The Exchange Lancaster

March 9, 2023

sunset downtown lancaster
Source: The Exchange Facebook Page

When people think of Lancaster Pennsylvania, images of Amish farms, Amish horse & buggies, roadside stands and covered bridges probably spring to mind.  But people ‘in the know’ also conjure up images of a thriving downtown district, dotted with unique boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, theaters, art galleries, historic sites and more.  It’s hard to imagine that downtown Lancaster PA is a “hidden gem”, but it truly is!  And The Exchange Lancaster, a stunning rooftop bar, is the sparkling diamond at the center of it all!

This blog is all about The Exchange Lancaster

1 - About

highrise view
Source: Rebecca Gallagher

The Exchange Lancaster is Lancaster PA’s tallest rooftop bar with panoramic views of the historic downtown district.  There’s seating both indoors and out.  If the weather cooperates, the outdoor seating offers spectacular with views, comfortable seating and chic fire pits.  Indoors there’s an inviting open-airy space with cozy seating that’s hip and trendy, without being pretentious. 


2 - Location & Parking

Address:  25 South Queen Street, Lancaster (entrance around the corner on King)
Phone: 717-207-4096

Tall building
Source: The Exchange Lancaster Facebook - Shows entrance and roof deck above

While The Exchange is part of the Penn Square Marriott, it has its own entrance and elevator at on King Street (if you’re walking from the Marriott & get to Tellus 360 you’ve gone too far).    Just walk in the entrance, take a right hand turn & grab the elevator to the 12th floor.

Parking is simple since the Marriott’s parking garage entrance is just next door.  The name of the parking garage is the Penn Square Garage.  There are multiple entrances, but the entrance I tend to hit is on Duke Street, here’s the address for you:

Penn Square Parking Garage | 28 S Duke St, Lancaster


3 - Hours

outside rooftop bar
Source: The Exchange Facebook - Outside Bar & Deck

The Exchange is open 7 days a week, making it a great spot for happy hour, drinks before the theater, date night… or just because the sky is blue (let’s face it, needing a reason is for amateurs!!)

  • Monday - Thursday4 pm to 10 pm
  • Friday4 pm to 11 pm
  • Saturday12 pm to 11 pm
  • Sunday12 pm to 10 pm


4 - Reservations

bar with view
Source: The Exchange Lancaster Facebook

We highly recommend making reservations, even if it turns out you didn’t need them, what’s the downside?  Because once you make it to the 12th floor and take a look around the gorgeous inside and outside space at The Exchange, you’re going to be really heartbroken if they can’t accommodate you, right?! 

The easiest way to make a reservation is straight off their website.  Click on this link and fill in the blanks.  And voila!  You’re good to go!

Important things to know about reservations:

  • They’ll only hold your table for 10 minutes, so call them at 717-207-4096 if you’re running late.
  • They may contact you about your reservation, so make sure you put in the correct info when you made your reservation.
  • Tables are reserved for 1 hour 30 minutes for parties of up to 4; and 2 hours for parties of 5+. Your server will let you know if it’s possible to extend.
  • After 4:00 pm, everyone in The Exchange must be 21+


5 - Food Menu

Small plate cauliflower
Source: The Exchange Lancaster Facebook

food with view in back
Source - Rebecca Gallagher

Source: The Exchange Lancaster Facebook

The Exchange has its own Executive Chef who creates seasonal menus of sharable dishes & small plates that can best be described as upscale comfort food.  You’ll recognize the ingredients but enjoy unique combinations and presentation!  They also have assorted woodfire pizzas and deserts to round out the offerings.  A few of the current menu items include:  “Exchangeable Board” (Charcuterie), Grilled Beef Skewers, Piri Piri Grilled Shrimp, Korean Fried Cauliflower and Tuna Tataki.  Plus some pizza options include Margherita Pizza, White Pizza or Spicy Italian Pizza.


6 - Drinks Menu

Source - The Exchange Lancaster Facebook

The mixologists at The Exchange serve up an eclectic menu of libations for guests to enjoy as they soak in the downtown Lancaster skyline.  There are non-alcoholic offerings, wines, beers and some seriously imaginative featured cocktails.  And like the food menu, the drinks menu changes as well, so each visit to The Exchange can be fresh & new!  Just think infused spirits, shrubs, and fresh herbs & spices whipped into fun & creative concoctions!


