London is the city that has it all, including a long list of places where you can admire the city from above.
I was lucky enough to see some of them during the time I lived there, so it was easy for me to make this list of places where you can get the best views in London! I’ve searched the web and also remembered all those amazing attractions that I visited while I was there and came up with a fabulous list where I categorized the places by interest, so you can pick your favorite ones easily!
If you’re also looking to book one of the hotels or tickets for attractions like the London Eye or Tower Bridge, I recommend doing it in advance because this capital is so popular that everything sells out months in advance!
Are you ready to be blown away by the London scenery?
If you are in a hurry
Don’t worry if you can’t make it through the whole post. Below I added a list of the top places with the best views in London:
Where to get the best views for free
1. Primrose Hill – for a picnic date
If you’re in the Camden area (definitely go there as there are many cool attractions), then Primrose Hill is the best place to go and admire some incredible views of London! Set right near Regent’s Park and the London Zoo, this area brings locals and tourists from everywhere!
The stunning view of London’s skyline is incredible, especially at sunset. Primrose Hill is also known as a top picnic spot, so grab a blanket and a snack and enjoy the sights!
Location: Primrose Hill Rd
2. Sky Garden – for plant lovers
Set in the City of London, inside the famous Walkie-Talkie building, not too far from the river Thames, this attraction is an iconic London landmark that you can visit for free! Filled with gigantic plants that will make you feel in a jungle and offering some spectacular views, the Sky Garden deserves all the hype that it’s been getting!
From inside, you can spot the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf and the historical river Thames! If you want to avoid the crowds (especially during summertime), go there early in the morning!
Location: 1, Sky Garden Walk
3. Greenwich Park – for nature lovers
London offers so many incredible parks, and Greenwich is definitely a favorite of many locals and tourists! The view of London from the top of the park is amazing, and after a long walk in nature, you can sit and relax while admiring the entire city!
From here you can see a part of the park plus some of London’s landmarks like the Queen’s House and the Old Royal Naval College.
Location: London SE10 8QY
4. Richmond Park – for history enthusiasts
Although set a bit further away from Central London, Richmond Park is one of London’s iconic spots and is definitely worth the tube ride! Why? A big reason is that you can see deer here (I’m sold) and, yes, some really spectacular free views of the city!
But the catch is that you’ve got to know where to go (since the park is huge), and the 2 main spots would be Sawyer’s Hill and King Henry’s Mound. Which apparently is the place where King Henry VIII waited for the confirmation that his wife, Anna Boleyn, was killed (not so romantic, I’d say!
Location: Richmond, United Kingdom
5. Oxo Tower – great views of the river Thames
Let’s face it, London is so expensive that sometimes you feel as if you’re even charged for breathing in this city! So if you’re looking for a great place to admire some amazing London views for free, check out Oxo Tower, which is set not too far from Tate Modern.
Once you arrive, head up to the terrace, where you’ll find an area that you can access for free!
Location: Barge House St
6. Parliament Hill – iconic London landmark
Set inside Hampstead Heath Park, this hill offers some fantastic views of the city, and it also has an interesting history! Its name has been highly debated, but most people say that this was the spot where the friends of the notorious Guy Fawkes came to see the explosion of the Houses of Parliament!
Although that never happened, people were more than happy to stick with this iconic name! While you’re here, make sure you explore Hampstead Heath, it’s pretty big and amazing!
Location: Heath Lodge
7. Alexandra Palace Park – the most Instagrammable one
I know that many of you would prefer to stay in Central London, but if you’re looking to see some other iconic landmarks which aren’t so popular with tourists, then check out the incredible Alexandra Palace Park!
Home to an actual Palace, a farmer’s market, a concert venue, and some other things, this park also offers a spectacular view of London which will definitely go on your Instagram feed!
Location: Alexandra Palace Way
8. Waterloo Bridge – while exploring the town
I’ve crossed this bridge a few times, and honestly, I’ve never got tired of the incredible view of London that it offers! Whether you’re crossing it during the day when you can see some of the skyscrapers perfectly or at night when the city lights are flickering, you’ll fall in love with the stunning views!
You can even see St. Paul’s Cathedral and its magnificent Dome and some other unique spots.
Location: London WC2R 2PP
9. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – a great place for families
Set in the Stratford area, this park was built in 2012 for the Summer Olympics and Paralympics! It’s a really awesome place to go with the kids, as there are many play areas! But you can also catch some fantastic views of London while the kids play!
If you decide to go on the ArcelorMittal Orbit and slide, which is the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide, wait a moment to admire the incredible sight!
10. One Tree Hill – a great place to spend your afternoon
Nope, I’m not talking about the famous TV series here, but about a place in South London where you can spend a fun afternoon admiring the views and relaxing!
