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The Best Viewpoints in London

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London certainly doesn’t disappoint when it comes to viewpoints around the city. Whether you’re up for hanging out in a park watching the sun go down, or heading to the observation deck in one of Europe’s tallest buildings, there are plenty of options.

What’s great about London is that you’ll find both free and ticked viewpoints and many of them offer beautiful views of the skyline. So, get your camera ready, here are some of London’s best viewpoints.

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Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park is one of the best places to watch the sun go down, as well as capture pictures of London’s skyline. This is one of the city’s many royal parks and is a great place to spend the afternoon into the evening.

For the best views of the city head up towards the Royal Observatory Greenwich. From this point you’ll be looking down over the park and towards Canary Wharf, or west towards The Shard and City of London. It can get fairly busy so expect to see some crowds.

Best time: Late afternoon/sunset
Location: See on Google Maps
Cost: Free

Views of London from Greenwich Park

The Point

Not too far from Greenwich Park is The Point which is another top viewpoint in London. This is somewhat a hidden gem and will be significantly quieter than Greenwich Park. From here you get a slightly different perspective and will enjoy views over residential rooftops towards the north of the city.

This viewpoint is good for capturing pictures towards Canary Wharf or towards The Shard. You will also be able to see the London Eye and St Paul’s Cathedral in the distance.

Best time: Sunset/blue hour
Location: See on Google Maps
Cost: Free

Skyline views from The Point, London at night

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The Shard

The Shard is the tallest building in London and is one of our favourite places to enjoy London’s skyline. You’ll have the option of visiting the observation deck on floors 68, 69 and 72, or for the ultimate luxury experience then book yourself a stay in the Shangri-La. From The Shard you can see in all directions around London such as west towards Westminster, St Paul’s Cathedral, down towards Tower Bridge or east towards Canary Wharf.

You will be taking pictures through glass though so bear this in mind and use a coat or a lens skirt to try and block out reflections.

Best time: Sunset/blue hour
Location: See on Google Maps
Cost: Ticketed – click below for advance tickets

Skyline views of London from the Shangri-La at the Shard
Skyline views of London from the Shangri-La at The Shard

Sky Garden

The Sky Garden is a popular spot located in the City of London/ financial district of London. As the name states it has been designed with a beautiful garden area inside. Also up here you’ll find places to buy refreshments or enjoy a meal, as well as an outdoor observation deck. The views from the Sky Garden are pretty much 360 and you should be able to capture some decent pics. Just be aware that you’ll be taking pictures through glass so reflections can sometimes be an issue.

It’s free to visit this observation deck, but you have to register and it can be quite popular so make sure you book your slot well in advance.

Best time: Anytime (but sunset if you can)
Location: See on Google Maps
Cost: Free but requires booking a slot

Views from the Skygarden in London

One New Change

Close to St Paul’s Cathedral is One New Change which is a small shopping centre. Head up the elevator to the top floor and you’ll find a restaurant and also an outdoors area. This gives you some elevated views towards St Paul’s Cathedral.

Best time: Sunset
Location: See on Google Maps
Cost: Free

St Paul Cathedral at twilight from One New Change

Primrose Hill

Located north of the city close to Regents Park, Primrose Hill is a great place to relax and enjoy the afternoon sun. Combined with wonderful views of the city it is one of the best viewpoints in London. On a hot summers day you’ll often find lots of likeminded people outside on the hill basking in the sun and it’s often quite a nice atmosphere to be around.

Best time: Afternoon
Location: See on Google Maps
Cost: Free

Views from Primrose Hill
Image by @mikecleggphoto
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Tate Modern Viewing Level

One of London’s newest viewpoints is the Tate Modern Viewing Level. This is free to access and offers fantastic views of the financial district, St Pauls, towards The Shard, as well as west towards Westminster. While here we recommend also enjoying some of the wonderful art located throughout Tate Modern.

Best time: Sunset – night
Location: See on Google Maps
Cost: Free

Views from Tate Modern Observation Deck

London Eye

The London Eye is one of the most popular attractions attracting a huge number of visitors each year. The huge Ferris Wheel reaches heights of 135m and offers dazzling views of the city. On the wheel are pods which would be your home for a 30-minute ride. From the London Eye you can enjoy scenes towards the Houses of Parliament, as well as East towards St Pauls and The Shard.

Similar to some of the other indoor viewpoints mentioned you’ll be shooting through glass which can sometimes add a little challenge when taking photographs.

Best time: Anytime
Location: See on Google Maps
Cost: Ticketed – Buy advanced tickets below

Views from the London Eye towards the Houses of Parliament

Monument

Monument is a small observation deck reaching heights of 62m and located just north of The Shard. From the top you can see towards the financial district, the south of the river, and in all over directions. If you have a London Pass then it’s worth using this for access.

Best time: Anytime
Location: See on Google Maps
Cost: Ticketed – See prices

Views from Monument in London

Alexandra Palace

Head to the far north of the city and you’ll get to Alexandra Palace which sometimes hosts huge music concerts attracting thousands of people. Just outside of the venue is an open area where you can see south towards the city. We’d probably say this as our least favourite viewpoint out of this selection as it’s a bit out of the way, but if you wanted to nail as many as possible then give it a go.

Best time: Afternoon
Location: See on Google Maps
Cost: Free

Views from Alexandra Palace

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Summary

As well as these viewpoints you’ll also find a huge number of fantastic Instagram and photography locations in London. From historic landmarks, cute streets and fantastic interiors and with many of these free to visit it’ll be easy to discover much of London without spending too much.

You may also want to see some of our photography tips on Techniques for Capturing City Skylines.

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Mike Clegg

Editor-in-chief at travelanddestinations.com
Mike is the creator and primary author of Travel and Destinations. He started this website so as to share his experiences and tips with travellers. He is from the UK and has travelled to many places around the world. He loves to shares his pictures and stories through Instagram and this website... [Read full bio]
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