What’s the best view in London?

Even if you live in London, you can go weeks or months without really seeing it.

Your eyes can see to a level of quality and detail that’s equivalent a 576-megapixel camera. But when caught up in the mix of all the hustle and bustle, all that power can be dedicated solely to navigating tourists and dodging traffic. Not to mention chuggers and cyclists. And even if you’re just visiting for the weekend, your eye’s field of view is simply not wide enough to do the whole city justice.

To get a true sense of the scale and grandeur of this metropolis, you need to take a step back and soak it in from a higher vantage point. Preferably, one with a full 360-view and champagne on offer. That way you can take the edge off from being down on the streets while also seeing the capital like you’ve never seen it before.

Tate Modern

With new exhibitions and events on every month, a trip to the Tate Modern, the world-renowned gallery of modern and contemporary art, is always on the cards. Head on up to the sixth floor of the boiler house, and rather than contemporary paintings and cultural sculptures, you’ll get an equally impressive but completely real rendering of a vast cityscape.

From the Kitchen and Bar at the Tate, you can cast your eyes across the Thames towards St Paul’s Cathedral and the Millenium Bridge, whilst feasting on classic British food and yes, sipping on some bubbly. Tea is also available.

If you’re not eating or the restaurant is full, there’s also a balcony on level three that offers some great views. The gallery is open late on Friday and Saturday night too; a lovely way to spend an evening after a day’s sightseeing or shopping.

Sky Garden

The Sky Garden located at the top of the iconic Walkie-Talkie building has views that are just as impressive inside as they are out. As well as being a viewing platform, the Sky Garden is London’s highest public garden, housed in an enlarged glass dome and containing landscaped greenery designed by the famous Gillespie.

The Walkie-Talkie building — take one look at it to see why they call it that — is one of the highest skyscrapers in London, and the atrium occupies its top three floors. From it, you can see all of the city’s major landmarks, and as it has five bars and restaurants, you can do so while slurping on a coffee, cocktail, or (woop!) champagne.

Tickets are free, but bookings must be made online in advance.

London Eye

There are several locations that offer stunning views over London. But none of them offers one panoramic view of the city up to fifteen miles in all directions — except the London Eye.

It’s how it got its name — it’s essentially one big all-seeing eye. It’s also round with a point in the middle. But anyway, the observation wheel is the largest of its kind in the world, and over a twenty to thirty-minute cycle around it, you can enjoy views such as north across the Thames to Parliament and the great parks. It’s not for those who are sensitive to heights, but with such a spectacular view, you can spend the whole time picking out world-famous landmarks and be back on the ground before you know it.

You may think we’ve forgotten one aspect that’s key in making a great viewing experience of the city. But fear not, with the London Eye Champagne Experience you can skip the queues and enjoy a glass of chilled Pommery Brut Royal Champagne during your ride. Don’t worry, there’s benches inside in case you get a little bit too tipsy.