Apparently, once, Queen Elizabeth I rested under a tree here!
Location: 69 Honor Oak Rise
Best bars & restaurants with great views
1. 12th Knot at Sea Containers – for a fun cocktail date
If I had to choose only one thing I like the most about cities like London, then it would be drinking cocktails with a fabulous view! And luckily there are many bars where you can admire the London skyline views. It’s true that most of the time, you’ll have to call and book ahead, but if you didn’t get a chance to do that, you can always just show up early!
This one is set inside the Sea Containers hotel, and it offers some amazing views of famous landmarks like St. Paul’s Cathedral and the river Thames. Plus, the cocktails are yummy!
Location: 20 Upper Ground
2. Radio Rooftop – to end a day of exploring the city
After a day of exploring Covent Garden, there’s nothing like a celebratory drink at a fabulous rooftop restaurant in the area! Although pricey, this place is pretty unique, and you won’t get a better view of London’s West End than here!
You can spot from here King’s College London, one of the most popular universities in the country, and even The Shard!
Location: 336-337 Strand
3. Frank’s Cafe – to catch a scenic sunset
The outdoor terrace at this cocktail bar is the ultimate hang-out place in the city! A fun vibe, some of the best views ever, and amazing drinks! Yep, I’m in!
Perfect for a sunset cocktail, this bar has a large terrace with benches where you can relax and enjoy the incredible sights after a day of exploring the city!
Location: Bold Tendencies
4. Hutong The Shard – a fancy restaurant
I guess The Shard doesn’t need a very long introduction! As one of the most famous buildings in the city, this attraction is definitely one you don’t want to miss while you’re in town! It’s home to some indoor viewing platforms, restaurants, hotels, and offices.
A pretty crowded place, you’d say, except it’s huge! If you want to get drinks and dinner at Hutong, one of the restaurants inside, make sure you call in advance. Otherwise, I don’t think you can get in! But trust me, the hustle is worth it, especially for those breathtaking views!
Location: 32 London Bridge St
5. Sushi Samba – for a fun night out
Such a chic place! As one of the few restaurants in London that is open 24/7, this famous spot, which is set in Salesforce Tower (formerly known as Heron Tower), not only serves mouth-watering food but also offers some unique London views!
Whether you’re coming during the day when the sky is clear, and you can see all the famous London Landmarks, or at night when the darkness has inflicted a lighting party in town, I’m sure you’ll have an unforgettable time here!
Location: Heron Tower
6. Oxo Tower Restaurant – a great place to go with friends
A classical London look! This rooftop bar offers a sight of the modern side of the city! You can see some of the skyscrapers, which definitely look better at night if you ask me!
So get all dressed up (definitely call in advance for reservations) and get ready for a fun night with cocktails on this rooftop!
Location: Barge House St
7. One New Change – for the delicious cocktails
The roof terrace at One New Change doesn’t just offer a great view of London, but it also has yummy cocktails!
So grab one and a table and enjoy the lovely London views of St. Paul’s Cathedral!
Location: One New Change
Unique hotels in London with the best views
1. Corinthia Hotel – a stylish hotel
We’ve got a whole post on the best hotels in London with amazing views, but I wanted to give you here a quick run-down of the top ones! This place offers views of both The Shard and St. Paul’s Cathedral!
You can admire both places while having breakfast! Their rooms are spacious, and they come with marble bathrooms and lovely decor. Like many iconic hotels in London, this one dates back to the 1880s, and it also offers a spa center.
2. Four Seasons Hotel – unique place with a spa
Located in the City of London, this accommodation offers a great view of the Tower of London from its terrace! Its rooms are bright, spacious, and beautifully decorated with stylish furniture! Start your day with some room service, or head down to the restaurant.
After a day of exploring London and visiting attractions like the National Portrait Gallery or the Royal Observatory, you can head to the spa center on-site for a massage and some “me time” that will prepare you for a new day of adventures.
3. Hotel Café Royal – a luxurious hotel with a bar
Set on Regent’s Street, one of the most famous avenues in the city, this hotel offers some one-of-a-kind sights of the city! Plus, it’s right in the middle of the action, just minutes away from all the major attractions.
While staying here, you’ll get to dine at its 3 amazing restaurants, drink cocktails in its elegant bar and relax in its spa center.
4. Shangri-La The Shard – unique place with breathtaking views
Remember what I said earlier about The Shard? That it’s the home of a hotel, well, here it is! The popular accommodation that offers an incredible sight of the London skyline! This luxurious hotel has rooms with ceiling-to-floor windows and marble-clad bathrooms with underfloor heating.
Its design allows those panoramic views to be seen from every corner of the building. So yes, you’ll get to admire the views of London while swimming in the pool, at the spa, or during your tea time!
