From the dazzling skyscrapers of Canary Wharf to the many expansive green parks, London is full of beautiful locations that are worth discovering. Not only are they great to explore on foot, but there are also many fantastic vantage points to get the best views of London and see this magnificent city in all its glory.
Take a stroll up a hill such as Parliament Hill to get a view of the distant skyline or book a visit to a popular landmark like Tower Bridge to feel immersed within the city.
These many viewpoints can highlight how dazzling London looks by day, show off its hidden beauty at sunset, and reveal unforgettable views of the cityscape at night.
Make sure to take a camera to capture a moment, as you’re bound to find a great vantage point in whichever part of the city you’re visiting.
With all that covered, here are the best views in London wherever you decide.
1. The Sky Garden
Located in the iconic walkie-talkie building, the Sky Garden in London offers a stunning panoramic view of the city, including landmarks such as the Tower Bridge and the Shard. Its observation deck provides a great view over the River Thames as it winds through the city.
Best of all, a visit to the Sky Garden is completely free. You’ll need to book a timeslot ahead of visiting, but getting whisked up the speedy lift to the top of the building.
Whether you visit during the day or at night, the Sky Garden’s view is equally breathtaking. During the day, you can witness the hustle and bustle of the city below, while at night, London’s lights dazzle in full glory.
A visit in the evening to watch the sunset is one of the best things to do in London for couples, especially when enjoying a cocktail from one of the bars.
The Sky Garden is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to London, offering a one-of-a-kind experience to appreciate the city’s beauty and architecture.
2. Tower Bridge
The views from Tower Bridge in London are some of the most spectacular in the city. This popular tourist spans the River Thames and provides a great view in both directions as it meanders through the city.
Walking through the walkways that offer an exhilarating method of crossing the river is one of the best things to do in London, and you can watch the cars and people passing right below.
For a truly unique experience, try to time your visit to the bridge when it’s lifting to allow boats to pass.
Because of its position right on the river, Tower Bridge provides unique views of London that no other landmark can offer.
3. London Eye
Another popular landmark known for the best views in London is the London Eye. This large observation wheel provides an incomparable vantage point over the city as it lids you high above the skyline.
From the top, you’ll be able to see many of the other top landmarks in the city, such as Big Ben right across the river.
The capsules are spacious and comfortable, allowing visitors to fully appreciate the view. At sunset, the view is particularly breathtaking, with the colours of the sky reflecting off the River Thames and the city’s buildings.
With its location on the Southbank, it’s also a perfect stop-off point if you’re wandering along the river, such as on the walk from Blackfriars to Battersea.
4. The Shard
On the opposite side of the Thames from the Sky Garden, the Shard is arguably the most impressive and iconic feature of the London skyline.
It’s possible to visit the Shard to get to some of the highest viewing platforms in London, including an open-air Skydeck on level 72.
Head up to the top and you’ll have one of the best vantage points over the city, with the river to the north and Canary Wharf to the east.
5. Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath is a large park located in North London and is well known for offering fantastic views of the city. From the top of Parliament Hill, visitors can see an incredible vista with the London skyline against the horizon.
Hampstead Heath is known for its rolling hills, grassy meadows, and peaceful ponds, making it a popular destination for outdoor activities. The park is home to several walking trails and is the location for some of the best walks in London.
Hampstead Heath is a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike, offering a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park’s beauty and stunning views make it a must-see destination for anyone visiting London.
6. Primrose Hill
While Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath is well known for its view of London, Primrose Hill offer a just as good, if not better, viewpoint.
Located near Regent’s Park and Camden, taking the walk up this surprisingly steep hill is well worth the effort as you’ll be able to see one of the best views in London once you’re at the top.
If you’re taking a stroll through the city, such as along the Regent’s Canal from Camden to Little Venice, don’t hesitate to make a detour up to Primrose Hill. It’s also a perfect location for a picnic, especially in the summer.
7. Greenwich Park
Greenwich is one of the most beautiful areas in London, and wandering through the park takes you up a hill towards Greenwich Observatory. Looking back, you’ll then get a fantastic view back across London.
You’ll be able to see Canary Wharf on the other side of the river, some of the most iconic features of the city skyline.
