Looking for some jaw-dropping views in London? I got you covered. From the free to boujee and everything in between, here’s the best places to see London from above—straight from a London travel blogger.
In my opinion, London is a city best seen from above. But considering London is basically the size of a small country, it can be hard to scout out the best views on your own. Don’t worry, I’ve got you sorted! Whether you’re here for a visit or a local trying to see the city from a new perspective, here’s 41+ viewpoints in London that are sure to make your jaw-drop (or you know, just leave you highly, highly impressed).
Best Viewpoints From London Landmarks
1. The London Eye
Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB
The view from the London Eye will always be unmatched. I mean, what could beat views of Westminster, St Paul’s, and Big Ben all tucked in the London skyline?
Once you enter your pod you’ll find yourself 135-metre (443ft) high in the sky looking out from the glass floor onto panoramic 360°views of the city. Although there’s nothing wrong with a daytime visit, I’d particularly suggest seeing sunset here or treating yourself to the sparkling night views.
2. Westminster Bridge
Westminster Bridge, London SE1 7PB
Once you stumble on Westminster Bridge you’ll realize it really is one of the best views in Central London! Between the London Eye, Big Ben and Westminster Palace you’ll be spoilt for viewpoints (and photo opps).
3. St Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD
One of the best things about visiting St Paul’s is all the panoramic views waiting for you once you get inside. The iconic London landmark comes with a charming balcony, aka the ‘Golden Gallery’, but there’s a catch—you’ll have to climb up 528 steps to get there! But don’t worry, it’s easy to forgive the trek once you’re looking out at views over the whole of London.
4. Westminster Cathedral
Victoria St, London SW1P 1LT
If you make a short jaunt from Victoria station you’ll find yourself at one of London’s lesser-known views at Westminster Cathedral. Pop on the elevator up to St Edmund’s Tower and you’ll be granted uninterrupted views of the BT Tower, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben.
5. The Shard
32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG
Western Europe’s tallest building is bound to give you some glorious views of London. The £1.2 billion masterpiece houses some of London’s most sought-after hotels and restaurants—but we didn’t come here for a bite and a stay, we came for the view!
Once you’re in you can choose to see the city from the indoor viewing platforms on the 66th or 69th floor. But if the weather’s nice, I highly suggest going to the open-air sky deck on the 72nd floor (with 40 miles worth of scenery to awe at).
6. Big Ben
Palace of Westminster, London SW1A 0AA
Of course with the current construction work (will it ever end??) on Big Ben, this one may be out the question for now—but it’ll still worth the save for later. If you’re a UK resident you can request a free tour of the grounds from the Houses of Parliament or House of Lords (fancy huh?).
Once you climb the 334 steps, you’ll of course be awarded spectacular views of London. Keep in mind tickets sell out up to 6 months in advance for this view so make sure you snag yours…now!
7. Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP
One of London’s most famous landmarks also holds a mighty view.
Outside of being one of the 40,000 walkers to cross the bridge by foot every day, you can treat yourself to exclusive 360-degree panoramic views of the city if you go up to the Glass Floor Walkway.
P.S – Adults tickets are £10.60 (or $14.00 USD) open from 10:30 AM -7:00PM daily.
8. Millennium Bridge
Thames Embankment, Bankside, London SE1
Millennium Bridge has well been documented as one of the most Instagrammable spots in the city (although I still haven’t gotten my picture yet) but it’s equally worth the visit for the view.
Connecting South Bank with the City of London you can lay your eyes on Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern before turning your head to one of the best views of St Paul’s Cathedral in the city.
P.S – If you can, time your visit to catch the view for evening when Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s are lit—it’s one of the best night views in London!
9. One New Change
New Change, London EC4M 9AF
If you request to see the view from the bouncer on the ground floor they’ll call the second lift for you to take you up to beautiful sixth-floor rooftop views. Here you’ll find St Paul’s, the London Eye, Big Ben and The Shard all within view, I especially recommend going for sunset.
10. Parliament Hill
Heath Lodge, London NW5 1QR
When Guy Fawkes thought the Houses of Parliament were going to burst into flames—this is where he went to watch the action.
Luckily, that scenario didn’t play out quite like he thought, but the name stayed, and so did the view! Tucked in Hampstead’s Heath green oasis you can enjoy the London skyline views at Parliament Hill before exploring the rest of the Heath.
P.S – The hill is open 24 hours!
Best Free Views in London
11. Sky Garden
Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF
Looking for a free rooftop view in London? Welcome to the Sky Garden, my friend.
Plopped in the heart of Bank the eye-catching ‘Walkie Talkie’ building was designed by Rafael Viñol, who felt it was only right that Londoners have a public park in the sky. Between the daily free entry, chic bar and brasserie dosed in greenery and of course, high panoramic views that greet you on the 35th floor, there’s no reason not to pay the Sky Garden a visit.