Top attractions in London with great views
1. Tower Bridge – a fun place for families
There are so many things to do in London, and yes, visiting Tower Bridge, which is set near the City Hall, should definitely be at the top of that list! I definitely recommend getting the tickets in advance for this one, as it’s pretty packed with tourists!
When visiting the Tower, you’ll get to see the river Thames from the glass walkway, and of course, admire the panoramic views of London! I think you’ll be able to see the Monument of the Great Fire of London St. Paul’s and many others!
Price: £12 (US$15)
Location: Tower Bridge Rd
2. St. Paul’s Cathedral – for history lovers
One of my favorite attractions in London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, is an iconic landmark that you should see while you’re in town. It’s not only the place where many famous royal weddings were hosted, but it also served as a movie set for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Sherlock Holmes!
St. Paul’s Cathedral is also a great place to admire the views of London! But for that, you’ll have to climb up 528 stairs to the Cathedral Dome, where you’ll find the Golden Gallery!
Price: £20 (US$25)
Location: St. Paul’s Churchyard
3. London Eye – the best view in the city
Honestly, nothing beats the panoramic views of London that you’ll get while you’re on the London Eye! It’s one of the most popular attractions in the capital, and yes, you’ll surely need to book your tickets in advance here (we’ve got a whole post on that if you need any help).
Once you get on the pod, which can fit up to 25 people, you’ll get 360° moving views of the city, and you’ll get to spot the famous Big Ben and the South Bank area!
Price: £30 (US$38)
Location: Riverside Building
4. Emirates Air Line Cable Car – an affordable attraction
Want to admire London’s skyline while going on a cable car? The Emirates Air Line has a pretty good offer for you! For just £5 (app. US$7), you can go on their cable car over the river Thames and admire some of the best views of London and even spot the Canary Wharf!
Also known as the IFS Cloud Royal Docks, this attraction which is part of London’s Transport Network, is definitely one you can’t miss!
Price: £5 (US$7)
Location: 27 Western Gateway
5. The Monument – for culture lovers
Although this attraction is not usually considered one of the top London viewpoints, I think it should definitely get more credit as it offers an amazing view of Central London from its viewing platform!
The Monument was built in the 7th century to commemorate the Great Fire of London, and you should definitely check it out while you’re in town!
Price: £6 (US$8)
Location: Fish St Hill
6. Westminster Cathedral – a secret place with panoramic views
Nope, it’s not the famous Westminster Abbey, this is the cathedral which is located near Victoria Station, also in the Westminster area, and it offers an amazing London view!
However, just like with St. Paul’s Cathedral, you’ll have to climb up a tower (in this case), but here you have an elevator (yay) to admire some of the best views of London. From up there, you will probably see the BT Tower, Westminster Abbey, and the Houses of Parliament.
Location: Victoria St, London
7. Tate Modern – for art lovers
Sure, you can head over to Tate Modern (a modern art gallery in London) to admire the paintings, but how about we make this more exciting and add a session of seeing some of the best London views? Sounds good, right?
For this, you’ll have to head to the viewing level in the Blavatnik Building (you’ll see the address below), where you’ll get an amazing view of Central London!
Location: Hopton St, London
8. The Shard – a unique attraction
As I mentioned earlier, the Shard, which is located in the London Bridge area, has, among its many restaurants, hotel rooms, and offices, a viewing platform that you can visit which offers some panoramic views of the London skyline.
We’ve got a whole post on how to buy tickets, and I definitely recommend booking in advance!
Price: £28 (US$34)
Location: 32 London Bridge St
9. Big Ben – the famous Gothic clock tower
I’m sure you know this place! Big Ben is an iconic London landmark, but unfortunately, only UK residents can go inside it and climb the 334 steps to the top, from where you can admire the incredible views!
In order to visit it, you’ll probably need to take a tour, but hey, make sure you prepare yourself before climbing all those stairs!
Location: Palace of Westminster
FAQs about the best views in London
🦌 Which parks have the best views of London?
Greenwich Park and Richmond Park offer some of the best views in London! These places are unmissable!
🌆 Where can you see London from above?
There are many spots where you can see London from above, like The Shard, the London Eye, and Tower Bridge.
🏨 Which are the best hotels that offer a view of London?
🍸 Which bars and restaurants offer a great London view?
What a city! I’m so excited that you’re heading there!
And now that you’ve seen this long list of places where you can admire the views in London, I’m sure you’ll feel more than prepared to start your trip!
As I mentioned earlier, if you’re staying at one of the hotels on the list above or visiting the attractions, I recommend booking your rooms at tickets in advance as you risk either not finding anything or paying more (for the hotels).
I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did, and don’t forget that I’m always around if you’ve got any questions. All you’ve got to do is leave a comment below, and I’ll answer ASAP!
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