7 - Things to Do Nearby:

View from Above
Source:  Rebecca Gallagher | Decades - The View from Above

If The Exchange is just your first stop, or one of many stops as you explore downtown Lancaster, here are some additional places for you to check out & include in your tour.  From additional rooftop bars, pubs and restaurants (even one with a bowling alley!) to shops, boutiques, theaters and tours, there are plenty of ways to spend the whole day & night in downtown Lancaster PA!


More Rooftop Bars:

    • Tellus 360 | 24 E King St #42, Lancaster | Website
    • Altana | 26 E King St, Lancaster | Website
    • 551 West | 551 W King St, Lancaster | Website


Restaurants / Pubs:

    • Decades Lancaster | 438 N Queen St, Lancaster | Website
    • Shot & Bottle | 2 N Queen St, Lancaster | Website
    • Our Town Brewery | 252 N Prince St, Lancaster | Website
    • The Press Room | 26 W King St, Lancaster | Website
    • Annie Bailey’s Irish Pub | 28-30 E King St, Lancaster | Website



    • Building Character | 342 N Queen St, Lancaster | Website
    • Place Marie Shops | 52 N Queen St, Lancaster
    • Festoon Boutique | 202 N Duke St, Lancaster | Website
    • Details Lancaster Home | 30 N Queen St #1, Lancaster | Website
    • The Scarlet Willow Vintage Clothing | 320 N Queen St, Lancaster | Website
    • Gallery Row (art galleries) | Prince Street & More | Website


Theaters & Tours

    • The Fulton Theater | 12 N Prince St, Lancaster | Website
    • PRIMA Theater | 941 Wheatland Ave, Lancaster | Website
    • Historic Downtown Walking Tour | 38 Penn Square, Lancaster | Website
    • Demuth Art Museum | 120 E King St, Lancaster | Website


8 - Stay at the Historic Smithton Inn

colonial mansion
Historic Smithton Inn B&B

Just an easy 17 mile drive north of downtown Lancaster is the quaint town of Ephrata, home of the Historic Smithton Inn Bed and Breakfast.  The Smithton Inn is one of the top rated B&Bs in the county and is the perfect place to base yourself for exploring both the downtown and countryside in Lancaster County.

king bed Guests choose from one of 9 guest rooms and suites, all with private ensuite bathrooms, working fireplaces (in-season), luxurious linens & toiletries, screaming fast WiFi and internet-connected TVs.  An extra bonus for Historic Smithton Inn guests in an on-site wine bar with live music and dinner that’s open on weekends.

In the morning you’ll wake to the smell of a delicious home-cooked breakfast being prepared for you!  Breakfast is served from 8 – 10 am and you’ll be seated at a private table.  You’ll enjoy a plated full breakfast, plus fresh fruit, muffins, juice, coffee etc!

Book Now to reserve your getaway today!

9 – Frequently Asked Questions

Is The Exchange open year-round?

  • Yes, you can enjoy the stunning views at The Exchange Lancaster year-round, but it might be from the indoor seating if the weather is cold, rainy or windy… you get the idea.

What happens if you reserved a table outside and bad weather rolls in? 

  • If you’ve made a reservation for outdoor seating and the weather goes to pot, your reservation will be cancelled… so just be aware before you book and call if you’re wondering.

Can you get to the Exchange from inside the Penn Square Marriott? 

  • Nope, not yet at least. If you’re standing inside the lobby of the Marriott, just go out the main front doors and hang a right on King Street.  The entrance to The Exchange will be on your right, just past the windows for Plough.

Where should I park if I’m going to The Exchange Lancaster? 

  • The most convenient parking for The Exchange (apart from street parking if you’re lucky enough to snag it) is the Penn Square parking garage, entrance at 28 Duke Street.

What is The Exchange Lancaster known for? 

  • The Exchange is known first and foremost for stunning views… plus great atmosphere, tasty food (small plates) and wonderfully crafted cocktails. They also have non-alcoholic drinks, beer and wine on the menu.

What’s the best thing on the Menu at the Exchange Lancaster?

  • OMG, isn’t that like asking someone which of their children is their favorite? Plus, the menu at the Exchange is always changing with the seasons to keep it fresh & new for guests.  My advice if you want to figure out the BEST thing on the menu is gather up a group of friends & order one of everything… and invite ME, sounds like fun!

This blog is all about The Exchange Lancaster


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