Best rooftop bars in London

Do you want to see London from a different angle? Gaze across London's beautiful cityscape from one of these rooftop bars, roof terraces and seasonal London pop-up cocktail bars.

Winter pop-up bars in London

Aviary London

Gaze over the City’s skyline from the comfort of an igloo at Aviary London, a stunning rooftop bar and restaurant on the 10th floor of the Montcalm Hotel, just a short walk from Old Street Tube station. Something to celebrate? Indulge in rock oysters and champagne on the heated terrace. Open daily until March

Curl Runnings at Roof East

There’s curling and more at Roof East in Stratford this winter, which has been given a Cool Runnings makeover in honour of the film’s 25th birthday. This neon-lit, Jamaica-themed space above a disused car park boasts tasty street food from the BBQ Club and hot buttered rum and spiked hot chocolate from the cosy tent bar. Open Tuesdays to Sundays until 22 Dec

Fest Winter Chalet at Fest Camden

Catch a seasonal favourite at Fest Camden’s Rooftop Cinema Club, part of its Winter Chalet wonderland. Then warm up by the fire pits with pizzas, jacket potatoes and toffee apples, washed down with hot cider, spiced mojitos or winter sloe negronis, or head inside for some Christmas cabaret. Open daily until February

Lady Celeste’s Winter Rooftop at Queen of Hoxton

Step into fin de siècle Paris at the Queen of Hoxton’s winter pop-up. The Shoreditch terrace is transformed into Lady Celeste’s Winter Rooftop, a bohemian 1900s music hall complete with an absinthe sharing fountain and plush velvet decor. Sip a hot buttered tarte tatin rum under the fairy lights, while raclette and charcuterie temper your hunger. Open daily until April

John Lewis' Skyline Skating

Glide above this very British department store on Oxford Street with Skyline Skating at John Lewis’ rooftop terrace. After a whirl around the Sipsmith ice rink, snuggle in a winter hideaway cabin with a hot G&T and fend off the cold with a wholesome pie from Mypie. Open daily until 6 January

Lodge d’Argent at Coq d'Argent

Snuggle into sheepskins and enjoy a touch of alpine glamour at Coq d’Argent, No.1 Poultry’s lantern-lit luxury terrace. Enjoy the bar’s panoramic view from the private ski chalets or get slalom tips from the vintage ski video cube. Accompany Alps-inspired food such as baked Vacherin and black truffle pommes frites with seasonal cocktails from Hennessy. Open daily year-round

Madison

Head to Madison for seasonal Belvedere cocktails under fairy lights as you gaze out at St Paul's Cathedral. Then, wrap up in blankets within a cosy timber-clad chalet and enjoy live music while you indulge in gourmet treats such as baked camembert and truffled mac and cheese. Open daily until February

Narnia Terrace at Savage Garden

Catch the express "wardrobe" lift and be whisked up 12 floors to Savage Garden’s rooftop Narnia terrace. Wander through an avenue of silver birch trees in the White Forest with an Absolutely Aslan cocktail featuring vermouth and sherry, or a warming cup of vodka-based Tumnus’s Tea. If you’re brave enough, steal a selfie on the White Witch’s throne; and make sure to spot the famous lamp post. Open until late January

Skylight London

Skate up high against a breathtaking backdrop of skyscraper lights on the rooftop ice rink at Tobacco Dock’s three-storey warehouse, Skylight London. Afterwards, tuck into food from the Raclette Brothers or YIRO, then curl up with a hot cocktail and roasted chestnuts in a cosy igloo or private cabin. Open Thursdays to Sundays until 27 January

More London rooftop bars

alto by San Carlo

Find a slice of Italy at the rooftop garden of world-famous department store, Selfridges. Head up in the lift from the fragrance section and indulge in seasonal Italian fare, including fresh pasta, seafood and meat dishes. Open year-round

Angler Terrace

There’s no need to travel all the way to southern France when you can unwind at Angler Terrace. Get cosy under the retractable roof, and warm your toes with patio heaters and blankets on the seventh floor of exclusive South Place Hotel. Afterwards, savour delicious dishes from the seafood restaurant. Open year-round from Monday to Saturday

