 PM.
Drinks are equally as pricey with cocktails and mixed drinks costing between €12 and €16. This is very expensive for Madrid and even some nightclubs have more affordable drinks (granted, the quality is probably not comparable).
Coffee or soft drinks cost around €4 and a small bottle of water €3.
A doble (0,3 litres) of Amstel beer costs €5 which is a fairly average price for a rooftop bar in Madrid. In comparison, a regular bar would charge around €2.50 in the city centre.
A glass of wine costs between €5 and €7 which is expensive for Madrid but still affordable compared to other large European cities.
Is the Emperador Hotel Madrid rooftop and bar expensive?
The Emperador Hotel claims to have the most exclusive rooftop terrace or azotea in all of Madrid. This is definitely not the best place to visit if you’re on a budget. The entry price is already expensive and drinks and food won’t come cheap either.
However, surprisingly, the Emperador is not the most expensive rooftop in Madrid when it comes to beer. A doble (0,3 litres) of Amstel will cost you €5 which is expensive for Madrid but average for most rooftops in the city.
The Bali beds at the Emperador Hotel rooftop in Madrid are definitely pricey and only really worth it if you were planning on getting a bottle of champagne anyway.
What to bring to the Emperador rooftop pool and beach club in Madrid
If you’re planning on spending a day at the Emperador rooftop beach club in Madrid you should come prepared. They provide towels so you won’t have to bring your own but here are some things you should bring:
- sunscreen (there is limited shade at the rooftop)
- change of clothes (changing rooms are available)
- book for reading or power bank to keep your phone charged
- water bottle (save some money and stay hydrated)
- small snacks (technically not allowed but also not prohibited so be discreet)
What to leave at home:
- cash (contactless card payment is available everywhere at the rooftop)
- towels (you can pick up some by the pool for free)
- a full picnic or outside alcohol (head to the restaurant for a meal or the bar for drinks)
Is there space in the shade at the rooftop?
While you might enjoy the sun, being exposed to it all day is definitely not recommended. For me, a space in the shade is crucial if I want to spend all day at a place like the Emperador Hotel Madrid rooftop beach club.
The Emperador Hotel in Madrid distinguishes between regular sun loungers and its Bali beds. The beds come with a covered roof which sounds like a good idea if you want shade but isn’t always the most practical. Since the sun stands at an angle for most of the day the Bali beds rarely get direct shade which is fine if you want to enjoy the warm rays but not the best if you’re trying to get some work done or avoid a sunburn.
In my experience, the regular sun loungers are a better choice since you can switch spots if needed or move them around to make sure you’re always in the shade. The rooftop has a fair amount of parasols that can be adjusted and moved.
However, out of the nearly 70 spaces on the Emperador Hotel rooftop in Madrid only around 20 are in the shade (Bali beds not included). This means that sun loungers under the parasols get snatched up quickly so come early if you want to secure a place in the shade.
Can you order food and drinks by the pool?
There is staff at the rooftop that will bring you drinks and snacks to your sun lounger. For a complete meal, you should head to the restaurant where food is served.
In some parts of the rooftop, it might be tricky to spot a waiter to take your order so be patient. If you don’t feel like waiting you can order directly at the bar.
Can you work online at the Emperador Hotel rooftop in Madrid?
As a digital nomad, I’m always looking for unique spots in a new place to get some work done. If you want to enjoy beautiful views and a refreshing swim while you work the Emperador rooftop in Madrid is a great choice.
There are a good selection of tables in the shade to choose from and if you come early you’ll be able to secure a spot close to an electrical outlet.
The rooftop also has free wifi which works well if you don’t rely on large uploads. The speed is average but usable.
Is the rooftop safe?
The Emperador rooftop is relatively large so if you want to go for a swim you might be faced with the problem of having to leave all your valuables behind. The rooftop feels very secluded and since most people who come here are guests at the hotel they don’t tend to carry much with them.
When the rooftop wasn’t too crowded I felt comfortable leaving my bag including my laptop and camera at my sun lounger while I went for a swim. If you want some extra security you can carry your most important things with you and keep them somewhere close to the pool.
How long should you spend at the rooftop?
Since going to a rooftop pool is all about relaxing you can easily spend an entire day at the Emperador Hotel. The entry price isn’t cheap so you should make the most of it and stay as long as possible. If you bring your laptop to get some work done or even just a good book you’ll find yourself wanting to stay as long as possible.
After around 6:00 PM it gets a little bit cooler as the sun begins to go down. Head to the bar for an evening drink as you watch the magnificent sunset above the roofs of the city.
Other things to do in Madrid close to the Emperador Hotel rooftop
The Emperador Hotel in Madrid is located on the Gran Vía which is arguably the city’s most famous street. This is where you’ll find a lot of shops and theatres but also restaurants and rooftop bars.
The Emperador Hotel has a very central location so you can easily get to most popular sightseeing locations in the city in only a few minutes. Here are some of the best attractions located close by:
- Plaza de España – Popular city square with a famous monument.
- Chueca – Madrid’s vibrant LGBTQ+ neighbourhood with lively bars, restaurants and clubs.
- Palacio Real de Madrid – One of Spain’s most famous landmarks and Europe’s largest functioning royal palace.
- Jardines de Sabatini – Beautiful gardens located close to the Palacio Real.
- Teatro Real- Large opera house with regular performances and shows.
- Puerta del Sol – Famous square with shops and the centre of Madrid.
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