The best restaurants, bars and attractions with a beautiful view of London.
Ironically, I’m writing this as somebody who is absolutely petrified of heights, but the best way to see London is undoubtably from above ground level. So, if you’re not a total wimp like me, here’s a big list of places to see beautiful, panoramic views of the city.
Restaurants and bars with a view of London
Oblix at the Shard
There are a lot of free options for views across the city, and the View from the Shard certainly isn’t one of them. Yes, you get views from the 72nd floor, but you’ll be paying over £25. Instead, grab a drink at Oblix on the 32nd floor — even their most expensive cocktail is cheaper than the price you’d pay to get to the top. And hey, what’s an extra 40 floors when you can be sipping on “Death’s Door Vodka” as you peer out at the city? Honestly though, you’ll still get amazing panoramic views, just at a fraction of the price. You can also go to GŎNG on the 52nd floor, but bear in mind that they insist on a £30 minimum spend per person.
Find Oblix at The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
Enjoy 360° views of the city from Bōkan‘s roof terrace, and visit them at brunchtime for bottomless prosecco and fancy grub.
You’ll find Bōkan at 40 Marsh Wall, Isle of Dogs, near Canary Wharf, E14 9TP
Sitting pretty at the top of a 10-storey car park in Peckham, Frank’s Cafe is so much more than its name suggests. Think food, beers, arty installations: it’s a hipster hangout that is absolutely worth a visit in the summer. Keep an eye on their website to see when it’s opening for the summer.
Find Frank’s Cafe at 95A Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST
This rooftop not only boasts incredible views over London, but the immediate setting is also beautiful. We recommend heading there for brunch and tucking into anything from scrambled eggs on toast to fried Nutella and marshmallow sandwiches. Book a spot here.
Find Aviary Rooftop at 22-25 Finsbury Square, near Liverpool Street/Moorgate/Old St, EC2A 1DX
Sitting above the Strand, Radio Rooftop is exactly what you’d expect from a swanky London rooftop bar. This place is perfect if you’re after light tapas and expertly created cocktails (just don’t expect them to come cheap).
Find Radio Rooftop at 336-337 Strand, WC2R 1HA
Duck & Waffle
Duck and Waffle is famous for its – yep, you guessed it – duck and waffles. It’s not the cheapest of breakfasts but, for £15, you also get an unbeatable view of the capital. Added bonus? It’s open 24/7. Get a table at sunset and stay as late as you like; with enough espresso martinis you might even make it through ’til sunrise.
Find Duck and Waffle at Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
Madison Rooftop is where you’ll get that famous view of St Paul’s Cathedral. Grab a cocktail or some fantastically fancy dinner before heading out onto the terrace for some cracking Insta shots.
Find Madison at One New Change, EC4M 9AF
OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar & Brasserie
The OXO Tower’s restaurant serves up some classic British grub. Think scallops, sea bream, and mussels; pork belly, lamb chops and rib-eye steak. But, if you’re headed there with a bit of a sweet tooth, they also have a pretty sweet dessert-and-champagne only offer. Sounds pretty good, amirite?
Find the OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie at OXO Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, SE1 9PH
This new(ish) venue boasts wacky interiors, quirky drinks and panoramic views of London and, as a classic example of that “gentrification” everyone always talks about, it used to be an old Peckham car park. It was designed by the award-winning team at Finch Interiors, winners of UK’s Best Bar in 2015 and 2016 for their work on The Breakfast Club and The Escapologist. Head to Near & Far bar on Level 6, where you’ll find a delicious mix of palm trees and disco balls, and those all-important views. Read more about Peckham Levels here.
Find Peckham Levels on floors 1 – 6, 95A Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST
Galvin at Windows
You’ll find this Michelin-star restaurant high on the 28th floor of the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane. It’s hella pricey, but look at those views though 🤷♀️.
Find Galvin at Windows at 22 Park Ln, Mayfair, W1K 1BE
Searcys at the Gherkin
You’ll find Searcys on the 39th and 40th floors of The Gherkin. It’s one of those fancy fine-dining restaurants, but it’s perfect for a special occasion.
Find Searcys at The Gherkin at 30 St Mary Axe, EC3A 8EP
Showcasing fine regional French cuisine and bistro-style classics, Coq d’Argent not only boasts cracking panoramic views across the Square Mile from its stunning roof gardens, but it’s also a fine dining hotspot.
Find Coq d’Argent at 1 Poultry, near Bank, EC2R 8EJ
Shoot up the Heron Tower in a scary, glass-walled lift to SUSHISAMBA where you’ll be confronted with phenomenal 360 degree views of the city and a rather mesmerising close up of the Gherkin. Also, there’s sushi. But that probably goes without saying. Read what we thought about it here.
Find SUSHISAMBA at Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
The Rooftop, Trafalgar St. James
Located above the Trafalgar St. James, The Rooftop boasts some breathtaking views of London’s iconic landmarks. You certainly won’t need to strain your neck to see the top of Nelson’s Column. Instead, you can stare at Admiral with ease, glass of prosecco in hand.
Find The Rooftop at Trafalgar St. James, 2 Spring Gardens, SW1A 2TS
Parks with a view over London
Primrose Hill, NW3
Greenwich Park, SE10
Alexandra Palace & Park, N22
Parliament Hill, NW5
Attractions with a view of London
This viewing gallery on the 43rd floor of the Walkie Talkie offers panoramic views over London from their foliage-filled atrium. With floor-to-ceiling glass windows, this lush urban jungle provides fantastic views of the famous rooftops of London. Find out more in our Sky Garden guide.
Find the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street, EC3M 8AF
The London Eye
It’s not often we recommend something so incredibly unsecret, but the views from the London Eye are pretty hard to beat. Book your tickets here.
Find the London Eye at the Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB
St Paul’s Cathedral
Remember I told you that I am absolutely shit-scared of heights? Well, I cried at the top of St Paul’s Cathedral and got laughed at by a 12 year old. I did, however, get a badge that read “I climbed to the top of St Paul’s Cathedral” so that, along with the views that I eventually saw from my mum’s phone when we were safely on the ground, made the whole thing worth it.
Find St Paul’s Cathedral in St. Paul’s Churchyard, EC4M 8AD
Add a bit of fun (and/or terror) to your viewing experience by (optionally!) descending the longest and tallest tunnel slide in the world. It’s a 178-metre drop from the top of the tower, but the views are astonishing. (Read more about the ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide.
Find the ArcelorMittal Orbit at 5 Thornton Street, Olympic Park, E20 2AD
Emirates Air Line
Fly across the Thames in an Emirates cable car connecting Royal Victoria and North Greenwich tube stations. For a reasonable £3.40 for Oyster Card holders, this is a great spot to catch the sun setting above the city.
Find the Emirates Air Line at Edmund Halley Way, SE10 0FR