Aqua Nueva

Enjoy cocktails and spot the Coca-Cola London Eye and The Gherkin from Aqua Nueva's stylish terrace overlooking Regent Street. If you're keen to make a whole evening of it, take a few steps to the adjoining Aqua Spirit cocktail bar or Aqua Kyoto Japanese restaurant. Open daily year-round

Boundary Rooftop

With design mogul Terence Conran overseeing its creation, it's no wonder Boundary Rooftop looks so good. Boundary’s heated rooftop orangery has a kitchen garden, citrus trees and a fantastic bar and grill. Soak up the sun or find shade under the vine-cloaked pergola for Mediterranean-influenced cuisine food and exquisite cocktails. Open daily year-round

Icon Balcony Bar

If you're enjoying an evening wander through the dazzling lights of Leicester Square, venture into The Empire Casino and head upstairs to the glitzy Icon Balcony Bar. Here, you can grab a drink and indulge in a spot of people-watching. Open daily year-round

Jin Bo Law Skybar

Experience breathtaking views from the 14th floor of Aldgate's Dorsett City Hotel, at Asian-themed Jin Bo Law Skybar. Indulge in a range of creative cocktails from a drinks menu that takes inspiration from the favourite tipples of Japan, China, Vietnam and more. Open daily year-round

Netil 360

An independent cafe and informal workspace during the day, Netil 360 gradually transforms into a hip and lively rooftop bar. Visit this Hackney institution for impeccable craft beers, yoga classes, outdoor movie screenings and a range of hipster eccentricities. Open Fridays and Saturdays, November to March

Oxo Tower

Soak up a spectacular panorama of the river Thames from the terrace of Oxo Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie. Savour creative and refined dishes at the restaurant, or enjoy some live music at the brasserie. You can also admire the view of St Paul’s Cathedral from the bar’s balcony on the eighth floor of this South Bank landmark. Open daily year-round

Radio Rooftop Bar

The dress code to enter the luxurious rooftop bar of ME London Hotel is smart casual, but when the view includes The ShardSt Paul's Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament, jeans somehow don't seem appropriate. Soak up the view from one of the best bars in London with a table filled with tapas and cocktails. Open daily year-round

Rumpus Room

Summer love in London #makearumpus #worldofsbe #rooftopcocktails #rooftopbar #rumpusroom

A post shared by Rumpus Room (@rumpusroomldn) on

Set on the 12th floor of the Mondrian London is Rumpus Room. The hotel’s rooftop lounge and terrace has spectacular views of the river Thames, St Paul’s Cathedral and the City’s skyline. You’ll find tasty cocktails with a British-American twist, a swanky interior that leads out onto the cosy terrace. Open year-round from Tuesday to Saturday

Sanctum Soho Roof Terrace

Relax on the comfy sofas, cocktail in hand, at Sactum Soho hotel’s luxurious Roof Terrace. The rooftop hosts a hot tub and special events throughout the year, and is open to non-residents upon reservation only. Open daily year-round

Sushisamba

Board a glass lift to the top of the Salesforce Tower London for high-end fusion dishes and cocktails. Bringing together the flavours of Japan, Peru and Brazil, Sushisamba is one of London’s top restaurant destinations, as well as one of the highest. Enjoy the sophisticated atmosphere of the terrace overlooking the City’s skyline. Open daily year-round

The Golden Bee

Cuddle around the fire pit at The Golden Bee rooftop bar in fun-loving Shoreditch. Enjoy happy-hour prices from Tuesday to Thursday and pre-order sushi boxes or seasonal canapes to go with the long list of martinis and classic cocktails. Take shelter down in the club area where DJs play house and club classics. Open year-round from Tuesday to Saturday

The Rooftop

Take in the tranquility of the almost secret roof garden bar at The Trafalgar St James hotel, safe in the knowledge that nobody in London's famous Trafalgar Square down 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 Wednesdays to Sundays during winter