London is pretty from every angle, isn’t it? I certainly think so – and I’ve seen it from a lot of different perspectives. If you want to admire London from a new view, this post will help you find the best London viewpoints out there.
I’ve scoured to find the most complete list of viewpoints across London. On this list you’ll see some familiar spots – the Shard, the Eye, etc. – but you’ll also discover new spots to stop and soak in the view. Many even have great food or drink options if you want to sit and stay a while.
Whether you’re visiting London or call the city home, you’ll discover at least one new place to admire the many skylines and buildings of London. The only question is: which one do you go to first?
The Most Popular Best Views in London
1. The Shard
Once known as the London Bridge tower, the Shard is a 72-story skyscraper with stunning views. At the top of this modernly constructed all-glass building is an observation deck perfect for sight-seers and anyone looking for an unobstructed view of London.
Some call it the “ultimate view of London,” and once you see it too – you’ll see why. The SkyGarden is part of the “Walkie Talkie” building and includes a social space, observation deck, and restaurant for local and tourist sightseers to enjoy. I even had the chance to do a morning yoga session in the SkyGarden on one trip to London – the perfect way to start the day. The SkyGarden truly lives up to all of the hype as one of the best viewpoints in London.
3. The London Eye
The London Eye has gone by many names over the year, but we all still call it the Eye. This one-of-a-kind attraction provides unobstructed, evolving views no matter the weather, thanks to the closed passenger capsules. Join the 3 million annual guests who board the Eye and are treated to one of the best – and ever-changing – views in London.
(Pro tip: Book your ticket for the London Eye 45 minutes before sunset. You’ll attend a 15 minute introduction, then board the Eye just in time to enjoy sunset over the city.)
Other Great Viewpoints in Central London
4. One New Close
One New Close is a sorta-secret spot for a great view of St. Paul’s Cathedral; locals know it, but most visitors have no idea this incredible London view exists. One New Close special retail and office space encompassing 560,000 square feet of floor space. Lying entirely within the London-based Bread Street Ward, this space provides 8 stories of shops, a restaurant, and a roof terrace, with views galore! One special spot for the view in on the glass elevators that take you to the roof.
5. St Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral is a beautiful church located at the highest point of Ludgate Hill. With a history dating all the way back to the 17th century, this Cathedral is the second tallest church building in the U.K. at 365 feet tall. You can enter St. Paul’s and climb to the top of the dome for panoramic views of the entire City of London and far beyond.
6. The Monument
The Monument (also known as “Monument to the Great Fire of London”) is a building chock-full of history and spectacular views – though admittedly not quite as high up as others on this list. Built-in 1671-1677, The Monument pays tribute to the Great Fire of London of 1666. The “viewing platform”, located up 311 steps, holds spectacular panoramic views of the City and across the Thames.
7. Oxo Tower
The Oxo Tower is a mixed-use tower including a restaurant, art galleries, and shops. Perfectly situated on the bank of the River Thames and standing at 7 floors high, this tower contains views that allow visitors to capture some of the best views of London. Most people don’t know that you can enjoy views from the Rooftop Terrace – here are the details.
8. Westminster Cathedral
Westminster Cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales. Holding the record of the 50th largest church in the world, Westminster Cathedral also has a fantastic London viewpoint. You can climb to the top of the Tower (210 feet above street level) for sweeping views of West London and Westminster.
9. Tate Modern Switch House
The Tate Modern Switch House was created to provide more exhibition space for the popular, neighboring Tate Modern museum. Well known for its latticed brickwork and folded surfaces, this “house” provides visitors a viewpoint 64.5 meters high. Don’t skip the underground/above ground imaginative galleries while visiting!
10. The Queen’s Walk
There are very few promenades that capture a view such as The Queen’s Walk. Situated between Lambeth Bridge and Tower Bridge, this walkabout provides a space for adventurers and visitors alike to enjoy the waterfront views of London and the surrounding architecture.
