26 Places To See Stunning, Panoramic Views 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 views of London
1. Frank’s Cafe
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.
Find Frank’s Cafe at 95A Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST
2. Aviary Rooftop
This rooftop bar 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
3. The Terrace
Marrying sumptuous views of the capital with all the sun soaked comforts of the beer garden. The Terrace, as the space is now known, covers a rather epic 1500 square metres, making it one of London’s biggest beer gardens. There’s craft beer, cocktails and some delicious street food to boot. Unfortunately The Terrace is now closed for the season, but we hope to see it back next year. (It’s still worth a trip to Alexandra Palace though, the views are available all year round!)
Find The Terrace at Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY
4. Radio Rooftop
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
5. 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
7. Duck & Waffle
Duck and Waffle is famous for its – yep, you guessed it – duck and waffles. It’s not the cheapest of breakfasts but in the price 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 Rooftopis 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
9. OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar & Brasserie
The OXO Tower’s restaurant serves up some classic British grub. Think roasted celeriac, grilled mackerel, and or sea bream; pork chops, hake and rib-eye steak. Plus, if you’re headed there with a bit of a sweet tooth, you will not leave disappointed.
Find the OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie at OXO Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, SE1 9PH
10. Peckham Levels*
This former car park boasts wacky interiors, quirky drinks and panoramic views of London and, *that* pink wall you’ve probably seen on Instagram. 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
11. Galvin at Windows
You’ll find this 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 Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1BE
12. Coq d’Argent
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
14. 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
15. Seabird, Southwark
You’ll find Seabird on the fourteenth floor of The Hoxton’s Southwark hotel. The stunning, sky-high restaurant is the proud home of the longest oyster list in London, as well as some pretty insane views over the city. Find out more here.
16. Helix, City of London
Searcys’ bar and restaurant at the top of the Gherkin commands fabulous views over the City of London and beyond, and we reckon they’re best enjoyed with a cocktail in easy sipping distance. See more.
Parks with views over London
17. Primrose Hill, NW3
18. Greenwich Park, SE10
19. Alexandra Palace & Park, N22
20. Parliament Hill, NW5
Attractions with views of London
21. Sky Garden
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
22. 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
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
24. ArcelorMittal Orbit
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
As the tallest building in Western Europe, the Shard boasts pretty nifty views across London. From your perch on Level 72(!), you can catch glimpse pretty much every landmark in the city – plus, they’ve got a great bad-weather policy that lets you return for free if visibility reaches a poor enough level. Throw in a cocktail bar, and a delightful Christmas lights display, and you’ve got a lovely day out all year round. Read all about it here.
26. The Dare Skywalk, Tottenham
A new spot from which to catch panoramic views, The Dare Skywalk requires you to have a dash of the adventurous about you – because you’ll be walking up to the very top of the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to find them. Sweeping views from Alexandra Palace to Stratford are your reward, though. See more here.
Also published on Medium.