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

South Pole Saloon

Following a summer of Cuban fun at Brixton Beach, Brixton Rooftop’s latest incarnation sees the outdoor space transformed into the South Pole Saloon. Sip on seasonal tipples, tuck into warming treats from street-food vendors and dance winter blues away with rebel elves and candy cane girls at one of the many club nights. Open Thursday to Saturday from 23 Nov to 1 Jan

Il Tetto Restaurant & Bar

Find a slice of Italy by travelling on the express lift from the fragrance section to the rooftop at world-famous department store, Selfridges. After a spot shopping, nibble on small bites of cicchetti with a glass of Italian wine, or enjoy comforting bowls of steaming pasta at Il Tetto. Open daily until spring 

Proud Camden's Winter Roof Gardens

After a busy day exploring the markets in Camden, head to Proud Camden’s Winter Roof Gardens to warm-up with a festive cocktail. The urban retreat turns into a cosy sanctuary in the winter months with covered pergolas, outdoor heaters and twinkling fairy lights illuminating a canopy of luscious foliage. Open daily year-round 

The Moroccan Medina at Queen of Hoxton

Journey to Marrakesh this winter at the Queen of Hoxton’s Moroccan Medina. This Shoreditch hangout turns its terrace into a magical playground for adults, complete with a giant Moroccan lamp to snuggle up in and a very Instagram-worthy homage to the iconic blue walls of The Jardin Majorelle. Drink hot espresso martinis and feast on tagines while admiring this creative rooftop. Open daily until the end of March

The White Forest at Madison

Step through the magical arch and discover The White Forest at Madison this winter, where sublime views of St Paul's Cathedral are framed by a canopy of twinkling lights. Nestled under faux-fur blankets, drink warm apple pie toddies and feast on tempting treats such as baked Vacherin Mont d'Or cheese and gourmet hot dogs. Open daily until 28 Feb

Lodge d'Argent at Coq d'Argent

Find a winter wonderland on an elegant rooftop terrace this festive season at Lodge d'Argent at Coq d’Argent’s. Two igloo tents, filled with furs and glittering lights, provide ample shelter on the heated terrace. Marvel at the Northern Lights in the Aurora Borealis Cube installation, sip on carefully crafted cocktails and warm-up with a comforting plate of venison meatballs. Open daily until the end of February

Social Fun & Games Club at Roof East

Head to Roof East, and discover how a disused carpark in Stratford has been transformed into one of London’s coolest rooftop bars. The views across Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park are worth the trip alone, but it's definitely worth a visit now as a land of fun and games, with igloo dining dens, curling and a retro ski lodge bar, fills the roof. Open Tuesday to Saturday until 23 Dec

Dalloway Terrace

Escape the cold weather under the warmth of sheepskin rugs in the heated ground-floor terrace at Dalloway Terrace. Decorated with snow-covered foliage, this magical terrace is the perfect place to sip on Génépi liqueur (a digestif similar to Absinthe) and savour cheese fondue. Head to this Bloomsbury restaurant on Saturdays to watch classic films on the big screen. Open daily year-round

Woody Bear

Replacing Sisu, one of the most popular pop-up bars from the summer, Woody Bear can be found hidden behind a secret entrance near Marble Arch. Head upstairs and pop a token into the coin-operated cocktail machine, feast on cheese croques and raclette from the Melt-Shack, and check out the views of Oxford Street from cosy tea-cup fairground booths.  Open Wednesday to Sunday until the end of December

Skylight

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Get your skates on at Skylight's Winter Season at Tobacco Dock. After a twirl on London’s only rooftop ice rink, snuggle up under a blanket and gaze at stunning views of the London skyline while tucking into a pot of indulgent fondue. Open from Thursday to Sunday until January

Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Bar

Climb the yellow staircase to discover the amazing Eden Project-designed roof garden on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, complete with a Finnish Rooftop Sauna during Wintertime at Southbank Centre. After warming up in the sauna, enjoy views of London by the Thames with a seasonal drink. The Finnish Rooftop Sauna is open until 30 Dec

Dalston Roof Park

For the very first time, Dalston Roof Park spreads its East End coolness into the winter months. A retractable roof keeps guests covered come rain, shine or snow for special events over the festive season, while a brand-new food and drinks menu ensures everyone has a jolly time. Open on selected dates during winter 

More London rooftop bars

Netil 360

 

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An independent cafe and informal workspace during the day, Netil 360 gradually transforms, as the sun goes down, 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 spring, summer and on Fridays and Saturdays until December

Oxo Tower

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

The Rooftop

Soak up the tranquillity of the 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. Oh look, is that Big Ben you can see? Grab a premium cocktail at The Rooftop, settle back into the cosy seating, and feel a satisfying smile appear across your face. Open year-round

Rumpus Room

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

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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 and there’s always a party going on with regular live music and DJ sets. Open year-round

Angler Terrace

There’s no need to travel all the way to southern France when you can unwind at the Angler Rooftop restaurant and terrace. Relax in the shade of the olive trees and smell the fragrance of lavender bushes on the seventh floor of the exclusive South Place Hotel. Enjoy luxury cocktails and savour delicious dishes from the seafood restaurant. Open year-round from Monday to Saturday

