London has a sea of bold skyscrapers and the most interesting being in the city of London such as the Walkie Talkie, Cheese Grater, Gherkin and Heron Tower. What better way to enjoy London’s view than in one of these wonderful buildings capturing panoramic views across the city.
Here are my top 15 places with the best views of London. Pictures definitely speak louder than words, in this case, just look at all these amazing views!
Best Place To See The London Skyline
First on the list is obviously the tallest building in the UK, The Shard. This iconic building towers above the rest and is therefore the ultimate viewing point if you want to see the epic London skyline.
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Located at the top of The Shard across floors 68,69 and 72, the viewing gallery offers visitors an unparalleled, 360-degree view of the city spanning as far as 40 miles.
Visitors can choose to stay indoors or, weather permitting, head up to the Skydeck on floor 72 to see the incredible skyline from the open-air platform.
You can practically see everything from The View at The Shard but landmarks to look for include Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Shakespeare’s Globe and of course the iconic River Thames.
Tickets are pricey but it is free for children under 4 years of age and the impeccable service provided by the team at The Shard is simply unmatched. You are also free to stay for as long as you wish once you have arrived.
The Emirates Air Line
Possibly one of the most unique modes of transport you will find in London is that of the Emirates Air Line cable cars.
Hop aboard for stunning aerial views of popular landmarks such as the O2 arena, Canary Wharf, the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks.
Emirates Air Line operates throughout the daytime up until as late as 11pm. Witness the lunchtime rush of London from up high or watch the sunset on the horizon as the night sky is lit up by city lights in the evening.
Your journey on a cable car can last from anywhere between five to thirteen minutes depending on where you board and depart. Boarding areas can be found at North Greenwich and the Royal Victoria side of the river.
Walk along one of London’s most iconic landmarks for breathtaking views of the skyscrapers that line the horizon.
Apart from the spectacular views, the bridge has to offer, you can also step foot in the Victorian engine rooms. This fascinating exhibition offers insight into the history of Tower Bridge through interactive activities, films and photographs.
Walk the glass floors of the high level walkways if you’re brave enough and enjoy panoramic views of busy city life.
Book your tickets online for a 90-minute guided tour of Tower Bridge that makes for an interesting family day out.
We can’t forget to include this iconic monument can we! Enjoy a ride on this rotating observation wheel that will lift you as high as 135 metres into the London sky.
From here you can see some of London’s most iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
Each capsule includes a multilingual guide informing visitors about what they are seeing and the history behind it.
Located on the south bank of the River Thames, the London Eye is constructed of 32 glass capsules that take around 30 minutes to rotate. Queues can be long so a fast-track ticket is highly advised if you want to do some serious sightseeing.
Designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Dr Robert Hooke, this 202 ft column was built to commemorate the Great Fire of London and is a popular tourist attraction.
Climb the 311 steps to the top of the construction to view the hustle and bustle of the city from high above.
The Monument houses a small laboratory underneath it, which was designed for scientific purposes. However, when the city became too busy, the plans were quickly abandoned.
This is one of the cheaper viewing points of London at just a few pounds per ticket. Space is limited however so if you have a fear of heights this may not be best suited to you!
Best Restaurants With Views Of London
Salesforce Tower (Sushi Samba/ Duck and Waffle)
Dine in style whilst overlooking the scenic landscape of London in Sushi Samba.
Located in the trendy Salesforce Tower (formerly known as Heron Tower), Sushi Samba welcomes its guests to the 38th and 39th floor to choose from a wide selection of traditional Japanese, Peruvian and Brazilian dishes spiced up with a modern twist.
Arrive in style by taking the panoramic glass elevator to the top of the building, taking in eyefuls of the city as you climb each floor. With floor to ceiling windows, the main dining room offers exceptional views of the city wherever you are seated. The soft lighting creates an intimate atmosphere which makes for a memorable dining experience.
Duck and Waffle
Located on the 40th floor of Salesforce Tower is Duck and Waffle. This playful restaurant serves British cuisine influenced by European ingredients.
Salesforce Tower is one of London’s tallest buildings reaching a height of 230 metres. It first opened to the public in 2011 and is a favourite among visitors for its fine choice of restaurants and magnificent views of the city.
Guests are taken up to the eatery in the glass elevators discussed above which can accommodate a total of 16 people and takes less than one minute to reach the summit (40 seconds to be precise!).
The main dining room overlooks the downtown London skyline with grand windows and generous lighting. Whether you are enjoying a meal with the family or a few drinks at the bar with friends, we guarantee this won’t be your last time visiting Duck and Waffle.
Feast on succulent British cuisine made with top-quality ingredients whilst absorbing the panoramic views of the London skyline.
This Michelin starred restaurant sits on level 24 of Tower 42 with chefs Jason Atherton and Paul Walsh behind the impressive menu. Dishes such as South Coast John Dory with chorizo and lobster minestrone and shellfish bisque; Herdwick lamb loin, confit belly, courgette tomato and olive are served followed by passion fruit and raspberry sablé Breton with white chocolate; dark chocolate and almond delicé with amaretto ice cream.
