Everyone knows you can get great views of London from the London Eye or the Shard, but they are a bit expensive at around £25 each. Here are some alternative places where you can get great views of London for a fraction of the cost. (And some even for no cost at all!)
Cost: FREE (need to book a time slot in advance)
London’s newest viewing platform and highest public garden can be found at 20 Fenchurch Street (aka the Walkie-Talkie building). The views from the Sky Garden are very similar to what you see from the Shard but entry is free! You do need to book a time slot in advance as its quite popular. Check out my earlier post for a more detailed review and more photos of the Sky Garden.
Inside the The Monument to the Great Fire of London you’ll find a narrow winding staircase of 311 steps which you can climb to access a viewing platform. From here you’ll get a great view of the City of London and the Tower Bridge as shown above, although you do have to take your photos through a mesh cage - this was added in the mid-19th century to prevent people from jumping off.
Not to be confused with Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral is located just up the road on Victoria Street. You can take an elevator to a viewing platform at the top of the bell tower, 64 metres above street level, where you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of quite a few of London’s famous landmarks including St Paul’s Cathedral, Battersea Power Station, London Eye and Buckingham Palace.
One New Change
Take the elevator to the 6th floor of the One New Change shopping centre and you’ll find a public roof terrace, overlooking the iconic dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the London skyline. There’s also a bar and restaurant up there so you can enjoy a meal or a few cocktails while taking in the view.
The views of London from outside the Royal Observatory are definitely worth the uphill walk! Perfect for a picnic on a sunny day.
Emirates Air Line
Cost: Single fare is £3.40 with an Oyster card or £4.50 with cash
Take a ride on the cable car over the River Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks and you’ll have an excellent view over East London. The journey takes around 10 minutes and reaches heights of 90 metres. Why would you climb up the O2 Arena when you can fly overhead on the cable car for a fraction of the cost?
Much like Greenwich Park, Primrose Hill is another fantastic green space in London perfect to soak up the sun and enjoy a picnic lunch or a few drinks.
Want to see more affordable views of London? I’ve written a new post with a couple more places I think you’ll enjoy!
Do you know of any other great vantage points in London? I’d love to hear about them!