Ready to see our capital in a whole new light? From the city's highest free viewing platform at a massive 245 metres up to adventure activities atop stadiums and restaurants or bars perfect for treating yourself, these are the best views London has to offer.
Bars & Restaurants For The Best Rooftop Views of London
Views of: The Shard, Tower Of London, St Paul's, South Bank
You've seen it on your feed but have you experienced the rooftop vistas here IRL? Sky Garden is a must-visit and totally free to enter - with a limited number available each day. However, if you're willing to spend a little dough to get an elevated experience here, check out these events for sunrise sessions, music nights and more, or dine and drink at their restaurants and bars.
Views of: St Paul's, The Shard
Thanks to an outdoor terrace and glass roof with floor-to-ceiling windows, Sabine Rooftop Bar offers stunning vistas of its neighbouring landmark - St Paul's - while dishing up seasonally rotating British small plates and the cocktails to match. Plus, in the opposite direction and across the river, you'll see The Shard standing proud too.
Views of: Tower Bridge, St Paul's, The Shard
Wagtail's Monument location gives it a unique outlook of London across its multiple terraces, spanning St Paul's to the west alongside Tower Bridge and The Shard to the south. Their British menu is equally impressive, promising everything from slow-cooked Welsh lamb shoulder to steaks of rare breed beef from Lyons Hill farm in Dorset.
Views of: The Thames, London panoramas
Make your way to the top floors of Novotel Canary Wharf and you'll reach Bōkan, a stylish restaurant bar spread across three levels and a roof terrace. Inspired by the history of the Dockland's area, this slick venue's name means 'lighthouse' - and it's living up to that as a beacon of classic European dishes such as venison hunter's pie, seabass carpaccio and more.
Views of: City of London, The Shard, The Walkie-Talkie
A staple rooftop for views across the City of London, Aviary sits pretty on the 10th floor of the Montcalm Royal London House Hotel in Finsbury Square. The terrace faces south towards landmarks like The Shard and Walkie-Talkie, with opportunities to soak up the sun come summer or nab a cosy igloo in winter - perfect for popping bubbles and munching British meals.
Views of: Trafalgar Square, London Eye
The clue's in the name for the location of The Rooftop St James, which overlooks Trafalgar Square from its Spring Gardens perch, promising three small plates (including salmon arancini and Korean fried cauliflower) for £38, burgers and cocktails like The Magic Unicorn. Book this space for private hire or grab a hotel room too to make any occasion extra special.
Views of: St Paul's Cathedral, London Eye
Find award-winning rooftop terrace Madison at the penthouse of One New Change near St Paul's, with views of the cathedral and even the London Eye peeking out from behind it too. Two courses start at a surprisingly affordable £29 here, while Saturday and Sunday bottomless brunches are an equal hit.
Views of: The Tower Of London, Tower Bridge, The Shard, The Gherkin
Views from many of London's best angles make Savage Garden a top choice in our list. Not only can you see The Tower of London, Tower Bridge and The Shard to the south, but also The Gherkin to the north. This rooftop at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel also keeps you supplied with history-themed cocktails like Boleyn's Kiss and Raging Tudor.
Views of: Hyde Park, London Eye, The Shard
When only 360-degree views will do, Galvin At Windows is coming in hot with a Mayfair location that provides vistas of Hyde Park, the London Eye, The Shard and London's general skyline for as far as the eye can see. But it's not just looks that this restaurant has, as tasting menus, a la carte and two courses for £38 per person boast Michelin-recommended British plates.
Views of: The City of London, The Walkie-Talkie
Searcys At The Gherkin's Helix Restaurant takes sky-high dining to whole new heights (quite literally) with a circular-shaped space on the 39th floor for admiring panoramic views of London while munching afternoon tea. But that's not all, as another level higher is The Iris Bar - a rooftop space with a glass domed ceiling, alongside extensive cocktail, wine and Champagne lists.
Views of: The Gherkin, city skyline
For close-ups of The Gherkin and skyline for days, it has to be Duck and Waffle. The 40th floor of Heron Tower houses this beauty, offering 24/7 opening to include Sunday roasts, spicy ox cheek doughnuts and foie gras crème brûlée - to name just some of the food highlights. Plus, Nikkei spot SUSHISAMBA is from the same team and found in the same building for equally stunning views.
Views of: London skyline
With sweeping views from their southern outpost, Frank's Cafe is both a local and city-wide favourite. Although only open in the warmer months, this destination was voted Europe's best rooftop bar - beating venues in Madrid, Florence and Lisbon. Find it serving mango picantes and peaches 'n' cream cocktails at the highest level of a 10-storey car park on Rye Lane.
