London's skyline, history, architecture and green parks combine to create some incredible views of the capital. From way up high to down by the riverside, here's a tour of London's best views.
- Duck and Waffle
Start with sunrise at Duck and Waffle on floor 40 of the Salesforce Tower. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day, and is a great place for an early breakfast, watching dawn break over the capital. The waffles are amazing, and people rave about the signature duck and waffle dish.
- The Shard
Standing tall on London's skyline, the highest viewpoint in the capital is the Shard. It's the only place where you can see the entire city at once and the view stretches for up to 40 miles. There are bars and restaurants you can visit on slightly lower floors, but for the highest view, go to the View from the Shard at the very top. There are handy interactive viewpoints that let you know what you're looking at, and they hold regular events, including yoga and a silent disco.
- Greenwich Park
Some of London's parks offer a free way to see the city from up high. Greenwich Park has gorgeous views from the south of London, taking in Canary Wharf to Westminster. You can pop into the Royal Observatory while you're there and straddle time on the prime meridian. For a view from the other side of the city, head up to Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath.
- King Henry's Mound
For an unusual view of London, go to King Henry's Mound in Richmond Park where you can peek through the trees to see a perfect foliage-framed view of St.Paul's Cathedral. If you look in the other direction, you can see Windsor Castle in the distance.
- South Bank
Not all views have to be from up high. Wandering along the South Bank is a beautiful way to take in some of London's best landmarks, including St.Paul's, Big Ben, The Globe and more. It's an ideal introduction to London.
- Cruise on the Thames
Getting on the Thames itself is a great way to see the city, and one decadent option is to take an afternoon tea cruise with Bateaux London. Starting at Westminster, you take a cruise down the river as far as Greenwich in one direction and Tower Bridge in the other. Be sure to venture onto the top deck where you can see the view from the comfort of a deckchair, and preferably with a glass of champagne in your hand.
- Arcelor Mittal Orbit and Slide
A fun way to see the city is to take a trip to the Arcelor Mittal Orbit and Slide in Stratford. The orbit sculpture was built for the 2012 Olympics and has a viewing platform at the top, from where you can view the Olympic Park and beyond. But the best bit is the slide that was added in 2016. Twisting down the sculpture, it's the world's longest tunnel slide and is brilliant fun!
- Frank's Bar in Peckham
To round off the day of views, head to Frank's Bar in Peckham. It's built on top of a multi-storey car park and is part of a wider project called Bold Tendencies that hosts art shows and concerts in the carpark over the summer. They serve great cocktails and it's also a good spot for dinner.
For more, check out Victoria's blog Bridges and Balloons, or the other Insider Guides to London: Discovering London's Villages, The Best Places to Instagram in London, How to Spend 24 Hours in London, The Best Afternoon Teas in London, and Eating Around the World in London. For even more inspiration, check out our London guide, and if you're looking for hotels near you in London, Expedia's got you covered.
Where do you think you can find the best view in London?