12. Richmond Park Viewpoint (King Henry’s Mound)
Queen’s Rd, Richmond TW10 5HX
Richmond Park is worth exploring in its own right—but add a stunning viewpoint to it and a visit simply can’t be missed.
Perched in Richmond Park’s Pembroke Lodge Gardens (which very unromantically is the rumoured spot where King Henry VII got the OK to marry Lady Jane Seymour after his wife Anne Boleyn was executed for treason…anyways…)you’ll be granted exclusive views to St Paul’s Cathedral and the whole of London really, easily making it one of the best views in London.
Visiting Richmond? Check out the best things to do and see in Richmond Park during your visit!
12. Greenwich Park
London SE10 8QY
Greenwich has long been the winner (at least in my book) for the best park views in London.
Not only does Greenwich Park grant you views of the Greenwich skyline—including the Old Royal Naval College, The Queen’s House, The O2 and The Royal Observatory but Canary Wharf, the Thames river and Central London are all within view too.
If you’re driving, it’s one of the best views in London by car as you can easily park on Greenwich Hill. There’s also a search magnifying glass waiting for you at the top of the hill to see it all up close and personal.
P.S – You can find more car park information here
Don’t forget to discover more of London’s beautiful parks and gardens ASAP!
14. Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill Rd, Primrose Hill, London NW1 4NR
I have a major soft spot for Primrose Hill—and the beautiful London views are very much to thank. The hilltop sits pretty at 64 metres (or 210ft) high in London’s exclusive NW3.
I’d highly suggest bringing a picnic blanket (here’s mine!) a bite to eat, coffee, or a good book for your time on Primrose Hill—unless of course, you’re easily pleased with the simplicity of taking in a good view.
Overlooking central London (cue London Eye, the Shard and BT tower) Primrose Hill is the perfect place to watch the sun hit and leave the city along the Primrose Hill skyline. And if you’re looking to spark some romance, this is the place.
While you’re in the area, don’t forget to check out these charming Primrose Hill cafes!
15. St James’s Park Bridge
St James’s Park, Marlborough Rd, London SW1A 2BJ
If you ever get to visit the royal St James Park—don’t forget to stop at the St James’s Park Bridge!
Outside of the plethora of bird watching opps, you’ll find all the best views of London when you stand on the royal bridge, with Buckingham Palace to your right and the Horse Guards Parade to your left (depending which way you stand).
16. Blavatnik Building at the Tate Modern
Hopton St, London SE1 9TG
Tate Modern will always be one of the best free museums in London, but the free view really makes it take the cake!
On top of the Blavatnik Building, you’ll find the public viewing terrace with spectacular views of the London skyline.
17. Alexandra Palace
Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY
‘Ally Pally’ as we Londoners like to call has a bit of everything really—a concert hall, beautiful park, farmer’s markets and you guessed it, an amazing view.
Perch yourself on the grass to take in sky-sweeping views of London from afar or enjoy the panoramic pleasure from Ally Pally’s ‘The Terrace’ one of London’s largest beer gardens.
18. Island Garden View of Greenwich
Saunders Ness Rd, London E14 3EB
When people talk about views in Southeast London the spotlight always goes to Greenwich. Okay, so the spotlight’s still on Greenwich—but at least from a new perspective this time!
A walk through the Greenwich foot tunnel (which is an adventure in itself) will lead you to the suburban hub of Island Garden and lesser-known views of the Greenwich skyline.
P.S – The Greenwich foot tunnel is open 24/7—so take a trip whenever!
19. The Garden at 120
120 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 5BA
The Garden at 120 feels like the kind of London viewpoint that shouldn’t be free—but I’m not complaining!
Make your way to the 15th floor of 120 Fenchurch street and you’ll find yourself in a rooftop garden oasis of flowers and green space. Once here you’ll see the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and City of London, and many more famous London landmarks all waiting to show off.
P.S – Plan your visit here.
20. Albert Bridge
Albert Bridge Road, London, SW11 4PH
Nestled between Pimlico and Battersea views from the Albert Bridge are some of the best in London. I highly suggest coming here for night, when the bridge is fully lit with Central London twinkling in the distance.
25. Portrait at the National Portrait Gallery
St. Martin’s Pl, London WC2H 0HE
If you’re thinking of a secret portrait door that leads to an amazing London view—well, Portrait is a restaurant, so you’ll have to sit that fantasy out (until my next blog post maybe). But the stunning Covent Garden restaurant at the top of National Portrait Gallery is worth the visit nonetheless.
Known as one of London’s most sought-after dining experiences, you’ll be able to catch Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Nelson’s Column all within view, plus the average meal is only £26-£40, not bad for dining sky high in an art gallery.