Head to Social 24 for a business lunch or to sample tasty cocktails and interesting beers. Casual yet elegant, Social 24 is inspired by the landmark’s you can see through the 360-degree views of London.
Best London Views For Free
Visit Britain’s national museum of contemporary and modern art. Tate Modern is based in the former Bankside Power Station where the upper balconies provide stunning riverside views of the Thames. Panoramic views of Southwark and Southbank can also be found on the top floor of the Blavatnik Building.
Tate Modern is home to a growing number of artworks produced by some of the most famous painters in history including Picasso, Matisse, Warhol and Dali. These inspiring pieces of art can be found in the iconic Turbine Hall which runs the length of the whole building.
Entry is free but certain events and special exhibitions may charge. End your visit with a visit to The Tate Modern Terrace Bar for a well-deserved tipple to end a memorable day out. A tap takeover event frequently runs in the bar where local breweries showcase special beers and offer guests samples.
If fancy dining isn’t your thing then you need to head over to Frank’s Cafe for unparalleled views of the capital.
This hangout is located on the rooftop space of Peckham’s multi-storey car park, which may not sound glamorous – and it isn’t – but can you really put a price on a lazy summer evening with friends, drinking beers and chatting away?
Admission is free but this place can get pretty busy over the weekend, particularly when the sun makes an appearance, so it is best to arrive early to mark your territory.
The clue is in the name with this one. Known as London’s highest public garden, Sky Garden is like being transported to the future.
This undeniably spectacular space is home to an open-air terrace, observation decks and landscaped gardens along with a selection of bars and restaurants to round off your visit.
Situated on the 43rd floor of the Walkie Talkie, the epic construction of Sky Garden allows guests to take in panoramic views of London through windows that become larger as the eye travels up.
Live music and yoga classes are just some of the frequent entertainment/activities that happen at Sky Garden. Visit their website to find out what’s on and when.
While entry is free, booking is required and it is not easy to reserve a spot at this popular establishment.
Best Parks To Visit For Views Of London
Climb atop the grassy hills of Primrose Hill Park to find breathtaking views of London. The best thing about Primrose Hill Park is that it’s free!
Pack up a picnic, throw on your shoes and spend the day exploring the park and taking in the exceptional sights right in front of your eyes. The summit is around 63 feet above sea level and overlooks Regents Park as well as London Zoo.
In 1841, Primrose Hill was purchased from Eton College in a bid to extend the parkland that was available to the poorer people living in North London for open-air recreation.
Today, Primrose Hill Park is a busy area enjoyed by both locals and tourists. It is the perfect spot to take a stroll on a lazy summer’s day or wrap up warm for a wintry walk in the colder months.
Resting on a hilltop nestled in 196 acres of parkland lies the beautiful Alexandra Palace known as ‘Ally Pally’ to the locals. Funnily enough, no king or queen has ever resided in this historic construction. So why is it a palace?
This 19th-century mansion first opened its doors to the public on Queen Victoria’s birthday, 24 May 1873, and was visited by 120,000 people in the first two weeks. It became known as the “People’s Palace” as it was built during the Industrial Revolution which at the time was led by Britain.
The palace itself houses an ice rink where sessions can be enjoyed during the daytime. You’ll need to swap your skates for your dancing shoes by evening for the disco. Visit the website for details on upcoming events.
The surrounding landscape is equally as entertaining with a boating lake, a pitch and putt and a regular farmers market selling local artisan produce.
As you reach the summit, you will feel on top of the world as the city seems so tiny as if looking at a picture.
Enjoy sweeping views of the Thames and the hustle and bustle of London at the oldest enclosed Royal Park, Greenwich Park.
With 183 acres of parkland, Greenwich Park is part of the Greenwich World Heritage Site and is a stone’s throw from the National Maritime Museum.
The park is a popular tourist spot, particularly during the summer months where people can be seen enjoying picnics, playing sports and visiting the children’s playground.
The bandstand is known to host frequent concerts and events over the year which are enjoyed by adults and children of all ages.
The Royal Observatory can also be found here which houses the Great Equatorial Telescope. This fascinating piece of equipment is the UK’s largest telescope and new views of the universe were discovered through this by astronomers over 100 years ago.
Located in the southeast corner of Hampstead Heath is the popular tourist attraction Parliament Hill. At 98 metres high, the summit is the highest natural viewpoint in London giving visitors spectacular views of the city’s skyline.
From a distance, you will be able to see popular landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral, the Gherkin, the Shard and the Palace of Westminster.
Why not take a dip in the Parliament Hill Lido, a 60-metre long open-air swimming pool that is open 365 days a year.
Parliament Hill is frequently featured on tv programmes due to its picturesque views and luscious landscape. You may also recognise the surrounding area as it was the filming location for the 1976 horror film The Omen.
Hi, I'm Kat, an Australian that moved to London in 2013 to start a new adventure. What a roller-coaster that was! I love helping others move to the UK and people explore the world! I’d be honoured if you’d say, “Thanks!” with a £3 coffee on Ko-fi.