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36 Best Views of London | Viewpoints, Rooftop Bars and More Panoramic Places

Whether you’re a first-timer in the UK capital, a regular visitor or even a local resident, seeking out the best views of London is fun to do. Panoramic vistas are guaranteed from rooftop bars, viewpoints and other spots in the city. It’s an unforgettable way to spend some of your time when visiting the UK capital. 

This guide takes you through all the places to go for unparalleled, panoramic views of London. From the best viewpoints in London lining the Thames to the rooftop bars you’ll find scattered all over the capital, speechless moments are a dead cert when taking in the best London view. 

Whether you’re thinking of the view from the London Eye, what the Sky Garden is all about or want to find the best views of the London skyline by night, this article covers all you need to know. 

Are the best views in London free? In some cases, yes. But it is well worth paying for some of the places you can see great views of London from, we promise!

Read on to find the top view when sightseeing in London.

Top 3 Best Views of London

London Eye

View from the London Eye one of the best views in London.
View from the London Eye
  • Closest tube: Waterloo (Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern and Waterloo & City lines)
  • Opening times: 10 am or 11 am to 6 pm or 8.30 pm daily (closed Christmas Day)

Book a half-hour trip on the London Eye for what’s arguably the best London view of all. As the wheel turns, you can take in panoramas from every angle. Regular and fast-track tickets are available, and you’ll have to allow extra time for queueing, boarding and alighting. 

If you’re blessed with clear skies on the day of your trip, you might even see as far as Windsor Castle. This is 24 miles (or 39 kilometres) away, so just imagine what you’ll be able to see in the city itself!

The London Eye is mega popular, so book for a weekday if you can. Slots earlier in the day can also be best. If you’re short of time, – or just impatient – fast-track tickets are worth paying extra for. 

⭐️ Click here to book London Eye fast-track tickets

The View from the Shard

The Shard 2
Some of the best views of London can be seen from the Shard.
The Shard 4
  • Closest tube: London Bridge (Northern and Jubilee lines)
  • Opening times: 10 am to 7 pm or 10 pm daily (closed for bank holidays and special events)

Included with the London Pass

As this is Western Europe’s tallest building, The View from the Shard can offer a perfect view of London. Riding in the high-speed lifts within this glittering building can also be a thrilling experience!

Like the London Eye, the Shard offers a 360 degree panoramic viewing experience. You can capture some incredible images from up here, particularly if you have a decent camera. Interactive telescopes (in 11 languages) can help you to interpret what you’re seeing.

For a more luxurious experience, you can upgrade to include a glass of champagne with your View from the Shard ticket. You could also drop into Borough Market or the cool bars of the London Bridge neighbourhood while in the area. 

⭐️ Click here to book View from the Shard tickets

Sky Garden

Sky Garden 1
Sky Garden 2
  • Closest tube: Monument (Circle and District lines)
  • Opening times: 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday; 11am to 9pm Saturday and Sunday; 11am to 9pm on bank holidays (bar and restaurant hours vary)
  • Cost: Free

Some of the best London views can be yours from the Sky Garden. And what’s even better is that you can access this top London viewpoint for free! Tickets must be booked in advance, however. 

Sky Garden isn’t only free to access, it’s also home to a range of bars and eateries. If you’re seeking the best views in London restaurants, you have three to choose from here, or you can also grab a drink at one of the bars. 

A note on booking your Sky Garden ticket. Though you can get in for free, it’s essential to reserve your place. You can do this up to three weeks ahead of time. A one-hour slot will be allocated, and you can only use tickets as per the date and time stated. 

Walk-ins are sometimes accepted, subject to availability. This is more likely during weekdays than at weekends. No walk-ins are accepted from 5pm onwards on weekdays. 

⭐️ Click here to book a free Sky Garden ticket

4 Best Bridges

Westminster Bridge

Big Ben
  • Closest tube: Westminster
  • Cost: Free

Expect sweeping views of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye. 

Tower Bridge

Tower of London VIP tour - view of Tower Bridge
Tower of London VIP tour – view of Tower Bridge
  • Closest tube: Tower Hill

Enjoy great vistas of the city, riverbank and Thames from over 40 feet above the water.

⭐️ Click here to book Tower Bridge tickets

Millenium Bridge

Millennium Bridge London

Closest tube: Blackfriars (main line) or St. Paul’s, Cannon Street or Southwark (tube)

Cost: Free

Good views of St. Paul’s, the River Thames and Shakespeare’s Globe

Golden Jubilee Bridges

Closest tube: Waterloo

Cost: Free 

The Queen’s Walk at the Golden Jubilee Bridges offers some of the best views in London.

7 Best Viewpoints

St. Paul’s Cathedral

St Pauls Cathedral

Closest tube: St. Paul’s

Cost: Click here

One of the best viewpoints in London is from the dome at one of the City’s highest points. 

⭐️ Click here to book St. Paul’s Cathedral tickets

OXO Tower 

Closest tube: Southwark

Cost: Free

The OXO Tower offers free entry and is something of a hidden gem, offering impressive river and City of London views. 

Monument to the Great Fire of London


Closest tube: Monument

Cost: From £6 per standard adult, £3 per child (5+)

Climb over 300 steps for excellent views over the city and East London.

Red telephone box, Parliament Street

Red phone
Image courtesy of Scalens Studio

Go to the iconic red phone box on Parliament Street for Palace of Westminster views (tip – there is always a queue at the first one but there is another phone box further along the street!)