22. The Hill Garden and Pergola
The Pergola, Inverforth Cl, London NW3 7EX
Hampstead Heath’s best kept secret also offers stunning views. The extravagantly commissioned terrace is filled with overgrown flowers and vines, curling wisteria, old archways and splashes of greenery all within view.
23. Potters Field Park
165 Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 3LW
If you’re looking to see Tower Bridge view from a new perspective—make your way to Potters Fields Park.
Just a stone’s throw away from the famous London landmark it’s a great place to soak in Central London views and get your iconic Tower Bridge picture to look a bit different from the rest of your fellow Instagram feeds.
24. One Tree Hill
69 Honor Oak Rise, London SE23 3RA
Not the show! But hey, you’ve got the view? Nestled on top of Queen Elizabeth’s old resting spot, you’ll catch beautiful views of South London here—all for free!
Best Unique London Viewpoints
25. Emirates Airline Cable Cars
Unit 1, 2, 3 & 4 Emirates Cable Car Terminal, Edmund Halley Way, London SE10 0FR
Flying high above the Thames you’ll have access to 360-degree views of the East London skyline as you make your way from Greenwich to the Royal Docks (or the Royal Docks to Greenwich). Make sure you visit for sunset or their ‘night flights’ to really see London come to life.
P.S – As cars arrive every 30 seconds you won’t have to worry about when you visit. Every ride takes about 10 minutes (12 to 13 minutes if you take a night ride). Adult tickets are £4.50 for a single journey or £17 for 10 single trips. You can pay in person using your Oyster or contactless card.
26. Monument to the Great Fire of London
Fish St Hill, London EC3R 8AH
If you like to mix history with your views pay a visit to the Monument to the Great Fire of London.The grand column odes to the Great Fire of London with 311 steps to reach the top.
Granted, it’s not the highest viewpoint in London (at around 62m or 202ft) but the City of London, Tower Bridge and The Shard are all yours for the watching once you’ve braced the climb.
P.S – To reach the top viewpoint, you’ll have to pay a small fee. There’s also a bag check so be sure to pack light!
27. Up at The O2
Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX
If you like a bit of an adrenaline pump alongside your London view hunting take a climb Up at The O2.
The unique London experience will grant you 360° views once you reach the top (don’t worry—you’ll get all tooled up with boots, a harness, climb boots, and a friendly instructor before you go. The Canary Wharf skyline and Greenwich Park are in particularly nice view here.
28. Private Plane Ride Across London
Central London | Locations Vary
There’s London views…and then there’s London views from a private plane.
Take a sightseeing trip to see a jaw-dropping aerial view of London. I’ll admit, this experience isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you’ve got some chutzpah (and prefer London birds-eye views), why not!
P.S – Quick tip, you can completely personalise your route based on what you want to see (just talk to the pilot beforehand)
29. ArcelorMittal Orbit
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 5 Thornton St, London E20 2AD
Like heights? Then it’s time to make your way to Stratford.
Although Europe’s longest tunnel slide may seem like it’s just for the adrenaline junkies of London (which isn’t that far off) it’s great for view lovers. At 80 metres (around 260 feet) high you’ll be able to catch spectacular views of the city before you slide (or abseil) down.
30. The Dare Skywalk, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London N17 0BX
If you told me Tottenham Stadium offered more than sweaty views of footballers, I wouldn’t believe you. But, you can see the stadium and London from a whole new perspective now with The Dare Skywalk.
The 90-minute journey to take you climbing up one of London’s most iconic stadiums with 360-degree views of the London skyline rewarding you at the top.
31. Take a Boat Cruise on the Thames
Central London | Locations Vary
The best river views in London will of course, be when you’re on the River Thames!
Take a boat cruise to enjoy one of London’s best leisure activities and catch smashing views of Tower Bridge, Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and all the Central London goodness you can imagine along the way.
Best Bar, Restaurant & Hotel Rooftop Views in London
32. Radio Rooftop
336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA
Sitting pretty on the 10th floor of one of London’s most iconic ME London hotels, Radio Rooftop is the kind of place you bring someone you want to impress.
Whether it’s a lover or a friend you can enjoy views of the Shard, St Paul’s, the London Eye and Big Ben all within full view.
33. Oxo Tower
Barge House St, London SE1 9PH
I know I know, London is expensive—but the views don’t have to be! What if I told you you could get one of the best restaurant views in London…for free, today! Listen up. Head up to the 8th floor of the Oxo Tower to get a unique view of St Paul’s and the Millennium Bridge.
Keep in mind the viewing platform is on the same floor as the Oxo Tower Restaurant, but no bother—just tell them you’re there for the views (although the food might tempt you too to be honest…).