While you’re in the area, you can also visit the observatory or head down to the National Maritime Museum.
We recommend walking along the Thames from London Bridge to Greenwich and bringing a picnic to enjoy in Greenwich Park at the end.
8. IFS Cloud Cable Car
The IFS Cloud Cable Car is a cable car system that provides stunning views of London as it takes them across the Thames from Greenwich Penisula on the south bank to the Royal Docks on the north.
As you travel high above the river you’ll be able to see the O2 Arena nearby, the Thames Barrier to the east, and Canary Wharf in the west.
The cable car journey takes approximately 10 minutes each way and offers a unique perspective of the city from above. It’s a great way to experience London’s stunning architecture and natural beauty.
9. Alexandra Palace
Alexandra Palace, also known as Ally Pally, is a famous sports and entertainment venue in North London that frequently hosts events like gigs, festivals and other shows.
The park itself has lots to discover, such as Go Ape, a boating lake, and a farmer’s market, but it also offers some of the best views of London.
The green space of Alexandra Palace provides a great way to escape the bustle of London, and wandering through the park or enjoying a picnic with the incredible view of the city is a perfect way to spend a day out in the capital.
10. The Monument
The Monument to the Great Fire of London may look like it’s tucked away within the busy streets of the City of London, overlooked by other taller buildings, but following the winding staircase up to the top is worth it for one of the best views in London.
With construction being completed in 1677 to commemorate the fire that destroyed much of the city in 1666, it’s also one of the oldest structures from which to get a great view of London.
Best of all, it offers a 360-degree vantage point over the city and you’ll be able to spot a range of landmarks from the Gherkin to Tower Bridge.
Top tip: You can buy a joint ticket that gives you access to both the Monument and Tower Bridge, for cheaper than buying individually. As they’re a short walk from one another, it’s a great way to discover two amazing views in London on the same day.
11. St Paul’s Cathedral
Another popular landmark for tourists in London to visit is St Paul’s Cathedral. This magnificent structure designed by famed architect Sir Christopher Wren is always worth a visit.
Most visitors come to see the incredible dome that stands 366 feet high, and making the climb up its 528 steps will allow you to enjoy some of the most beautiful views of the city.
While you’re visiting the cathedral, you can also discover its most famed attraction, the Whispering Gallery. If you’re not afraid of heights, you can stand within the dome and experience how it carries sound from one side to another around the curved wall.
12. ArcelorMittal Orbit
The ArcelorMittal Orbit is a unique landmark located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park that offers stunning views of London from the viewing platforms 80 metres up.
As both an art installation and a location for a fun day out, it’s one of the most iconic structures in London for many reasons.
You can take a lift all the up to the viewing platforms at the top where you’ll find views of up to 20 miles that show off landmarks such as the Shard, the Gherkin, Big Ben, and the BT Tower.
There are stairs back down, but you can also use the world’s longest tunnel slide to race to the bottom! For those interested in one of the best adrenaline activities in the UK, another way to descend is by abseiling down the ArcelorMittal orbit.
13. Tate Modern
Not only is the Tate Modern one of the most famous art galleries in London, with many exhibitions inside, it also offers incredible views of the city.
Visitors can take a dedicated lift to the top of the museum’s Blavatnik Building and see much of London’s skyline from the view platform. Best of all, it’s completely free!
You’ll be able to see the River Thames flowing nearby, as well as landmarks like St Paul’s Cathedral and the Millenium Bridge.
The viewing level isn’t always open, but you can also access a balcony that overlooks the river and still provides a great view of London.
14. Stave Hill Ecological Park
Within Rotherhithe, a borough of London along the south bank of the Thames, you can find Stave Hill Ecological Park. This hidden gem has a range of walking trails and secluded spots to discover, but it also a man-made mound with brilliant views of the city.
The park is a mix of grassland, woodland, and wetland habitats situated in an area of London that was once derelict dockland.
From the hill in the centre of the park, you have a great vantage point over nearby areas like Canada Water as well as the River Thames and Canary Wharf in the distance.
Stave Hill Ecological Park is also the perfect stop-off point for hikers following the Thames Path from London Bridge to Greenwich.