London Viewpoints in Greenwich & East London
11. Emirates Air Line
Did you know that the London Underground isn’t just underground? There’s also one cable car line that’s part of the Transport for London network: the Emirates Air Line. The line runs 1km across the Thames out east of Greenwich and takes you up to 300 feet above the river at its highest point. While it’s far from the main sights and skyscrapers of London, you’ll still have incredible views.
12. The Orbit
While it was bemoaned at the time of construction for the 2012 Olympics, most Londoners have come around to the sweeping red Orbit especially given the views you can enjoy from the top. At 178m long, the 12 twists and turns wind through the U.K.’s tallest sculpture finishing with a devilish corkscrew section named the bettfeder – after the German word for ‘bedspring’. Enjoy a hair-raising, adrenaline-inducing activity aimed to get you outside the “box” and into the Orbit!
13. Up at the O2
Discover all that London has to offer strapped in at the top of an arena rooftop. Yeah, it’s a bit touristy – but if you’re looking for a different perspective, there’s nowhere quite like the Up at the O2 experience. Marvel at the 360-degree views of Peninsula Square, the River Thames, Greenwich, and much more while enjoying champagne and/or a beautiful sunset. This attraction definitely delivers one of the best London views!
14. Royal Observatory Greenwich
The Royal Observatory in Greenwich is an out-of-this-world observatory and recreational center, situated on a hill in Greenwich Park, overlooking Canary Wharf across the River Thames. Complete with a planetary observatory, shops, and a space-themed cafe this Observatory provides entertainment perfect for families and curious visitors. There are also some great views from around the grounds, including near the Prime Meridian, and when climbing the telescope dome.
London Parks With Great Views
15. Greenwich Park
Speaking of Greenwich! This is a beautiful park governing 183 acres of historic land and is part of the Royal Parks of London and the Greenwich World Heritage Site. Open year-round, this park provides a space for all to enjoy nature, hundreds of years of history, and spectacular views of London, especially at the top near the Greenwich Royal Observatory.
16. Parliament Hill
Reaching an elevation of 322 feet and encompassing some 932 acres, Parliament Hill is more than a historical space. From the apex, it provides a purview of the surrounding monuments and buildings of London. If you are looking for viewpoints of London, Parliament Hill has some of the best and you’ll likely see fellow travelers and even a few locals enjoying the area.
17. Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill is a beautiful space and natural point reaching an elevation of 210 feet. From the park, you’ll have viewpoints of the surrounding region, especially looking out across Regent’s Park toward the heart of London. Primrose Hill also includes an outdoor workout space, walking trail, and children’s playground for visitors year-round.
18. Alexandra Palace
Alexandra Palace is a picturesque entertainment and sports venue in north London, known for its performers, event space, and panoramic views. Located between Wood Green and Muswell Hill in the London Borough of Haringey, the Palace also has some epic views south toward the City of London, Canary Wharf, and Central London.
19. Telegraph Hill
Telegraph Hill is a space mostly created for residential and conservation use but has public areas that can be explored by people looking for a unique view. The highest point is around 150 feet in elevation, despite covering only 10 acres total. Specifically, Telegraph Hill is known for its views of Central London, and also encompasses monuments and a children’s playground.
Bars & Restaurants with the Best London Views
20. The Kitchen & Bar at the Tate Modern
Enjoy a delicious meal and spectacular views, six-floors high at the Kitchen & Bar at the Tate Modern Art Museum. This specific museum is known for its modern art and is the national gallery of international modern art of Britain. Take in the culture and find solace in one of the best viewpoints of London.
(Pro-tip: Don’t want to spend a ton? Stop in for afternoon tea and ask to be seated along the windows if any spots are available.)
21. Frank’s Cafe
Among places to eat with a view, Frank’s Cafe is the spot! Known for its staircase leading up to a rooftop bar, this spot attracts foodies and visitors mostly in the summer. Frank’s is perfect if you want to enjoy traditional pub food and a non-traditional viewpoint of London!
