Who said the only way you can see London from a height is from inside one of the capsules at London Eye alongside twenty more excited tourists? Probably the person who wrote your London guidebook and literally everyone else who has been to the city once and doesn’t know better. But we do! If you’ve read the title of this article, you already know what we mean. That’s right: rooftop bars are a gift from Heaven to claustrophobic, touristphobic people who can’t stand Ferris wheels and prefer to see things from above with their feet on concrete. They’re also great places to grab a bite or a drink (or both) and enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of one the most beautiful city in the world.
There are dozens of rooftop bars all over London but we’ve made things easier for you and created a top 10 of the very best ones. Every single one of these bars serves great drinks and delicious dishes which you can taste whilst you admire the view or simply enjoy the people around you and the music filling up your soul. Here is our top 10 rooftop bars in London:
1. Pergola on the Roof
Pergola on the Roof is a pop-up rooftop bar that is usually open from May to October every year in a different location within the city and is one of the most popular bars in London amongst locals. The best thing about it is that it serves food from several eateries in London so you can expect lots of delicious dishes, lots of people and lots of happiness. This is one of the best places to hang out during the summer so if you’re visiting London at that time of the year, don’t miss it!
Pergola on the Roof
Website: Pergola on the Roof
2. Radio Rooftop Bar at ME London, The Strand
Radio is also one of the most popular rooftop bars in London and is open all year. It’s located at the top of ME London at The Strand and has one of the best panoramic views of London, perfect for the photography lovers. The drinks are very creative and tasty but the food is even better, especially the Spanish gourmet tapas. Have an unforgettable evening at this bar and tell us all about your experience!
Radio Rooftop Bar
Address: 336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA
Website: Radio Rooftop Bar
Did someone say blue skyed FRIYAY? 😍 #rooftoplife #madisonlondon #friyay🎉Posted by Madison Restaurant London on Friday, 22 September 2017
Madison is a restaurant and a bar at the same time, set on the top floor of One New Change. It’s still very overlooked, as people often think there is nothing left at the top of this shopping mall but oh, yes, there is! The restaurant has a great atmosphere as well as spectacular views and is a very impressive place to have a nice dinner in great company. Enjoy delicious food and drinks as you listen to live music being performed and admire the view, all the same time.
Address: 1 New Change, St Paul’s, London EC4M 9AF
4. Brixton Beach
London may not have natural beaches, but that doesn’t mean the Brits can’t create their own Caribbean on top of a building. Brixton Beach is a rooftop bar which also happens to be an artificial beach bar that looks so real you will forget you’re in London when you find yourself there. Open only during the summer months, Brixton Beach serves the kind of drinks you can find in places like Ibiza and Havana: piña coladas, mojitos, cubanitos… And the food, oh, the food! That mac ‘n’ cheese won’t leave your mind until you try it again. This bar is a must for the London summer visitors.
Address: Pope’s End, Brixton, London SW9 8JH
Website: Brixton Beach
It may have a weird name but this rooftop bar will sweep you off your feet! Aviary is getting more and more popular because of its perfect location, elegance and fancy vibe. It offers breathtaking views of the city from its impressive bar lounge and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. The crafted cocktails are mouthwatering, made with fresh, natural ingredients. Basically, this is one of the best places in London to have a tasty meal in a different, stunning scenery.
Address: Montcalm Royal London House, 22-25 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1DX
6. Rumpus Room
Rumpus Room is one of London’s bars overlooking the city from a perfect vantage point. Located on the riverside, this relaxing (when it’s not completely full), elegant rooftop bar offers iconic views of the river Thames and the buildings at the opposite side, as well as a wonderful menu of drinks. On Wednesdays, the bar draws in crowds to watch London’s hottest bands perform and on Thursdays to Saturdays it’s DJ’s time. This is the ideal place to spend a great night out with friends in a different setting.
Address: 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD
Website: Rumpus Room
The Skylight is a rooftop haven in Tobacco Dock, with three floors of bars featuring unparalleled panoramas of the city skyline. Catch the 2018 FIFA World Cup and Wimbledon championships live on the large screens in the bar as you snack away on the delectable Yiro and Classic Burgers and Chips from Flip Side. If you are more of an active person, then the croquet lawns and pétanque courts are already yours for the taking. Dance ‘til you drop in the one-off parties throughout the summer featuring DJs like the Gold Teeth and Coastal Haze!
Address: Wapping Ln, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London E1W 2SF, UK
8. Sky Garden
Sky Garden opened back in 2015 and is probably the rooftop where you’ll find more tourists because it is so popular. You’ll be standing on the 35th floor of the Walkie Talkie building and you’ll get to see the whole city from there. Sky Garden has three storys of landscaped gardens so you’ll be able to admire the views as well as exotic plants. There are two restaurants, an open-air terrace, and a bar, where you can have a drink whilst taking in the best view that Sky Garden has to offer. The entry is free but you have to book at least three days in advance to have your 90-minute visit.
Address: 20 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 8AF
Website: Sky Garden
9. Sushisamba Bar
Sushisamba is the perfect mix of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian culture, music and cuisine. Thought you’d never hear of such a thing? Welcome to London! The location is perfect, offering a 360-degree view of the city which means all photography lovers need to go there at least once. Sushisamba is actually one of the highest outdoor dining terraces in Europe so you’ll be somewhere pretty exclusive. Here, you’ll find yourself eating seviches alongside sashimi and discover your new favorite drink. There is nowhere else in London you’ll have an experience such as the one you can have at Sushisamba.
Address: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Website: Sushisamba Bar
10. The Magic Roundabout
The Magic Roundabout is one of London’s most unique party spaces, located literally in the middle of Old Street Roundabout. Climb a secret staircase in the tube station and you’ll find a trendy rooftop bar serving award winning street food, artisan coffee, and the best alcoholic drinks you will ever taste. There are DJs performing every evening so you’ll need to be up for some clubbing if you choose to try this place. This is the only bar on our list that doesn’t offer extraordinary views of the city but it is definitely the right rooftop bar for the party lovers!
The Magic Roundabout
Address: Old Street Roundabout, London EC1Y 1BE
Website: The Magic Roundabout
Babylon at Kensington Roof Gardens [CLOSED]
Kensington Roof Gardens is one of the chicest most special rooftop bars in London. There are no words to describe the beauty that the panoramic views, golden lights and lush plants offer to this place. There’s also a detail that makes it even more different to any other vantage point you can find in London: Kensington Roof Gardens are spread out, which means there is plenty of space to admire and room to breathe even in crowded nights.
This well-known rooftop members’ club features three plush, themed gardens, high above Kensington High Street. Babylon is the restaurant slash bar that is located within the gardens you can’t miss. The contemporary British menu is to die for and so is the view you’ll be admiring when you’re eating your delicious meal. There are many events going on at the Gardens so do some research before your visit and you’ll be all set to have a wonderful night!
Editor’s Note: Babylon closed after this article was first published, we have amended the heading to reflect the closure.
Address: 7th floor, The Roof Gardens, 99 Kensington High Street, London W8 5SA
London: where there are more rooftop bars than people
Just kidding, that’s not even remotely true. London really is full of amazing rooftop bars you should try at least once but if you’re just visiting for a few days, the ones on our list are definitely the best ones to spend a great evening at, have some of the most delicious breakfast and even go for a romantic lunch with a view. Some of them are really popular so expect some waiting in line but we promise it will be worth it. Who cares about London Eye when you can have a drink and enjoy a stunning view for more than half an hour, right?
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