The Terrace At Alexandra Palace, N22
Views of: London skyline
The Terrace at Ally Pally had to make our list. While it's open all year round, the summer months are when London's largest beer garden really comes into its own. Hand-crafted stone-fired pizzas from Fuoco’s are on the cards, coming in tasty flavours like 'nduja, artichoke hearts and chilli honey, with everything from local craft beer to wine, an impressive gin list with suggested tonic pairings, and a range of whiskies washing your meal down.
Attractions And Adventures With A London View
Views of: Pretty much everything...
Ascend to the The View From The Shard for a unique outlook on London from one of its most iconic landmarks. General entry starts at £28.50, with indoor viewing platforms at level 68 and 69 - alongside an open-air 'Skydeck' at level 72. To make things extra special, add on a glass of Moët & Chandon or hire the space for wow-factor at a private event.
Views of: London skyline
From London in the distance to a unique look at the stadium bowl from above, The Dare Sky Walk at Tottenham Hotspur promises views that nowhere else can. You'll be just under 47 metres above the pitch once you reach the full height of this experience, with 90 minutes on the clock to complete it. Prices start at £28 and you can add on 'The Edge' too, where you'll take a face-first, controlled decent towards the stadium below - eek.
London Eye, SE1
Views of: The Thames, Westminster, Big Ben, city skyline
Now it wouldn't be a guide to sweeping views without the London Eye: a rite of passage for everyone setting foot in the capital. You'll be gazing out across the Thames in both directions, with prominent skyline features including Westminster and Big Ben. And if you want to elevate your experience even further? Make it special using packages that include bottles of bubbles.
Lift 109, Battersea Power Station
Views of: City skyline
Further west at Battersea Power Station, Lift 109 is ready to take you to new heights. It's £17 for an adult ticket to the experience, which includes entry to the interactive multimedia exhibition as well. You'll begin in Art Deco Turbine Hall A, where you'll uncover the building's history, before making your way through an immersive infinity room. The highlight, though? An express lift through the north-west chimney to a 109 metre-high platform with 360-degree views.
Up At The O2, SE10
Views of: Greenwich, Olympic Park, Canary Wharf
Up At The O2 is that perfect combo of thrilling heights and stunning views that attracts swathes of participants every year. This outdoor trek over the O2 London's iconic roof can be done at daytime, sunset or twilight - the choice is yours - and has a starting price of £35 each. Better yet, if you think all that excitement will make you peckish, then nab a 'climb and dine' package to add on a meal at one of the venue's restaurants.
The Garden Museum Tower, SE1
Views of: Palace of Westminster, The Thames, Big Ben, London Eye
Housed within the church-turned-museum of the same name in Lambeth, The Garden Museum Tower is a favourite for seeing Westminster, Big Ben and a side-view of the London Eye, all with the Thames at the forefront too. Tower-only tickets are a very pocket-friendly £4 and you can nab these on a walk-in basis. Otherwise, it's £14 for every adult to get the full museum experience including that all-important trip up the tower.
The Best Free Views Of London
Views of: London in panoramic view
Horizon 22 in Bishopsgate is London's highest free viewing platform - unsurprising from the city's second tallest building - and is your chance to see 300-degree views, covering landmarks like St Paul's, 20 Fenchurch Street, Tower Bridge and more, without spending a penny. The 254- metre platform also hosts a small cafe, so you can grab refreshments while taking in this whole new perspective on our capital.
The Garden At 120, Fenchurch Street
Views of: The Gherkin, The Walkie-Talkie, The Shard
Over an acre of green space is hidden away in the City of London thanks to The Garden At 120. This public rooftop space is located atop 120 Fenchurch Street, with dedicated lifts taking you up for free and without need for prior booking. The stunning area was designed by German landscape architects Latz + Partner, featuring Italian wisteria trees, a 200ft-long flowing water feature and 360-degree views.
Primrose Hill, Chalk Farm
Views of: London skyline
A short distance from Camden, Primrose Hill makes the ideal outdoor stop-off when you fancy free views of the skyline to the south. We'd highly recommend the summer months for maximum time lounging here, when sunnier days and hotter climes see the green space filled with picnickers, music and even the odd performer.
OXO Tower Viewing Platform, SE1
Views of: St Paul's, The Thames
If you don't fancy spending your cash at OXO Tower restaurant, bar and brasserie, this venue is also home to a free public viewing platform that's hidden in plain sight. Take the lift up to the 8th floor and you'll find a space with views across the river. Although not the highest or most sweeping in our guide, this outlook is popular with budding photographers looking to take snaps of St Paul's in the distance.
Greenwich Park And Observatory, SE10
Views of: Canary Wharf
Greenwich Park and Observatory is the ideal space for a stroll, especially when you consider that old-meets-new view. Check out Prime Meridian and different viewpoints around the park - with a firm favourite being that snap of the 16th century Queen's House mansion in front of Canary Wharf's glass skyscrapers.