22. Galvin at Windows
Is it any surprise that one of the nicest places on this list of restaurants with views in London is located in Mayfair? Galvin at Windows is on the 28th floor at Park Lane – yes, the Park Lane. Serving modern French haute cuisine and hand-picked wines, the food and drink honestly struggle to compete with the incredible views overlooking Hyde Park, Green Park, and even Buckingham Palace and the Palace grounds.
Located on the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower near Liverpool Street, Sushisamba London features the highest outdoor dining terraces in Europe. Unique to only this space, Sushisamba overlooks London with floor-to-ceiling windows and subsequently the best viewpoints of London. If you haven’t dined al fresco 38-39 floors up, have you really seen London?
24. Duck and Waffle
In case the 38th (or 39th) floor isn’t high enough for you, there’s Duck and Waffle – also located in the Heron Tower on the 40th floor. Take time to enjoy the modern British cuisine while gazing out the floor-to-ceiling windows. The view from Duck and Waffle is one of the highest you can find in London.
If you’re over in Canary Wharf looking for a great view, Bōkan is the place. Located on the 38th floor of the Novotel London Canary Wharf tower, Bōkan is a three-story space with a rooftop bar and huge terrace. From basically everywhere in the bar and restaurant, you’ll enjoy eye-catching views of London while serving chef-inspired locally sourced European fare.
26. Radio Rooftop
To be honest, there are too many cool London spots to list… but Radio Rooftop is known as “one of the coolest spots in London.” And it’s undoubtedly the coolest spot with this kind of London viewpoint. Radio Rooftop is – as the name suggests – a rooftop bar, located at the top of the Hotel ME London. Settle in for delicious cocktails, tapas, and striking views of the city of London.
27. 12th Knot
Located near OXO Tower, 12th Knot is the kind of hip spot we all want to be seen – and do some seeing since the views of London are incredible. 12th Knot is located in Sea Containers London (a super cool hotel with other great bars in the building), you’ll enjoy fab drinks and views of Central London across the Thames.
28. Vertigo 42 Champagne Bar
Is it any surprise that a champagne bar on the 42nd story of Tower 42 near Liverpool Street is so popular it’s literally always reservation only? Vertigo is equal parts chic and grand – and may actually induce its namesake vertigo for those nervous about heights. Here you’ll find a unique menu of Champagne, vintage bottles, tapas, small plates, and many viewpoints of London.
29. Aviary Rooftop
The Aviary Rooftop is not just for bird lovers, despite its name. In fact, you’re more likely to feel like a bird thanks to the open-air views you’ll enjoy. This rooftop space, in Finsbury Square, invites everyone who is looking for spectacular views of London. While you might be tempted to just stop for a drink and to drink in the view, the thoughtfully created menu will inspire you to stay and enjoy their private spaces (their famous igloos).
30. Coq d’Argent
Year-round dining on this rooftop restaurant is all made possible thanks to a heated dining room. Located in the heart of London’s Bank, Coq d’Argent serves up modern French cuisine and cocktails, guaranteed to please even the pickiest customer… And don’t forget to enjoy the views of the City of London around you.
The Helix, located on the 39th and 40th floors of the Gerkin, is truly a spectacular restaurant with equally compelling views of the City of London around you. The menu offers afternoon tea, champagne, a contemporary menu, and a floor-to-ceiling glass view of the city, all aimed to please!
If you watch the BBC, you may well have seen Silks – it’s been featured in both Sherlock and Doctor Who. Why, you ask? It’s those fantastic views of St. Paul’s Cathedral close by! Silks is located in the Grange Hotel neighboring St. Paul’s, and overlooks the City of London.
The Newest Best View in London
33. The Dare Skywalk
The Dare Skywalk is a 90-minute adventure that scales the height of London’s newest and largest club stadium, Tottenham Hotspur’s Stadium. Thrilling for everyone who participates, this Skywalk allows visitors to walk a glass walkway 46.8 meters above the pitch. Leave your nerves at home and bring your camera to capture a once-in-a-lifetime adventure guaranteed to provide London’s best views, especially for footie fans.
There you have it – the best London viewpoints across the city. Which of these London viewpoints do you most want to see? Let me know in the comments!