St Edmund’s Tower, Westminster Cathedral

Closest tube: Victoria or St. James’ Park

Cost: Free

Climb to the top of St Edmund’s Tower at Westminster Cathedral (not the Abbey!) for views from over 90 metres high. 

One New Change

Closest tube: St. Paul’s

Cost: Free

Shopping, bars, restaurants and superb views from the St. Paul’s area.

Shad Thames

Shad Thames 1
Photo courtesy of Scalens Studio

Closest tube: Tower Hill

Cost: Free

Get amazing views of Tower Bridge from the Shad Thames area. 

6 Best Experiences with a View

Roof of the O2 Arena

Closest tube: North Greenwich

Cost: Click here

Climb the roof of the iconic dome-shaped O2 arena for London skyline views.

⭐️ Click here to book Up at the O2 tickets

IFS Cloud Cable Car

Closest tube: Royal Victoria (DLR) or North Greenwich (tube)

Cost: Click here

Travel between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks for aerial views. Formerly known as the Emirates Air Line Cable Car.

⭐️ Click here to book IFS Cloud cable car tickets

ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide

Closest tube: Stratford

Cost: Click here

178-metre slide and observation platform at the London 2012 Olympics park.  

⭐️ Click here to book ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide tickets

Lift 109 at Battersea Power Station


Closest tube: Battersea Power Station

Cost: From £15.90 per standard adult, £11.50 per child (3+)

Travel via a lift to 109 metres for 360 degree London views.

The Dare Skywalk

Closest tube: Tottenham Hale

Cost: Click here

The Dare Skywalk at Tottenham Hotspur football stadium offers city views from a glass walkway. 

⭐️ Click here to book tickets for The Dare Skywalk

Thames River cruise

Uber Boat

Closest tube:

Cost: Click here

Take a trip along the Thames between Westminster and Greenwich for wonderful views. 

⭐️ Click here to book tickets for a Thames River cruise

8 Best Parks and Public Spaces

The Garden at 120

Closest tube: Monument or Tower Hill

Cost: Free

The Garden at 120 is a public rooftop space on the 15th floor at 120 Fenchurch Street. 

Island Gardens

Closest tube: Island Gardens (DLR)

Cost: Free

Island Gardens offers great views across to Greenwich from the Isle of Dogs. 

Primrose Hill

Closest tube: Swiss Cottage, Chalk Farm or Camden Town

Cost: Free

Primrose Hill is a celebrity and dog walkers’ haunt offering distant but clear city views. 

Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath

Closest tube: Belsize Park

Cost: Free

Head to Parliament Hill at Hampstead Heath for distant city views from a vast open space.

Alexandra Park 

Closest tube: Wood Green

Cost: Free

Home to the park of the same name, Alexandra Park is a lesser known alternative to Parliament Hill. 

Greenwich Park

View from the Greenwich Observatory

Closest tube: Cutty Sark (DLR) or North Greenwich (tube)

Cost: Free

Climb the hill for views over Greenwich plus central London landmarks. 

Sawyer’s Hill or King Henry’s Mound, Richmond Park

  • Closest tube: Richmond
  • Cost: Free

Go to either of these Richmond Park viewpoints for city and Thames Valley views. 

One Tree Hill

  • Closest station: Honor Oak Park
  • Cost: Free

One Tree Hill in Honor Oak, South London is a hidden gem and offers views towards the city centre. 

8 Best Rooftop Bars, Cafes and Restaurants

Level 10 at the Tate Modern

  • Closest tube: Blackfriars (main line) or Southwark (tube)
  • Cost: As per food and drinks prices

Savour snacks plus hot and cold drinks while enjoying 10th-floor views. 

Sushi Samba 

  • Closest tube: Liverpool Street
  • Cost: As per food and drink prices

Bar, restaurant and terrace on the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Building. 

12th Knot at Sea Containers

  • Closest tube: Blackfriars (mainline) or Southwark (tube)
  • Cost: As per food and drink prices

Stylish, glass box-shaped bar with terrace, lounge and stunning views. 

Jin Bo Law

  • Closest tube: Aldgate East
  • Cost: As per food and drink prices

14th-floor hotel cocktail bar with a rooftop terrace offering panoramic views. 

Franks Cafe at Bold Tendencies

  • Closest tube: Brixton
  • Cost: As per food and drink prices

Head to Frank’s in summer for incomparable views and no-nonsense cocktails.  

Savage Garden

  • Closest tube: Tower Hill
  • Cost: As per food and drink prices

Food and drinks, including brunch and cocktails, with Tower of London views.

Radio Rooftop at ME London

  • Closest tube: Covent Garden
  • Cost: As per food and drink prices

Smart, pricey cocktail bar offering central London skyline views. 

Portrait, National Portrait Gallery

Closest tube: Leicester Square or Charing Cross

Cost: As per food and drink prices

See the epicentre of London plus Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and more from the top of the National Portrait Gallery. 

Where Will You See the Best Views in London?

We hope this list of London viewpoints inspires you to seek out the UK capital’s most stunning views! Whichever you choose, book ahead where tickets are required and don’t forget to fully charge your camera for the very best experience!

London Travel Guide & Itinerary Planner (+ 4 bonus ebooks)

London Travel Guide and itinerary planner.