34. 12th Knot at Sea Containers
20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD
There’s nothing like sipping on some Friday night drinks with a cheeky view of London, especially when it’s at a seafood restaurant in the sky.
The 12th Knot at Sea Containers London is as glamorous as you’d expect, with lush greenery, vibrant blue decor and a cocktail list that will make you cry tears of joy—paired with striking views of the Thames with the London Eye, Tate Modern and Borough Market all within walking distance.
35. Tavolino St Katherine’s Dock Views of London
2 More London Riverside, London SE1 2DB
When I first stumbled on this London restaurant view it was a Strada, now it’s Tavolino, but luckily the views have never changed.
What’s also never changed is its affordability, making it one of the best places in London to eat with a view. Chow down on £12 pizza and aperitifs with Tower Bridge basically at your feet.
36. Coq D’Argent
1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ
Walking through London by foot is already awe-striking enough. But if you want to take your London scenery to a whole new level, book a table at none other than Coq D’Argent.
Heated rooftop terrace and sinfully relaxing atmosphere aside (oh, and the wine…oh the wine) you’ll have access to their unique London city views on their private terrace and garden during your visit, and it’s definitely one of the most romantic views in London.
37. citizenM Tower of London Hotel
40 Trinity Square, London EC3N 4DJ
citizenM constantly tops the list for one of the best and most affordable hotels in London, especially when you consider the views.
A hop away from the Tower of London, you’ll be able to find soak in divine views of Central London here, all with a cocktail in hand at the 7th floor cloudM bar.
38. Vertigo42 Champagne Bar
Tower 42, 25 Old Broad St, London EC2N 1HQ
Champagne anyone? (I’ll have yours if you don’t). Even if chi-chi European restaurants aren’t your groove, I can proudly say Vertigo42 is worth splashing the cash.
But even a simple glass of champagne or a light afternoon tea will privy you to some of the most exclusive sky-sweeping views of the city.
P.S – Quick tip, Vertigo24 is reservation only so make sure to check for bookings!
39. Duck & Waffle
110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Don’t think twice about finding sunrise views in London again my friend, just go to Duck & Waffle, and thank me later.
The 24-hour restaurant has got you covered for anytime you fancy. Outside of their epically delicious duck and waffles, there’s a delicious 40th-floor view of the City of London and beyond, comes with every meal!
40. Peckham Levels
35 The Market, London WC2E 8RF
If a South London jaunt is more your jam— give Peckham Levels a shout. The no-frills creative hub is where you go to end the day like a local.
Grab a beer and enjoy the 360-degree views of London they’ve got waiting just for you.
41. Frank’s Cafe at Bold Tendencies
Bold Tendencies, 7th-10th Floor Multi Storey Car Park, 95A Rye Ln, London SE15 4ST
Another Peckham favourite of mine is Frank’s Cafe.
Come summer season this is the place to be for live music, art installations, #wontbreakyourbank cocktails and of course, London views. Say hey to The Shard for me!
42. Bussey Rooftop Bar
133 Rye Ln, London SE15 4ST
Last Peckham view, promise! But as the highest drinking spot in the area, it’s a sin not to mention.
Bussey’s tropical rooftop bar is the perfect escape after a long day of Londonding, with a colourful ambience and deliriously nice views that make you forget you’re in a humanly priced establishment in London.
43. Bōkan 37
40 Marsh Wall, London E14 9TP
Central London views always get all the hype, so we’re going to Canary Wharf!
Hidden on the 39th floor of the Novotel London Canary Wharf, Bōkan 37 is where go feel like fine wine and gaze at the city from above. The stylish rooftop restaurant and gin bar holds the best Canary Wharf views you’ll ever find, plus, there’s even Sunday jazz sessions if you prefer your views with a bit of ambience—you’re a fancy one huh?
Spend the day in the area before your drinks with my Canary Wharf guide!
44. The Madison
Angel House, 225 Marsh Wall, London E14 9FW
If you’ve read through this whole blog post (dedication!) mentioning The Madison may seem vaguely familiar as it’s also where the free view at One New Change lies. But if you want the whole shebang, consider booking a table.
Whether it’s to wine and dine (I simply wined) you’ll get uninterrupted and quite frankly jaw-dropping views of St Paul’s and The City of London during your visit. Plus, everyone knows London views are better with a drink in hand… 😉
→ See my experience at the Madison Bar on Instagram!
Free Map of the Best Views in London
Quick Tips for Visiting Viewpoints in London
• (If applicable) bring a picnic blanket with you to your views!
• Post-pandemic many London viewpoints (including the free ones) require you to book in advance. Check the website links attached in each section to do so.
• Don’t forget to snap your view pics (although I’m sure you’ll remember 🙂 )
Happy London viewing,