Big cities are almost always best viewed from a high, vantage viewing point offering panoramic views of the city and London is no exception when it comes to that. This is particularly so as summer approaches and the number of daylight hours increases.
The best times to get a good photograph, of course, is just as the sun begins to set as you can get the brilliant sunset and get amazing night time photos, too. 🇬🇧
(I’ve covered tips on night time photography in this blog post here – though this cheat sheet should help too as well as this blog post clearly explaining camera jargon that everyone needs to know. If you still need more photography inspiration beyond those free resources, do check out our photography book).
Right, now that we’ve covered the essentials, here are the 14 best places to get amazing views over all of London (in no particular order).
1.) The Shard
Get a ticket and head up to the View from the Shard for an amazing view across all of London. It covers a 360 view so this is easily one of the most impressive places to see all of London.
Price: around £30 for adults (discounts available). Book your tickets here.
Address: 32 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9SG
2.) Big Ben
You need to be resident in the UK for this one but basically, you get to climb up Big Ben for free if you are (contact your MP about this) and when you do, the view from the top is definitely worth it! Especially from such a historic site.
Price: Free, though due to current restoration work, you might not be able to grab an invite.
Address: (Really? 😉 Okay, then…) Westminster, London SW1A 0AA
3.) The London Eye
The view from the London Eye is particularly great for Westminster and the St Paul’s area. One bit of advice I’d give is to get a spot near the window as soon as you get in so you don’t have to struggle for a view with other people on your pod. The view is pretty good from all angles.
Price: Around £25+ (discounts available). Book your tickets, here.
Address: London SE1 7PB, right across the river from the Houses of Parliament.
4.) Vertigo 42 Champagne Bar
Yes, the prices at Vertigo42 Champagne Bar are at a premium but if you think of it as paying for admission to a place with amazing views across all of London, it starts to make sense. Plus you get to enjoy this view while chilling out on a comfy sofa in a warm environment so there’s always that too.
This is an ideal, pre (or post) dinner venue but remember to make a reservation in advance as they fill up quite quickly.
Price: Prices start at around £12+ for a glass of wine and £14+ for cocktails.
Address: Level 42, Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1HQ
5.) Duck and Waffle
Duck and Waffle is a lovely restaurant with an amazing view over London. Perfect for sunrise or sunset as they’re open 24 hours.
Price: A meal can cost upwards of £20-30
Address: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
6.) Primrose Hill
This offers amazing views of London for free from one of London’s Royal Parks.
It might not necessarily be the most amazing or most impressive view of the lot but it sure looks great with the backdrop of the park that leads up to the view of London.
Address: (Same as the name – Primrose Hill)
7.) Tower Bridge
You can either pay or do this via your MP but the view from the top of Tower Bridge is make that extra sweet by getting to see the exhibition in the Tower and actually be inside such an iconic part of London and city’s heritage.
Price: £10+ with discounts available. You can book a lunch and entry package here.
Address: Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2UP
8.) Oxo Tower
The OXO Tower is most definitely food with a view. Pretty much everyone who’s been here loves it and so my guess is that you probably will too! 😉
Price: Starting at around £21.50 for a main
Address: Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, London, SE1 9PH
9.) Sushi Samba
Sushi Samba is actually next to Duck and Waffle and also offers amazing views over all of London.
The food isn’t cheap as you can imagine but one of those cases where it’s definitely worth it (it’s delicious and there’s the view so.
Price: Starting at £15+ for plates
Address: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
10.) Sky Garden
Covered this already in this post but to recap, it’s there is an amazing view from the Sky Garden all over London. Best of all, it’s free.
Just make sure to book your free tickets, here.
Address: 20 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 3BY
11.) St Paul’s Cathedral
Climb to the top of the iconic London landmark for amazing panoramic views of London. St Paul’s really has some gorgeous vantage points over the city.
Price: £18+ (discounts available). You can book St Paul’s with a gorgeous meal, here.
Address: St. Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD
12.) Up at the O2
Climb the O2 and be rewarded with a fantastic view of Canary Wharf. Of course, the view of Canary Wharf means that it’s harder to see other parts of the city but it’s a nice fun activity to do in London and definitely worth checking out.
Price: £28+ Book tickets, here for two people and a fancy dinner.
Address: Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX
13.) ArcelorMittal Orbit
This sculpture made for the Olympics in London back in 2012 offers amazing panoramic views of London from the East End. You can even slide down from the top!
Reception (to the way it looks) was initially mixed when it was unveiled in London but takes nothing away from the amazing view (and brilliant photos) you will get from the top of the sculpture. (More details available here) Plus, who can resist the slide down? 🤣
Price: Around £15+ each. You can book your tickets, here.
Address: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 3 Thornton Street, London E20 2ST
14.) Emirates Air Line
This is a cable car that crosses the River Thames (around the same area where the O2 is) and is another great way to get a brilliant view over all of London.
Of course, it’s not free but it only costs £3.30 for Oyster card holder (half for children) so it’s easily one of the cheapest options of the paid for ones above.
Price: £3.40 with Oystercard (£4.50+ without – discounts available)
Address: Emirates Cable Car Terminal, Edmund Halley Way, London SE10 0FR
Visiting London? Check out our guide on 101 Free Things To Do In London