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Best London Bars With a View

Updated: March 19, 2024
 By Margaret

London is a beautiful city and one of the best ways to enjoy it is whilst sipping on a delicious cocktail, enjoying a gorgeous glass of wine, or tasting some authentic English beers and ales! For those of you who are looking for a rooftop bar to visit during your stay in London, here is a helpful list of the best bars with a view in town.

Do read our companion post on the best London restaurants with a view as well as our posts on best London riverside pubs and best London historical pubs.

Our Guide to London on a Budget for more money-saving tips for your time in the city.

We rank the prices of the bars on a scale of £ (very cheap) to ££££ (very pricey).

Duck and Waffle View

Dalston Roof Park

Now this one is a bit off the beaten track all the way out in the trendy East-London locale of Dalston. This means that the views here display London’s skyline at a bit of a distance, but definitely good enough to warrant the effort to get here. The rooftop terrace here is plush with faux grass, deckchairs, and the occasional screen showcasing films or even a performance from a live band. East London is now a hub for culture and art and this rooftop terrace showcases that perfectly.

Address: The Print House, 18-22 Ashwin Street, E8 3DL

Nearest Underground Station: [Overground] Dalston Junction

Cost: £

National Portrait Gallery Café & Bar

Please note that the National Portrait Gallery Cafe & Bar are currently closed as refurbishment works take place. The espresso bar is still open.

This is the cheaper alternative to the Trafalgar Hotel (located further down the list). Located at the top floor of the National Portrait Gallery, just on the north side of Trafalgar Square, the National Portrait Gallery Café & Bar offers a lovely view over the Square and down Whitehall toward the magnificent Big Ben. Guests here can enjoy a cocktail for under £10.00 and coffees come even cheaper with prices under £5! Not as high as the Hotel but with lovely views of the same locations, this is the budget-friendly option to enjoy Trafalgar Square!

Address: Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN

Nearest Underground Station: Charing Cross or Leicester Square

Cost: £

 New Change Madison Bar

Madison Bar gives visitors an up-close and personal view of the magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral. During the day, this is the perfect way to get face-to-face with Christopher Wren’s masterpiece and a prime location to watch the glittering Thames flow through town. At night, enjoy the bright lights of the city with views of the Shard, the Millennium Bridge and all the way into Westminster with the illuminations of Big Ben and the London Eye.

Address: 1 New Change, EC4M 9AD

Nearest Underground Station: St. Paul’s

Cost: ££ [Tip: A fizzy glass of prosecco will only set you back £7!]


Radio Rooftop Bar at the ME Hotel

This hotel is located on the Strand, on the edge of Covent Garden. The bar is located on the 10th floor and the terrace here is a perfect place to enjoy views of the River Thames and the landmarks that dot it. The view is south-eastern which means incredible views of Tower Bridge, The Shark, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Somerset House and Covent Garden. An often overlooked place for drinks in London, come up here to escape the busy streets of the West End below!

Psst…the bar here is open until 2 am making it one of the latest running bars in town!

Address: 336-337 Strand, WC2R 1HA

Nearest Underground Station: Charing Cross

Cost: ££


Duck & Waffle

Duck & Waffle is a bar and restaurant located in Heron Tower. We say that there’s no need to go to the restaurant as the views you get from the bar are just as good – if not better. Cocktails here can be a little pricey but there are non-alcoholic drinks and a wine list that is surprisingly affordable considering this bar is located in the heart of the financial district. The views here are pretty-much unparalleled spanning from Canary Wharf in the east all the way out to Battersea in the West and into the rolling hills of Hampstead and Highgate to the North. The lift to get to Duck & Waffle is almost worth the visit itself…a shockingly fast journey from the ground floor up to the 40th in an all-glass lift on the OUTSIDE of the building! For those afraid of heights: this is NOT the place for you.

Address: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY

Nearest Underground Station: Liverpool Street

Cost: ££

 Heron Tower

Vertigo 42

Tower 42 is right in the centre of London’s bustling financial district. The bar, as you may have guessed, is on the 42nd floor of one of the tallest buildings in our city. The sweeping views here nearly cover all of town from the southern part of town, along the river into the west, and all the way into the distant hills of the north. Guests can walk through the bar to enjoy the views from every vantage point.

Address: 25 Old Broad Street, City of London, EC2N 1HQ

Nearest Underground Station: Liverpool Street

Cost: £££


The Rooftop at the Trafalgar Hotel               

Atop the Trafalgar Hotel is a hidden rooftop bar that is usually only visited by London locals. The bar here provides a perfect view of Trafalgar Square, putting guests nearly face-to-face with Admiral Nelson, sitting atop Nelson’s Column in the Square. Views also sweep over the white stone facades of Covent Garden with a spattering of pretty church steeples. Right in the centre of one of the busiest parts of London, most guests to the city will find themselves in this area at least once during their visit, so take the chance to head on up!

Address: 2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, SW1A 2TS

Nearest Underground Station: Charing Cross

Cost: £££


SkyLounge at Double Tree by Hilton

SkyLounge gives visitors the option of sitting on the North or the South Terraces – views of both sides are excellent, showing the panoramic London skyline along the River Thames, through the glass and steel structures of the City, and into the northern hills. When the weather is good, sitting outside is a real treat and a perfect way to see our city.

Address: 7 Pepys Street, EC3N 4AF

Nearest Underground Station: Tower Hill

Cost: ££££


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About The Author


An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home and she's been guiding here now for nearly a decade. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries. Read More...
Updated: March 19th, 2024
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