The sun is shining. The sky is blue. You’re on a 10th floor terrace looking out onto the iconic cityscape of London and there’s an ice-cold drink on its way. Sounds good, right? Make your summer one to remember and check out one of the many rooftop bars in London. From party-centric spots with music, street food and pop-up bars, to exclusive outdoor cocktail lounges, with plenty in between, you’ll be sure to find a favourite for wiling away the hours when the sun decides to show its face. So to help you make the most of warm and hazy summer afternoons, we’ve compiled a list of the best rooftop bars in London you simply must check out:
257-259 Pentonville Road, London N1 9NL
This rooftop bar in London is one of the best spots for a cheap drink and bite to eat up away from the busy city. With a Boho-inspired terrace, hanging plants, fluorescent colours, gorgeous food and tasty craft beers, it ticks all the boxes. And with DJs over the weekend, it turns into a bit of a party spot once the sun starts to drop.
2-4 Wharfdale Road, Kings Cross, London, N1 9RY
Imagine a gastro-pub beer garden twelve floors up and your thoughts won’t be far from The Driver London Rooftop Bar. With a relaxed atmosphere, no big queues and cute wicker outdoor furniture, this is a go-to for many in the capital. Whether you need an after work tipple or a weekend cocktail in the sun, The Driver could be the winning ticket.
The Rooftop at Trafalgar St James
2 Spring Gardens, London, SW1A 2TS
If you’re looking to impress a visiting friend or family member, The Rooftop at St James is a guaranteed winner. With a gorgeous view of the London Eye and surrounding sights, this rooftop terrace is a firm favourite for those in the capital. We’d recommend checking this rooftop spot out when you’ve got spare cash as it’s not the cheapest. That said, as a one-off summer treat, it’s definitely worth it, even if just for a drink or two.
336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA
On the 10th floor of the ME Hotel, this boutique cocktail rooftop bar is an absolute treat. Elegant and stylish with a gorgeous Mediterranean menu, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re on the harbour of Monaco, not London. Well, that’s until you check out the view – the breath-taking vista spans past The Shard, London Bridge and St Pauls Cathedral to name but a few.
No.1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ
With its typically French style and attitude Coq D’Argent is a stunning escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. This rooftop bar in London has a gorgeous manicured sky-lawn in the heart of the capital’s business district. Make sure to come with some spare cash as it’s not the cheapest but it’s more than worth it as a treat once or twice over summer.
Queen of Hoxton
1 Curtain Rd, Hackney, London EC2A 3JX
Think carnivals. Think South America. Think bright colours and glorious sunshine. The Queen of Hoxton is one of Shoreditch’s most go-to spots. Affordable and cool, you’ll be able to wile away many an hour soaking up the London sun.What’s more, the downstairs bar host plenty of events from Drag Queen Bingo to Hoxton Cabaret. Or, stay on the roof and catch a film at the London Rooftop Film Club. Whatever you fancy, you can truly spend a whole day at the Queen of Hoxton, sipping cocktails on the stylish rooftop bar in the afternoon before hitting up a fun event later in the evening.
Read more: The Best Outdoor Cinemas in London 2019
Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2
Exclusive cocktails, beautiful food and the best views in town, Sushisamba hits the sweet spot between Asian, Peruvian and Brazillian in one must-see rooftop bar in London. Located in Bishopsgate, you can check out the Old Spitalfields Market or the Whitechapel Gallery before venturing up for a lazy afternoon bite to eat.
Rooftop Terrace One, New Change, London, EC4M 9AF
As close as you can get to St Paul’s cathedral without actually visiting the attraction, Madison is one of the coolest London rooftop bars. With a wood-fire oven and Manhattan inspired drinks menu, this relaxed and friendly spot is great choice for an alternative summer afternoon. Oh and don’t forget, there’s more than just rooftop terrace here. If you get bored with one view, go check out the sights from one of the several terraces.
Jin Bo Law
9, Dorsett City, Aldgate High St, London EC3N 1AH
Bringing the heart of Asian culture to London, this rooftop bar in Aldgate needs to make your summer list. With its bright oriental décor, stunning views and lush cocktail menu, you’ll be happy you checked out this spot when the weather’s nice. Just don’t blame us if you don’t want to leave!
Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Way, London E15 1XE
If you and your friends often struggle to choose one bar or restaurant, Roof East could quickly become your new go-to. That’s because it features several different street food stalls and pop up bars meaning there’s definitely something for everyone here. Check out the website too as they frequently run events throughout the year from cinema showings and musical singalongs to rooftop bar bowling, crazy golf, yoga and food festivals.
54 Pentonville Rd, The Angel, London N1 9HF
Real ales, great wines, burgers and fabulous Sunday roasts, The Castle is a gastro-pub with a London rooftop bar that embraces all things British. Inside is a quietly stylish décor with traditional chandeliers and old-English wood panelling, whilst the rooftop terrace faces out to glorious Georgian buildings and an array of colourful trees.
Singer St, London EC1V 9DD
Both weekend party spot and relaxed midweek cocktail spot, Golden Bee does it all. If DJ’s and dancing is your vibe, head down on a Friday and watch the sunset as the crowd livens. If you prefer a quiet and relaxed lounge atmosphere, come midweek and take advantage of drinks deals. What’s more, if the weather doesn’t quite want to play ball, this London rooftop bar has a retractable roof so you’ll be covered and ready to get on without a care in the world.
20 Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PD
12 floors up, this London rooftop bar has gorgeous river views, a stylish terrace and stunning cocktails. Check it out on a Wednesday for stripped-back live music. If you’re looking for more of a party vibe, check out the DJS who play disco and latin inspired beats from Thursday to Saturday – the perfect summer playlist!