The Bussey Rooftop Bar

Fans of cinema can find a home outdoors at The Bussey Building in trendy Peckham. Grab a fresh cocktail or a hot, wood-fired pizza from on-site specialists, Forza Win, then settle into one of the comfortable chairs for a cult classic movie underneath the stars. Open year-round

The Roof Gardens

Flamingos, fruit trees, and fish in a stream - all on a rooftop! Seven floors up from the Kensington High Street shops, find a hidden oasis that has not one, but three incredible roof gardens. Enjoy a delicious cocktail on the terrace of the Babylon Restaurant, or snuggle up under a blanket while watching a classic film. Open year-round

Big Chill House

Got a few hours before catching a train out of King’s Cross or St. Pancras International stations? Head to Big Chill House (only a few minutes’ walk away) for a seasonal cocktail, some lunchtime burger specials, bottomless pale ale (on Sunday), and a sun-blessed wooden roof-terrace. Come back on a Friday or Saturday evening when DJs get the party started! Open year-round

Sushisamba

Board a glass lift to the top of the Salesforce Tower London (formerly Heron Tower) and try a selection of 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, and sip your drink next to the life-sized orange tree sculpture. Open year-round

Aviary London

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This stunning rooftop bar and restaurant enjoys a lofty position on the 10th floor of the Montcalm Hotel in Finsbury Square, just a short walk from Old Street Tube station. Gaze over the City’s skyline with a botanical-themed cocktail on Aviary London's heated terrace, where you can settle down on plush lounge seating. Meat and fish cooked over live charcoal is on the menu if you’re feeling peckish. Open 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 with a table filled with tapas and cocktails. Open year-round

Skylounge

This hidden gem has beautiful vistas in abundance. From the vantage point of Skylounge's alfresco terrace, twelve floors above London, you can gaze romantically across at Tower Bridge, the Tower of LondonSt Paul's CathedralThe Shard and The Gherkin, drinking in life and cocktails. Open 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 at this converted Victorian warehouse has a kitchen garden, citrus trees and, best of all, 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 year-round

Aqua Nueva

Aqua Nueva serves up a stunning view of the London skyline, along with a menu of traditional Spanish cuisine. Enjoy a stylish cocktail at one of the two bars – one indoor and one on the fantastic terrace overlooking Regent Street, the Coca-Cola London Eye and The Gherkin. Attached to Aqua Nueva is Aqua Spirit cocktail bar and Aqua Kyoto Japanese restaurant. Open year-round

The Driver

Make your way down a quiet street near King’s Cross for a gastropub meal at The Driver. If you’re feeling comfortable, stay for a drink on the first floor. If you want to feel the sunshine on your face, make your way to the venue’s hidden gem, the roof. Small, cosy and away from the crowds, this secret rooftop bar is where you go to get away from it all. Open year-round

Iron Balcony Bar

A must-do experience for anyone visiting London is a wander through the dazzling lights of Leicester Square. Check out The Empire Casino and head upstairs to the glitzy Icon Balcony Bar, where you can grab a drink and look out across the square for a spot of people-watching. Open year-round

The Golden Bee

Bask in the sun’s rays at The Golden Bee rooftop bar in fun-loving Shoreditch. This is a great venue for sun-worshipping groups as you can keep hunger at bay with sharing boxes of sushi, and enjoy happy hour prices from Monday to Thursday. Take shelter on the mezzanine level or down in the club area where DJs play house and club classics. Open year-round

Smith's of Smithfield

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Treat yourself to a luxurious evening up among the rooftops of the old City of London at the Smith’s of Smithfield rooftop terrace. Tuck into prime slabs of rare breed beef, sip on carafes of fine wine, and soak up the view of London with a cocktail and a cigar. Open year-roun

Bonfire

Find a tranquil spot to enjoy a burger and a beer up above the hypnotic lake at the Barbican. The outside roof terrace at Bonfire is the ideal place to discuss the gallery exhibition, the cinematic movie, the theatre performance or the live music you’re about to experience later that evening at the famous arts venue. Open year-round

The Culpepper

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The Culpeper is not your usual London pub. Head to the top floor, and discover a secret rooftop bar with a lovely greenhouse. Many of the plants growing here are used in the pub’s kitchen, and home-made creative herbal concoctions make their way to the outdoor cocktail bar. Open during summer (and private bookings during winter)

Midnight Apothecary

If you like campfires, flowers and experimental cocktails, you’ll fall in love with Midnight Apothecary. Part of the Brunel Museum, this original bar is the only place for campfire cocktails in London. Taste unique concoctions created by gardener, Lottie Muir, using fresh ingredients from the local garden, and enjoy mouth-watering Greek barbeque food. Arrive early so that you can grab a spot next to the fire, and claim your free marshmallows to toast on the fire. Open during summer on Friday and Saturdays only

Frank's Cafe

Despite the unusual location - on top of a multi-storey car park in Peckham - Frank's Cafe is worth hunting out during the summer. Watch the sun set over south east London with a cocktail, cool company and amazing sculptures close by. Parking, obviously, isn't a problem. Open during summer