Best Viewpoints in London: Free & Paid
London is a modern complex beautiful city that attracts millions of tourists every year. There are countless tourist attractions which if you haven’t visited yet then you’ve probably already put on the checklist for your trip. There are many stunning viewpoints in London from where you can see the capital from above.
After walking around London’s lower part, why not see the capital from a bird’s eye view. It is always a good idea to look at the city from above, to sum up, all the beautiful experiences you had in the city. Or in case you have too little time to walk along all streets, these locations will help you to see everything at once.
We’ve created a list of the best views in London that are located in different areas of London, and therefore show the city from entirely new perspectives. We have tried to select the most interesting and at the same time accessible locations – where London’s breathtaking views will open up to you. With this list of London’s viewpoints, you can choose the best options for you and enjoy amazing views of London.
- 1. Greenwich Park
- 2. London Eye
- 3. Stanmore Country Park
- 4. Sky Garden
- 5. Emirates Air Line
- 6. The Shard
- 7. Sushisamba
- 8. Primrose Hill
- 9. St Paul’s Cathedral
- 10. One New Change
- 11. Tate Modern
- 12. Parliament Hill
- 13. Alexandra Palace
- 14. River Thames
- 15. Tower Bridge
- 16. Oxo Tower
- 17. Duck & Waffle
- 18. ArcelorMittal Orbit
1. Greenwich Park
We’ll start with one of the best places for stargazing in the city, Greenwich Park. The park is always full of tourists and it offers an iconic vantage point where you can see historical Greenwich, skyscrapers of the City of London, The Shard and Canary Wharf, and a green perspective of the park itself. Here you can spectate the development of the capital century by century. The best view in London opens from the statue of General James Wolfe, which is located near the Royal Observatory. In the observatory, you may admire another stunning view – a view of the stars.
2. London Eye
This location is of course an unsecret tourist trap, but the London Eye view is hard to beat. During a 30-minutes ride, you will see the views of London’s iconic spots so it’s definitely worth doing. The Ferris wheel reaches heights of 135 meters and has been open for more than 20 years now… Despite the stress of the lines and the prices the overall experience is magical and even relaxing as you will be rewarded with dazzling views of the city (especially on a clear day).
You can also enjoy a unique experience in a private booth. You are able to make a reservation for up to 4 people.
Tip: Move quickly once you are inside the cabin to take a good spot.
Tip: In high season waiting times can be up to 2-3 hours. You can get fast track tickets for an extra fee to skip the lines.
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3. Stanmore Country Park
Our next location is probably the one you have never heard of and is really underrated. All iconic landmarks such as Alexandra Palace, the Shard, the London Eye, Crystal palace and many others are visible from Stanmore viewpoint. And, obviously, the Wembley stadium, which is a neighbour to the country park. There is a sign that indicates where and what to look for.
You can also wander around the woodland, which is a part of the park too. But don’t forget to take a photo or a copy of the map because it’s easy to get a little lost in the woods.
Tip: Plan your visit when the skies are clear.
4. Sky Garden
Sky Garden is located at a height of 160 meters on the 43rd floor of the Walkie Talkie building. It was opened in January 2015 and has been providing fantastic views of the famous rooftops of London since then. Among this urban jungle, you’ll feel as if you are far away from the noisy London. Sky Garden’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows show fantastic panoramic views of the most majestic spots of the capital to all its visitors. In addition, there are observation decks, an outdoor terrace, and some fancy restaurants and bars.
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Tip: If you are going to go to a restaurant or a bar in the Sky Garden it’s recommended to book in advance.
Tip: There are fewer crowds in the morning hours.
5. Emirates Air Line
The Emirates Air Line cable cars will give you a chance to enjoy the best views of the River Thames. These cable cars are a part of London’s transport network and, at the same time, are probably one of the cheapest tourist attractions in the city.
It’s a unique experience since normally you wouldn’t associate public transport with beautiful vistas. Cabin route from Greenwich to the Royal Docks located across the Thames from each other. There are 30 gondolas running non-stop up to 90 meters above the Thames, and each of them offers 6 seats. A one-way trip takes only 10 minutes. But there’s an option for a round-trip also.
If you are looking for an uncommon London night view you may want to try a Night Flight and cruise over the Thames accompanied by music and brilliant sunset views.
Check out our 20+ BEST OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN LONDON for other activity ideas in London.
6. The Shard
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The Shard is the UK’s tallest skyscraper, which is over 300 meters tall and has 72 floors. There are many offices, a hotel, 2 observation platforms and an open-air sky deck, bars, and restaurants inside this iconic skyscraper. Gong is one of them. The bar is located on the 52nd floor and marks the highest hotel bar in western Europe. And if you’re brave enough, enjoy a 360-degree view opening from the 72nd floor. You will see all the landmarks of the capital at this impressive place.
You should purchase tickets in advance however they’ve got a bad-weather policy that lets you return for free if visibility is poor.
Sushisamba is one of the most Instagrammed restaurants. The rooftop restaurant is located on the 39th floor of the Salesforce Tower. The restaurant combines Japanese, Brazilian, and Peruvian cuisine. The brunch here is also lovely.
The prices are a bit too high but phenomenal 360-degree views of the city are definitely worth paying a little extra for.
8. Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill is a popular picnic spot with brilliant views of central London. It was used as a hunting ground until the 19th century. The viewpoints at the top of the hill which is 64 meters above sea level will show London’s landmarks such as the London Eye and the Shard. Also, you will likely see kite-flyers here.
You can visit the park any time free of charge.
9. St Paul’s Cathedral
The dome is not only a dominant piece of London’s horizon and its famous landmark but a great viewpoint as well. At the balcony on top of the cathedral you can take an eyeful of the city.
After a climbing workout involving 906 steps (The Stone Gallery and Golden Gallery) you will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramas of London.
We suggest that you book your ticket online in advance. That way you will certainly be able to reach the top of the dome to see 360-degree vistas as it might be crowded, also tickets are cheaper online.
10. One New Change
One New Change is a shopping center right at the St Paul’s Cathedral. On the top of this shopping center there is a viewing terrace with great panoramic views.
This viewpoint is also free but you can also take a yoga class or buy a ticket for one of the film screenings held on the roof terrace.
11. Tate Modern
For another stunning (and free) view in London head atop to the Tate modern, which is a modern art gallery in London. It was opened in 2016 and is located in the Blavatnik Building. There is an open viewing terrace 65 meters above the ground level with an outstanding view of the London skyline.
Tate Modern is also one of the best museums in London and is definitely worth visiting. Be sure to find enough time to explore the interior of Tate Modern. You will need several hours to enjoy both the view and the art.
Please note that the observation deck has been closed temporarily, until further notice.
Here are some additional viewpoints in London that we simply had to include in the list:
12. Parliament Hill
13. Alexandra Palace
14. River Thames
15. Tower Bridge
16. Oxo Tower
17. Duck & Waffle
18. ArcelorMittal Orbit