With lockdown restrictions easing in London, many cool places are back in business for you to enjoy across the city, including year-round hangouts and seasonal pop-ups on rooftop terraces and gardens.
When visiting London’s bars, you can expect to see safety measures in place, including widely spaced tables, queuing systems, table service, handwashing stations and contactless payments. You’ll also see the “We’re Good to Go” industry standard mark, which means businesses you visit are adhering to government and public health guidance.
Make sure to check the venues are open before heading out to avoid disappointment. Plus, share your stories as you rediscover your city after lockdown using the #BecauseImALondoner hashtag on social media!
Best post-lockdown rooftop bars
Zip over to Tobacco Dock’s Skylight Rooftop and take in fantastic views from above of your local area. The London rooftop Summer at Skylight returns each summer with tempting street food, along with a croquet court and other fun activities which you can book online. Open Thursday to Sunday from June to October
Bussey Rooftop Bar
Head on top of the Bussey Building in Peckham to discover Bussey Rooftop Bar, a spectacular roof terrace with great views of the city. Grab yourself a fresh cocktail and some mouthwatering street food, as you soak up the sun at this alfresco hotspot. Open from May to September, from Tuesday to Sunday
Buck Street Market
Madison rooftop bar
Jin Bo Law Skybar
Skylark Roof Garden
Lost in Brixton
An independent cafe and informal workspace during the day, Netil 360 gradually transforms into a hip and lively rooftop bar as evening falls. Visit this Hackney institution for craft beers, outdoor movie screenings and positive vibes only. Open Tuesday to Sunday
If adulting is all too much, head to Roof East in Stratford, where you can release your inner child. Battle your friends over fun games, which have included crazy golf, table-top curling and VR table football in recent years. Keep the fun vibes going with live music singalongs paired with jaw-dropping views of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Open Tuesday to Sunday
Dalston Roof Park
The height of cool in London's hip East End, Dalston Roof Park is a social hub. Budding creatives put on special events, from film nights to live gigs – all powered by the giant solar panels. All you need to do is pick up a beverage from the pop-up bar, and relax. Open daily during spring and summer
Best rooftop bars in London with a view
12th Knot at Sea Containers London
Savage Garden at Hilton DoubleTree Hotel
The Savage Garden, high above the City of London in the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London - Tower of London, combines jaw-dropping views and decadent cocktails. Grab a sharing plate and enjoy 360-degree views over the iconic London skyline. Open daily year-round
Take in the tranquility of the almost secret rooftop bar in The Trafalgar St James hotel, safe in the knowledge that nobody in Trafalgar Square below is as lucky as you. Grab a premium cocktail at The Rooftop and settle back into the cosy seating, as you see eye to eye with Nelson. Open daily year-round
Cool London rooftop bars
Wander up the stairs to Pergola Olympia and discover a glittering botanical paradise. Sample the easy life in this tropical heaven and lounge on day beds under tumbling ivy and twinkling fairy lights – perfect for the 'gram.
Big Chill King's Cross
Head to Big Chill House for seasonal cocktails, a generous bottomless brunch and a sun-blessed colourful roof terrace. Come back on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening when DJs get the party started. Open Tuesday to Sunday year-round
It's well worth the climb up the instagrammable, bubblegum-pink staircase to Frank's Cafe in Peckham, perched on top of a car park. One of the most anticipated summer pop-up bars in London, Frank's vast area is filled with sculptures and trendy locals, who gather to watch the sunset with a summer cocktail in hand.
With design mogul Terence Conran overseeing its creation, it's no wonder Boundary Rooftop looks this good and stylish. Sit among silver birch trees at the Shoreditch rooftop bar, or relax in the heated glass Orangery, which boasts fantastic views of the city and east London. Open daily year-round
Fun rooftop bars in London
The Golden Bee
Sprawl out under the retractable roof of The Golden Bee rooftop bar in fun-loving Shoreditch. Choose from the long list of martinis and classic cocktails, wines and spirits. Come the weekend, dance to house and club classics at the over-21s venue is transformed into a nightclub. Open daily year-round
Karma Sanctum Soho
The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme officially ended on 31 August. However, you can still eat out for less at selected restaurants and bars across the city, which offer similar deals and special discounts.
Find more inspiration with these alfresco restaurants in London, or visit the best spots for swimming, boating and lidos in London – just remember to stay safe, be responsible and follow social distancing guidelines while out and about.